Thursday, September 3, 2009

Universe Today

Love Mars? Then This is For You

PDS Montage. Credit: HiRISE

PDS Montage. Credit: HiRISE

We frequently ooh and aah over the images returned by the HiRISE camera from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and now there's gonna be a whole lot of oohing and aahing going on. The HiRISE folks have just released more than 1,500 new observations of Mars for the Planetary Data System archive, showing a wide range of gullies, dunes, craters, geological layering and other features on the Red Planet. Take a gander at some of the highlights:
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"What Was That Big Star Next to the Moon Last Night?"

The waxing Gibbous Moon and the planet Jupiter in the southeastern sky. They are separated by 4 degrees in the sky. Credit:  Kevin Jung
Anyone ask you that question this morning? Jupiter was only 3 degrees from the Moon last night, making a pretty (and bright!) conjuction. I put out a call on Twitter last night for pictures of the event, and here are a few that were shared. Above is one taken by Kevin Jung in Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. Click the picture for more of Kevin's images. Also, if you looked at Jupiter with a telescope last night (Sept 2) at 4:43 to 6:29 Universal Time (12:43 a.m. to 2:29 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time) you may have also noticed something was missing: Jupiter's moons were hiding! Ganymede and Europa passed in front of the giant planet, while Io and Callisto will passed behind Jupiter (from our point of view) making it nearly impossible to visually detect any moons around Jupiter. Our own Brian Ventrudo explains all on his site One Minute Astronomer. And here's some more images from the conjuction:
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UFOs, a Green Venus and Sun Gobbling? Isn't That Going a Little Far, Mrs Hatoyama?

Venus? Green? Are you sure?

Venus? Green? Awesome!

"While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus."

This might sound like a quote taken from the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist or the chant from someone who spent an hour too many at an Amsterdam coffee shop, but it wasn't.

Actually, these are the words of the wife of the Japanese premier-in-waiting Yukio Hatoyama.

Mrs Miyuki Hatoyama might be married to a man Japan nicknames "The Alien," but it looks like it's not him who has dreams of an extraterrestrial nature…
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Climate Change and Earth's Cryosphere

Even though most of us do not live in the polar regions or don't even see icebergs or ice sheets very often, no matter where you live, the snow and ice of the Earth’s cryosphere has an impact on your climate. NASA released an amazing new view of Earth's frozen regions today, using visual satellite data to show, among other things, how sea ice is disappearing and glaciers are shrinking. These changes in the cryosphere have had a major impact on global climate, as the crysophere is interconnected with other parts of the Earth system. Scientists are currently studying just how much the frozen places on Earth affect global warming, and the best way to view the remote icy parts of our planet is from space. This video shows satellite data in action, with striking high definition visuals and charts.
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Fake But Funny NASA Press Release

It's nice to see the folks at NASA have a sense of humor and can poke fun at themselves. The following (fake) press release was part of the Flight Day 6 Execute Package sent up to the STS-128 crew on board space shuttle Discovery, now docked at the International Space Station: "Colbert Elated, Stewart Miffed." Also impressive to see how NASA employees can come up with an acronym for almost any occasion:
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Where In The Universe #69

Where in the Universe 69
Here's this week's image for the WITU Challenge, to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos, and I swear, this one is space related. But you know what to do: take a look at this image and see if you can determine where in the universe this image is from; give yourself extra points if you can name any spacecraft involved in this image. We’ll provide the image today, but won’t reveal the answer until tomorrow. This gives you a chance to mull over the image and provide your answer/guess in the comment section. Please, no links or extensive explanations of what you think this is — give everyone the chance to guess.
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LRO Sees Bouncing, Rolling Boulders on the Moon

Closeup of LROC image showing boulders that have rolled down the slope of Tsiolkovskiy Crater.  Credit: NASA
Think nothing ever happens on the Moon? New images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera shows spectacular views of the famous Tsiolkovskiy Crater, and a close-up look reveals boulders that have rolled down the slopes of the crater. In the larger image, below, it is easy to see where the boulders came from by following their rolling, bouncing tracks. These are not small rocks by any means: the largest boulder in this image is about 40 meters wide – half as big as a soccer field! Seeing where the boulders originated from is a great clue to geologists reconstructing the local geology. What do they see here?
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Do We Look Like This Edge-On?

