Chapter 14 Śārikā’s Mantra

In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions
Jürgen Hanneder
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The goddess Śārikā belongs to a group of Kashmirian lineage deities (kuladevī or vaṃśadevī) who, like Bālā, Rājñī, and Jvālā, are identified with particular locations.1 Śārikā resides on the Pradyumna peak in Śrīnagar, also known as the “Śārikā peak,” and is worshipped there in the form of a large stone around which a temple has been constructed. If one wishes to identify the cult practiced there and locate it within the religious landscape of the valley, a visitor might start with the modern inscription shown in figure 14.1, which reads as follows:

manvaśranāgadalasaṃyutaṣoḍaśāram |
vṛttatrayaṃ ca dharaṇīsadanatrayaṃ ca
śrīcakrarājam uditaṃ paradevatāyāḥ ||

This verse describes the śrīcakra, the yantra of the “supreme deity” (paradevatā) commonly known as Tripurā, by merely listing in the first three pādas the geometrical elements of the yantra, for instance bindu (“dot”) and trikoṇa (“triangle”). It is quoted often, with variations,2 and attributed to several scriptural sources in Tantric literature.

What we are to understand here, one must suppose, is that in modern times Śārikā was understood or presented as a form of Tripurā, or as belonging to her cultic context.

Unfortunately fieldwork of this kind does not disclose the history of the cult. We know that the first scriptures of the cult of Tripurā were written not before the eleventh century;3 needless to say, they make no mention of Śārikā. On the other hand, the local Kashmirian cult of Śārikā is at least as old as the Kathāsaritsāgara (second half of the twelfth century),4 and it is rather doubtful that the two goddesses’ association is this old.


Figure 14.1

Śārikā stone

Photograph by Walter Slaje

For finding out more about the cult of Śārikā, including her ritual and possibly doctrinal details, we have a single published source, the Devīrahasya,5 which contains passages on the cult of the Kashmirian lineage deities. In particular, the ritual texts appended to the edition of the Devīrahasya give the mantroddhāra, sahasranāma and other typical elements of the worship of these deities. In this text Śārikā is clearly identified as having the form of a stone (śilārūpā)6 on the Pradyumna hill. Her worship is said to remove the impurity (mala) stemming from such capital offences as the murder of a Brahmin or drinking alcohol, or eating what is forbidden.7 The details of the mantra are given, as are the Ṛṣi, etc., a dhyānaśloka, her yantra, and how to employ the mantra for the magic acts of immobilizing (stambhana) and so forth.8 This is followed by a Śārikāpūjāpaddhati (pp. 412–419).

Further sources are difficult to trace or remain unpublished. First is a so-called Śārikāstrotra attributed to the Pradyumnāvatāra. This text is “a mālāmantra in prose with a dhyānaśloka in the beginning and two verses at the end.”9 Apart from its manuscript in the Bodleian, there are two more in the Lindenmuseum (Stuttgart),10 and one in Śrīnagar.11 Judging from the excerpts given in the Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland (VOHD) catalogue, there are variations such as insertions of new names and additional phrases that cannot be reduced easily to a single critical text.12 In any case, for our purposes a transcript of the Śrīnagar manuscript (S) is sufficient:

bījaiḥ saptabhir ujjvalākṛtir asau yā saptasaptidyutiḥ13
saptarṣipraṇatāṅghripaṅkaja14yugā yā saptalokārtihā15 |
kāśmīrapravareśamadhyanagare pradyumnapīṭhe sthitā
devīsaptakasaṃyutā bhagavatī śrīśārikā pātu naḥ ||

