ORIGINS AND FOLKLORE
Master-disciple relationship has always been at the core of Sri Vidya. For a Sri Vidya sadhak, Guru bhakti is most essential. The first Guru of the world Bhagwan Dattatrey conferred to Parshuram the first ever Sri Vidya initiation. So the latter was the first inheritor of this spiritual wisdom. He, in turn passed this to the most spiritually qualified and deserving (supatra) of his pupils. So only one disciple used to get this deeksha (initiation).
Gradually, Sri Vidya vanished from the scene as worthiness became a bone of contention.
Some years down the line, Adi Shankracharya, who was a renowned saint of his era and also an ardent Shiva devotee, thought of restoring this arcane science. So after much penance, Lord Shiva as a boon for Shankracharya’s diligence gifted him “Sundarya Lehri” which is the most powerful scripture of the world if one realizes its true value. Otherwise, it is just a eulogy to Ma Parvati’s pristine beauty. But, after giving him the holy book, Lord Shiva realized that Shankracharya won’t bother to discern the true essence of Saundarya Lehri if he gets it all too easy. So he sent his acolytes to Shankracharya who picked up a fight with him, during which the book got torn into two halves. So, Shankracharya returned with one half and thus decided to complete it through meditation which is what Lord Shiva desired.
It is at that time that he was able to decipher the true essence of Sri Vidya.
Thereafter he did two things. The first to construct the all powerful Advait Sri Vidya sadhna, the initiation to which he gave to some redoubtable saints.
Secondly, he made an army of Sri Vidya upasaks comprising Brahmins, who were taught all about Sri Vidya homas, havans, their rites and rituals.
The Advait Sri Vidya sadhna was passed on from one Guru to only one of his disciples, who he thought was spiritually, a cut above the rest. This was done to avoid such a hallowed form of worship falling into wrong hands. As the Guru shishya tradition gradually petered out of the Indian culture, this meditation too slipped into oblivion.
Initially, it was an extremely perplexing meditation involving separate methods of worshipping three different Goddesses of wisdom — Kadi Vidya, Hadi vidya and Sadi Vidya.
Later, these 3 separate worships were clubbed to form Sri Vidya. Even after joining of the three Vidyas, Sri Vidya remained an uphill meditation to perform. Baba ji worked for years on end to make the sadhna palatable and feasible for the current crop of spiritual seekers.
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