Kaula in Hindu Religion – Kaula form of worship

Kaula in Hindu religion is a person who performs one of the forms of Tantric worship. The Kaula sect is a highly specialized group of advanced seekers of Tantra. They belong to Shakta School and worship one or numerous forms of Mother Goddess Shakti.

Kularnava Tantra describes Kulachara as the highest form of Tantric Worship.

Kulachara means the traditional religious observances peculiar to a family. It has a mysterious meaning in Tantric worship.

A Kaula uses as means of worship those very things which are usually considered most dangerous for spiritual seekers. They are called Panchatattva or Panchamakaras.

There are two divisions of Kaula worshippers namely, Purva Kaulas and Uttara Kaulas.

Purva Kaula worship Mother Goddess in the form of Sri Chakra. This form of worship is known as Sri Vidya.

The Uttara Kaula does not practice his worship alone in Tantra, but he practices it with a young woman as his partner.

The female partner is called Shakti or Vama or Lata and Kaula way of worship is called Shakta worship or Vamachara or Lata Sadhana.

The Uttara Kaulas are divided into three classes according to their progress and advancement towards the ultimate goal.

For selecting a female partner for worship, very strict rules and tests are applied. These are found in the Gandharva Tantra.

Severe punishment is given to those seekers who take to Kaulamarga without first overcoming lust. This is mentioned in the Parananda Sutra.

Yogini Tantra and Kamakhya Tantra also mentions about Kaula.

Kaavad Story Telling Tradition in Rajasthan – Narrating Stories with the aid of Kaavad Boxes

Kaavad story telling is a 400-year-old folk art of Rajasthan. Stories from Ramayana, Mahabarata and folk tales are narrated with the aid of Kaavad Boxes.

Kaavads are wooden boxes with multiple doors. The box is colored in red and stories are painted on each door of the Kaavad. The story teller is known as Kaavadiya Bhat. He narrates a story by pointing to the images on the Kaavad with a peacock feather.
The New Indian Express writes

The stories are in a definite rhythm. They are stories from Ramayan and Mahabharat or folk tales or stories from his patrons’ lives.
While the Kaavadiyas come from the Marwar region, the artists who make the Kaavads are from the Mewar region. Satyanarayan, an artist sitting near Kojaram, is busy painting the Kaavad. He is the Suthar who makes the Kaavad. Kojaram says, “If we stop Baanchana (story telling), some calamity will befall on us and that will be our end.” Kaavad-makers have adapted to new patrons or jajmans.

Bhikshu Gita Teachings

Oh king! Abandon the feeling that you are going to die – a feeling that befits only animals. For, the real you are not, like the body, a previously non-existent thing now come into being.

The real you did not descend like a son from a father, or like a tree from a seed, generated by a being that is itself originated. You are, on the other hand, like the fire, which, though seen in association with wood, is not its product and is entirely different from it.

In the dream, one can experience one’s own decapitation. Physical death in the waking state is on par with it. The atman, which is not one with the body, but only its witness, is not affected by death. It is without origin and deathless.

When a pot is destroyed, the sky enclosed by it becomes one with the universal. So also, when the body perishes through jnana, the jiva becomes one with the Brahman.

Bhikshu Gita is found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana