The Spiritual Line of Five world Preceptors --- Vishwamahagurus
The paramount significance of five world preceptors - Vishwamahagurus in the discipline of Shreevidyamahayoga is one of the characteristic features of this spiritual tradition. These five world preceptors are: Lord Shri Dakshinamurty Paramshiva, Lord Shri Dattatreya, Lord Shri Parshuram, Bhagawan Shri Dnyaneshwar Maharaj and Bhagawan Shri Chidambarmahaswami. Every spiritual aspirant brought into the fold of Shreevidyamahayoga through an initiation from Shri Shriniwasji has to pay his worshipful devotion to all of these five Vishwamahagurus in adition to his own Guru to gain the blessings of them to progress himself in the path of Shreevidyamahayoga. Without receiving the blessings of these world teachers, it is just impossible to progress in this path of Shreevidya even though one has undergone all those initiatory processes under the guidance of the worthy Guru. Hence, it is very necessary to bring out the spiritual significance of the line of Vishwamahagurus before those who are desirous to get themselves included in this tradition through initiation.
It is a well-known fact among the sadhakas belonging to Shreevidyamahayoga tradition that there were in all twelve great sages flourished in ancient epochs and eons who were initiators of Shreeviyda. The occult tradition of Shreevidya has recorded their names in the following shloka:
MANUSH CHANDRA KUBERASHCHA LOPAMUDRA CH MANMATHAHA
AGASTIRAGNIHI SURYASCHA VISHNUHU SKANDHAHA SHIVASHTATHA
KRODHBHATTARAKA SHCHAPI DVADASHAITE UPASAKAHA
The names of these great sages appear as per the shloka: 1.Vaivswat Manu 2. Chandra 3. Kuber 4. Lopamudra 5.Manmath or Kamdeva 6. Agasti 7. Agni 8. Surya 9. Vishnu 10. Skandh 11. Shiva 12. Krodhbhattarak or Durwasa.
These were twelve great sages who were founder-initiators of the discipline of Shreevidyamahayoga. Many of these sages are famous Gods in Hindu pantheon while sage Durwasa and sage Agasti and his wife Lopamudra belonged to the class of human beings. Despite being independent initiators in their own line of Shreevidya, almost all of them were vitally connected with two main foremost Acharyas --- Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The occult tradition of Shreevidya records that in a distant ancient epoch Lord Vishnu incarnated in the form of sage Hayagriva propagated the discipline of Shreevidyamahayoga among divine heavenly Gods, immortal siddhas and mortal human beings upon earth. The same occult tradition records that in a similar distant and ancient epoch Lord Paramshiva incarnated on the earth in the kshetra
Akashchidambar, now-a-days in Tamilnadu India in the form of Anandbhairava Nateshwar or Nataraj and propagated the discipline of Shreevidyamahayoga among the deserving aspirants. The names of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the list of twelve founder sages above really refer to Lord Hayagriva as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Lord Anandbhairava as an incarnation of Lord Shiva respectively. The remaining ten sages in the list above are directly or indirectly connected with one of the two sages, Lord Hayagriva and Lord Anandbhairava in receiving their blessings and guidance, e.g. while sage Agasti and his wife Lopamudra had their preceptorial connection with sage Hayagriva. Sage Manmath or Kamdeva, Skandh or Shadanan-Kartikeya and Kuber had their preceptorial connection with the Lord Ananadbhairava Nataraj.
Lord Anandbhairava Nateshwar or Nataraj
Then appeared at the beginning of the present Vaivaswat manwantar the greatest incarnation of Lord Paramshiva in the form of Lord Dakshinamurty in the Mahakailas region in the Himalayas. Lord Dakshinamurty accepted everything that was useful and advisable from the standpoind of spiritual upliftment from the traditions established by Lord Hayagriva and Lord Anandbhairava, reformed them and set before the deserving aspiring sages the discipline of Shreevidyamahayoga in its revised form. It is now clear that though there are twelve founder-preceptor sages in the field of Shreevidya, the three among them, Lord Hayagriva Lord Anandbhairva and Lord Dakshinamurty have a pre-eminent place as founder Acharyas in this tradition.
The occult tradition then records that Lord Shri Dakshinamurty Paramshiva handed over the secrets of Shreevidyamahayoga to Lord Dattatreya who, in turn, handed it down to his disciple, Lord Bhargava Jamadgnya Parashuram who himself was the sixth incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu. Lord Dakshinamurty composed Dakshinamurty Sanhita, a treatise related to Shreevidya. Lord Dattatreya also wrote Dattasanhita, a treatise containing some twenty thousand shlokas, explaining the thereortical and practical aspects of Shreevidyamahayoga.
