MAHISHASURA MARDINI STOTRAM – English Commentaries
Om Sri Maha Saraswathyai Namaha
Om Sri Sadh Gurubhyo Namaha
For every parent their child is special. Even a crow considers its young one as gold. Similarly, for the Supreme God (Parashakthi), this world is Her golden child. The world comprises all matter. In it are the movable and immovable including human beings. The human beings are further classified as ‘Devas’ (Gods), ‘Manithas’ (Man) and Asuras (Demons).
The Devas are those that follow the righteous path and act for the overall good, while man lives an ordinary materialistic life while the ‘asuras’ tread the wrong path, committing violent and hurtful deeds. Dharma (Righteous) is undermined by Adharma. There are people who get trapped in this illusionary world and enjoy ‘adharma’. One the other hand, noble souls (Mahatmas) who sacrifice their own needs to protect ‘dharma’ are regarded as the Devas. Whichever of the above three categories one belongs to, when he makes a mistake he gets the right punishment, commiserate with the deed. This is Parashakthi’s dharma and the reason behind the various incarnations, names and forms taken by Her in running the universe.
Where there is a name, there is definitely a form and vice versa i.e. where there is a form there is a name. Upon deep reflection, we realize that Paramatma comes in various Jeevatma incarnations in the world to fulfil the duties of creation, preservation and withdrawal as per the need of the times. This secret is apparent if we take the instance of Kaali (and other motherly ‘bootha ganaas’) emerging out of Parashakthi’s third eye.
An owner of a property has every right to sell or give it away without anyone’s permission. Similarly, since this world is Parashakthi’s property, she has every right to protect it, eliminating anyone who tries to destroy it. Due to this worldly dharma (natural practice) good and noble souls are protected and blessed with happiness while the bad are punished and have to endure fear and sorrow.
Paramatma, i.e.the Moola Prakriti (Primary force/energy) initially divided its total power, and made it take forms and names as various Gods and Goddesses. All powers joined together and all the Gods became one accordingly the form of Parashakthi appeared before their eyes in the battlefield.
Sree Parvathi Devi (Consort of Lord Siva) is a complete representation of Parashakthi. Sree Badra Kaali emerged out of the third eye of Sree Parvathi Devi, destroyed all the demons who were causing havoc and destruction in the world, and retrieved the kingdom of Indra which is heaven from demons and returned it to Indra (Lord of the celestial world). This was indeed not an easy task and was only achieved after a horrific war causing death and destruction. The realized souls, with inner knowledge and foresight, had prophesized this war and its disastrous trail with the good intention that future generations should know and understand these facts. We have thus been given this golden opportunity to listen to and learn from these valuable epics.
Indra is the king of the Devas and Indra is also our mind. When we do good and get involved in pious work, we are blessed with happy and auspicious tidings which are compared to the happiness in ‘Deva Lokha’ or heaven. Being associated with good work and noble deeds us one feel we are in heaven, whilst those who contribute to the rise of evil by committing wicked deeds and hurting people are regarded as ‘asuras’.
When the mind goes into wrong paths, getting addicted to doing evil things, the body, thoughts, words and deeds also follow suit, weakening the resolve and bringing forth various problems and sorrows as a result. We can consider this as the conquest of heaven by the Asuras.
At this point, only due to clarity of knowledge one can realize that ‘Eashwara’, through His spiritual powers and experiences, and with the blessings of ‘Eashwara Shakthi’ can purify his/her mind and constantly eradicate evil thoughts or ‘asuras’, releasing the mind from these nasty powers, liberating himself to live in peace, contentment and piety. Indra’s lost heaven being retrieved and returned to him bears symbolic reference to this surprising fact.
I believe the above explanation will be helpful to people who do not believe in God and for those who do not find our epics very convincing. Hopefully, this should help them to focus more on the true message of these epics as the heavy and difficult facts and truths that are stated in our ‘Dharmashastras’ are spoon-fed to the people through these stories and projected to the people to ensure the continuance of Dharma.
The results of all kinds of research conducted and published by modern science are already mentioned in our ancient spiritual books which goes to show that the findings of modern science are nothing amazing or new to the ‘Mahatmas’ of you who have achieved the state of liberation or who have been elevated as realized souls.
Bhadrakaali along with other motherly angels joined together and destroyed hundreds of asura leaders and thousands of their army men to protect the devotees and therein lies the message of ‘Mahishasura Mardhini’. This event has been described by great souls in poetry form and indelibly etched in our minds for its charming, poetic and rhythmic verse, joined together much like flowers in a garland (garland of divine verse) and named Devi Paata Mala. The noble souls chanted this daily and were elevated. One who recites this holy verse, fully understanding the meaning behind it is well into the process of cleansing his mind.
Sree Bhagavathi, though She took the form of Bhadrakaali, is, in reality, a mother with a lot of compassion. Spirituality, devotion and the blessings of ‘Eashwara’ are equal to the purity of a mother’s heart. Once can attain this state only through soul searching, meditation and ‘Sakshatkaram’ means to attain a state of liberation.
The fruits of one’s actions are certain. The Divine Mother who is omnipotent, Her presence everywhere in the Universe exudes the greatness of Her actions that are every-auspiciousness, Her places of residence, the nobility of Her family, The scintillating jewelry that always adorns Her ‘Stoola Sareeram / physical body’ and other accessories (symbolic representations) She is fond of. Her divine form is worthy of praise and worship, and Her divine dramas ‘Viboothi Vistaras’ have been elaborately and brilliantly described in the Upanishads, Sree Devi Bhagavatham, Sree Devi Mahatmyam, Lalitha Sahasranamam and Devi Paata Mala. This glorious and magnificent epic ‘Mahishasuramardini’ has been shrunk into 61 potent lines, a gift of no mean value. A few words and lines in these verses may be interpreted in a different way, however, they all convey the same meaning, and essence and show similar intentions. The entire Mahishasuramardhini sthothram can be divided into three parts viz: Maha Lakshmi, Maha Kaali and Maha Saraswathy as Three Ghanda (3 portions of God’s celestial body).
It is said that adding more ghee in the ‘Adirasam’ a rice and treacle delicacy of South India, will preserve it for a long time while also adding to the flavour. It is not possible to do justice to Sreedevi’s glory in this piece of work, for there is no end to Her greatness. Within the limitations and knowledge of Parasakthi and with whatever I understood from my research, I have tried to explain and describe Her glory here. Initially, this work was done in Malayalam and later translated by my disciples into Tamil and English. I submit this script at the lotus feet of Parashakthi and join you in giving Her my salutations. Translations and commentaries are always good to understand the meaning and the philosophy of such great works. At the end of the day, these hymns are meant for our successful life. According to me, profit and loss is for us and not for God. So, it is every individual’s choice whether one needs to practice spiritual learnings or not. All these beautiful narrations of God are given to us for enriching our knowledge so that the devotion/bhakthi will enhance and eventually realize the God.
Maximum care is taken to minimise the errors yet if you find some please forgive us and I would appreciate it if you can notify your suggestions through email.
Om Namasivaya Nama: / Om Parasakthi Nama:
Commentators: R. V Venkiteswaran and Team: Dubai: 25-Oct-2009.
PHALA SRUTHI / MERITS OF CHANTING
1. Chanting these verses daily is ideal for removing illness; they (hymns) are like medicines that pass through the ears for eliminating disease, erasing our sins and helps to raise ourselves spiritually, releasing us from the evils of the ‘Kali Yuga’.
2 Because of the experience of Sreedevi Gnanam, one can identify the traces ‘vasanas’ of several previous births and can overcome those evils.
3 Helps to overcome the accumulated sins of previous births and to attain ‘atma sakshatkaram’ which is the State of liberation or bliss.
4 Gives faith and courage to people in times of trouble and joint prayers to the ‘Eashwara Shakthi’ protects them from grave dangers
5 If one tries to obtain another’s assets the divine power will intervene and restores it to the true owner.
6 The ‘Eashwara Shakthi’ irrespective of caste or creed resides in everyone and it is up to each person to use it or waste it.
7 Gives courage, joy and the ecstatic state of Anubhuthi’.
8 The nothingness that is ‘Paramatma’ allows us to pray and focus on the Paramatma as the compassionate Mother. These verses enable us to focus on this fact.
9 Helps us attain the knowledge of ‘Sastras’, release us from black magic and to know and recognize the places where Parashakthi resides, and understand about Her accompanying Devis, enhances our inherent motherliness, to achieve one’s desires, to attain the state of liberation and to get rid of all the obstacles, achieving victory and getting Promoted to higher planes of spirituality, to purify thought, word and deed, and to understanding the importance of helping others. The verses also strengthen the knowledge that God punishes the bad and rewards the good, protecting them at all times.
10 Long healthy life, abundance and pure love towards God can be achived.
===== OM =====
1.1 IYE GIRI NANDINI NANDITHA MEDHINI VISWA VINODINI NANDA NUTHE
MEANING:Iye – Mother/Divine Supreme Mother/Paramatma
Giri Nandini – Daughter of the king of the mountains (Parvatharaja Puthri)
Nanditha Medhini – worthy of prayer, also, Seetha, daughter of Mother Earth, manifested on earth
Viswa Vinodini – Supreme Player in the universe, Her playground, brings life
Praised by Nanda, Lord Krishna’s father (Ananda Puthri)
Nanda Nuthe – Daughter of Nandana (foster father of Lord Krishna).
COMMENTARYThe Divine Supreme mother of the Universe who is the starting point of all matter and energy is the daughter of the mighty Himavan (King of mountains). She also manifested from Mother Earth as beloved Seetha, worthy of worship for She is the sculptor of our bodies filled with life-giving decision-maker blood and mufilleddecision maker and controller of the overall universe plays the part of the creator, preserver and upholder of the cosmic order by displaying overwhelming compassion and showering Her devotees with grace and binding them together in kinship and love.
Residing in the peak of mountains Parvathi the daughter of Himavaan is also nurtured in the form of Nandhini,the cow-mother of the Devas who dispenses peace and bliss (Anandaswaroopini). She the Supreme player of the Universe is also called and the foster father of Lord Krishna, Nanda Gopan also praises the Mother who is the meditative centre of even Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
The Divine Supreme Mother of the Universe who is the starting point of all matter and energy is the daughter of the mighty Himavan (King of Himalayas). She also manifested from mother earth as beloved Seetha, worthy of worship for She is the sculptor of our bodies filled with life giving blood & muscle. She the divine decision maker & controller of the overall universallife-givingdecision-makerpeace plan plays the part of Creator, Preserver & Upholder of the cosmic order by displaying overwhelming compassion and showering Her devotees with grace and binding them together in kinship & love. The Divine Mother is also nurtured in the form of Nandini, the celestial cow mother of devas who dispenses peace bliss. The mother who is also adored as Surabhi resides in the Sri Chakram as Sarva Aanandamaya Swaroopini. She is also worshipped banda Gopan the foster father of Lord Krishna. She also forms the meditative centre of Lord Shiva & Vishnu.
Thus having praised the traits of the Divine mother in an aforesaid manner the devotees prayed to Her to protect them and to grant victory & peace.
1.2 GIRIVARA VINDHYA SIRODHINI VASINI VISHNU VILASINI JISHNU NUTHE
Girivara Vindhya – Praised by the Vindhya mountain.
Sirodhini Vasini – Resident of the peak of the awesome mountain range, the Vindhyas as well on the human head.
Vishnu Vilasini – Possessing the universally acclaimed address of Lord Vishnu (and also worshipped by him)
Jishnu Nuthe – Worshipped and adorned by Indra (Jishnu is another name for Indra whose mother is Adithi)
Mother graces the Vindhya mountain by residing on its top. She is felicitated and worshipped by the lords of all hills and mountains, irrespective of their size. Parameswari honours and visibly marks Her presence amidst learned scholars, great academicians and masters of the 64 arts of which She is the mistress – by illuminating their foreheads with radiance, thus acknowledging their achievements. Her favourite haunt is Mount Kailasa, the peak of all Chakras ( crown – chakra among 7 chakras in the human body ) where She enjoys dancing as Her devotee meditates, cooling them down and inciting in them limitless ecstasy. She is not only the sister of Lord Vishnu but also takes on His form as avatars (as Vishnu Maya) to resurrect Dharma. Parasakthi, the Universal Mother is venerated by Devendra alias Jishnu the King of Devas. Thus having praised the traits of the Divine Mother in an aforesaid manner the devotees prayed to Her to protect them and to grant victory and peace.
1.3 BHAGAVATHI HEY SITHI KANTA KUTUMBINI BHURI KUTUMBINI BHURI KRITHE
MEANING:Bhagavathi – Mahalakshmi, a name derived as an upholder of the six noble universal qualities viz: Aishwaryam, Veeryam, Keerthi, Sri, Jnanam and Vairaghyam – (abundance, valour, fame, auspiciousness, knowledge and detachment – in that order.
Hey – Calling the Mother with an endearment
Shithi Kanta – The blue-necked Lord Parameshwara
Kutumbini – With families (all souls are Her children)
Bhuri Kutumbini – The entire universe is Her family
Bhuri Krithe – Fulfiller of all wishes, Guardian of the entire universe, achieving completion of all above.
COMMENTARY:One who is in possession of the 6 virtues of abundance, determination, fame, wealth, auspiciousness and true absolute knowledge is conferred the title Bagavathi. Parasakthi the Sublime Mother who is in total command of these qualities is the ONE & ONLY ONE who is fondly hailed as Bhagavathy. The entire Universe comprises of two families (Vasudaivakutumbam) consisting of the soul & great soul and (Sadasivakutumbam) consisting of realized souls only. Mother is the Supreme omnipresent part of all the families. She who forms the very base of Lord Siva’s family merges the Jeevathma (souls with body consciousness) with Paramaathma. She therefore is the sum total of Jeevethma, Paramaathma and realized souls.
Deserving of reverential titles such as Sree and Srimathi, the Divine Mother grants life and strength not just to the Devas but to all Her creations including the helpless worm. She resides in the effulgent Sun and in the eternally holy Siva tatwam OM NAMAH SIVAYAH. She is revered as Ardhanaareawari when She occupies the left half of the Supreme Ascitic, Sadasiva who is also known as Neelakantan, Parameawaran, Mahadevan and Spadigavarnan.
The Divine pair thus became universal parents, cherishing, nurturing and protecting all living things as part of their vast family comprising the 14 worlds. Parasakthi offers divine motherhood to all Her creatures in all their various forms and integrates them with an uncanny strength. As the holder of the portfolios of creation, administration, withdrawal and consolidation – manifest to unmanifest stage – She disempowers Satanic people and upholds justice.
