Temperament of the Sadhaka

According to the temperament of the sadhaka, so is the form of worship and sadhana. In fact, the specific worship and sadhana of the other classes is strictly prohibited by the Tantra to the pasu.

It is said in this Tantra (1) and elsewhere (2) that, in the Kali-yuga, divya and pasu dispositions can scarcely be found. It may be thought difficult at first sight to reconcile this (so far as the pasu is concerned) with other statements as to the nature of these respective classes. The term pasu, in these and similar passages, would appear to be used in a good sense (3) as referring to a man who though tamasic, yet performs his functions with that obedience to nature which is shown by the still more tamasic animal creation free from the disturbing influences of rajas, which, if it may be the source of good, may also be, when operating independently, the source of evil.(4)

The Commentator explains the passage cited from the Tantra as meaning that the conditions and character of the Kali-yuga are not such as to be productive of pasu-bhava (apparently in the sense stated), or to allow of its acara (that is, Vaidikacara). No one, he says, can, fully perform the vedacara, vaisnavacara, and saivacara rites, without which the Vaidik, Pauranik mantra, and yajna are fruitless.

No one now goes through the brahmacarya asrama, or adopts after the fiftieth year that called vanaprastha. Those whom the Veda does not control cannot expect the fruit of Vaidik observances. On the contrary, men have taken to drink, associate with the low, and are fallen; as are also those men who associate with them. There can therefore be no pure pasu. Under these circumstances the duties prescribed by the Vedas which are appropriate for the pasu being incapable of performance, S’iva for the liberation of men of the Kali Age has proclaimed the Agama. Now, there is no other way.

The explanation thus given, therefore, appears to amount to this. The pure type of pasu for whom vedachara was designed does not exist. For others who though pasu are not purely so, the Tantra is the governing Sastra. This however, does not mean that all are now competent for viracara.

It is to be noted, however, that the Prana-tosini (5) cites a passage purporting to come from the Mahanirvana-Tantra, which is apparently in direct opposition to the foregoing:

Divya-vira-mayo bhavah kalau nasti kada-cana.
Kevalam pasu-bhavena mantra-siddhirbhavenrnam.
“In the Kali Age there is no divya or virabhava.
It is only by the pasu-bhava that men may obtain mantra-siddhi.”

This matter of the-bhava prevalent in the Kaliyuga has been the subject of considerable discussion and difference of opinion, and is only touched upon here. (6)

1. Chapter I, verse 24.
2. See S’yamarcanacandrika, cited in Hara-tattva-didhiti, p. 343.
3. So verse 54 speaks of the pasu as one who should himself procure the leaves, fruits, and water for worship, and not look at a S’udra, or even think o fa woman.
4. For this reason it is possible, in certain cases, that a pasu may attain siddhi through the Tantra quicker than a vira can .
5. Pp. 570-571.
6. The subject is a difficult one, and I have given the above-mentioned account with considerable diffidence as to complete accuracy.