Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa


Kaṅkāla means skeleton. Mālinī means garlanded. Kalpa here implies systematised knowledge.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa is system of knowledge esoterically represented by hundred and eight Kaṅkāla while Muṇḍa mālinī is a system of knowledge esoterically represented with fifty one skulls.

Āgama Nigama Origin Of Kaṅkāla Mālinī

 When Shiva was teaching tantra to Shakti, then Shakti asks about the skull garland in the neck of Shiva. Shakti asks whose skulls. Shiva replies that they are Goddesses, Shakti’s skulls herself. Goddess becomes amazed and asks how is that possible. Then Shiva informs goddess that she died everytime studying tantra from him and that everytime she died, he kept her skulls and bones and resurrected her. He says that it took her hundred and eight times or hundred and eight rebirths to learn and master tantra.

The skull garland that devi wears are the varṇa mātrikā but the skulls that Mahākāla wears is the skulls of goddess herself.

The story goes like, when goddess was learning Tantra from Shiva, then out of her frivolity and carelessness, she starts to laugh and smile while Shiva was teaching. Shiva got infuriated at this and enquires why is she laughing. He asks her if she is finding it all funny, these profound vidyā that he is teaching. He founds her not sincere or serious to learn. He says that she now knows that she is yogamāyā so she is taking it lightly. He reminds her that to obtain each vidyā she has taken a lot of efforts. That she has done extreme penance like Siddhas to learn these vidya, that her bodies has suffered learning these profound vidya in penance.

To remind her, Shiva take her to a mountain where there were skeletons lying around. Shiva shows Devi that these skeletons are her skeletons. Shiva says that he has selected skulls from these skeletons and wore it in his neck out of his love for her. But all these skeletons that devi is seeing is her previous forms which suffered due to extreme penance to obtain the profound vidyā that she is taking lightly now.

Then Devi realises it all and the memory of her past comes back to her. Devi was disturbed seeing her past suffering and even sheds tears. She said to Shiva that since Shiva is with her so she is assured of her future journey but whatever happens in Kailash is leela of Shiva and always has some purpose and welfare of all. She asks Shiva why did he feel the necessity to show her the skeletons. She asks how can the world benefit from this leela.

Then Shiva tells Shakti that all beings that are born are always in the cycle of birth and death. They take life and ultimately are reduced to skeletons and bones. Shiva reveals that the Shakti that frees beings from the cycle of birth and death is Kaṅkāla Mālinī.

In her true form, Kaṅkāla Mālinī is the vidyā of mukti or liberation that frees one from cycle of birth and death.

Goddess expresses her gratitude and said that she knew that behind this leela there must be a hidden auspicious welfare of the world.

This Kaṅkāla Mālinī form becomes famous in the world of tantra as  a supreme form of Goddess that liberates all being. Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa thus is also known as “Uttama Charitra”.

Shiva says that along with her skulls he could have also worn her skeletons but I did not do it so that these skeletons together can inspire the world that the path of tapa or penance always gives success in the end.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Misconceptions In Mainstream Society

Varṇa mātrikā  and varṇa vidyā are part of Muṇḍa mālinī. Mahavidyās takes shape from varṇa vidyā.  But, the Kaṅkāla Mālinī tantra that is available in the market is different from what is available in the Himalaya with Siddhas. The book available in market merely talks about Varṇa mātrikās and does not even touch the actual subject of Kaṅkāla Mālinī tantra.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa in Kaulāntaka Siddha tradition is distinct from Kaṅkāla Mālinī tantra. Despite both kalpa grantha and tantra grantha both based on āgama nigama tradition, Kalpa grantha are given more importance than tantra grantha because the authorship, the history of the grantha is captured in the kalpa grantha while tantra grantha does not cover this aspect.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Darshan Philosophy

When we do not eat food for a long time, then our body begins to get reduced to mere bones. This is the nature of the physical body in this world. One can even look at it this way that we keep eating food continually so that we do not become kankaal or bones. But we do not only need nourishment for our bodies. Our mind, our heart and our spirit also needs nourishment.  We should give our soul spiritual food of knowledge and wisdom, and we should give pure emotions to our heart. If we do not nourish our being, our soul and our mind and heart, then we get metaphorically reduced to mere bones of our inner self. Or, just because one appears physically fit or if one appears fat then that does not mean that the person is internally fit or internally well nourished. Many people are mere bones due to their inner ignorance.  The  inner five vices of lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride are toxic poisons that eat up a person inside and reduce one to mere bones inside.

Sins, paap, Negative minds, negative thought process, negative self destructive habits and behaviours transform one into a being of mere bones inside by stopping the nourishment  of the inner being. These self destructive, tamasic and dark ways stop the nourishment of all kinds, not just physical sustenance of body but sustenance of mind and inner spirit.

Awareness is the nourishment of the soul. Negative tendencies and self destructive ways makes one less and less aware and thereby one starves one’s soul and leads one to darkness. One needs the shakti of penance, or tejas. ONe needs prana shakti, tapa and one needs knowledge to obtain it. Therefore one must obtain kalaa , knowledge, wisdom and illumination or tejas of tapa and penance.  The way is hidden in the mystical wisdom of Kankaal Maalini Kalpa.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Tradition

 It is a mystical wisdom tradition that has been compiled by Maha Siddha Maharishi Lomesh Nath ji. Maha Siddha Ishaputra obtained this vidyaa from his gurus in Himalaya. Out of love and compassion for the world, Maha Siddha Ishaputra is bringing this inspiring knowledge system of Kankaal Maalini Kalpa.