1.4 JAYA JAYA HEY MAHISHASURA MARDHINI RAMYA-KAPARDINI SYLASUTHE
MEANING:Jaya Jaya – More and more victories
Hey – Hailing the Divine Mother affectionately
Mahishasuramardhini – Killer of the evil demon, Mahishasura
Ramya Kapardhini – Elegant and beautiful hair arrangement (a tribute to her charm and beauty)
Sylasuthe – Daughter of Sailendran (King Himavan)
The devotees hailed the Divine Mother and appealed to Her for help thus: “Oh! Divine Mother! May victory upon victory by Yours, for therein lies our salvation. May you bless the good with success and remove the hurdles from the path of the abiders of dharma. We appeal to you to defeat Mahishasura (Representative of Ego) and not waver in your resolve for, indeed, you are a bottomless ocean of mercy and your compassion may get the better of you. Oh! Mahishasuramardhini! So named for establishing good over evil, light over darkness, justice over injustice, right over wrong, please proceed with single-minded steadfastness in obliterating Mahishasura for eternity and usher in peace and stability. So great is the faith in your powers that, indeed, you are already considered the instrument in the permanent eradication of Mahishasura, for is it not a foregone conclusion that you will vanquish the un-vanquishable, shake the unshakeable and destroy the indestructible? Are you not eligible for the title of Mahishasuramardhini even before your encounter with the evil demon? Even the Devas, humbled by Mahishasura, seek protection at your feet, for who can escape your eyes and assault no matter which nook of the different worlds they are hiding in? And the Devas, secure in the knowledge that there is no power to challenge that of Parashakthi, the Ultimate, reveled in a victory even when the cruel Asura still existed since the mere presence of the Divine Mother scorned any threat. Mahishasura was already considered eliminated by the Devas and Rishis. What a great endorsement of their faith, what great testimony to Her invincibility and capability!
Touched by this massive appeal for Her help, moved by the prayers, devotion and faith of Her devotees, pleased at the implicit trust placed in Her, Adi Parashakthi emerges for battle. And what a splendid spectacle She made! It was a sight of indescribable beauty, purely divine and a rare treat for privileged eyes. Her hair (to which specific reference is made as it is always a woman’s crowning glory), thick bluish-black lustrous locks, lushly divine, done up in a knot very like those of the chaste wives of rishis, long elegantly elongated eyebrows, stormy blood-shot eyes with a broad long tongue lolling out in quest of the battle ahead, neck adorned by a garland of skulls and feet by tiny anklets and rings, the attractive bluish body, so gigantic in size that even Lord Siva, lying by Her feet could not be sighted, Her appearance was a stark contrast of elegance and strength, beauty and fury, charm and determination, massive and powerful yet dripping divine love and compassion.
And so the devotees prayed and prostrated before Himavan’s daughter, Parvathi, Sakthi Devi and hailed Her to victory.
2.1 SURAVARA VARSHINI DHURDHARA DARSINI DHURMUKHA MARSHINI HARSHARATHE
Suravara Varshini – Bestower of innumerable boons to Devas
Durdara – Dhurdaran is a rakshasa (demon)
Dharsini – Tortures to death, Punishes evil-doers
Dhurmukha Marshini – Killer of Dhurmukha – another evil Rakshasa
Harsharathe – Experiences a shock of joy, stunning hair-raising thrill
COMMENTARY:The Divine Mother showers boons on the Devas and blesses those who tread the path of Dharma, performing good deeds or who even think of doing good. Displaying the symbol of fearlessness for her devotees, through Her valour and intention to protect the innocent, She destroyed demon Durdara, the evil demon along with his powerful army, freeing him from the bondage of ‘Asura Buddhi’. Even Devi’s generous tolerance and patience breaks beyond a point as displayed in Her encounter with the wicked Dhurmukha, killing him after giving him several opportunities to mend his ways. As the ill effects of evil eyes are annihilated and scores of demons killed, Ambika’s divine body reverberates in a shock of joy as Her devotees fervently thank Her for answering their prayers in restoring peace and harmony, for mercilessly punishing people who stray from the path of justice and truth and the perpetrators of evil. The Divine Mother shares the pleasure and lightness brought about by Her courage and power, with her devotees, enveloping the atmosphere in bliss.
2.2 THRIBHUVANA POSHINI SANKARA THOSHINI KILPISHA MOSHINI GHOSHARATHE
MEANING:Thribhuvana Poshini – Giver of food (sustenance) to the three worlds
Sankara Thoshini – Pleases Paramasiva immensely
Kilpisha Moshini – Abolishes sin and its ill-effects
Ghosharathe – Eliminates sins and outcome of sins
COMMENTARY:As the divine sustainer of the three worlds of earth, heaven and sky, Parashakthi provides food, energy and strength to all Her creations and wipes out sinful deeds and their outcome and effects. Also known as Savitri,– the effulgent sun, transiting the three worlds. She always pleases Lord Siva, Her Consort, who joins the Devas and Rishis in their prayers to Her to eliminate the demon. An opportunity arises out of the prayers offered to Her by the heavenly souls. She, in turn, cherishes and blesses those who strive and perform good and auspicious deeds and even places them on par with Lord Shiva, releasing them from the bonds of jeevatma and past karmas. Thus Devi protects the good and pure souls, bestowing Sree Vidya Sakthi, elevating their souls and guiding them, step by step, to the ultimate goal of liberation. So great is the Divine Mother’s compassion that even the most severe and evil deeds of the past, resulting in tormented and miserable births for these pious devotees are released and they are uplifted from the throes of poverty and suffering. Is it then surprising that even the most eminent of all spiritual works – the Vedas – bows down to Devi and beseeches Her thus: ‘Goddess of all Gods and Goddesses, Oh! Compassion personified Veda Mata, shield us from sorrow and grant peace.’
2.3 DHANUJANI ROSHINI DHITHISUTHA ROSHINI DHURMADHA SOSHINI SINDHU SUTHE
Dhanujani – Dhanavas or those born to Dhanu
Roshini – One who bears anger (against the Dhanus)
Dhithisutha Roshini – One who bears anger against the sons of Dhithi (Rakshasas)
Dhurmadha Soshini – Obstructs the course of evil and bad intentions
Sindhu Suthe – Daughter of the king of the ocean; Verily Mahalakshmi, born under the ‘Arudra’ star
COMMENTARY:There is not much to differentiate the Dhanavas and the Asuras, the former being the descendants of Dhanus with prominent good looks while the latter are the offsprings of Dhithi, not blessed with good looks or charming presence. Their sole similarity lies in their aggression and destructive tendencies towards the Devas, children of the pious Adhithi. They inflict great pain and distress on the Devas with violence and hate. The Devas turn to the auspicious daughter of Sindhu, Mahalakshmi and plead thus: ‘Oh, Mahadevi, please immobilize the power of our enemies and arrest their constant violent activities. Please deliver us from this harassment and torture”. Infuriated with the Dhanavas and asuras, Her anger intensified the auspicious daughter of the ocean, Mahalakshmi, born under the ‘Arudra’ star, and the very incarnation of ‘Gajalakshmi’ mercilessly and absolutely exterminates the Dhanavas and the Asuras who represent all that is harmful, dishonourable, disagreeable and contrary to ‘Dharma’ protecting Her children to whom She always offers tender Motherhood . Is not the Universe Her motherland where, under Her, only peace, love and order will prevail ? The devotees bask in Mother’s compassion and protection and pray and urge Her on to more and more victories.
3.1 AYI JAGADHAMBA MADHAMBA KADHAMBA VANA PRIYA VASINI HASARATHE
Ayi Jagadhamba – Universal Mother
Madhamba – My mother, Mother to all Her creations
Kadhamba Vana Priya – Fond of the Kadhamba Vana (rich evergreen fertile forests of the Himalayas)
Vasini – Resides in the Kadhamba Forest/Vana
Hasarathe – One who maintains Her gentle smile
COMMENTARY:The Supreme Mother of the Universe, giver of mortal form and life to all matter, both movable and immovable, constantly wears a gentle smile on Her lips. Activator of the five holy actions / ‘panchakrytyaas’ She showers Her devotees with blessings as they sing Her praises together and manifests before them. She is fond of Kadhamba Vana and likes to reside in such rich evergreen fertile forests of the Himalayas. The Kadamba trees are in orange colured fragrant blossoms. Anyone get into this forest will forget about everything in life and get into the deep meditation mode. So spell-bound are they at this spectable that they unanimously hail Her as ‘My Mother’ and, in Her immense benevolence, She grants permission right from Lord Brahma down to the minutest atom to call Her so. Who then undergoes a miraculous transformation, offering his head at her feet and, Sreedevi, in Her infinite compassion, accepts him into Her fold. So the devotees hail the divine all-pervading Mother and offer salutations.
3.2 SIKARI SIROMANI THUNGA HIMALAYA SRINGA NIJAALAYA MADHYAGATHE
Sikari Siromani – Her attractive crop of hair is highlighted in the peak of the mountains
Thunga Himalaya – Residing in the mountains of Thunga and Himalayas in other words She Adorns the crown as Her devotees
Sringa Nijalaya – Her divine presence enhances the summit of the Himalayan ranges
Madhyagathe – Right in the middle of the mountain ranges – Her favourite haunt
Residing in the peak of the Himalayas, Parvathi, daughter of the king of the mountains (Parvatharaja) contains within Her the supreme essence of all divine powers. Her standing, the highest possible, She awakens the inherent power and strength of great devotees practicing penance, arousing this power and, ascending past the six intermediate chakras (hidden wheels, adjacent to back bone), enters the crown chakra (Sahasrara) which is considered as Maha Kailasa, and conjoining with Lord Siva, leads these pious souls to ultimate bliss, the bliss of the realized soul uniting with the supreme soul.
As these dedicated devotees observe diligent penance and contemplation for a considerable period of time, the crowns of their heads appear and feel like the rare gem ‘Manikam’ (Ruby) and, as such, these great souls glitter like stars in this world. Having guided them to this supremely elevated state, merging Herself as one with them, Parasakthi is also known as ‘Siromani’, another dazzling and exquisite gem which adorns Her head but the devotees bestow Her with this title for is she not the ultimate jewel? Compassionate and magnanimous enough to reside in the head of Her devotees, the sacred spot which is also known as the ‘Bindu Sthana’, Her divine residence being Mount Kailas, thus raising the blessed devotees to mountainous heights, displaying equanimity to all Her creations, the centre point of all chakras and who lives amidst all Vedas and Upanishads, praise be to Her.
3.3 MADHU MADHU RE MADHU KAITABA BHANJINI KAITABA GANJANI RASARATHEY
Madhu Madhu Re – One who is nectar itself, The very power of Lord Vishnu
Madhu Kaitaba Bhanjini – Vanquisher of Madhu and Kaitaba (two venomous demons)
Kaitaba Ganjani – Oppressor of Madhu and Kaitaba, Inflicts pain and harasses them
Rasarathe – Produces divine enjoyment and indulges in it (Rasamandaleswari)
As sweet as nectar, the Divine Mother represents the qualities of sheer sweetness not only in Her appearance but in Her actions, Her deeds and Her laughter. The Devas hail Her as the sweetest of the sweet for She contains within Her the essence of all sweetness, dispensing with this as She deems fit. It is this very sweetness that She bestows in abundance on those who meditate on Her with innocent hearts and single-minded devotion, coating their tongues with ‘Amrut’ (liberation) their lives, thus, a profusion of sweetness. Honey to honey, Parameswari’s form is sweetness itself, granting us the eternal sweetness of freedom from birth.
Taking on the enchanting form of Meenakshi at Madhurai (Tamil Nadu State) Sreedevi is responsible for the defeat of the demon duo, Madhu and Kaitaba. She achieves through Her boon to Lord Vishnu which then results in the elimination of these wicked demons.
Madhu and Kaitaba are said to be mere dirt emerging out of Maha Vishnu’s ears and, having taken shape and bounced into life, set off on their evil pursuit of destroying the world. Despite their relationship to Lord Vishnu, Sreedevi, being justice personified, becomes the ultimate instrument in their destruction. Being nectar itself, She uses this very quality to enchant, bewitch, and trap Madhu and Kaitaba who had already received boons which allowed them to be killed as per their own wish. However, with the Divine Mother’s blessings Lord Vishnu goes to the battle. The ensuing encounter lasted for several thousand years, the result a huge question mark until Sreedevi comes to the rescue, traps the demons due to their bad karma in ‘maya’ and gives Maha Vishnu a boon/grace which would enable Him to kill them in a waterless area. Lord Narayana finally places them on His lap since they should be killed only above water level and beheads them with the Sudarshana Chakra.
This proves beyond doubt that only with Parasakthi’s grace and blessings will even the Devas attain power to perform great feats. The very thought of the Divine Mother is a powerful weapon. She alone can punish the bad and save the good.
While we talk of demons and ‘asuras’ in constant battles with the pious elements, one must bear in mind the actual significance. Through various dramas and ‘leelas’, time and again, we are exposed to wicked people persecuting the innocent and then being killed themselves. These ‘bad elements’ which are portrayed in the form of Asuras etc are simply images of our own negative qualities that we need to battle over in order to subjugate and then control them which then leads us to the right path and liberation. Incase we are helpless to win over those bad qualities request divine mother to help us as done by Lord Maha Vishnu. We can also portraint Madhu symbolizes ignorance and illusion (Maya); Kaitaba represents sin/doubts and ego.
In the ‘Rasamandala’ Radha Devi and Lord Krishna are depicted as one power which is Parasakthi Herself, bestowing on Her devotees the enjoyment and ability to relish this divine play. Being the Queeen of ‘Rasa’, in command of all kinds of divine enjoyment and pleasure, She is the creator of ‘Rasa Krida’ and as ‘Parabrahma Swaroopini’ residing in the Vedas, She grants all Her devotees the thrill of ultimate knowledge and enjoyment. Also known as Mohini and Vishnu Maya for Her illusionary powers, She is praised as ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Purusha Sakthi’. When the Devas begin comprehending Her extraordinary strength and knowledge through their inner vision they conclude that Mahishasura Mardini is none other than Parasakthi, the Paramatma Swaroopini.
The devotees hail Her thus “Oh! Divine Mother, may you have victory over victory and all intentions result in supreme success.
4.1 AYI SATHA KHANDA VIKANDITHA RUNDA VITHUNDITHA SUNDA GAJADHIPATHE
Ayi – Divine Mother
Satha Khanda – One who cuts up enemies into over 100 pieces
Vikanditha Runda – Into tiny atoms
Vithunditha – Lowers enemies into the depths of doom
Sunda Gajadhipathe – Brutally destroyed Sunda and his army of elephants, Stunning them before destruction
In the battlefield, Sreedevi, in a fiery display of divine power, stunned and destroyed Sunda demon and his army, breaking them up into more than 100 pieces – and the wonder-struck Devas hail Her as ‘Satha Khandi. In the rare event of Parameswari’s anger being aroused various small powers emerge out of Her, ever ready to do battle with courage and valour. Even one of these powers has the capacity to destroy hundreds of horses and armies with just one swipe of the sword. The evil army loses total control amid the might of the Supreme Power and they lose all their chariots, horses and elephant armies. The Divine Mother’s incessant and accurate barrage of arrows found their targets, inflicting heavy wounds and deaths on Sunda & Munda’s army (demon brothers), the battlefield a horrifying scene. Thus Sunda and Munda’s army was decisively defeated and the devotees praised Parasakthi, and thanked Her for being ever victorious.