oṃ jaya bhagavatyai vindhyavāsini kailāsavāsini śmaśānavāsini huṅkāriṇi kālāyini kātyāyani himagiritanaye kumāramātaḥ govindabhagini śitikaṇṭha16bharaṇe aṣṭādaśabhuje bhujagavalayamaṇḍite keyūrahārābharaṇe jaya-khaḍgā-triśūla-ḍamaru17-mudgara-paraśu-caṣaka-kalaśa-śaracāpa-varadābhaya-pāśa-pustaka-kapāla-khaṭvāṅga-gadā-musula-tomaravarahaste kṛpāpare prabhūtavividhāyuddhe kṛpāprāgbhūtavigrahe caṇḍike caṇḍaghaṇṭe kirātaveśe brahmāṇi rudrāṇi nārāyaṇi brahmacāriṇi divyatapovidhāyini vedamātaḥ gāyatri bhāvitri sarasvati sarvādhāre sarveśvari viśvakartā (sic) samādhiviśrāntimaye cinmaye cintāmaṇisvarūpe kaivalye kaivalyasvarūpe śivasvarūpe śive nirāśraye nirupādhimaye nirāmayapade brahmaviṣṇumaheśvaranimitte18 mohani tosaṇi bhayaṅkaranāśini ditisutapramathani kāle kālakiṅkarabhaṣini kālāgniśikhe kālarātri aje nitye siṃharathe yogarate yogeśvari19nimite (?) bhaktajanavatsale surapriyakāriṇi durge durjaye hiraṇye śaraṇye kuru me dayāṃ kuru me jayam |

oṃ pradyumnaśikharāsīnāṃ mātṛcakropaśobhitām |
pīṭheśvarīṃ śilārūpāṃ śārikāṃ praṇamāmy aham ||
amā caiva u kāmā ca cārvāṅgī ṭaṅkadhāriṇī |
tārā ca pārvatī caiva yakiṇī śārikāṣṭamī ||

iti śrīśārikāstotram

From this stotra we can gather something about the iconography of the deity, for instance the attributes held in her eighteen arms,20 her names, the seven goddesses (amā etc.) that form her retinue and their symbolism.

The main information on a deity for ritual purposes is of course her mantra. Here one unpublished source21 gives the mantra in a Vedic style by stating its Ṛṣi, metre, and deity, but augmented with the tantric elements bīja, śakti and kīlaka,22 and there is of course also a tantric Gāyatrī devoted to Śārikā.23

So it seems the cult of Śārikā is fairly old, but it has been influenced by the cult of Tripurā or Śrīvidyā. One such influence must have been the Kashmirian Kauls, a clan that migrated to Kashmir not before the fifteenth century24 and brought their own cults with them, which were then fused with the local Kashmirian cults.25 The most important figure in this group, Sāhib Kaul, is credited with three ritual handbooks and furthermore fused Advaita Vedāntic ideas with the Kashmirian Pratyabhijñā.26 Sāhib Kaul has also composed a further text on the deity, a Śārikāstotra27 in eighteen verses which, as he says, gives the derivation of her Mantra.28

1 Sāhib Kaul’s Śārikāstotra

vande devīṃ śārikāṃ mokṣadātrīṃ
sarvasthāṃ tāṃ sarvato mohadātrīṃ |
sadbhaktyāhaṃ mūrdhni candrāṃśadhātrīm ||1||

Mss.: O3 (CSS e.264, ff. 529r–531v) L1 (SOAS 44389, ff.1–5) B1 (Berlin Hs. or. 12509). 1b moha] O3B1Lpc/1; mokṣa Lac/1 1d mūrdhni] O3 B1; mūrti L1 1d dhātrīṃ] L1B1; dātrīṃ O3

With true devotion I worship that divine and omnipresent Śārikā, who bears the crescent moon on her head, who grants liberation, destroys delusion everywhere, destroys the bad fear of meeting a wrong death.

Since we have to suppose a Kashmirian pronounciation, which does not properly distinguish aspirated from non-aspirated stops, all four lines are realized as an end rhyme. In this verse the goddess is adored as granting liberation, removing29 confusion etc. One iconographical detail known from the other sources, that she bears the crescent moon on her head, is alluded to as well.

