siddha cults

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Mountains of wisdom On the interface between Siddha and Vidy~dhara cults and the Siddha orders in medieval India David Gordon White THE MAIDEN THE HORSE AND MERCURY Three Hindu alchemical texts Anandakanda 1.53-62; Rasaratnasamucchaya 1.85-88; Rasendrac-.udtiman. 15.13-15) dating from the thirteenth-to-fourteenth centuries provide the following remarkable instructions for the extraction of mercury fro m the wells or pits in which it natural ly occurs: Up on seeing a well-adorned maiden who, having bathed after first coming into season, [rides by] mounted upon a horse, mercury, which is found in wells, [becomes] possessed of a desire to seize her, [and] rushes up out [of that well]. Upon seeing it, she gallops away. The mercury pursues her for the distance of one yojana [eight to nine miles]. [When] that [mercury which is] born of Siva then quickly returns to the well, it is caught in troughs dug in its path. That mercury, because of its heaviness, fell from the mouth of Agni [the god of Fire] in Darada de~a [ Cinnabar land ]. That mercury, absorbed into the surface of the earth there, came to remain in that country. By placing that [mercury-rich] ore in a patana yantra [ sublimating apparatus ], one extracts the mercury [from those ores]. Mercury is found in all of those places that the Perfecti [Siddhas] and Wizards [Vidyadharas] caused it to fall [by using that technique]. This account is remarkable for at least three reasons. The first of these concerns its provenience; the second its technological referent (the sublimating apparatus ); and the third its mythological referent (the Perfecti and Wizards of International Journal o f Hindu Studies 1, 1 (April 1997): 73-95. © 1997 by the World Heritage Press Inc.

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    M o u n t a i n s o f w i s d o m O n t h e i n te r f a c eb e t w e e n S i d d h a a n d V i d y ~ d h a r a c u lt sa n d t h e S i d d h a o r d e r s i n m e d i e v a l I n d i a

    D a v id G o r d o n W h i t e

    T H E M A I D EN T H E H O R SE A N D M E R C U R Y

    T h r e e H i n d u a l c h e m i c a l t e x ts Anandakanda 1.53-62; Rasaratnasamucchaya1.85-88; Rasendrac-.udtiman. 15 . 13 -15) da t i ng f rom the t h i r t een th - to - fou r teen thc e n t u r ie s p r o v i d e t h e f o l l o w i n g r e m a r k a b l e i n s t r u c ti o n s f o r t h e e x t r a c t io n o fm ercu ry f ro m the we l l s o r p i t s i n wh ich i t na tu ra ll y occu rs :

    Up on see ing a w e l l -ado rned ma iden who , hav ing ba thed a f t e r f i rs t com ing i n toseason , [ r i des by ] moun ted upon a ho rse , mercu ry , wh ich i s found i n we l l s ,[becom es] possessed o f a des i re to se ize her , [and] rushes up o ut [o f that wel l ] .Up on see ing i t, she ga ll ops away . The me rcu ry pu rsues he r fo r t he d i s t ance o fo n e yojana [ e igh t t o n ine mi l es ]. [W hen] t ha t [me rcu ry wh ich i s ] bo rn o f S ivathen qu i ck ly r e tu rns t o t he w e l l , it is caugh t in t roughs d ug i n i ts pa th . Tha tm e r c u r y , b e c a u s e o f i ts h e a v i n e s s, f e ll f ro m t h e m o u t h o f A g n i [ t h e g o d o fF i r e ] i n D a r a d a d e ~ a [ C i n n a b a r l a n d ] . T h a t m e r c u r y , a b s o r b e d i n t o t h es u r f a c e o f t h e e a r t h t h er e , c a m e t o r e m a i n i n t h a t c o u n t r y . B y p l a c i n g t h a t[mercury-r ich] ore in a patan a yantra [ sub l ima t ing appara tus ] , one ex t rac t st he m ercu ry [ f rom those o res ] . M ercu ry i s found i n a l l o f t hose p l aces t ha t t heP er fec t i [S iddhas ] and W izards [V idyadharas ] caused i t to f a l l [by us ing t ha ttechnique] .T h i s a c c o u n t i s r e m a r k a b l e f o r a t l e a s t t h r e e r e a s o n s . T h e f i r s t o f t h e s e

    concerns i t s p roven i ence ; t he s econd i ts t echno log i ca l r e fe ren t (t he sub l ima t ingappara tus ) ; a nd t he t h i rd it s my tho log i ca l r e fe ren t (t he P er fec t i and W izards o f

    International Journal o f Hindu Studies 1, 1 (Ap ri l 1997): 73-9 5. 1997 by the W or ld Her i tage P res s Inc .

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    7 4 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i teD a r a d a d ~ a ) .

    O n t h e f i rs t s c o r e, w e f i n d th a t t h is a c c o u n t is n o t u n i q u e t o I n d i a a l o n e . W ef i n d i t i n t h e s e v e n t e e n t h - c e n t u r y C h i n e s e e n c y c l o p e d i a , t h e H o h a n s a n s t s a it ou hu i , w hos e c ha p te r en t i t le d y in - shu i ( ' s i l ve r wa te r , qu i c ks i lve r ' ) , g ive s t hesa m e in f o r m a t ion , bu t l oc a t e s it s me r c u r i a l we l l ' i n t he l a nd o f F ou - l in [ t ha t i s ,S y r i a ] fa r t o t h e w e s t ' ( D e M e l y 1 8 9 5: 3 3 2 - 3 3 ) . T h i s d e ta i l i s c o r ro b o r a t e d b ythe e a r l i e s t e x t a n t sou r c e tha t we h a ve f o r t h is a c c oun t : S y r i a c r e c e ns ions o f t hea l c h e m i c a l w o r k s o f P s e u d o - Z o s i m u s , d a t e d t o t h e f o u r t h t h r o u g h s i x t h c e n t u r yC E , d e s c r i b e h o w m e r c u r y i s in d u c e d t o r i se u p o u t o f i ts w e l l w h e n a b e a u t if u ln a k e d m a i d e n w a l k s p a s t it , a n d t h e n ru n s q u i c k l y a w a y . Y o u n g m e n a t t a c k t h ef low ing m e ta l w i th ha t c he t s a nd c u t i t up in to ba r s ( Ne e x tha m 1980 : 337 ) . Th i sa c c o u n t is f u r t h e r c o r r o b o r a t e d b y t h e S y r i a n t o p o n y m , B i r es Z e i b a q , w h i c hm e a ns 'W e l l o f qu i c ks i lve r ' ( De Me ly 1895: 334 ) .

    The imp l i c a t ions o f t he se t h r e e pa r a l l e l a c c oun t s a r e s t a gge r ing . F i r s t , t he ya t te s t t o t h e v e r y c o s m o p o l i t a n n a t u r e o f t h e E a s t e r n w o r l d ' s a l c h e m i c a l t r a d i-t i o n s. W e c a n w e l l i m a g i n e t h a t t h e S i lk R o a d , w h i c h w a s I n d i a ' s p i p e l i n e f o rthe r a w ma te r i a ls o f a lc he m y , w ou ld a l so ha ve se r ve d a s a c ond u i t f o r a l c he mic a lk n o w l e d g e a n d l e g e n d b e t w e e n t h e M e d i t e r r a n e a n w o r l d a n d E a s t a n d S o u t hA s i a . M o r e t h a n t h i s, w e m a y g l i m p s e , b e h i n d t h e l a n g u a g e o f th i s e x t r a c t i o nt e c h n i q u e , r e f e r e n c e s t o a n o t h e r v e r y c o s m o p o l i t a n t r a d i t i o n - - t h a t o f t h e u n i -c o r n . T h e p r e s e n c e o f a v i r g in , a h o r s e, a n d t h e t h e m e o f c a p t u r in g a n e l u s i v e'ga m e ' a r e al l p r e se n t i n t he se a c c oun t s . W hi l e t he W e s te r n un ic o r n l e ge nd wa sv e r y p r o b a b l y a b o r r o w i n g f r o m t h e I n d ia n m y t h o f a n a n t e l o p e -h o r n e d s a g en a m e d R . . s y a ~ g a (Mahdbhara ta 3 .110 .1 - 1 13 .25 ) , i t i s on ly in t he W e s t t ha t theh u n t i n g o f t h e u n i c o r n - - w i t h t h e a i d o f a v ir g i n , w h o t a m e s i t b y g r a s p i n g i t sh o r u - - a s w e l l a s t h e t ra n s m u t a t iv e p r o p e r ti e s o f it s h o rn , a r e b r o u g h t t o t h e f o r e( De M e ly 1895 : 334 ).

    T h i s s a m e m y t h e m e a p p e a r s i n P e r s i a n a l c h e m i c a l l e g e n d a s w e l l , i n a na c c o u n t o f a w o n d r o u s c r e a t u r e c a l l e d t h e ' P h y s i c i a n o f t h e s e a , ' w h i c h m a yi t s e l f be a b o r r ow ing f r om the I nd ia n l e ge nd o f Man.i. me khal~ , t he ' j e we l e ng i r -d i e d o n e ' ( L 6 v i 1 9 37 : 3 7 1 - 8 3 ) . T h e ' P h y s i c ia n o f th e s e a ' i s d e s c r i b e d as h a v i n ga g o l d e n s t o n e s e t i n t o i t s f o r e h e a d w h i c h , w h e n r e m o v e d , t r a n s m u t e s b a s em e ta l s i n to go ld a nd c u r e s a ll huma n a nd a n ima l d i s e a se s . Th e ca . t e n th - c e n tu r yJAbiria n c o r pus o f P e r s i a n a l c he m y de sc r ibe s t he c a p tu r e o f one o f t he se f i sh - li kec r e a tu r e s w h i c h , u p o n b e i n g n e t t e d a n d b r o u g h t a b o a r d a s h i p o f f th e c o a s t o f a ni s l a n d c a l l e d S i n d i y y a t , s h o w s i t s e l f , a f t e r t h e f a s h i o n o f a m e r m a i d , t o b e ab e a u t i f u l w o m a n . S h e r e m a i n s o n b o a r d t h e s h ip , b e a r s a s o n b y o n e o f t h esa ilo rs , a nd l a t e r j um ps ba c k in to t he s e a , wh e r e she be c om e s a g r e a t s e a m ons t e rw ho sw a l lows the e n t i r e oc e a n du r ing a g r e a t s to r m ( Kr a us 1986 : 90 - 93 ) .

    I t is p o s s i b l e t o d i g d o w n t o a s ti ll d e e p e r m y t h o l o g i c a l s t ra t u m , a n d s e e i n

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    Mountains o f wisdom / 75these accounts variations on the quite widespread Indo-European theme of awell whose fiery fluid contents erupt in pursuit of a woman, but which aresubsequently channeled and thereby neutralized. If this is an Indo-Europeanmytheme (the myth is attested in Rome as well as Ireland and India), it wouldhave to date from the third millennium BCE or earlier (Dum~zil 1981 [1968], 3:27-31; Puhvel 1986: 277-83). In this case, Pseudo-Zosimus's alchemical glosswould have been a much later addition.

