To attain Lord Shiva
त्वदीयं सौन्दर्यं तुहिनगिरिकन्ये तुलयितुं
कवीन्द्राः कल्पन्ते कथमपि विरिञ्चि-प्रभृतयः ।
यदालोकौत्सुक्या-दमरललना यान्ति मनसा
तपोभिर्दुष्प्रापामपि गिरिश-सायुज्य-पदवीम् ॥ 12 ॥
According to this verse, appreciation of the external beauty of Shridevi automatically takes us to the eternal abode of Lord Shiva. In other words, Shridevi has the power to get us liberation by her mesmerizing beauty. So, Shridevi’s extrinsic beauty and intrinsic power are very intricately linked, just like the word and its meaning (vagartha). These two aspects are the essence of the Soundarya Lahari hymn.
The two lines of the verse starting with the phrase twadiyam saundaryam implies soundarya (beauty) aspect of Shridevi. They describe the unmatched glamor of Shridevi. The lines starting with Tapobhir-dushprapam echo the Shakti (power) attribute of Shridevi. It says Shridevi’s beauty has the power to get us the eternal abode of Lord Shiva.The main point in this mantra can be stated as devotion is the key.
Describe the beauty of devi that relates to her state. The state of the beauty after attaining one with Shiva her beloved lord. This is called sayuja sthithi. But what is the state of beauty when the energy joins the consciousness. What is that we see the change in her beauty.He is trying to explain. If they are not in union the universe does not exist. It is due to their union that the manifestation of universe, sustain and dissolution takes place at the macrocosm level. They are inseparable. In the total union her state is different. Her activity or her being calm is different. In all temples, including Tripthi, Srinivasa kalyana takes place.In shiva we can see Girija kalyanam. When a common man attempts to perform Srinivasa kalya or Girija Kalyana and he gets good things. The thought waves change in a positive way. Their union is described in so many ways in our culture. From the day of marriage till one of us leaves the body, they live together.Being together the family runs. The intense moments between wife and husband are ecstasy, that is the intent unions that Shakara is talking about. That kind of ecstasy has to happen in the microcosm level and there will be a total intense union of Shiva and Shakti. Pragna and Shakti are together. That togetherness being one with pragna and Shakti is what is required. Dindima in his words tells that state of Shakti, the intense union of pragna can be compared to the state of a beautiful 16 yr girl who was in union with her partner. That ecstasy should be felt. A higher level of ecstasy should be felt through bliss and contentment. The highest ecstasy is the union of male and female. The ecstasy of pragan and shakti at sahasrara is thousand times intense. He mentions sayujya. What is our state? What is our shakti and pragna? Individual consciousness and pragna is what we have to decide where we belong. Salokya is the individual and the divinity in the same loka. That is the state.The individual is happy thinking being in the domain of divinity.That kind of experience is Salokya. The next one Samipya, The individual is very close to that. Just living side by side of the goddess. This is also a stage of liberation.
Sarupya: In the sarupya state the individual assumes and presumes the form of divinity in himself. This only happens in Srichakra puja. When we do prana pratishta we do it as I become you, you become me. Before offering worship we are praying that I become the same like you that is Sarupya.
So all this happens in us. We are mentioning different levels of union ( pragna and shakti). The intention or the goal is to reach the intense union of pragna and shakti.
Finally there is a stage Sayujya: the intense, “NOT I AM LIKE THAT I HAVE BECOME THAT”. This is what Sankhara mentioned here. We are in that union and how we can reach Sayujya where total union takes place. Whatever the material object or pure consciousness or worshipping pure consciousness as Shiva, both are actually worship of Shakti. She is present in the person who is meditating . Her force of Sammohana joins together. This mantra confirms the Shakta Darshana. The experience of shiva and shakti form is Tripurasundari. The most beautiful in all three forms. The experience of Srichakra, super imposed in sahasrara gives rise to the absorption of Shiva.THey are ever absorbed in one another. The intensity of the problem as the awareness transcends to ajna it enters into open space at that time Srichakra plays a very very significant role in directing the arevu awareness towards absorption in the shudha shiva shakti tattva. By absorbing in shiva the divine shakti is experienced in her purest form Shakti si Maya, she became maya for the purpose of creating the universe. This is the most rare and difficult to experience. Shiva does not exhibit the shakti tattva. That is an integral part of Shiva. The singular path is to accomplish Shivatva in a somewhat empirical sense and imagine the heights of the sky and far beyond! Who knows how to worship Shiva for Shiva to display the shakti? How can we explain the intense paramananda? Particularly, the nose is familiar with certain smells.Sometimes we get a fragrance we have not experienced ever. That kind of fragrance cannot be explained. That is the intense union of shiva and shakti and shakara bhagavad padha explain the experience of the union. Shakara was blessed by Ambal to explain these verses to us. That union is always there in us. We have mind, intellect, ego, chitha also but at a particular level but we need to make this union intense with sadhana. We have to make the existing union to become intense, intense.
How do we explain the nature of shakti? Unless we understand shakti, how do we attain it. What is the power to manifest?
The power to manifest is Shakti. It was and it is and will be forever inherent in the supreme consciousness what we call as Bramhanda pragne Limitless consciousness and that power is called as shakti. That power is called energy in all forms. Few of the forms are physical, mental, kinetic form, Electromagnetic form.The shakti signifies that one, no name for it which has all the potential to create it. Whatever that was created that is shakti. Even the ideas are created, that is shakti. The thoughts which come to our mind revealing their shakti. There are people who have created many many ideas in their mind and done something. They revealed their shakti in the form of a thought. We have seen people who have created empires. Anyone, any living being exhibits one’s talent and creativity is Shakti. Even the creation, in mind a beautiful moment in someone’s life is a glimpse of shakti. Creating an ugly moment in our lives is also a glimpse of shakti not in a dimension but in a proper dimension. The shakti or energy whatever we call it is a force that can be known by multifarious activities.” Chetee bhavannikhila bheti kadamba vana vaateeshunaakipatalee koteera chaaruarakotee manikirana kotee karanjita padaapaateeragandhikuchushaatee kavitva paripaateemagaadhipa sutaa ghotee kulaadadhikathaateemudaara mukha veteerasenatanutaam/ Kalidaas implored Mother Kaali to give him the boon to script such poetry as comparable to the fastest running of horses; some others like MOOKA KAVI (as rendered by Adi Shankara)) worshipped Kanchi Kaamakshi who was pleased to provide the boon of uttering the MOOKA PANCHA SHATI or of 500 shlokaas!“.
We can call it universal consciousness which is omnipresent. Shiva and shakti both are omnipresent. Shakti is the very pure vibrant energy at the core of manifest and unmanifest state. Shakti is the pure energy at the core in the manifest world and unmanifest world. We may not be able to see all the existence through our sense organs. There are many many more that are unseen. Even in the unseen,shakti is present at the core of everything. Tiniest dust to mightiest galaxy shakti is present. The power and energy in the air, mountains, seas , forests, sun,moon, stars are all the manifestation of Shakti. Our knowledge has widened no limited to just kundalini, image or an idol and beyond that is Shakti. Shakti is present in an abstract thought of an idea that comes and goes. Without Shakti or energy we cannot think or have any plan or purpose. Every situation in our life is a display of power or energy. These fields are subtle forms of energy. All of us create energy. When we create that energy field one attracts different kinds of energy in one’s lifestyle. Energy in the awakened state is what we are getting. Attraction is always mutual. That is the purpose of visiting temples, where that awakened shrine is present. The goddess is not outside, she is inside. Why do we go to the Shrine? To attract the energy from that shrine. Energy in different forms and different levels. We should decide in what energy field we should live our life. If we decide what energy field I want to live in, that makes our life. Having been attracted by the environment, we should have some time to empty it and find a way which can wash away from the negative energy field. Change the perspective which will help us. Our thoughts, progress depend on what energy field we spend most of the time. To create an energy field which is conducive for materialistic and spiritual growth. This is what shakara is talking about in these 100 mantras. Does that restrict her role to the material world. Shakti is inert, jada so also she is shetala the conscious. Shakti exists and also knows her existence are the qualities present in shakti. This is not pragna or shakti, it is consciousness. Shiva manifests into form through shakti, in order to know that consciousness exists that shiva exists. This is the core theory of tantra shastra. Shiva does not know pure chethana. Shakti shows that chethana exists. The purpose of our life is to realize it. This is the introduction towards soundarya lahari spoken about shakti throughout.
