Devoted prayer to obtain Devi’s Grace
शरज्ज्योत्स्ना शुद्धां शशियुत-जटाजूट-मकुटां
सकृन्न त्वा नत्वा कथमिव सतां सन्निदधते
मधु-क्षीर-द्राक्षा-मधुरिम-धुरीणाः फणितयः ॥ 15 ॥
śarajjyōtsnā śuddhāṃ śaśiyuta-jaṭājūṭa-makuṭāṃ
sakṛnna tvā natvā kathamiva satāṃ sannidadhatē
madhu-kṣīra-drākṣā-madhurima-dhurīṇāḥ phaṇitayaḥ ॥ 15 ॥
Word to word
– Brilliantly clear as the rays of the autumnal moon
– Wearing crown of matted hair, having crescent
– Having hands bearing the boon-bestowing or refuge-giving gestures, rosary of crystal-clear gems and book
– Having adored that
– You should not be
– In whatsoever manner might be that good men
– Should come to have the pleasing sweetness
– Of honey, milk and grapes
– The array of words
Oh Devi! Your appearance is splendorous like the spotless autumnal moon, sharat chandra. Why only sharad purnima? She is splendorous. The skies are supposed to be clearest during sharat kala. The purpose of shankara, In lalitha Sahasranama we use Sharat Chandra Nibhana. There is no comparison to Sharat Chandra.Every full moon has the 16th aspect. Each day one nitya. Moon as all of us know there is a small spot like a deer, but when we see Sharat chandra moon, it is spotless. Our eyes are not opened by the beauty given by nature. That is why she is always referred to as Sharat Chandra Nibanana. If she is only compared to the autumnal moon, it is not just splendorous but also spotless. She is adoring a crown on the braided hair with the crescent moon.The crescent moon is ardha chandra, Ashtami chandra also has equal importance. It is exactly half moon, another half is on the head of shiva. If the moon is herself, half is shiva and the other half is herself. In this mantra shakara describes her as Abhay and varada mudra granting boons. Other hands have spatika mani and a wick. Even if we look at Bala Tripura Sundari it is almost similar to this. Vagdevi having this form is explained here. She is beautiful, spotless with a crescent moon and granting boons to us and japamala. Then shankara further described, when a sincere honest devotee prostrates before you, why will he not get a flow of speech. Sweeter than honey, milk and leaves. Why? What will he achieve, free flow of speech. The meaning of this verse is one who worships her contemplates her form, he will become an excellent orator, poetic and he can hypnotize the world.
Always why comparison has been drawn to sharat chandra, ashtami chandra.One is the moon is cool and his nurturing capabilities are very gracious. We cannot see the sun, it will blind our eyes, sun also nurtures the whole living beings in the universe. Moon has the power to nourish and grow certain precious herbs.Lotus cannot bloom without the moon. Lotus and devi are very well connected. Graciousness, nurturing, nourishment are these powers of Devi. At the time compared to the Sun moon appears masculine While moon is referred to as feminine as parashakti is the embodiment of grace, beauty, compassion. If we are feeling these then we are worshipping her. She is always compared to the moon. Moon is closer to the equinox and capable of growing plants and is called harvest moon. Moon reflects the sun. She is Vimarsha of Prakasha. Vimarsha rupini vidya. She very carefully nourishes the universe. These kinds of objective comparison are necessary to enable us to understand and visualize her experience better. Visualizing her form is needed upto certain stage. When we climb up her form needs to be experienced. Otherwise also light visualization or proper experience is important for meditation this is the reason all the mantras have a dhyana sloka. Having come to the dhyana sloka a small but very important point. If you want to give a status of a mantra that should have the following components. The must components: Rishi – the who has visualized the sound form of that divinity that became mantra. Chandas -meter — every mantra should have chandas and devata. Which devata has this sound form? It should have all the above components. Most of the mantras have beeja shakti and keelaka. Beeja is the seed from where the mantra sprouted. Shakti- the energy of the mantra in which then kelaa is explained in two ways. 1 is with that syllable it unlocks the power of mantra. 