Seen edge-on, observations of NGC 4945 suggest that this hive of stars is a spiral galaxy much like our own Milky Way. Credit:  ESO
Unfortunately, the Universe isn't equipped with any three-panel dressing room mirrors, so we can't see what our own Milky Way Galaxy looks like face on, or even from the side. But here's a great new edge-on image of Galaxy NGC 4945, and many astronomers think this hive of stars closely resembles our own spiral galaxy with swirling, luminous arms and a bar-shaped central region. However, looking at this mirror-like image, does our black hole look that big? No, say astronomers from the European Southern Observatory. NGC 4945 has a brighter center that is likely home to a supermassive black hole bigger than the Milky Way's, and it is devouring reams of matter and blasting energy out into space.
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Astronomers Find Most Distant Supermassive Black Hole Yet

Composite pseudo-color image of the QSO (CFHQSJ2329-0301). The RGB colors are assigned to z0; zr and i0-bands, respectively. The figures are north up, east left.  Credit: Goto et al.

Composite pseudo-color image of the QSO (CFHQSJ2329-0301). The RGB colors are assigned to z0; zr and i0-bands, respectively. The figures are north up, east left. Credit: Goto et al.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a supermassive black hole….. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii have spotted a giant galaxy surrounding the most distant supermassive black hole ever found. The galaxy, so distant that it is seen as it was 12.8 billion years ago, is as large as the Milky Way galaxy and harbors a supermassive black hole that contains at least a billion times as much matter as our Sun.
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New Way to Measure Curvature of Space Could Unite Gravity Theory

The curvature of space due to gravity.
Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity in terms of the geometry of both space and time. Far from a source of gravity, such as a star like our sun, space is "flat" and clocks tick at their normal rate. Closer to a source of gravity, however, clocks slow down and space is curved. But measuring this curvature of space is difficult. However, scientists have now used a continent-wide array of radio telescopes to make an extremely precise measurement of the curvature of space caused by the Sun's gravity. This new technique promises to contribute greatly in studying quantum physics.
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Satellite Images of California Wildfires, Mt. Wilson Update

NASA's Aqua Satellite MODIS Instrument view of the California wildfires.  Credit: NASA

NASA's Aqua Satellite MODIS Instrument view of the California wildfires. Credit: NASA

The wildfires near Los Angeles have spread to over 100,000 acres. The Los Angeles Times reported that the fire had burned 74 structures and remained out of control, spreading both west and north. As of 6:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on August 31, some 12,000 homes were threatened. Fire fighters struggled to save the Mt. Wilson Observatory from the encroaching fire. Today, fire fighters set controlled backfires in effort to remove the closest vegetation to the various telescope structures. See below for a labeled image of the structures on Mt. Wilson amid smoke from the fires, courtesy of Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society, along with more satellite, ground and helicopter images from the fires.
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Watch Saturn's Rings Disappear (Video)

Composite image of Saturn over 6 years. Credit:  Alan Friedman
On September 4, 2009, Earth's orbital motion will carry it through the same plane as Saturn's rings. From our vantage point, the rings will disappear. Usually these ring plane crossings — which only happen about every 15 years — are great opportunities to observe Saturn's moons. But this year's ring plane crossing will be practically impossible to see, as Saturn will be very close to the sun, only 11 degrees away. So, disappointingly, we won't see much. However, amateur astronomer Alan Friedman has given us a glimpse of what this event will look like, without the glare from the sun. Friedman has put together an animation of how the angle of Saturn's rings have changed over the past six years. See the animation below. "It shows the changing plane of the ring system as viewed from my Buffalo backyard from 2004 to 2009," said Friedman. "The final frame has been assembled from earlier 2009 observations to display how the planet will appear with its rings edge on." Gorgeous!