After the introductory stanza the main topic of the stotra, the mantroddhāra explicitly mentioned in v. 17, commences:

tāraṃ bījaṃ yo japed amba bhaktyā
saṃsārābdhes tārakaṃ śārike te |
brahmajñānaprauḍhayā prajñayāyaṃ
vācāṃ nāthasyāpi kuryād vihāsam ||2||

2b ābdhes] L1; ābdhaṃ O3

O mother Śārikā, whoever devotedly recites your tāra-syllable, which carries one across (tāraka) the ocean of transmigration, may, when his wisdom is ripened through the knowledge of the absolute, even put to shame the Lord of the Word (bṛhaspati).

“Your bīja” means the (first) syllable of the mantra of Śārikā. Sāhib Kaul uses code words for the syllables that make up the mantra, a common practice which enables a writer to—as it were—speak of a mantra without actually pronouncing it. Thus, to those uninitiated and ignorant of the codes, the true form of the mantra must have, at least in theory, remained unknown.

tāra is a common code word for the syllable oṃ and poses no problems. The codes that follow are partly difficult to interpret and will be discussed below.

īśaṃ sābjaṃ vahnisaṃsthaṃ sapadmaṃ
bījaṃ te ’nyad yaḥ smaret taṃ smaranti |
nāke devyo bhūtale nāgakanyā
bhūmau nāryo vihvalā mārabāṇaiḥ ||3||

3c kanyā] O3; patnyo L1B1

He who remembers your next syllable, which is īśa with abja, vahni, and padma, is remembered by goddesses in heaven, Nāga maidens in the netherworld, and women on earth confused by the arrows of Kāma.

lakṣmībījaṃ durlabhaṃ durjanānāṃ
samyagbhaktyā yo japec chuddhabuddhiḥ |
padmā nityaṃ darśanaṃ vīpsur asya
dvāre tiṣṭhaty ādarāc cañcalāpi ||4||

4d ādarāc] L1 B1; ādarā O3

One of pure mind who recites with complete devotion the lakṣmī-syllable, which is difficult for bad people to obtain, him the goddess of good fortune will always be eager to see, and although unsteady (by nature) she will remain at his doorstep out of devotion.

īśaṃ sābjaṃ vāmakarṇordhvasaṃsthaṃ
bījaṃ te ’nyad yo japet tasya śatruḥ |
sarvair devair apy ajayyaḥ kṣaṇena
dṛṣṭeḥ pātād yāmagehātithiḥ syāt ||5||

5a karṇordhva] L1 B1; karṇardhva O3 5d dṛṣṭeḥ] B1; dṛṣṭoḥ O3L1 5d ātithiḥ] L1B1; ātithi O3

He who recites your next syllable, which is īśa with abja and the one above the left ear, his enemy, although invincible even for all the gods, will instantly, in the wink of an eye, become a guest in the house of Death.

īśaṃ bījaṃ vaktravṛttena yuktaṃ
sābjaṃ yo ’nyat saṃsmared vahnisaṃstham |
bhuktir muktiḥ sadvicārasya yuktir
bhaktiś caitaddhastayātā bhavanti ||6||

6b saṃsmared] O3; saṃjaped L1B1 6d bhaktiścai] L1; bhakticai O3

He who remembers your next syllable, which is īśa together with vaktravṛtta and vahni, will have at his disposal “enjoyment”30 (bhukti), liberation, the method of real vicāra,31 and devotion.

sābjaṃ bījaṃ vaktravṛttaṃ japed yaḥ
samyagbhaktyā śuddhahṛc chārike te |
vāṇī nānāsadrasair jṛṃbhitaśrīr
nityaṃ vaktre tiṣṭhati prauḍham asya ||7||

7a sābjaṃ] O3; īśaṃ L1 B1

He who recites your syllable with pure heart and proper devotion, O Śārikā, which consists of abja and vaktravṛtta, in his mouth a fully developed32 voice stays, which has the beauty of unfolding through various good emotions.