The same treatise was abridged by his disciple Lord Parashuram in the form of Parashuram Kalpasutra which was, it is said, composed of fifty khandas or sections. Sumedha Haritayana, one of the principal shishyas of Lord Parshuram studied the posthumous volume of kalpasutra and abriged it again into ten sections. He also composed Tripurarahasya into three sections
1. Dnyan khand
2. Mahatmya khand
These sections preserve the theoretical and practical secrets of Shreevidya handed down to Lord Parshuram from his Guru Lord Dattatreya.
The credit of formulating the ancient Shreevidya in its theoretical and practical aspects and putting it before the deserving public in its revised from goes to these main Acharyas, Lord Shri Dakshinamurty, Lord Shri Dattatreya and Lord Shri Parashuram. Hence it is obligatory to each and every sadhaka of Shreevidya to pay his devout respects to these world-teachers - Vishwamahagurus.
In the modern times i.e. in the 13th century A.D., Lord Hayagriva-Vishnu incarnated in the form of Dnyaneshwar or Dnyandeva in Apegoan in Nagar district, Maharashtra, spent almost the whole of his life in Alandi near modern Pune in Maharashtra. He has written a poetic commentary entitled Dnyaneshwari or Bhavarthdeepika on Bhagavadgita. He was also one of the pioneering saints who led the devotional Warkari movement which emphasizes the supreme importance of devotion to Lord Pandurang, Vitthal, one of the satvic forms of Lord Vishnu. However, the occult tradition of Shreevidya records that though Dnyaneshwar was outwardly a popular saint propagating the path of devotion to Lord Pandurang among the masses, he himself was one of the greatest Shreevidyamahayogins. His another small treatise entitled Aubhavamruta or Amrutanubhava is related to the theme of "Shiva-Shakti Samarasya", an important tenet of Shreevidyamahayoga which he received from the tradition of Navanathas and Kashmir Shaivism, both of which were vitally connected to sage Durwasa, one of the twelve founder-preceptors of Shreevidya. Sage Dnyaneshwar Maharaj attained Sanjiwan Mahasamadhisiddhi at the tender age of twenty in Alandi in Shalivahan Shaka1212.
The advent of Bhagawan Shri Chidambarmahaswami has already been sufficiently narrated. In this connection, it is sufficient to note that the ancient divine Acharya Lord Anandbhairava Nateshwar got himself incarnated in the form of Lord Shri Chidambarmahaswami and propagated and continued the tradition of Shreevidyamahayoga among the deserving aspirants in recent times. On the basis of personal experience of the present day Shreevidyamahayoga sadhakas, it can be said that the ancient divine sages Lord Shri Anandbhairava Nateshwar and Lord Shri Hayagriva incarnated as Lord Shri Chidambaemahaswami and Shri Dnyaneshwar Maharaj respectively in the modern times, are still spreading their blessings among the deserving followers of Shreevidya tradition by inspiring them to realize the highest and the perfect goal of Shreevidyamahayoga discipline - the realization of Divine Sachchidanand in its triple-aspects as Bhagawan, Paramatman and Parabrahaman through one's own first hand indubitable personal spiritual experience which is none else but Shreevidya, Chit-Shakti. Therefore, the sadhakas of Shreevidyamahayoga initiated by Shri Grudev Shriniwasji Siddhacharya devoutly worship Lord Dakshinamurty, Lord Dattatreya, Lord Parashuram, Lord Hayagriva-Vishnu in his incarnated form as Lord Dnyaneshwar and Lord Anandbhairava Nateshwar in his incarnated form as Lord Chidambarmahaswami as the five Vishwamahagurus.
Their worship leads the sadhak uninterruptedly to higher and higher levels in his sadhana which ultimately culminates in obtaining the light of Shreevidya in one's own heartspace -- Rhidayakash where the sadhaka realizes that Shreevidya is Bhagavati and inseperable Chit-Shakti of Sachchidanand Bhagawan bestowing upon the sadhak a blissful realization of his inseperable proximity-Sameepya with him. The sadhak realizes the same Shreevidya as inseperable Chit-Shakti of Sachchidanand Pramatman imparting the sadhaka the realization of his magnificent similarity with the supreme Godhead, Paramatman. The sadhak also realizes the same Shreevidya as Brahmi or Brahma-vidya, inseperable Vidya-Shakti of Parabrahman shedding on the sadhak the light of his ever-abiding eternal identity with the supreme Absolute Parabrahman. In this ultimate stage, the sadhaka realizes the basic non-duality -- Advaita of apparent universe and of innumerable individual Jivas, conscious souls with formless nameless Sachchidanand Parabrahman. Here in this ultimate stage, the enlightened sadhak proclaims, "Swatmaiv Devata Prokta Lalita Vishwavigraha" which means Chit-Shakti Lalitamahatripursundari is none else but his innermost divine self who is shining before him in infinite names and forms which the unrealized ignorant people mistakenly perceive as inert unconscious universe infected with various imperfections just as a person weak in eye-sight may in a dim-light mistake rope as serpent.
Shri Chidambar Mahaswami