Chakreshvara at Hari Parbat

The Symbology of Shri Chakreshvara at
Hari Parbat

*Dr Chaman Lal Raina

n the Upanishadic thought and Pauranic theology, natural forces were divinized to help man understand the Immutable -- the primal source of creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe. This provided a psychic opening for a vision of the unity of man, god and universe. The Vedic gods are cosmological in character and represent man's aspiration to be in tune with the Divine. Agni, Vayu, Ashvinis, Surya, Mitra, Varuna, Shri, Prithvi etc. of the ancient Vedic texts are Devatas/ gods, who represent various moods and modes of nature and play definite roles in the cosmic drama to keep the rhythm of the universe vibrant. And it is this rythm that is represented by "Mandals and Chakras" referred to as 'Zageshwar' in Kashmiri religious terminology.
Seers attributed names and forms to these cosmic forces, and gave them specific traits, as aspects of divinity through concepts. They visualized them through the concepts of 'Bindu' or the dot, 'Trikona' or the triangle, 'Vritta' or the circle, Bhupura or the enterances/doorway, Lingam Pranali/creative symbols representing Shiva-Shakti. The different Devtas and Devis, male and female deities, were allotted their 'Vahanas' or the vehicles in the form of animals and birds giving definite meanings to their symbology. Each devata has his/her yantra--the geometric representation. These are known as the Chakras. Shri Chakra is considered as the presiding Chakra of all the Chakras. It is revered as the Chakreshwara at hari Parbat.

Surya-- the sun god, has his celestial chariot drawn by seven horses, each horse symbolising a definite ray. In the same manner, Dwadasha Adityas are symbolic of the twelve months of the year. 'Aditya' means the son of Aditi -- the universal energy. She represents the Prakriti aspect or the 'Mother-nature', while Akash is termed as the Dhyau/ 'father sky'. The Surya mandala drawn and worshipped by Kashmiri Pandit ladies on Ashadha Shukla Saptami reminds of the hoary past when the Vedic deity was worshipped in the compounds and kitchens in Kashmiri homes and offerings of rice were placed on the Mandala or the circular drawing representing it.

The Sapta Rishis:
Vashistha, Kashyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautama, Vishwamitra and Bhardwaja too are symbolic, each representing the cosmic principle in one or other form. While Kashyapa, the progenitor, represents temporal existence, Bhardwaja symbolises--valour, Jamadagni symbolises lustre and Kundalini symbolises the vital breath. When, we make a Parikrama around the Hari parbat,we make our obeisance to Shri Ganesha, who is the Mooladhara in our Yoga, as well as in the spiritual path of reaching to the chakreshwara, through Sapta Rishis, leading to the Chakrishwara.

Chakreshwara means the Supreme Lord of all the Chakras, or the Master architect of all the Chakras, who are revered as the Svayam Bhu Sthitis--Self Existent in origin.

Shri Chakra is the most sacred symbol in 'Hrim' symbol.Hrim is the primal sound of the Hadi Vidya. The triangle is equilateral and its point of concurrence is Bindu -- the absolute reality without any dimension. Its symbolic meaning is made explicit in the following shloka:

Shri Chakra priya bindu tarpana para Shri Rajrajeshwari

Shri Chakra is the Priya Bindu. It is the eternally pleasing to Shiva absorbed in it is Shri Rajrajeshwari, the Supreme sovereign Mother --creatrix who is 'Tarpana para' as transcendental in pleasing nature. Bindu represents the dot of our conciousness which gets materialised through Saguna-sadhana of Shri Sharika manifest in the Chakreshwara Shila. The lines of this sacred rock are the 'wave beats' of the divine and every triangle, lotus petal and circle is the abode of Varnamala (the Sanskrit alphabet) or Matrikas. Matrikas are worshipped at the time of Jatakarma, Devaguna and Shakta rituals related to Homas of Shri Jwala, Sharika, Rajnya, Bala, Bhadrakali and Tripura Sundari, Jyeshtha, Bhavani.

