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Sri Vidya is a Shakta sect which believes that the goddess Lalita Tripurasundari is supreme. Now one of the most important texts of the Sri Vidya sect is the Lalita Sahasranamam, found in the Lalita Mahatmya of the Brahmanda Purana, so the 18th century Sri Vidya philosopher Bhaskararaya wrote a commentary on it. In this excerpt of his commentary, Bhaskararaya discusses a verse in the Lalita Mahatmya which says that Lalita Tripurasundari was worshipped by gods, humans and Siddhas:

"87. There were also a multitude of Devas, a multitude of men, and a multitude of Siddhas ; and Devi Lalità allowed herself to be seen by them all."

"A multitude of Devas (Divyaugha)" the holy Brahmarşis, Visvāmitra, etc. The Siddhas are Sanaka, Narada and other Yogins. The Rudrayamala, says, “Devi was attended by many crores of rulers of Quarters, by many crores of Moons, Suns and Vasus, by many crores of Yogins such as Sanaka, and by many Saptarisis and by many Naradas." Or, the word "Ogha" (multitude) of Devas, men, and Siddhas, may mean the different assemblies of Gurus. For there are seven Gurus of Gurus (Parama-Gurus) headed by Paraprakasanandanatha, eight Parapara-Gurus headed by Gaganānandanatha, and four Apara-Gurus headed by Bhoganandanatha. These three assemblies of Gurus are indicated by the words "Devas", "men", and "Siddhas" respectively. The above explanation follows the view of the followers of Kamaraja, but according to the School of Lopā nedrã, and according to the divisions of Viclydis, as described in the Jnanarnava etc., there are many groups of Gurus headed respectively by Misranandanātha, and others. The gradations among the Gurus can only be learned through the instructions of a Guru.

My question is, who are the Paramagurus, Parapara Gurus, and Aparagurus referred to by Bhaskararaya? Their names are listed in full in chapter 3 of of the Nityotsava, a work by Bhaskaraya's shishya Umanandanatha, as described in this web page:

A large section on the different gurus in the Shri Vidya tradition follows this section, and, as in the Ganapati section of Nityotsava, these are divided into celestial, siddha and mortal gurus, both for the vidya (mantra) that begins with Ka (Kadi) and for that which begins with Ha (Hadi).

The celestial gurus in the Kadi group are listed as Paraprakashandanatha, Parashivanandanatha, Parashaktyamba, Kauleshvaranandanatha, Shukladevyamba, Kuleshvaranandanatha and Kameshvaryamba. The siddha aughas are Bhoganandanatha, Chinnanandanatha, Samayanandanatha and Sahajanandanatha. The manava augha consists of Gaganandanatha, Vishvananandanatha, Vimalanandanatha, Madanandanatha, Bhuvananandanatha, Lilanandanatha, Svatmanandanatha and Priyanandanatha. At the close of this lengthy section, mantras are given for other, unknown gurus.

But who are these figures? Presumably they must be ancient, since Bhaskararaya thinks the Brahmanda Purana is referring to them. Are they referred to in Hindu scripture, or in the works of earlier Sri Vidya philosophers, or what? Does anyone know their stories or when they lived?

  • do you have any onliine translation of nityotsava? – Rakesh Joshi Apr 12 '17 at 7:33
  • @RakeshJoshi No, I have it in Sanskrit but not in English. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 12 '17 at 7:51
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Few months ago i bought the book NityAshodasikArnava which is widely considered as a part of the most authoritative text for Sri Vidya Sadhana called Sri VAmAkeswara Tantram.

The introduction of the book gives the Guru Paramapara of Sri Vidya from Krita to Kali Yuga as follows:

Divyaugha (Divine line of Gurus):

In Satyayuga first Guru was Adiguru or Parama Shiva. His name was Sri CharyAnAtha. His disciple was his own vimarshini Shakti who is not different from Shiva himself.

Her disciple in TretAyuga is Guru Sri OdyAn Natha Deva. His disciple in DwApara Yuga was Guru Sri Shastha Natha Deva. His disciple in Kali Yuga was Guru Sri Sri Mitresanatha Deva. His disciples were Agstya and Lopamudra.

Different opinion- There are 5 divyauga pangti which ends with Sri Mitresanatha Deva.

Siddhaugha (Siddha line of Gurus):

Agastya and LopamudrA's disciple was KankAltApas. His disciple DharmAchArya. His disciple was Muktakesini Or Muktakesi. Her disciple was DeepakAcharya.

Manavaugha (Human line of Gurus):

DeepakAchArya's disciple was his own son Jishnudeva. His disciple was Tejodeva. His disciple was Manojadeva. His disciple was KalyAndeva. His disciple was Ratnadeva. His disciple was VAsudevamahAmuni. And, his disciple was SivAnandamahAyogi.

These are the 8 Manavauga pangtis.

Different opinion- Upto VAsudevamahamuni 7 Manavaugas.

IMO , this is the most we can know from Scriptures about the Guru Parampara of Sri VidyA.