    These legends present more problems than can possibly be treated here. Notthe least of these problems is the direction of transmission of alchemical legend,lore, techniques, and raw materials throughout the first fifteen centuries of thecommon era. As Joseph Needham (1980: 339-55) has demonstrated, Chinastands, according the best evidence, as the primal source for the world's trans-mutational and elixir alchemy. The Chinese technique of k/m or chin, 'aurifac-tion,' probably emerged in China in about the first century CE; from there, itwould have been carded west to the Mediterranean world in perhaps the thirdcentury CE. This Chinese term would then have been transliterated, by Pseudo-Zosimus or someone before him, into the Greek chymia or chemia, later Arabi-cized into al-la-miy and finally Latinized as alchymia, alchemy. If this historicalreconstruction is correct, then Syria, which received its alchemy from China inabout the third century CE, would have exported its mythic extraction techniqueback to the east, via our thirteenth-to-fourteenth-century Indian sources, to Chinain the seventeenth century.

    It is impossible to say with any certainty that this was in fact the route that thisparticular mythic tradition took. It is equally impossible to determine the direc-tions in which the many alchemical exchanges of this long period, effected alongthe Silk Road, may have occurred. Each of the medieval world's alchemicaltraditions wasmin spite of such striking cases of borrowing as we have justdescribed--generally self-contained and specific to its particular cultural andreligious context. So it is that just as Jabirian alchemy was Shi'ite and Chinesealchemy Taoist, so the symbol system of Hindu alchemy was overwhelmingly~aiva.In this last system, mercury was the mineral equivalent of the semen of thephallic-god Siva and sulfur that of the uterine or menstrual blood of ~iva'sconsort, the Goddess. These identifications find their etiological foundations inthe origin myths of these two reagents, origin myths dating from the elevenththrough thirteenth centuries. It is in the context of the myth of the divine birth ofSkanda that the myth of the origin of mercury is cast, in the ~nandakanda (1.8-15), Rasaratnasamucchaya (1.23-29), Rasendrac-.uOdma~..i (15.4-12), and anumber of other alchemical sources. As in the Pur~mi. c mythology, ~iva sheds hisseed into the mouth of Agni, who has taken the form of a pigeon. Agni in turn

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    7 6 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t esp i ts t he s eed i n to t he G an g i R iver , where i t g ives b i r th t o t he ch i l d S kan da i nt h e m i d s t o f a c l u m p o f r e e d s . T h e a l c h e m i c a l s o u r c e s o f f e r t h e f o l l o w i n gadd i t i ona l de t a il : wh i l e on h i s wa y t o t he Ganga , A gn i , unab l e to bea r t he he a t o ft ha t s eed , d rops some o f i t f rom h i s mou th . In t hose p l aces where i t f a l l s , i tb u r r o w s i n to t h e g r o u n d t o f o r m f iv e w e l l s o f m e r c u r y , h u n d r e d yojanas ( abou tn ine hu ndred m i l es ) in dep th . I t is t he re , the acco un t s conc lude , t ha t tha t s em eni s found t oday , i n t he fo rm o f mercu ry . Of t he f i ve we l l s in wh ich t h i s s eed -bornm ercu ry i s s a id t o ha ve es t ab l i shed i t se l f , t he , 4nand akan da (1 .15 ) and Rasarat-nasamucchaya (1 .80 ) s i ng le ou t t he no r the rn we l l , i n wh ich m ercu ry i s r ed andpure , a s super io r t o t he o the r fou r . Th i s no r the rn we l l i s iden t i f i ed wi th Darad ad e , a , t h e ' C i n n a b a r l a n d ' o f o u r m e r c u r y e x l ra c t io n m y t h , a t o p o n y m t h a t g e o g -raphers h av e ident i f ied w i th Dardis tan , in nor thern K ash m ir (S i rcar 1977 [1971]:34 , 68; Win k 1990: 232) .

    T h e Ska nda P u r ~ . (1.29 .87) appears to refer to th i s m yth in i t s accoun t of theb i r th o f S kanda . At on e po in t i n th i s my th , t he gods a l l becom e p regnan t becauseA g n i , w h o h a s a l r e a d y s w a l lo w e d th e s e m e n o f S i v a , is t h e m o u t h o f t h e g o d s .The n , ' a f t e r S iva ' s s em en had t o rn open t he i r be ll ie s , an una t t r ac t ive me rcu r i a lparada] l ake o f t ha t [ s emen] , hundred yojanas [ in expanse ] , was fo rm ed . '

    S u l fu r t oo has i t s o r ig in my th , wh ich pa ra ll e ls t ha t o f merc u ry i nas m uch as i ti s th e s e x u a l e s s e n c e o f t h e G o d d e s s t h a t g i v e s r i se t o t h is p r i m a r y a l c h e m i c a lreagen t , t he f ema le coun te rpa r t to ma le m ercu ry (Dash 1986 : 102 ; Rasarn.ava7.72 , 11 .82) . The Rasarn.ava, the e l e v e n t h - c e n t u ry H i n d u a l c h e m i c a l c l a ss ic ,f ram es th i s m yt h w i th in the Pur~?_i.c a c c o u n t o f t h e c h u r n i n g o f t h e O c e a n o fM i l k f r o m w h i c h , i t w i l l b e r e c a ll e d , t h e g o d s g a i n e d t h e am.rta t h a t r e n d e r e dthem imm or t a l and i nvu lne rab l e to t he ons l augh t s o f t he an t i gods , t he asuras, int he i r s empi t e rna l war fo r un ive r sa l sup remacy . Accord ing t he R a s d ~ a v a , t h eG o d d e s s , w h i l e s p o r t i n g t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e W i z a r d - m a i d e n s , S i d d h a - m a i d e n s ,G o d d e s s e s , a n d C e l e s t ia l N y m p h s i n t h e O c e a n o f M i l k o f f t h e c o a s t o f W h i t eI s l and , becom es aw are o f men s t rua l b lood i s su ing f rom he r body . La t e r , du r ingthe chu rn ing o f t he s a me Ocean o f M i lk , t ha t b lood r i s es t o the su r face , cap t iva t -i ng t he gods and asuras wi th i ts a rom a gandha). T h e y t h e r e b y s a y , ' M a y t h i s b eca l l ed gandhaka ( a r o m a t i c , s u l f u r ) . M a y it b e u s e d in t h e c a l c i n a ti o n a n df ix ing o f mercu ry . M ay those qua li fi e s t ha t a re fo und i n m ercu ry a l so be found i nth i s su l fu r . ' Thus [ su l fu r ] i s ca l l ed gandhaka h e r e o n e a r th Ka kac an. d.~gvaraKalpatantra 44 . 2 -3 ; Rasaratnasamucchaya 3 . 2 -12 ; Rasd .rnava7.57-66) .

    I n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e s e t w o a c c o u n t s , t h e u s e o f a m e n s t r u a t i n g m a i d e n a s' b a i t ' m a k e s p e r f e c t s e n s e in t h e e x t r a ct io n o f m e r c u r y a c c o u n t w i t h w h i c h w ebegan t h i s s tudy . Every reco mb ina t ion o f t he r eagen t s su lfu r and merc u ry i s , fo rt h e H i n d u a l c h e m i s t, t a n t a m o u n t t o a s e x u a l u n i o n o f th i s d iv i n e p a i r w h o s es t andard mo de o f c rea t i on and ma in t enance o f t he en t i r e un ive r se i s , p rec i se ly , a

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    Mountains of wisdom / 77sexua l one . I t is n o t fo r no th ing t ha t t he s t andard i con i c im age o f t h is pa i r , a sfoun d i n tem ples a l l over Ind i a s ince a t l eas t t he s econd ce n tu ry BCE , i s t ha t o fthe l ihgam-yoni , t ha t i s , a s t y l i zed rep resen t a ti on o f a pha l l u s s e t i n to a vu lv a(M i t terwal lner 1984: 18-19; Sr in ivasan 1984: 34) .

    No t a l l such a l chemica l un ions occu r i n t he l abo ra to ry , how ever ; t hey a re a l sop r e s e n t i n n a tu r e , i n t h e f o r m o f s u c h g e o t h e r m a l p h e n o m e n a a s s u l f u r sp r in g sand gas ven t s , found a t t he D arada de~a o f ou r ex t rac t ion acco un t and o the r s ite s.S u c h r e a c ti o n s m a y a l so b e e f f e c t e d w i t h i n t h e h u m a n b o d y , t h r o u g h t h e t e c h -n i q u e s o f hat.ha yoga, a gen era l l y ~a iva t r ad i ti on wh ich em erged i n Ind i a i n t hesam e per iod as d id H indu a l che my . In t h i s d i s c ip l ine , it i s t h roug h t he i n te rna lc h a n n e l i n g o f s e x u a l f lu i d s (t h e y o g i c b o d y b e i n g s y m b o l i c a l l y a n d r o g y n o u s )t h a t t h e s e x u a l u n i o n o f m a l e a n d f e m a l e p r i n c i p l e s , d i v i n e a n d m i n e r a l , i se f fec t ed . Here , t he ha . thayog ic sub t le b ody i s d iv ided , a t t he l eve l o f t he nave l ,b e t w e e n m a l e a n d f e m a l e . A l l t h a t l i e s a b o v e t h e n a v e l i s m a l e , a n d t h e r e b yi d e n t i fi e d w i t h m a l e s e e d , w i t h t h e m o o n t h a t e x u d e s v i v i f y i n g n e c t a r, a n d t h egod ~ iva . I t is i n t he c ran i a l vau l t, po r t r ayed as a dow ntu rne d we l l , t ha t t hesem a l e e l e m e n t s a r e c o n c e n t r a te d : s e m e n t h a t h a s b e e n t r a n s fo r m e d i n t o n e c t a rt h r o u g h y o g i c p r a c ti c e o o z e s f r o m a m o o n t h a t h as b e e n f i ll e d o u t b y t h a t s a m enec t a r, a m oo n tha t i s t he abode o f t he s emina l de i t y S iva . Al l t ha t li e s be low thenave l i s f ema le , iden t i f i ed w i th f em ale u te r i ne o r mens t rua l b lood , w i th t he suntha t p rov ides t he t he rmal ene rgy neces sa ry t o fue l the t r ans fo rmat ion o f s eed i n ton e c ta r , a n d th e g o d d e s s S a k ti w h o s e n a m e m e a n s E n e r g y . A t th e b e g i n n i n g o fyog ic p rac t ice , t hese e l emen t s a re a l l conce n t ra t ed i n t he l ower abdo men , wh ichi s p o r t ra y e d a s a n u p t u r n e d w e l l , th e c o m p l e m e n t t o t h e d o w n t u r n e d w e l l i n t h ec ran i a l vau l t. Th i s do ub le -we l l con f igu ra t ion is one t ha t i s r ep roduced i n a l chem-i ca l appara tus , a s we wi l l now demon s t ra t e .

