A well cared for Ākāś-Bhairab mūrti in Kathmandu

My interest was piqued by Goudriaan and Gupta’s description of the Ākāśabhairavakalpa whose main deity, Ākāśabhairava, is “a fearsome winged deity, a manifestation of Bhairava, who is invoked in various ways–of course by means of mantras–for the sake of exorcism.” who “manifests [himself] in three forms, viz. Ākāśabhairava, Āśugāruḍa, and Śārabha…” (Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature 1981: 115)  Given my research interests, I thought the second form sounded promising, and was further spurred to seek out this text by a posting on the Mānasataraṅgiṇī blog where the blogger mentions the text as “a combination of the bhairava srotas with the earlier garuḍa-srotas” (“A Discursion on the Sanatkumārīya Pañcabrahma (siddha-śaṅkara) Tantra and the Early Evolution of the Dakṣiṇaśaiva System” January 5, 2010).  The staff of the NGMCP graciously allowed me to view copies of several Nepalese manuscripts of the text.  For my own purposes of scoping out the text for Gāruḍa material, I have made a list of the chapter titles:
Chapters 1–71 are from NGMPP reel number A 144/13
Chapters 72–81 are from a different manuscript, A 145/9
<> indicates that the title was not given or illegible.  I occasionally checked uncertain words against the other MS.
1: utsāhaprakrama (–f.2r)
2: yajanavidhi (–f.3r)
3: utsāhayajana (–f.4r)
4: utsāhābhiṣekavidhi (–f.5r)
5: mantrayantraprakrama (–f.6r)
6: citramālāmantra (–f.7v)
7: vaśyākarṣaṇaprayoga (–f.8r)
8: mohanadrāvakaprayoga (–f.8v)
9: stambhavidveṣaprayoga (–f.8v)
10: uccāṭananigrahaprayoga (–f.9r)
11: bhogaprada (–f.9v)
12: āśutārkṣyavidhi (–f.10v)
13: āśugāruḍaprayoga (–f.11v)
14: āśugāruḍakavaca (–f.13v)
15: śiṣyācāravidhi (–f.15r)
16: <śarabhasāluvapakṣirājakalpa*> (–f.16v) = title of ch.81?
17: śarabheśāṣṭakastotramantra (–f.18r)
18: <mālāmantra> (–f.20r)
19: <nigrahaprayoga> (–f.20v)
20: <homaprabhedaprayoga> (–f.22r)
21: <(no title)> (–f.23r)
22: rakṣābhiṣekhavidhi (–f.24r)
23: balividhāna (–f.25v)
24: <sadācāravidhi> (–f.28r)
25: māyāprayogavidhi (–f.29r)
26: ācāravidhi (–f.29v)
27: mātṛkāvarṇana (–f.32v)
28: bhadrakālīvidhi (–f.33r)
29: auṣadhavidhi (–f.35r)
30: śūlinīdurgākalpana (–f.37r)
31: śūlinīvidhi (–f.41v)
32: vīrabhadrakalpa (–f.42v)
33: jagatkṣobhaṇa<mālāmantra> (–f.45r)
34: <bhairavaprayoga> (–f.46r)
35: balividhi (–f.47v)
36: kṣetrapālavidhi (–f.49v)
37: vaḍavānalabhairavavidhi (–f.50v)
38: dikpālavidhi (–f.51v)
39: vyādhikalpa (–f.52r)
40: mṛtyuvidhi (–f.52v)
41: śarabhakavaca (–f.57v)
42: manmathaprayoga (–f.59v)
43: cāmuṇḍāvidhi (–f.60v)
44: mohinīvidhi (–f.61r)
45: drāviṇīprayoga (–f.61v)
46: śabdākarṣiṇīprayoga (–f.62r)
47: bhāṣāsarasvatīmantraprayoga (–f.63r)
48: mahālakṣmīprayoga (–f.63v)
49: māyāvidhi (–f.64r)
50: pulindinīvidhi (–f.64v)
51: mahāśāstāvidhi (–f.68v)
52: saṃkṣobhiṇīvidhi (–f.69r)
53: dhūmāvatīvidhi (–f.69v)
54: dhūmāvatīprayoga (–f.70r)
55: nadyuttāraṇavidhi (–f.71r)
56: citravidyāvidhi (–f.72v)
57: deśikastotra (–f.74v)
58: duḥkhasvapnanāśanamantravidhi (–f.75r)
59: pāśavimocana (–f.75v)
60: gaṇapatividhi (–f.76v)
61: auṣadhamantravidhi (–f.78r)
62: mūlikāvidhi (–f.79v)
63: kālamantravidhi (–f.80r)
64: ṣaṇmukhamantravidhi (–f.80v)
65: bhairavavidhi (–f.81r)
66: tvaritāvidhi (–f.82r)
67: vīrabhadravidhi (–f.82v)
68: vaḍavānalabhairavaprayoga (–f.83r)
69: brāhmīvidhi (–f.83v)
70: māheśvarīvidhi (–f.84r)
71: kaumārīvidhi (–f.84v)
72: vaiṣṇavīvidhi (–f.32r)
73: vārāhīvidhi (–f.32v)
74: nārasiṃhīvidhi (–f.32v)
75: indrāṇīvidhi (–f.33r)
76: cāmuṇḍāvidhi (–f.33r)
77: sāluvabhujaṅga (–f.34r)
78: śarabhahṛdaya (–f.35v)
79: śarabhāṣṭottaraśata (–f.37r)
80: śarabhasahasranāma (–f.44r)
81: śarabhasāluvapakṣirājakalpa (–f.46r)
Unfortunately I didn’t notice any Gāruḍa material in my brief look through the text.  If anyone reading this knows of something there I overlooked, please let me know.  The Āśugāruḍa form of Bhairava seems to be more of a general purpose kavaca procedure.  The Tvaritā chapter (66) mentions nothing about poison or snakes, only giving her mantra (notably the word vidyā is not used) in an encoded form.  There seems to be an abundance of references to exorcism (in the tradition of the Bhūtatantras), which accords with what Goudriaan and Gupta wrote, quoted above.  It certainly would be a boon to have this typed in and edited, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get to that for some years to come.

