Kamadeva-OldKamadeva – The God of Love is perhaps the one of the most famous deities of Hinduism. As the Indian counterpart to cupid, he is the presiding deity for love, desire & attraction.His usual epithet is Manmatha which is explained as mato manaso manthaḥ manmathaḥ : He churns the heart and hence Churner of Hearts [Manmatha]. Love/Desire being formless he is also called Ananga [The one without body]. He has a parrot as the vehicle and carries a bow made of sugarcane strung with bees, using which he shoots flower-arrows to instill passion among people.
Contary to the Victorian inspired puritanism which was established in post-independant India, Ancient and Medieval India were very expressive of desire.  Love (and as an extension Sex) had a deep and importance place in ancient India. The various Kamashastras – Kāmasūtra, Ratirahasya, Anaṇgaraṇga, Nāgarasarvasva – that spans across various periods of history bear witness to this factor. Maithuna (copulation) was one of the Pañcamakāra-s (Five M’s) behind the theory of Indian Tantra. 
As a matter of fact, Kamadeva himself was worshipped as a deity in Ancient India, and there were supposedly specific temples dedicated to Kamadeva. People prayed to Kamadeva to fulfil their desire (which was mostly for a loved one). For Instance, The Tamil epic Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi dated to the 10th century, speaks of a princess named Suramañjarī  who visits the temple of Kamadeva and prays for attaining the man she desires (i.e the protagonist of the Epic, Jīvaka). The text also refers to the fact that the idol of Kamadeva was made of Gold in that temple.

[…] செம்பொன் மாடம் புக்கு அநங்கன் பேணி வரம் கொள்வல் நாளை என்றாள் […]

[…] cempoṉ māṭam pukku anaṅkaṉ pēṇi varam koḷval nāḷai eṉṟāḷ […]

[…] visiting the golden Temple [I shall] worship Ananga and pray for the boon [of attaining my desired man] tomorrow she said […] (Verse 2052)


[…] காமன் மாடத்துள் இழிந்து […] சூடு அமை மாலை சாந்தம் விளக்கொடு தூபம் ஏந்திச் […] தொழுது நிற்பத் […]

[…] kāmaṉ māṭattuḷ iḻintu […] cūṭu amai mālai cāntam viḷakkoṭu tūpam ēntic […] toḻutu niṟpat […] 

[…] Entering the temple of Kamadeva […] carrying Garland, Lamp & Incense […] they were worshipping [him] […] (Verse 2055)

As we could see, worshipping and praying to Kamadeva fulfilment of desires was pretty much a common practice in ancient times. However, as it happens, the worship of Kamdeva vanished in India as time passed.
A few mantras dedicated to Kamadeva are being presented here. They are extracted from the text “Mantra Mahodadhi” (Greate ocean of Mantras) composed by “Mahīdhara“. It is a medieval text composed around 16th century, explaining various rituals for deities of the Hindu pantheon along with their mantras.

Kama Bīja – Seed Syllable of Kamdeva

The Kama Bija is as follows:
As the Bija of Kamadeva, it is often associated with Vashikarana (attraction).  
The mantra invoking Kamadeva along with the Bija:
klīṁ kāmadevāya namaḥ 

Kāmadeva nāmāṣṭakam  – Eight Names of Kamadeva

cupidNamashtakams are a group of eight special names used to praise a deity. Mantramahodadhi presents the names along with the Praṇava (oṁ), kāma bīja (klīm), name in the dative case (caturthī) and finally ending with the homage (namaḥ)


oṁ klīṁ kāmāya namaḥ 

oṁ klīṁ bhasmaśarīrāya namaḥ

oṁ klīṁ anaṅgāya namaḥ

oṁ klīṁ manmathāya namaḥ 

oṁ klīṁ vasantasakhāya namaḥ

oṁ klīṁ smarāya namaḥ

oṁ klīṁ ikṣudhanurdharāya namaḥ

oṁ klīṁ puṣpabāṇāya namaḥ 


Here Kamadeva is praised using his various epithets.


Kāma : Love/Desire

Bhasmaśarīra : Ash-Bodied. For Shiva had burned Kamdeva with this third eye and turned him into Ahses.

Anaṅga : Formless 

Manmatha : Churner of Hearts 

Vasanta-Sakha : Companion of Spring 

Smara : Recollected thought [of love]

Ikṣudhanurdhara : Carrier of Sugar-cane bow

Puṣpabāṇa : The one with flower arrow


Kama Gayatri

Gāyatrī is one of the famous metres in Sanskrit prosody. The mantras composed in Gayatri metre are referred to as Gayatri Mantras assuming the name of the metre. The usual form of the Gayatri metre consists of 24 syllables split into 3 metrical feet (pāda) of 8 syllables each. This is known as Tripāda Gāyatrī. The most famous Gayatri mantra is the one present in the Vedas, dedicated to the Sun. However, other deities also have specific mantras composed in the Gayatri metre. 



The Gayatri of Kamadeva:


kāmadevāya vidmahe |

puṣpabāṇāya dhīmahi |

tanno’naṅgaḥ pracodayāt ||

Mantramahodadhi expounds the benefit of chanting the Kamagayatri as:


gāyatryeṣā budhairuktā japtā janavimohinī


This (eṣā) Gayatri [when] spoken (uktā) & chanted (japtā) by the learned (budhaiḥ) [causes] attraction of people (janavimohinī)


Verses Invoking Kamadeva

The 23rd chapter of Mantramahodadhi describes in detail the rituals pertaining to woshipping Kamadeva. Here are a few invocatory verses extracted from the rituals.


namo’stu puṣpabāṇāya jagadānandakāriṇe |

manmathāya jagannetraratiprītipradāyine ||


Homage to the (namo’stu) carrier of flower arrows (puṣpabāṇa), the creator of world’s joy (jagat-ānanda-kārin) |

The churner of heart (manmatha), and the bestower (pradāyin) of pleasure (rati) and love (prīti)  [which is] the eye of the world  (jagannetra) ||


devadeva jagannātha vāñchitārthapradāyaka |

kṛtsnān pūraya metvarthaṁ kāmān kāmeśvarīpriya ||


Oh ! God of Gods (devadeva), Lord of the world (jagannātha), bestower (pradāyaka) of the desired (vāñchita) material gains (artha) |

Completely (kṛtsna) fulfill (pūraya) material gains (artha) [and] desires (kāma) for me (me), Oh ! lover of Kameshvari (Rati) (kāmeśvarī-priya) ||


Miscellaneous Mantras 

There are two other Mantras of Kamadeva of which I couldn’t trace the source. I give them as such, I am not sure of the validity and correctness.


oṁ namo bhagavate kāmadevāya śrīṁ sarvajanapriyāya sarvajanasammohanāya jvala jvala prajvala prajvala hana hana vada vada tapa tapa sammohaya sammohaya sarvajanaṁ me vaśaṁ kuru kuru svāhā|
oṁ namo bhagavate kāmadevāya indrāya vasabāṇāya indrasaṁdīpanabāṇāya klīṁ klīṁ sammohanabāṇāya blūṁ blūṁ saṁtāpanabāṇāya saḥ saḥ vaśīkaraṇabāṇāya kampita kampita hūṁ phaṭ svāhā |

oṁ namo bhagavate kāmadevāya śrīṁ sarvajanapriyāya sarvajanasammohanāya jvala jvala prajvala prajvala hana hana vada vada tapa tapa sammohaya sammohaya sarvajanaṁ me vaśaṁ kuru kuru svāhā


oṁ namo bhagavate kāmadevāya indrāya vasabāṇāya indrasaṁdīpanabāṇāya klīṁ klīṁ sammohanabāṇāya blūṁ blūṁ saṁtāpanabāṇāya saḥ saḥ vaśīkaraṇabāṇāya kampita kampita hūṁ phaṭ svāhā 



1.The Festival of Kamadeva in Ancient Tamil Nadu, S. Ramachandran : http://www.sishri.org/kaaman.html

2. Civaka Cintamani with Tamil commentaryhttp://temple.dinamalar.com/news_detail.php?id=13559

3. Mantra Mahodadhi with Hindi commentary : http://www.scribd.com/doc/91923032/Mantra-Mahodadhi-Mahidhar-Trans-by-Sudhakar-Malaviya-Part2

4. Amarakhosha with Sanskrit commentary : http://archive.org/stream/namalinganusasan00amariala#page/n21/mode/2up 


Vajra Ananga Manjushri – The Buddhist Kamadeva

ma_sinhalaAmong the Bodhisattvas in the Mahayana pantheon, Manjushri is probably the most popular Bodhisattva after Avalokitesvara. Similar to Avalokitesvara, Manjushri also assumes several forms for the benefit of sentient beings. In one specific form, Manjushri assumes the form of Kāmadeva – The god of desire. This form of Manjushri is called as “Vajra-Anaga” (with Sandhi: Vajrānaṅga). “Vajra” is the usual prefix to Buddhist Tantric deities, “an-anga” : Without-Body is an epithet of Kamadeva. Vajra-Ananga is usually invoked for the Tantric “Vashikarana” (Attraction) ritual to attract a women of love towards a man. 
In an esoteric sense, Manjushri – The Bodhisattva of Wisdom, taking the form of Kāmadeva – The god of desire, represents the transformation of “desire” into “wisdom”. Tantra is oriented towards the chanelling of negative forces, and the transformation of those forces into Wisdom. Vajra-Ananga is a direct representation of that transformation. The afore mentioned Tantric Vashikarana ritual of attaining woman, may look very materialistic from an outside world view (and perhaps be used even for worldy purposes). But the real esoteric meaning of the ritual is to attain wisdom (Prajna) [which is always personified as a women]. 
Vajrananga-vigrahaThe Iconography of Vajra Ananga is described in the Sadhana mala as below:
vajrānaṅganāma ārya-mañjughoṣaṁ pītavarṇaṁ ṣaḍbhujaṁ mūlabhujābhyāṁ ākarṇapūrita raktotpala kalikāśarayukta kusumadhanurdharaṁ; dakṣiṇadvayena khaḍgadarpaṇabhṛtaṁ vāmayugalenendīvara raktāśokapallavadharaṁ; akṣobhyādhiṣṭhita jaṭāmukuṭinaṁ pratyālīḍhapadaṁ ṣoḍaśavarṣākāraṁ mahāśṛṅgāramūrtiṁ paśyet 
The worshipper should think himself as Arya-Manjughosha in the form of Vajrananga with yellow complexion, and six arms. With the two principal hands he draws to the ear the bow of flowers charged with a arrow of a red lotus bud; the remaining right hands carry the sword and the mirror, while the two left hold the lotus and the Ashoka bough with red flowers. He bears the image of Akshobhya on his Jatamukuta, stand int he Pratyalidha attitude, appears a youth of sixteen years and displays the intense Shringara Rasa

Invocation of Vajra Ananga 

Nāgarasarvasva is a Kamashastra text written by a Buddhist named Padmashri. It is not known whether Padmashri was a monk or not. But it was not uncommon for celibate authors composing Kāmashāstra (Vātsyāyana was himself celibate during the composition of Kāmasutra). The date of work is undecided between 800 CE and 1400 CE. Most probably it was composed around 11th century CE.

Usually Kāmadeva is invoked in the works of Kāmashastra, but being a Buddhist Padmashri invoked Bodhisattva Manjushri.

muhūrtamapi yaṁ smarannabhimatāṁ manohāriṇīṁ
labheta madavihvalāṁ jhaṭiti kāminīṁ kāmukaḥ |
tamullasitaḍambaraṁ surucirāṅgarāgāruṇaṁ 
namāmi sumanaḥśaraṁ satatamāryamañjuśriyaṁ ||
Thinking of whom [for] even a Muhurta [of Time] , Men who desire the
desired beautiful passionate loving woman may get [her] immediately |
He [who has] splendid appearance, [who has] a body radiant of red-passion
I constantly pay homage to [that] [Bodhisattva] Arya Manjushri [who has] flower-arrows || 


Expectedly, he is invoking Manjushri assuming the form of Kamadeva a.k.a Vajra Ananga Manjushri. As we had earlier seen, the Bodhisattva’s Vajra-Ananga form is used in the Tantric ritual of Vashikarana. The first part of the invocation is probably a direct reference to this. The second part describes Manjushri as Kama Deva himself.
Some suggest the verse to be a pun referring to both Kamadeva and Manjushri. The term “Manjushri” can very well be used as an epithet of Kamadeva, but a Buddhist author won’t ever use the prefix “Arya” (noble) to refer a Deva. So it can be only be the case, where the author pays homage to Manjushri in the form of Kamadeva i.e Vajra-Ananga. [Alternatively, it may refer to another form of Manjushri, Vajra-Rāga (Vajra-Passion) who also holds a bow and arrow. ]
It also suggests that the lay people yearning to unite with their loved ones, were probably invoking Bodhisattva Manjushri to fulfil their desires. Infact, in another section of this Kamashastra text, Padmashri advises to invoke Tārā for the birth of a male child.


1. Nagarasarvasva (in Sanskrit) (1966), Srivenkateshvara Book Agency, Kolkata
2. Bhattachacharyya, Benoytosh (1958): Indian Buddhist Iconography.
3. Benton, Catherine (2006) : God of Desire: Tales of Kamadeva in Sanskrit Story Literature (Suny Series in Hindu Studies) 
4. Ali, Daud (2011) : Padmashri’s Nagarasarvasva and the world of Medieval Kamashastra, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 39, 41-62  
5. Donaldson, Thomson (2001): Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa


108 names of Tara


Tara is a female bodhisattva in the Mahayan Pantheon. The name means, one who ferries across [samsara]. It is said she purposely chose to remain in the female
Tara-2 form to prove the female is not inferior to the male body in any way. In past aeons she has emanted herself it varoius ways. In our present aeon, she has emanted from Avalokiteshvara’s tears. 
Tara’s worship is very popular in Tibetan. It had also been very popular in Indian Mahayana. 21 emanations of Tara exist, the most popular being Green Tara and White Tara. She is usually invoked to overcome fear and in times of danger. Tara was later absorbed by Hindu Tantra from Buddhist Tantra. A very late Hindu Tantra, Brihannila Tantra, dated to the 17th Century explains the visualization of Goddess Tāriṇī as follows.
[…] one visualizes the letter “āḥ” in a red lotus. Again, above that one visualizes the letter “tāṁ” on a white lotus situated above that. Above that, again one visualizes the letter “hūṁ” with a blue color. […]  the top of her head is adorned with [the Buddha] Aksobhya […]
The Tantra is in the form of a conversation between Shiva [in the form of Bhairava] and his Consort Shakti. The Buddhist connection is not too hard to find out in the above description of the Goddess.
It is possible that the shrines dedicated to Tara were converted to the Vedic Religion after Buddhism’s decline in India. In fact, the famous Meenakshi Temple, at Madurai, South India is said to have been a Tara temple in the past. Interestingly, the Goddess Meenakshi has a Green Hue, which suggests that she was Green Tara. Buddhist figures have been found inside the temple. Also temples dedicated to the so-called draupadiyamman in Tamil Nadu, Southern India is also speculated to have been Tara Devi Temples in the remote past. The folk deity herself being originally Bodhisattva Tara.





The scene is beutifully set at the magnificent Mt. Potalaka, the abode of Arya Avalokiteshvara. Mount Potalaka is filled with various kinds of flowers, jewels, animals and the sweet songs of the Kinnaras. Various Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Gandharvas, Sages, Bodhisattvas and Lords of Ten Bodhisattva Bhumis throng the place. Also, Various wrathful deities along with Hayagriva surround the place. There, Lord Avalokiteshvara proclaims the Dharma to the great assembly. Thereupon, Bodhisattva Vajrapani out of compassion asks Avalokiteshvara, the ways by which the Sentient beings bound by various fears can free themselves from Samsara. Avalokiteshvara replies that by the Power of Amitabha’s vow was born the Mother of the World (Lokamata) . Tara is born to save the beings, she illuminates the entire world. She makes the three world to shake, there by causing fear to the demons.


[The following are direct quotes by Tara. The Sanskrit Equivalents are given along, with the Sandhi split]



She holds the Nilotpala (Blue Lotus) in her hands, and proclaims, “Do not Fear  ! Do not Fear ! (mā bhaiḥ mā bhai). For the Protection of the World, I was produced by the Jinas (Conquerers) (jagat saṁrakṣaṇārthayā aham utpāditā jinaiḥ). In the Woods, during battles, when filled with various fears (kāntāre śastrasaṁpāte nānābhayasamākule ) when only [my] names are remembered, I protect the sentient beings always (smaraṇāt eva nāmāni sattvān rakṣāmi ahaṁ sadā). I will ferry the sentient beings out of the ocean of various fears (tārayiṣyāmi ahaṁ sattvān nānābhayamahārṇavāt) . Therefore, the Sages sing me in the world as Tara (one who ferries across) (tena tārā iti māṁ loke gāyanti munipuṁgavāḥ), After holding their hands together, showing respect (kṛtāñjalipuṭo bhūtvā tataḥ sādarasādhvasaḥ)”.


Vajrapani then requests Avalokiteshvara to proclaim the 108 names of Tara, which grants various benefits.  Then, then Lord of the World (jagannātha) Avalokita, with a smile and Mudra in his right hand, appreciates Vajrapani, and declares the names that grants benefits and which can help to reach Sukhavati


śrīmatpotalake ramye nānādhātuvirājite | 
nānādrumalatākīrṇe nānāpakṣinikūjite || 1 ||
nānānirjharabhāṅkārairnānāmṛgasamākule | 
nānākusumajātībhiḥ samantādadhivāsite || 2 ||
nānāhṛdyaphalopetaṣaṭpadodgītaniḥsvanaiḥ | 

kinnarairmadhurodgītairmattaravāraṇasaṁkulaiḥ || 3 ||
siddhavidyādharagaṇairgandharvaiśca ninādite | 
munibhirvītarāgaiśca satataṁ suniṣevite|| 4 ||
bodhisattvagaṇaiścānyairdaśabhūmīśvarairapi | 
āryatārādibhirdevairvidyārājñīsahasrakaiḥ || 5 ||
krodharājagaṇaiścānyairhayagrīvādibhirvṛte | 
sarvasattvahite yukto bhagavānavalokitaḥ || 6 ||
vyājahāra tataḥ śrīmān padmagarbhāsane sthitaḥ | 
mahatā tapasā yukto maitryā ca kṛpayānvitaḥ || 7 ||
dharmaṁ dideśa tasyāṁ ca mahatyāṁ devaparṣadi | 
tatrāpaviddhamāgamya vajrapāṇirmahābalaḥ || 8 ||
parayā kṛpayā yuktaḥ papraccha cāvalokitam | 
taskaroragasiṁhogragajavyāghrādisaṁkule || 9 ||
sīdantyamī mune sattvā magnāḥ saṁsārasāgare | 
baddhāḥ sāṁsārikaiḥ pāśai rāgadveṣatamomayaiḥ || 10 ||
mucyante yena sattvāste tanme brūhi mahāmune | 
evamukto jagannāthaḥ sa śrīmānavalokitaḥ || 11 ||
uvāca madhurāṁ vāṇīṁ vajrapāṇiṁ prabodhinīm | 
śṛṇu guhyakarājendra amitābhasya tāyaṇīḥ(ṇīm) || 12 ||
praṇidhānavaśotpannāṁ mamājñāṁ lokamātaram | 
mahākaruṇayopetāṁ jagaduddharaṇoddhṛtām || 13 ||
uditādityasaṁkāśāṁ purṇenduvadanaprabhām | 
bhāṣayantīmimāṁ tārāṁ sadevāsuramānuṣān || 14 ||
kampayantīṁ ca trīn lokān trāsayantīṁ yakṣarākṣasān | 
nīlotpalakarāṁ devīṁ mā bhairmā bhairiti bruvan || 15 ||
jagatsaṁrakṣaṇārthayāhamutpāditā jinaiḥ | 
kāntāre śastrasaṁpāte nānābhayasamākule || 16 ||
smaraṇādeva nāmāni sattvān rakṣāmyahaṁ sadā | 
tārayiṣyāmyahaṁ sattvān nānābhayamahārṇavāt || 17 ||
tena tāreti māṁ loke gāyanti munipuṁgavāḥ | 
kṛtāñjalipuṭo bhūtvā tataḥ sādarasādhvasaḥ || 18 ||
jvalayatyantarikṣe tāmidaṁ vacanamabravīt | 
nāmāṣṭaśatakaṁ brūhi yatpurā kīrtitaṁ jinaiḥ || 19 ||
daśabhūmīśvarairnāthairbodhisattvairmaharddhikaiḥ | 
sarvapāpaharaṁ puṇyaṁ māṅgalyaṁ kīrtivarddhanam || 20 ||
dhanadhānyakaraṁ caiva ārogyaṁ puṣṭivardhanam | 
āyurārogyajanakaṁ sarvasattvasukhāvaham || 21 ||
lakṣmyāḥ śriyaḥ sthāpakaṁ ca sarvasattvavivarddhanam | 
maitrīmālambya sattvānāṁ tatkīrtaya mahāmune || 22 ||
evamukte jagannāthaḥ prahasannavalokitaḥ | 
vyavalokya diśaḥ sarvā maitrīspharaṇayā dṛśā || 23 ||
dakṣiṇaṁ karamuddhṛtya puṇyalakṣaṇamaṇḍitam | 
tamuvāca mahāprājñaḥ sādhu sādhu mahātapa || 24 ||
nāmāni śṛṇu mahābhāga sarvasattvaikavatsare | 
yāni saṁkīrtya manujā sampadā syurdhaneśvarāḥ || 25 ||
sarvavyādhivinirmuktāḥ sarvaiśvaryaguṇānvitāḥ | 
akālamṛtyunirdagdhāścyutā yānti sukhāvatīm || 26 ||
tānyahaṁ sampravakṣyāmi devasaṁghāḥ śṛṇuta me | 
anumodadhvametadvā bhaviṣyadhvaṁ sunirvṛtāḥ || 27 ||


Names of the Bhagavati Tara Devi 


The following are the 108 names of the Bhagavati as declared by Arya Avalokitesvara. She is equated to the Perfect of Wisdom (prajñāpāramitā). She is even called as “Mother of the Vedas ! (Vedamata). Another interesting name is śrīmallokeśvarātmajā (śrīmat-lokeśvara-ātmajā) – The Auspicious one who is born from Lokeshvara. (Conventionally, Atmaja is taken to mean as daughter)


oṁ kalyāṇī mahātejā lokadhātrī mahāyaśāḥ |
sarasvatī viśālākṣī prajñā śrīrbuddhivardhinī || 29 ||

dhṛtidā puṣṭidā svāhā oṁkārā kāmarūpiṇī |
sarvasattvahitodyuktā saṁgrāmottāriṇī jayā || 30 ||

prajñāpāramitā devī āryatārā manoramā |
dundubhī śaṅkhinī pūrṇā vidyārājñī priyamvadā || 31 ||

candrānanā mahāgaurī ajitā pītavāsasā |
mahāmāyā mahāśvetā mahābalaparākramā || 32 ||

mahāraudrī mahācaṇḍī duṣṭasattvaniṣūdinī |
praśāntā śāntarūpā ca vijayā jvalanaprabhā || 33 ||

vidyunmārī dhvajī khaṅgī cakrī cāpodyatāyudhā |
jambhano stambhanī kālī kālarātrirniśācarī || 34 ||

rakṣaṇī mohanī śāntā kāntārī drāvaṇī śubhā |
brahmāṇī vedamātā ca guhyā ca guhyavāsinī || 35 ||

māṅgalyā śāṅkarī saumyā jātavedā manojavā |
kapālinī mahāvegā sandhyā satyā’parājitā || 36 ||

sārthavāhakṛpādṛṣṭirnaṣṭamārgapradarśinī |
varadā śāsanī śāstrī surūpā’mṛtavikramā || 37 ||

śarvarī yoginī siddhā caṇḍārī(lī)amṛtā dhruvā |
dhanyā puṇyā mahābhāgā śubhagā priyadarśanā || 38 ||

kṛtāntatrāsinī bhīmā ugrā ugramahātapā |
jagaddhite sadodyuktā śaraṇyā bhaktavatsalā || 39 ||

vāgīśvarī śivā sūkṣmā nityā sarvakramānugā |
sarvārthasādhanī bhadrā goptrī dhātrī dhanapradā || 40 ||

abhayā gautamī puṇyā śrīmallokeśvarātmajā || iti || (108)
tārānāmaguṇānantā sarvāśāparipūrakā || 41||


Merits of Chanting the Stotra  

In this section, Avalokiteshvara descibes the various benefits that can be attained through chanting this Stotra. They will be free from suffering, comforted and attain wealth. They will attract good fortunes, be free from injuries, attain wisdom, and enemies will befriend them. The will not have untimely death. Demons cannot harm them. They can recall past lives, wherever he gets born, he is not separated from the Buddhas.
nāmnāmaṣṭottaraśataṁ hyetadyatkīrtitaṁ mayā |
rahasyabhūtaṁ guhyaṁ ca devānāmapi durlabham || 42 ||

saubhāgyabhogakaraṇaṁ sarvakilviṣanāśanam |
sarvavyādhipraśamanaṁ sarvasattvasukhāvaham || 43 ||

trikālaṁ yaḥ paṭheddhīmān śucisthāne samāhitaḥ |
so’cireṇaiva kālena rājyaśriyamavāpnuyāt || 44 ||

duḥkhī syāttu sukhī nityaṁ daridro dhanavān bhavet |
putro bhavenmahāprājño medhāvī ca na saṁśayaḥ || 45 ||

bandhanānmucyate baddho vyavahāre jayo bhavet |
śatravo mitratāṁ yānti śṛṅgiṇaḥ śunakā api || 46 ||

saṁgrāme saṁkaṭe durge nānābhayasamucchrite |
smaraṇādeva nāmāni sarvānbhayānapohati || 47 ||

nākālamṛtyurbhavati prāpnoti vipulāśayam |
mānuṣye saphalaṁ janma tasyaikasya mahātmanaḥ || 48 ||

yaścedaṁ prātarutthāya mānavaḥ kīrtayiṣyati |
sa dīrghakālamāyuṣmān śriyaṁ ca labhate naraḥ || 49 ||

devā nāgāstathā yakṣā gandharvā kaṭhapūtanāḥ |
piśācā rākṣasā bhūtā mātaro raudratejasāḥ || 50 ||