    T H E S T R U C T U R E O F T H E V ID Y ,~ d)H A R A A P P A R A T U S

    T h e d e s c r i p ti o n o f t h e e x t r a c ti o n o f m e r c u r y f r o m i ts w e l l s in C i n n a b a r l a n dc o n c l u d e s w i t h t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t m e r c u r y i s t o d a y f o u n d i n t h o s e p l a c e s i nw h i c h t h e P e r f e c t i a n d W i z a r d s e x t r a c t e d i t f r o m i t s o r e , u s i n g t h e p ~ t a n ayantra, the s u b l i m a t i n g a p p a ra t u s . T h e m e d i e v a l a l c h e m i s t s i n fa c t k n e w o fth ree t ypes o f sub l ima t ing appara tus fo r t he ex t rac ti on o f merc u ry f rom c innabar ,t ha t is , na tu ra l ly occu r r ing me rcu r i c su lf i de (da rada ) : t hese a re t he appara tus o fupw ard sub l ima t ion ( f irddhvap~tana) , down wa rd sub lima t ion adhop~tana), andt ransversal subl ima t ion (t/ ryakp,~tana) . In a l l th ree apparatus , m ercu ry i s ma de tosub l ima te and t he reby l eave be h ind i ts r e s idua l imp ur i ti e s i n t he o res i n w h ich i t

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    7 8 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t ena tu ra l l y occu rs (o r wi th wh ich i t i s ama lgamated ) , and t he rea f t e r t o r econden set h r o u g h th e m e d i a t i o n o f a s o u rc e o f c o l d w a t e r ( A n a n d a k a n ~ 4 . 3 8 -4 3 ; R a s a h .r -daya Tantra 2.8; Rasaratnasamucchaya 9.56, 11.37; Ras~mava 7.49, 10.55).Th e upw ard -sub l ima t ion appara tus i s com posed o f two super imposed ves se l s ,w h o s e m o u t h s a r e s e a l e d t o g e t h e r w i t h s e v e r a l l a y e r s o f m u d - s m e a r e d c l o t hs t r e t ched ac ros s t he i r i n t e r face . A s low f i r e benea th t he l ower ves se l hea t s am i x t u r e o f h e rb s a n d p o w d e r e d m e r c u r ic s u l f id e . T h e m e r c u r y t h a t e v a p o ra t e su p w a r d s c o n d e n s e s o n t h e i n n e r s u rf a c e o f th e d o w n t u r n e d b a s e o f t h e u p p e rc h a m b e r , w h i c h is c o o l e d f r o m a b o v e b y a c l o t h s o ak e d i n c o l d w a t e r ( o r b y as u p e r i m p o s e d c o l d - w a t e r r e ci p ie n t ). T h e m e r c u r y t h a t h a s c o n d e n s e d o n t h isdow ntu rn ed i nner su r face has a sm ok y lu s t e r t o it: w hen rubbed wi th a c lo th , itimm ed ia t e ly t akes on t he p roper ti e s o f f l u id i t y , l u st e r, and so on one as soc i a t eswi th pu re qu i cks il ve r . In t he bo t t om o f the l ow er ves se l the re r emains t he d ros so f t h i s r eac t ion : f r ee su l fu r toge the r wi th o the r minera l and p l an t m a t te r , ox id i zedand d evo id o f it s o ri g ina l mercu ry con t en t Rasaratnasamucchaya 9 . 24 -25) .

    Because o f t he func t i on i t s e rves , t h i s appara tus i s known as t he arddhva-patana. T h i s i s n o t, h o w e v e r , th e s o le n a m e b y w h i c h i t i s k n o w n : a n u m b e r o fme d ieva l a l chem ica l sou rces a l so ca l l i t the . damaru yantra ( ~ i v a s t w o - h e a d edd r u m a p p a r a t u s ) Rasaratnasamucchaya 9.57), the g tmbhav~ mudra ( t he he r -m et i c s ea l o f S am bhu , t ha t i s, o f ~ iva ) , and t he vidyadhara yantra ( t he W izarda p p a r a t u s ) Rasendrac~.-man. 4 . 42 , 5 . 51 -52 ) . Th i s f i r s t des igna t i on c l ea r lyre fe r s t o t he shape o f t h i s appara tus ; t he s econ d t o a t ech n ique o f ha.tha yoga;a n d t h e t h i r d to b o t h s u c h a t e c h n i q u e a n d t o t h e m y t h i c W i z a r d s w h o w e r e t h einnova to r s o f a body o f t echn iques tha t , p rec i se ly , fu sed a l chem ica l and yo g i cp rac t i ce i n to a s i ng l e S a iva d i sc ip l i ne . Here , vidyadhara, l i te ra l l y bea re r o fw i s d o m , i s a t e c h n i c a l te r m : w e w i ll , h o w e v e r , c o n t i n u e t o t r a n s l a te i t a sw i z a r d .

    T h e s t r u c t u r e a n d d y n a m i c s o f t h i s a p p a r a t u s r e c a l l t h e d y n a m i c s o f y o g i cr e v e r s a l - - k n o w n , f r o m t he t i m e o f t h e Mahabharata onw ards , a s ~rddhvareta s( upw ard - t end ing s em en ) . In t he sub tl e phys io logy o f t he yog i c body , i t i s i n t heh e a d a n d t o r s o t h a t t h e t w o c h a m b e r s o f th e s u b l i m a t i n g a p p a r a tu s f i n d t h e irhom ologues . As has been no t ed , t hese two po les o r cham bers o f the ha .t hayog icsys t em a re fu r the r i den t i f ied wi th t he v i sce ra l sun and c ran i a l mo on , t h rough t hein t e rac ti on o f wh ich t he yogin com es t o pa r t ake o f the co o l ing nec t a r (mercu ry ,t h e r e f i n e d s e m e n o f S i v a ) t h a t c o n d e n s e s t o o o z e d o w n w a r d f r o m t h e t o p o fthe crania l vaul t , a l so cal led the lunar c i rc le . As in the a lche m ical apparatus , thes y s t e m i s a c t i v a t e d th r o u g h t h e i n t e rp l a y o f t h e rm a l e n e r g y ( t h e b u r n i n g s u nb e l o w a n d t h e c o o l i n g m o o n a b o v e ) a n d f e m a l e a n d m a l e s e x u a l f lu i d s ( u te r in eb lood be low and re f i ned semen above) . These pa ra l l e l s a re made exp l i c i t i n anum ber of me dieval t ex ts . In the f if t eenth-cen tury a lchem ical Rasendracint~man.

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    Mountains of wisdom / 7 9o f .Dhu.n .dhuk_anitha (Prakash 1960: 5 75) , th i s b icam era l a lchem ica l ap para tus i st e r me d ~a mbha vr m udr a . Now , t h i s s a me t e r m i s e mp loy e d , in t he Amanaskayoga(2 .15) o f Go ra l~ .an i tha , a ha .thayogic tex t o f a s l igh t ly ea r l ie r pe r iod , to in t rodu cea y o g i c t e c h n i q u e t h a t t h a t t e x t a p p e a r s t o f u r t h e r i d e n t i f y w i t h t h e vidyadharayantra: ' H e r e i s t h e d e s c r i p ti o n o f t h e gambhav[ mudra: The [?] fist (rnu4..n3a b o v e a n d t h e g a z e (d.rs.t.i) b e l o w , t h e c l e f t (bheda) a b o v e a n d t h e c h a n n e l s(sir~.) b e l o w , o n e b e c o m e s l i b e r a t e d i n t h e b o d y (jTvanmukta) b y u s i n g t h edhara yantra.

    In th is desc r ip t ion , the yogin i s c l e a r ly s t a nd ing on h i s he a d , w i th t he ' c ha nne l sb e l o w ' b e i n g t h e ' n e t w o r k ' o r ' g a n g l i a' o f s u b tl e e n e r g y ch a n n e l s th a t m e e t inthe r e g ion o f t he t h r oa t . A c l a s s i c ha .t ha yog ic t e c hn iqu e , c a l l e d the jalamdharabandha, the ' l o c k o f t he ne t - be a r e r , ' u se s th i s ne tw or k o f c ha nne l s t o s e a l o f f t hehe a d a s t he be a r e r o r re c ip i e n t ( dha r a ) o f t he ne c t a r t ha t is he ld up in t he c r a n i a lva u l t . Th e ha .tha yog ic ' he r me t i c s e a l o f ~a m bhu ' (gambhav~ mu dra) o r ' W i z a r da ppa r a tu s ' ([vidya-]dh[a]ra yantra) d e s c r i b e d i n t hi s v e r s e i s a n u p s i d e - d o w nv e r s i o n o f t h e ' l o c k o f t h e n e t -b e a r e r ': t h e t w o c h a m b e r s o f t he a l c h e m i c a la ppa r a tu s a r e t he he a d a nd to r so o f t he yogin; the m u d - s m e a r e d l a y e r s o f c l o ths t r e t c h e d a c r o s s t h e i r m o u t h s t h e n e t w o r k o f c h a n n e l s i n t h e t h r o a t , a n d t h en e c t a r t h a t i s h e l d i n t h e h e a d i s t h e m e r c u r y t h a t c o n d e n s e s o n t h e i n c u r r e di n n e r s u r f a c e o f t h e d o w n t u r n e d u p p e r c h a m b e r . T h e ' l o c k o f t h e n e t - b e a r e r ' i sd e s c r i b e d i n v e r s e 6 2 o f w h a t w a s l i k e l y G o r a l ~ . a n i t h a ' s ( o r G o r a k l m a t h ' s )ea r l ie s t wo rk on ha .tha yoga, the l a t e twe l f th - c e n tu r y Goraks.a ~ataka ( ' H u n d r e dve r se s o f Gor a k h , ' a l t hough the r e a re a c tua l ly 201 ) . O the r ve r se s ( 131a , 138c )o f th e s a m e w o r k m e n t i o n a p o o l (dhara) of l una r ne c t a r i n t he c r a n i a l va u l t ,w h i c h t h e yog in i s t o d r ink in t e r na l ly , l e s t i t f a l l i n to t he sun in t he l owe ra b d o m e n .

    M os t a l c he m ic a l sou r c e s e n jo in t he p r a c t it i one r t o f o l low h i s u se o f t he ~ r ddh-vapatana yantra, with t h a t o f t h e adhopatana yantra, the ' d o w n w a r d - s u b l i m a -t i o n a p p a r a t u s ': a f t e r h a v i n g s u b l i m a t e d m e r c u r y t h r e e t im e s i n t h e f o r m e r , o n ei s t o do so s e ve n t ime s in t he l a t t e r (Rasaratnasamucchaya 11 .38 ) . The adho-pdtana yantra i s ident ica l to the arddhvap~tana with the s o l e d i f f e r e n c e b e i n gtha t , i n th i s c a se , t he ' c oo l ' c ha m be r is p l a c e d r igh t s ide - up in a ho l lo w du g in tot h e g r o u n d . I ts m o u t h i s b o n d e d t o t h at o f th e ' h o t ' c h a m b e r , h e r e p l a c e d f a c e -dow n , w i th t he c ook ing f i r e bu r n ing a top the l a t t e r 's up tu r ne d ba se . I n th i s c a se ,o n e s m e a r s t h e i n n e r s u r f a ce o f th i s d o w n t u r n e d ' h o t ' c h a m b e r w i t h a n a m a l g a mo f m e r c u r y o r e a n d c o p p e r . W h e n t h is i s h e a t ed , t h e m e r c u r y s u b l i m a t e s a n df a l ls dow n in to t he ' c oo l ' c h a m be r , wh ic h i s th i s t im e f il l e d w i th w a te r. The r e , i tr e c o n d e n s e s i n t o i ts n a t u ra l , b u t p u r i f ie d a n d s t a b i li z ed , f o r m ( D a s h 1 9 8 6: 5 8 -61; Rasaramasamucchaya 9.9, 11.39).

