Thursday, July 14, 2016

851. Tapta Mudra Dharana and Chaturmasa.

In Vaishnava Sampradaya (those who believe Sri Hari is Supreme) more predominantly in Madhva sect Mudra Dharana is a common feature. Mudra Dharana is a ritual wherein the believer sports the Mudras which are Shankha, Chakra, Gada & Padma the four attributes of Sri Hari.  

Mudra Dharana is of two types Shitala and Tapta. Shitala Mudra Dharana is applying the mudras using copper mudras by using Gopichandana. Tapta Mudra Dharana is done using heated copper moulds. The reason behind applying the daily mudras with Gopichandana is to denote that this Stula Deha (Gross Body) belongs to Sri Hari. And this ritual keeps the body cool as Gopichandana is clay got from Dwaraka. Tapta Mudra Dharana is applied on Aashada Shuddha Ekadaahi which is the start of Chaturmasa which starts on the Ekadashi of Ashadamasa and is observed till Kartika Purnami. It is said that in this four months Sri Hari will be in Yoga Nidra (Divine Contemplative Slumber). Tapta Mudra by His devotees is to bring them to awake state by getting stamped by hot copper moulds of Wheel representing Sudarshana Chakra and Conch representing Paanchajanya Shankha on the shoulders.

This ritual is also called “Vaishnava Deekshe” (proclaiming I am a Vaishnava).  Vaishnava Deekshe has two components Bahya which is outwardly and the other is Antarya. The Antarya is to know Sri Hari as Sarvottama (Best of all), Svatantra (Independent), Sarvashakta (Omnipotent), Sarvajna (Omniscient), Sarvavyapta (Omnipresent), and everything is under His control in all times and places. The Bahya is of stamping mudras which demonstrate the steadfast faith one has on Him.

Tapta Mudradhaarana is an act to purify the body before commencement of any divine austerity.  It a Vedic tradition that also has therapeutic values as it is believed to stimulate the nervous system and provide immunity to the body. In remote villages Jaundice (Hepatitis) is treated by stamping from a heated copper bar on the body. Our ancients knew that effect of heated copper when stamped on the human body would cure disease. Copper has got the inherent property to kill bacteria. Our ancients were advising us to use copper we neglected them, now an Irish hospitals is using copper door knobs and handles to fight infection in the hospital.  

During Mudra Dharana mantras are chanted which roughly mean  “May the radiance of Sudharashana Chakra remove ignorance and the sound of Paanchanjanya shankha destroy accumulated sins so that Vishnu Marga (Path towards Vishnu) be our grace.”  

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