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In Puja mantra, we get...

Am Arkamandalaaya dvadasa-kalaatmane namah ( meaning I worship Arka with twelve kalaas), Um somamandalaaya shodashakalatmane namah (I worship soma with sixteen kalaas), mam bahnimandalaaya dasakalaatmane namah (I worship Bahni with ten kalaas).

My question is: What are these kalaas of Arka, Soma and Bahni?

4

This is a good question. The mantra is used while offering the Vishesha-Arghya to the deity.

The first uses AM, the second UM and the third MAM, so they are actually three separate parts of A-U-M.

Arka means Surya or the Sun. Arka has twelve kalaas.

The twelve kalaas of Surya are tapani,taapini,dhumraa,marichi.jvalini,ruchi,sushumna,bhogadaa,vishvaa,vodhini,dhaarini, kshamaa.

Soma means Chandra or the Moon. Soma has sixteen kalaas.

The sixteen kalaas of soma are amritaa, maanadaa, pusha,tusti, rati,dhriti,sasini,chandrika,kaanti,jyotsna,sri,priti,angadaa,purnaa,purnamritaa.

Bahni means Agni or fire

The ten kalaas of bahni are dhumrarchi,ushmaa,jvalini,jvaalini, vishfulingini,susri, surupaa, kapilaa,havyavaahanaa,kavyavahanaa.

अग्निकला (Ten parts or appearances of fire) :धूम्रार्चिरुष्मा ज्वलिनी ज्वालिनी विस्फुलिङ्गिनी । सुश्री: सुरूपा कपिला हव्यकव्यवहे अपि ॥ यादीनां दश- वर्णानां कला धर्मप्रदा अमूः॥

Hope this answers your question.

(Reference: Sri Sri Omkar Sahasra Lipi, compiled by Kinkar Madhava Ramanuja Jeyara,Delhi Jayaguru sampradaya, page 417).

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The Kalas of Vahni (Agni), Arka (Surya) and Soma (Chandra) are mentioned in the Mahanirvana tantra's Chapter 6, in the context of preparing the Sri Patra and Samanya argha.

Vahni Kalas:

Vahni has 10 parts (Kala-s).

Then the six parts of the body should be worshipped in the six corners of the hexagon. Then worship the triangle, with the Mula−Mantra, and then the Shakti of the receptacle with the Maya Vija and Namah (23). Wash the receptacle with the Mantra Namah, and then place it (as in the case of the jar) on the Mandala, and worship in it the ten parts of Vahni with the first letters of their respective names as Vijas (24). These parts, which are ten in number viz., Dhumra, Archih, Jvalini, Sukshma, Jvalini, Vishphulingini, Sushri, Surupa, Kapila,Havya−kavya−vaha should be uttered in the Dative singular, and followed by the Mantra Namah (25−26). Then worship the region of Vahni (in the adhara or receptacle) with the following:

Arka Kalas:

Surya has 12 parts.

Then, taking the vessel of offering and purifying it with the Mantra Phat, place it on the receptacle, and, having so placed it, worship therein the twelve parts of the Sun with the Vijas, commencing with Ka−Bha to Tha−Da (28). These twelve parts are Tapini, Tapini, Dhumra, Marichi, Jvalini, Ruchi, Sudhumra, Bhoga−da, Vishva, Bodhini, Dharini, Kshama (29). After this, worship the region of Sun in the vessel of offering with the following

Soma Kalas:

Soma has 16 parts.

Then the worshipper should fill the cup of offering three−quarters full with wine taken from the jar, uttering the Matrika Vijas in the reverse order (31). Filling the rest of the cup with water taken from the special offering, let him worship with a well−controlled mind the sixteen digits of the Moon, saying as Vijas each of the sixteen vowels before each of the sixteen digits spoken in the dative singular, followed by the Mantra Namah (32). The sixteen desire−granting digits of Moon are Amrita, Pranada, Pusha, Tushti, Pushti, Rati, Dhriti, Shashini, Chandrika, Kanti, Jyotsna, Skri, Priti, Angada, Purna, and Purnamrita (33).

All the above verses are from Mahanirvana Tantram's Chapter 6.

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