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After Loss of Lunar Orbiter, India Looks to Mars Mission

Artist concept of Chandrayaan-1 orbiting the moon. Credit: ISRO
After giving up on re-establishing contact with the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair announced the space agency hopes to launch its first mission to Mars sometime between 2013 and 2015. Nair said the termination of Chandrayaan-1, although sad, is not a setback and India will move ahead with its plans for the Chandrayaan-2 mission to land an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface to prospect for chemicals, and in four to six years launch a robotic mission to Mars.

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Is The Milky Way Doomed By Galactic Bombardment?

This image from a supercomputer simulation shows the density of dark matter in our Milky Way galaxy which is known to contain an ancient thin disk of stars. Brightness (blue-to-violet-to-red-to-yellow) corresponds to increasing concentration of dark matter.

As scientists attempt to learn more about how galaxies evolve, an open question has been whether collisions with our dwarf galactic neighbors will one day tear apart the disk of the Milky Way.

That grisly fate is unlikely, a new study now suggests.

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Bareket Observatory Celebrates International Year Of Astronomy

Bareket Observatory

The Bareket Observatory in Israel just did something really remarkable – they celebrated the International Year of Astronomy with a live webcast for the entire world! During the event one could listen to live explanations by a U.S. astronomer and enjoying a special musical representation to those who are blind. I had very much been enjoying my conversations with Ido Bareket and had every intention of reminding our readers when the date was going to happen so you could join in… Then the storms hit Ohio. Click to continue…

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For the sake of Vishwa Mangala

For the sake of Vishwa Mangala

by admin ~ May 27th, 2009.

From time immemorial, Bharath, the land of the holy Himalayas and Ganges woke up to the call of the cow. ‘Amba’ is the sweet call of love which fell on the ears of the millions and filled the days with joy. But lo, today the call is fading, dying and is becoming a thing of past. For a minute let us re call those joyous days when the calf ran to mother cow which poured her sweet milk along with her heart, not only to her calf but to the whole world.

The picture of the happy cow grazing on the meadow, the calf frisking around, the bulls walking majestically on the village lanes and streets, the bonding between the farmer and the oxen , these scenes cooled one’s eyes and warmed one’s heart. Then there was meaning and poetry in life.

Cow was so inter wined into the fabric of life. It gave us food ; it took us from place to place; it healed the mind and body; it was a treasure house of wealth. It also assumed the role of a warrior when occasion demanded. All these functions of the cow are relevant even today. But we have forgotten its significance in this age of plastic, when milk means, white sachets at our door steps every morning.

We palm off our responsibility by transporting the cows which have stopped giving milk, the male calves and the old oxen to the slaughter houses. At the time of Independence we had 77 breeds of Indian indigenous cows. But today only 33 of these precious breeds remain and that too varieties like Amrith Mahal, Red Sindhi, Krishna, Vechure, Punganoor are in very small numbers.

The main reason for this state of affairs is the greed of man who wants quick money. He wants to become rich over night. As a result farms have become dumping ground for chemical fertilizers, food has turned toxic, the farmers reel under the burden of loans and seek solution in suicide.

Added to this is the environmental exploitation and ecological imbalance. We have to live in a world of polluted air, water, land and mind also. Global warming and technological waste are threatening us.

The only ray of hope at this juncture is to return to the ways of our ancestors - The cow centred way of life.

The advent of Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yathra strengthens this hope of an auspicious life to our country and the world. It brings the message of joy and prosperity to the villages and the farmer, through the cow.

The guiding spirit behind this great movement is Shree Shree Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji who has dedicated his whole life to the cause of the cow. All the spiritual leaders of the nation have lent support to this socio-economic revival of Bharath. All cow lovers have come under the banner of this movement.

