I have received a query on what Laghu Nyasa is and what are the other Nyasas.
I have written on Anganyasa and Karanyasa.
Anganyasa is purification of the limbs and requesting a specific deity ruling the organ,its matra,subtle element to be present there and protect that organ.
The same applies to Kara ( hands) Nyasa.
People are confused about this,especially when they chant the Srirudram,where Mahanyasa and Laghu Nyasa are prescribed.
The confusion is due to the meaning of the term ‘laghu’,meaning easy,simple.
Readers want to know if following Laghunyasa would yield results as it is easy.
Nyasa ,as a tool for realizing Brahman through Tantra Shastra is of three types( these are available,others,if there be any,I am unable to locate).
2.Maha Nyasa and
While Laghu Nyasa,Maha Nyasa is used in the worship of Ganesha,Subrahmanya,Matruka Nyasa is used exclusively for Devi Lalitha Tripurasundari.
To understand these Nyasas a small note on the concept of God in Hinduism is necessary.
According to Vedas,the authority in spiritual matters in Hindism,the Reality,Brahman is beyond Attributes,Names and Forms.
It is experienced ,not known.
It is felt and beyond Logic.
Hinduism understands the difficulty of concentrating on abstract principles to realize Brahman,that is the cessation of the modifications of the Mind and going beyond.
Human mind ,being limited and conditioned by the concepts of Time and Space can not comprend Infinity,Bliss and attain the state of being without thought waves.
However the Human mind can concentrate on name and form
So the concept of Gods,Goddesses with name and forms have been suggested.
And one can choose any of them ,in any form and commune with them in a relationship that appeals to the individual.
Please read my article Gods Have Names and Forms, Hinduism,Yes and No.
So the first step is to worship one God as one prefers in the form one likes.
This is Lagunyasa,where Rudra is worshipped as Shiva,as a personal God with the best Attributes.
The next step is to Attribute this personal God with lordship over all other Gods and vest with Him the power to be the embodiment of everything in the,Universe.
This thought process can be seen in the Vibhuthi Yoga of Bhagavad,Gita,where Krishna is described as the principle behind everything and He is described as the best among each genus by name.
Adithyaanam Aham Vishnu,I am Vishnu amng Adithyas,
One may find these in the Vibuthi Yoga.
One may also observe in the Lalitha Sahasranama,that there is a separate chapter each for Nirguna,Attributeless ,Upasna and Saguna Upasna.
This form of worship is both transition from Laghu to Mahanyasa.
As one goes further,say in Srirudram,one will find thecstuthis gradually becoming Nirguna,without Attributes,from the worship as Personal God.
So Lagunyasa is as effective as Mahanyasa as it slopes up to Mahanyasa and embraces Mahanyasa .
This is one of the reasons why Srirudra and Lalitha,Sahasranama are called Mahamantras as they are both processses and results in realising Brahman,the Reality.
Please read my article on Brahman Upasna in Srirudram.
To enable readers understand the concpt better I am reproducing excerpts from Swamy Paramathmanadas lecture.
the three levels of Bhakti is there in the dhyana sloka. We will briefly see the meaning of the sloka.
śuddhasphaṭika saṅkāśaṃ trinetraṃ pañca vaktrakam |
gaṅgādharaṃ daśabhujaṃ sarvābharaṇa bhūṣitam
This is the first stage where we look upon Lord Shiva as a person. And what is HIS complexion? Suddhaspatika Sankasam, Shiva is very, very fair. Mrs. Shiva, Parvathi, is dark. Maybe this is to show that there should not be any fights over black and white! Shiva is as fair as a crystal. Then trinetram, HE has three eyes represented by the sun, the moon and the fire. The sun and moon represent the ordinary eyes. Agni the third eye represents knowledge. In the mythology you’ll find that Lord Shiva with the third eye destroyed everything including Manmatha (god of kama) and HE also destroy tripurantaka asuras etc. Philosophically the third eye represents Janani Agnih. When we mean Lord destroys Kama we mean HE destroys all our petty desires. IF we have the third eye of wisdom like Shiva we can also burn Kama, kroda, loba, etc. Tripura rakshasas represent the three sharirams, the three gunas, and the three avasthas. With the help of the third eye a person destroys all the sharirams (sthula, sukha and karam). In short, HE destroys samsara, thereby HE destroys all our problems. Pancavaktrakam – the Lord who has five faces or five heads. Four heads on four sides and one head looking up (you should not ask where is the place!). The five heads are enumerated in the Vedas in the well known mantra sandyo jatham prapadh is the first one, vamadevayah is the second, agorabyo is the third one, tat purushaya is the fourth one, eshanah is the fifth. The fifth head is very important for those people who seek self-knowledge, all the apara vidya and also para vidya. It is from the standpoint of eshanah that we look upon Lord Shiva as Dakshinamurthy. Lord Shiva is the authority of Vedas. Then Gangadaram means is one who has got Ganga devi or Ganga river on his jatta. From Lord Shiva head only Ganga is blessing all people. Philosophically Ganga represents brahma vidya or self-knowledge. There are a lot of similarities between Ganga and self-knowledge. Both originate from the Lord’s head. Ganga is a perennial river not like our local Madras river that dry up, similarly the tradition of self-knowledge is also perennial. Ganga flows from higher plane to lower plane, atma-vidya too flows from guru in the higher plane to sishya in the lower plane. If you dip into Ganga it refreshes your body and mind, similarly if you dip in brahma vidya (self-knowledge) you like refresh yourself. Ganga has got various ghats (steps). You should approach only through the ghats otherwise you’ll be swept away. Ganga is a powerful river. There are lot of rocks and it;s ice cold. Even a powerful swimmer cannot swim in this river. So if you want to have a bath you must go to a ghat. Likewise if you want self-knowledge you must follow a tradition of approaching a guru. You insist on self-efforts like using translation it will only cause confusion. There are so many common features and the Lord is called Gangadarah. Dasabhujam – the Lord who has ten hands which are stretched in all the ten directions (four main quarters, four secondary quarters and then up and down). Sarva bharana Bhushitam – One who has many ornaments on HIS body. All the ornaments of Shiva are made up of snakes!