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    This doesn't answer my question at all; I want to know about the specific gurus named by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha. – Keshav Srinivasan May 24 '17 at 6:22
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    Your Q itself is absurd and unanswerable. You read some random excerpt and found some Gurus' names and then ask "Who are the these Gurus?" Does not make it a sensible Q Do u even know if those are their Janmanamas or Dikshanamas? As i told in the answer this is the most that can be known about the paramapara from the scriptures – Rickross May 24 '17 at 6:47
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    I don't think it's absurd at all; Bhaskararaya thinks that the Brahmanda Purana is referring to these people, so that makes them important figures. In any case, regardless of whether you think my question is absurd, the point is that you're not answering it. I'm trying to find out who these specific people are and your answer doesn't address that at all. – Keshav Srinivasan May 24 '17 at 8:07
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    If Bhaskararaya is mentioning about them from some Purana then that's ur answer itself..If u question further Who are those Gurus? Then that's obviously does not make any sense.. and as i said it can't be answered from scriptures.. @KeshavSrinivasan – Rickross May 24 '17 at 8:12
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    To be clear, the Brahmanda Purana doesn't mention the names, but Bhaskararaya is saying that the verse in question is referencing these people. So presumably Bhaskararaya got this list of names from some other source. If you can find some scripture or Sri Vidya work from before the time of Bhaskararaya that has this list of people, that would be a valid answer. – Keshav Srinivasan May 24 '17 at 8:17
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The guru paramparA of Sri Vidya consists of broadly 3 sections or "ogha" which literally means "flock" or "groups".

First is the Divyaugha (divine or celestial beings including gods and devatas)

Second is Siddhaugha (extra ordinary beings including rishis, saints)

Third is mAnavaugha (human beings from which human paramparA continues)

Divyougha include Sri Kameshwara and Kameshwari , Dakshinamurti , Ananda Bhairava etc.

Siddhaugha gurus include rishis like Sri Agastya, Sri Durvasa, Sri LopAmudra etc.

When the ‘Prakasa’ swarupa of Sat-chit-ananda alongwith his own Sakti “Vimarsa” does the samkalpa “May I become many” ie., “Bahusyaam Prajayeeya….”, the first throb or spandana becomes “Charyanatha” who is non-different from Para Siva. Charyanatha is the Adi-guru of this Haadi Tradition in Krita Yuga. This vimarsa sakti is Mahakameswari. Charyanatha hands down this vidya to Kameswari. At the Bindu sthana sports the Adi Guru Charyanatha alongwith Kameswari. They are in the Saamarasya Bhava / Non-differential State with one another.

In Kaliyuga, Mitreshanatha handed down this vidya to Lopamudra. Lopamudra teaches this vidya to Agastya. Given below the guruparampara from Lopamudra and Agastya till the recent guru.

Lopamudra

Agastya

Kankalatapasa

Dharmacharya

Muktakesini (One of the greatest Yoginis of Kaliyuga)

Dipakanathacharya (Srividya upasaka at the court of the king Bhoja and commentator on Nityasodasikarnava)

Jishnudevacharya

Matruguptadeva

Tejodeva

Manojadeva

Kalyananatha

Paramanandanatha

LalitA sahasranama is not the first text which talk of the gurus. Nor is the nityotsava is the first scripture to talk of these. These ogha-traya are mentioned in the most ancient texts of Sri VidyA like "parashurama kalpasutra" from which nityotsava is written in order to facilitate the nitya karma and poojas on parvAs.

The ogha are mentioned in the fourth chapter of PKS in the 10th verse which is given below. enter image description here

As the lineage is very ancient hence it is not possible to know about all the gurus of the paramparA. We know about some of the famous sages through purAnas and other books. In rest of the cases, there is no information available about their lives. So mostly we do not get to know about most of the gurus except a few popular names. Nevertheless, all the gurus are venerated and respected during the poojAs.

Lastly, Sri vidyA is not a philosophy like advaita vedAnta. It is more of a upAsana paddhati. Majority of the scriptures related to this shAstra talks more on the practical aspects rather than going much into the philosophy. Hence this shastra should not be confused with philosophies or other darshanas.

  • I'm not asking where the Oghas are mentioned, I'm asking where the specific names listed by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha are mentioned. Also, the Parashurama Kalpa Sutra is a very recent text; there are no references to it before a few hundred years ago. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 12 '17 at 15:59
  • @KeshavSrinivasan if puranas are authored by vyasa and LS commentary is few centuries back how can you say that PKS is not older to these? Nityotsava and many other sri vidya texts are based on PKS only. – Rakesh Joshi Apr 12 '17 at 17:40
  • The Parashurama Kalpa Sutras are certainly older than Bhaskararaya's Lalita Sahasranama Bhashya, but they're not older than the Lalita Sahasranama itself. In any case, do you know any works older than Bhaskararaya's Lalita Sahasranama Bhashya that mention the names listed by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha? – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 12 '17 at 18:20

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