4.2 RIPU GAJA GANDA VIDHAARANA CHANDA PARAAKRAMA SUNDA MRIGATHIPATHE
Ripugaja Ganda – Punishing the enemy’s elephant forces
Vidharuna Chanda– Demon Chandaasura and his army scatter, knowing no direction, rendered hopeless
Parakrama Sunda – Parasakthi’s might and valour against Sundasura
Mrigathipathe – Sreedevi’s vehicle (vahana), the lion, strikes Mundasura’s forehead, dispatching all his elephants to eternal rest
Chandasura’s army was no match for Parasakthi’s might and valour. The elephant force of the asuras was punished mercilessly in the horrific battle. The supportive ‘Sakthi’ force Chandasura’s army to flee hither and thither in confusion over the terrible onslaught. The commander-in-chief was cut asunder and the elephants were moved down, hit on the forehead and dispatched to heaven by Sreedevi’s ‘vahana’, the lion, King of all animals (Simha Raja), their life-foe.
The devotees saluted Devi for the glory and decisiveness of Her warfare, the defeat of evil, and pray for Her to have victory over victory.
NB: The elephant’s majestic forehead portrays self-pride or ‘ahamkara’ and the the lion striking this very forehead signifies the dispelling of ‘Aghnana’ or ignorance as with pride one can never realize God.. The lion portrays ‘Gnana’ or knowledge and when it supercedes ‘aghnana’ one is on the right path.
4.3 NIJA BUHA DHANDA NIPATHITHA KHANDA VIPATHITA MUNDA BADADHIPATHEY
Nijabuja – Hands
Dhanda – Punishment
Nipathitha Khanda – Awesome divine weapons incessantly flowing
Vipathita Munda – Brilliant as lightening
Badadhipathey – Wielding a sword, destroys Chanda Munda and their Commander-in-chief.
With overwhelming and astonishing expertise, the Divine Mother, weapons flowing continuously and with lightening speed from Her various hands, inflicted mortal wounds on the opposing army. Her weapons found their target with such precision and so flawlessly that Her enemies did not stand a chance, their necks neatly decapitated while Her devotees watched in admiration and amazement.
While Parameswari’s shimmering sword, pure and bright as lightening, first gets rid of Mundasura’s head and then that of his commander-in-chief, the Kaali emerging out of Her third eye decisively eliminated Chandasura’s army biting them into pieces and spitting out the remnants. Holding up Her hands to symbolize victory, Kaali drags Chandasura by his head into Parvathy’s sanctum for sacrifice. Having obtained Devi’s blessings, She chops off Chandasura’s head, the air ringing with her hysterical and high-pitched laughter. Small wonder that Parasakthi is hailed as ‘Chanda-Mundasura-mardhini / Chaamundi’. By merely sitting in one place, with stunning power and invoking Kaali, She ensures the exit of the two plagues of the earth – Chanda and Munda, proving beyond doubt that in Her care, protection and her responsibility to Her humble devotees, no opposing army can ever escape Her net – no matter how powerful and well-equipped they are. The devotees hail the great and magical Mother to more and more victories.
5.1 AYI RANA DURMADHA SATHRUVA-DHODHITA DHUDHARA NIRJARA SAKTHI BRITHE
Ayi – Divine Mother, Mother of all names, Always listen to children’s call.
Ranadurmadha – Defeated those with evil intentions through war
Sathru vadhodhita – Resolved to vanquish her devotees
Dhurdara Nirjara – Mercilessly eliminates the bad
Sakthi Brithe – Seems a profusion of Sakthis (powers)
The ‘asuras’ of yore are known for their pride, arrogance and greed, systematically instigated hatred and mindlessly waging wars. They were made even more powerful by various boons granted them for severe penance and this made any war with them formidable indeed. Not for Supreme Sreedevi, though. To protect the world from evil and bring peace to Her tortured devotees, She reduces these ‘asuras’ to dust. As the Controller, Ruler and Preserver of the Universe She not only gets rid of demons of evil intentions but also suppresses evil thoughts.
In their grim determination to hurt the world and arrogantly complacent of the power they derived from the boons obtained, the ‘asuras’ take nasty decisions with terrible consequences. To maintain Her superiority and to keep a step ahead of the power they had from the boons, Sreedevi uses ‘durdevadas’ and ‘yoginis’, wiping out the entire enemy in one go. In Her role as ‘Paripaalanam’ the Divine Mother displays brilliant strategy and tactical perfection, rendering the opposition headless and formless. For, indeed, it needed a highly evolved brain and outstanding talent to outwit and overpower the demons, some of whom were so powerful as to have the ability to hit back at the divine Gods themselves. Sakthi resorts to special powers, the queens of the eight ‘Siddhas’ who are really members of Sakthi’s army. Throught Her magical eye that can see the invisible, Her magnificent use of Her illusionary power, Her amazing valour and courage She renders the world stable, free of cruel enemies.
5.2 CHATHURA VICHAARA DUREENA MAHASIVA DOOTHA KRITHA PRAMADHAA-DHIPATHE
Chathura Vichaara – Four types of rules and strategy
Dureena Maha Siva – As One of the Holy Trinity, Siva gets His name
Dootha Kritha Pramadha Dhipathe – Prameswari enlists Lord Siva as an emissary
Universal law allows for four types of solutions: persuasion/recoinciliation, agreement, division and punishment (Sama, Dhana, Bedha & Dhanda). Sreedevi has devised these rules of action through Her imaginative power and her ability to attain Her goals. To overcome conflict and maintain peace, She brought Parameswara into existence so the good could be protected, the evil eradicated. Being His better half, His actions are Hers and vice versa, always One and indivisible (Abeda-nilaya), ‘Sivasakthiswaroopini’and in that form, protects devotees.
Before venturing into the war with Bandasura and Mahishasura, Devi summons Parameswara (an expert diplomat) to negotiate peace, for is He not the Controller of the ‘Bootha Ganaas’ (magical troops and soldiers)? Lord Siva’s compassion is aroused at the mere mention of His name. Being the ancestral God for all the demons, Giver of instant blessings, Ambika enlisted Him as the prime messenger to approach the demons and persuade them to see reason and act wisely. It may be noted here just what an ocean of compassion Sreedevi is. Despite the demons’ unspeakably cruel deeds they were devotees of Lord Siva and She longs for a chance to save them from death, so She sends Him to them, hoping they may listen to His words. The devotees praise Her kindness, Her magnanimity.
5.3 DHURITHA DHUREEHA DHURASAYA DHURMATHI DHANAVA DHOOTHA KRITHAMTHA MATHE
Dhuritha Dhureeha – Eliminates evil in difficult circumstances
Dhuraasaya Dhurmathi – Supresses evil in any form, hurtful deeds, unhealthy passion and sex
Dhaanava Dhootha – Sends Siva as messenger to the Dhanavas
Krithamtha Mathe – Being innately tender and motherly, She gives even these wicked ‘asuras’a chance to reform
The Devas and other devotees took refuge in Parameswari and prayed to her to eliminate the ‘asuras’ committing atrocities. The Divine Mother acknowledged their plea and assuming the form of ‘Kaali’, kills these wicked perpetrators of evil. Abhorrent of indulgence in passionate sex, pride and arrogance, Her intolerance towards those that inflict hardship on others through power of their hands, their armies or their boons, Parasakthi resolves to annihilate them. Giving them one last chance in Her infinite compassion, She sends Lord Siva to the ‘Dhaanavas’, who try to capture the land of the Devas (Devalokam) and return it to the rightful owners. Thus Lord Siva is sent to Mahishasura’s palace.
6.1 AYI SARANAGHATH VAIRIVA DHOOVARA VEERAVARAABHAYA DAAYAKARE
Ayi – Universal Divine Mother, mother of individuals
Saranaghatha – Surrendering, those who surrended to the lotus feet of holy mother.
Vairi Vadhoovara – Giver of boons to her devotees (enemiers’ wives), Vadhoo also means new wife, She is compassionate to the wives of her enemies.
Veeravaraabhaya – Wages war as per rules, legitimate war, Protects soldiers who fight adhering to the laws of war (Yudha Dharma). Also protects spiritual souls
Daayakare – Giver of charity, gifts
Displaying her ‘Abhaya Mudra’ (the sign symbolizing fear not), raised in a protective gesture, Sreedevi is a refuge to those who surrender their heart mind, thought, word and deed at her feet. She is renowned for protecting the devotees who are steeped with the worries and problems of this worldly existence. With great compassion and immense love she protects the harmless and innocent wives of the opposition, signifying fearlessness with her ‘Abhaya Mudra’ which also comforts and protects the legitimate soldiers who fight innocently to defend their homeland, taking orders from their commanders in the battlefield and laying down their lives in the cause of dharma. She grants these brave soldiers the ultimate blessing of a heavenly abode. Despite storming the battlefield in the fearful form of ‘Badrakali’ and her awesome fury towards the evil doers, Her two hands are permanently raised in blessing, granting boons and protection to the good and pure, displaying her gentle tenderness and motherliness to the spiritual souls for is she not an Ocean of Mercy? Thus the devotees prayed and asked for greater victories to the Divine Mother.
6.2 – TRIBUVANA MASTAGA SOOLA VIRODHI SIRODI KRITAMALA SOOLAKARE
Thribuvana – In the three worlds (Earth, Space & Heaven)
Mastaga – Forehead depicting courage – the forehead itself displays courage
Soola Virodhi – Impaled the ‘asura’s’ army on the divine Trisoolam/Trident
Sirodi Kritamala – Parashakthi holding the chopped head of the ‘asura’ clan leader, dripping with blood, in Her hands
Soolakare – Uses Her spear to attach
The ‘asuras’ in their acute greed and conceit, and having obtained enormous boons after years of rigorous penance, set out to conquer, rule and control the three worlds, suppressing and destroying all that come in their way. Sreedevi mercilessly and effortlessly kills these ‘asuras while two of Her hands continuously protecting devotees and grant boons and a third hand holds the holy trident (Trisool) with which She stabs and kills the enemy. With the fourth hand She holds the bleeding head of the demon king and, adorning Herself with a garland of skulls of various ‘asuras’ She performs the ‘Thandava’ dance, having won the war against evil, using the trident and the Devas were able to witness this victorious form of the Divine Mother.
There is tremendous significance to Ambika’s spear (Trisoolam). The spear is symbolic of different aspects of the Universe and its creations and represents the following: The three duties of creation, protection and withdrawal; the three Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Siva; the three Goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi; the Pranava Mantra ‘AUM’ Akara, Ukakara and Makaram; Hreemkar Mantra – Hakara, Rakara, Eakaram; the three Gunas – Thamasa, Rajasa and Satvikam; the three phenomenon – earth, space and heaven; the three time units – yesterday, today and tomorrow; the three powers of will, knowledge and action; the three states of sin, penance and liberation; the three stars – sun, moon and fire; the three times – Pratha Sandhya, Madhyahna Sandhya and Sayam Sandhya; the three types of divine offerings (Upacharangal) – mantram/hymn, yantram/divine device and thantram/doctine; three stages of life – bachelorhood, familyhood and old age (when one renounces everything in quest of liberation), the three couplings – mother, sister and wife / son, brother and father, the three states of awareness – alertness, dream and deep sleep, the three Vedas – Rig, Yajur and Sama; three parents – mother, father guru; the three principal nerves – Ida, Pingala and Sushumna; three mankind – man, woman, ali (the mixed human form), the three divine sons of Siva – Maha Ganapathy, Subramanian and Ayappan; the three art forms of dance, drama and music; the three body states – physical body (Sthoolam), unseen body/invisible (Sookshma) and higher level/imagery (Param); the three karmic states – Sanchitham, Prarabhdham and Varthamanam. Great reverence is therefore given to this divine weapon (which represents all the above and much more) of Paraskhakthi, making it worthy of worship.
There is yet another awesome significance to the divine spear. When we hold our hands up and outward – the head above and the body below – we take on the shape of the ‘Trisool’. We can comprehend the amazing fact that Sreedevi has created human beings in the shape of the ‘Trisool’. As we dig deeper into the truth of all this, and after intense research, it will become more and more apparent that we are the very basis of creation, we are the whole – God is none other than the human being. Man himself is the Lord who creates, preserves and withdraws. The philosophy of Advaita, the truth in the Rig Veda – Aham Brahman’ (I am the God) is proved beyond doubt. The added significance of the Thrisool bears testimony to this fact.
Shakthi holds the ‘Trisool’ not to protect Herself but to safeguard Her devotees. She presents Herself bearing the divine spear aloft to give peace of mind and solace to these pious souls, instilling confidence and comfort in them in Her ability to quell violence of any kind. The devotees prayed for Her to have more and more victories.
6.3 DHUMI DHUMI THAMARA DHUNDHUBI NADA MAHO MUKHARI KRITHA THIGMAKARE
Dhumi Dhumi Thamara – The booming sounds of copper ankle and Sreedevi’s foot hitting the ground while Thandava dance in the battlefield resounds in the three worlds.
Dhunthubi Nada – The sound emanating from Ambika’s war-trumpet
Maho Mukhari Kritha – Her face shining and resplendent. Also beautifully made up
Thigmakare – Sreedevi holds the Trisoolam which has been rendered red hot by the heat hitting the sharp edge of the holy weapon
Dazzlingly beautiful as She dances, Sreedevi’s Thandava dance causes a booming sound ‘dhum dhum’ to vibrate around the three worlds as Her exquisite steps and perfect rhythm conveyed tremendous meaning and drama to the accompaniment of trumpets, signaling triumph conincided with the sound of copper ankle. Her face, shimmering and radiant (for is She not known as Tripurasundari?) Kali holds the deep fiery red Soolam, its edges emitting searing flames. Her army’s shouts of victory brought joy to the Devas and devotees for the sight of Durga performing the Thandava with such ferocity in the battlefield in itself sounded the death knell for Her enemies.
Sreedevi’s normal dance, elegant, gentle and entrancing has always been a sight to see; however, in the Thandava form, Her furious expression caused people to sweat in awe. As Kaali, millions of the sun’s heat rays emerged from Her body, giving Her an appearance of the sun at midday in the war ground. Her courage and determination to annihilate evil moved the hearts of the devotees, infusing them with enthusiasm and encouragement. They realized the sun was Her very eyes and prayed to Sakthiswaroopini thus: May you always be victorious, Oh! Divine Mother.
7.1 AYI NIJAHUMKRITHE MATRA NIRAKRITHA DHUMRA VILOCHANA DHUMRACHATHE
Ayi – Divine Mother
Nijahumkrithe – Uses the powerful Bija mantra ‘HUM’- Instantaneous use of Bija mantra even as Parashakhi thinks of the evil-doers
Dhumra Vilochana – Killer of the wicked and powserful ‘asura’ Dhumravilochana (the commander-in-chief of Shumba and Nishumba) whose red eyes constantly emitted poisoness smoke
Dhumrachathe – With seconds Dhumralochanan was killed by Sreedevi
In the battlefield Sreedevi not only used weapons against the enemy but also Bija manthras. One of these mantras ‘Hum’ can dispatch hundreds of demons to the kingdom of death. Some sound waves are formed from Durga’s mouth which becomes Bija manthras. These reduce the enemy’s army to ashes within seconds. We can also be empowered to overcome our enemies if we practice the mantras with devotion and use it.