sābjaṃ bījaṃ vaktravṛttena yuktaṃ
asthyātmākhyaṃ yo japec chārike te |
jīvanmuktaś ceha bhuktvātibhogāl
līnaḥ paścāt tvatpade syād bhavāni ||8||

8c bhuktvā] L1 O3; bhuktā B1

He who recites your syllable, consisting of abja and vaktravṛtta, and called asthyātmā, O Śārikā, is liberated in life and, enjoying supreme bhogas,33 will later dissolve in your state, O Bhavānī.

etadbījaprāntagāṃ śārikāyā
ityākhyāṃ te saṃjaped yo namontāṃ |
tat te dhāma prāpyate tena śaśvad
gatvā bhūyaḥ śocyate naiva yatra ||9||

9b ityā] L1 O3 B1; yityā O3

He who recites after that syllable your name, Śārikā, followed by namaḥ, attains forever to that abode where, when reached, one never suffers again.

saṃstaumi tvāṃ tvām imām āśraye ’haṃ
seve devīm eva sarvaikaśaktim |
tvām atyuccair gadgadaṃ saṃbravīmi
sarvāṃ sārvāṃ sarvato bhāvayāmi ||10||

10a tvāṃ tvām imām ] L1 B1; tvā tvāmim O3 10b seve] L1 B1; seved O3 10c tvām atyuccair ] L1 B1; tvāṃ mṛtyuccair O3 10d sarvāṃ sārvāṃ] L1; sarvāṃ sarvāṃ O3 B1

I praise you; it is you in whom I take refuge. I serve the Goddess alone, the one power of all (powers). I utter my noisy stammering to you; I contemplate (you) who are everything, suitable for all (sārva), and everywhere.

jātaḥ so’ sau satkule tasya dhanyā
mātā tasmin saṅgatā āśiṣaś ca |
jñātaṃ sarvaṃ tena śambhupriyāyāḥ
samyakprajñā nirmitā yena bhaktyā ||11||

11a satkule] L1 O3; satkulye B1 11d prajñā] O3; prajā L1 B1

He is born in a good family, his mother is blessed, and he receives good wishes. He knows everything about [Śārikā,] the beloved of Śiva, who has fathomed true knowledge through devotion.

bhaktiḥ puṣṇāty anvahaṃ māṃ tvadīyā
nityaṃ yadvat pūrṇacandrodayo ’bdhim |
tvadbhakteḥ satsaṃpadā prāptayāhaṃ
jiṣṇor lakṣmīṃ cāpy upekṣe purogām ||12||

12a puṣṇātya] L1 B1; puṣṇātyu O3 12b candrodayo’bdhiṃ] L1 B1; candrodayābdhiṃ O3

My devotion to you nourishes me every day, as the rise of the full moon always nourishes the ocean. On account of the true affluence of victorious devotion to you I even ignore the excellent Lakṣmī.

etat sarvaṃ tvanmayaṃ devadevi
tvaṃ ciddehā kevalā suprasiddhā |
nāsty ajñānaṃ kvāpi tasmāt kva dṛṣṭo
vandhyāputraś cāpam āropya dhāvan ||13||

13a etat L1 B1; et O3 13c nāstya L1 B1; nāsti O3 13d cāpam āro L1; apasāro B1; cāpimāro O3

The whole world (etat sarvaṃ) consists of you, Goddess of Gods! Your body is consciousness, you are alone and perfectly established. Nowhere is there ignorance. Thus, where do we see the son of a barren woman run and raise his bow?

