Matters of religion: “he becomes Naravāhanadatta”

Somakhya’s mother (SM) and Lootika’s mother (LM) ran into each other during their visit to the shrine of Rudra beside the river on a Monday evening. They sat at the platform below the vast aśvattha tree beside the subsidiary Viṣṇu shrine to chat for some time.

LM: “How is it going with all the quiet at your place now that Somakhya has left?”
SM: “Well, I’ve returned to teaching the Mahābhārata and have been contemplating on the features of early Indo-Aryan. By the way I saw you brilliant daughter last evening at the clothes shop.”
LM: “Ah! You mean Vrishchika; have been worrying about her.”
SM: “Why? I heard that she has been invited to give a talk at some famous human genomics meeting regarding the paper she has just published. She seems to be following her stellar elder sister with this paper while just in the fourth year of med-school.”
LM: “That’s exactly the matter of worry. The conference is at Kṣayadrājanagara, a big bad city, where I am sure you heard that just a week ago there was a major attack at the train station by the marupiśāca-s in which several were killed. Vrishchika has set her mind on going and you know when that happens there’s no easy way to change it.”

SM: “You should let her go. After it will bring her yaśas. It would seem she is on course to out doing even Lootika. Moreover, you let Lootika go on multiple trips, which included that really scary day of the Uniform Civil Code riots. You also let Varoli go to the dreadful Visphotaka, which is an even worse city than Kshayadrajanagara.”
LM: “O dear, you over-estimate Vrishchika. Knowing my daughters well I can say that that Lootika is to the rest of them like Maghavan among the gods. Thus, even on that day, while I feared for her greatly, I knew deep within she’ll be back home: lūtikā bahuyutikā vā.”
SM: “But some day Vrishchika will be on her own. You can’t just keep her protected at home and unexposed to the big world. My brother lives in Kshayadrajanagara. I could give you his number. May be his daughter Saumanasa or son Mandara could pick Vrishchika up at the station and make sure she’s alright.”

LM: “That’s very kind of you. I will certainly take their number, it will be useful in more than one way. However, I understand that Somakhya’s friend, that kid Indrasena, who is her co-author and co-speaker in that conference, also lives there. I know she has gotten very pally with him and he would pick her up at the station. But at the same time I fear the two of them might be up to some mischief. Vrishchika let it slip that after their talk they were going to skip part of the meeting to go roaming in the city and make an excursion to Devaparvata.”
SM: “Ah, if Indrasena is there I’m sure he’ll ensure she’s OK. As for the mischief, I could give you his parents’ number. Call them and express your concerns; they would make sure that the two don’t do something too extravagant. But Vrishchika has to find her way in life: educate her but let her have her fun within limits. Let her meet my niece Saumanasa too: I am sure Saumanasa would benefit a lot from advice from Vrishchika.”

Just then they saw a mongoose scampering away into overgrowth adjacent to the northern wall of the temple. It paused for while giving them a good “darśana” and then vanished. LM : “That looks almost like an adbhuta to me. What might it mean?”
SM: “Well, since you saw it first possibly you are going to be favored by the mighty Kāmeśvara.”
LM : “Hope both of us are…”

◊◊◊◊◊

Vrishchika’s father had boarded her onto the train to Kshayadrajanagara, which soon got moving. Vrishchika felt tremendous happiness as the train started coursing on its way towards its destination – for the first time she was travelling alone, unlike her sister Lootika, and sensed that she had become an adult. She also felt nice to be in solitude – she remembered Lootika’s words on the importance of solitude: “When you have to spend all your time in close contact with mundane people you start thinking like them and soon lose your ability to see the parokṣa by which that which mystifies or even kills them can be apprehended. Hence, it is useful to have some time off in silent contemplation.” After a while she started preparing for her presentation. Here again she followed her sister’s method of carefully preparing her talk: laying out the time for each slide, planning what she was going say and when, and anticipate various questions and keep answers for them ready. At that point she wondered how their friend Somakhya had this uncanny knack of giving rather disparate talks back to back without preparing at all. She thought to herself: “Perhaps, that is tattvāveśa”. But then Lootika’s words came back to her that a good experimentalist must be methodical and well-planned in their approach to anything.

