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Brahma Yamala

The Brahma Yamala is a significant text within the Shaivagama tradition, particularly among the Yamalas, which are a group of texts dealing with both Shiva and Shakti. The name "Yamala" itself suggests a connection to the twin aspects of Shiva and Shakti. The Brahma Yamala holds a central place among the eight known Yamalas, featuring a notable 22,100 shlokas or verses, according to one version.

In the narrative of the Brahma Yamala, it is described that Ishvara, seeking divine knowledge, propitiated Bhagavan Shrikantha and received this profound wisdom. Ishvara then shared this knowledge with his consort, Parvati or Devi. The content of the text outlines the process of creation starting from Sadashiva through his Parashakti, the supreme energy.

One of the distinctive features of the Brahma Yamala is its exploration of the three srotas or currents in tantric traditions. These currents are named Dakshina, Vama, and Madhyama. The Dakshina Srota is associated with sattva and is referred to as 'shuddha' (pure). The Vama Srota, characterized by rajas, is termed 'mishra' (mixed). The Madhyama Srota, dominated by tamas, is described as 'ashesha-mala-ranjita' (fully colored by impurity).

The Brahma Yamala also attributes the propagation of Shiva's knowledge to various deities and sages, including Ishwara, Mahadevi, Brahma, Vishnu, Ushanas, Brihaspati, Sanatkumara, and Lakulisa. These divine entities play a crucial role in disseminating the wisdom contained within the text.

The earliest known manuscript of the Brahma Yamala, dating back to 1052 CE, is currently preserved in Nepal. According to this manuscript, the knowledge was transmitted by eight Bhairavas, including figures like Svacchanda and Krodha. These Yamalas signify significant developments in tantric sadhanas, providing insights into the spiritual practices and rituals within the Shaivagama tradition.