    T h e d o w n w a r d - s u b l i m a t i o n a p p a r a t u s i s i n f a c t a c l o s e r h o m o l o g u e t o t h e

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    8 0 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t eups ide -do wn yo g ic pos tu re desc r ibed i n the Amanaskayoga than i s t he upw ard -subl im at ion apparatus . In both the a lchem ical apparatus a nd the ha . thayogic tech-n ique, the seminal f lu id (mineral or hum an) , t ransform ed by a hea t source locateda b o v e , d r ip s d o w n w a r d t o r e m a i n ( h e l d th e r e b y g r a v i t y ) in t h e r e v e r s e d u p p e rcha m ber o f the appara tus o r , i n t he yog i c case , the c ran i a l vau l t . Th i s po s tu rea l so evokes t he viparftakaran.~or r ever se p rac t i ce o f y o g a , w h i c h G o r a l d m i t hprai ses in h i s Gora k4.a Sataka a s a f o o l p r o o f m e t h o d f o r r e ta i n in g i n o n e s h e a dthe p rec iou s nec t a r one has so ca re fu l l y d i s t il l ed f rom raw semen . Here , t hedesc r ip t ion o f t he pos tu re i t s e l f is c l ea r ly t he i n sp i ra ti on fo r t ha t o f t he W izardappara tus i n eve ry th ing bu t name:

    T h a t w h i c h ra i n s d o w n f r o m t h e d o w n t u r n e d m o u t h o f t h e m o o n i s s w a l l o w e db y t h e u p t u r n e d m o u t h o f t h e s u n . T h e p r a c ti c e [ o f viparftakaran.~] i s to beper fo rm ed as a m eans t o ob t a in ing t he nec t a r [wh ich wou ld o the rwi se be l o s t] .T h e n a v e l a b o v e , t h e p a l a t e b e l o w ; t h e s u n a b o v e a n d t h e m o o n b e l o w . . .( Gorak4a ~ataka 1 3 3 - 3 5 ; Hat.hayog ap rad~pik~ 3 . 77 -79 ; Y o g a m ~ r t ~ 1 2 1 -22a, 123b).

    Go rakh na th a l so r e fe r s t o t h is pos tu re in one o f h i s ve rnacu l a r mys t i c poem s , i nw h i c h h e s a y s t o h o l d t h e yantra, the bod i ly appara tus , ups ide -dow n (ulayi. ya n trdhare) by s tand ing on o ne s h ead (Bar thw al 1979 [1942] : 242).

    V ID Y .~ d)I-IA R A S A S W I Z A R D S A N D S I I R U C T U R E S

    R e t u r n i n g y e t a g a i n t o t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e e x t ra c t io n o f m e r c u r y w i t h w h i c h w eb e g a n , w e s h o u l d a l so n o t e t h a t vidy&thara i s n o t o n l y a n a l te r n a ti v e n a m e f o rt h e s u b l i m a t i o n a p p a ra t u s w i t h w h i c h t h e a l c h e m i s t e x t ra c t s m e r c u r y f r o m t h eo res i n wh ich i t na tu ra l l y occu rs , bu t t ha t i t i s a l so t he name fo r t he o r ig ina la l c h e m i c a l W i z a r d s w h o p e r f o r m e d t h i s o p e r a ti o n i l lo tem pore. I t is w i th t h i so b s e r v a t i o n t h a t w e n o w m o v e f r o m a l c h e m i c a l t e c h n o l o g y t o a l c h e m i c a lm y t h o l o g y , s p e c if i c a ll y to t h e m y t h o l o g y o f t h e W i z a rd s , t h e V i d y a d h a r a s , a n dP er fec t i , t he S iddhas o f med ieva l Ind i a . These two g roups a re , i n f ac t , a pe rma -nen t fLx tu re i n t he Ind i an pan theo n o f gods and dem igods , f a l l ing i n t he m idd l er a n g e b e t w e e n t h e w h o l l y tr a n s c e n d e n t a n d a u s p i c io u s h i g h g o d s a n d t h e w h o l l yim m ane n t bu t nox ious gen i e and dem on ic sp ir it s o f the ea r th ly and sub t e r raneanspheres . Th e i r p l ace i n t he pan theon i s de l inea t ed i n t he f i f t h cen tu ry C E l ex i conen t i t led t he Amarako~a (1.1.11), w h i c h s ta te s : T h e W i z a r d s, N y m p h s , D r y a d s ,P ro t ec to r s , Ce l es t i a l Mus i c i ans , Cen t au rs , Ghou l s , H id den O nes , P e r fec t i , and

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    Mountains of wisdom / 81Beings : t hese cons t i tu t e the c l as s o f t he dem igods .

    In B udd h i s t and H indu t r ad i t ions a l ike , t hese demigod s , i nhab i t ing t he i n t e r -f a c e b e tw e e n e a r t h a n d s k y - - m o u n t a i n t o p s a n d t h e a tm o s p h e ri c r e g i o n - - w e r es t andard f a re i n t he ad ven tu re and fa n t asy li t e ra tu re o f the Ind i an m idd l e ages ,a n d t h e s t u f f t h a t m a n y m e d i e v a l I n d i a n d r ea m s w e r e m a d e o f . G r a d u a l ly ,however , t he no t i on a rose t ha t t he spec i f i c wor lds o r l eve l s o f t he W izards o rP e f f e c t i w e r e a l so a c c e s s ib l e t o c e r ta i n h u m a n s , w h o c o u l d r e a c h t h e m t h r o u g heso t e r ic p rac t i ce , o r s im p ly by t r ave li ng t o t he i r f a r - f lung abodes . In t h i s way , ane l it e c o r p s o f e x c e p t io n a l h u m a n s ( s e l f - m a d e g o d s , i n t h e w o r d s o f C h a r l o t teV a u d e v i l l e [ 1 9 7 4 : 9 6 ] ) h a v e c o m e , o v e r t i m e , t o s w e l l t h e r a n k s o f t h e s ed e n i z e n s o f t h e e m p y r e a n - - a l t h o u g h t h e y h a v e n e v e r s u p p l a n te d t h e m . I t i s fo rt h i s r eason t ha t a num ber o f Tan t r i c sou rces d i s t ingu i sh be twee n t h ree s t r eam so f P e f f e c t i - - t h o s e o f d iv i n e divyaugha~ S i d d h a siddhaugha), a n d h u m a nm~navaugha) d e s c e n t Kularnava Tantra 6 . 6 3 - 6 8 ; Paraffuramakalpasatra4 .1 0 ). T h r o u g h o u t t h e I n d ia n m i d d l e a ge s , a g r o w i n g p o o l o f s u c h W i z a r d s a n dP e f f e c t i h a s c o m e t o b e s h a r ed , t o g e th e r w i th a n e x p a n d i n g b o d y o f l e g e n d o nthe i r sub ject, by Hind us , B udd h i s t , and J a ins a l i ke . O ne ev en f i nds t hem inBurm a , wh ere Bu ddh i s t Therav l i da mo nks , a l te rna t i ve ly ca l l ed weizkas( V i d y i -[dharas ] ) o r zawgyis ( S i d d h a s ) , h a v e b e e n i n g e s t i n g m e r c u r y , w e l l i n t o t h ep resen t cen tu ry , t o imm or t a l ize , o r a t l eas t p i ck l e t he ir bod i es (Au ng 1978 : 41 -50; N ee dh am 1976: 166; Spi ro 1970: 163-71) .

    V y a s a , a f i f t h - c e n tu r y c o m m e n t a t o r o n t h e Yogasatraso f Pataf i j a li , p rov idesu s , a l b e it in a n a p o p h a ti c w a y , w i t h w h a t c a n o n l y b e t e r m e d a c h a r te r f o r t h o s eper sons asp i r ing t o t h i s s em id iv ine st a tu s . Th i s he does i n h i s co m m enta ry onYogasatra 3.51 , in wh ich Pataf ij a l i s t a tes : W he n invi ted by the ce les t i a l beings ,t h a t i n v i t a t i o n s h o u l d n o t b e a c c e p t e d n o r s h o u l d i t c a u s e v a n i t y b e c a u s e i ti nvo lves t he pos s ib i li ty o f undes i r ab l e consequences . Vy ~sa s comm enta ry r eadsas fo l lows:

    Th e celes ti a l beings res id ing in lof ty reg ions , no t ic ing the pu r i ty of the in te l l ec to f t h o s e w h o h a v e a t ta i n e d u n a l l o y e d t r u t h . . . tr y t o i n v i t e t h e m b y t e m p t i n gt h e m w i t h e n j o y m e n t s a v a i la b l e in t h e ir re g i o n s in t h e f o l l o w i n g m a n n e r : OG rea t S ou l , com e and s i t he re a nd en joy yourse l f . I t is l ove ly he re . Here i s al ove ly l ady . Th i s e l i x ir p reven t s dea th and d ecay . H ere i s a veh i c l e wh ich cant ake y ou t o t he sk i es. The t r ee w h ich fu l f il s a ll w i shes i s he re . . . . He re a re t heP er fec t i and t he g rea t see r s. B eau t i fu l and obe d i en t nymph s , superno rmal eyesan d ears , a bo dy o f adam ant ine s trength , a ll a re here (A ran ya 1981: 334) .T h i s g o a l , o f tr a n s f o r m i n g o n e s e l f in t o a d e m i g o d a n d o f d w e l l i n g w i t h t h e

    i m m o r t a l P e r f e c t i a n d W i z a r d s , w a s n o t r e s e r v e d f o r a l c h e m i s t s a l o n e i n

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    82 / David Gordon Whitemedieval India. A number of other medieval mystic traditions also made suchtransformations their highest goal. Many of these groups called themselvesSiddhas: these include the M~dae~vara Siddhas of the Deccan region, the Sittarsof Tamil tradition, the north Indian N~th Siddhas, and even the Mahasiddhas ofIndian Buddhism. What differentiated these groups from one another were themeans they employed toward the realization of this common end. So, forexample, the Nith Siddhas mainly relied on the techniques of ha.tha y o g a - -pioneered by their founder, Gorakhn~th--to effect such transformations, whilefor the Rasa Siddhas, it was a combination of laboratory and ha.thayogic opera-tions that elevated the practitioner to demigod status.