After a while, even as she was preparing to sleep, a woman passed by Vrishchika to her seat and as she did so dropped notes amounting to a few thousand rūpaka-s and her passport on the floor. Vrishchika called out to her and but she had her ears plugged with a headset and walked on oblivious of her lost property. Vrishchika gingerly gathered the stuff and walked up and gave it to her. She was very happy and gave Vrishchika a note as a reward. Vrishchika smiled saying that she did not need it as: “Dhaneśvara keeps me well!” The woman responded: “whoever that Dhaneśvara is may he continue to be good to you”, even as Vrishchika walked back to her seat.

◊◊◊◊◊

Indrasena and Vrishchika were rather disappointed that the former’s parents had poured water on their plan of roaming through certain parts of the city that night after the meeting was over. As they were dropping them off at the conference center they said: “Indra, if it were just you we would not even ask where you have been. But we have promised this charming young lady’s parents to keep her out of all trouble. While we have some confidence in your fighting skills, and even if you were to take your pistol with you, it is a wholly different matter of defending oneself and defending a young lady by your side. You know well that mahāmada’s prowlers and other assorted dasyu-s are constantly looking out for girls in places you want to go to.” Instead, they proposed that would pick them up at the conference center and bring them home for dinner.

As they were walking in Indrasena said somewhat sharply: “Gautamī, you should have been more careful with keeping secrets. If you want to have adventure you cannot announce everything to your parents.”
Vrishchika simpered and said: “I know. I just accidentally let it slip under pointed interrogation. But after all we might get to talk about the rahasya-s that I have been long wanting to know more about.”
Indrasena: “OK. Indeed, there are many exciting rahasya-s to talk about but remember that with such rahasya-s it is even more imperative to shut ones trap with the general public.”
Vrishchika: “I know, I know. I can be quite a Kunti when it comes to such matters but you know how it is when you are interrogated.”

Later that evening Indrasena’s parents picked them up and took them home for dinner. After dinner Indrasena took Vrishchika to his room. He offered Vrishchika a cushion as a seat and as she looked around his room for the first time taking in the sights she felt a strange sense of déjà vu. She saw a large painting of Naravāhana on the wall with his three wives Śriyā, Ṛddhi and Bhadrā hugging him and his son Nalakūbara seated beside him. The mantra “namo dhanadāya ca dhanasvāmine ca ||” was inscribed around the painting. Below it hung a Japanese painting with several figures of which she could only recognize one as being a yakṣa. Below that on a separate stool was a well-bound copy of the bṛhatkathā.

Vrishchika: “O ātreya, I see them all, the signs of Yakṣarāṭ everywhere. This is the indeed the sign of knower of rahasya-s. Who else today can even contemplate being on the path of Naravāhana-datta the son of Udayana. How was that most powerful path revealed to you? Most only sadly wish for it as losers do.”
Indrasena: “O Gautamī it is a long story but short of it goes thus. In my childhood as I was learning the Taittirīya-śruti I had dreams on many continuous nights of the great peak of Kailasa-parvata. Above it I saw hovering a great airplane, the Puṣpaka. By myself I began uttering the mantra-s starting with tirodhā-bhūḥ svāhā| Other mysterious mantra-s of Vaiśravaṇa started coming to my mind as the old Hindus would say as if from a past birth. But they were incomplete and I had wait till I could apprehend most of them due to the teachings of the vañga-siṃha.”

