Siddha’s Nyaya is the nyaya or justice system of the Siddhas. Infact, the nyaya system of the Siddhas can be called the nyaya system of our oriental Indian society because the Siddha’s system had been predominantly followed by the Kings, Rishi/Maharishis to reach justice. It is also not to be confused with the nyayasutra of Maharishi Gautama. Siddha’s Jurisprudence deals with justice based on Siddha Dharma or how it views justice and ensures it.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Siddha’s Nyaya System has its own system of adjudication or giving judgments. The purpose of justice is dharm and the dharm is considered as the highest virtue for every being in this universe. The justice system or dharm system is regulated by gurumandala and nyanamandala. The main actors of the Siddha’s nyaya system are the Gurumandala and Nyayamandala.
Gurumandala and Nyayamandala
- 1 Gurumandala and Nyayamandala
- 2 Philosophy of Siddha’s Nyaya System
- 3 The hierarchy of the Siddha’s Nyaya System
- 4 Procedures, symbols, flag of Nyaya Mandala
- 5 The philosophy of Adjudication
The word “Mandala” is one of the most important and widely recurring words in “Siddha Dharma”. Manadala normally would mean a systematic placement of guru or deity within a fixed structure. For instance, yantra is also termed as mandala because the structure of mandala is fixed and which circumambulates the bindu or the mid-point of the yantra. The triangles, circles and the bhupura circumambulate the bindu. But the fundamental difference between the yantra and mandala is that in mandala there is no geometrical structures but gurus they arrange themselves around a fixed point forming a circle.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, gurumandala means the placement of gurus around a particular siddha. The siddha who has past life connections and is very spiritually elevated, the gurus choose the Siddha among many and makes him their focal point and places themselves around him to educate the Siddha. Now, gurumandala also means the group of gurus who are either in their physical bodies or whose bodies have been transformed into divine bodies. They may physically exist or may not exists. They can manifests themselves at any time, any place and at any given circumstances.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, within the gurumandala is upa-gurumandala or the subset of gurumandala. The upa-gurumandala are the gurus who have physical existence and possess their own body. They are believed to inhibit the mystical place called “Kaulantak Peeth”. They specially train the siddhas in various wisdoms so that the world never becomes devoid of spiritual wisdoms. As long as upa-gurumandala exists, the world will always have an invisible compass guiding them.
His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra is believed to have 38 upa-gurumandala in his mandala. The 38 upa-gurumandala is pictured around him and accordingly they have all contributed to the development of Mahasiddha Ishaputra by initiating him into many sadhanas and dikshas.
ii) Nyaya Manadala
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the nyaya mandala is composed by gurumandala, upagurumandala and some famous spiritual personalities. They are the scrutiny panel which performs scrutiny of various claims inside siddha dharma like forming the rules for the tradition, acceptance and rejection of mantra, maintaining guru-disciple tradition and at the end deciding how should spiritualism move forward. They are very strict gurus who perform scrutiny so that the authentic guru-disciple tradition is not tempered with outer variables. It is done purely to not dilute the guru-disciple tradition traditions.
The nyaya mandala is not only the scrutiny panel for law and justice but also for spiritual traditions. They also provide spiritual directions to the society. They provide their expertise opinions on matters related to dharma and dharmic claims. They decide whom to confer the titles of Rishi/Maharishi, Avatara, Daitya, Asura, Siddha, Mahasiddha, Mahayogi etc. They have the duty strictly to maintain the guru-disciple tradition and such that the wisdoms pass into the hands of new siddhas unadulterated. Nobody can add nor subtract anything in the original wisdom of the siddhas without the nyaya mandala’s permission and in the process always maintaining the purety of spiritual wisdoms and traditions. This is also done to safeguard and protect the spiritual tradition from the clutches of kali yuga.