The commander-in-chief of Shumba and Nishumba’s army, Dhumravilochana, was a cunning strategist whose red eyes emitted poisonous gas resulting in instant death for anyone breathing in it. With a 60,000 strong army, Dhumralochanan provoked Sreedevi into battle. The ensuing war was devastating, with heavy loss of life. The eternally compassionate Ambika lost patience and uttered the manthra ‘Hum’ upon which Dhumralochanan and his entire army perished. The thrilled devotees prayed to Devi, hailing Her as Dhumralochana Samhari (killer of Dhumralochana) and urged Her on to more and more victories.
7.2 SAMARAVISOSHITHA SONITHA BEEJA SAMUDBHAVA SONITHA BEEJALATHE
Samaravisoshitha – Sreedevi’s war is very unlike the usual wars waged by the Devas and ‘Asuras’. It is one of a kind, unique, peculiar and highly specialized, making the wars very famous
Sonitha Beeja – Reference is made to a powerful asura, Rakthabeejan, so called because any drop of blood from his body would give rise to more ‘Raktha beejas’, do awesome was he.
Samudbhava – Rakthabeeja’s dripping blood gives rise to numerous ‘asuras’
Sonitha Beejalathe – Maheshwari opens Her mouth as wide as an enormous sieve to contain every drop of blood in it.
Waging a war that was highly specialized, innovative, peculiar and one of its kind, Sreedevi’s actions, in addition to protecting Her devotees, was full of surprises, with absolutely no hint of Her next move, keeping enemies in fearful suspense. Those pious souls witnessing the war were overwhelmed at Her prowess.
By simply a look – as piercing as an arrow, She destroyed Dhumralochana and other such powerful ‘asuras’. Small wonder, then, that when the gaze of a ‘Devi Upasaka’ falls on man, the latter’s animal instincts and evil thoughts are completely eliminated. The ‘upasaka’ is already bestowed with such power by Sakthi so one can only imagine the might and intense power of Sakthi’s gaze!
Raktha Beejan was given a special boon by the four-faced Lord Brahma which enabled every drop of blood that was shed from the former’s body to give rise to hundreds of ‘Raktha Beejas’. Besides this boon, Raktha Beejan was made even more powerful because his blood was filled with seeds of ‘asuras’. Sreedevi used Her weapon on Raktha Beejan and the blood that flowed from his body caused an uprising of thousands of ‘Raktha Beejas’, an army the size of a large ocean, and they marched towards Devi for battle. Raktha Beeja was complacent in the knowledge that nobody could kill him due to Brahma’s powerful boon. He had, though, under-estimated Parashakthi and was stunned, defeated and killed by Her. For Sreedevi’s technical skills, Her knowledge and expertise is unquestionable. She also knows exactly when and whom to kill and zeroes in at the right time with always the right results.
From Raktha Beejan’s body blood began to drip during the war and before they could fall Devi used one of Her surprising war technique as opened Her mouth and awesome tongue, the size of a sieve, capturing and swallowing every drop. Maha Kaali, with Her reddish black tongue protrucing (it can widen and lengthen to about 8,000 feet) arrested the fall of the crimson blood to the ground, and, holding Raktha Beejan by the hair, and still keeping him in front of Her mouth, beheaded him. Swallowing the blood flowing like a river, She became intoxicated and ecstatically swallowing his body, and chewing it into pieces She spat it out again, laughing hysterically all the time. Seeing this wild form of Mahadevi the devotees pleaded with Her to calm down and protect them always. “May you have more and more victories’ they beseeched Her.
7.3 SIVA SIVA SUMBA NISUMBA MAHA HAWA THARPITHA BOOTHA PISACHARATHE
Siva Siva – Name of Mahadeva
Sumba Nisumba – Two ‘asuras’ named Sumba and Nisumba
Maha Hawa – Saying Maha-Parameswara’s hymn Siva!, greatest sacrifise
Tharpitha – Sacrifice, one who gives, also Aradhana-murthy no one other than Lord Siva.
Bootha Pisacharathe – Ghosts or corpses
While in the act of killing ‘asuras’ Sreedevi constantly recites the liberating hymn ‘Siva Siva’, granting instant liberation to those who get killed, especially fighting with two evil ‘asuras’. First Ambika killed the younger brother, Nishumba and then offered Sumba as sacrifice to Goddess Parvathi, reciting the ‘Siva Namam’ all the time.
Lord Siva is the master of ghosts and corpses, and as their ancestral God He is also the master of the ‘Rakshasas’, ‘Danavas’ and ‘Asuras’ (various forms of demons) Thus, the Divine Mother takes permission from Lord Siva before killing these devotees of Lord Siva, and reciting the liberating hymn ‘Siva Siva’ mercilessly kills them and offers them as sacrifice. The devotees praised these acts of Parameshwari.
It is clear from these actions of Devi that by reciting God’s names as we act our actions become a sacrifice to God. It is not easy to kill the devotees of Lord Siva. Sreedevi achieves this protecting war ethics (dharma) at the same time. Oh! Parameshwari, may you have more and more victories, the devotees prayed.
8.1 DHANU RANU SANGHA RANAKSHANA SANGA PARIS-PURA DHANGA NATATKATAKE
Dhanu Ranu Sangha – Shakthi holds the bow with Her Hand in the right position
Ranakshana Sanga – Arrows (weapons) and the one who uses weaponry and adheres to the rules
Parispura Dhanga – A description of Shakthi’s beauty as She holds the bow and arrow
Natath Katake – The scene resembles a dance – Her expertise charming, yet challenging
Shakthi’s bow can make use of any kind of arrow. Her deft use of this weapon astounds Her devotees – fast and rhythmic, like dynamic dancing, the arrows flowing in speed and velocity, making short work of the elimination of ‘asuras’.
Despite Her expertise and being in total command of Her weapons Sreedevi does not use them indiscriminately. With focus and concentration She confronts the enemy, face to face, and wages a just war, using divine arrows and adhering to the rules. Devi’s deft use of the bow and arrows brings about a melodious sound as they are released in perfect harmony and precision and, to the devotees, the battlefield looked more like a dance display venue. When the Divine Mother performed the Thandava dance with Her legs the use of the bow and arrows was more like an accompaniment, perfectly matching the rhythm of the dance. The devotees were rendered speechless with amazement at this sight and sound drama.
8.2 KANAKA PISANGA PRUSHATKA NISHANGA RASAD BHATA SRINGA HATHAVATUKE
Kanaka Pisanga – Gold – reddish black colour
Prushatka Nishanga – Mixed with romance and ‘Sringara Rasa’
Rasad bhata Sringa – Devi’s use of colourful arrows makes the battle Look more like a romantic and effortless dance
Hathavatuke – Sreedevi is an expert in killing the enemy
Arrows rained in from the enemy, aimed at Shakthi, arrows of black and gold, brown and grey but She fearlessly faced them, accepting them as garlands. Only to a few of these arrows did She aim back, rendering them powerless. The enemy army was scattered as She marched ahead with the sole intention of destroying them for is She not the prime one to wound, frighten and destroy the enemy in accordance with the war of righteousness (Dharma Yudha) and ensuring for them an abode in heaven? The devotees prayed to Her and praised Her.
A clear truth emerges from the above. Some devotees and atheists tend to criticize God, some of them abusing Her with harsh words. It can well be said that these harsh words are arrows against Sreedevi. However, because Parashakthi indulges Her devotees, they can take liberties with the intimacy they have developed with Her. She therefore receives these arrows as garlands but deals mercilessly with the athiests’ arrows. Perhaps, our understanding of this may be a bit vague. We cannot guess which colour arrow Devi will be using. In bright sunlight, the normal light is dim due to the power of the sun’s rays. Similarly, because of our short-sight we cannot understand Shakthi’s attitude towards criticism. The punishment to atheists is the agony of hell (a deep deadly darkness). This agony takes on many colours. On the other hand, through Devi’s blessings a good life can be attained – resulting in our ultimate aim – a life of contentment, at peace with oneself and others, our thought, word and deed pure and innocent. The devotees, bemused upon reflecting on these potent secrets prayed thus: ‘Oh Bhagavathi, may victory always be yours. Thank you for revealing the truth to us.’
8.3 KRITHA CHATHURANGA BALAKSHITHI RANGA GHADA-DBAHURANGA RATADBATUKE
Kritha Chathuranga – Having four armies
Balakshithi Ranga – One who weakens the opposing army
Ghatadbahuranga – Enemy army is totally devastated, beyond recognition
Ratadbatuke – Her supremacy obvious by Her total command over the war, Her devastating warfare proved beyond doubt She is the All Mighty
Maha Durga dealt fiercely with the four armies belonging to the enemy, consisting of cavalry, infantry, soldiers and elephants and horse chariots, reducing them to smithereens. This was Her chess game – rendering the enemy arrows powerless, She shielded Her devotees from the pain inflicted by the enemy’s ferocious attack, protecting them from weapons no matter from which direction they were hurled as She could easily sense and identify them with Her all-seeing eyes, and used clever diversion tactics. Thus the good were saved from a violent end through Sreedevi’s compassion and power, while She simultaneously created confusion among the opposing army, helpless commanders, handling them with the deep contempt they deserved.
Watching this dazzling display of courage, strength and tactical brilliance by Parashakthi, the Devas, pious souls as well as ordinary men were relieved of fear and insecurity, comforted by the knowledge that the Divine Mother was indeed the All Mighty, totally capable of destroying the bad and protecting the good. Even small children praised Her as they roamed round the battlefield, chanting victory slogans. Everyone joined in, even Lord Brahma, as they hailed Sreedevi for Her incredible expertise in warfare, for Her kindness and Her mercy and for reinforcing their faith in Her invincibility. They prayed to Her, urging Her on to more and more victories.
9.1 JAYA JAYA JAPYA-JAYE SABDHA PARASTHUTI THATHPARA VISWANUTHE
Jaya Jaya Japya Jaye – Victory over victory. Her devotees constantly chant the victory slogans in chorus, Prime cause for the sound of victory, One who has the capability to be given that name
Sabdha Parasthuthi – She is eligible to be praised with the word ‘Jaya’ by others, She is the epitome of the word Jaya (by being a constant victor)
Thathpara – She is supported by an intelligent army, also inclined towards doing good and associating with the good
Viswanuthe – Pleased to hear the whole world singing the chorus of Her victory
The heavenly souls praised Mother and appealed to Her thus: ‘Oh Mother! Oh Ocean of Mercy, Our Saviour, may you be victorious not just in this war but may you have victory over victory.’ Actually, Parashakthi is our sole refuge, our protector and guardian; one may wonder why we, as mere humans, are wishing Her success although She is the One who is bestowing blessings and victory on us. This situation may be compared to that of parents and their children. Parents look after their children, taking care of their every need, both physical and emotional, yet, when there comes a time when the parents are on an important mission, or are on a low, the children, in their love and enthusiasm, tell them not to worry or wish them luck. In some cases, the children may even undertake to protect their parents! The joy and pride the parents get from these innocent gestures is akin to Shakthi’s happiness when She hears the innocent victory slogans from Her devotees.
When Parashakthi enters the battlefield to face the enemy is there any doubt that She will emerge victorious? Is not victory a part and parcel of Shakthi?
The three worlds resounded with the victory slogans “Jaya Vijayee Bhava”, the sounds brought excitement and a carnival atmosphere reigned. Anyone who believes in the Divine Mother never encounters defeat – and that is Her promise to mankind. Having vanquished Madhu, Kaitaba, Chanda, Munda, Raktha Beeja, Dhumralochanan, Sumban, Nisumban, Bhandasura now Mahishasura – and innumerable more ‘asuras’, ‘dhanavas’ and ‘rakshasas’ and their clan effortlessly. She was applauded by the Devas and devotees who wandered around the three worlds, during and after the war, chanting victory slogans and dancing in ecstasy. Beholding this festive and triumphant scene, Parameshwari and Her divine creatures joined the jubiliant dancing and thus the three worlds reverberated with the victorious and sounds of celebration – the celebration of Shakthi’s might and power, compassion and love, tacit brilliance and strategy, justice and foresight, focus and concentration, discernment and astuteness, speed and accuracy – and above all – Her single-minded determination to eliminate evil and protect the good.
9.2 BHANA BHANA BHINJIMI BHIMKRUTANOOPURA SINCHITHA MOHITHA BHOOTHAPATHE
Bhana Bhana Bhinjimi – The clash of Kali’s jewellery as She performed the ‘Thandava’ dance producing a tinkling ‘Bhana Bhana’sound
Bhimkruta Noopura – Special and entrancing sounds from Kali’s anklets and other jewellery in adorning Her feet
Sinchitha Mohitha Bhootha Pathe – Bewitched even Lord Parameswara, the leader/owner of the entire universe, with Her bewitching dance
The jewellery adorning Kali’s hands and feet clashed in rich sounds of ‘kana kana’ and ‘jana jana’, filling the world with their melodious strains as She danced. The entire universe was captivated by its romantic lilt. Not only that, Sreedevi Herself got carried away as She danced the ‘Thandava’ in the battlefield and Her armlets and anklets clashed in a jangle of divine sound ‘chilum chilum’, filling the whole world with sweet melody. Sreedevi’s eyebrows tilted as She danced and light rays emerged out of Her eyes, bewitching even Lord Siva, the king of all commanders-in-chiefs (Bhootha Ghanas). If Maheshwari can entrance the mighty Lord Siva and make Him happy, will She not be capable of giving joy and happiness to other living beings?
Ruminating on how Ambika lured and bewitched Siva Himself, it is impossible for our ordinary human mind to visualize the enormous size She assumed in Her dance. We can only comprehend a beauty of such magnitude and a dance so scintillating if we meditate upon Her. The devotees praised Her for pleasing Parameswara Himself (the King of all dance forms) with Her dancing and prayed for Her to be ever victorious.
A vital truth emerges from the above. If we consider our thoughts as ‘thala’ (rhythm) and visualize Parameswari dancing in our hearts, we are released from worldly and materialistic desires and we begin yearning for God, our minds purified and divine.
9.3 NATITHA NATARDHA NADEE NADANAYAKA NAADITHA NATYA SUGAANARATHE
Natitha Nadardha – Dancing with the divine posture of one leg on earth and one leg facing the sky
Nadee Nada Nayaka – Parameswari resides on the left side of the leader of all actors, dancers and heroes, Parameswara
Naditha Natya – Dancing to sweet music with perfect rhythm
Sugaanarathe – Dancing according to the beutiful music and holy songs.
According to ‘Natya Sasthra’ (the science of dance), this art involves more than 108 steps, one such posture being one leg resting on the ground and the other facing the sky – this is the pose of Nataraja and symbolizes inherent facts. The basic significance is that ‘Easwara Tatva’ is one, the basis of this pose is that God is One and so is a vital pose in the art of dance. Mahadevi dances with equal distinction as ‘Nadaneswari’ or queen of dance, having the power and capability to dance like Nataraja in the same pose ‘Siva Thandava’. The devotees prayed and pleaded to the Divine dancer thus: ‘Oh! Mother, please show us compassion’.