Vrishchika: “Who is this teacher – is it not remarkable that he obtained the Kauberī vidyā that lies concealed?”
Indrasena: “My father has a friend. He was known as the vaṅga-siṃho rājarāja-mata kaṇṭhīravaḥ: a vipra who was a lion among the vaṅga-s. He could be truly described as ‘dhanaṃ meru-tulyam’ and possessed of many kinds of vidyā-s. People looked at him and wondered ‘how could he be endowed with all of this wealth, health, beauty, intelligence, wife and children? He never seemed to age!’ After all it is almost a truism that: “indreṇa sarvāni śubhāny ekasmin puruṣe saṃyuktaṃ na sthāpitāni |’ Seeing him people got the hint that after all the advaitin-s were simply being losers when they asked ‘tataḥ kim?’ when confronted with dhanaṃ meru-tulyam| As though guided by Rājarāja, with youthful impropriety, I once jousted with him on a scientific topic very familiar to the two of us, as also your agrajā and Somakhya of quick discernment. I will tell you about that at a different point in time. While he did not openly admit it, despite being a widely acknowledged professor, he felt he had been defeated by a mere youth like me in that debate. It was then that it slipped out of his mouth: ‘Perhaps, this why the ācārya had said the totality of Dhanada-siddhi is not on me. It must be due to the mantra of the Bhṛgu-s I don’t have.’ I queried him on the Dhaneśvara-siddhi and he agreed to help me apprehend the Kaubera-śāsana whose mantra-s had briefly flashed before me saying if one mastered it ‘he becomes Naravāhanadatta.”

Vrishchika: “Most interesting, I see signs of a genuine Jambhala-vidvān in you. Indeed, why talk about the imaginary ‘eko brahmaṇa ānandaḥ’ when you cannot achieve ‘eko mānuṣa ānandaḥ’ in this world. It is more like wishful thinking coming from not applying oneself vigorously to the path of Dhaneśvara. But since there is no gain without pain I have long suspected that this path must have be arduous. What is the significance of that Nipponic painting below that of the Rājarāja-parivāra? It reminds me of the incident I have told you from childhood when I captured as a khārkhoḍa the bhūta of a prācya from those regions.”
Indrasena: “Ah that one is important to me as a reminder that, even though arduous, one who applies himself to the Vitteśa-siddhānta can be like a Naravāhanadatta even if he might be from the far-off land of the pītavarṇa-s”
Vrishchika: “How did you get it? Who are those figures depicted in it?”
Indrasena: “My father obtained it when visiting the prācya-s on matters relating to his work. He managed to with some difficulty befriend the phlegmatic prācya “deśika’’ of the temple on mount Shigi who eventually gave him this painting on mulberry paper. The figure you see to the left is a Nipponic mantra-vādin known as Myoren with immense Kaubera-siddhi. The figure to the right is Daigo the emperor of Japan. He was afflicted by an incurable disease. Myoren performed a Vitteśa-sādhanā and as result a guhyaka appeared – he is the central figure with the sword – the yakṣa then cured the emperor.”
Vrishchika: “Remarkable!”
Indrasena then walked up to the painting and turned it around: “Here on the back you can see the images of the great Vaiśravaṇa along with his wife Śriyā and son Nalakūbara. This a painting of their idols installed on Mt Shigi.”

Vrishchika: “O Atri, that painting of a sword with the siddham script also seems to be Nipponic. It too seems to be connected with śrī Naravāhana. It looks like the sword of a vidyādhara upon attaining siddhi. Could you please tell me more about it?”
Indrasena: “Gautamī that is the painting of the sword received by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro from Yakṣarāṭ before going to war with the Ainus. There is a long back story here. It is said that when Xuanzong, the Tang emperor of the cīna-s, was in deep fear of his enemies he was aided by Vaiśravaṇa and Nalakūbara due to their mantra-s deployed by Amoghavajra. A little later when the Silla Koreans backed by the cīna-s threatened the Nipponians the latter similarly invoked Vaiśravaṇa through an elaborate ritual that gave them total immunity from those mainland cousins of theirs. At that time a Nipponic mantravādin had a dream wherein a horse with a jeweled saddle led him to a holy site, Kuramadera, to the north of Kyoto, where he found a svāyambhuva idol of Kubera and installed it in a great temple there. Thereafter in the late 700s of the Common Era, the warrior Sakanoue no Tamuramaro worshiped Dhanada at that temple, attained siddhi much like our Naravāhanadatta, and obtained a sword from the god. He used this sword in his campaign against the Ainus and conquered their land. There he built a copy of the temple at Kuramadera depicting Yakṣarāṭ as being borne by guhyaka-s known as nara-s exactly as prescribed in our tradition.”
Vrishchika: “Thank you for the most interesting narrative. What is written in the siddham script on that painting?”
Indrasena: “It is the mantra Sakanoue used: oṃ vaiśravaṇa sahaparivāreṇa samāja jaḥ huṃ vaṃ hoḥ oṃ ve svāhā ||