Furthermore, the works of nyaya mandala also includes the education of avatara, deciding who may or may not be called avataras, rishi, muni, yogi, mahayogi etc. His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra was given the title of “Mahayogi” and “Mahasiddha” by the nyaya mandala by approving his Samadhi. His claims of Samadhi had been rejected twice by the nyayamandala but the third samadhi experience was recognized by the nyayamandala and then they anointed him as “Mahayogi”.
There are many examples of nyaya mandala’s role in maintaining dharma and spiritual traditions. Some of them are,
1) Maharishi Shringi and scrutiny of Ashtanga Yoga
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the modern day Ashtanga Yoga didn’t exist before Pranjali. Modern day Ashtanga Yoga is the combination of “Vrata Yoga” of siddha dharma and “Ashtanga Yoga” of Maharishi Patanjali. The vrata yoga has six limbs of yoga while the ashtanga yoga has eight limbs. The vrata yoga was modified into ashtanga yoga and was not accredited by nyaya mandala because the original tradition of siddha dharma had been infiltrated by practitioners of various sects within siddha dharma. It was Maharishi Shringi of then nyaya mandala who proposed to accredit the ashtanga yoga as “vrata ashtanga yoga” so that the purity of wisdom of siddhas is maintained. It was unanimously accepted by the scrutiny panel and therefore, the ashtanga yoga was recognized as a yogic tradition.
2) Mahasiddha Ne muni and Mahayogi Goraksh Nath
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Ne muni who is also the patriarch of the country Nepal and Nepal got her name from him, accredited the yogic teachings of Mahayogi Goraksh Nath. Mahayogi Goraksh Nath widely experimented on yoga and he discovered various techniques of Shiva ji or he simplified the techniques of the siddha dharma and taught his followers. Mahasiddha Goraksh Nath techniques were very instrumental in simplification of yoga to the society but was not recognized by the nyaya mandala until “Ne” muni, one of the nyaya mandala then recognized it and added it to the domain of Siddha Dharma. After Ne muni’s acceptance, “Goraksh Yoga Paddhati” was widely accepted and practiced inside siddha dharma.
3) Lord Krishna and Paundrak Krishna
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Paundrak Krishna was the imposter of lord Krishna. He through his penance of lord Shiva received all the boons from lord Shiva to be in the equal footing of lord Krishna. He publicly claimed himself to be the avatara of dwapara yuga. He was eventually killed by lord Krishna in their duel but even after acquiring boons from Shiva, the nyaya mandala didn’t recognize Paundrak Krishna as the avatara of dwapara yuga. Had the nyaya mandala accepted Paundrak Krishna as the avatara of dwapara yuga, the future of Bharat varsha would have been doomed and dharma would have died a long time back.
4) Maharishi Shukracharya and Maharishi Parshurama
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the two famous personalities of their generations, Maharishi Shukracharya and Maharshi Parshurama shattered every conventional beliefs of how should a guru and avatara be. Maharishi Shukracharya after becoming the guru of daitya’s created havoc on earth. He was the source of all unrest and major causes of war between gods and daityas. He used to always conspire against the gods and he possessed a great threat to the gods yet gods couldn’t touch him nor attack him through the fear of nyaya mandala. Maharishi Shukracharya was recognized by both nyaya mandala and lord Shiva to be the guru of daityas and asura. Nyaya mandala also had the role of providing equal justice and opportunities to daityas, therefore they ascribed Maharishi Shukracharya to be the gurus of the daityas and let him work freely.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Maharishi Parshurama also created havoc on earth. He wiped Kshetriyas from the face of earth 21 times. He was very brutal in his pursuit, killing every kshetriyas he encountered. He even killed one of his god brothers, Kartaveerya to wipe out kshetriyas. His acts were recognized by the great guru mandala as a necessary step to punish kshetriyas for not adhering to their duty of good governance. The kshetriyas had gone ultra-vires from their duty, they intoxicated with power of their state tried to super impose themselves in every affairs of the society. They also didn’t adjudicate in protecting dharma being kings as per their prescribed duties. Maharishi Parshurama was prepared by guru mandala and nyaya mandala to punish the kshetriyas. Therefore, his act of then mass exodus of kshtriyas was recognized as a necessary step to reinstate dharma. So, he was recognized as avatara by nyayamandala.