The vedas have tried to know what this Universe is. That is why it is Apurushaya.
Vedanta : After that Vedanta, what’s the end of that? What does that conclude? It is the Upanishads. All Upanishads weather 18 or 108, convey the Brahma swarupa. Upanishad is called Gyana Khanda of Veda. Vedas prescribe activities like doing certain things. Upanishads have spoken about what is that? Supreme They explain elaborately but no in certain terms that what is Branham? What is atman? That’s why Mahavakyas came from four different Vedas, that is to confirm that all Vedas have told “Pragnanam Brahma Asmi ” etc. Srividya tantra or sadhana gives more importance to these mahavakyas, At some level, it is included in the guru paduka mantra. Srividya sadhana is also a tantra. Vedas have elaborated this, try to understand the universe, Its behaviour. Upanishads have mentioned what is the cause of all of this? They concluded with the knowledge to vedas that it is brahman, The tantras have explained the means to attain the Brahman. This shall not be forgotten by anybody. One and only scholar who has identified the strength of tantra, that’s why Shankara along with his Bhashya to Brahma sutras and Upanishads, he also ventured on probing into tantra shastras. The result is Soundarya Lahari. Prapancha Sara. It is unfortunate that in the name of scholars in Vedas, vaidika vidhwamsaa wanted to look down upon tantra shastra. Tantra shastra gives everyone an opportunity to attain brahman. We must be thankful for shakanar as he has not been able to be there, tantra shastra would not have existed. We are in a state of tantra not available to us. Unless guru mandala is able to connect us to that tantra. The guru parampara has restored it. Another great scholar, the embodiment of Brahman, Chandrashekara indra bharathi of kanchi, he is the one and the parampara today speaks about. Soundarya Lahari. But for themselves, they practice it to 200%. Wherever the influence of religious and spiritual leaders not on the temples is in Kerala. Tantric practices are very much in Kerala. There is no influence of Religious and spiritual leaders. In the karavali belt we have that practice of tantra. Vidyamaharnava tantra talks about Srividya. Reduced to Srividya tantra. Maharnava is lost. Lot of text has been deleted. Thithi Nitya devatas, they live in the last triangle in Srichakra. Their dhyana slokas are available, their mantra is available. Rishi, chandas, and Nyasa are not available. If that is gone then it is gone completely. Preventing knowledge is the greatest sin. One should help every human being to attain brahman, It is the core of being a human being. Animals can’t do it. It is only done by humans. That is the purpose of Srividya. Tantra shastra and mantra shastra are of the same coin. Yantra, mantra and tantra is to be pursued towards brahman. The secret of mantra and its use tantar shall not be revealed to their children , not only srividya mantra. Mantra shastra prohibits from getting the children the same mantra that parent is doing. In the end we can say that: It does not matter whether you pray to Shridevi or Lord Shiva. You are essentially adoring the same eternal Supreme Shakti(Power), who is also Lord Shiva.
Chanting procedure and Nivedyam( offerings to the Lord) : If one chants this verse 1000 times every day for 45 days, and offers honey as nivedhyam , it is said to be believed that even the dumb person can speak and also can attain Lord Mahadheva.
Sri Gurubhyo Namah
Sri Matre Namah
Link to Article 1: Introduction to Soundarya Lahari
Link to Article 2: Synopsis of first 41 verse of Soundarya Lahari
Link to Article 3: Verse1 of Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 4: Verse 2 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 5: Verse 3 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 6: Verse 4 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 7: Verse 5 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 8: Verse 6 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 9: Verse 7 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 10: Verse 8 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 11: Verse 9 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 12: Verse 10 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 13: Verse 11 Soundarya Lahari explanation