Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ is an illustrated manuscript written in praise of Kulant Peeth.
‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ consists of the words where ’Kulant Peeth’ is the abode of the Devi-Devatas and Mahasiddhas in western Himalayas, India. In olden times the land of ‘Kulant Peeth’ started from Kuluta Kingdom and expanded till entire ranges of Himalayas. Kuluta Kingdom was surrounded by ‘Trigarth’ and ‘Kuninda’ Kingdoms. In the word ‘Ashtottara’, ‘Asht’ means eight, ‘Shata’ means hundred, so ‘Ashtottarshat’ means one hundred and eight. ‘Namavali’ means ‘a list of names’. Which means this manuscript is about the one hundred and eight different holy and Divine names of Kulant Peeth.
The ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ originated in the words of ‘Yaksha Shreshtha’ (the best among the Yakshas) Ushtrapaad. The manuscript consists of the sacred names spoken in praise of the Kulant Peeth. Originally Yaksha Ushtrapaad uttered these one hundred and eight names in Sanskrit language but later on some local Shamans used and propagated these names of ‘Kulant Peeth’ in Kula language and used it in their own individual ways.
In the Siddha Dharm of Himalayan Siddhas, this text originally was popular in Sanskrit language. Later Yogi Mukunda Nath compiled ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ in both Sanskrit and Kula language. It is clear that there are one hundred and eight names of Kulant Peeth in this text but it is much more than simple names of Kulant Peeth (Kaulantak Peeth). It is the one single mantra that repeats one hundred and eight times where the name Kulant Peeth changes every time in the same mantra with different one hundred and eight names of Kulant Peeth.
According to Siddha Dharm, Yaksha Ushtrapaad is a very powerful Yaksha deity. Because of Yaksha Ushtrapaad, the ‘Ashtottarshat Namavali’ of Kulant Peeth holds high importance.
‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ illustrated manuscript uses both Sanskrit and Kula Languages to tell the names of Kulant Peeth. The Mantra translation is different in both Kula and Sanskrit language. The translation in Kula language is not exact. But the one hundred and eight names of Kulant Peeth remain the same in the translated text of both languages. There are six illustrations in this manuscript. This is the manuscript of the Siddha Dharm and is written in Black and Red ink in Tankari script.
Four illustrations out of six are of the four great Mahasiddhas from Siddha Dharm. At the back side of the front page of this Manuscript, is the illustration of Mahasiddha teaching his disciples. On the last cover page, Yogis, Bhairavas and Bhairavis are performing ‘Mahamandal Awaran’ worship ritual. The ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ manuscript is written on thick hand made paper, totalling thirty-five pages, with the content of the Granth written on both sides of each page.
The dimension of this manuscript is 245 mm by 168 mm. Each text page has 10-11 lines of text. The colors of all illustrations were found to be faded. The illustrations were retouched to restore the original colour theme in order to preserve the original colour and clarity of the Mahasiddhas.
There are borders of red colour on both sides of each page which is decorated with the Beeja mantra ‘Kam’ of Goddess Kurukulla. ‘Atha Shri Kulutasya Shaiva Shakta Siddha Dharmachaar’ is written in small text on the top header of the cover page. While ‘Kulant Shri Peeth’ is written in bold letters in the middle of the cover page. ‘Ashtottarshat Namavali Likhyate Ji’ is written in small letters under the text ‘Kulant Shri Peeth’. Below this text there is ‘Kam’ Beeja Mantra written in a black color strip. Bright Yellow color is used on the cover image of this manuscript.
According to the head of Kaulantak Peeth (Kulant Peeth), Mahasiddha Ishaputra, “There are one thousand sacred names of Kulant Peeth called ‘Kulant Peeth Sahasranama’ like there are one hundred and eight names of Kulant Peeth called ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ which has one hundred and eight sacred names of Kulant Peeth. Although ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ is considered more important because it is used in the Sadhna and ‘Prayachitt Vidhan’ (practices to repent for one’s sins). It is also used in various worship rituals in Siddha Dharma tradition.”
Contents & Illustrations
This manuscript starts with the mantra ‘Namah Siddhdharmebhyo’. There are many small illustrations on the cover page of this manuscript with Bhagwan Shri Ganesha in the centre surrounded on both sides with Lotus flowers and elephants. At the bottom of the cover page, there’s an illuminated Yogi in Yoga posture surrounded by two Divine beings with beak and wings. While on the backside of the cover page, there is a Mahasiddha sitting under a tree surrounded with Bhairav and Bhairavis who are depicted wearing red colour robes with the snow covered Himalayas seen behind the Mahasiddha.
This manuscript has illustrations of four Mahasiddhas who have long beards sitting on ‘asan’ of the Divine Lotus flower with their names written on both sides in Tankari script. Behind the illustration of two Mahasiddhas, there are two Yantras of Kulant Peeth. First is the ‘Kulant Teertha Yantra’ and the second one is ‘Kulant Deva Yantra’. There is no description available about these Mahasiddhas and these Yantras in this manuscript. The ‘Maukhikh Parampara’ (oral tradition) describes that the four Mahasiddhas guided Yaksha Ushtrapaad in doing Tapasya in Kulant Peeth.