    In the medieval literature however, it is most often innately divine, rather thanhuman Wizards, who are evoked. Matsyendranith, the legen6ary g u r u of Gora-khnith and founder of a number of other Tantric orders, twice mentions Vidy.~-dharis (Wizard-maidens, the female counterparts of the male Vidyidharas) in hisca. tenth century CE Kaulajh~naniro. aya. In both cases, he describes techniquesfor attracting and sexually exciting these female demigods, as a means to gainingaccess, through sexual union with them, lo the all-powerful god Bhairava (Kau/a-jftanani.rnaya 14.40, 55-56, 63-65). The Hars .acar i ta (3.112-28), a seventh-century work by Ba0.abha.t.ta, features a ~aJva ascetic named Bhalrav~carya,whose goal it is to transform himself into the lord of the divine Wizards. In atenth-century Sanskrit play, the C a . . ~ g i k a of Ks.emi~vara, the final apotheo-sis of the hero, superintended by the Hindu god of righteousness (Dharma) whohas disguised himself as a ~aiva alchemist, is effected through an aerial car,brought to him by the Wizards (Gupta 1962:109-11). In the late eleventh-century play entitled Prabodhacandrodaya a Kapilika claims he can fetch withhis power any virgin Dryad-, Wizard-, or Serpent-maiden he chooses (Nambiar1971: 124-30). So too, a ~alva m a h a v r a t i n seeks to become a Wizard in theKathasaritsagara tale of Devadatta the gambler (Penzer 1924-28, 2:236).1

    It is, however, in the technical literature of the Nith Siddlms and Rasa Siddhasthat we encounter the most elaborate descriptions of this transformation fromman to superman. So it is that the twelfth-century R a s e n d r a M a n g a l a (fol. 28b.8-10, 29a.1) of Nag~rjuna describes how an alchemist who has succeeded infully transmuting his body swoons and then recovers to find himself transformedinto the three-eyed, four-armed Gal.a. nitha (lord of Siva s host). The Perfecti andWizards come en masse to view the transformed alchemist, and, together withthese denizens of this atmospheric region, he flies through the air and is broughtbefore Mah~vara, whom he worships. This apotheosis corresponds quite closelyto the mystic goal of the old Saiva P~upata order, as described in the PagupataS~tras (1.33-38): [one] moves unobstructed everywhere; being equipped withthese qualities one becomes the great chief of the g aoas of Bhagavan Mahadeva

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    M o u n t a i ns o f w i s d o m / 83(G on da 1977: 218) . A cco rding to the ca . th i r teenth-ce ntury Mat.rkabheda Tantra(7 .36), the pract it ioner w ho fo l lows i ts ins t ruct ions beco m es a 'S idd ha wh o i s them an i fes t equa l o f ~ iva . ' S o t oo , t he 8 iv a S a . ~ i t a (4 .46; 5 .202, 204) , a re la t ivelyl a te N ~ t h S i d d h a m a n u a l o f hat.ha yo ga ends w i th the p rom ise t ha t the yo g i n m a yth rough h i s p rac t ice g a in a v i s i on o f t he (d iv ine ) S iddhas , and con t ro l ove r theV i d y i d h a r a s .

    I t i s , h o w e v e r , i n t h e e l e v e n t h - c e n t u r y R a s a r n . a v a t h a t w e f i n d t h e m o s tex t en ded re fe rences t o t h is apo theos i s t o t he l eve l o f t he P er fec t i and W izards .S o , fo r exam ple , t h i s sou rce conc ludes i t s desc r ip t i on o f khecar~jara.na ( ' f l igh t -c a l c i n a t i o n ' ) b y s t a ti n g th a t t h e a l c h e m i s t w h o i n g e s t s m e r c u r y t h a t h a s b e e nca l c ina t ed by m eans o f th i s techn ique i s imm ed ia t e ly up l if t ed in to t he p resenceof t he gods , P e r fec t i , and W izards , wi th whom he f l i e s t h rough t he a i r a t wi l lR a s a . r ~ v a 11.104b-6 , 12 .337). Th e ent i re wor k a l so ends on a s imi lar note . I t s

    f i na l tw en ty ve r ses (18 . 208-28) , w h ich open wi th a desc r ip t i on o f t he u l t ima tea l chem ica l opera t i on , i n t he p roces s o f w h ich t he a l chem is t h im se l f becom es t heco r p u s a l ch ym i cu m , conc lude wi th an accoun t o f h i s f i na l apo theos i s.

    F i r s t, then , t he desc r ip t i on o f the opera t i on it s e lf : 'D i am ond -bou nd ' m ercu rytha t has p rov en i ts e f f i cac i t y by res to ring c r ipp l es, f r eaks , and mu tan t s t o w ho le -nes s an d t r ansmut ing t en m i l li on times i t s mass o f base m eta l s i n to go ld i s t o bee m p l o y e d i n t h e u l t i m a t e a l c h e m i c a l W o r k , t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e e n t i r ep e r s o n o f t h e a l c h e m i s t i n to a S id d h a . T h i s h e d o e s b y p l u n g i n g h i m s e l f - - a f t e r ap r e l i m i n a r y w o r s h i p r i t u a l - - i n t o a m a n - s i z e d c a u l d r o n o f s u p e r h e a t e d o i l i n tow h i c h p e l l e ts o f d i a m o n d - b o u n d m e r c u r y h a v e b e e n p l a c ed .

    O nce t he a l chem is t has p lung ed h im se l f i n to the cau ld ron , h i s l abo ra to ry as si s-t an t s e r i a l l y adds t he a l chemica l equ iva l en t s o f t he f i ve sub t l e e l emen t s ( ea r th ,wa ter , a i r, f ire , and e ther) to the mixture , cu lmina t ing w i th k h a ( ' e t he r , ' bu t a l so' m i c a , ' a n o t h e r m i n e r a l e q u iv a l e n t o f t h e G o d d e s s ' s s e x u a l e m i s si o n ), w h i c h i st o b e p l a c e d i n s i d e t h e a l c h e m i s t ' s s k u l l ( p r e s u m a b l y a l l t h a t r e m a i n s o f h i sgross b od y a t th i s poin t ) . Then ,

    pum ping t he b e l l ows [un t i l t he mix has ] t he l ook o f m o l t en go ld , [ t he ass i s-t an t] shou ld add an a lka l i ne subs t ance ks.ara). N o s o o n e r h a s th i s b e e n d o n ethan [ t he t r ans fo rm ed a l chemis t ] r i ses up w i th a mig h ty be l low: 'H u m ' Hem o u n t s i n t o a n a e r ia l c a r m a d e o f d iv i n e g o l d s t u d d e d w i t h d iv i n e g e m s t o n e sa n d r u b i e s , a n d f i l le d w i t h f l o w e r e d g a r l a n d s a n d b a n n e r s , a n d t h e r o a r o fc o n c h e s a n d m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t s . T h e r e u p o n , a d i v i n e m a i d e n , a s i n g e r o fn y m p h e n m e l o d i e s a n d a n a l lu r in g d a n c e r , d e c k e d o u t i n d i v i n e f i n e r y a n dg a r l a n d s - - a l u s ty b e a u ty a n d a v e r it ab le i m a g e o f L o v e i n a f e m a l e f o r m - -com es t o h im , and t akes t ha t consu m m ate p rac t i t ioner [wi th he r ] t o dwel l i nt h e w o r l d o f t h e P e r f e c ti . T h e re , h a v i n g b a t h e d , w i n e d , a n d d i n e d h i m , a n d

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    8 4 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t eh a v i n g c l o t h e d h i m i n d i v i n e f i n e r y , t h e l o v e - s t a r v e d S i d d h a - m a i d e n s p o r t sw i t h h i m f o r h u n d re d s a n d t h o u s a n d s o f y e a r s Rasa.rtu~va 18 .222 - 27 ) .T h i s p a s s a g e i s r e m a r k a b l e o n a n u m b e r o f c o u n t s. F i rs t , i t i s t h e s o l e H i n d u

    d e s c r i p t i o n o f a n a l c h e m i c a l o p e r a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e a l c h e m i s t a c t u a l l y e n t e r sin to h i s a ppa r a tu s ( a me r c u r i a l we l l ) in o r de r to d i r e c t ly e f f e c t t he t r a nsm uta t iono f h i s bo dy . S e c on d , i t i s a de sc r ip t ion w i th a m y th i c c o r r e l a t e . Abf i R ayh . a n a l -B i r fin i , t he M us l im sa va n t w ho a c c o m pa n ie d M .al~mfid S ha h o f G ha z n i i n h i sc o n q u e s t o f w e s t e r n I n d i a b e t w e e n C E 9 9 8 a n d 1 0 30 , re l at e s a n u m b e r o f I n d ia na l c he m ic a l l e ge nds , i nc lud ing the f o l lowing :

    I n t h e c i t y o f D h a r a , t h e c a p i ta l o f M a l a v a , w h i c h i s i n o u r d a y s r u l e d b yB h o j a d e v a [ 1 0 0 0 - i 0 5 5 ] , t h e re l ie s in t h e d o o r o f t h e G o v e r n m e n t h o u s e a no b l o n g p i e c e o f p u r e s i l ve r , i n w h i c h t h e o u t l i n e s o f t h e l im b s o f a m a n a r ev i s ib l e. I t s o r ig in is a c c oun te d f o r by the f o l low ing s to r y : O nc e in o lde n t ime sa m a n w e n t t o a k i n g o f th e ir s, b r i n g in g h i m a n e l ix i r, t h e u s e o f w h i c h w o u l dm a k e h i m i m m o r t al , v i c to r io u s , i n v in c i b le , a n d c a p a b l e o f d o i n g e v e r y t h i n g h ed e s i re d . H e a s k e d t h e k i n g t o c o m e a l o n e t o t h e p la c e o f t h e i r m e e t i n g , a n d t h ek ing ga v e o r de r s t o ke e p in r e a d ine s s a l l the m a n r e qu i r e d .T h e m a n b e g a n t o b o i l t h e o i l f o r s e v e r a l d a y s , u n t i l a t l a s t i t a c q u i r e dc ons i s t e n c y . The n h e spoke to t he k ing : 'S p r ing in to i t a nd I sha l l f in i sh t hep r o c e s s . ' B u t t h e k i n g , t e r ri f ie d a t w h a t h e s a w , h a d n o t t h e c o u r a g e t o d i v ei n t o it . T h e m a n , o n p e r c e i v i n g h is c o w a r d i c e , s p o k e t o h i m : ' I f y o u h a v e n o ts u f f i ci e n t c o u r a g e , a n d w i ll n o t d o i t f o r y o u r s e l f , w i l l y o u a l l o w m e m y s e l f t od o i t ? ' W h e r e u p o n t h e k i n g a n s w e re d , ' D o a s y o u li k e .' N o w h e p r o d u c e ds e v e r a l p a c k e t s o f d r u gs , a n d i n s t r u c te d h i m t h a t w h e n s u c h a n d s u c h s y m p -t o m s s h o u l d a p p e a r , h e s h o u l d t h r o w u p o n h i m t h is o r t h a t p a c k e t . T h e n t h em a n s t e p p e d f o r w a r d t o t h e c a u ld r o n a n d t h r e w h i m s e l f i n t o it , a n d a t o n c e h ew a s d i s s o lv e d a n d r e d u c e d i n t o p u lp . N o w t h e k i n g p r o c e e d e d a c c o r d i n g t o h isi n s tr u c ti o n , b u t w h e n h e h a d n e a r l y f i n i sh e d t h e p r o c e s s , a n d t h e r e r e m a i n e do n l y o n e p a c k e t t h a t w a s n o t y e t th r o w n i n to t h e m a s s , h e b e g a n t o b e a n x i o u s ,a n d t o t h i n k w h a t m i g h t h a p p e n t o h i s re a lm , i n c a s e t h e m a n s h o u l d r e t u rn t ol i f e a s a n im m or ta l , v i c tor ious , inv inc ib le pe rso n , a s h a s a b o v e b e e n m e n -t i o n e d . A n d s o h e t h o u g h t i t p r e f e r a b l e n o t t o t h r o w t h e l as t p a c k e t i n t o t h em a s s . T h e c o n s e q u e n c e w a s t h a t t h e c au l d r o n b e c a m e c o ld , a n d t h e d i s s o l v e dm a n b e c a m e c onso l ida t e d in t he sha pe o f t he s aid p i e c e o f s i l ve r ( 1983 [ 1910] ,1 : 191 - 9 2 ; e m pha s i s i n o r ig ina l ) .T h i s m y t h i c a c c o u n t o f a f a i le d a l c h e m i c a l e x p e r i m e n t n o n e t h e l e s s re t a in s t h e

    pr inc ip le , a l r ead y de l in ea ted in. the Rasa.roava quo te d a b ove , t ha t i n o r de r f o r t he

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    M o u n t a i n s o f w i s d o m / 85a l c h e m i s t t o f u l l y j o i n t h e r a n k s o f t h e P e r fe c t i a n d W i z a rd s , h e m u s t p h y s i c a l l ye n te r i n to h is a l c he m ic a l a ppa r a tu s . Th i s i s a p r inc ip l e a lso f oun d in a num be r o fC h i n e s e a l c h e m i c a l s o u r c e s - - s o u r c e s i n t h e l ig h t o f w h i c h t h is a n d a n u m b e r o fo the r e l e m e n t s o f H ind u a l c he m ic a l l o r e a r e b r ough t in to h ighe r r e li e f .

