The object of this ritual, which is described in Mahanirvana-Tantra, Chapter V, verses 93 et seq, is the purification of the elements of which the body is composed. (1) The Mantra-mahodadhi speaks of it as a rite which is preliminary to the worship of a Deva.(2)
The process of evolution from the Para-brahman has been described. By this ritual a mental process of involution takes place whereby the body is in thought resolved into the source from whence it has come. Earth is associated with the sense of smell, water with taste, fire with sight, air with touch, and ether with sound. Kundalini is roused and led to the svadhisthana Cakra. The “earth” element is dissolved by that of “water” as “water,” is by “fire,” “fire” by “air,” and “air” by “ether.”
This is absorbed by a higher emanation, and that by a higher, and so on, until the Source of all is reached. Having dissolved each gross element (maha-bhuta), together with the subtle element (tanmatra) from which it proceeds, and the connected organ of sense (indriya) by another, the worshipper absorbs the last element, “ether,” with the tanmatra sound into self-hood (ahamkara), the latter into Mahat, and that, again, into Prakrti, thus retracing the steps of evolution. Then, in accordance with the monistic teaching of the Vedanta, Prakrti is Herself thought of as the Brahman, of which She is the energy, and with which, therefore, She is already one.
Thinking then of the black Purusa, which is the image of all sin, the body is purified by mantra, accompanied by kumbhaka and recaka,(3) and the sadhaka meditates upon the new celestial (deva) body, which has thus been made and which is then strengthened by a “celestial gaze.” (4)
1. And not “removal of evil demons” as Professor Monier Williams’s Dictionary has it.
2. Taranga i.:
Devarca-yogyata-praptyai bhuta-suddhim samacaret.
3. See Pranayama, sub. voc Yoga post.
4. Vide post.