The Yathra commences on September 30, 2009 on Vijayadashimi day at the battle field of Kurukshetra which marks the beginning of righteous war.

The Yathra will cover a distance of 20,000 kms all over India. It will traverse through Amrithsar, Jammu, Muradabad, Kashi, Siliguri, Kolkatta, Vishakhapattanam, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tiruvanantapuram, Bengaluru, Panjim, Mumbai, Rajkot, Jaipur and conclude at Nagpur.

In addition, 15,000 Upa Yathras will cover a distance of 10 Lakh kms. When the Yathra reaches your place let us strengthen the resolve to begin a beautiful life once again.

Let us make this a true freedom movement. We once missed the opportunity to realize the dream of a free India, in spite of Gandhiji’s vision of Grama Rajya. The thirst for true freedom has increased today.

We are taking a new and different path to achieve this goal of a free Bharath.

It will bring us prosperity. To revive the cow centred villages, and to reap the benefit of panchagavya, we must not consider cow as just a milking machine.

When we go back to the cow, the land will become free of chemicals, the food will be free of poison, gobar gas will light the villages and puts the farmer and the village on the path of sustainable development. This is true freedom.

This 108 days spiritual journey to the cow and the village is a meaningful return to prosperity and progress. Let us take a pledge to be a part of this pilgrimage and discover the true meaning of freedom and happiness.

Vande Gou Matharam.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



By the annihilation of evil desires (durvasana), the unchanging (sthira) Atma manifests itself. This Atma is eternal (nitya), true and therefore without a second and great (mahan, i.e. not limited by time and space). It may also be attained by means laid down in Nityahridaya Tantra (i.e. Yoginihridaya) - Introduction to Tantrarajatantra, Woodroffe

Compiled by Umanandanatha, a disciple of the famous Shri Vidya upasaka Bhasuranandanatha (Bhaskararaya), the Nityotsava is ostensibly based on the Parashurama Kalpasutras, a collection of brief aphorisms outlining many of the features of Shri Vidya, for which see other pages on this Web site.

Some of the material contained in this text has been translated and is also available on this site. See the sections under the heading Shri Kula on the index page.

The Nityotsava contains very little philosophical material on the cults which centre around the famous Shri Yantra, but a wealth of detail on the ritual, the mantras and other features of this complex tantrik form. These include not only the worship of Mahatripurasundari, but also of Ganapati (Ganesh), Dandini (Varahi) and Shyama (Kurukulla). There are also chapters dealing with practices common to all tantrik devata.

Mantras and other ritual details below use the iTrans format, which you can view in their Devanagari characters by copying and pasting into the freeware program Itranslator.

Chapter One

This section is devoted to initiation (diksha), and starts with a salutation to the nine Nathas, to Shiva, to Ganesh, to the Empress (Maharajni = Tripura) and to the gurus of the tradition.

After this, Umanandanatha goes on to describe initiation, starting first with descriptions of the act contained in the Kalanirnaya (Kaulanirnaya?) and the Manthana Bhairava tantras. This section outlines the times for diksha, which are closely linked to Indian sidereal astrology. Initiation in certain of the 27 asterisms brings different results, while the days of the week also have their own merits, while the 15 days of the moon (tithis) also are said to have specific results. The text then quotes from other texts along similar lines.

The text quotes authorities for times which are not suitable for initiation, which mentions a number of yogas (planetary combinations in this context), where malefics, that is the Sun (Ravi), Mars (Bhauma), Saturn (Shani), the nodes of the moon (Rahu and Ketu) and the Waning Moon are conjoined in certain places in a horoscope for the time of initiation.

The next section in this chapter deals with the characteristics of guru and pupil, quoting from the Tantrarajatantra. The guru should be handsome, full of virtues, situated in himself, and know the essence of many tantras. He should be free from doubt, having cut through such doubts by the grace of his own guru. The pupil should be free from greed, controlled of senses, steady, faithful, and devoted to guru, mantra and devata.

