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THE FIFTEEN NITYAS OF SRI YANTRA ;- 12 FACTS;- 1-ACCORDING to Tantraraja Tantra"The chakra of the letters of the alphabet is based upon time and so is identical with the sidereal (of the constellations) zodiac." The Nityas or Eternities of Lalita represent the fifteen lunar days or tithis of the waxing Moon. Each has her own yantra, mantra, tantra and prayogas or ritual applications. The full circle of the Nityas also represents the 21,600 breaths a human being takes in a full day and night. As such, the Nityas are the Kalachakra, or Wheel of Time. 2-The information in this section is drawn from a number of tantras including the Tantraraja, the Dakshinamurti Samhita and the Jnanarnava Tantra, as well as the Kalpasutra, which seems to be the primary source.Yantras and mantras, where given, are drawn from Tantraraja, although it is necessary to point out that the Dakshinamurti Samhita gives somewhat different versions. 3-The 15 Nityas are modifications of Lalita as red goddess with her three gunas and her five elements of aether, air, fire, water and earth. As the moon remains itself, though appearing differently according to phase, so too does Lalita. Each Nitya has her own vidya (that is mantra), yantra and group of energies (Shaktis). Their names appear in the first chapter of Vamakeshvara Tantra. 4-What the Bhavanopanishad says implies that the Human Body is to be conceived as the Sri Chakra, being the expression of one's own self. (Svatma). This means that while on the one hand the Body is to be regarded as non-different from the atma, the entire cosmic system associated with the body should also be viewed in the same light. This outer system in its manifestation rests on Time (kala), Space (deha) and a combination of the two. 5-The exponents of the School hold that the well known fifteen Kalas of the Moon, representing the 15 lunar tithis, are to be regarded as identical with the fifteen Nityas (Kameshvari to Chitra). The sixteenth Kala called Sadakhya should be viewed as one with Lalita or the Supreme Deity Herself. In other words, one has to feel that what appears in Kalachakra is nothing but an expression of what exists eternally as Nityas in the supreme Sri Chakra itself. 6-The tithichakra or the wheel of time is constantly revolving and the Sri Chakra is within it and not without. It should also be remembered that from the standpoint of an esoteric yogin the tithis are in the last analysis to be identified with the 21600 shvasas supposed to be the average number of breaths per day of a normal human being." 7-Hence Lalita or Tripurasundari is the 16th day or full moon, with her 15 digits. Each of the Nityas has a certain number of arms, the totality of arms (= rays) of the whole circle being 108. Because any unit of time is taken as a microcosm or parallel of any other valid unit, each of the fifteen Nityas thus has 1,440 breaths ACCORDING to Bhavanopanishad. This identity between space, time, Tripurasundari and the individual is elaborated at great length and with considerable sophistication by the author of the Tantraraja. 8-According to that text, the Nityas are the vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet and are identical with both time and space. For example, if the number of tattvas or consonants (36) are multiplied by the 16 Nityas the number of letters is 576. The multiples of this number provide the number of years in the different Yugas. So the circle of the matrikas and the Nityas is identical with the sidereal zodiac as well as mantra. 9-This theme is further elaborated in the 28th chapter of the same tantra, where Shiva says that in the centre of the world is the Meru, outside of this being the seven oceans and beyond this the Kalachakra or wheel of time which moves in a clockwise direction by the power of Iccha (Will) Shakti. The circle is divided by 12 spokes and the planets or grahas are within this. Lalita, says the tantra, is in the Meru, while 14 Nityas from Kameshvari to Jvalamalini reside in the seven islands and seven oceans. Chitra, who is the 16th Nitya, occupies supreme Space or Paramavyoma. 10-In the Dakshinamurti Samhita, the Nityas are identified with kalas or parts of the different stages of deep sleep, dreaming, waking, and full consciousness or Turiya. Here it is said that the Nityas, including Lalita, are the 16 parts of the continuum (sequence)of consciousness, while the 17th Kala is beyond all of this. Each of the Nityas has the respective vowel letter associated with her mantra vidya,viz;- Vowels= Moon= Deep Sleep state=14 spokes= Prameya Consonants= Sun= Waking state= Two 10s= Pramana Ya etc.= Fire= Dream state= Eight spokes= Pramata Sha etc= Fire= Fourth Four lines 16 Petals= Fire= Waking state=Pramata Eight petals= Fire= Dream state= Pramana Three lines= Fire= Deep Sleep state= Prameya Visarga= Trikona= Blossoming universal place=, Kriya Bindu= Bindu= Non blossoming place,= Jnana Visargabindu= Mahabindu= Place of Samarasa NOTE-Pramana - means of knowledge, Pramata - the subject, and Prameya - the object and relates the different states of consciousness to the yantra. 11-According to the Tantraraja, the 15 Nityas are limbs or rays of Lalita, who is herself pure consciousness without additions. Varahi and Kurukulla bear the relationship of father and mother respectively. The Nityas themselves can be meditated upon and worshipped in different forms and colours for the attainment of different ends. 12-In daily worship (puja) of the Nityas, each has her own nyasa and ritual sequence and they are to receive puja on the lunar days associated with them. The vidya mantras of the different Nityas ;prefaced by Aim Hrim Shrim bija mantras ,I worship and libate (to pour out in honour of a deity)the auspicious lotus feet of the appropriate Nitya. THE MYSTERY OF FIFTEEN NITYAS;- 1-MA KAMESHVARI NITYA;- A-The first Nitya in the cycle is Ma Kameshvari, a name which means Lady of Desire. The tantra gives her dhyana or meditation image as red like 10 million dawn suns, having a diadem (a jewelled crown )of rubies, wearing throat ornaments, necklaces, waistchains and rings. She is red, has six arms and three eyes, and bears a crescent Moon, smiling softly. She holds a bow of sugar cane, flowering arrows, noose, goad, and a nectar-filled begemmed (studded with gems)cup, showing the mudra of bestowing boons. B-The five arrows of desire (Kama) in the five petals are Longing, Maddening, Kindling, Enchanting and Wasting(decay). These five Kamas are five forms of Kamadeva, Lalita as Krishna, who are Kamaraja (Hrim), Manmatha (Klim), Kandarpa (Aim), Makara (Blum) and Manobhava (Strim) with the colours yellow, white, red, purple and blue. Each of the Kamadevas has two eyes and two arms, the hands holding sugar cane bow and flowering arrows, the very form of the five elements. 2-MA BHAGAMALINI NITYA;- A-Nitya Ma Bhagamalini, whose name refers to the flowering yoni, is the second of the cycle of the waxing Moon and has a remarkable and very long vidya mantra . She has six arms, three eyes, sits on a lotus and holds in her left hands a night water lily, a noose and a sugar cane bow and in her right a lotus, a goad and flowering arrows. Around her is a host of Shaktis all of whom look like her. B-The Dakshinamurti Samhita has a different image (dhyana). Here she is described as dwelling in the middle of a flowery forest, adorned with various gems, holding noose(फंदा,)goad(अंकुश)book, scales, nail and writing implement, showing the mudras or hand gestures of allaying fears and bestowing boons. Her yantra is described differently, too, as triangle, hexagon, 16 petals, eight petals, then the bhupura or fence.