Philosophy of Siddha’s Nyaya System
The Philosophy of Siddha’s Nyaya System is entirely based on the upliftment of Dharma and subjugating that is anti-dharma. Dharma is not to be confused with religion at all because religion is a western concept. There was no any concept of religion in our society because when lord Krishna assured Arjuna by stating,
“यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत |
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || “ Geeta 4:7
The word dharma used in this sentence doesn’t imply religion at all because at the time of lord Krishna there was no concept of religion. There were sects, worship modules but no religion. The word religion started in the western civilization and slowly got transplanted to our civilization few centuries back.
Dharma in simple word means “righteousness” or “justice”. Justice means the fair outcome which is objectively of equal treatment for both parties. For instance, if a person commits a murder, the murderer jail sentence is justified but what about the person who lost their sole bread winner of their family. When the modern day courts adjudicate the murder sentence, they are in a way putting a blind eye to the needs of the victim’s family. This adjudication doesn’t lead to justice for both sides. It might serve justice to the murderer but not for the victim’s family as rest of their lives, they would live life in great economic deprivation. Even death penalty to the murderer may or may not amount to be objective justice for both parties.
i) Dharma as the center philosophy of Nyaya
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the word “dharm” is very centric to it. Dharm or Dharma has a multitude of interpretation of different Rishi/Maharishis but nowhere in our civilization until few centuries back have we ever interpreted dharma as religion. Dharma is never religion at all. The best interpretation of dharma can be attributed to Maharishi Shringi.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, it was Maharishi Shringi who first pitched the idea, “Dharma is karma”. Karma doesn’t mean psychological bond here but more as a “prescribed duties” or simply put duties. Dharma mostly meant justice or righteousness but the question arises, if dharma means righteousness and justice so what decides something to be righteous or not or in a simple way, what is the basis of right and wrong in ethics? Maharishi Shringi then explained that the notion of right and wrong is solely based on duty. It was more of a deontological reasoning where anything that is against the prescribed duty of a person is considered to be wrong while the acts being consistent with their prescribed duties were labeled as Dharma. This assertion of Maharishi Shringi was also consistent with the varna vyavastha and was widely accepted definition back then.
For instance, the Brahmin’s duty was to walk into the path of “Brahman” so for the attainment of that purpose, a Brahmin would conduct worship, rituals etc. If a Brahmin doesn’t adhere to those duties but embraces other actions like performing business, the Brahmin is said to have gone against his dharma. So, from Maharishi Shringi the whole notion of “Dharma” is interpreted in the terms of prescribed “duties”.
ii) The varna vyavastha philosophy.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the “varna vyavastha” is also one of the important philosophies of nyaya mandala. It is a very important and centric philosophy to predetermine the ‘prescribed duties’ of the masses.
Normally, an act is wrong when it is a breach of duty. When a person performs a breach of duty, then it is an offence or crime. When the nature of breach is criminal nature, it becomes crime while if it is of civil nature, it becomes offence. So, the varna vyavastha was designed in such a way that it provided rules and code of conducts for every humans because they would fall in one of them.
The basis of “varna vyavastha” is so much misinterpreted in modern day context. People think “varna vyavastha” as a division of labor or social stratification of society in terms of labor. This is a great misconception from people because they have fundamentally assumed that they need labor to run the economy and economy runs the society. When “varna vyavastha” was first created by Manu Rishi, there were no economic systems, neither capitalism nor communism. The original varna vyavastha was social stratification done under the hierarchy of spiritual level. The top in the hierarchy were Brahmins as they had high degree of spiritual discipline and their consciousness were more spiritual then rest.