The Devas and other heavenly souls were treated to a dazzling display of divine dance as Sreedevi first danced as ‘Ardhanareshwari’ (half-man half-woman) and then in the form of ‘Badrakali’ (a ferocious form of Devi), and She was accompanied by a strong force of male and female celestial beings. Her devotees bowed to Her, stunned on seeing Sreedevi, charming and ethereal as part of Parameswara’s left side.
As the Queen of all dance (Nruthya Nayaki) and in the form of Maha Kali, She danced playfully and frisked around amid the singing of the Devas and other celestial beings and divine manifestations. The devotees who witnessed this fell under the spell of Her sheer beauty of skin, complexion and exquisite physical form and had the urge to join in the singing.
10.1 AYI SUMANAH SUMANAH SUMANAH SUMANOHARA KAANTHIYUTHE
Ayi – Divine Mother
Sumanah – One who is good-hearted
Sumanohara – One with a lovely physical form
Kaanthiythe – Her beauty attracts like a magnet
So far the Divine Mother has been described as Kali Devi, beautiful not just in Her alluring physical form (the splendour is indescribable, attracting one as a butterfly to a flower or bees to honey) but also in Her nature and wisdom, a divine blend of compassion, pure intentions rare brain and justice. Though She is the fierce Kali Devi, Her mind remains as cool as the moon, Her discernment, as always, shrewd and wise as She protects Her devotees and rids the world of evil, Her mind undeviating from Her purpose.
Parameswari’s beauty is beyond description – so great, indeed, that even scholars, Devas and, Kameshwara Himself are intoxicated with Her attractive form. Drawing all living beings towards Her like a magnet, Her powers of attraction are compared to that of the moon. This same attractive power allows people with evil thoughts to correct themselves again and again as they become purer and purer by looking at the Divine Mother and this provides them with a golden opportunity to make them radiate also, leading them from darkness to light. Sreedevi’s unsurpassed beauty begins at Her lotus feet and carries on in symmetrical charm and elegance right up to the divine crown. Those who absorb this radiance and beauty with a pure heart are led from ‘Agnyan’ to ‘Gnyan’ (from ignorance to the state of realization).
10.2 SRITHA RAJANI RAJANI RAJANI RAJANI KARA VAKTHRA VRUTHEY
Sritha Rajani – Shining like the full moon
Rajani – Encompasses the atmosphere with joy, Allows enjoyment and develops good taste, Giver of taste (relish), In charge of night – the very basis of night
Rajani Kara – Moon – reigns as queen in the night
Vakthra Vruthe – Her face is well-rounded like the full moon
Ambika’s magnetic qualities are compared to that of the moon. Her face is also compared to the radiant lilly flower which grows in clear water and blooms through the moon’s pure rays. The moon’s enjoyment is great on seeing it grow to full glory. Similarly the Divine Mother indulgently watches us bloom and enjoy, which gives her the same joy and happiness. Friend of the Devas and Queen of the night, the moon’s spiritual deity is none other than Devi Herself. Her acts display Her motherly tenderness, as gentle as the moon, Her face round and charming like the full moon. Shutting the door on ignorance, She guides humen towards light. Reference is made to a man’s black hair covering his head. Black hair is compared to Agnyan (ignorance) beneath which lies the light of knowledge. Of supreme beauty, Mahadevi is compared to this light. The devotees prayed to Durga Devi for victory and peace.
10.3 SUNAYANA VIBRAMA RABRAMA RABRAMA RABRAHMA RADHIPATHE
Sunayana Vibrama – One with round eyes, the eye-balls rotating
Brahmaraha – Dazzles people with Her illusionary powers (Maya Sakthi)
Brahmaradhi Pathe – She is the mistress of illusion and ‘Sudha Brahman’ (absolute truth)
Scanning the whole world with reddish eyes as they rotate with lightening speed, Parasakthi guards Her devotees from evil-doers. Her daughter is Maya, the cause of all Sudha Brahman. With Maya’s co-operation and through the Pancha Brahmas, Srimaharaghni takes care of the Universe, the light rays from Her eyes darting in all directions like arrows, ensuring the well-being of the good and pious, no matter which direction they are. In the wink of any eyelid Mahadevi can create and destroy the worlds and, at the same time, elevate scholars and devotees, looking after them as only a mother would. Petty human beings, smitten by the superficial and temporary pleasures of life, run in pursuit of sensual satisfaction – much the same as bees hunt for honey. Sreedevi, being the Mother of ‘Suddha Brahma’and ‘Maya Shakthi’, with a just an inclination of Her head and a mere glance, shows these restless and dissatisfied people the right path in their evolutionary journey.
In fact, Sreedevi ‘Upasakas’ / seekers, as they embark on their journey of piety, initially experience an increase in their sensual needs which then gradually decreases, until, at one stage, through Her gentle guidance, ‘Sthoola, Sukshma and Para’ of Sakthi / Supreme Divine Mother (to know and be one with Her physical, abstract and ultimate form) is all they crave for. So much is to be said for Ambika’s compassion and glory.
To come out of the trap of ‘Maya’ (anything which changes continuously is ‘Maya’) is not an easy task. We are caught in this web through an attachment & greed to gold, woman and land. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, my ‘Manasa Guru’ (through my mental and emotional seeking) considered material desires as something man is worried about more than anything else. This is especially so in ‘Kali Yuga’, where the pursuit of acquisitions and other such temporary pleasures has become man’s prime focus. The day a ‘Sakthi Upasaka’ starts evolving, as he journeys up the spiritual path, all his unhealthy thoughts and desires will be converted to a one-pointed yearning for Sreedevi’s Lotus feet, simultaneously, his greed and material attachments will vanish.
Indeed, there is no ‘Upasana’ superior to Sreedevi Upasana – this is visibly effective and can be proved beyond doubt. The auspicious wheel – the ‘Sree Chakram’ is so powerful that if we look at it just once in a lifetime our mind cools to a point which can only be experienced. Words are insufficient to do justice to the blissful state it can take us to.
To overcome ‘Maya’ is a daunting task, so much so that even ‘Brahma Devas’ are terrified of its tentacles. It makes one wonder – can we really be free of Maya? Can we really escape its grip? The door is open through the Divine Mother’s blessings. ‘Devi Upasana’ opens the door to liberation.
The moon is equated to Easwari’s mind. Installing Her mentally on the moon, especially on a full moon day, and meditating sincerely on Her form brings the devotee rich benefits not just in this life but, if there is another incarnation, in that life time as well.
Parameswari also reigns as ‘Vishnu Maya Sakthi’ and ‘Siva Maya Sakthi’ in the Universe and would love to bestow ultimate knowledge on Her devotees. However, mortal man, enmeshed as he is in the net of ‘Maya’, like the fish, does not realize this awesome truth. Yet, She gives several opportunities in Her kindness. Some trapped fishes manage to escape the net through finding a clever mode of escape or through God’s grace. Similarly, man may either understand the pitfalls of Maya himself and try to avoid it or have a chance to escape the massive net through the route of ‘Sakthi Upasana’ which gets rid of the cycle of birth and makes him eligible for liberation. As such, ‘Maya’ is portrayed as an ‘asura’ and one can understand why Parameswari gets rid of this illusionary trap mercilessly, protecting elevated souls, liberating them from the Ocean of ‘Maya’, ridding the world of evil and guiding man upwards with compassion and wisdom.
These lines clearly express that we can only conquer senses (which are ‘asuras’ themselves) through surrender at Sreedevi’s feet which will eliminate the evil powers within us (‘asura shakthi’) and elevate us to blissful heights.
11.1 SAHITHA MAHA HAWA MALLAMA THALLIKA MALLITHA RALLAKA MALLARATHE
Sahitha Maha Hawa – Very powerful One who fought with wrestlers, capable of facing adverse situations
Mallama Thallika – Battled with wrestlers
Mallitha Rallaka – Wiped out the wrestlers with a mere lift of Her eyebrows
Mallarathe – With wrestlers
The powerful Parashakthi had to confront huge and strong wrestlers as they came towards Her for battle and, in a peculiar and unusual way She easily confronted and won over them. This was indeed strange and amazing, for single-handedly, Durga stood in front of these wrestlers and took them on – one to one – and conducted a truly special warfare with these massive fighters who had strong bodies the size of mountains! It is difficult to express in words the ease and the uncanny style with which Sreedevi faced these wrestlers in the battle and defeated them. She was given the title of ‘Sahasrakari’, having superceded all records of previous wars by Her mind-boggling prowess and brilliant strategy.
As the wrestlers came face to face with Devi for battle She took them on, one by one and then destroyed the entire army with a mere lift of Her eyebrows. The devotees, gratified at this extraordinary sight, praised Ambika for Her fearlessness and ability to achieve victory in all possible situations.
Wrestlers, here, are compared to the various desires of the mind. Man finds himself constantly wrestling with his mind in order to find solutions for his growing material and sensual needs which stunt his spiritual progress. However, Devi, with just a movement of Her eyebrows, reduces these desires to ashes and progresses the mind to reach higher levels.
11.2 VIRACHITHA VALLIKA PALLIKA MALLIKA BILLIKA BILLIKA VAGHAVRUTHE
Virachitha Vallika – Amidst pepper and jasmine grow the coveted ‘valli’ creepers
Pallika Mallika – The lizard maintains its nest among the jasmine creepers
Billika Billika Varghavruthe – The Divine Mother reside around the ‘Ganja’ tree and the ‘Lodhra’ tree
These lines detail where and how Durga Devi moves around and the places She frequents. She lives among the jasmine and other scented plantations because of their pure gentle scented air. It is not the literal scents but the scents that emanate from man’s good and innocent thoughts that makes those places fragrant dwellings and Sreedevi loves to be present there. The graceful swans use these sweet-smelling creepers to lay and hatch the eggs to bring forth their young ones. During this process they shield the eggs with their wings on which sunlight falls reflecting on the Lodhra tree – thus this tree gets beauty and strength.
The above has a peculiar similarity to the life of a human being. Pious people, as they journey through life, reflect on some truths, absorb and assimilate them. Even those who associate with such good people are able to purify their own thoughts and enrich their souls. Just as the reflection of the sun falling on the swans’ wings enrich the Lodhra tree, the life of an ordinary man is enriched by mere association with an elevated soul.
Lizards nests amidst the Jasmine creepers and the Divine Mother is also reside there amidst these creepers and trees, be it Lodhra or Ganja, blessing man and beast alike. The devotees prayed and thanked Ambika for going to the battle and destroying the ‘asuras’ to protect them. ‘May you have more and more victories’ they pleaded.
In the thick forests, in the mountains of the Himalayas, there is a profusion of medicinal trees and creepers amongst which there are some unique plants. It is believed that Devi makes Her home amid these special plants. This also indicates that the sum total of our actions, both good and bad, are considered as medicines and if we submit all these karmic accumulations at the feet of Ambika, they will reflect the pure rays of Ambika’s divine light, get purified and adds new meaning and piety to our lives.
11.3 SITHAKRITHA PHULLA SAMULLA-SITHAARUNA THALLAJA PALLAVA SALLALITHE
Sithakritha Phulla – She lives among the lilly plants, Arabian jasmine and fresh grass (Aruganpul/Dhoorvayugmam)
Samulla Sithaaruna – Her favourite haunts are around the young jasmine and lilly flowers
Thallaja Pallava – Flowers of supreme purity, fully bloomed and spread out attractively
Sallalithe – The Divine Mother is roaming around
When Sridevi’s dwellings are so clearly described, we, as intelligent human beings, need to really experiment and see if She is present or not. A person is generally attracted to someone or something because of its beauty, benefits, charm or value, and it is these very qualities that bring one popularity, adulation and glory. The jasmine, lilly, pepper and lodhra, it is widely known, attract people greatly. This is a common fact, experienced and seen by people the world over. If we consider this truth deeply, we realize that these plants obtain their outstanding status because of the attractive power of Mother Nature, none other than Adi Parashakthi Herself and Her divine presence. This is unquestionably so.
The pure white lilly, the Arabian jasmine, white in colour with a heavenly fragrance grow out of creepers. And mother Parvathi lives among these pure and fresh plants in great delight. A wondrous fact dawns from this – Ambika is not just the Mother of India but of the whole world! We can understand now why specific reference has been made to these creepers which are also found in countries outside India. It may also be noted that before territories were divided and sub-divided, Bharata Kanda extended upto the Black Sea? The Divine Mother thus marks Her presence everywhere in time and space, supreme, omnipotent and mysterious.
The universe nurtures two kinds of life forms – immovable e.g. trees and plants and movable man and other animals (jangamam). Devi’s residence in ‘Manidweepam’ is lush in greenery and vegetation. It is quite clear from this that the Divine Mother resides all over the universe, be it in forests or among living cratures. Devi shines with eternal youth among the newly bloomed jasmine flowers, enhancing their glory. One can only conjure up an image of Ambika in Her blooming beauty by visualizing a fresh young lilly or a pretty young girl who has just attained puberty. Parashakthi looks eternally young, lustrous and fresh, Her divine purity untouched. The grace and charm of Her lotus feet and its movements are a sight to see, feet a pale pink, silky smooth, akin to the freshly bloomed lotus flower. The charming and lovely sight of Mahadevi, Her complexion rose with the blush of youth and shyness, tugged at the devotees’ heartstrings as they gazed, mesmerized. Realizing this divine form could be none other than Adi Parashakthi they lost themselves in the rapture and love that flowed through them. They further concluded that the Supreme Mother, like a freshly blooming flower, freely wanders around all the gardens, parks and fragrant areas around the worlds and glorifying these places by Her very presence. Visibly moved by the haunting sight of Mahadevi dancing, enchanted by Her beauty, grace, charm, perfect rhythm and deft footwork, the devotees burst into songs in Her praise. Upon hearing and seeing these pious souls’ appreciation, Ambika stops for a second and bends slightly forward, the movement resembling the graceful swaying of a female elephant. The Devas are washed away in a tide of bliss and fall in total surrender at Balathripurasundari’s feet, meditating and praying: ‘Oh! One who is absolutely Supreme, who is independent and free and One who has ultimate power and glory, of lofty status, may you only experience victory.
12.1 AVIRALA GANDA GALANMADHA MEDHURA MATTHA MADHANGAJA RAJAPATHE
Avirala Ganda – A continuous flow of ichor (‘mada neer’) flows during its rut, a deep mark can be seen just behind eyes, rendering the elephant a raving furious animal
Kalanmada Medura – The elephant runs amok when the liquid starts flowing and the Divine Mother is the Queen of these animals
Mattha – Senseless, having conscious control of oneself
Madhangaja – Elephants with flowing water from the broken ‘Madham’
Rajapathe – King of elephants
The elephants that formed Durga Devi’s army were made to shed the ichor by Her, continuously, so that they went on a violent and hysterical rampage. Elephants shed liquid which oozes from just behind eyes, and, in that state, they are uncontrollable. It is not easy to control even naughty elephants so one can only imagine how impossible it is to confront a huge herd of elephants passing through their rut and afflicted with ‘Madham’. Maha Durga used the most experienced and expert animals in warfare, induced the wild state in the female elephants which enhanced their performance in the war as their wild and dangerous charge dealt a disastrous blow to the opposing army. Through Sreedevi’s planning and foresight, the flow of ichor was induced constantly so that the elephants were in a state of wild violence, wrecking havoc on the enemy, terrorizing them just as She desired. The constant flow of liqauid from the elephants’s eyes leaves marks on the side of their foreheads. The enemy camp was broken, as they fell unconscious in their fear and helplessness, while ‘Maathangi Devi’ (the Controller of these ‘Madam’ afflicted elephants) sat atop them in triumph. The enemy was horribly scattered, some ran away, even reaching the Himalayas while others simply collapsed.