ḍākinyastārakāḥ pretāḥ skandomādyā mahāgrahāḥ |
chāyāpasmārakāścaiva kheṭakā khārdakādayaḥ || 51 ||

vetālāściṁcakā preṣyā ye cānye duṣṭacetasaḥ |
chāyāmapi na laṅghanti kiṁ punastasya vigraham || 52 ||

duṣṭasattvā na bādhante vyādhayo nākramanti ca |
sarvaiśvaryaguṇairyukto vaṁśavṛddhiśca jāyate || 53 ||

jātismaro bhaved dhīmān kulīnaḥ priyadarśanaḥ |
prītimāṁśca mahāvāgmī sarvaśāstraviśāradaḥ || 54 ||

kalyāṇamitrasaṁsevī bodhicittavibhūṣitaḥ |
sadā’virahito buddhairyatra yatropapadyate || 55 ||



The following Miscellaneous Mantras appear in the Sanskrit Text of the Stora in the Uwest Edition.
1. oṁ locane sulocane tāre tārodbhave sarvasattvānukampini sarvasattvatāriṇi sahasrabhuje sahasranetre |
    oṁ namo bhagavate avalokaya avalokaya māṁ sarvasattvāṁśca huṁ huṁ phaṭ phaṭ svāhā |
    oṁ śuddhe viśuddhe sugatātmaje maitrīhṛdaye nirmale śyāme śyāmarūpi mahāprājñe prabalavarabhūṣite |
    aparājitā mahāraudrī viśvarūpī mahābalā | oṁ suśriye ||28||
2.  oṁ tāre kṛpāvare śrīkleśaśravaṇīye svāhā | (After Verse 41)
3.  Verse 19 had janaiḥ in Uwest Edition. It is a typo for jinaiḥ (by the Conquerers). 


1. In praise of Tara – Songs to the Saviouress, Martin Willson

2. Renowned Goddes of Speech – Women, Sex and Speech in Tantra, Loriliai Biernacki

3. Pauttamum Tamiḻum (Buddhism and Tamil), mayilai cīnī vēṅkaṭēcaṉ (Tamil Text)


Karandavyuha Stotras on Avalokitesvara

khmer_kaaKāraṇḍavyūha Sutra is an important Sutra among the various Mahayana Sutras. It is wholly devoted to expounding, Avalokiteshvara’s qualities and his infinite virtues. It also contains the most important mantra, namely the Shadakshara (Six Syllabled) Mantra : Oṁ Maṇi Padme Hūṁ. Through which Avalokiteshvara attained the title “Shadakshari”. Many deities compose stotras praising and venerate Arya Avalokitesvara.


Padmapani20500pxKarandavyuha is one of the first Sutras that was translated into Tibetan from Sanskrit. According to Tibetan traditions, a casket containing various Mahayana Sutra fell from the sky which also included the Karandavyuha Sutra. Which probably, explains the popularity of the Six Syllabled Mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum in Tibet.


In the Twelfth Chapter, of the first Part of the Sutra, Avalokiteshvara visits the palace of a Deva in a guise of a begging Brahmin. The Deva who is first reluctant to donate to the Brahmin, is later encouraged by the Auspicious Signs that appear inside his house. He then invites him into his house, feeds him and provides various offerings. The Deva asks the Brahmin whether he is a Deva or Human, for he has not seen any one like him before. Avalokiteshvara replies,


na devaḥ api tu mānuṣo’haṁ bodhisattvabhūtaḥ |

evaṁ hīnadīnānukampako bodhimārgamupadarśakaḥ |


Not a Deva, but only a Human I am,  who has become a Bodhisattva.

In this way, [by] compassionating for lowly-miserable beings and showing the Bodhi path.


Thus reiterating the fact that Bodhisattva-hood is attainable by everyone, by generating Compassion towards the Sentient Beings.

Stotra by Yama

This occurs in the second chapter of the Karandavyuha Sutra, avīciśoṣaṇaṁ nāma dvitīyaṁ prakaraṇam (Second Chapter named Drying of Avici . Avalokiteshvara enters the Avici Hell to save the beings there. On entering the Hell, the lakes of fire dry up, and various lotuses as large as chariot wheels start to bloom. Also cool refreshing pools begin to appear in Hell. The Yamapāla gets startled over such happenings. He then reports the events to Yama, the God of Death and adds that a divine being has entered Avici. Yama, begins to wonder whether the deity that has entered the hell was Narayana, Maheshvara or Ravana. Seeing through his divine eye. He finds Avalokiteshvara there.  


yamaYama, immediately appears before Arya Avalokiteshvara, prostrates before him and utters the following praises on Avalokiteshvara:


namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya, koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya, dharmapriyāya, sarvasattvaparimokṣaṇakarāya, kūrmamakaramatsyāśvāsanakarāya, jñānarāśyuttamakarāya, priyaṁdadāya, ratnaśriye, uttamāya, avīcisaṁśoṣaṇakarāya, jñānalakṣmyalaṁkṛtāya, jñānapriyāya, sarvadevapūjitanamaskṛtāya, vanditāya, abhayaṁdadāya, dharmadīpaṁkarāya, kāmarūpāya, gandharvarūpayā, kāñcanaparvatasamārūḍhāya, sāgarakukṣigambhīradharmāya, paramārthayogamanuprāptāya, saṁmukhasaṁdarśanakarāya, anekasamādhiśatasahasrāvakīrṇāya, abhiratikarāya, vicchuritagātrāya, ṛṣipuṁgavakarāya, haḍinigaḍabandhanabhayatrastamārgaparimokṣaṇakarāya, sarvasattvābhāvasaṁyuktāya, bahuparivārasaṁvartanīyāya, upacitakarāya, cintāmaṇiratnāya, nirvāṇamārgopadarśanakarāya, pretanagarasamucchoṣaṇakarāya, chatrabhūtajagatkarāya, vyādhiparimocanakarāya, nandopanandanāgarājakṛtayajñopavītāya, amoghapāśasaṁdarśanakarāya, anekamantraśatāvakīrṇāya vajrapāṇividrāvaṇakarāya, trilokabhayaṁkarāya, yakṣarākṣasabhūtapretavetālaḍākinīkūṣmāṇḍāpasmārasaṁtrāsanakarāya, nīlotpalacārunetrāya, gambhīradhīrāya, vidyādhipataye, sarvakleśavimokṣaṇakarāya, vividhabodhimārgopacitāya, samārūḍhamokṣamārgapravarāya, āśrayacittabodhimārgopacitāya, pretagatiparimokṣaṇakarāya, paramāṇurajopamasamādhiśatasahasrākīrṇāya


[The endings -āya, -aye, -iye indicate the declension of the word for the Dative Case (Fourth Vibhakti )]


Yama, uses various interesting terms to denote Avalokiteshvara. Note the term, nandopanandanāgarājakṛtayajñopavīta – One who wears the Sacred Thread made of the Naga Kings Nanda & Upananda. It should be noted in the larger version of Maha Karunika Chitta Dharani  [Great Compassionate Dharani] Avalokiteshvara is praised as kṛṣṇasarpakṛtayajñopavīta (one who wears the Sacred Thread Made of a Black Snake). He is also praised as trilokabhayaṁkara – Terrifier of the Three Worlds by Yama!. 


Stotra by Asura King Bali


baliIn the 11th Chapter of the first part of the Sutra, Avalokiteshvara visits the Asura King Bali which is prisoned in an Iron Place along with this retinue, and expounds Dharma of giving offerings to the right persons. The Bodhisattava explains that offerings given to the Buddha and his Sangha surpasses all other offerings, generating innumerable merits. Bali explains to avalokiteshvara that he has attained his current state, my giving offering to the wrong persons. 


Bali narrates the story, how Narayana took the form of a Dwarf and tricked him to offer 3 feet of land, to which he agreed. Upon which Narayana assumed his Vishvarupa [magnifecent form] measured the entire world with this two feet, and asked land for the third feet which he couldn’t provide. Narayana states that Bali should reside, where he might place him. Bali agrees to Narayana’s proposal.