nīlagrīvaṃ śaśāṅkāṅkaṃ nāga yaṅñopa vītinam |
vyāghra carmottarīyaṃ ca vareṇyamabhaya pradam
Nilagrivam is the one who is blue necked and one who swallowed the poison to save the whole world. Sasankankam is one who has got moon on HIS head. Philosophically the moon represents the time principle for we determine “thiti” and kala from its movement. Therefore Shiva has Kala under HIS control. nāga yaṅñopa vītinam – HE has got the sacred thread which is another snake. vyāghra carmottarīyaṃ ca is the tiger skin that HE is wearing as a dress. Varenyam means that HE is the goal of all the people as HE is the nature of Ananda. Abaya pradam is ONE who gives protection, refuge to all the devotees.
kamaṇḍal-vakṣa sūtrāṇāṃ dhāriṇaṃ śūlapāṇinam |
jvalantaṃ piṅgaḷajaṭā śikhā muddyota dhāriṇam
HE has got Kamandalu and aksha mala and that’s why HE is the representative of all sanyasis. Shivaratri is considered to be very sacred as many take sanyasa deeksha on this auspicious day. Shiva represents tyaga and Vishnu represents bhoga. Shiva has got jatta and HE does not even have a proper dress. Shiva represents the sanyasi parampara. HE has got sulapaninam to destroy all the asuras. Jvalantam is ONE who is shining, one who is bright. Pingalajatta means jatta is golden yellow in colour as it is not washed (there is no shampoo etc) and it has become brawny colour. And sikha that is standing upward like a plane and one who is keeping Ganga jalam in HIS matted hair.
vṛṣa skandha samārūḍham umā dehārtha dhāriṇam |
amṛtenāplutaṃ śāntaṃ divyabhoga samanvitam
HE is amrutham as abhisekam is indicated, HE is ananda and HE is one who has Uma devi as the second half of HIS body. Even after sanyasa HE has got a peculiar problem for he cannot leave his wife. Wherever HE goes Uma devi will also come. And one who is seated on a divine simhasanam that is the Himalayas. And one who has all the bhoga as Himalayas have all the gold, gems etc.
digdevatā samāyuktaṃ surāsura namaskṛtam |
nityaṃ ca śāśvataṃ śuddhaṃ dhruva-makṣara-mavyayam
One who is surrounded by dig devatas and one who is worshipped by all suras and asuras. Until now you got description of Shiva as a personal god. Now the sloka give a different and higher angle of nirgunal brahma swarupam. nityaṃ ca śāśvataṃ śuddhaṃ dhruva-makṣara-mavyayam and these are all definitions of formless Brahman. It is nitya, (eternal), sasvatam (changeless), suddham (pure), druvam (without any movement), aksharam (without any distraction) and avyayam (without any taint). According to the level and maturity of the seeker we can see Shiva as personal god or we can see Shiva as nirgunam Brahman. Then having given these two aspect the dhyana sloka gives the third aspect, that is anaka rupam or vishwa rupam.
sarva vyāpina-mīśānaṃ rudraṃ vai viśvarūpiṇam |
evaṃ dhyātvā dvijaḥ samyak tato yajanamārabhe
The very same lord is not seated in Kailasa but HE is the form of whole vishwa or cosmos and who is all pervading and who is the ultimate lord. Here we have to reverse the order, first eka rupa then anaka rupa and finally arupa. Having meditated on Shiva in one form or the other according to the maturity of the devotee thereafter rudra abhisekham should be done. First we have to meditate and only then do the rudram puja. …..
Reference and citation. http://spiritualsathya.blogspot.in/2014/07/dhyana-slokas-of-sri-rudram.html?m=1