Vrishchika: “Indra, I have so many things to talk to you about. But since time is short right now I would like to ask you regarding the Puṣpaka-vimāna yantra which is mentioned in the śruti of the Taittirīyaka-s as being engineered by the god Tvaṣṭṛ for Kubera. Could you please give me a darśana of the Puṣpaka-vimāna-yantra you worship and lead me to the Puṣpaka-vimāna-sādhanā?”
Indrasena: “Alinī. That’s a rahasya-prayoga. You would need to engage in much Kaubera-yogābhyāsa for any degree of success in that direction. Nevertheless let me show the Puṣpaka to you.” Indrasena led her to a closet in his room and opened the door to reveal the image of the vimāna in the center of which were the seated images of Rājarāja, Ṛddhi and Nalakūbara. His antardhānāstra was placed in front of him. In front of the vimāna was the image of yakṣa Maṅkanaka the gatekeeper of Kubera. There was also an image of the cow Sarvakāmadughā. There was a pot of the five-metal alloy with water and a glass pot with honey in it on the vimāna-pratimā. Indrasena: “Alinikā utter the following mantra-s after me gazing single-mindedly at the Puṣpaka-vimāna:
oṃ haṃ jambhalāya vaiśravaṇāya maṇibhadrāya pāṅcikāya pūrṇabhadrāya nalakūbaraya yakṣebhyo yakṣāṇāṃ patye namaḥ ।

Then he gave her some honey with a silver spoon and asked her to eat it with the mantra:
idaṃ jambhalasya madhu maghonaṃ madhunā prajāvatī payasvatī dhanavatī dhīmatī ayuṣmatī bhūyāsam |

Then with another spoon he gave Vrishchika the water with a small amount of cedar nut oil: “Apply this on your eyelids with the following mantra:
kuberasyodakam idam tenādṛṣṭaṃ dṛṣṭam bhavati huṃ nakulahastāya svāhā |

Vrishchika: “Ah this is the pratikṛti of the water sent by Viteśa to help Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa penetrate the māyā of Meghanāda!”

Indrasena: “Indeed. Then you shall close your eyes, visualize the great cave in the Himalayan heights where Kubera has placed the pot of golden kauberaka honey and meditate upon it doing japa of the mantra:
oṃ hrīṃ vaiśravaṇa! dhanaṃ puṣṭiṃ dehi me svāhā |
When you have become sthiramati emerge from your meditation uttering oṃ vaiśravaṇa arthatamom। 3 X huṃ phaṭ|

After Vrishchika did so she emerged from her dhyāna uttering: “apaśyaṃ tvā yakṣam ugraṃ tvāṣṭrīṃ vimānarūḍhaṃ puruścakrāṇi sahasra-vandhurāṇi । sa vaiśravaṇo rājarājā mahato mahīyān yasya pratigraheṇāpsyāmi dhanaṃ meru-tulyam । kāmam pratigacchāmi । dhanam pratigacchāmi । prajāḥ pratigacchami । īśvareṇa mahado3 o3 oṃ ||

