Blessings from Sri Sathyathma Tirtha (Pontiff of the Uttharadi Matha
Sri digvijayaraamo vijayate
Sri Madhvacharya in his Tanthrasara has explained "Poojyascha Bhagavan nithyam chakraabjamandale." Worshipping the Lord with Chakrabja Mandala as peetha (pedestal) is specially rewarding. The omnipresent Supreme being can be visualised through this Chakrabja Mandala, which is designed as a frame work suitable for meditation. The Supreme being is present in all the tatthvas, respective Abhimani devathas and Rashis and Stars. Except the Purusha Suktha, the remaining seven Maha Manthras and forms of the Lord to be meditated through them are depicted in the Mandala. Worshipping the Lord through this holy medium without desire for returns is an excellent means for realising the Supreme Being within oneself. Sri Madhvacharya has only briefly mentioned about this Mandala. Sri Vijayadasaru in his Kankanakaara Suladi has given elaborate details. Based on this, Sri G Guruvenkatacharya has given a beautiful and well researched explanation. The design of the Mandala as printed in pictorial form has been well scrutinised from ancient designs.
M. S. Ananda Rao, M. Madhu Rao and H. V. Ranganath have made great efforts in this regard as a special service to the Lord. We pray to Sri Moola Digvijaya Rama and Sri Vedavyasa that they may bestow Jnana, Bhakthi and Vairagya for all devotees who have done this service and give them ability to perform such service in future also.
Sri Satyatma Tirtha Sripadangalavaru
Foreword by Prof. K.T. Pandurangi
Chakrabja Mandala is a unique sacred chart utilised for the mediation of God designated Ghruni (the name meaning most compassionate) - He is meditated as most compassionate.
The chart has seven Avaranas i e boundaries. In the last Aavarana, the forms of the God conveyed by 51 symbols Am, Aam etc are present. In other Aavaranas, the presiding forms of stars, planets, years, months, days etc are present.
Two most important aspects of this chart are
Chakrabja (wheel shaped lotus) Mandala (frame work) has its origin in Tantrasarasamgraha of Sri Madhvacharya, the propounder of Dvaitha philosophy. The Frame consists of 7 major spaces (Valayas) and additional "houses" between the lotus petals/triangular frames of main valayas. The entire frame is systematically filled in with anatomical details of 7 Maha Manthras, namely the Pranava, Vyahruthi, Vishnu Sadakshara, Narayana Ashtakshara, Vasudeva Dvadashakshara, Gayathri with 24 syllables and the Mathruka with 51 syllables. Added to this are the details of Brahma Gayathri, the constituent parts of Kaala (for example Samvathsara, Rithu, Masa etc) included in meaningful patterns.
The details like the above by themselves would render the entire Mandala a prosaic jugglery of letters, without relevance to worship, let alone Upasana. But what makes the Mandala, a tailor made means of Bimbopasana (communion with the Lord within) is the well defined link that is established amongst all the spiritual details in the entire figure. It is for this aspect that all Sadhakas should ever be grateful to Sri Vijaya Dasaru, who blew up the Suthra-like brief mention by Sri Madhvacharya into an elaborate Vyakhyana in the form of Suladi named correctly as Kankanaakaara Suladi. Considering that no other detailed write up was available before Sri Vijaya Dasaru, it is a great boon from him.
The colourful design brought out in computer graphics and closely following the Suladi gives all the details making it easy even for beginners and also conveys adequate information to more scholarly minds. This first time effort has been received enthusiastically by all.
Shasthras tell us that Upasana should start from within from the Parama chethana and proceed outward covering the Bhagavad Roopas, Parivaara Roopas, Chith Prakruthi, Thathvabhimanis etc and end up with Jada aspects like Kaala, Pancha Bhuthas, Mathrukas etc. The same pattern is followed by the Mandala. It starts with the capsulised Vedic esence Omkara written on left and right sides of the centre. The center stage is occupied by Ghruni or Merciful Lord. The last two Swaraaksharaas Am and Aha are written at the top and bottom of Ghruni within the circle.
The first Valaya is circumscribed by a triangle, creating three houses or spaces within the triangle but outside the circle. Here the details are :
Right corner of the base : Shreem Sthree roopa of Mahalakshmi, , Bhu the first part of Vyahruthi, Icchaa shakthi, Vishnu roopa (Vishva form)
Left Corner of the base : Kleem - Bhu roopa of Mahalakshmi, Kriya shakthi, Brahma roopa of the Lord, Bhuvah roopa of Vyahruthi and Taijasa form.
Top (Eastern) corner : Hreem - Durga roopa of Mahalakshmi, Jnana shakthi, Rudra roopa of the Lord Hari, the third part of Vyahruthi Swaaha, and Praajna form of the Lord.
The second Valaya :
This is formed by drawing a circumscribing circle on the triangle previously drawn giving rise to three segmental areas. Surya mandala on the North eastern side, Chandra mandala on the South eastern side and Agni Mandala at the western side (bottom) of the triangle.
The Bhagavadroopas prescribed for Upasanas in the above are :
Surya Mandala - Narayana represented by Lam
Chandra Mandala - Krishna represented by Ram
Agni Mandala - Narasimha represented by Yam.