The text mentions the nature of Tripura Siddhanta, based as it is on the 35 (36) tattvas of earth, water, fire, air, space (aether), smell, taste, sight, hearing, sound, etc. Then follows details of mantra upasana, the duty of an upasaka of Tripurasundari, and different types of initiation such as Shambhavi diksha, Shakti diksha and Mantri diksha. The text talks of Samayachara, of the Kuladharma, and the competence of people for given mantras.

Chapter Two

This chapter deals with Ganapati (Ganesh) and his ritual worship, including the mantras, tarpana (oblations) and nyasas necessary.

It then goes on to deal with the puja proper, the necessary substances with which to accomplish this, the dhyana of Vighneshvara (Lord of Obstacles), worship of the pitha Shaktis, named in this text as Tivra, Jalini, Nanda, Bhogada, Kamarupini, Ugra, Tejovati, Satya and Vighnashini. Mantras should commence shrI.m hrI.m klI.m and end with namaH. The six limb puja (shadangapuja) is as follows:--

shrI.m hrI.m klI.m OM gA.m hR^idayAya namaH hR^idayashaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..
3 shrI.m gI.m shirase svAhA shirashshaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..
3 hrI.m gU.m shikhAyai vaShaT.h shikhAshaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..
3 klI.m gai.m kavachAya hum.h kavachashaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..
3 glau.m gau.m netratrayAya vauShaT.h netratrayashaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..
3 ga.m gaH astrAya phaT.h astrashaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi ..

The text then goes on to detail the three aughas or lines of guru related to Mahaganapati, which are divided into the divya (celestial), the siddha and the manava (mortal) lines.

The text then describes puja of the Mahaganapati yantra, which is divided into five parts. The first set of attendants relate to the three lines, the six lines, and the space between the lines. The second avarana relates to the six konas. The third avarana is connected with the junction points (sandhis) of the six konas, and are the six limb devatas. The fourth avarana is related to the eight petals, starting from the west, with the Devis there being Brahmi, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri, Chamunda and Mahalakshmi. The fifth avarana relates to the earth-square or bhupura and worships the guardians of the directions, the kshetrapalas, given in the text as Indra, Agni, Yama, Nairriti, Varuna, Vayu, Soma, and Ishana. Each of these forms holds his appropriate weapon, rides his appropriate vahana, and holds his appropriate direction and sub direction in the order given. Thus, although the Nityotsava contains no illustration of the yantra, it can be constructed as triangle, hexagon, eight petals and earthsquare.

After worship of the avarana deities, Gananatha (Ganapati, Ganesh) should be worshipped with sixteen ritual accessories. Then follows a description of the fire sacrifice, the giving of bali, a stotra about tarpana (oblation), a dhyana or meditation on Ganapati, the ashtakam or eight limbed hymn, Suvasini puja, and the purashcharana, or preparatory rites to be performed in his worship.

Chapter Three

This large chapter, called Shri Krama, deals with the worship of Lalita Tripurasundari, and opens with Umanandanatha bowing to his guru, Shri Bhasurananda Natha.

After outlining the contents of this important chapter, Umanandanatha starts by describing the guru meditation, and describes a process known as pranasamyaman, where the vital energy is directed to the top of the head, where the guru is said to reside.

The sadhaka is then recommended to meditate on the ajapa gayatri, the "non-recited" gayatri of 21,600 breaths a human takes every day. Then follow details relating to bathing, and to sandhya or the twilight worship. Here, there is to meditation on the sun as Martandabhairava, seated in union with his Shakti, Prakashashakti. The tantrik Gayatri of Tripurasundari is described as:-

ai.m hrI.m shrI.m ka e I la hrI.m tripurasundari vidmahe ai.m hrI.m shrI.m ha sa ka ha la hrI.m pIThakAmini dhImahi ai.m hrI.m shrI.m sakalahrI.m tannaH klinne prachodayAt.h.