2 thoughts on “Ākāśabhairavakalpa

  1. I was led to you post because of multiple hits to my page via yours. I have seen at least 3 manuscripts of the text and they are each missing different parts, so yours could have a gap in the garuDa section. The one you seem to list is related to the south Indian manuscripts I have seen but has an “addendum” from the kulAlatantra pertaining to deity called Arya or shAstR^i along with a general section of mAtR^ikA-s. Check the ShaNmukha section; if it has a vidhi related that composed by the saiddhAntika teacher aghorashiva then certainly it is transmission of the southern version to Nepal. It also seems partly related to the ABhK available in print. The garuDa section of the best manuscript of the AbhK that I have seen begins thus:
    dIrghabAhuM bR^ihatskandham nAgAbharaNa-bhUShitaM |
    daMShTrA-karAla-vadanaM kirITa-MukuToj-jvalaM ||…
    It goes on to invoke the brahmANDavyApin tArkShya
    Then it gives the garuDa-gAyatrI; mahAgaruDa mantra; The viSha-nAshana mantra of the garuDopaniShat; the sarpa-vR^ishchika-lUtikAntaka mantra; AshugaruDa mantra (variant of mahAgaruDa mantra) and garuda-bhairava dhyAnaM (related to garuDa purANa).
    Though I am Not sure if this is what you were interested in…

  2. स्वागतं सोमशुष्म
    Thank you for pointing out that the text already has been edited. I had looked for an edition, but not hard enough. I did not see anything related to viṣanāśana in the Ṣaṇmukha chapter of my manuscript, but on your advice I will keep looking and try to get ahold of some editions. I see a 1981 edition by Sharma published out of Delhi, an edition of the Śarabha section by S Kṛṣṇamūrtiśāstrī 1986, out of Tañjāpurı̄, and a study and translation of it under the alternate title “Sāṃrājyalakṣmīpīṭhikā” by Sarangi out of Calcutta in 1993. I’ll look into these more and post again.

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