Out of the four types of armies, the elephant army is prominent and their queen is ‘Maathangi Devi’. ‘Madham’ is equated to pride, lust, anger and evil thoughts. Man’s senses are compared to the ichor which is symbolic of pride and passion and can be seen continuously flowing in our day to day lives. Thus, Maathangi Devi, the queen of all senses, who is contginuously chanting Parashakthi’s name, protects us from losing our way in life in the pursuit of temporary pleasures and brings the ‘madham’ under control. The devotees prayed thus: ‘Oh! Compassionate Parameswari, may you always protect us with your skills and brilliance’.
12.2 TRIBUVANA BHOOSHANA BHOOTHA KALANIDHI ROOPA PAYONIDHI RAJASUTHE
Tribuvana – In the three worlds
Bhooshana – The bejeweled Goddess is our protective shield. Adorned with ornaments, the charming Devi brings us peace and joy One who is meant for worship; she is likened to an angel
Bhootha – She is the life force of all matter, living and non-living. She contains within Herself all energy and matter. She is all the ‘Bhoothas’ Herself
Kalanidhi – The embodiment of all arts. Creator of all ‘Jeevatmas’, reservoir of all artistic skills.
Roopa Payonidhi – Resides within and enfolds the powerful layers of all life forms. Source of all life forms; the basic reason for existence of all names and forms
Rajasuthe – Daughter of Parvatha Raja / Himavaan – One who is the Jeevatma
The unquestioned Queen of all the three worlds – earth, sky and heaven, Mahadevi is eligible to be worshipped by us when we take the form of ‘Jeevatma’ in all the three spaces – i.e. past, present and future births, yesterday, today and tomorrow, at dawn, noon and dusk. Man, in his naïve way, thinks of Sreedevi as only residing in Heaven, however She is the Queen of the much larger universe and beyond. It is very difficult even to comprehend the vastness of Her control so, to simplify matters, we are allowed to focus on just the three worlds.
Parasakthi is like an ornament to all living creatures, elibible to be adorned with the most precious jewels, while Her superior qualities are themselves invaluable jewels. Precious ornaments naturally attracts all human beings but the worshippers of Devi (Upasakas/Sadhakas) consider Her far above all jewels, no matter how rare and, in their intense adoration and divine love, they mentally wear Her as an ornament.
The Devotees enjoy wearing Sreedevi’s blessings as ornaments for is She not One who is worshipped the world over, One who is incomparable to any gem, is She not Supremacy itself?
Matter, both movable and immovable, is called ‘Bhoothas’ which are created by Eashwari. Among these, the five main Bhoothas are sky, wind, fire, water and earth, in this order, followed by all forms of nature, and all ‘Bhoothathmas’. In all these ‘Bhoothas’ Parasakthi resides internally as ‘Jeevatma’ because of which She is eligible to be worshipped by them in some form or other.
The universe is made of atoms and the birth of these atoms resulted in the manifestation of the ‘Panchabhoothas’. Nature merges within the ‘Panchaboothas’ at the same time Paramatma and Parasakthi are the same, thus one can conclude that the Divine Mother resides in all atoms, ‘Bhoothas’ – in other words – in all matter.
The embodiment of all the arts – Saradha or Saraswati Devi, Jeevakala, Nada Kala, Chandrakala, in the spiritual world She assumes the forms of Jeeva Kala, Nada Kala and Chandra kala (according to some schools of thought and is compared to the shining full moon) which is the sum total of all the arts inherent in it, also giving peace and happiness. Similarly, not only does Sreedevi’s face dazzle with beauty but She also has and imparts the qualities as the moon.
Art (kala), also known as Jeevan or ‘Kala’ gives the meaning of life even to the minutest atom. One who is invaluable to all living beings, One who is the Queen of fall arts – with total knowledge. Ultimately the final destination of Jeevatma is Paramatma, the collection of Jeevatmas is the pool/fund and so the name ‘Kala Nidhi’ – Jeevan being ‘Kala’ and God is Paramatma. The goal for all living things is to merge with the ‘Paramatma’ or attain the feet of the Goddess (The Sayoojya Mukthi). Several great souls have reached Parasakthi’s feet and they form a collection or ‘Nidhi’
Soul-searching ultimately helps in attaining liberation as we can see from the examples of several great souls or ‘Jeeva Sakshaatkaras representing ‘Paramatma’. Sreedevi’s exclusively adorned ‘Sthoola Sareera’ (physical body), is so eternally surreal, infinitely beautiful and divine, that meditators are entranced and fall under Her spell experiencing heights of ecstacy. In the state of ‘Samadhi’ we can merge with Her ‘Para Sareeram’ and that is why She is the Nidhi both for the simpleton and to the elevated meditator.
The incarnation of Devas and Devis/Sakthis in our epics are solely the result of Sakthi’s will. She is the root cause of all names and forms – the very basis of all creations and incarnations and the devotees pray to Her for both the physical body and abstract body.
The sky – a huge milky ocean – is where Maha Vishnu’s wife resides. She is part of Parasakthi Herself, dominating the skies in various forms – as Brahma’s consort, Saraswathi, consort of the Universal Father, Virat, SadhaSivan, Parameswaran and also known as Raja Rajeswaran. Since Parvathi was born to the King of the mountains (Parvatha Raja) She is also known as ‘Raja Putri’.
12.3 AYI SUDHADHEEJANA LAALASA-MAANASA MOHANA MANMADHA RAJA SUTHE
Ayi – Jagadambike, Divine Mother
Sudhadheejana – Her smiling and beautiful face, Cool and bright face, resembling the moon
Laalasa – Displays Her lovely form ‘Laalasa or Manonmani to Her devotees, Understands the thoughts and feelings of devotees and consoles them through a smile
Manasa – Thinking within the mind
Mohana – Her beauty casts a spell on people and they get besot with Her
Manmadha – Parameswara, the Manmadhan and She is the ‘Manohari’ also a daughter in His thoughts, born out of dhyana / meditation
Raja Suthey – Daughter of a king, Sree Parvathi separated from the Sachithananda Brahman, so daughter of Brahman
Beautiful Goddess, with pearly white even teeth because of which She is praised as ‘One with beautiful teeth’ (As we all know teeth is quite an important for a good looking face!). The 16 teeth of Parasakthi represent the 16 ‘Beejakshari Mantras’ which form the ‘Shodasakshari Mantram’. Impartial and just, Sri Parasakthi has given all mankind these very 16 teeth, yet as humans, we tend to underestimate this gift. Realization is the only route to understand the truth.
As trouble-weary devotees bow to Sreedevi with their prayers She appears before them, her face resembling as the moon on Full Moon day. As She smiles, displaying teeth that resemble a garland of jasmine buds, She captivates the entire world, and the devotees, in their joy in witnessing this, forget their fatigue and sense of worthlessness and agony, experiencing a shower of happiness and courage as She raises Her hand in the ‘Abayamudra’. She displays Her 16 teeth which represent ‘Sri Vidhya Mantram’ and the devotees get intensely connected to Her and yearn to learn the supreme truth of Sreedevi. Just as a ray of joy dispels the misery in one, Sreedevi cuts asunder ‘agnaana’ or the darkness of ignorance, binding us in the blissful rays of ‘Gnaana’ or ultimate knowledge, bringing joy and peace. Just as the whole world is caught in the darkness of night, the Mother of the Universe, Parasakthi, emerges as the early morning Sun and bestows courage, peace of mind, happiness and joyous movement for all living beings.
As man prays to Sakthi She is aware of his desires and grants them with a look and smile, satisfying his thoughts and wishes. For is She not the compassionate Mother of the Universe, longing to help Her children and to run to their aid when they need it? In all incarnations Devi has the good heart and patience to wait for Her devotees. As Mohini, with Her bewitching physical form, She brings great happiness to the human mind, fulfilling hopes and dreams. Her face, bright and attractive as the full moon, Sreedevi captures the hearts and minds of Her devotees as ‘Mohana Yantra’, entrancing machine, magnetic and attracting all towards Her with Her divine form and qualities, instilling in them a passion and making them senseless with Her superb form and sheer charm.
Of the five ‘Pushpa banas’ (flower arrows) that Sreedevi possess, one is ‘Mohana Astram’ so called because it is the very power of ‘Manmadha (cupid) which makes Him attractive and winner of everyone’s heart. The very mind of Maha Vishnu, even trapping the powerful destroyer Paramasiva, being ‘Manmadha’ in Her spell (MOham), She is seen as a dancer with enthralling movements and saturated with ‘Sringara Rasa’.
Causing people to lose their senses in their poignant love towards Her, She displays Herself as ‘Kamaswara Vihari’ or One who produces intense passion, also known as Kameswari, charmingly beautiful, Her praises sung by poets who describe feminine charm, and, this charm and magnetic attraction, is considered the very essence of Kameswari and praised as Devi Upasana (Rati Manmadha) and so any two beautiful people are considered representatives of Rathi & Manmadha and when the devine and true love grow in them it will become another way of Devi Upasana.
Beauty is a part of Sree Devi and that particular aspect, taking the form of Rati Manmadha, shows that two beautiful people are born to get attracted to each other which is symbolic of ‘Siva Sakthi Eikyam /conjointment of Prakruthi and Purusha’ so passion and attraction are positive and good happenings to propagate the human race and for the well being and continuity of the theme ‘Siva Sakthi Eikyam’ which is responsible for the divine cycle of beauty, love, creation and propagation of the living race. It is due to this truth that devotees meditate on Sreedevi as the daughter of Manmadha Raja, Lord Siva Himself.
The daughter of the most powerful and mighty mountain in the world, the Himalaya mountain’s King Himavan, and residing in the peak of the Himalayas (Meru Parvatham) may you have more and more victories – so the devotees prayed.
13.1 KAMALA DHALAMALA KOMALA KAANTHI KALAA KALI THAAMALA BAALALALATHE
Kamala Dhalaamala – Like the petals of a lotus
Komala Kaanthi – The magnetic attraction of a lotus flower
Kalaa Kali Thaamala – One who has a face like the moon, Praised by elevated devotees, Bringer of great happiness
Baalalathe – Bala Tripurasundari Herself, Forehead adorned by the crescent moon
When Bhuvaneswari presented Herself in front of adoring devotees, Her spectacularly divine beauty moved them and they prayed and hoped that future generations should be given the privilege to witness and experience Her divine form and compassion. The above lines have been written by the Bhakthas / devotees as they drowned in Her loveliness and charm. Sreedevi’s forehead resembled the moon on its’s eighth waxing day, soft, tender, size and spreading out like the petals of a lotus.
Only Sreedevi can challenge and compete with the beauty of the lotus, and just as the full moon attracts mankind, She attracts and enraptures the minds of Her devotees with her dazzling and bright forehead. Equipped with the same magnetic power of the lotus flower, One who has a radiant face like the sarad rithu day full moon, wearing the moon as a forehead adornment, She generously spreads the moon’s innate coolness. Looking tender and with the appearance of a young bird and the fresh innocent beauty of a young virgin, She personifies the moon. Since She is the mother of all, moon is very important to keep up the human race and many other beings in this universe therefore lots of comparison between moon and Parasakthi. It is opined that the moon itself derives its sheer beauty by being part of Sreedevi’s adornments.
Just as the thread of a flower garland is fragrant by holding the flowers together, similarly, the moon’s beauty and radiance is due to its place in Parasakthi’s head. In the human head, the seventh chakra, (the crown chakra) also known as ‘Maha Kailasa’, Sreedevi shines with the brightness of the moon. Like a piercing flash of lightening blinds us for a second, even a glimpse of Her brings about a shimmering brightness, giving way to various thoughts. When the devotees see beautiful women they start soul –searching and dwelling on the Divine Mother while the non-believers, upon the same sight, get materialistic and passionate thoughts. Whatever they all think, one point is clear – Sreedevi instigates passion in every person, creating a sense of wonder and amazement. Then, She has also given thousands of sasthraas for human kind to over come the excessive passion, lust, greed and emotions to realize the absolute truth in all her creations. Thus the devotees prayed in humility to the beautiful and virtuous Mother and pleaded that She be victorious always.
13.2 SAKALA VILASA KALA NILAYA KRAMA KELI CHALATHKALA HAMSA KULE
Sakala – Wholesome, complete, all-encompassing, nothing left out
Vilasa – Bears a permanent and indestructible address even after innumerable yugas, Roaming around, Familiar with and in command of the Milky Way
Kala Nilaya – Expertise in all the arts; one who is conversant with all the 64 arts, the sum total of all arts Saraswathi Devi Herself
Krama – Methods, Routes, various stages, steps, rules, discipline
Keli Chalathkala – Proficient and graceful in dance mistress of all arts, performs with total mastery, producer of all arts and art forms
Hamsa Kule – Heroine of the Brahma dynasty and the white crane family Her elegant swinging gait like that of a crane and a baby elephant (in Amritha Saras). After Amritha Ganga, one can reach Brahma Lok by trecking behind Kedarnath mountains.
For Ambika, the heart of a true devotee represents the sacred Manasarovar. Just like cranes swim freely and independently in a cold pond or small elephants enjoy carefree rolling in a mound of sandal paste, similarly, in the mental kingdom of the meditators, Sreedevi moves freely, dancing, frisking and rolling around, practicing all the arts and considers the blessed heart of the meditators as a practicing stage for all arts. The biggest secrete here is that this divine play happens between the devotee and God hence it is known as Rahasyopasana.
Firstly as Bhuvaneswari, then as Kali and finally as Bala Tripurasundari, Devi proves that at birth we are innocent and pure, transforming into varying degrees of negativity, due to karma, time and circumstances as youths and adults and again, at death, realize our mistakes and purify ourselves. He who realizes and corrects himself during his life enjoys the privilege of being elevated as a noble soul.
The Divine Mother, comes to us representing fullness and completeness, freely moving around the world and, at all times, independently. When Ambika dances, She displays various actions – ‘mudras’. Her body postures are scintillating and symbolic of Her total freedom. She is the representative of all art forms, one who excels in all dance forms, dances with the equal skill and dexterity of Lord Nataraja, thus also a Nataraja, One who dances in the hearts of meditators, flooding them with ecstacy. When these great souls practice meditation She alone allows them to reach beyond the ‘Chit Chandra Mandala’ / State of realization.