Shri Chakra is a diagram signifying hope and aspiration. According to those, who practice Shakti puja, Shri Chakra symbolises the "One by whom all devatas live." Infinite rays of light emanating from the Chakra are received by devotees who worship it with the 'Kadi Mantra' of fifteen syllables where the 'bindu' represents the immortal face of Shri Sharika -- the Mother of all Bija Mantras. A sound is heard. Timelessness is experienced. The spirit feels the pulsation of the Divine Mother's presence. Though it is adored with Sinduur, but Chakreshwara is colourless purity of the Shiva and Shakti. It is for splendour and sweetness to get absorbed into the Bija Mantra---seed syllable.

Kashmiri Pandits used to worship the Shri Chakra on "Meru made of crystal", in their Thakurdwaras or Puja rooms, which would be situated generally in the Madhya koshtha or the second storey of their homes in accordance with Vastukala and Shakti Siddhanta or the principles of Shakti worship. Some used to worship it on a properly engraved copper plate and some on the "Bhoj patra" or the birch-bark leaf.

Worshipping Shri Chakra is an essential religious practice of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Why is the name of the Saphrishis associated with Shri Sharika's abode? Legend goes that some 5088 years ago, Saphrishis, the seven great sages of the Hindus, came to Sharika Parvat, the abode of goddess Sharika at the auspicious movement when the first ray of sun fell on Chakreshwara, and paid obeisance to Shri Sharika. The place where they are said to have assembled is still called Sata Reshya. It is a pal/ rock where devotees of the goddess go to ask for a boon and find answers to their prayers. After worshipping the Sata Seshis, they would make a circumbulation--parikrama of the four Chinaar trees, where Roopa Bhavani, Sahib Koul, Reshi Peer, Pandit Krishan joo kar, and many other saints and sages used to mediatate on the auspicious days upon Mahakali Shila to attain Siddhi.

Astrologers made this auspicious moment the sorting point for their calculation of the Nova Wariya--Navareh/Varsha Pratipada, and the Kashmiri Pandits offer their prayers on the HORASHTAMI -- known as the auspicious Hurya A'itham--four days before the Shiva Ratri or Herath.

Kashmiri Pandits hold the Chakreshwara in the highest esteem. Much water has flown,since the Herat was adored as the Pancha Ratri Puja--known as the Shaivi Paddati of the Herath Pooza/puja.

Time is eternal. It is the rhythm of divine pulsation. However, it is only linear or chronological time in which life unfolds itself on this universe. So when we talk of the Saptarishi Samvatsara followed by Kashmiri Pandits, we have to travel back to the era, when people of Satisar, the ancestors of the present day Kashmiri Pandits, worshipped the Hari Parbat. Our Satisar heritage is linked with the Hari Parbat, where Shri Ganesha, Saptarshi, Kali, Chakreshwara, Siddha Lakshmi, Vaama Deva Rishi, Hatkeshwara Bhairava, Amrit Kunda--Pokhri Bal as the Kunda Asana of Shakti Sharika is adored, on the Hurya Aitham, Herath, and other festivals.

*Dr. Chaman Lal Raina
(Paintings by Chaman Lal Raina)
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Great and informative usual ,which is what one expects from Mr. Raina's articles..Thank you....Sir ..can you let me know if there r some rules for japa of sharika mata mantra or the kadi mantra....which is written at Cha,reshwara.....thank you..
Added By kartikay gautam
Thank you Kartikey Gautam Ji, Of course,there are specific methodolgy for the Japam.The simple would be to invoke the Gayatri Mata first,and then mediate upon the Divine Mother--Shri Sharika: "OM SHRI SAPTA BIJA AKSHARAYAI SHARIKAYAI NAMAH" May be recited in the Japa form,either 10 times or 108 times. Chaman Lal Raina
Added By Chaman Lal Raina