āśāste me devabhāvaṃ na cittaṃ
sūteḥ kāle strīva bhogaṃ kadācit |
tvatsadbhaktyā nṛtyati prāptayālam
gāyañ chrutvā meghanādaṃ śikhīva ||14||

14a cittaṃ L1 B1; citta O3

My mind does not strive after the divine state, just as a woman giving birth never craves enjoyment. Having gained perfect (alam) devotion to you it sings like a peacock who has heard the sound of the rain clouds.

sā kā bhūmir yatra nāsti sthitis te
sā kā vāṇī nocyase vā yayā tvaṃ |
ko ’sau śabdaḥ śrūyase yatra na tvaṃ
ko ’sau bhāvo yatra te bhāsanaṃ no ||15||

15a bhūmiḥ] L1; bhūmi O3 B1

There is no place where you do not reside; there is no voice in which you are not expressed. There is no word in which you are not heard; there is no thing in which you do not shine.

tvatsadbhaktyarkodayāt saṃpraphullaṃ
hṛtpadmaṃ me ’tyadbhutāt sadraseddham |
nityaṃ yasmin sarvadā kāṅkṣaṇīyā
sarvais tiṣṭhaty ādarān mokṣalakṣmīḥ ||16||

16a tvatsat] conj.; tvatpad L1 B1; unclear in O3 due to damaged folio

When the marvelous sun of true devotion to you rises, the lotus of my heart is inflamed through true emotion (rasa). In it always resides, out of respect, the good fortune of liberation that is coveted by all.

jñātajñeyaḥ sarvataḥ svātmabhāvī |
stotraṃ mantroddhāry adaḥ śārikāyāḥ
sāhibkaulo vaṃśadevyāś cakāra ||17||

17a sāraḥ] conj.; sāra L1 O3 B1 17c mantroddhāry adaḥ] L1 B1; mantrodāry adaḥ O3 17d devyāś cakāra O3B1] devāś cakāra L1

Having attained the strength of true intelligence through Jñānasvāmin, I know what there is to know and everywhere contemplate my own self. I, Sāhib Kaula, have composed this hymn to the lineage deity Śārikā, which contains the construction of her Mantra.

Sāhib Kaul’s Śārikāstava deals with some aspects of the worship of this deity; most importantly, as the author states in verse 17, it gives the mantroddhāra of the Śārikāmantra. The author’s teacher Jñānasvāmin, according to Madhusudan Kaul,34 was his maternal uncle.

yo vāpy etaṃ kīrtayet stotram āḍhyaṃ
samyagbhaktyā śroṣyati śrāvayed vā |
nirmantro ’pi prāpnuyād devadevi
niḥsandehaṃ mantrajaṃ satphalaṃ saḥ ||18||

18a vāpyetaṃ] L1; vyāpyetat O3B1 18a kīrtayet] L1; kīrtaye O3 18a āḍhyaṃ] L1; mādyaṃ O3 18b śroṣyati] conj.; śrośyati L1; śriṣyati O3 18b ] L1; vāvā O3

Whoever chants this rich hymn of praise with perfect devotion, hears it or has it recited, even if he be without mantra, he will, O supreme Goddess, without doubt reap the great fruit of this mantra.

This final stanza explains the idea behind this work. A person who is not initiated into the recitation of the mantra of Śārikā and may not even know how to decode the mantroddhāra can still benefit from this type of substitute recitation. In this the work is similar in approach to the Sūryastutirahasya of Sāhib Kaul’s contemporary Ratnakaṇṭha, where the Vedic Gāyatrī-mantra is hidden within a hymn addressed to the sun as an acrostichon.35

The aim in both cases is apparently to enable persons who lack proper adhikāra—for Vedic mantras, in the case of Ratnakaṇṭha, or Tantric mantras, in the case of Sāhib Kaul—to gain at least some kind of access to these restricted parts of the religion. This technique of “hiding” the actual form of the mantras in a stotra meant for religious recitation is not so much a way to conceal it from the outsider, but a method to enable him or her to use it without breaking religious rules, in other words a method to bypass religious and social restrictions. Theologically the matter is of course complicated, because Ratnakaṇṭha’s stotra actually contains the sounds that make up the Gāyatrī, so in a sense by reciting the stotra one does recite the Gāyatrī. In the case of the Śārikāstava, since only code names are given, one does not utter the sounds that make up the mantra of Śārikā.