Dance is complete only when the dancer whispers within himself/herself the steps, obtainining a continuous perfection. Dance also represent the Sakthi, moment, action and time. Only when one reaches that stage of perfection can they hope to reach the ultimate step of ‘Jeeva Sakshatkara’ realization of soul / brahman. Whether dancing or meditating, the devotees should adhere to the guidelines and rules (krama) and Sreedevi helps them to achieve this. Only with rules, discipline and dedication can one achieve perfection.
In front of Easwari, human life is itself a dance which means She allows devotees to achieve fulfillment and perfection in life’s goals. Bhagavathi is unquestionably the Queen of all arts. Those who witnessed Her divine dance, feet moving with incredible deftness and rhythm, surrendered themselves totally at Her mercy.
In the substantial birth cycles of ‘Jeevatmas’ they slowly raise to higher and higher levels, finally finding eternal bliss in the surrender at the extraordinary dancing lotus feet of Parameswari.
Even the cranes of Manasarovar were dazzled and stupefied upon witnessing the Divine Mother’s dynamic dancing, the significant gestures and sculpture-like postures. It is natural for cranes and young elephants to walk with a swinging harmonious gait. They were naturally astonished to see Parameshwari’s dance in varying stages; Her slow soft movements, step by step, so much like the swan’s gait and the speedy numbers climaxing to a crescendo, and these creatures had the urge, on witnessing this to also dance along with Sreedevi.
In spiritualism, the swans represents the ‘Jeevatmas’ who have become liberated souls, having attained the soul of the ‘Jeeva Sakshathkara’ and are one with God so they follow and imitate whatever God does. Just as the swan represents total pure knowledge, having had the opportunity to witness Sreedevi’s dance (We being Jeevatmas, may be we might have witnessed in one of our life), similarly, we too can obtain eternal bliss by visualizing Her dances with enjoyment, mentally playing with Her and thinking of Her all the time until, one day, we will get an opportunity to visit and stay in ‘Manidweepam’ having attained total knowledge and liberation. It is not possible to experience such a scene in real life in this material world. We can bask in the reflected glory of great and holy saints who share their personal divine experiences and by hearing such divine revelations, we can also hope, one day, to merge with the ‘Paramatma’ and into the sanctuary of Devi’s lotus feet. (We had excellent experience in Manasarovar during our Kailas Yathra, God is great!!)
She the one who was first self born in the Brahma’s family, a Brahmin girl who made Brahma a family, accepting the Jeevatmas as Her children, rules and cares for the entire universe, ocean of compassion, may you have more and more victories – so the devotees prayed.
13.3 ALI KULA SAM KULA KUVALAYA MANDALA MOULI MILADH BAKULALIKULE
Ali Kula – She is surrounded by Sakthi Devies who wear the lotus flower on their head, Mother of the Brahma family, Devotees that escape the clay pit of ‘samsara’ can be equated to the lotus flower, Lives among these ‘Jitendriyas’, Being Mahalakshmi Herself, because Brahman represents neither male nor female yet for convenience sake we call Brahman as divine mother or father to realize first stage of spiritual path hence She is part of that family
Sam Kula – Resides and comes from a good universal family, Shines with superior traits and characteristics, One who shines as the power of divine truth, She is goodness itself. One who is born in the very divine Paramatma family.
Kuvalaya – Lilly flowers which bloom in water, Mahalakshmi Swaroopini who lives among the lilies blooming in ponds
Mandala – Society, surroundings, association
Mouli Miladh Bakulalikule – Humming bees buzzing around scented flowers, Lillies, lotus and the Bakula flower, Resides amid a thicket of scented flowers
The above lines describe Parameswari’s beautifully adorned body, Her association with all good things and with those have the privilege of being born into noble families.
Witnessing Parambika, beautifully adorned and accompanied by ‘Sakthi Devatas’, all of them wearing scented flowers, the Devas lost their senses and drowned in a sea of devotion. Parambika is always accompanied by divine angels, wearing lotus flowers in their hair. Generally this exquisite flower is not worn on the head but these angelic creatures who stay close to and serve Sreedevi have special divine bodies conducive to the lotus flower. Since these divine heavenly creatures (Gandharvas) who are themselves divine and powerful, serve Devi they are always specially adorned.
There are always an abundance of lotus flowers surrounding Mahalakshmi Devi, blooming all around Her. Not only that, Mahalakshmi Herself sits on the lotus flower and along with Goddess Saraswathi who occupies the other side of Parasakthi, takes the lead in serving Raja Rajeswari.
Anybody who is born in a good family constantly remembers Sakthi and meditate on Her. Padmavathi is surrounded by a family of divine lotus flowers. Good traits and habits can be compared to good fragrance so, those who lead a dharmic life get opportunities to participate in the rare ‘Sakthi’ worship and live as part of Her family and are compared to the rare lotus with Padmavathi in their midst.
Where clean water flows at night, lilies bloom and a special fragrance spreads, giving an unusual experience. Parasakthi’s surrounding angels and yogini devis have attractive hair which are wrapped into elegant buns adorned with lotus and lilly flowers and they join Mahalakshmi in serving Sreedevi, giving Her immense pleasure. Similarly, it is recommended that devotees wear clean clothes and ornaments during the worship of Devi to please Her.
It is very difficult to compare other flowers to the sheer beauty, fragrance and colours of the lily, bakula and lotus. Because the ‘Sakthi’ devis wear these, a swarm of bees keep circling around their heads. The scent emitting from the Bakula flower is so enticing that it attracts man to Parasakthi’s feet which look, feel and smell like the rare flowers.
The epitome of beauty, charm and grace, Parameswari has bestowed Mahalakshmi with the right to serve Her first. This very rare opportunity of serving Parasakthi Herself has been made available to others like the fortunate assistants (Sevakas) of Parameswari, similarly, we should always think, meditate and yearn for Her which is a divine and cleansing experience, bringing limitless joy. It would be a wonderful practice to constantly visualize and think of Mahadevi’s divine form. O our divine mother may you have more and more victories – so the devotees prayed
14.1 KHARA MURALEE RAVA VEEJITHA KOOJITHA LAJJITHA KOKILA MANJUMATHE
Khara Muralee Rava – One who is holding the flute in Her hands
Veejitha Koojitha – When the flute is played, ringing in divine strains, devotees are in ecstacy and they are also shy of getting visibly carried away
Lajitha – One who created shyness, out of shyness being part of a natural trait of married woman.
Kokila Manjumathe – Her music is sweeter than the shy cuckoo birds that are known for their melodious singing, creating enjoyable mood.
Born in the elevated family of Yadukula, Lord Sreekrishna is an expert in flute and the Gopikas enjoy the ‘Rasa Krida’ produced by Him. Lord Krishna is acclaimed for His magical handling of the flute. Whereas when Parameswari played the melodious flute, the world was entertained and the Devas were spell bound by it.
Holding the flute in Her very tender and divine hands, fingers as soft as lotus petals and bearing the same gentle colour, the sounds emerging from Her recital was even sweeter than the sound of the cuckoo bird.
The sweetness of Her words even surpass the sweetness of Saraswathi Devi’s divine veena – the ‘Kachhapi’. The melodious notes of the flute made embarrassed even the shy cuckoo birds that have been blessed with sonorous singing gifts. The Devas tell us that just as the ‘Gopis’ and cows were entranced by Lord Krishna’s flute, when Parasakthi played the flute the entire universe was magnetized by the heavenly recital.
A secret fact is apparent from the above. Sri Krishna is the brother of Parameswari and, in his rendering of the flute, he was simply demonstrating to us that Parameswari already inaugurated and played the flute in a previous era and He was continuing it in the Dwapara Yuga. It was the Divine Mother that pioneered and then introduced the flute into the universe. Because She holds the flute in Her hands, Parasakthi is incarnated as Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna and Sreedevi are but two different forms of the same Brahman.
A note on the cuckoo bird: The sweet and moving strains of the flute coming out of Ambika’s lower lips as She holds the instrument in Her petal soft hands, not only made these birds bashful but brought out all the ‘Brahmanandam’ (ultimate joy), and made them eligible for liberation.
14.2 MILITHA PULINDHA MANOHARA GUNJITHA RANJITHA SAILA NIKUNJAGATHE
Militha – The one who brings together – in a unique way, One who makes anything happen, One who brings closeness (or intimacy)
Pulindha – Women of hilly forest tribes
Manohara Gunjitha – She merges with the buzz of bees making it look and sound very pleasant
Ranjitha – One who gives enjoyment with the flute in co-ordination with the humming of bees, When these sounds mix the result is harmonic
Saila Nikunjagathe – Weaving music She independently wanders around the peaks of the mountains
The God do not have caste bias. In the eyes of God there are only two types of caste – the believer and the atheist. One of Parameswari’s major missions is to raise the believer to higher levels and to create devotion in the non believers. Despite being non-believers, they are still cherished and loved by the Divine Mother, and She gives them ample opportunities to tread the right path – for are they all not Her children?
Bhagavathi accomplishes impossible tasks, ushers in happiness and peace, bringing about unity, and regulates the thoughts of devotees to help them maintain an elevated spiritual level. Reference is made to the tribal people who live in the forests who are not uncivilized as is the general assumption but unexposed to modern life. The tribes have major importance and relevance to Sreedevi Herself who was born as one of the tribal girls. When Sri Parameswaran took the form of Kirathan, also Parvathy devi accompanied him at a later stage as Kiratha. Since they are indivisible and also God want to show the tribes that God does not bias between high and low caste accordingly Parvathy joined Parameswaran. The legend is that just to quell Saint Adi Sankara’s ignorance and quench His thirst for knowledge, when Her consort, Parameswaran appeared before Adi Sankaran, giving Him full knowledge or the ‘Atma Gnanam’. On another occation in the Mahabharata, we learn how Her consort Lord Siva destroyed Arjuna’s pride and ego, taking the form of ‘Kirathan’ and ‘Kiratha’ to bestow on him the eligibility to receive the Paasupathaasthram – Ambika Herself! We need to understand one important secret that whatever form Siva takes Parvathy also joins him by the side may be at a later stage.
This special boon certainly stands out in the annals of the ‘Maha Leelaas’ (Great divine play), for, while bestowing on Arjuna a supremely worthy blessing, She wanted, also to eliminate his ego and, so, made him handle the ‘Paasupathaasthram’ which can only be done by someone from the ‘Siva Amsam’ (link in Lord Siva’s ancestry). Arjuna, therefore, had to compete in a wrestling match with Lord Siva (Mallayudham) as a result of which Siva’s body made contact with Arjuna’s, thus giving the latter elevation to the level of ‘Pasupathaasthram’. It is quite clear from the above that the Lord, Ocean of Mercy at all times, and through all deeds, solely to protect devotees. If Arjuna had tried to handle the ‘Paasupathaasthram’ without Siva’s embrace he would be reduced to ashes, so She saved Him from this fate and, also, at the same time, created another elevated soul, Kannapan (Tribal) by staging this drama. During the wrestling dual with Arjuna, Lord Siva had Parameswari by His side which proves beyond doubt that all Siva’s actions are as per Sakthi’s plan.
The devotees were bemused and dazed by the beauty of Sreedevi, Her head adorned with divinely scented and attractive flowers such as the lotus, lilly and bakula, while the bees circled around Her. The Buzz and Hum of these fortunate bees blended in tonal perfection to the sweet tunes from the flute coming out of Parasakthi’s mouth, and Devi’s adoring devotees lost themselves in the bliss of these sights and sounds and the sheer divinity of this musical duet.
Every devotee who meditates on Parasakthi, gets stunning divine experiences, at some point which results in the uplift of his soul. It is difficult to express this pure pleasure and thrill in mere words. Every individual has to himself/herself meditate on Sreedevi (God) to actually understand the true ecstasy derived. With the help and guidance of our gurus and sakthis we are ultimately able to reach this stage where only bliss reigns.
When Parameswari played Her flute around the mountain peaks the bees enjoyed the pleasant notes and, as if to help Devi with the ’Sruthi’ hummed in harmony. The bees are actually the ‘jeevatmas’ when they become sincere devotees and pray to God, the negativity is removed and they are able to elevate themselves. These purified souls always circle and remain near the Divine power, enjoying the experience and dedicating their lives to Her service.
At the liberated stage, Jeevatmas and Paramatma become one. Our devoted prayers are compared to ‘Sruthi or base sound’ and as we raise higher and higher towards the climax, we merge with the main music and a divine musical performance is delivered. If we remain steadfast and on track, pray to Parasakthi with dedicated devotion, our prayers merge with Easwari Herself and later, just as we cannot differentiate between Sruti and flute tunes, the Jeevatmas and Paramatms (Dwaitha maya bhavana) will get eliminated.
The devotees prayed thus: ‘Oh! Divine Mother, the One who has clarified these potent facts, may you have more and more victories –
14.3 NIJAGUNA BHOOTHA MAHA SABARI GANA SATGUNA SAMBRUTHA KELITHALE
Nijaguna Bhootha – One with superior charactar (Sat Gunam), With a look of equality, Lives in superior style, One who is full of good thoughts, is fair, kind and surrounded by goodness. One who considers everyone Her relative, One who is known for Her good traits
Maha Sabari Gana – One who has the association of the tribal community called Sabari
Satguna Sambrutha – The purity of Her thoughts and actions which are unique, One who is beautifully adorned and is of the finest charactar
Kelithale – One who mingles and plays with Her own kin, Plays and mixes with Her own tribe to make them understand the truth of Brahman, One who trains Her fellow tribesmen to be experts in all sports
The above lines demonstrate the justice, fairness and equality that Parameswari displays, Her gentle motherliness and Her kind heart which does not differentiate. Mixing with an underprivileged tribe that society considers as ‘low caste’ Parameswari claims them as Her relatives – proudly – for She grades people not by caste but by their inherent character. One who considers and protects everyone as Her own family, for one who has a large compassionate heart, one who has and inculcates good habits, one who is seen with millions of serving angels (gandharvas) and hand maidens, Jagadambika is One who considers everyone as part of Her family.. The Sakthis who perform service to Sreedevi appear like Mother Herself for She has taken their form to enlighten us all that we are all ultimately ‘Sakthis’. Devi thus tries to abolish duality from our psyche.
The divine Mother lived among the ‘Sabari’ tribe. God’s various dramas took place in the ‘Thretha Yuga’ (2nd era within the 4 eras), one of them being Lord Ramachandra’s incarnation on this earth. A poignant story this epic is that of Sabari, an old and steadfast devotee of Lord Rama. In Her joy at beholding him, She innocently offers Him a half bitten fruit which He accepts as nectar despite her being a ‘low caste’ from the Sabari community. We consider this as a story of a true ‘Bhaktha’ and it also speaks volumes for God’s compassion and sense of equality. Also, Lord Ayappa, the son of Mohini (Siva and Vishnu combined) decides to make Sabarimalai (mountain of Sabari, His divine home). This also lays emphasis on the fact that the Sabari tribe may be considered an ordinary uncivilized people by the layman but in God’s eyes they have a lofty standing. This further proves that for the Divine Mother, all Her creations are equal. I am purposely involving different stories from other epoc and incarnations to spread the message that all forms of God is one and learned ones propagate differently.