Conversation between Maha Siddha Lomesha Nath & Kaṅkāla Mālinī

Once Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath was doing penance for a long time. Then during his tapa, there was severe draught. All the leaves dried on trees. The scorching earth began to almost burn everything. Rivers, ponds and wells all dried. Humans, plants and animals all began to die in huge numbers. The stench of putrid flesh and death around reached Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath and caused interruption in his deep penance. When Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath opened his eyes and looked around he was shocked. When he sat in meditation long ago, the environment was all green and flourishing, birds were chirping, river was flowing and trees looked lush green. But when he opened his eyes then he was shocked at the morbid display of death and draught. Skeletons of humans, birds and animals, dried trees and river, with cracked earth and dried dust winds around shocked him. He was distressed at the state of all lifeforms and hearing the cry of half dead humans who approached him crying for help. Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath then began his stuti to invoke the Goddess.Goddess appeared in form of Kaṅkāla Mālinī. Devi introduces herself as Kaṅkāla Mālinī to Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath. Then the conversation between Kaṅkāla Mālinī Devi and Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath took place. He cried in front of Goddess and says that if she or any God is not satisfied with him or his penance then they should punish him but why make the whole world suffer like this. Then Devi says to him that he has to understand that life is ephemeral. Even your penance cannot preserve the inevitable death.

Even his aim of penance and his penance will also end one day. So Devi encouranges Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath to learn such a vidyā that never gets destroyed. She tells him to learn the eternal knowledge and wisdom.Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath then requests Goddess to bestow this eternal wisdom and the path of indestructible knowledge and penance.Devi then tells Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath that the environment that he is seeing is her māyā. She says that she is happy with his penance and assures him that she will give him indestructible eternal knowledge.With this the whole environment around Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath tranformed. Instead of death and macabre of draught, the scene became green and lush again. People, birds, animals and plants that were dead and decaying were again revived.  The storm gave way to a clear sky. Devi then bestows Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath the vidyā so that no destruction or delude or draught can destroy his penance and knowledge. Thus Maha Siddha Lomesh Nath obtained the wisdom of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa.

 Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Paṭal & Represention As Skeleton System

 Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa has twelve chapters or paṭala. Each chapter or paṭala has nine Kaṅkāla. So hundred and eight Kaṅkāla are covered in total twelve chapters. These twelve chapters are divided on a system. This system is represented by skeleton figure of a human being.  One begins to look at Kaṅkāla from feet up to head. The bottom feet is first, then uptil knees, and thighs and so and and so forth. Each sections have their own presiding goddess. For example, Kshudranāsā is the goddess represented symbolically by the feet, Vetālī represented in thighs. Then Vibhāvari, Rudrāṇī, Kālikā, Mahādevī, Bhairunḍā, Vajriṇī or Vajrikā, Vārāhī, Bhadrā and Kāmakalā. This skeleton representation is the key to Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa. The goddess corresponding to the different sections of the skeleton is the presiding deity of the respective chapter as well. The chapters of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa is also named after these presiding goddesses of each section. For example, Kshudranāsā goddess is presiding over the feet of the skeleton map representing the Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa. So the first chapter or paṭala is called Kshudranāsā Kaṅkālī paṭala.

Another way the classification based on Kaṅkāla is done for the five elements. From the skull top until the neck it is the ākāśa element. Both the shoulders have vāyu element. Waist and stomach area is agni. Then uptil the knees is jala element and below the knees is the prithvi or earth element. Then all these five tattva have their corresponding goddesses.

Aim of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa

 Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa is the wisdom tradition of self knowledge or self realisation. It is the vidyā that gives moksha or liberation as well as encourages fullfillment of wishes. The goddesses of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa are known to automatically bestow knowledge to the practitioner. Such a practitioner of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa becomes mantra drsṭā or knower of different realms. These goddess spontaneously reveal various wisdoms and knowledge to a practitioner meditating upon them.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Manuscript

 The twelve paṭala or chapters of  Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa are named as masculine forms or bhairava forms of the tweleve goddesses who are presiding deities of the twelve sections of the representational skeleton.

  1. Kshudranāsa Kaṅkālī paṭala
  2. Vetāla Kaṅkālī paṭala
  3. Vibhāvara Kaṅkālī paṭala
  4. Rudra Kaṅkālī paṭala
  5. Kāla Kaṅkālī paṭala
  6. Ambikā Kaṅkālī paṭala
  7. Mahā Kaṅkālī paṭala
  8. Bhairunḍa Kaṅkālī paṭala
  9. Vajra Kaṅkālī paṭala
  10. Vārāha Kaṅkālī paṭala
  11. Bhadra Kaṅkālī paṭala
  12. Kāmakalā Kaṅkālī paṭala

Then each paṭala is divided in nine sections. These upa paṭala or subsections in each paṭala are

  1. Bīja paṭala.
  2. Mantra paṭala
  3. Devatā paṭala
  4. Guru paṭala
  5. Yantra paṭala
  6. Mudrā paṭala
  7. Āvaraṇa paṭala
  8. Homa paṭala
  9. Kāmya paṭala

All in all, these paṭala and upa paṭala constitute the hundred and eight skeletons of Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa.

Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa Criticism

 Often one accuses vidyā of liberation as a mode to escape the world. But the presence of Kāmya upa paṭala refutes such criticism. The Kāmya upa paṭala in all paṭala is about the fulfillment of desires in the world. It shows that Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa even though is a vidyā of liberation or moksha emphasizes that one can become liberated only after understanding all the expanse of the expressions of life as a witness. That one fulfills one’s desires in the world but without being attached. This one accomplishes by being in awareness and in witness or watchful state. So despite being a vidya of liberation, Kaṅkāla Mālinī Kalpa encourages one to obtain Aishwarya or abundance in life through the ways given in Kāmya paṭala.