मनुष्यत्वं मुमुक्षुत्वं महापुरुषसंश्रयः ॥
Only through the scriptural treasure hidden in the Vedas as authority in the texts is propounded the essence of; That perceived, not through any other means.
To Govinda, who is of the nature of Bliss Absolute, who is my Sadh-Guru, I offer my salutations!
With the blessings of the Guru within, this is a humble offering at the lotus feet of my Ishta with whose grace alone comes this inspiration to put words of but a human effort to express love for my Mother who verily is the giver of all. Words can never do justice to describe the unfathomable, yet my heart makes this attempt in all audacity with head lowered in utter reverence, penning down in devotion, what the Mother alone wishes.
Dedicated to my Mother alone.
The Devi, herself blessing the creation, seeded her power of expression in the Vagdevis to call out to Her – the Divine Mother. The Lalitha Sahasranama is not merely a set of thousand names of the Devi but the entire secret of the cosmic order encased in the length and breadth of this chant with exquisite precision on all her forms leading one from the mundane self, scattered in the gross to the subtlest source of being, from which all creation sprang forth. This is not just a chant which one may breeze through as routine feel good item to tick off in the daily list of to dos propping up the ego of being religiously inclined but a running narrative of life itself containing the complete treasure of the ancient knowledge and tradition of Sri Vidya, with multifaceted esoteric meanings in every name of Mother Divine containing a deep transformative and contemplative quality, to work on one’s most fundamental tendencies and various aspects of transcending limitations by progressively applying it in your life as a Sadhana with the goal of liberation from the suffering owing to identifications with the limited – the body, mind, senses, emotions, time and space. Owing to its mythological origins in the Brahmanda Purana in the Lalitopakhyana, it is considered at par with the Vedas in terms of imparting the knowledge of the Self.
The Lalitha Sahasranama begins with the Nyasa which is invoking and installing the essence of Divine Presence in various parts of our own body. To begin with itself, this vidya starts with a clear indication of that which we call the absolute, the supreme reality, the Brahman and her manifest form as Devi is residing within us. To experience this unblemished Presence is the true essence of all scriptures of the Santana Dharma. Having invited her to feel her subtle Presence which comes with every heartfelt invocation, is the Roop Dhyaan on Devi’s form which is like stepping from the gross world on to the threshold of the sanctum within where the Devi resides.
The Dhayana shloka brings out the tatva of the deity for any chant. A prayer beholding the divine form of the formless who, out of love for her children calling out to Her, chose to take a form. To really behold and meditate on your Ishta comes out of sheer devotion and allowing yourself to shed the cast of me mine and the mind; a complete invasion of whatever you have identified yourself with till now – your body, mind, emotions, roles, relationships, memories, fears, desires, time and space. When you behold, it has become a part of you. When you will allow it to become the whole of you, the merging into divine Presence happens. Only when you will make yourself into nothing – a Nobody, you move from the threshold into the sanctum – from the personality to The Presence. Invocation by Dhyana leads to inner Darshan with The Devi becoming a living entity within you in your knowing (I say this because she is omnipresent, however our perception isn’t chiselled enough to perceive her Presence). This happens when from the deepest recesses of your heart you have surrendered to the Mother in love, otherwise it’s not an experience that transforms you from your very core.
You enjoy everything as a Prasad from Devi willingly without discrimination of likes, dislikes, good bad, sin and sacred. There is neither ownership of possessing something or someone nor a sense of doer ship. All that is, is HER.
You can only smell incense and say “I like it. I like it.” That is pleasure. You sit here and enjoy the chant, or enjoy the momentary feel good thoughts of having engaged in chanting, both are pleasure, different kinds of pleasure. To see something can be pleasure, to talk to somebody can be pleasure, to touch them may be pleasure, to get into more intimate situations is also pleasure, and even to entertain yourself with the idea of knowing is also pleasure – but knowing will never happen unless you become that. No amount of doing can get one to being – simply being in the Presence.
The true wealth and prosperity of my existence, is the moment to
moment throbbing feeling of being alive, the feeling that “I am”. O
beautiful Mother Divine, you are “I am”
It is your sweet presence, that permeates and fills my body, mind
and my heart!
Everything I see around me, is a manifestation of your Divine light.
My world, my people, my friends, my body, my thoughts,
My emotions, my feelings and everything else that is mine, is indeed yours!
O Divine Mother! Your loving presence is all there is within and without me.