This combines the Gayatri with the 15-lettered vidya of Lalita Tripurasundari.

After these preliminaries, the Shri Krama chapter begins to describe the puja proper, together with the rites necessary when entering a temple. These include worship of the different kalas (parts) of the Sun, Moon and Fire, followed by a short section which describes the material of which a Shri Yantra may be fashioned. Gold, silver, copper and other metallic plates are mentioned, while substances such as sindura, kumkum, and milk are required. The form of the yantra is described, but only as bindu, triangle, eight triangles, two sets of 10 triangles, fourteen triangles, eight petals with filaments, 16 petals with filaments, three circles and four lines. Next comes the procedure of breathing life into a yantra, followed by temple worship, a section which we have translated elsewhere on this site.

The process of bhutashuddhi, or purification of the elements follows, followed by a technique using mantras which is supposed to fence off the area from obstructions, bhutas, and other obstacles.

Nine nyasas are recommended for the worship of Lalita, and these are listed in the text as matrikanyasa, karashuddhinyasa (hand purification), atmarakshanyasa (protection of the atma), chaturasananyasa, Bala six-limbed nyasa, Vashini and the other (Vakdevatas) nyasa, root vidya nyasa, shodhanyasa and chakranyasa. The next section deals with placing of the vesel for the ordinary offering, which are to be upon a design with a bindu, a triangle, a hexagon and a square enclosure. This is followed by a long section describing the preparation of special offering.

Umanandanatha quotes from the Jnanarnava Tantra next to describe the inner yaga or meditation on the Shri Yantra which is to be performed, while the next section deals with the worship of the 64 ritual accessories (upacharas) used in the puja. Then follow the mantras of the Fifteen Nityas, which, unlike in the Tantraraja, are given in full and without special code.

A large section on the different gurus in the Shri Vidya tradition follows this section, and, as in the Ganapati section of Nityotsava, these are divided into celestial, siddha and mortal gurus, both for the vidya (mantra) that begins with Ka (Kadi) and for that which begins with Ha (Hadi).

The celestial gurus in the Kadi group are listed as Paraprakashandanatha, Parashivanandanatha, Parashaktyamba, Kauleshvaranandanatha, Shukladevyamba, Kuleshvaranandanatha and Kameshvaryamba. The siddha aughas are Bhoganandanatha, Chinnanandanatha, Samayanandanatha and Sahajanandanatha. The manava augha consists of Gaganandanatha, Vishvananandanatha, Vimalanandanatha, Madanandanatha, Bhuvananandanatha, Lilanandanatha, Svatmanandanatha and Priyanandanatha. At the close of this lengthy section, mantras are given for other, unknown gurus.

The next section opens with the puja of the attendants of the mandalas of the Shri Yantra, nine in number. As these have been listed in full elsewhere on this site, we refer you to the appropriate sections. This is followed by the sadhaka being enjoined to meditate on Kamakala, which consists of the three bindus and the ardha-matra. Brief instructions for homa, giving bali, pradakshina and circumambulation follow, before a stotra or hymn to Tripurasundari is to be recited.

Following this is Suvasini Puja, with a mantra given for purification of the Shakti which reads ai.m hrI.m shrI.m ai.m klI.m sauH tripurAyai namaH imA.m shakti.m pavitrI kuru mama shakti.m kuru svAhA. The Shakti should then be given various good things such as garments, flower, incense, light, unguents and powders, as well as food and pan. A lengthy section dealing with purification of wine and other substances used in the rite should follow.

Although mentioned briefly above, a lengthy section follows dealing with the right way to create a Shri Yantra, and the number of marmas and sandhis that result from drawing it correctly. This is so interesting that in future we will place it on the site in iTrans format and translate it. Then follows a brief secton of the different prastaras of the Shri Yantra and the pranapratishta of the Shri Chakra, which imbues the device with life and which is translated elsewhere on this site, is given in full. A yantra made of gold lasts for life, one of silver 22 years, copper 12, and on bhurja bark six years.