Similarly, the Kshudras were down the list because their consciousness was more physical then spiritual. They were engrossed in providing services to the community which is a good act from social perspective because it maintains the society but in spiritual era, when the highest goal was to reach the “Brahman”, the kshudras were the furthest.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the whole idea of prejudices and untouchability came into prominence in kali yuga. In the other yugas, all four varnas were living harmoniously. When in Kali yuga, Brahmins lost their spiritual touch, they devised a new way to maintain the hierarchy and it was through discrimination. In other yugas, even the Kshudras had a great role in society and their opinions were respected. For example,
In Ramayana, after Mata Sita returned back from Lanka, lord Rama had to abandon her because of a opinion from a dhobi (laundry person) because in treta yuga, the voices of kshudras counted.
For the gurumandala and nyaya mandala, the varna vyavastha is not based on economic stratification but on spiritual stratification. Therefore, they adjudicate issues based on varna vyavastha and as far as siddhas are concerned, siddhas are beyond varna vyavastha as siddhas renounce themselves from the hierarchy of the society and is not bound by the varnas.
The hierarchy of the Siddha’s Nyaya System
As per “Siddha Dharma”, it also has hierarchy of its own. The main actors in any judicial system are the judges, but in the “Siddha Dharma”, the actors are chosen from gurumandala within the gurumandala. So, basically according to the nature of issues to be adjudicated, the hierarchies are as follows:
1) For civil and criminal cases
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the civil and criminal cases are decided by the local gurus or by the local kings. The kings are chosen by gurumandala or the nearest Siddha guru, who anoints kings. Any civil and criminal issues are solved in the local level by local people. The king is the supreme judge of the land. The king within its territory adjudicates all the civil and criminal cases through the assistance of his ministers and advisors. Normally, simple civil and criminal cases end with the adjudication from the king. A king’s verdict is believed to be justice served.
Before the advent of western civilization and common law transplant in Indian sub-continent, the civil and criminal cases were decided by the local heads under the king. The king was the highest in the hierarchy when it comes to adjudication. For example,
Two decades ago, Nepal was still a Hindu country. Modern day Nepal was formed roughly within the same time of U.S.A. because USA became independent on July 4, 1776 while Nepal’s first king died on January 11, 1175. Nepal predominantly a Hindu kingdom adjudicated the cases based on Hindu tradition and through Kings and prime minister. Jung Bahadur Rana, one of the most leading prime ministers of Nepal visited France on 1850 and became inspired by the French code, so upon his arrival in Nepal, he promulgated National Civil Code 1854 completely based on Hindu dharmic texts but with certain reforms.
That is how, the western codification system or civil law system arrived in the Hindu kingdom else before National Civil code 1854, Nepal had Manav Nyaya Shastra of Jayasthiti Malla promulgated at 14th century which was prepared by the learned Brahmins of India based on the works of Siddha’s like Mahasiddha Narada (Narada Smriti), Mahasiddha Yagvalkya (Yagvalkya Samhita), Mahasiddha Brihaspati (Brihaspati Smriti), Manu (Manu Smriti) etc.
The Siddha’s have 40 Smritis all together and Manav Nyaya Shastra was based upon the smritis of Siddha Dharma.
Another example that can be cited from the history is the example of Chanakya and Chandragupt Maurya. Chandragupt Maurya was made the king of Bharat Varsha by Chanakya to defeat Alexander the great from conquering India. He was an astute tactician and he played the most instrumental role in stopping Alexander the great, yet he anointed Chandragupt as the king because of his adherence to his duty as Brahman. After the anointment, it was Chandragupt who would adjudicated criminal and civil matters in his palace through the advises from his guru and other advisors.
2) Between Kings or states matter
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the head of any territory were kings. Kings and state were synonymous. Kings had the discretion power to judge cases within its territory. But when the issues were among kings or when kings was the subject of judgment or equivalent to today’s “Public International Law”, unlike International Court of Justice, the adjudicators in the issues were great gurus like Rishi/Maharishi. For instance,
In the story of Mahabharata, when Sikhandi went to Bhisma to ask him to marry her because he abducted her from the marriage site but because she wanted to badly marry Salwa, he sent her to Salwa so that they both could marry but Salwa rejected her out of the shame for being defeated. So, she had only Bhisma to marry because it was Bhisma who abducted her and Bhisma had to marry her based on Kshetriya dharma. Bhisma rejected her because of his vows (Bhisma Pratigya).
Because no kings were willing to fight with Bhisma, she surrendered to the guru of Bhisma, lord Parshurama for justice. Parshurama was one of the great gurus of Mahabharata era and is also active as “Asta Chiranjivi” asked his disciple to marry her whom he refused because of his vows. They had a fight between them where there was no clear winner. So, Sikhandi then performed penance to avenge her humiliation.
Another example from the Mahabharata is that of Ashwathama. When Ashwathama and Arjuna invoked brahmastra, the divine weapon, Vyasa one of the current guru in nyaya mandala asked both warriors to retreat the weapon, Arjuna knew how to retreat but Ashwathama didn’t. So, when he was asked to redirect the weapon into a safe location, he redirected it to the womb of Uttara and killed Parikshita. The Pandavas were enraged and were about to kill Aswathama but they were stopped by Ved Vyasa, one of the gurus of nyaya mandala. So, Aswathama received a great curse from lord Krishna. Had it not been the nyaya mandala, Aswathama would have been killed plus he was predestined to be the next Ved-Vyasa, so the present Ved-Vyasa protected him.
3) For maintenance of Dharma
As per “Siddha Dharma”, in the issue of maintenance of Dharma, it was Nyayamandala who decided with the consultation of gurumandala and upagurumandala. As already mentioned, it was the prime duty of adjudicate issues and decides which issues were dharma friendly and which were not.
For instance, the nyaya mandala didn’t accept the plea of Hiranyakashyapu to be worshipped as god just because he conquered the three worlds. When he didn’t stop, they prepared Prahalada to be the cause of the demise of Hiranyakashyapu. It was because of Prahlada, lord Vishnu had to reincarnate for the maintenance of dharma.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, normally for the maintenance of dharma, gurumandala along with upa-gurumandala and nyaya mandala prepares a “Vishnu Purusha” and that consciousness descends down to establish dharma. For instance, in Kali yuga, lord Kalki is Vishnu Purusha, the gurumandala of Kalki bhagawan would be several gurus like Yagvalkya rishi, Maharishi Parshurama, Maharishi Sukadeva and other rishis. They will prepare lord Kalki to defeat the daitya Kali and reinstate satya yuga.
4) Lord Shiva as the supreme nyaya giver
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the king was the lowest adjudication actor in the hierarchy. Above kings were nyaya mandala, above nyaya mandala is the gurumandala and above gurumandala is lord Brahma, above lord Brahma is lord Vishnu and above lord Vishnu is the great lord Shiva. Lord Shiva lies in the top of hierarchy when it comes to delivering nyaya.
The last place in the universe where a person can go with their grievances would be Kailasha. Beyond Kailasha and lord Shiva, there was no supreme adjudication. His decision was binding to all. It is exactly like the decision of Supreme Court being binding to all and which cannot be appealed.
Roles of Kings
As per “Siddha Dharma”, king was the center of nyaya mandala and gurumandala. It was the king who was the oftenly chosen by the gurumandala to carry out their mission. The kings derived their powers conferred to him by the gurumandala. In Nepal, until the abolishment of monarchy, the people widely believed and some people still believe that king is the representation of lord Vishnu. They believe king to be the representation of lord Vishnu because the king would ensure dharma and justice to all within his kingdom.
The king of Nepal who was also a Hindu king perished and was ousted because he didn’t adhere to his own duties. The ex-king of Nepal was prophesized to be the last king of Nepal in the masses based on the boon and curse of Mahasiddha Goraksh Nath that the first king of Nepal’s descendent will rule Nepal upto 11 lineages. After him, the country modeled itself upon republic form of government.