    F i r s t o f a ll , tr a n s f o r m i n g o n e s e l f i n t o a n i m m o r t a l b y e n t e r i n g i n t o o n e sa l c h e m i c a l a p p a ra t u s i s a c o m m o n p l a c e o f T a o i s t a l c h e m y . I n t h e C h i n e s e c a s e ,t h e a p p a r a t u s i n q u e s t i o n , c a l l e d h u - l u , i s f o r m e d o u t o f t w o s u p e r i m p o s e ds p h e r i c a l g o u r d s , a c o n f i g u r a t io n a t o n c e i d e n t i f ie d w i t h t h e h e a d a n d t o r s o o ft h e s u b t l e b o d y , a d o u b l e - m o u n t a i n l o c a te d t o t h e f a r e a s t o r w e s t o f C h i n a , a n da n a b o d e o f t h e I m m o r t al s (h s i en ) ( S t ei n 1 9 42 : 5 3 - 5 5 , 5 8 ) . E n t e r i n g i n t o o n e sa l c he mic a l a ppa r a tu s i s , i n t he Ta o i s t sou r c e s , some wha t l e s s d r a ma t i c t ha n theo p e r a t i o n d e s c r i b e d i n t h e Rasa.rtmva: i t s r e su l ts a r e , how e ve r , w ho l ly a s t r a ns -f o r m a t ive a s t hose p r om ise d in t he H indu a l c he mic a l tr a d i ti on . Ta o i s t a l c he mic a ls o u r c e s d a t in g f r o m t h e f h s t h a l f o f t h e f i r st m i l le n n i u m C E a r e p a r ti c u l ar l y r i c hin l e ge nds o n th i s sub je ct , o f wh ic h the f o l lowing :

    C h e T s o u e n , w h o c a m e f r o m L u , w a s a s t u d e n t o f t h e G r e a t A l c h e m i c a l P at h .A f t e r m e e t i n g C h a n g C he la , h e b e c a m e t h e a d m i n i s t ra t o r o f Y u n - t a i ( i. e. , t h emoun ta in c a l l e d C h ia ng - su ) . I t wa s h i s ha b i t t o su spe nd a h u [ - l u ] v e s s e l o fa b o u t t e n l i t e r s v o l u m e [ f r o m t h e r o o f b o a m o f h is h o u s e ] . T h i s hu[- lu] v a s et r a n s f o r m e d i t s e l f i n t o H e a v e n a n d E a r t h ; it c o n t a i n e d s u n a n d m o o n . C h eT s o u e n p a s s e d h i s n ig h t s t h e re , a n d c a ll e d h i m s e l f H e a v e n i n a [ D o u b l e - ]G o u r d (h u - t i en ) . T h e p e o p l e c a l le d h i m t h e O l d M a n o f t h e G o u r d . F o l l o w -ing th i s he r e a l iz e d the Ta o [ a nd be c a m e a n imm or ta l ] ( S t ein 1942 : 57 ) .I n t h e C h i n e s e s o u r c e s , th e s e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s - - b e t w e e n a b i c a m e r a l a l c h e m i c a l

    a p p a r at u s , a c o n f i g u r a t i o n w i t h i n th e s u b t l e b o d y , a d o u b l e - m o u n t a i n , a n d a na b o d e o f t h e i m m o r t a l s - - a r e m a d e m u c h m o r e e x p l ic i tl y t h a n t h e y a re i n t h eH i n d u s o u r c e s w e h a v e r e v i e w e d t o t h is p o i n t. T o b e s u r e , t h e H i n d u u s e o f th et e r m v i d ya d h a r a , wizard , appl ie s equa l ly to a b icamera l appara tus , a ha . thayogict e c h n i q u e , a n d t h e m o u n t a i n - d w e l l i n g a l c h e m i s t s w h o m a s t e r e d t h e m . W h a t i sl a c k i n g i n t h e H i n d u m a t e r i a l i s t h e e x p l i c i t i d e n t i fi c a t io n o f t h e s e s e m i d i v i n ef i g u r e s a n d a l c h e m i c a l a p p a r a t u s w i t h t h e s e s a c r e d m o u n t a i n s t h e m s e l v e s , a ni d e n t i f ic a t i o n w h i c h t h e T a o i s t s m a k e w i t h e s p e c ia l r e f e r e n c e t o t w o i m m o r t a la b o d e s . T h e s e a r e th e m o u n t a i n s H u n - l u n a n d K u n - l u n , l o c a t e d to t h e f a r e as ta n d w e s t o f C h i n a r e s p e c t i v e ly . T h e n a m e s o f b o t h o f t h e s e p e a k s a r e d e r iv e df r o m t h e s a m e r o o t (hu) as the t e rm f o r th e d o u b l e - c h a m b e r e d g o u r d o f T a o i s ta l c h e m y : m o r e t h a n t hi s, b o t h o f th e s e m y t h i c m o u n t a i n s r e t a in t h e s h a p e o f t h ea l c h e m i c a l a p p a r at u s : m o u n t H u n - l u n h a s t h e f o r m o f tw o s u p e r i m p o s e ds p h e r e s , w h i l e K u n - l u n t h a t o f tw o s u p e r i m p o s e d c o n e s j o i n e d a t t h e i r a p e x .

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    8 6 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t eT h e s e m o u n t a i n s a r e , m o r e o v e r , s it u a te d w i t h in t h e s u b tl e b o d y o f t h e a l c h e m i s t,i n h is l ow e r a bdom e n a n d he a d , r e spe c t ive ly . As suc h , t he y a r e f u r the r i de n t i f i e da s th e G a t e s o r W e l l s o f E a r t h ( H ' u n - l u n ) a n d H e a v e n ( K ' u n - l u n ) ( S t e i n 1 9 57 :176, 185).

    N o w , t h e H i n d u s a l so k n o w o f a m y t h i c d o u b l e - m o u n t a i n : t h is i s M e r u , t h ep i v o t o f t h e H i n d u u n i v e r s e w h i c h , l o ca t e d to t h e n o r t h o f In d i a, h a s t h e f o r m o ftwo c o ne s o r t r unc a t e d py r a m ids j o ine d a t the i r t a pe r e d e nds ( A l i 1973 [ 1966] :48; Bhagava ta Purdn .a 5 . 16 . 7) . 2 L i k e t h e C h i n e s e H ' u n - l u n , M e r u h a s i ts m i c r o -c o s m i c h o m o l o g u e a s w e l l : i t i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e s p i n a l c o l u m n ( c a l l e d t h em e r u - ~ , ' M e r u - r o d ' ) o f t he s u b tl e b o d y , a l on g w h o s e v e rt ic a l a x is t h ene c t a r o f imm or ta l i t y i s d r a w n upw a r ds . Ep ic a nd P ur~mi. c de sc r ip t ions o f M e r ul o c a t e g o d s a n d d e m i g o d s o f t h e li k e s o f t h e W i z a r d s a n d P e r f e c t i o n i ts s l o p e s ,a n d d e s c r i b e i ts s u m m i t a s a n e x t e n s i v e pl a te a u , h e m m e d i n b y a r i n g o f p e a k s,so a s to ha v e the f o r m o f a ba s in o r s a uc e r ( A l i 1973 [ 1966] : 49 ; M a bbe t t 1983 :6 8 , 7 1 ) .

    M O U N T A I N S O F W I S D O M I N H I N D U C O S M O L O G Y A N DS C R E D G E O G R P H Y

    I t i s p e r h a p s i n c o r r e c t t o s t a te t h a t t h e H i n d u s m a d e n o e x p l i c i t i d e n t i f ic a t i o nb e t w e e n t h e i r i m m o r t a l W i z a r d s , t h e i r a lc h e m i c a l a p p a ra t u s, a n d t h e i r s a c r e dm o u n t a i n s . T h e S a n s k r i t t e r m d h a r a , g e n e r a t ed f r o m t h e r o o t dh.r, me a n s , a s ha sa l r e a dy be e n no te d , ' b e a r e r ' o r ' r e c ip i e n t . ' O ne o f the s e nse s o f dh.r, h o w e v e r , i s' t o s u p p o r t , ' a m e a n i n g t h a t g e n e r a t es a n o t h e r re a d i n g o f d h a r a : a ' m o u n t a i n 'dhara) i s t ha t wh ic h suppor t s ( dh . r ) t he e a r th o r t he mine r a l r i c he s w i th in t he

    ear th. In this case , vidyOdhara m a y b e re a d as ' m o u n t a in o f w i s d o m ' o r ' w i s d o mm o u n t a i n , ' w h i l e th e V i d y ~ d h ar as , t h e W i z ar d s m a y b e c o n s i d e r ed to b e n o t o n l yt h e d e n i z e n s o f s u c h m o u n t a i n s , b u t a l s o th e m o u n t a in s t h e m s e l v e s. W h a t w e a r es u g g e s t i n g h e r e i s t h a t b e h i n d t h e m e d i e v a l I n d i a n c u lt s o f d i v i n e W i z a r d s a n dP e f f e c t i as d e n i z e n s o f m o u n t a i n s t h e r e l ay a m o r e a r c h a ic c u l t o f t h e s e m o u n -t a in s t he m se lve s a s a g r oup o f de m igods .