He again repeats that he has put his offering at the wrong place. Bali, then recites the following Stora on Arya Avalokiteshvara and asks him to be his protector.


trāṇaṁ bhavāhi śubhapadmahasta| padmaśriyālaṁkṛtaśuddhakāya| amitābhamūrte śirasā namāmi| jaṭārdhamadhye cintāmaṇimukuṭadharāya| śubhapadmahastāya| padmaśriyā samalaṁkṛtāya| jaṭāmukuṭadharāya| sarvajñavaśīkṛtāya| bahusattvāśvāsanakarāya| hīnadīnānukampāya| dīvākaravararocanakarāya| pṛthivīvararocanakarāya| bhaiṣajyarājottamāya| suśuddhasattvāya| paramayogamanuprāptāya| mokṣapravarāya mokṣapriyāya| cintāmaṇivatsadṛśāya| dharmagañjaparipālanakarāya| ṣaṭpāramitānirdeśanakarāya| sucetanakarāya 


idaṁ stotraṁ mayā kṛtamavalokiteśvarasya | sukhitāste sattvā ye tava nāmadheyamanusmaranti |

This Stotra of Avalokiteshvara is created by me (Bali) | Comforted are those Beings which keep in mind your (Avalokiteshvara) names |


He further explains the various merits that people may acquire by reciting the various names of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Ultimately, those who uphold Avalokiteshvara’s name gain the Merit to go to Sukhavati, and listen to the Dharma for Amitabha himself.


Stotra by Maheshvara (Shiva)


Sanatan_ShivaTowards the end of the Sermon of Karandavyuha Sutra, Maheshvara comes to Shakyamani and prostrates before the Buddha. He then requests for a Vyākaraṇa [Prediction of Buddhahood] from the Buddha. Shakyamuni receives Maheshvara and instead instructs him to receive the Vyakarana from Arya Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva.


Maheshvara goes to Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, prostrates before him by placing his head one the earth, and then utters the following Stotra:


namostvalokiteśvarāya maheśvarāya padmadharāya padmāsanāya padmapriyāya śubhapadmahastāya padmaśriye parivṛtāya jagadāsvāsanakarāya pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya prahlādanakarāya ||


Maheshvara himself praises Avalokiteshvara with the epithet “Maheshvara” .


Avalokiteshvara, predicts that Maheshvara in future would become a Buddha named “Bhasmeshvara” in the word system named “vivrita“.


Stotra by Uma Devi


After Shiva received his Vyakarana, Uma Devi, appears before Avalokiteshvara, prostrated before him & praises him as follows:


namo’stvalokiteśvarāya meheśvarāya prāṇaṁdadāya pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya śubhapadmaśriye parivṛtāya nirvāṇabhūmisaṁprasthitāya sucetanakarāya dharmadharāya||


Avalokiteshvara, prophesizes that Uma Devi in future would attain Anuttara Samayaksambodhi and become a Buddha named “Umeshvara”  in a world system south of Himalayas. Shakyamuni comments to Sarvanivaranavishkambhin, just as Avalokiteshvara has converted Umadevi, likewise he will do it for all beings.



1. The Origins of Om Mani Padme Hum : A study of the Karandavyuha Sutra, Alexander Studholme

2. UWest Digital Sanskrit Tripitaka Edition of Karandayavyuha Sutra

3. Chinese Version of the Karandavyuha Sutra from Fodian.net 


Arya Maha Ganapati Hridaya Dharani

ranjana_gahGanapati or Ganesha, as he is popularly known is a pan Indic deity who is revered in both Hinduism & Buddhism as far as Japan. As in the Brahmanic Religion, Buddhism too recognizes Ganapati or Vinayaka as the removal of obstacles. The Bija Akshara [Seed Syllable] of Ganapati is “gaḥ“. According to legends, he was subdued by Avalokiteshvara.

In one Legend, Avalokiteshvara assumes the Eleven-Headed form, and subdues Vinayaka who causes destruction. He cuts of the head of Vinayaka and places his head on to himself, thus acquiring the form of Vinayaka.

3-headed_ganapatyIn the other Legend, Avalokiteshvara takes the form of a woman to seduce Vinayaka and prevent him from creating obstacles. But Ultimately in Essence, both Avalokiteshvara & Ganapati is seen as the manifestation of Buddha Maha Vairochana. Hanguag, a disciple of Amoghavajra, explains that the Bijas of Avalokitesvara hrīh & Ganapati gaḥ is an expression of “Provisional Reality”.

There are two sutras on Ganapati that which contains Dharani of Ganapati. One is the Dharani Sutra of the Golden Ganapati, found in the T. XXI 1269, which was delivered by the Buddha to his disciple Shariputra, when the Buddha was residing at Shravasti. The Dharani recorded is very much corrupted. The Dharani, as presented in this Sutra, is somewhat a variant of the Dharani, in the Ganapati Heart Sutra. At the end of the Sutra, Ganapati himself appears and assures that he will protect and bestow wishes of those who uphold this Dharani. 

Another Text, the one that is being presented here is the “Arya Maha Ganapati Hridaya Dharani” [Heart Dharani of Maha Ganapati]. In this Sutra, Buddha resides at Rajagriha and utters the Dharani, this time to Ananda. The Text of the Sutra follows. It is based on the Nepalese Version of the text.

Ārya Mahā Gaṇapati Hṛdaya

namo bhagavate āryamahāgaṇapatihṛdayāya |

namo ratnatrayāya ||

Thus I have heard. Upon a time, the Blessed One was staying at Rajagriha, on the Vulture Peak, together with a great assembly of monks: forty-five hundreds of monks and numerous great Bodhisattvas. On that occasion the Blessed One told the Venerable Ananda:

“Ananda, whoever, son or daughter of high birth, would keep [in mind], recite, obtain and propagate these “heart” [spells] of Ganapati, his will be the accomplishments of all his tasks”

6_headed_ganapatioṃ namo ‘stu te mahāgaṇapataye svāhā |
oṃ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ |
oṃ namo gaṇapataye svāhā |
oṃ gaṇādhipataye svāhā |
oṃ gaṇeśvarāya svāhā |
oṃ gaṇapatipūjitāya svāhā |
oṃ kaṭa kaṭa maṭa maṭa dara dara vidara vidara hana hana gṛhṇa gṛhṇa dhāva dhāva bhañja bhañja jambha jambha tambha tambha stambha stambha moha moha deha deha dadāpaya dadāpaya dhanasiddhi me prayaccha |

oṃ rudrāvatārāya svāhā |
oṃ adbhutavindukṣubhitacittamahāhāsam āgacchati |
mahābhayamahābalaparākramāya mahāhastidakṣiṇāya dadāpaya svāhā |
oṃ namo ‘stu te mahāgaṇapataye svāhā |
oṃ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ |
oṃ namo gaṇapataye svāhā |
oṃ gaṇeśvarāya svāhā |
oṃ gaṇādhipataye svāhā |
oṃ gaṇapatipūjitāya svāhā |
oṃ suru suru svāhā | oṃ turu turu svāhā | oṃ muru muru svāhā |

“These Ananda, are the “hearts” of Ganapati”

“Any son or daughter of high birth, whether monk or nun, lay brother or sister who undertakes any matter [such as] accomplishing the [rites to call a sacred being by means of] spells, worshipping the Three Jewels, travelling to another country, going to the royal court or concealing [from view] should upon worshipping the Blessed Buddha, practice seven times the Arya Ganapati Hrdaya [spells]: for him all tasks will be accomplished; no doubt about this!. He should forever put an end to all strifes and quarrels , violence and envy, and become entirely calm. Day upon day abiding the rules and practicing a full seven times: it will come out into the fortune of this great one! Upon his coming to the royal court there will be great kindness (prasada). He will become “Keeper of hearing [1]” (Shruti-Dhara). There wil be no major illness to his body. Never will he assume the descent as a tara-praksina or the descent as a humble bee: nothing ellse will occur to him that the Mind of Awakening. In every birth he will be remembering [his previous] births.”
Thus spoke the Blessed One, and upon receiving [his teaching] these monks, these great Bodhisattvas and whole attendance, the world with the gods, the humans, the asuras, the garudas and the gandarvas rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.

[1] The Text originally has Keeper of bearing. But it seems to be a typo for hearing : Shruti :: Keeper : Dhara. Hence it is more likely to be Keeper of hearing

The Deity Gaṇapati Hṛdayā

Interestingly, a deity named “Gaṇapati Hṛdayā” exists [ Note the feminine ending ]. She is supposedly the Prajna-Shakti Consort of Ganapati.

Her form in a text called “Dharmakosha Sangraha” is described as:

“gaṇapatihṛdayā ekamukhā dvibhujā varadā abhayā nṛtyāsanā”

“Ganapatihridayaa is one-faced, two-armed, exhibits in her two hands the Varada & Abhaya poses, and shows the dancing attitude “.

Tibetan Variation

There is a Tibetan version of the Sutra with a variant form of the above dharani. In Tibetan, the sutra is known as ‘Phags pa Tshogs kyi dDag po’I sNiying po. The Translation of the entire sutra can be read here. The text are differs from that of the Nepalese version.

