Introduction to Soundarya Lahari
Welcome, all to the 301 Gyana Yagna. Our journey to understand Soundarya Lahari begins from here. As we all know Lalitha Sahasranama and Soundarya Lahari are recited by most of the people around the whole world. Guruji has put in his humble effort in the esoteric meaning that is hidden in each verse of Soundarya Lahari. Soundarya Lahari is not just a Stotra in itself, it is a mantra and the same applies to Lalitha Sahasranama, Trishati also. Giving a summary on Soundarya Lahari might just take about 6 to 7 hrs but to understand the deeper meaning of each verse we need to know what each mantra indicates.
We might have many times heard the word Prakriti. What is Prakriti? To understand the meaning of Prakriti, we often associate Prakriti with nature. But in actual terms Prakriti means Energy, Shakti, it is an activity, Vibration, Creative power and cosmic energy. Prakriti has Parameshwara, Universal consciousness. Each Purusha is referred to as stable, not active nor mobile. Having all these attributes like Purusha, Paramapurusha the consciousness is considered supreme.
The consciousness is dormant, motionless. The cosmic energy keeps the energy pulsating the Prakriti and Purusha are united. Not just unites they are united inseparably. We often use Shiva, What does Shiva mean? It is the Universal Consciousness, pure, auspiciousness, Shiva here is matter and Shakthi is nothing about cosmic energy. Shiva and Shakti unity is creation, sustenance, total annihilation, and re- creation. This is not Adyatma Chintana or energy, the atomic science has accepted that matter becomes energy. Thus without being united with Shakti, Shiva cannot stir. The first vibration, pulsation of para brahman becomes aware of itself and which is caused by Shakti. This is vibration after vibration which can be compared to Arohana and Avarohana which is being prana that is life energy. This is the highest essence of Adishankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari.
Soundarya Lahari has two parts Ananda Lahari and Soundarya Lahari. The highest essence of Soundarya Lahari is bliss and beauty. Even the content of all the 103 sloka’s is not easily understandable. The intent of each mantra has to be understood in multidimensional or in different angles discussion. Even after looking at different angles, the meaning is elusive. The poetic stanza in Soundarya Lahari is skillful but deeply subtle. The parents of bramhanda are shiva and Shakti.
The model framework of shatchakra has been mentioned in Soundarya Lahari. Ananda Lahari ends with Shatchakra verse which is the 41st verse. It represents Bhu Loka, Bhuvarloka, Suvarloka, Jana Loka, Mahar Loka, and Tapo Loka like the Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudhi, and Ajna. Bramha, Narayana, Rudra, Agni, Maheshwara, Sadashiva, and Parameshwara at Ajna chakra. At the Sahasrara chakra, one becomes blissful, and Parameshwara, Parameshwari, Kameshwara, Kameshwari, Ardhanarishwara are attainable. Only great yogis, Mahasidhi’s even Trimurthy might have her presence felt. In the same accent to this celestial ladder is the shatchakra prototype blessed by ever compassionate Bhagavathi Devi, parashakthi whose concern is to show us the light to guide us.
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Kanchi Mahaswami gives us a small warning to sadhaka’s and Sadhika’s to be guided appropriately while doing shatchakra sadhana. Without proper guidance from the guru, one should not attempt shatchakra dhyana on his own. It is worth mentioning the misconception and misinformation on shatchakra dhyana.
Meditation on chakras makes one calm and cool. Once we reach Ajna, we observe a lot of concentration and focus. This concentration and focus is not only present during meditation but is present at all walks of life and it is very beneficial. The shatchakra dhyana clears all the confusion, evil thoughts and mind become very pure for him/her.
This can be explained in the following way: when a person starts to developed levitation, does it create Atma Sakshatkara? No, it just makes the human who is more than a normal human. As a sincere sadhaka or Sadhika, we should not be driven by the siddhis. The only goal apart from being in samsara is to attain moksha. These siddhis are of no use to our materialistic life.
Soundarya Lahari can be enjoyed as a poem and should not be stuck in one place. When the meaning of the stanza is not understood we should at least be able to recite it. We should attempt to understand the textual meaning of it. Bhavana of the textual meaning should be understood.
Each Soundarya Lahari mantra has a beejakshara for it which in turn also has dhyana sloka. When there is a Beeja mantra and dhyana sloka it qualifies to be a mantra. Shankara in Advitini teaching about Aham Bramhatma. Why did he look at Devi is a question which can be answered in our future Jnana Yagna journey. We should try to understand the meaning of it by surrendering ourselves at his lotus feet and pray him to give us knowledge and give us Vakshudhi.
Sri Gurubhyo NamaH
Sri Matre Namah