    A n u m b e r o f m e A i e v a l I n d i a n w o r k s h a v e m u c h t o s a y o n th i s s u b j e c t. A ni m p o r t a n t e x a m p l e i s t h e g r e a t T a n t r i c o p u s e n t i t l e d t h e S v a c c h a n d a T a n t r a( 1 0 . 4 2 4 - 5 1 ) m u c h o f w h o s e c o s m o l o g y is a d a p te d n e a r ly v e r b a t im b y t h e T r i k at h e o l o g i a n A b h i n a v a g u p t a i n h i s m a s s i v e T a n t r a l o k a ( 8 . 1 1 9 - 3 8 ) . H e r e , i n a ne n u m e r a t i o n o f t h e a t m o s p h e r i c l e v e l s l o c a te d a b o v e t h e t e rr e s tr i a l d i s k a n ds e p a r a te d f r o m o n e a n o t h e r b y d i s ta n c e s o f e i t h e r o n e h u n d r e d o r f i v e h u n d r e dyo j a n a s , t h i s sou r c e de sc r ibe s c loud ma sse s ( me gh~ . ) ( i ) t ha t s t r i ke down t r e e s

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    M o u n t a in s o f w i s d o m / 87on earth [with thunderbolts]; (i/) that cause rains offish, frogs, and turtles to fall;and i i i ) that cause disease-inducing poison rains to fall. It then continues:

    Five hundred y o j a n a s higher is [the abode of] the Wind [named] Lightning-streak. Here at [the abode of] Lightning-streak are stationed...the lowest-level Vidyadharas. These are beings who, when in the [prior] form of humanwizards vidyapauru.se) carried out cremation ground-related practices. Whenthey died, that s i d d h i [rendered them] Siddhas, stationed in the midst of theLightning-streak wind ... Five hundred y o j a n a s higher...there at Raivata

    itself are the primal Siddhas adisiddhdh.) [named] Yellow Orpiment, BlackAntimony, and Mercury-ash Tantraloka 8.133). 3This passage goes on to describe ever higher levels, inhabited by superior

    vigesa) Vidy~dharas who, together with the celestial musicians, sing the praisesof Siva Parame~vara, the highest god; and still higher levels in which the mostelevated u t t a m a ) Vidy~dharas are stationed. We will, however, dwell for amoment upon the particular case of the toponym Raivata and the clearly alchem-ical s i d d h i s and Siddhas with which it is associated. Concerning the latter, wefast reproduce the S va cch a n d a Ta n t r a 1 0 .4 5 2 ) passage upon which Abhinava-gupta bases his description:

    On Raivata are indeed stationed those great-souled Siddhas. Having under-taken the practices [dealing] in yellow orpiment, the black antimony [ofinvisibility], the ash [of transmutation], the shoes [of magical flight], thehairy-skin [of the tiger, goat, or dog worn or carded by the Salva m a h ~ v r a t i nor renouncer], and so on, these great-souled ones became Siddhas.Here, we can see that whereas the Svacchanda Tantra evokes a certain number

    of mineral preparations instrumentally--to explain that the Siddhas of Raivataare those beings who, while human, gained the s iddh i s of invisibility, transmu-tation, magical flight, and so on, through the practices of alchemy and renunci-ation--Abhinavagupta transforms these alchemical staples into a group of demi-gods whom he terms the primal Siddhas. Here we are reminded of a group ofSiddhas named Fire, Sun, and Moon who, according to the Kubj ik~i t y f~hn ika t i -/akam, a twelfth-to-fourteenth-century document (Bagchi 1934: 67; Shastri 1905,1: lxiv, 111-12) of the Pa~cimanmaya, the Western tradition of Kaula Tantrism,aided a figure named ~rinatha in founding that Tantric lineage (Schoterman1982: 36-39). In both cases, these founding Siddhas are nothing other thanelements of the Siddha gnosis itself, here elevated to the station of abstractdeities. Homologous to this ambivalent treatment of the Siddhas, who are now

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    8 8 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t ep o r t r a y e d a s h u m a n s a n d n o w a s a t m o s p h e ri c d e m i g o d s , i s th a t a c c o r d e d t o t h eW izards . In t hese sou rces , it i s c l ea r l y s t a ted t ha t t he l ow es t l eve l o f Vidy~-d h a r a s i s c o m p o s e d o f t h o s e b e i ng s w h o , w h i l e s ti ll h u m a n , h a d b e e n V i d y i -p uru s.a s ( m e n o f o c c u l t w i s d o m ) w h o s e c r e m a t i o n g r o u n d p r a c t ic e s h a d w o nthem an a tmospher i c s t a t ion a f t e r dea th .

    Th ese desc r i p t ions a re fo r u s p roo f s o f a po in t we ha ve been a rgu ing t h rough-ou t t h i s paper ; t ha t is , t ha t t he hu m an p rac t i t ioner s o f t he S iddha d i s c ip l i nes o fa l c h e m y , hat.ha yo ga , and e ro t i co -my s t i ca l r i tua l cons ide red t hem se lves t o bed i v i n e o r s e m i d i v i n e S i d d h a s in po ten t ia , a n d t h a t b e y o n d t h e s u p e r n a t u r a lp o w e r s a n d b o d i l y i m m o r t a l i ty t h a t w e r e t h e i r im m e d i a t e g o a l s th e r e l a y t h eh i g h e r e n d o f a p o t h e o s i s t o t h e l o f ti e r r e a lm s o f t h e s e m i d i v i n e S id d h a s a n dVidy~dh aras . In Ind i a , ce r ta i n moun ta in tops , l o f t y p ivo t s be twee n t he w or lds o ft h e g o d s a n d d e m i g o d s a n d t h e w o r l d o f m e n , h a v e b e e n s i n g l e d o u t s in c e t h eme d ieva l pe r i od as s i te s a t wh ich t o r ea l ize t he va r i ous siddhis t h a t e n a b le d o n eto become a S iddha . P r imary among t hese a re t he ho ly peaks o f S S . k t a -S a ivat r a d i t i o n n a m e d ~ r i ~ a i l a m ( K u r n o o l D i s t r i c t , A n d h r a P r a d e s h ) , K e d ~ r n a t h(Cha m ol i D i s tr i c t, U t t a r P radesh ) , M oun t Abu (S i roh i Di s tr i c t, Ra j as than ) , andGimS.r (Jun aga dh D istr ict, Gujarat) .

    Th i s b r i ngs u s back t o t he pas sages j u s t c i t ed f rom the Svacchanda Tan tra andthe Tan trd loka wh ich , i n t he mids t o f t he i r desc r i p t ions o f a tmosph er i c l eve l sl oca t ed thousands o f mi l es above t he ea r t h s su r face , sudden ly p resen t the r eaderwi th a t e r r es t r i a l t oponym which t hey i den t i fy , p rec i s e ly , w i th t he a l chemica lp r i m a l S i d d h a s n a m e d Y e l l o w O r p i m e n t, B l a c k C o l l y r i u m , a n d M e r c u r y - a s h .

    T h i s i s t h e t o p o n y m R a i v a t a w h i c h w a s i n f a c t a m e d i e v a l n a m e f o r t h e c lu s t e ro f p e a k s k n o w n t o d a y a s G i r n i r . I n p r a i se o f t h is s i te , t h e Ja i n R a i v a t a c a l aM~hatmya ( a p o r t i o n o f t h e S a t r u h j a y a M a h a t m y a ca l l s i t t he f i f t h o f t het w e n t y - o n e J a i n s iddhadr is (S iddha-moun ta ins ) and s t a te s t ha t [he re ] s ages w hoh a v e c e a s e d t o e a t a n d w h o p a s s t h e i r d a y s i n d e v o t i o n . . . w o r s h i p N e r n i n a t h .H e r e d i v i n e n y m p h s a n d n u m e r o u s h e a v e n l y b e i n g s - - G a n d h a r v a s , S i d d h a s,V i d y a d h a r a s , a n d so o n - - a l w a y s w o r s h ip N e m i n i t h ( B u r g e ss 1 9 7 1 [ 18 7 6] :157). A num ber o f PurS .n . s , beginning w i th a n in th centu ry addi t ion ma de to theo r ig ina l M atsya Puran.a by a S a iva r es iden t o f Mah arash t ra , a lso dev o t e l ong

    desc r i p t i ons t o t he s i t e , wh ich t hey t e rm Ra iva t aka (Bharadva j 1973 : 66 -67 ;H azr a 1975 [1940] : 46) . Th e ca . e leve nth- to- tw el f th-ce ntury P r a bh a sa K h ~ . . ao f t h e Skanda Puran.a (Ha zra 1975 [1940] : 165) dev otes no less than f i f t ee nc h a p t e r s t o t h e w o n d e r s o f t h is s i te ( i n w h i c h i t d e s c ri b e s w e l l s o f m e r c u r y ,rasakapika [Skanda Puran.a 7 . 2 . 6 . 8 ] ) , wh i ch i t a l t e rna t i ve ly ca l l s Ra iv i t a o rVas tr .~patha . A C E 1333 Ja in source , the Vividhaar thakalpa of l -maprabhis f ir i ,con ta ins m uc h s imi lar mater ia l on th i s s i te (Cor t 1990: 251-58) .

    W e c l ea r l y appear t o be i n t he p resence , i n t h i s wide a r ray o f sou rces , o f a

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    Mountains of wisdom / 89d i r e c t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e m o d e r n G i r n i r a s b o t h a t e r r e s t r i a l s i t e t o w h i c hhum an exper t s i n t he eso t e ri c s c i ences cou ld com e to pe r fec t them se lves t h roughS i d d h a t e c h n i q u e s, a n d a n a t m o s p h e r ic o r c e l e s ti a l r e a l m t h e y w o u l d c o m e t oinhab i t i n t he i r de f i n i t i ve ly r an s fo rm ed s t a te o f s em id iv ine S iddhas . Th i s ped i -g ree o f Gi rn~r goes back fu r t he r s ti ll , be ing foun d i n ea r l ie r H indu t ex t s undery e t a n o t h e r n a m e : G o m a n t a ( M a n i 1 97 5: 2 9 4 ). W e f i n d t h is e a r ly t o p o n y m f o rG i r n ~ m e n t i o n ed o n c e in th e Mahabharata (2 , 13 . 53 ) , i n t he con t ex t o f t hee p i s o d e o f J a r ~ a n d h a , a r e g i c i d e k i n g a n d v e r y e a r l y d e v o t e e o f R u d r a - S i v a ,w h o h a i l e d f r o m t h e K a t h i a w a d r e g i o n o f p r e s e n t d a y G u j a ra t . 4 A n o t h e r p e a km e n t i o n e d i n th e Mahabharata h a s a l s o b e e n i d e n t i f ie d w i t h G i r n ~ : t h i s i sU j j a y a n t a , w h i c h t h e e p i c ( 3 . 8 6 .1 8 - 2 0 ) d e s c r ib e s a s o n e o f t h e h o l y p l a c e s o fSaur~..t ra ( that is , wes tern G ujara t ). Th e sam e sourc e Mahabharata 2.42.8) alsonam es , w i thou t descr ib ing i t , a Raivat~ka Hi l l , w hich i t a l so locates in Gujara t .

    A m u c h m o r e d e t a i l e d d e s c r ip t io n o f G o m a n t a m a y b e f o u n d in t h e c a . f if t hc e n t u r y C E Harivam.ga ( 2 .4 0 ) , o f t e n t a k e n t o b e a n a p p e n d i x t o t h e Maha-bharata, wh ich a l so r e la t es i t t o t he f i gu re o f J a rksandha . 5 W hi l e t h i s appear s t obe no d i f f e ren t t han a g rea t num ber o f o the r p ra is es o f he aven ly mo un ta ins , t h i st ex t i s im por t an t fo r two reasons : on t he on e hand , t he mo un ta in i n ques t i on i sG i r n ~ ; o n t h e o t h e r , t h is i s a n e a r l y s o u r c e i n w h i c h w e s e e t h e S i d d h a s a n dVidy adha ras be ing b rough t dow n to ea r t h a t spec i f ic geograph i ca l s ite .