2. It is a bolt we tie ourselves we do not move or which opens up the key.Sometimes it is not necessary to have beeja, shakti and keelaka. Karanyasa and Anganyasa is done using some part of the mantra itself. Sometimes karanyasa and Anganyasa mantras are different also . The rishi who has first visualised the physical form to sound form, and created the dhyana sloka. Without these components mantra is not powerful and then only we are connected to divinity. This is the dhyana. What happens in this case? Mantra 15 itself is a dhyana sloka and on which one should meditate. This is one reason for sharat chandra. All the divinity shows abhaya and varada mudra. Your lotus feet are granting us everything. Now he says in the different form you have abhaya and varada mudras. This speaks the mind of the sadhaka.Sadhaka sees her lotus feet and he gets everything. The same sadhaka does in his spiritual path further.She is in the form of Saraswathi or lakshmi. Saraswathi is the goddess of matrikas that is why she carries a book and a garland of japamala. The spiritual aspirant contemplates on her depending on the state of mind depending at the time contemplation. Even Srividya mantra, Bala, panchadasi, shyamala, laghu syamala, sodashi there are more than one dhyana slokas. That dhyana sloka is given depending on the aspirant’s spiritual level. One should chant one of the four. Four are given to select one that is convenient for the sadhaka. Holding a book talks about letters, spatika mala is with 51 manis and abhaya mudra removes all our fear in the devotees, varada mudra gives boons. Abhaya mudra not only fear of death is a serious problem. She gives protection in the fear of death and grants whatever he wants—-the final liberation.s He prays to her to get liberated fro this life and continues as jeevan muktha. One should stay before the body is left. Karma has to be spent. There is no relation between spending karmas through the body and jivanmukta. We are already one with self but the problem is we are not aware of it. I am one with brahman is what needs to be practiced.
The mala is referred to the universe manifestation, Akshamaladhidhara Rudhirasamsthitha. The book she is holding is different permutations and combinations of the universe because of sound. Akshara and sound have closer connectivity. Rosary and book impart spiritual knowledge as a result he is able to get liberated in this world. As a result you start composing mantras. All the four hands described here together offer liberation to sadhaka. All the 100 or 103 mantras of Soundarya Lahari shall not be taken in Series as each one is different.Each one is a mantra on its own. Manifesting universe is described in Lalitha sahasranama through sound. These are the sound forms. “ Parapratyakchitirupa pashyanti paradevatha Madhyama vaikharirupa bhaktamanasa hansika”
These are the sound forms from Para to Vaikhari. This is also referred to as manifestation. One whose voice, sound, speech is melodious, when it is so as an indication of energy of kundalini following and chakras are activated. Sweet words which can attract and hypnotize . For such a person, his words become strolls and sammohana and vak should become truth. We have heard about rishis who have cursed and also given boons as they had vak. When we are in a good mood all of us can speak in a good tone and mood, we can play with words if we are good at language. That madhulatha, that modulation, that sammohana kriya should remain always the same. One should be in the state of madhura vani all the time no matter what circumstance he/she is in. The sadhaka once gets the grace she is able to manage in his materialistic world without changing. He remains the same and all the things will not affect the sadhaka.
The sound is manifested from Para to Vaikhari. Many times chandogya upanishad was referred to in Lalitha Trishati to quote examples. Their panchagni vidya was mentioned. In panchagni vidya
It is also connected to creations, sustenance, re-creation dissolution and both. It is not confined to that much. One who gets your grace he will have that kind of word. It also speaks about vak siddhi. When speaking melodious sweet voice should be possible during grief, bumps and turmoil in life one should speak with melodious voice, Those who are blessed by guru mandala they are not affected.
He is pinpointing the sound here and its effect. “ Parapratyakchitirupa pashyanti paradevatha Madhyama vaikharirupa bhaktamanasa hansika”
The para is teh ultimate, the same para is conveyed here. Parashakti is ultimate. The power of expression, that depends upon the corresponding words and their meanings. If that does not happen, the expression does not match the words and their meanings. This expression is the unconditioned brahman the shabda brahman, the vedanta talks about brahman by the words existence etc because the words that we speak or write is the physical form of speech. That sound has a physical form when we reduce it to writing, perceived through indriyas. The physical form is known as Vaikhari, expressing or identifying the physical form of Brahman called Virat. Eyes and ears are both physical forms of Brahman. Both do not correspond to Shudha brahman, unconditioned pure brahman.