Indrasena: “That’s good it appears you are on the path of īśvara-siddhi. I know you already have accomplishments as a mantravādinī but before proceeding I need to know if you have studied your earlier siddhānta-s well. Utter and expound the dvādaśa-nāmāni.”
Vrishchika: “I do know them from my sarvādhikāra-dīkṣa:
dhanadaś ca yakṣapatir vitteśo nidhipālakaḥ ।
rākṣasādhipatiś caiva piṅgalākṣo vimānagaḥ ॥
rudrasakhā kuberaś ca guhyakānāṃ patis tathā ।
vaiśravaṇeśvaraś caiva yakṣendraḥ parikīrtitaḥ ||

Dhanada: the giver of wealth; Yakṣapati: the lord of the yakṣa-s; Vitteśa: the lord of wealth; Nidhipālaka: the guardian of wealth; Rākṣasādhipati: the lord of the Rakṣa-s, this has been already stated in the Yajuṣ and the Atharvaṇa-śruti-s; Piṅgalākṣa: he whose eyes are of a golden tint; Vimānaga: one who can go anywhere on his Puṣpaka airplane; Rudrasakhā: friend of Rudra, this has been explained in our national epic; Rudra with his family often resides in the space station of Kubera; Kubera: One who has a frightful form; Guhyakānāṃ pati: lord of the hidden yakṣa-s who in the śruti are known as tirodhā; Vaiśravaṇa: the lord of the northern garden-land known as Viśravas; īśvara: the great lord; Yakṣendra: who is like Indra among the Yakṣa-s.”

Indrasena: “Great. At some future point when we are united after passing beyond the place known as Mlecchadigdvāravṛtti we shall perform together the great yāga as enjoined in the Taittirīya-śruti concluding with the mantra rājādhirājāya… By that time I would have mastered the full rahasya-s of this very mysterious mantra of the Bhṛgu-s from the Atharvaveda:

yad indrādo dāśarājñe
mānuṣaṃ vi gāhathāḥ |
virūpaḥ sarvasmā āsīt
saha yakṣāya kalpate ||

But for now you may do puraścaraṇa of the antardhānāstra-mantra. It will provide us with the fury needed withstand the assault of the ekarākṣasavādin-s who would seek to place in the museum in that great clash in the future.”

Vrishchika: “That sounds frightening. Tell me more of how one approaches this rahasya?”
Indrasena: “The full vidhi goes thus: One observes fast on the dvitīya. Then on tṛtīya one performs the rite having broken ones fast. One places an image of the gadā in a golden or silver vessel with ghee on which has been inscribed the 12 names of the yakṣa. One invokes Kubera with the following mantra enjoined by the Vaikhānasa-s:
rāyas-poṣāya āyuṣe prajāyai nīdhīśam āvāhayami ।
(For increasing prosperity, life and offspring I invoke the lord of wealth)

Then he does the visualization of Kubera thus:
atha dhyānam:
yakṣa-rākṣasa-sainyena guhyakānāṃ gaṇair api |
yuktaś ca śaṅkha-padmābhyāṃ nidhīnām adhipaḥ prabhuḥ ||
rājarājeśvaraḥ śrīmān gadāpāṇir dhaneśvaraḥ |
vimāna-yodhī dhanado vimāne puṣpake sthitaḥ ||
sa rājarājaḥ suśubhe yuddhārthī naravāhanaḥ |
prekṣamāṇaḥ śivasakhaḥ sākṣād iva śivaḥ svayam ||

(The lord of wealth, the overlord, is united with yakṣa, rakṣa-s and guhyaka hosts, as also Śaṅkha and Padmā. The lord of the king of kings, the wealthy one, the lord of riches holds a mace in his hand. The airplane-warrior, the giver of wealth is stationed in his Puṣpaka airplane. He the king of kings, residing in great auspiciousness, eager in combat, is borne by yakṣa-s known as Nara-s. Watching on, the friend of Śiva is himself like a second Śiva)