    T h e [ m o u n t a i n ] c a l l e d G o m a n t a , a s i n g u l a r p e a k s u r r o u n d e d b y a g r o u p o f[ le s ser ] peak s , i s d i f f i cu l t t o s ca l e , even by t he S ky-g oer s . . . [ I ]t s l o f t y twinsum m i t s have t he fo rm o f tw o sh in ing gods . . .. The i n t e r io r o f t h i s mo un ta in i sf r equen t ed b y S iddhas , Cara0.as , and Raks .asas , and the surfac e of the pe ak i se v e r t h r o n g e d w i t h h o st s o f V i d y i d h a r a s ( H a r i v a .n ~ a A p p e n d i x 1 7, li n e s 3 8 1 -82, 386; A ppen dix 18 , l ines 448-4 9) .N o w , t h e G i r n a r p e a k w h i c h t h e J a i n s i d e n t i f y a s N e m i n a t h h a s l o n g b e e n

    kno w n to Hindu p i l g r ims by t he nam e o f Da t t a t r eya (Burges s 1971 [1876] : 159) ,t he s emid iv ine fo unde r and l eader o f the Nine Na ths o f wes t e rn Ind i an , e spec i a l lyM ara th i , t rad i ti on . Da t t a t reya is i n f ac t one o f a pa i r o f rocky c rags t ha t dom ina t et h e f o r m a t i o n o f G i r n a r , t h e o t h e r b e i n g G o r a k h : t h e s e t w i n p e a k s , h a v i n g ah e i g h t o f 3 4 5 0 a n d 3 4 7 0 f e e t r e s p e c t i v e l y , a r e b y f a r t h e h i g h e s t a n d m o s timpres s ive f ea tu res o f t he rim o f moun ta ins t ha t fo rm a b as in som e s ix mi l es inc i r c u m f e r e n c e . G i r n a r h a s f u r t h e r m o r e c o n s t it u t e d o n e o f t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n tcen t e r s o f N ~th S iddh a ac t i v i ty in w es t e rn Ind i a , a s ev idenced i n r e fe rences t o i tf r o m t h e t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y o n w a r d s , i n l e g e n d s c o n c e r n i n g t h e i r f o u n d e r s(Kaviraj 1962--64, 1: 197; Mall ik 1954: 10; Ndthacaritra 1 .2 , 2 . 1 -13 ) . B o th o ft hese c rags a re t he s i t es o f s imp le and apparen t l y ve ry anc i en t sh r i nes t o Da t t a -

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    90 / David Gordon Whitetreya and Gorakhnath respectively, shrines whose custodians are members of theNath Siddha order. Here, we wish to argue that the peaks of Gorakh andDattatreya at Girnar are so-called not only because they feature shrines to theseN.~th Siddhas, but because they are these Siddhas, these Perfecti. The original

    Siddhas were divine mountaintops before they became identified with the yoginswho frequented those mountaintops. In other words, the bedrock for the presenceand veneration of human Nath Siddhas at Girnar are the semidivine Siddhaswhose ranks the latter succeeded in joining through their practice. The semi-divine Siddhas dwelling inside Gomanta (within the basin formed by the rim ofpeaks?) and the Vidyidharas dwelling on its surface (on the outer slopes of thosepeaks?) preceded the likes of the twelfth-to-thirteenth-century Gorakh andDattatreya, who replaced them, and thereby became the demigods identified withits highest twin peaks. In this light, it is tantalizing to note that the Kuid.nu~aTantra (6.66) lists Dattatreya and Raivataka in immediate succession as two ofthe ten gurus of the siddhaugha, the Siddha stream of the Kanla preceptors.

    Data from other regions of the Indian subcontinent appear to support thisargument. Gorakh, who is called a Vidyidhara in the Bengali Song of Mani kCandra is depicted in the Punjabi Legend of Pfira0 Bhagat as flying throughthe air at the head of 5200 visible and invisible disciples (Grierson 1878: 209;Temple 1963 [1884-86], 2: 375). Popular tradition maintains that the foundingNath Siddhas continue to inhabit the Himalayas, as the guardian spirits of theHimalayan peaks. In the mountainous Gulmi District of central Nepal, a non-descript god of the summit is named Siddha (Dasgupta 1976 [1946]: 207;Lecomte-Tilouine 1993: 159-62). In the mountainous Chamba District of thePunjab, generally nameless Siddhs are worshipped, in the same fashion asserpents and minor goddesses, in primitive temples or shrines Punjab Statesgazetteer 1910: 183-84). Elsewhere, there is evidence that the historicalGorakhnath of Gorakhpur, the present day center of Nath-dom, is so named forhaving discovered a shrine there to the Nepali (Gurkhi) Siddha demigod namedGorakh, into whose service he devoted himself. Over time, this mountaingodling and the human yogin became fused into a single figure: Gorakhnith(whose name may be translated as He whose Lord is [the semidivine Siddha]Gorakh ), the founder of the Nath [email protected] at the site of Gorakhpur(Alexander 1881, 6: 371,436).

    In the light of this evidence, we must conclude that such historical Siddhas asGoraldmath and Dattatreya, whose acts and lives def med the religious landscapeof a certain epic and post-epic India, became fused in the Indian imaginationwith certain classes of gods and demigods, in whose number the divine Siddhasand Vidy.~dharas must be counted; and that it was at such peaks as Girnar, inwestern India, the heartland of early and medieval ~aivism, that such identifi-

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    Mounta ins o f w isdom / 91c a t io n s f ir s t o c c u r re d . W h i l e w e c a n n o t s a y t o w h a t e x t e n t t h e s e f ig u r e s w e r e a n dr e m a i n i d e n t if i e d w i t h t h e sa c r e d p e a k s t h e m s e l v e s , o u r r e a d i n g o f V i d y ~ d h a r aa s M o u n t a i n o f w i s d o m s h o u l d n o t b e e n t i r e ly f a r - f e tc h e d , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h el i gh t o f t he Harivamga d e s c ri p ti o n o f G o m a n t a .

    T h i s p e a k , w h i c h w e h a v e i d e n t if ie d w i t h G i m a r , i s s a id t o b e i n h a b i te d b o t hi n s id e a n d o u t b y S i d d h a s a n d V i d y i d h a r a s . L i k e m a n y s a c re d m o u n t a i n s , G i r n a ri s a s i t e f i d d l e d w i t h c a v e s , o f w h i c h a t l e a s t t w o a r e i d e n t i f i e d w i t h N i t hS i d d h a s ( B h ar tr .h a fi a n d D a t t a t r e y a ) - - a n d w h a t is a m o u n t a i n c a v e , i f n o t t h em a c r o c o s m i c r e p l ic a o f t h e c r a n ia l v a u l t o f t h e m e d i t a ti n g y o g i n , o r t h e u p p e rc h a m b e r o f a n a l c h e m i c a l a p p a r a t u s w i t h i n w h i c h t h e a l c h e m i s t t r a n s f o r m sh i m s e l f i n to t h e opus a lchymicum ? A s i n th e T a o i s t c a s e , th e m o e b i u s u n i v e r s eo f t he S i ddha s i s s o c ons t r uc t e d a s to pe r m i t it s p r a c t i t i one r s t o a t on c e i de n t i f yc o s m i c m o u n t a i n s w i t h t h e ir o w n s u b t le b o d i e s a n d a l c h e m i c a l a p p a r a tu s , a n d t oe n t e r i n t o t hos e m oun t a i n s t o r e a l i z e t he f i na l e nd o f t he i r p r a c t i c e , t he i r t r a n s f o r -m a r i o n i n to t h e s e m i d i v i n e d e n i z e n s o f t h o s e p e a k s .

    S o i t i s t ha t t he s e m yr i a d a l l u s i ons , f ound i n va r i ous S a i va , S i ddha , T a n t r i c ,a n d e v e n J a i n s o u r c e s, a r e s o m a n y l i te r a r y v e s t ig e s o f a n a r c h a i c c u l t o f d i v i n eS i d d h a s a n d V i d y a d h a r a s w h o , l i k e t h e I m m o r t a l s hs ien) o f T a o i sm , c a m e t o b ej o i n e d i n th e ir ra n k s b y h e r oi c h u m a n s ( P ~ u p a t a s , K i p ~ i k a s , N a t h S i d d h as , a n dR a s a S i d d h a s ) w h o , t h r o u g h t h e i r d a n g e r o u s a n d d i f f i c u l t t r i a l s , t r a n s c e n d e dt h e ir h u m a n c o n d i t io n . T h i s i s t h e S i d d h a f o u n d a t io n o f h i g h K a u l a T a n l r i s m :t h e a r ch a i c g o a l o f g a in i n g p o w e r o v e r d i v in e S i d d h a a n d V i d y i d h a r a w i z a r d sa n d n y m p h s f u n n e l e d i n to t h e T a n t r i c c u lt s o f th e yogin~s, w h i c h w e r e i n t u r ni n t e r na l iz e d i n t o t he p r a c t i c e s o f hat.ha yoga a n d a l c h e m y , a s p r a c ti c e d b y s u p e r -h u m a n N ~ t h a n d R a s a S i d d h a s, a n d t h e m o r e r e f i n e d a n d a b s t ra c t r it u al p r a c t i c e so f K a u l a T a n t r i sm .

    otes

    1. M ahdvra tin is a generic term for a ~aiva a sce tic- -a Pk~ upata or Kap~lika----referringas i t does to the gre at vo w (that is, the slaying of a Br ahmaoa followed by tw elve yearso f expiation) undertaken by them in the ir initiation.2. The Bhagavata and a num ber o f other Puran.as describe that portion of Meru whichrises up from the ear th s surface: a m irror imag e of this mo untain extends below thesurface of the earth, into the subterranean w or ds of the demo nic beings wh o inhabit them.Th e low er half of Meru is of lesser dimensions than the uppe r half.

    3. The nam es of these Siddhas are [G olroc ani, Afijana, and Bhasma. Gorocand is infact an organic dy e having the sam e intense yellow colo r as orpiment. Gorocan~ s madefrom the urine o f the cow.4. This reading is found in the Bengali (B 1m.2-5) and Bo m bay Governm ent collection

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    9 2 / D a v i d G o r d o n W h i t e(D) manuscr ip t s on ly . The c r i t i ca l r ead ing i s Bhavanta . The s i t e has a l so been ca l l edGir inagara and G ir in ar iy ~a , o f wh ich Girnar i s a vemacular ization.

    5 . The passage concern ing G om anta is found on ly i n the Bo m bay and C a lcu tt a r ecen-s ions o f the H a r i v ~ a , en ti tled 'The c l imbing of Gom anta ' o r 'The j ourney to G om anta ' ;i n t he c r i ti ca l ed i ti on , i t f o rms a por t i on of A ppend ix 17 and a l l o f App endix 18 ( l ines38 0-5 07 of the sequential ly num bered appendices) .

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