Despite the fact that the stotra contains the mantroddhāra, it is quite difficult to decipher the mantra from Sāhib Kaul’s stotra alone, for the system of codes is not otherwise known. The most obvious place to search for a solution would be the mantroddhāra in the Devīrahasya, for this text deals in detail with the Kashmirian lineage goddesses, and according to Aithal,36 the Śrīvidyānityapūjāpaddhati of Sāhib Kaul as available in the ms. Chandra Shum Shere c. 264 is roughly identical with the ritual manuals printed in the appendix to the Devīrahasya.37 This is the relevant verse:38

tāraṃ parā-mā-taṭa-sindhurārṇāḥ
khaṃ śarma tanmadhyagataṃ ca nāma |
ante ’śmarī pārvati śārikāyās
trayodaśārṇo manur asti gopyaḥ ||

The code words—parā for hrīṃ, aśmarī for namaḥ etc.—are explained in the edition of the Devīrahasya.39 Furthermore, in its second chapter the mantras are given also in plain language (spaṣṭam), as is the mantra of Śārikā: oṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ hūṃ phrāṃ āṃ śāṃ śārikāyai namaḥ.40 We might thus conclude that all is well, and that since the wording of the mantra itself is not (and, theologically speaking, should not) be in doubt, we have a good chance to understand Sāhib Kaul’s mantroddhāra. Since these sets of codes cannot easily be corrupted in the course of transmission, no banal error should have crept in.41

However, if we look at the definitions in Sāhib Kaul’s Śārikāstava, we find that not all can be brought into accord with this form of the mantra. Table 14.1 shows the expected bījas and their definitions in the verses. We may leave out verses 2, 4 and 9, because they do not use complicated codes: tāra usually means “oṃ,” lakṣmī stands for “śrī,” and the conclusion of the mantra (dative of the deity and namaḥ) is as expected.

Table 14.1

The bījas as defined in the Śārikāstotra









īśaṃ sābjaṃ vahnisaṃsthaṃ sapadmaṃ






īśaṃ sābjaṃ vāmakarṇordhvasaṃsthaṃ



īśaṃ vaktravṛttena yuktaṃ sābjaṃ



sābjaṃ vaktravṛttaṃ



sābjaṃ vaktravṛttena yuktaṃ asthyātmākhyaṃ


etadbījaprāntagāṃ śārikāyā ityākhyānte saṃjaped yo namo’ntāṃ

The problem arises when we try to decode the remainder as follows: (1) the element present in all definitions is abja and there is only one sound common to all five bījas, that is, . Apart from that nos. 6–8 have only one element in common, so vaktravṛtta stands for ā. Taking now elements that occur only once, it follows that in 8 asthy- must signify ś, vāmakarṇa- in 5 means ū, and vahni as expected stands for r. Now only īśa remains, which stands for h in 3 and 5, but—in view of our mantra—should stand for ph in 6.

Let us now look at another source. The mantra is also given in the Dakṣiṇamūrtyuddhārakośa, where we find the following definition:42

tāraṃ māyāṃ śriyaṃ kūrcaṃ sindhuraṃ śūnyam eva ca |
kalyāṇaṃ śārikādevyā bījaṁ saptākṣaraṃ smṛtam ||

According to the index of code words in the appendix and the “prakāśam” version (ibid., 16) this translates into the seven bījas “oṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ hūṃ hrāṃ āṃ śāṃ.” The manuscripts reported have three other options for hrāṃ, one being phrāṃ, our reading from the Devīrahasya.

Now, in the index of the edition of the Dakṣiṇamūrtyuddhārakośa the code word sindhura is given as hrāṃ, while according to the bījākṣarapāribhāṣikasūcī contained in the Devīrahasya (p. 21) it means phrāṃ. In other words we find two versions of the mantra in the available sources, unless the editors have misread their manuscripts. What we can say is that the evidence from Sāhib Kaul confirms the version of the Dakṣiṇamūrtyuddhārakośa.









Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland


See Sanderson 2009, 111.


For instance, Lakṣmīdhara in his commentary on the Saundaryalaharī reads the third pāda as vṛttatribhūpurayutaṃ paritaś caturdvāḥ and in the fourth śrīcakram etad […].


Sanderson 2015, 32.


See 12.6.111: yena pradyumnaśikharaṃ śārikākūṭam ity api […], and 12.6.116: tatra snātvā vitastāyām arcayitvā vināyakam saṃpūjya śārikāṃ devīṃ digbandhādipuraḥsaram.


Devīrahasya, pp. 407 ff.


Op. cit., p. 407.


Op. cit., p. 408.


Op. cit., pp. 410 ff.


Aithal 1999, 35. Aithal gives a Kashmirian edition (Bhaktivivekasāra, Śrīnagar/Bombay: 1927), but this work has not made it into a catalogued and accessible library.


Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland 2.2.711 and 712.


Oriental Research Library, University Campus Hazaratbal, Srinagar, National Mission for Mss. DSO 0000/5517.


There are other sources that utilize the same material, but with variations: the Siddhalakṣmīpūjāpaddhati—I have merely access to the transcription of ms. “Kashmir Research Center accession no: 2376” by the Muktabodha Institute—has for instance a completely different third pāda of the starting verse. The Agnikāryapaddhati also transmits this verse.


saptasapti] em. The ms. reads saptasapta as does the one in the Lindenmuseum, Stuttgart.


paṅkaja] em.; paṅka ms.


ārtihā] S; āśrayā VOHD.


śiti] em.; śati ms.


ḍamaru] em.; ḍumara ms.


nimitte] em.; nimite ms.


yogeśvari] em.; yogaśvari- ms.


We have to count the bow and arrow as one item held in the same hand.


Agnikāryapaddhati. Manuscript no. 781, Research Library of the Jammu and Kashmir Government, Shrinagar. Transcription of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute.


asya śrīśārikāmantrasya | śrīmahādeva ṛṣiḥ | triṣṭupchandaḥ || śrīśārikābhagavatī devatā || śāṃ bījaṃ || āṃ śaktiḥ hrāṃ kīlakam || home viniyogaḥ ||


oṃ hrīṃ śārikāyai vidmahe | saptākṣaryai dhīmahi || tan naḥ śilā pracodayāt ||3||


Sanderson 2003–2004, 362–366.


Sanderson 2009, 124–125.


See Hanneder 2001.


Not to be confused with the Śārikāstotra given above.


There are further stotras and other minor works of Sāhib Kaul, an edition of which is under preparation by the present author.


In verse 1a the root dāṇ dāne (Dhātupāṭha 1.977) is used, while in 1b and 1c the root is dāp lavane (Dhātupāṭha 2.50).


In context, this may mean the enjoyment of powers (siddhi).


I understand the term in the sense of ātmavicāra as used in the Mokṣopāya (5.5.27), a text which Sāhib Kaul occasionally refers to.


prauḍham is of course an adverb, but to translate “stays ripely” would not really capture the intended sense.


This could again denote the siddhis, but in a less technical register the enjoyment of the pleasures of liberation.


See above.


See Stanislav Jager in Hanneder, Jager and Sanderson, 2012, 23.


Aithal, 1999, 35.


Judging from the excerpts a similar ms. is described in Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office. Part IV. A.VIII Tantra. See Windisch, 1894, 861–862.


Devīrahasya, p. 407.


Op. cit., pp. 19–21.


Op. cit., p. 13.


There is, of course, the counter-evidence of one manuscript of a Śārikāstavarāja (VOHD 2.2.116), which gives the mantra with the misspelling or wrong transcription of hrūṃ for hūṃ.


Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s Uddhārakośa, p. 15. The first line up to sindhura is identical with another mantroddhāra in Devīrahasya, p. 13.


Primary Sources

  • Agnikāryapaddhati

  • Manuscript no. 781, Research Library of the Jammu and Kashmir Government, Shrinagar. Transcription of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute.