The Mantra in the Tibetan version is:


tadyathā namo’stute-mahā-gaṇapataye svāhā
oṁ kaṭa kaṭa maṭa maṭa dara dara vidara vidara hana hana gṛhṇa gṛhṇa [1
] dhāva dhāva bhaṁja bhaṁja staṁbha staṁbha jaṁbha jaṁbha moha moha dehi dehi dāpaya dāpaya dhana [2] dhānya siddhi me prayaccha
samayamanusmara mahārudra vacanīye svāhā
oṁ kuru kuru svāhā
oṁ turu turu
svāhā [3]
oṁ muru muru svāhā
oṁ bāva saṁti vasu puṣṭim kuru svāhā
 [4] vindu [5] kṣubhita [6] mahāvidāra samāgacchati [7] mahābhaya [8] mahābala mahāvarakra mahāhasti mahādakṣiṇāya [9] pracidayāmi [10] svāhā
oṁ kuru kuru curu curu muru muru
gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ gaḥ [11]
oṁ namo namaḥ [12
] svāhā    

[I have made some changes as per the Nepalese edition. Those are shown in Green]

Original Reading

1. grihna grihna

7. samagacchati

2. dhāna

8. mahābaya

3. Word missing

9. mahādakṣiṇiya

4. adguta

10. pracidayami

5. bindu

11. ga ga ga ga ga ga ga ga

6. kṣyabhita

12. nama



1. Sanskrit Text of Ganapati Hridaya [Nepalese]: http://www.sub.uni-goettingen.de/ebene_1/fiindolo/gretil/1_sanskr/4_rellit/buddh/ganphrdu.htm

2. Translation of Ganapati Hridaya adapted from R. Duquenne, “Gaṇapati Rituals in Chinese“, BEFEO 77 (1988), pp. 344f.

3. Indian Buddhist Iconography, Benoytosh Bhattacharyya

4. Tibetan Version of Ganapati Hridya Dharani : Ganesh: Studies of an Asian god, Robert L. Brown

Further Reading

1. http://theemerald.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/buddhist-deity-ganapati/

2. http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/kankiten-idaten-other-tenbu.html


Chandragarbha Prajnaparamita

ca-oriyaChandragarbha Prajnaparamita, is yet another short Prajnaparamita Text, which summarizes the entire Prajnaparamita into a Mantra. In this Sutra, Bodhisattva Chandragarbha inquires the Bhagavan, on how Bodhisattvas should train themselves in Prajnaparamita.


The Bhagavan replies:


The fact, Candragarbha, that all dharmas are devoid of existence, that is the perfection of wisdom i.e Just as the disk of the moon indiscriminately turns round the four Continents and removes the darkness, just so the Bodhisattva, the great being, coursing in the the perfection of wisom, indiscriminately move round the four perverted view with his compassion, remove the defilements in the very core of their essential nature, and that by way of non-discrimination


The Sutra then goes on with explaining, the Prajnaparamita of the Bodhisattva. The Bhagavan then declares:


Therefore then, the perfection of wisdom is a Mantra:


oṁ prajñe prajñe mahāprajñe candraprajñe sarvaśā sagari svāhā


The variant reading yields:


oṁ prajñe prajñe mahāprajñe candraprajñe sarvaśāsa kari svāhā


Note the term “Candraprajña” (Moon-Wisdom) appearing in the Mantra. It is reminding of the fact that, the Bodhisattva should be like a Moon, indiscriminate in nature as said above. The name of the Bodhisattva, “Candragarbha” also sounds more metaphorical. The whole discourse in essence seems to be a means to reiterate the Indiscriminate nature of the Bodhisattva, for which Moon serves as a metaphor.



1. Conze’s Translation of the “The Perfection of Wisdom for Candragarbha” from “Perfect Wisdom – The Short Prajnaparamita Texts”



Kaushika Prajnaparamita

Kau_KannadaKauśika Prajñāpāramitā Sutra, one of the Short Prajnaparamita Sutras, is the Sutra taught to Indra by the Bhagavan. Kaushika being an epithet of Indra. The Bhagavan teaches to Indra by his own will without any request as in the Case of Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita, where Avalokiteshvara requests the Tathagata to proclaim the Prajnaparamita.

The Tathagata explains the meaning of Prajnaparamita in various different ways, and then summarizes the entire Prajnaparamita into 18 types of Emptiness 

ādhyātmaśūnyatā bahirdhāśūnyatā ādhyātmābahirdhāśūnyatā śūnyatāśūnyatā mahāśūnyatā paramārthaśūnyatā saṁskṛtaśūnyatā asaṁskṛtaśūnyatā atyantaśūnyatā anādyagraśūnyatā anapakāraśūnyatā prakṛtiśūnyatā svalakṣaṇaśūnyatā sarvadharmaśūnyatā anupalambhaśūnyatā abhāvaśūnyatā svabhāvaśūnyatā abhāvasvabhāvaśūnyatā iti| ayamucyate saṁkṣiptena prajñāpāramiteti ||


emptiness of the subject, emptiness of the object, emptiness of both subject and object, emptiness of emptiness, the great emptiness, emptiness in the ultimate sense, conditioned emptiness, unconditioned emptiness, absolute emptiness, emptiness without beginning and end, emptiness of non-repudiation, emptiness of essential nature, emptiness of all dharmas, emptiness of own marks, emptiness of the absence of a basis, emptiness of non-existence, emptiness of own-being, emptiness of the non-existence of own being. There are in short the emptiness This is the perfection of wisdom



namo bhagavatyai ārya prajñāpāramitāyai |

oṁ dhī hrī śrī śruti smṛti mati gati vijaye svāhā ||


Conze considers the words “śruti smṛti mati gati”, as referring to the stages of realization of the Prajnaparamita as in “Heard, Remembered, Understood and arrived at”. This makes the Mantras more of a Mnemonic device, to summarize and recollect the process of Prajnaparamita.  


I have followed the Conze’s version of the Sutra as usual, which contains only this Mantra. He himself had followed the Tibetan recession of the Sutra. He further states that the Central Asian version of the Sutra is much longer with additional 12 Mantras in it. The Uwest Digital Sanskrit Canon probably has this Central Asian version of the Sutra, which is expanded with more Mantras. Infact, the above mantra appears in the subsidiary list of the Mantras.


The Central Asian version as another Mantra as the Prominent Mantra instead of the Above Mantra. This Mantra is similar to the version present in the Sutra title “108 Names of Prajnaparamita”, in which Conze claims to have reconstructed the Mantra which had been highly corrupted. We will compare both the versions in the “108 Names of Prajnaparamita” article. 


The additional mantras from the Uwest Edition:


namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā -munidharme saṁgrahadharme anugrahadharme vimokṣadharme sattvānugrahadharme vaiśramaṇadharme samantanuparivartanadharme guṇigrahasaṁgrahadharme sarvatrānugatadharme sarvakālaparipūrṇadharme svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā – akhane nikhane mukhana nekhane avaravandane paṭane paṭane paṭare svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā – gaṅgā gaṅgā na tīrāvabhāsa gaṅgā svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā śrīye śrīye muni śrīye śrīyase svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ vajrabale svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ hrī śrī dhī śruti smṛti mati gati vijaye svāhā || *

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-bambari bambari mahābambari būru būru mahābūru svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-hūte hūte hūvitāśane sarva-karmāvaraṇane svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ orolik svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ sarvavit svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-gate gate pāragate pārasaṁgate bodhi svāhā || 


One can note that, The Prajnaparamita Hridya Mantra also appears at the end of the list. “oṁ orolik svāhā” seems to be a corrupted version of the Avalokiteshvara’s Mantra “oṁ ārolik svāhā. (Either that.. or it is typo in the Uwest version), Probably it is a collection of Mantras related to Prajnaparamita as a whole, which made it somehow into the text of the Sutra.



1. Conze’s Translation of the “The Perfection of Wisdom for Kausika” from “Perfect Wisdom – The Short Prajnaparamita Texts”

2. Sanskrit version of Kaushika Prajnaparamita from Uwest Sanskrit Digital Canon 



1. Conze’s had the translated version of the the first line of the Mantra as “Homage to the perfection of wisdom, the lovely, the holy !” 


Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita

sva-gujaratiSvalpākṣarā Prajñāpāramitā Sutra  belongs to the bigger Prajnaparamita class of literature. Similar to the Prajnaparamita Hridya Sutra (Heart Sutra) this also contains Mantras within the text.  Svalpa  means few, Akshara means letters, thus the term Svalpakshara means “few Letters”. Hence the title can be translated as “Perfection of Wisom in a Few Letters”. The Bhagavan speaks two Mantras within this sutra.
The Sutra begins with the Bhagavan staying at Rajagriha with the host of Bhikshus, Bodhisattvas & Devas. There upon, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara rises from his seat and requesting the Bhagavan to teach the Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita:

deśayatu bhagavān prajñāpāramitāṁ svalpākṣarāṁ mahāpuṇyām, yasyāḥ śravaṇamātreṇa sarvasattvāḥ sarvakarmāvaraṇāni kṣapayiṣyanti, niyataṁ ca bodhiparāyaṇā bhaviṣyanti | ye ca sattvā mantrasādhane udyuktāsteṣāṁ cāvighnena mantrāḥ sidhyanti |
Demonstrate, Oh Bhagavan, the Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita, which is of Great Punya, which on merely hearing, the Karma obstacles of all the beings will be extinguished, and they will definitlely end up in enlightenment; and the Mantras of the beings who labour zealously at the evocation of Mantras will succeed without fail

deśayatu bhagavān prajñāpāramitāṁ svalpākṣarāṁ mahāpuṇyām, yasyāḥ śravaṇamātreṇa sarvasattvāḥ sarvakarmāvaraṇāni kṣapayiṣyanti, niyataṁ ca bodhiparāyaṇā bhaviṣyanti | ye ca sattvā mantrasādhane udyuktāsteṣāṁ cāvighnena mantrāḥ sidhyanti |

Demonstrate, Oh Bhagavan, the Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita, which is of Great Punya, which on merely hearing, the Karma obstacles of all the beings will be extinguished, and they will definitlely end up in enlightenment; and the Mantras of the beings who labour zealously at the evocation of Mantras will succeed without fail

The Bhagavan on hearing Avalokiteshvara’s request, praises him and enters a Samadhi called “Sarvaduḥkhapramocana” (Liberation of all sufferings), and exhibits several auspicious signs, and then proclaims the Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita:

bodhisattvena mahāsattvena samacittena bhavitavyam | sarvasattveṣu maitracittena bhavitavyam | kṛtajñena bhavitavyam | kṛtavedinā ca bhavitavyam | sarvapāpaviratacittena bhavitavyam

idaṁ ca prajñāpāramitāhṛdayamāgrahītavyam

The Bodhisattva Mahasattva should have an even thought, he shoud have a freindly thought towards all beings, he should be thankful, he should be grateful, and he should desist in his heart from all evil

and this Prajnaparamita Hridaya, should be repeatedly recited:

namo ratnatrayāya |

namaḥ śākyamunaye tathāgatāya arhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya |

tadyathā – oṁ mune mune mahāmunaye svāhā ||

(This last part of the above Mantra : oṁ mune mune mahāmunaye svāhā also appears in a Prajnaparamita text titled “Vajparani Prajnaparamita Sutra” )
The Bhagavan further says that he attained Anuttara Samyaksambodhi, through this Mantra !. And also adds that he has heard this Mantra from Buddha MahaShakyamani. He has explains the various benifits of chanting, writing and propogating this Mantra. 
Then, the Bhagavan proclaims another Mantra:


oṁ jeya jeya padmābhe avame avame sarasaraṇi

dhiridhiri devatā anupālani yuddhāttāriṇi

paracakranivāriṇi pūraya pūraya bhagavati sarva

āśā mama ca sarvasattvānāṁ ca |

sarvakarmāvaraṇāni viśodhaya, buddhādhiṣṭhite svāhā |

The Bhagavan further says about the above Mantra:

iyaṁ sā kulaputra paramārthaprajñāpāramitā sarvabuddhānāṁ jananī bodhisattvamātā bodhidātrī pāpahārakā | sarvabuddhairapi na śaknoti asyānuśaṁsā vaktuṁ yāvatkalpakoṭiśatairapi | anayā paṭhitamātreṇa sarvaparṣanmaṇḍalābhiṣiktā bhavanti, sarve ca mantrāḥ abhimukhā bhavanti ||

This Kulaputra, is the Paramartha Prajnaparamita, The Mother of all Buddhas, Mother of Bodhisattvas, Giver of Bodhi, Destroyer of Sins, Even all the Buddhas are unable to express in words her advantages, even after hundreds of kotis of aeons. Where it is merely recited, there all the Assemblies are consecrated, and all the Mantras are realized.

The Sutra then goes on as usual with the reason for the name of the Sutra, and the benefits of reading the Sutra, and concludes with the Assembly of Nagas, Yakshara, Gandharvas, Devas etc rejoicing at the Bhagavan’s discourse.


1. Conze’s Translation of the “The Perfection of Wisdom in a few words” from “Perfect Wisdom – The Short Prajnaparamita Texts

2. Sanskrit version of Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita from Uwest Sanskrit Digital Canon : 



1. The English translation is just a Sanskritized Version of Conze’s Translation, with some modifications

2. In the second Mantra, Uwest version had “yuddhottāriṇi”, but Conze’s version had “yuddhāttāriṇi”. I have followed the latter, as the Uwest versions are well known for typos. 


Sahasrabhuja Sahasranetra Avalokiteshvara


Sahasra-bhuja Sahasra-netra Avalokiteśvara (Thousand Armed Thousand Eyed Avalokiteshvara) is one of the widely venerated forms of Avalokiteśvara. He has 48 principal arms which hold various instruments, and the rest of the arms form a background. He has an eye in each of those thousand palms. 


In the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sutra, Avalokiteshvara enters the Avici hells, to save the beings there. He converts the fire pits into cool refreshing pools, and makes the Avici Naraka a paradise.  The Guardians report this to Yama. Yama wonders whether the being who had done such a transformation, was “Shiva”, “Vishnu”, a “Rakshasa” or some other supernatural being. When seen through his divine eyes, he finds Avalokiteshvara there.


He then appears before Avalokiteshvara, he places his head at the feet of avalokiteesvara and worships Him. He utters the following praises on Avalokitesvara:

namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya, koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya,[…]


namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya,koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya,[…]


The words in bold reads “Hundred-Thousand-Armed” , “Ten-Million-Hundred-Thousand-Eyed“, “Eleven-Headed“. The God of Death, Yama praises Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara as having hundred-thousand-arms and Ten-millions times that amount of Eyes. But interestingly his heads seems to be constant – always counting to Eleven


There are lots of hymns praising the Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara, the most popular one is the “Mahā Karuṇā Dhāraṇī“, popularly known as the Great Compassion Mantra.However there are other less known hymns to the Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara, many of such hymns are presented in Lokesh Chandra’s book, “Thousand Armed Avalokitsvara“.


One Such hymn is from Caryā Kalpa of the Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara recorded by Amoghavajra 


Corrected Text by Lokesh Chandra by comparing Taisho 1056 & 1062B) (From his Book)

namo ratnatrayāya

nama āryāvalokiteśvarāya bodhisattvāya mahāsattvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīrṣāya sahasrapadāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya

ehi bhagavann āryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra atyugra mahāugra mahānāda

kili kili kili kili

mili mili mili (mili)

cili cili cili cili

naṭa naṭa naṭa naṭa

hasa hasa hasa hasa

kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra

balaṁ dada vīryaṁ dada

sarva kāmaṁ me prayaccha

śīghraṁ vaśaṁ me 

rāṣṭraṁ sarājakaṁ kuru

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara

sādhaya sadā siddhiṁ me

bhava varado bhavāgro bhava me

oṁ namo’stute bhagavann āryāvalokiteśvara

prabudhya prasīda naḥ 

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā


* Lokesh Chandra’s text has 3 mili’s, but it is more consistent to have 4 mili’s.


The Corrupted Version as recorded in the Chinese Tripitaka : CBETA Reader : Taisho No. 1062B 


namo ratna trayāya 

namaḥ āryavalokiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

makāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīṣāya sahasrapadaya sahasrajidvāya sahasrabhujāya

ehi bhagavaṃ nāryāvalokiteśvara

ugra atmagra mahāugra mahānāda 

kili kli kili kili 

mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra

valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada 

savaṃ kāmaṃ me 

prayaccha śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me 

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhava dharado bhava agro bhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ tnāryāvalokiteścara 

prapudhya prasīda maḥ 

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā


The Corrupted Version as recorded in the Chinese Tripitaka : CBETA Reader : Taisho No. 1056 Fascicle 2

namo ratnatrayāya 

namaḥ āryāvalākiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīṣāya sahasrapadāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya 

ehā bhagavaṃ nāryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra ātyugra mahāugra mahāmahānāda 

kili kili kili kili 

mili mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada

savaṃ hāmaṃ me prayaccha 

śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhadharado bhavagro abhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ tnāryāvalokiteśvara 

prapudhya prasīda maḥ

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā 


CBETA reader gives various footnotes or alternate readings (I am not sure what those references in the middle of the text mean) for the above text. Replacing the sensible alternate forms (some alternates dont make any sense) gives the following version.


namo ratnatrayāya 

namaḥ āryāvalokiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīrṣāya sahasrapādāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya 

ehā bhagavaṃ āryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra ātyugra mahāugra mahāmahānāda 

kili kili kili kili 

mili mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada

sarva hāmaṃ me prayaccha 

śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhadharado bhava agro bhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ āryāvalokiteśvara 

prapudhya prasīda māṃ

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā 


This hymn expands the appearance of Avalokitesvara as having Thousand Heads (Sahasra-Shirsha), Thousand Feet (Sahasara-Pada) & Thousand Tounges (Sahasra-Jihva). One cannot but compare this form to the Vedic Purusha. The Purusha Sukta in Rig Veda explains the primordial Purusha,as having “Thousand Heads”, “Thousand Eyes”, “Thousand Feet”. ( sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt ). The followers of the Vedic religion believe that, it is from this Vedic Purusha’s body, the entire universe along with all the deities had emerged .