Procedures, symbols, flag of Nyaya Mandala
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the nyaya mandala are the groups of highly accomplished beings or siddhas. They sit in a round placement keeping dharma as the focal point. When they do so, they hold a flower in their left hand which represents the creation and nature as the witness and also adhering to purity when adjudicating.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, they also have their own flag similar to that of the “Vrishaba Dhwaja Flag”. The flag somehow is similar to the flag of Nepal but in the case of Nepal there are two triangles juxtaposed where the triangle below is little bigger than the upper one but in the case of the flag of nyaya mandala, the two juxtaposed triangles are symmetrical. While in the flag of Nepal, there is sun and moon which represents eternity, the nyaya mandala flag has lotus flower in middle of the flag like the Ashoka Chakra. The upper part of the flag is white in color while the lower one is black in color.
As per the interpretation of “Siddha Dharma”, the black and white color in the flag represents truth and falsity while the flower represents justice. It is interpreted that in the adjudication, the adjudicator should not be partial, should be beyond truth and falsity and should serve justice and dharma. Dharma is sole means and end of nyaya mandala.
The philosophy of Adjudication
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the nyaya mandalas have their own philosophy of adjudication. Normally, the two distinct methods of adjudication is either duty based or dharma (prescribed duty) based or the second is the consequences based or bhavishyarupi based. Both are adjudicated based on the principle of inner pragya (inner effulgence).
i) Dharma nyaya or prescribed duties based
As per “Siddha Dharma”, an act is adjudicated as right or wrong if it falls under the prescribed duties. For instance, if a kshetriya doesn’t fight for dharma then that is immoral or it becomes an offence. Therefore, a kshetriya is adjudicated based on his prescribed duties and how much does he adhered to his prescribed code of conduct.
ii) Bhavishyarupi nyaya or futuristic nyaya
As per “Siddha Dharma”, this is another philosophy of adjudication where an act is deemed to be right or wrong is primarily adjudicated based on duty based approach but when there is an element of good intent or futuristic motive for greater purpose then bhavishyarupi nyaya is invoked because the act may be wrong at present given time but in future would be beneficial for all.
For instance, lord Krishna masterminded the war of Mahabharata. He masterminded to balance the powers among the kings because they were becoming very powerful and were threatening the dharma. So, he eradicated all the kings one by one to re-establishment of dharma. His path of re-establishment shattered all the records and standards of ethics, yet he was recognized as avatara by the nyaya mandala because of his bhavishya rupi nyaya. His acts led to a great war but it surely established a base for a better society in the future.
iii) Pragya based nyaya (inner effulgence or conscience)
As per “Siddha Dharma”, not all can be adjudicator or nyaya or justice giver. They have to possess the extraordinary experiences of penances. When through the penances, the siddha rids himself of all subjectivity and has total control over the mind, the siddha develops an “inner pragya” or “polished inner effulgence or conscience”. The siddha can then adjudicate a case without being based or without taking sides. The siddha would then adjudicate difficult cases analyzing various facts and reaching to the utmost fair conclusion. For instance,
As per “Siddha Dhamra”, in the Ramayana, Bali was killed by lord Rama in the midst of Bali fighting with Sugriva. He was strucked by the arrow of lord Rama and while he was dying, he called lord Rama and asked him what made lord Rama pursue such coward acts and who gave him the authority to do so. Lord Rama replies that he is a Kshetriya as well as a king. He was given the nyaya mandala status by two of his great gurus, Maharishi Vishwamitra and Vashisth.
Lord Rama further replies that he had to kill Bali from distance because Bali always had the unfavorable advantage over his rivals because he could transfer all his rival’s power to him and in the process weakening the rival. Since, Bali enjoyed great victories through unfair means therefore Bali should also be adjudicated based on the same path he chose, the path of deceit.
The reasoning of lord Rama was based on his inner conscience that Bali should be punished through deceit because deceit was what Bali used to defeat his rivals and in doing so, it shall also serve a precedent to the future generation that if a person doesn’t adhere to his dharma, the dharma won’t protect him in need. (Dharma rakshita rakshata)