Those actions which we call karma that should get manifested as a fruit. When the actions are ripe then actions produce fruits. When they are about to manifest means they are not ripe. In that situation brahman bound by maya. So maya itself in the form of action is called Ghanibhuta congealed one. Before the actions gets manifested they are yet to be ripened, the maya itself is in the form of action. In the course of time this ghanibhuta began to ripen. When they begin to ripen the unripe state disappears. The stage where they begin to ripen in sanskrit is called vichikrisha that is a state longing for action. At the moment of ripeness when the modification of maya appears, then bramhan endored maya in the form of ripened actions. This ripened action is called Avyaktha( Unmanifest) The smurthis say about it avyaktha is the sprouting root of the universe, avyaktha is a condition where the actions of karma getting ripened to get its fruits. That stage of sprouting is called karana bindu or dot for the cause. What is the cause? Brahmanda. Shakara also gives reference to prapancha sara. That intelligence which is the congealed one (ghanibhuta) desirous of action attains this state of karana bindu. From this karana bindu the dot of the cause proceeds further to karya bindu. Karya bindu, nada and beeja have a dot of effect and sound, beeja, these three are called supreme. The karya bindu is called supreme. The sound is called subtle form and the beeja is called physical form in their nature. The quality of paramocha, suksham and sthula, Karya bindu, shabda and beeja. The supreme subtle and physical participate in threeIntelligence (chittha) and combined intelligence and non-intelligence (Chidha and achith). He refers rahasyagama. The karana bindu in the course of time when it sprouts becomes three. These three divisions are gross, subtle,supreme; they are called bindu nada and beeja. This bindu , nada, beeja including karana bindu ( the sprouting is still there) These four with reference to divine aspect as Adhi Daivata. This karana bindu, bindu nada and beeja isn the devine aspect understood as avyaktha— karana bindu, Ishwara — bindu, Hiranyagarbha — nadha, Beeja Virat. By the time we come to Virat are nothing but from the karana bindu.Karana is for whole universe creation. These four also refer to shakti. Karana Bindu is shanta, Bindu is Vama, Nadha is Jeshta and Beeja is Roundri, They are also called Ambika, Icha gyana and Kriya. Ambika connected to avyaktha, Ichha connected to Ishwara, Gana connected to Hiranyagarbha, Viart Connected to Kriya. This is how four are understood with divine aspect. Another aspect is elemental aspect. The original meaning of Thapathraya is Thapa is the heat, Thraya — three types of thapa they are adhidaivika, adhibhautika, adhyatmika. To relieve us from these thapathrayas is what we ask the divine. Staying near deity is upavasa. One is adhidaivika, a divine aspect. The elemental aspect of adhibhautika is four peethas (Kaama devi, Purna giri ,jalandhari, Oddyana peeta).
Adhiatma: this is referring to bodily aspects. That karana bindu is in muladhara. That is known as shakti pinda. One syllable mantra, eka beeja mantra, kundalini. Shakara Bhagadvadpadha writes in Laghu stava. There is Shakti, her name is kundalini having known her and who is ever engaged in the work of the creation of the universe, that being never enters again to his mothers womb as a child. One who has known her in karana bindu in shakti in creation of the universe in kundalini ( in macrocosm and microcosm) Avyaktha and kamagiri peetha, that person attains moksha . This is karana bindu. This is the dot if caused in its non-differentiated condition. When it sprouts then the unmanifested sound called shabda brahman arises in it. Muladhara, the same karana bindu is in the microcosm. The same karana bindu is the cause of the universe. That sprouts to create that becomes karya bindu, nadha, bheeja and the unmanifest Shabda brahman sound comes out of it. This sound which is shabda brahman is an unmanifested sound produced by krana bindu is all pervading but first appears in the muladhara of the beings. By the power of prana acted upon by the effort of manifestation. Sound is all pervading. The effort of prakata produces that sound and appears in muladhara. The prana first appears, the air that acts upon it because the effort of the person wants to speak and produces the shabda brahman and remains motionless in its place is called para speech. When we talk about paradevatha or parashakti we are talking about that . There is shabda brahman, the desire to create, desire to speak is motionless. The effort was only possible by the effort by prana, Para vak is called paradevata.