It is also to be noted that, in the Karandavyuha Sutra, Avalokiteshvara takes the role of this primordial Purusha emanating all the Vedic gods from his body. (See: Srishtikarta Lokeshvara) The description of  Avalokiteshvara as having Thousand Heads, Feet and Tougues must be seen as echoing this of Nature of Avalokiteshvara. He is completely metamorphosed into the Vedic Purusha. No wonder, He is known to take any forms to teach the Dharma !


Siddham Variations

One important thing that could be noted in these various recessions is that, some of the corruptions occur due to misreading of the closely-resembling siddham characters.


bha,va,ba are very similar in appearance, which may cause some amount of confusion. See Jayarava’s post here


bhava dharado (T. 1062B) is actually bhava varado. valaṃ (1056 & 1062B) is balaṃ. 


sahasrajidvāya (T. 1062B) is sahasrajihvāya (T. 1056), This has occured due to the fact that dva & hva look similar.


I have no idea why ha & ka are interchanged. They are usually visually distinct.


T. 1062B mavīrāya (for mavīrāya) ::  T.1056 maṃ (for maṃ)


Mahamayuri Vidyarajni

ma_granthaMahāmāyūrī Vidyārājñī also known as “[Great] Peacock Wisdom Queen” (Literal Translation of the Sanskrit)  is a [peaceful looking] wrathful deity in Mahayana. She is known as Kujaku Myo-o in Japanese.  She is generally associated with the removal of poisons. 

Mahamayuri Devi belongs to the class of deities called “Vidyārājas” (Wisdom Kings). She is one of the Pañcarakṣā Devi’s [Five protection Deities] in the Nepalese Tradition. The others being “Mahāpratisarā“, “Mahāsāhasra-pramardinī“, “Mahāśītavatī“, & “Mahāmantrānusāriṇī

From the Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism :

According  to  the  Mahamayuri  sutra  of  Pancaraksha, there was  a bhiksu  called  venerable Svati. He was newly ordained  in  the Buddhist  community  of monks. He was unfortunately bitten by a poisonous snake and  fainted. On seeing his condition venerable Ananda reported this incident to Buddha Shakyamuni. Lord Buddha, out of compassion for the newly ordained monk and the future ones, disclosed a dharani which was capable of eliminating poisonous harm and malignant diseases. This was the dharani of Arya Mahamayuri.

There  is  another  story  about  this  deity. There  was a golden King peacock in the Himalayan mountain who used to recite Mahamayuri dharani with great devotion. It so happened one day that this king went along with his family to travel  in  the mountain  forgetting  to  recite  the dharani  that day. He was caught by hunters. thinking of his forgetfulness of the dharani he immediately began to recite and was able to free himself. Thee Buddha told Ananda that the peacock king called  Suvarnavabhasa  (i.e.  golden  coloured  one)  was  none other than Buddha Shakyamuni himself.  Thus this dharani is believed to be efcacious in all cases of dangers as well as for relieving poisonous harms.

According  to  the  Mahamayuri  sutra  of  Pancaraksha,
there was  a bhiksu  called  venerable Svati. He was newly or-
dained  in  the Buddhist  community  of monks. He was  un-
fortunately bitten by a poisonous snake and  fainted. On see-
ing his condition venerable Ananda reported this incident to
Buddha Shakyamuni. Lord Buddha, out of compassion for the
newly ordained monk and the future ones, disclosed a dharani
which was capable of eliminating poisonous harm and malig-
nant diseases. is was the dharani of Arya Mahamayuri.
ere  is  another  story  about  this  deity. ere  was  a
golden King peacock in the Himalayan mountain who used

The Mahāmayūrī vidyā seems to have appeared originally in the  “Bhaiṣajya Vastu” of the “Sarvāstivāda Vinaya” , from, which other derivations must have occured.

From Bulletin of Tibetology  – A Dharani Mantra of Vinayavastu :

(The paper summarizes the presence of this Vidya in the Sarvastiva Vinaya, as an early indication of Tantra in Pre-Schismatic Buddhism)

[…] It is interesting to note that ‘Mahamayuri-Mantra’ had been prescribed by Sakyaputra Gautama, the Buddha, himself when a monk was not cured in spite of the treatment of a Vaidya from his snake-bit. The account is mentioned in the Bhaisajya-vastu (T. Sman gyi gzhi) of the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya vastu (‘Dul ba gzhi: Bka’ – ‘gyur. Nge. Vol. Peking Edn). As usual the method of narrating an account in the vinaya-texts is observed here. A monk named Sari (Skt. Svati) had a snake-bite.

In this connection a legend of the Peacock-king named suvarna-prabhasa depicts the efficacy of the Mahamayuri-Vidya who had bee conversant in the Vidya. He was in the right side of the Himalaya mountain when he was caught hold in a net of an enemy at the midnight after allure in the company of the peahens around him. He however regained his memory and chanted the Vidya. Thereafter, he could run away. The net was broken off.

[…] It becomes evident that the Vidya in Sanskrit had been prevalent in India […]

In course of time the Mahamayuri Vidya became prominent for its power to sope snakes biting and it was called Vidyarajni. (Queen of the secret sciences. The Vidya was included in the list of the five protecting Dharanis (Parncaraksa) […]

The Vidya of Mahamayuri

The Vidya of Mahamayuri as seen in the Bhaisajyavastu, from the e-text of Goettingen State and University Library.

There are two different versions of the Vidya. The Buddha says the first version, to cure the Bhikshu Svati, and the second version as the Peacock King to free himself from the net.

First Version of the Vidya:


namo buddhāya namo dharmāya namaḥ saṃghāya
tadyathā amale vimale nirmale maṃgale hiraṇye hiraṇyagarbhe bhadre subhadre samantabhadre śrībhadre sarvārthasādhani paramārthasādhani sarvānarthapraśamani sarvamaṅgalasādhani manase mānase mahāmānase acyute adbhute atyadbhute mukte mocani mokṣaṇi araje viraje amṛte amare amaraṇi brahme brahmasvare pūrṇe pūrṇamanorathe mukte jīvati rakṣa svātiṃ sarvopadravabhayarogebhyaḥ svāhā 



Second Version of the Vidya: 

[ namo buddhāya namo dharmāya namaḥ saṃghāya ]


tadyathā amale vimale nirmale maṅgalye hiraṇye hiraṇyagarbhe bhadre subhadre samantabhadre śrībhadre sarvārthasādhani paramārthasādhani sarvānarthapraśamani sarvamaṅgalyasādhani manasi mānasi mahāmānasi acyute adbhute atyadbhute mukte mocani mokṣaṇi araje viraje amare amṛte amaraṇi brahme brahmasvare pūrṇe pūrṇamanorathe vimukte jīvati rakṣa māṃ sarvopadravebhyaḥ svāhā


Apart from the variation such as Mangale/Mangalye Manse/Manasi etc [which I think is mostly due to manuscript variations ] between the two versions, note the Italicized portions. In the first version, when the Buddha proclaims the vidya to save the Bhikshu Svati he says, “rakṣa svātiṃ” (Protect Svati), and in the second version, as the Peacock Suvarnaprabhasa, when remembering the dharani to help himself out,  the buddha says “rakṣa māṃ” (Protect Me).

Similar to that noted by Jayarava here, this could be an example of a “Template-style-dharani” too – The Pattern to be matched is  Raksha <<object in accusative case>>. 


  1. The e-text has “rakṣā svātiṃ” which must be a typo. The BoT has “rakṣa svātiṃ”, which seems to be correct  “Protect<<imperative>> Me<<accusative>>”, and matches more with the second version of the dharani. I have followed the later.






The Image of Mahamayuri in full resolution: http://www.lifetv.org.tw/downlond/provide/佛母大孔雀明王a.jpg (1000 X 1687)