SRICHAKRA AND MOTHER WORSHIP IN HINDUISM
MOTHER-WORSHIP IN HINDUISM
The concept of BRAHMAN is not only abstract but abstruse.In the Hindu conception of the universe when the Brahman is static with neither evolution nor involution is not taking place; it is in a ‘seed form’. But when it begins to evolve and initiate creation it is called SHAKTI.So if the Brahman may be compared to a coiled snake in sleep, the same serpent when it is in motion is Shakti.In other words, if Brahman is the fire, then shakti is its burning power, if Brahman is the word shakti is the meaning. This inseparatability finds expression in the concept of the trinity in the Hindu pantheon of gods. The three main deities’ Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have their female consorts who are the forces behind their power. So BRAHMA’S consort SARASWATI, Vishnu’s consort LAKSHMI and Shiva’s consort PARVATHI are all the empowering force within them. This personification of dynamic energy as goddess is not alien to the Vedic religion. The worship of the mother finds its echo in the remote past. For example the concept of AIDITI who is considered of the mother of gods is an example of mother worship.
Personifying nature as mother is also found in the RAATRI SUKTA of Rig-Veda. Once the anthropomorphic way of worship became popular, the worship of the all loving divine mother, commonly attributed to ADIPARASAKTHI gained acceptance. Though the three consorts of the trinity are all manifestations of SHAKTI, the most widely worshipped is that of PARVATHI, in her three forms namely DURGA , KALI and LALITHA .Of the three, it is the LALITHA aspect of the divine mother which is symbolized in the SRICHAKRA.
SAAKTHA TANTRAS speak of the ultimate reality as transcendental, immutable and ineffable. This is the absolute which is described in the Upanishads. As static energy, the Brahman in its desire to multiply starts reflecting on itself. This creates a throb or stir which is called SPANDA which gradually becomes a vibration (NADA) and gets centered on a point called the BINDU. This like the dicotyledonous seed gradually swells and get polarized as the male SHIVA and the female SHAKTI retaining simultaneously its original latent status. This process is usually conveys symbolically the evolution of supreme consciousness in the form of the SRICHAKRA.
The SRICHAKRA has at its center a dot ‘the BINDU’ which is surrounded by nine triangles (trikona).Of these four have apexes upward and five downwards. The intersection of these triangles results in the formation of forty three smaller triangles. Around which is a concentric circle with eight lotuses and sixteen lotus petals. Beyond this there are three more concentric circles, which is bounded by a square (CHATURASA) of three lines which are one inside the other with an opening in the middle of each side of the square.
The SRICHAKRA which can be used for worship in its two dimensional form is called a YANTRA .A YANTRA can be drawn either on gold, silver or copper plates. In its three dimensional format, it is called a MERU and this is usually made of PANCHALOHA which is an alloy of five metals like gold, silver, copper, tin and lead.