The list of four Mahasiddhas illustrated in this manuscript are:
|SL No.||List of Mahasiddhas|
|1||Mahasiddha Vilohit Pal Nath|
|2||Mahasiddha Amogh Vajra Nath|
|3||Mahasiddha Kurma Pal Nath|
|4||Mahasiddha Vishuddh Pal Nath|
There are a total one hundred and eight different names of Kulant Peeth (Kaulantak Peeth) in this manuscript. Mahasiddhas have addressed Kulant Peeth with different names in different ‘Granths’, but the most popular names of Kulant Peeth which are used the most by the Himalayan Siddhas are mentioned below with their meanings:
|SL No.||Names||Meaning of Names|
|1||Kaulantak Peeth||Where the ‘Kaula Asuras’, Kula Asuras were killed|
|2||Kulant Peeth||Where all the Kulas ends|
|3||Kulantar Peeth||Where many kinds of different Kulas (wisdom Kulas) originate and spread in world|
|4||Kula Peeth||A place of Kula Devi (Goddess Kurukulla)|
|5||Deva Desh||Divine Land of Gods|
|6||Siddha Peeth||Divine Land of Siddhas|
|7||Dharma Peeth||Divine Land of Dharma|
|8||Ratna Garbha Peeth||Divine Land of hidden jewels|
|9||Uttar Peeth||Divine Land of North|
|10||Sambhal Peeth||Divine Land of Sambhala|
It has been the tradition in Siddha Dharma to use different names for ‘that’ which is Divine and great. Like there are one hundred and eight names of Devi Durga, Goddess Sri Vidya, Bhagwan Shri Narayan and all other Devi-Devatas. Similarly ‘Kulant Peeth’ is referred to as the Divine land of Himalayan Siddhas and has one hundred and eight names of Kulant Peeth.
It is a famous legend in the ‘Maukhikh Parampara’ (oral tradition) of the Himalayan Siddhas. Yaksha Shrestha Ushtrapaad was the strongest and most worshipped Yaksha Deities in Kuninda kingdom. He noticed that his Divine powers have decreased and he felt that his powers have gone down to a great extent in comparison with the other Yasksha Deities. He became almost like a common man without power and his Divine ‘Teja’ decreased. Then Yaksha Ushtrapaad went to his Guru called Mahasiddha Ketak Nath ji to ask what happened to him. Then his Guru told him that due to some serious reasons from the previous births, he is now facing these ‘Doshas’ (shortcomings). So he was on the verge of falling down from the existence of being a Yaksha.
His Guru told the Yaksha that He must go to the land of Kulant Peeth, do the ‘Prayachitta Sadhna (practices to repent) and Tapasya on the land of Kulant Peeth. Then the presiding Deity of Yakshas, Bhagwan Shri Swachchanda Bhairav along with His consort Deity, Goddess Kurukulla will give Him (the Yaksha) their ‘Ashirwaad’ ( blessings) and boon to make Yaksha Ushtrapaad free of all his ‘doshas’ (shortcomings). The Guru then gave a mantra through which the Yaskha must do the stuti (sing praise) of Kulant Peeth. The Yaksha asked the ‘Vidhi’ (technique) of doing the Sadhna from the mantra and left for Kulant Peeth. The Yaksha Ushtrapaad crossed the river ‘Shatadru’. Then He reached the river ‘Arjiki’ (River Vipasha-Beas) and did the ‘Stuti’ (sing praises) of Kulant Peeth with 108 different names of Kulant Peeth. He practiced this technique three times a day during the ‘Tri Sandhya’ period every day.
The four Mahasiddhas, as mentioned above, guided Yaksha Ushtrapaad on how to do this Tapasya in the land of Kulant Peeth and do the ‘stuti’ of Kulant Peeth. The Yaksha requested the Mahasiddhas that they live on the land of Kulant Peeth, that they should have pity on him, bless him and make Him free of his ‘doshas’. The four Mahasiddhas asked the Yaksha about the one who guided him to come to Kulant Peeth. The Yaksha then revealed the name of his Guru to the Mahasiddhas.
Further, the Mahasiddhas confirmed that the technique of Yaksha Ushtrapaad is right and he should continue with it. He should consume the sacred water of the river after his Sadhna and also take bath in the same sacred waters. It is said that after some days, Bhagwan Shri Swachchanda Bhairav along with His consort Aghoreshwari Kurukulla, along with the mandala of Dakinis appeared along with many other Yogini Goddess and Devi-Devatas. After this, the Yaksha was freed from the ‘doshas’ and got the blessings to become the best amongst the Yakshas. After breaking free from his ‘doshas’ , the Yaksha Shreshtha returned to His Kuninda Kingdom.
Since that time, in the tradition of Kulant Peeth, one of the ‘Prayachitta Vidhi’ (repentance technique) involves reciting all mantras of the manuscript ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’. It is to get the blessings of Bhagwan Shri Swachchanda Bhairav, of Goddess Kurukulla, of the Mahasiddhas and of the Yogini Goddesses.
The manuscript of the ‘Kulant Peeth Ashtottarshat Namavali’ is written in ‘Kula Language’, written in Tankari script. All the ‘Mantras’ in this manuscript are written in Sanskrit and Kula Language.
The purpose of reading this manuscript is to be free of one’s sins, ‘doshas’ (shortcoming from previous birth also), to get the ‘Siddhis’, to pray to Kulant Peeth and to get blessings of the presiding Deities of Kulant Peeth.
Tradition of Preservation
There is a unique tradition to preserve the sacred manuscripts in the library of Kaulantak Peeth (Kulant Peeth). The manuscripts are considered sacred and are worshipped like a Deity is revered. It is worshipped through the fixed mantra using the sacred water of the land of Kulant Peeth.
Only the authorised Bhairavas and Bhairavis can conduct the worship ritual of these sacred manuscripts.