Then as ordained by the Vaikhānasa-s one offers the pūrvārghya of water in a receptacle with the gāyatrī:
rāja-rājāya vidmahe dhanādhyakṣyāya dhīmahi|
tan no yakṣaḥ pracodayāt ||

Then one performs japa and/or homa of the mantra:
asya mantrasya vadanya ṛṣiḥ । virāṭ chandaḥ । antardhāna-dhārin-ugra-kubero devatā ।
oṃ chaṇḍograyakṣāya huṃ phaṭ tirodhehi sapatnān naḥ svāhā ||

There after one concludes with the incantation of the Śānkhāyana-s:

nainaṃ rakṣo na piśāco hinasti na jambhako nāpy asuro na yakṣaḥ ||
(Neither rakṣa-s nor piśāca-s, nor jambhaka-s, i.e. Kubera’s agents, nor asura-s nor yakṣa-s harm him)

Then one offers the madhyamārghya as above with the mantra:
rudra-sakhāya vidmahe vaiśravaṇāya dhīmahi |
tan naḥ kuberaḥ pracodayāt ||

Then one recites the stuti:
dhanasya kāmasya praṇāyakas tvaṃ ।
sukhasya lābhasya pradāyakas tvaṃ ॥
vimānagas tvaṃ lokeśvaras tvaṃ ।
nāmāmi jiṣṇuṃ caṇḍogra-yakṣaṃ ॥
(You are the leader in wealth and desire;
You are the giver of happiness and profit;
You are the airplane-rider the lord of the world
I salute the conquering fierce formidable yakṣa)

Then one does tarpaṇa with the 12 names in the accusative case.
Additionally he also offers tarpaṇa to the parivāra:
ṛddhiṃ tarpayāmi ।
śriyāṃ tarpayāmi ।
bhadrāṃ tarpayāmi ।
nalakūbaraṃ tarpayāmi ।
maṇibhadraṃ tarpayāmi ।
śaṅkhaṃ tarpayāmi ।
padmaṃ tarpayāmi ।
maṅkanakaṃ tarpayāmi ।
yakṣa-pārṣadāṃs tarpayāmi ।
yakṣa-pārṣadīṃs tarpayāmi ॥

One then offers the prasannārghya with the mantra:
yakṣeśvarāya vidmahe gadā-hastāya dhīmahi |
tan no yakṣaḥ pracodayāt ||

One then makes offering of pure cooked food as bali with mantra ordained by the Vaikhānasa-s:
rāja-rājo dhanādhyakṣaḥ kubero viśravas-patiḥ |
prīyatāṃ nidhi-saṃyukta īśvarasya sakhā prabhuḥ ||
(The king of kings, the administrator of wealth, Kubera, the lord of the northern land of Viśravas, possessed of wealth, the friend of Rudra, may the lord be pleased)

Then he does upasthāna:
parivāreṇa saha kubero nakulahastaḥ suprīto suprasanno varado yathā sthānaṃ tiṣṭhatu ||
(With his retinue may Kubera, holding a mongoose, pleased and happy, boon-giving remain in his own region)”

Indrasena then continued: “One performs this vrata for an year observing restraints of not consuming alcohol and eating pure food and maintaining one’s body with discipline.”
Vrishchika: “I express my profuse gratitude to you for revealing the vidhi. I am hoping to perform the vidhi even as you have described it. But the only issue is how I might be able to obtain the gadā?”
Indrasena: “I will be duly sending you one. Again most only attain partial īśvarasiddhi. Only those born of good families for multiple generations attain that complete siddhi. In Gomūtra-nagara lived a man who saw all these vidyā-s but his discipline was incomplete so his lābha was also incomplete. Likewise with the vaṅgasiṃha. But fearlessly perform the puraścaraṇa. Someday all will come together.”
Vrishchika: “We will not be able see each other from some time in the coming future as our paths diverge but in the future we shall be united again and shall perform the great yāga.”

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