  • Uddhārakośa of Dakṣiṇāmūrti

  • Raghu Vīra and Shodo Taki, eds. Śrī-Dakṣiṇāmūrti-viracita Uddhārakośaḥ. Reprint, New Delhi: Mushiram Manoharlal, 1978 [1938].

  • Kathāsaritsāgara

  • Pandit Durgāprasād, ed. The Kathāsaritsāgara of Somadevabhaṭṭa. Bombay: Tukārām Jāvajī, 1903.

  • Devīrahasya

  • Ramchandra Kak and Harabhatta Shastri, eds. Śrīdevīrahasyam. Vrajajivan Prachyabharati Granthamala, no. 33. Reprint, New Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan 1993 [Srinagar: Vishinath & Sons, 1941].

  • Dhātupāṭha

  • In Otto Böhtlingk, ed. Pâṇini’s Grammatik, pp. 61–145 (appendix). Leipzig: H. Haessel 1887.

  • Mokṣopāya

  • Krause-Stinner und Peter Stephan, eds. Mokṣopāya. Das Fünfte Buch. Upaśāntiprakaraṇa. Kritische Edition. Anonymus Casmiriensis: Mokṣopāya. Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe. Herausgegeben unter der Leitung von Walter Slaje. Textedition. Teil 4. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. Veröffentlichungen der Indologischen Kommission. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2013.

  • Śārikāstotra of Sāhib Kaul

  • (O3) Bodleian Library, Oxford, Chandra Shum Shere e.264, ff. 529r–531v.

  • (L1) School of Oriental and African Studies, London, No. 44389, ff. 1–5.

  • (B1) Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Sammlung Janert, Hs. or. 12509.

  • Siddhalakṣmīpūjāpaddhati

  • Manuscript, Kashmir Research Center accession no. 2376. Transcription of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute.

  • Saundaryalaharī

  • Anantakṛṣṇa Śāstri, ed. Saundarya-laharī of Śrī Śaṃkarācārya with Commentaries, Saubhāgyavardhanī of Kaivalyāśrama, Lakṣmīdharā of Lakṣmīdharācārya, Aruṇāmodinī of Kāmeśvarasūrin. Madras: Ganesh, 1957.

Secondary Sources

  • Aithal, K. Parameswara. 1999. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit and Other Indian Manuscripts of the Chandra Shum Shere Collection in the Bodleian Library. Part 3: Stotras. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Hanneder, Jürgen. 2001. “Sāhib Kaul’s Presentation of Pratyabhijñā Philosophy in his Devīnāmavilāsa,” pp. 414–415. In Le Parole e i Marmi. Studi in onore di Raniero Gnoli nel suo 70 compleanno, edited by R. Torella, 399–418. Serie Orientale Roma, XCII, 1/2. Roma: Istituto italiano per l’ Africa e l’ Oriente.

  • Hanneder, Jürgen, Stanislav Jager and Alexis Sanderson. 2012. Ratnakaṇṭhas Stotras Sūryastutirahasya, Sūryaśataka und Śambhukṛpāmanoharastava. Indologica Marpurgensia, no. 5. München: Kirchheim Verlag.

  • Sanderson, Alexis. 2003–2004. “The Śaiva Religion Among the Khmers, Part I.Bulletin de l’ Ecole française d’ Extrême-Orient 90–91: 362–366.

  • Sanderson, Alexis. 2009. “Kashmir.” In Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, vol. I, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, 99–126. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

  • Sanderson, Alexis. 2015. “Śaiva Texts.” In: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, vol. 6, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, 10–42. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

  • Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland.

  • Windisch, Ernst and Julius Eggeling. 1894. Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office. Part IV. A.VIII Tantra. London: Printed by Gilbert and Rivington by order of the Secretary of State for India in Council.

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Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Essays in Honour of Alexis G.J.S. Sanderson

Series:  Gonda Indological Studies, Volume: 22


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