A lengthy section follows on the homas that may be performed, while the next section describes the mudras or hand-gestures used in the Kadi Shri Vidya cult.

The next section deals with the types of nyasas used when worshipping Tripurasundari. These were mentioned earlier (see above) and a number of them, including the lengthy Shodhanyasa and the Shri Chakra Nyasa are elsewhere on this site.

Instructions on how to perform japa (recitation of the vidya) are then given. Instructions are given for reciting various vidyas such as the Kameshvari mantra, the Kamakala mantra, the Utkilana mantra, and a large number of other mantras relating to Tripurasundari, to her aspects or to various elements of her worship, such as the rosary, are then described in full.

The Fifteen Nitya mantras are given again, as well as special mantras for "miraculous" aspects of Tripura such as Asvarudha, Bala, Annapurna, Svapnavarahi and many others. Some of these aspects, together with the prayogas (applications) relating to them are described in the Tantrarajatantra and other places, and relate to magical powers that a sadhaka can achieve through their use.

A section then follows on optional rites that may be performed in various solar months, and which the Tantrarajatantra also details.

Chapter Four

Details the rites of Shyama, the dusky form of Tripura, who is described elsewhere in Shri Vidya tantras as Tara or Kurukulla, and who is the "mother" form, just as Varahi is the "father" form of the goddess.

The nyasas and the other elements in tantrik puja are described, together with the yantra to be drawn, and the avaranas to be worshipped.

In the central triangle Rati, Priti and Manobhava receive puja, followed by the five arrows in the triangles of the pentangle. On the tips of this star the five forms of Krishna, one with Kali, receive worship, while the eight devatas Brahmi, etc. receive worship in the eight petalled lotus. On the tips or filaments of the lotus Laksmi, Sarasvati, Rati, Priti, Kirti, Shanti, Pushti, and Tushti are worshipped.

The sixteen petalled lotus has sixteen Shaktis or attendants named in the text as Vama, Jyeshtha, Raudri, Shanti, Shraddha, Sarasvati, Kriyashakti, Lakshmi, Srishti, Mohini, Pramathini, Ashvasini, Vichi, Vidyunmalini, Surananda and Nagabuddhika. This is the fourth avarana.

In the outer lotus of eight petals are the Bhairavas Asitanga, Ruru, Chanda, Krodha, Unmatta, Kapali, Bhishana and Samhara. Inside the four petals are Matangishvari, Siddhalakshmi, Mahamatangi, and Mahasiddhalakshmi. This is the sixth avarana. Ganapati, Durga, Vatuka and Kshetrapala are to be worshipped in the square, followed by protectors of the directions.

Then follows a description of recitation of the mantra of Matangi, followed by praise of that aspect of the goddess. Rules for an upasaka (worshipper) of Shyama follow, including details of the purashcharana and so forth required, as well as the types of homa, a description of the Kurma Chakra, purification of the mala or rosary, and a lengthy section on how to purify Rudraksha malas specifically. Optional homas and the dimensions of the fire pits to be used are detailed.

Chapter Five

This chapter of Nityotsava deals with the puja rites of Dandini, in this context similar to the "father form" Varahi. As in previous chapters, the various nyasas, upacharas and other ritual details relating to Dandini are described, together with the gurus of the parampara and the different avaranas of her yantra. The mantras of Varahi and a lengthy Varahi stotra are described.

Chapter Six

This very brief chapter is called the Parapaddhati, and describes the general form of worship or puja for other devatas.

Chapter Seven

Describes a number of practices, pujas and mantras common to all, and makes quotations from Pancharatra texts, the Tantraraja and other sources.

Various chakras used to determine the time of initiation, such as the Kulakula and the Rini-dani are described, as well as a number of mantras which are used to ensure that the root mantra, that is the mantra of the ishtadevata or desired form of divinity, is successful. These purifications relate to the birth, the life and other stages that a mantra is assumed to have.