In this Valaya, three Veethis or pathways are marked in the clockwise direction. These represent the speeds of the movement of Sun through the twelve constellations (Rashis) as below :
Over the second Valaya, two triangles, one erect and another inverted are drawn giving rise to six triangular spaces (Shatkona Valaya). Inside the top triangle (Eastern) the Bhagavad roopa which governs the Vasantha Rthu (Veda Vyasa), the months Chaithra and Vaishakha and the Bhagavad roopa in charge of these months Vishnu and Madhusudana and ten years (Prabhava to Dhathru) are marked. The first syllable of Vishnu Shadakshara Manthra Vi is converted into Beejakshara by adding Anuswara and written as Vim in the top triangle. Also marked Om Vim Poorna gunaathmane Hrudayaaya namaha"
Continuations of the above details are marked in the other five triangle, in the clockwise direction as per details in the chart. By going round the Shatkona Mandala the Upasana of Vishnu Shadakshara, the Bhagavad roopas of all Rashis, Masas and Samvathsaras will be completed. Also the Anga Nyasa prescribed for Vishnu Shadakshara manthra will be performed.
Next a circle is drawn circumscribing the tops of the six triangles. This gives rise to six spaces of houses enclosed within the sides of each of the triangles and the circles.
The following details are entered in these six spaces. Sixteen Swaraaksharas and the balance thirty five Vyanjanaaksharas are arranged in four rows. These signify the fifty one Bhagavad roopas namely Aja, Aananda etc up to Lakshmi Narasimha. These fifty one Bhagavad roopas are controlling dieties of the Rashis, Months and Samvathsaras which are mentioned within the triangle. Thus, this is definitely a link amongst the details mentioned in the Mandala
Fourth Valaya :
This consists of eight petalled Lotus over the third Valaya. Each Lotus petal consists of the eight planets and each of the syllables in the Narayana Ashtakshara Manthra (for ex. The top petal eastern includes the name of Saturn, OM, Om vishvaaya namah. Similar details are entered in the remaining petals in clockwise direction thus providing continuity.
Another circle is drawn touching the tops of the eight petals. This gives rise to eight houses in between the Lotus petals and the circle.
The details as below are entered in their houses :
The Bhagavad roopas reprsenting the eight constituents of Omkara (A, U, Ma, Nada, Bindu, Ghosha, Shantha, Athishsantha). The Bhagavd roopas are Vishva, Taijasa, Prajna, Thurya, Aathma, Antharaathma, Paramaathma, and Jnanaathma. This signifies Pranavopasana.
In addition to the Bhagavad roopas, Thathvaabhimaani devathas are meditated upon and also their Adhishtanas like Pancha Bhuthas, Pancha Jnanendriyas, Pancha Karmendriyas, Thanmaathras etc.
Fifth Valaya :
The fifth Vlaya consists of Lotus with twelve petals. Here Dwadashaakshara Manthra is prescribed for Dhyana. The twelve Bhagavad roopas in charge of twelve rashis (Mesha, Vrishabha etc) and the fifty one Bhagavad roopas of Mathruka Nyasa are entered in the twelve of the petals.
A circle is drawn touching these tops of the twelve petals. The twelve spaces between the petals include twenty seven yogas. The 108 Padas of 27 yogas are equally distributed amongst the 12 houses.
Sixth Valaya :
The sixth Valaya consists of Lotus with twenty four petals. The twenty four Bhagavad roopas represented by the syllables of the Gayathri Manthra are to be meditated in this Valaya. The twenty four (Chathurvimshathi) Bhagavad roopas (Keshava, Narayana etc) along with corresponding roopas of Mahalakshmi and the respective Abhimani devathas (Agni for Tha etc) of these twenty four syllables are also included for Dhyana.
Above this sixth Valaya, the details of Nine Pathways (Veethis) are marked. Naga Veethi, Airavatha Veethi, Vrishabha Veethi, Go Veethi, Jaradgava Veethi, Aja Veethi, Mruga Veethi and Vyshvaanara Veethi. Also twelve Rashis and 108 Padas of the twenty seven Nakshathras are distributed equally around the circle.
Seventh Valaya :
Finally the seventh Valaya in the form of a Lotus with 51 petals is drawn. This Valaya is meant for the Mathruka Manthra consisting of the 51 syllables. The Bhagavad roopas represented by them are to be meditated in the respective locations in the human body for instance, the first petal consists of A, Aja and the location in the human body is the head (Shiras) and so on. This completes the Mandala and details therein.
In conclusion it should be noted that the Chakrabja Mandala is not just a figure or a design (like Rangavalli) for the purpose of keeping Prathima or Saligrama for worshipping. It is mainly meant for Dhyanopasana meditation of the large innumerable number of Bhagavad roopas which control and regulate the Kaala, the Thathvas etc of the seven Mahamanthras.
For the advanced Sadhakas, specially for Devathas, these details mean actual visualising of the respective Bhagavad roopas in the Samadhi state of mind.
No wonder , therefore, Sri Vijayadasaru has declared in no uncertain terms, that this Chakrabja Mandala is a Siddha Sadhana (ready means) for Bimba Aparoskha.
Created July 6, 1999; last modified July 6, 1999