Creation is difficult to understand. We have a fair idea of what is created. When going through Soundarya Lahari, without a spandana of shakti nothing happens. Spandana is the cause for creation. Explaining to us the creation of sound, vak, creation of speech. Whatever little we understand is better then not understanding anything. Without cause there will not be any effect. There should be a cause. When it comes to the creation of the universe, that we understood as Karana Bindu which transforms in karya bindu by spandana that becomes shabda brahman, shabda brahman becomes vyakta. Sahbda brahman is manifested by sound, in the process of sound it sprouted into karya, karya bindu and nadha. To get nada we need bindu. Nafha and dindu cannot be separated. That is identified by various things. They were named both feminine and masculine that is for our understanding. That karana bindi or shabda brahman which is in the karana bindu. Karana bindu when manifested becomes shabda brahman but it is motionless in spandana but it its own place and identifies as para vak. That is the para state of creation, this shbda braham produced by prana — air started taking motion proceeding towards navel joined with the reasoning intellect (manas), Manas, mind and intellect possessing the nature of manifested karya bindu with a simple motion called saamanya spandana from nish-spandana but the same air that was created at the muladhara has moved a little with the manas and become a simple motion samanya spanda is named as pashyanti vak. The same shabda brahman with the same vayu and prana proceeding as far as heart is concerned with bhudhi in the manifested nadha with a special motions called vishesha spandha is called madhyama vak. At muladhara there is no involvement just it is there produced by prana to move it further with slow motion it needs mind then further movement to anahata the same prana requires budhi it remaining understanding on intellect which is vishesha spanda. Next the same shabda brahman produced by the same prana proceeding further as per the mouth developed in the throat in the form of articulation capable of being heard by ear of another or our own possessing the nature of manifested beeja. It has universal motion which is called Vaikhari speech. Similar activity takes place from shabda bramhan to the manifested creation. So the shabda that is created to be heard is happening in microcosm also. At muladhara shabda brahman is not moved by prana. Then it requires the mind to move it further to Manioura, If we want to move it further it needs intellect to determine and understand the sound. Form the vishuddhi chakra as the voice can be produced. Here Acharya tells, the sound that arises at muladhara is called para, pashyanthi, to the heart and joined with budhi. Understanding madhyama and its full manifestation is vaikhari. Without prana there is a para vak, pashaynthi or vaikhari vak. The para form from muladhara produced by prana, the same prana rising upwards attains pashayanthi and slowing rising upwards with anahata. At anahata unites with intellect and again rising upwards and meeting vishudhio comes out as vaikharai. We don’t understand the para. We think of speech to be vaikhari alone. The shruti speaks about the common man thinking that alone to be speech which is imperfect. Imperfect by not possessing all the three forms. Unless it possesses the previous three forms what is coming out if vishuddhi is imperfect. In Rigveda first khanda 164 mantra and the 45th sloka talks about it .Even at the time of vedas this was known. Four are the grades of speech which are known by brahman gyanis. Among these four three deposited in secret and motionless andforuth is spoken by humans. TAT TVAM ASI even there tat in para form defined the unmanifested form avyaktha. Similarly the whole universe also manifests. The word tat in the vaikhari form, how can that word indicate brahman.Tat also indicates brahman indirectly. Same way vak is produced the universe is also produced. We consider vak itself as creation. We have given sacredness to vak. Vak is none other than brahman and comes out of our mouth is nothing but Vaikhari which is also brahman. Even the yoga shastras call the Devi as Vaikhari because the prana that is creating the sound is called Vikahra. We did not say create as it was in unmanifested form. Sadhakas should keep a watch on their vak. In para it was silent, nothing happened. When moving to manipura there is a little motion. Anahata when it moves intellect and from intellect to vishuddhi, mind takes over and then produced by vaikhari. Amabal in dhaharaksha, how can the devi allow the shabda to come to Vaikhari. It is devine and once we know that divinity in all or all the things, it is also in vak which helps us in realising brahman. One who realizes kundalini shakti his expression of speech is not distrubed by elation, sorrow, grief.Respect that vak, be devoted to that vak. If we cannot realize divinity in our vak, where can we find the divinity. Where can we become close to god. If we can understand this, the effort of talking about para, pashyanti and madhyama would be fruitful. The vak is happening at micro level as karana nbindu manifests as the universe. Vak is Brahmanda. One can become angry and grief and for that expression there need not be bad words. We can express our anger and grief without disrespecting the vak devata. Hence vak was given great importance in ancient times. Dasaratha has given his words to kaikeyi, he fulfilled them. Rama is known to follow Dasaratha’s words. He followed it. Converting an important message is that Vak itself is divine.
Chanting procedure and Nivedyam( offerings to the Lord) : If one chants this verse 1000 times every day for 45 days, and offers Honey, fruits and sugar as nivedhyam , one is said to gain the ability to write poems and become a scholar.
Sri Gurubhyo Namah
Sri Matre Namah
Note: Am Nidruva penning the blog posts as an extract from attending daily online ” Soundarya Lahari Jnana Yagna” conducted by ‘ Atmanandanatha’
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
Link to Article 14: Verse 12 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 15: Verse 13 Soundarya Lahari explanation
Link to Article 16: Verse 14 Soundarya Lahari explanation