In the dense and mountainous forests, the Sabaris are a community which leads a life playing games and sports. They along with the Pilla, Pulindha and Kiratha tribes are very exclusive. When Lord Siva came in front of Sri Sankara as a low caste ‘chandala’ and opened this great saint’s eyes to ‘Advaita’, gently teaching Him a lesson of equality of man. He then appeared before Kannapan as a tribal man, and the inseparable Parvathi was also present, taking on the form and role of a Dravidian tribal woman. Due to Her auspicious and divine thoughts, elevated the people of these tribes and accepted them as her servants in Her supreme kindness. Not only that, She also introduces all Her accompanying attendants (Bootha Ganas) as tribal people and orders them to guide the tribals on the right path.
Highly compassionate with a kind heart, Parameswari’s acts show us the oneness of man and equality amongst all, irrespective of caste and creed – and is praised by great souls for this. Though She is the supreme power Herself, and also is ‘Paramatma’ or the Ultimate Truth, She takes the physical body ‘Sthoola Sareera’ based on various incarnations and mixes with all types of people, Her presence omnipotent. The devotees hail Her good traits that set an example to all mankind.
Mixing with the Sabari tribe, she plays with them and takes part in all sporting activities, raising their standard of sports, obtaining their trust and devotion. Under Her guidance, the people of the Sabari community became expert sportspeople and Parambike is praised and admired for this. ‘Oh great mother!, may you have more and more victories’, so the devotees prayed.
15.1 KATITHATA-PEETHA DHUKOOLA VICHITRA MAYOOKHA THIRASKRITHA CHANDRARUCHE
Katithatapeetha– Wearing a yellow sari draped on slim hips like the central portion of the ‘Damaru’
Dhukoola Vichitra– Extraordinary attraction and beauty, One who touches the heart of the devotees; Her divine form attracts people
Mayooha – Known for the beauty of Her sari, so elegantly draped, Exquisitely woven in silky thread; Her bright form dazzles like the fire
Thiraskritha – Supercedes, overwhelms
Chandraruche – She question moon’s brightness and attraction through Her shining face, Create taste and interest in looking at moon by everyone.
In the earlier verses, Parashathi’s lotus feet, hands and face have been detailed and glorified at great length. In these lines, reference is made to Her elegant dress/sari, emphasizing Her slim and graceful hips. Sakthi’s hips have been equated to the earth ‘Bhoolokam’ and the scenic beauty and brightness we see are Mother Nature’s work. Who does not enjoy natural beauty? Whether the illiterate, the sinners, noble souls or learned scholars – all these people enjoy natural splendour. Is it not natural then for all people to be attracted to Sreedevi?
The eye-catching yellow silk Sari which Parasakthi wraps around Her slim hips was so radiant and graceful that devotees round the world chanted slogans on the splendid sight. Dark slim hips represent night or darkness and the wrapped yellow sari represents the other half of the world/day which is bathed in bright sunlight. We witness this with our own eyes in daily life with the methodical and systematic rising and setting of the Sun.
Why does Parambika, who attracts one and all, wear this yellow silk sari? There is considerable significance and power to the yellow colour which has the strength to permeate in all directions and represents auspiciousness, peace and a resolved state.
The ‘Sastras’ say the original colour of the ‘Jeevatma’ is yellow; and since Sreedevi is surrounded by all the ‘Jeevatmas’ we can compare Her yellow sari to the ‘Jeevatmas’ draped around the ‘Paramatma’ who represent Devi. This gives Sreedevi’s yellow sari a special importance.
Can one easily see their own ‘Jeevan’? The great ‘Mahatmas’ who practice ‘Jeeva Sakshatkaram’ and who are thus able to see ‘Jeevan/Soul’ realize that it is yellow in colour. Even Mother’s milk is slightly yellow as there is a yellow substance in the milk which renders the child immune to disease and is a special life saver. Also, the nursing child has a special bond with its mother – one can easily differentiate between a child who drinks mother’s milk and one that is deprived of this. Certainly the attachment is greater, the bond and love the suckling child shares with its mother is special.
In spiritual terms, the Mother is Paramathma while the child is the ‘Jeevatma’, the devotion forming the milk, this amazing combination forms the devotee, devotion and the Goddess or ‘Upasana Moorthy’. Yellow has the power to eliminate poison and bad thoughts. The saints wear yellow robes to retain pure thoughts and lead their lives of meditation and renunciation without distraction. Fire is also yellow and that is why it has the ability to purify everything it comes in contact with.
During the ‘Pralaya’ or water storm, when the world was drowning and filled with rotten waste, Sri Rudra opened His third eye and brought forth the ‘Pralaygni Sooryan’ or the ‘Fire Sun’ whose sheer power and strength absorbed the water and purified the environment. Thus, the yellow colour, in any way one sees it, represents auspiciousness and value. Thus ‘Sakthi’ is praised as ‘Mangalaswaroopini’ – the very embodiment of auspiciousness, dispelling darkness by wearing the yellow sari and purifying the heart of the devotees, and, by lending the same auspicious yellowness to Her brother, Sri Krishna, She demonstrates the strong bond between them.
The sari worn by Sakthi is truly attractive, superceding even the moon’s inherent bright rays and the devotees admired Her majestic appearance, Her beauty and wisdom. Because the yellow colour has the power to raise goose pimples in our body through the shock of joy and pleasure we receive from seeing it, since it has the power to attract everyone, when Sreedevi Herself wears the exquisitely woven yellow sari it added additional splendour and glory to the colour and gave even more significance and value to this colour. These lines not only highlight the incomparable divine robes of Sreedevi but explains various truths to help the devotees to comprehend the depth of these facts and practitioners of rigorous penance in their meditation.
15.2 PRANATHA SURASURA MOWLI MANI SPURA DHAMSULA SANNAKHA CHANDRA RUCHE
Pranatha Surasura – Worshipped by Devas and ‘asuras’, most eligible Godly form for worship
Mowli Mani – The gentle tinkling sounds emitting from Her feet
Spura Dhamsula Sannakha – The sparkle and glitter from Her nails and ornaments of the feet
Chandra Ruche – Equated to the brightness of the moon
Not just the devotees, even the spiritually depleted pray to Parasakthi, and, though most of the wicked people have no thought nor care for dharma (righteous), they will listen to the divine Mother at least once in their lifetime and follow Her advice.
Similarly, even atheists initially don’t believe in God and worry not about Her presence and grace but towards the final stages, realization dawns and they supplicate themselves at Her feet one way or the other. This is the law of nature. Sreedevi is one who is worshipped by both Devas and Asuras (Demon) besides all others. The Asuras practice rigorous penance to obtain Sreedevi’s grace so is there any doubt about good people praying to Her? The fact that even evil people pray to Devi shows us just how compassionate and gentle She is, considering all as one – the learned, the noble, the ignoramus, the illiterates and the sinner – and offers boons to them as per their eligibility.
Parasakthi’s nails and feet glitter with radiance and is compared to the brightness of the full moon. There is a reason for this. The Devas and Asuras, in their supplication of the Divine Mother, hit their heads upon Her feet (‘Kaivalya Padam’ the 5th and final stage of liberation/mukthi) and the gems and other ornaments embedded in their crowns reflect upon those divine feet, equating the resulting shine to that of the full moon. The mind represents the moon and those meditating sincerely on Ambika’s feet are hallowed with the moon’s brightness. May victory by yours always, so the devotees prayed.
15.3 JITHAKANA KAACHALA MOULI PADHORJHITHA NIRBHARA KUNJARA KUMBHA KUCHE
Jithakana Kachala – Shines even more than the golden mountains ‘Meru Parvath’
Mouli Padhorchitha– From the emerging brightness of Her divine body and feet She infuses enthusiasm and energy, erasing ignorance, bestowing knowledge and enlightenment on them
Thoroughbred, blue blooded (the essence of purity)
Nirbara Kunjara – Devi has the broad forehead that is the usual characteristic of elephants from royal families
Kumba Kuche – Devi’s bosom is exquisitely divine, shaped like the strong temples of elephants (Kumbam), Her forehead is very like those of Eiravatham (Indra’s elephant)
The devotees lavish praise on Ambia’s incomparable beauty as She appeared before them. The brightness emanating from Her – superceded even the glitter of Mount Meru and Her positive enthusiastic and sublime form sought to dispel the darkness and show the path to enlightenment.
Sreedevi’s blooming glowing moon-like face was shining with greater radiance that the forehead of Eiravatham (none other than the brother of Lakshmi Devi). Also, the face was extremely attractive and charming as She appeared before Her devotees.
One with divine breasts, shaped like the ‘Kumbam’, the spark of life or ‘Jeeva Chaitanyam’ for this world, may victory be yours always – so the devotees prayed.
16.1 VIJITHA SAHASRA KARAIGA SAHASRA KARAIGA SHASRA KARAIGANUTHE
Vijitha Sahasra – One who is the cause of victory, innumerable successful battle and challenges, One who brings victory – ever victorious
Sahasra Karaiga – The powerful man, who had over 1,000 heads
Sahasra Karaiganuthe – Worshipped by Sahasra-karaigan, One who is the reason for victory
Parameswari’s courage and valour does not stop at the battlefield. Sreedevi has always manifested Herself before devotees on various occasions and given boons to help them. Our epics bear testimony to this fact. She has been accessible to devotees and granted their desires. Sahasrakaraigan (so named because he had over a 1,000 hands) was a very powerful devotee and he spent much of his time fasting and meditating on Parashakthi, worshipping Her with exotic scented flowers. Since he offered Her flowers with all 1,000 hands he was even able to win over the Sun God who has more than 1,000 rays. The Devas praised Devi for being all-powerful for, did not worship of Her make one eligible of even winning over the mighty Sun?
There is another significance to these lines. Maha Vishnu also has 1,000 hands and known as ‘Viraatroopan’ – one who protects the whole world. Using the third eye of Sree Rudra who is the Sun God Himself, He controls it to help the world as the Preserver and Protector of the universe, suffusing it with energy. Thus Maha Vishnu also won over the Sun God and worshipped Parasakthi.
There is yet another interpretation to this verse. As a result of performing the ‘Amba Yagam’ Maha Vishnu was blessed with the vital duty of protection as a boon from Parasakthi. He is therefore praised and worshipped by people all over the world as their Protector, making Lord Vishnu highly popular and renowned.
All this proves beyond doubt the age-old adage “Behind every successful man there is a woman’ and what is more, the woman is Adi Parasakthi Herself.
The hands that offer worship to Sreedevi automatically obtain special powers, transforming the lives of those devotees. Not just Sahasrakaraigan was blessed but many others in all periods of time. Anyone who worships Devi is granted boons and empowered to experience victory always. May You have more and more victories – so the devotees prayed.
16.2 KRITHASURA THARAKA SANGARA THARAKA SANGARA THARAKA SOONU SUTHE
Krithasura Tharaka– One who was blessed to win over the army of Tharakasura (a violent and cruel demon), One who makes stars of the great souls
Sangara Tharaka – One who gave the power to confront Tharakasura’s accompanying army, One who gloriously resides in the galaxy of stars
Sangara Tharaka – Accompanying army of Tharakasura
Soonu Suthe – Parameswari’s son is Subramanian. She is also the Subramanya power Herself. Tharakasura being killed by son of Lord Siva
Without Sakthi’s help and blessings nobody can achieve victory in this world. The same Divine Mother who protects and helps both man and Devas with boons also helps other divine powers and supports them. So great is Her glory – as this line explains.
Tharakasura and Soorapadman were two massive and violent demons, causing death and destruction by their hateful acts. They were effortlessly defeated when Lord Subramanian was used to confront them. He achieved this by using Ambika’s ‘Soolam/ Spear Weapon’. Subramanian’s divine spear (Vel) is but one face of Sakthi’s trident.
“We believe, Parameswari, that you did not give this holy trident to Lord Subramanian because He is your son but because of your determination to protect all mankind from these demons’ – so the devotees asserted.
Uma Maheswari gave a part of Her trident to Lord Muruga to protect the entire world and thus Kumaran effortlessly destroyed the powerful and wicked Tharakasuran, and his brothers Soorapadman and Simha Mukha.
Through this divine drama we are able to comprehend the raw power and compassion of Sakthi. Her intentions are always focused on supporting and protecting devotees granting them victory always. ‘Oh! Ambika, may victory upon victory by yours always’ so the devotees prayed.
16.3 SURATHA SAMAADHI SAMANA SAMAADHI SAMAADHI SAMAADHI SUJATHARATHE
Suratha Samaadhi – The king Surathan and the businessman Samathi. They were both given ‘Mantropadesham’ through the Maharishi Medha
Samana Samaadhi – One who treats everyone equally, distributing boons and blessings with fairness irrespective of their caste and creed.
Sujatharathe – One who gives an enjoyable life both in earth and heaven. One who allow the good one to born.
Devi’s compassion and desire to help and bless one and all is apparent in these lines. A king named Surathan and a businessman named Samaadhi, who both fell into troubled times were given ‘Upadesam’ by Maharishi Medha, which enabled them to obtain Sreedevi’s ‘Beejakshari Mantram’. They chanted this mantra faithfully and rigorously. Sreedevi was also instrumental in their performance of the ‘Navrathri’ penance. Both Surathan and Samaadhi worshipped with dedicated discipline, sincerity and concentration, fasting throughout Navrathri. A small note on Navarathri seems appropriate here. This is a 9-day pious period spent in the worship of Ambika as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Legend has it that Devi sat on a needle and meditated for nine-days in order to empower Herself to kill the hitherto invincible Mahishasuran (another very evil demon in the form of male buffalo). On the tenth day She kills this demon and the whole world celebrated this triumph of good over evil, ushering an era of peace and happiness. The Navrathri penance entails thinking and praying at Devi’s Lotus feet during these nine-days every year. Fasting is observed and our thought, word and deed are to be focused on Parameswari.
Pleased by the Navrathri penance performed by these two pious souls, Devi first appeared before Surathan and blessed him so he not only regained his kingdom but was promised liberation after death. Samaadhi (a vaisya) was also blessed with the status of ‘Jeevan Mukthi’.
Who else but Parasakthi can bless one with the all-important ‘Mukthi’. So compassionate and tender is She that by just praying to Her once the rare gift of ‘Mukthi pada’ or the ‘Kaivalya Padam’ is granted. ‘Oh! Divine Mother, your extraordinary and amazing divine dramas and thoughtful deeds overwhelm us and we thank you for it and fall at your feet in humility. – so the devotees praised Her.
Little can be said against the fact that Parasakthi’s feet is unquestionably the feet of liberation or the ‘Mukthi Padam’. Several great souls worshipped and praised other avataras/incarnations of the ‘Paramathma’ but finally they surrendered at Sreedevi’s lotus feet, realizing that Ambika has taken the divine form that can be 100% equated to the ultimate ‘Paramathma’. Once this fact was understood and realized, these souls lived as ‘Jeevan Mukthas’ and it became their last birth. The devotees thus prayed to the all-powerful Parameswari.
17.1 PADHA KAMALAM KARUNA NILAYE VARIVASYATHI YO (A)NUDHINAM SA SIVE
Pada Kamalam – One who has tender feet with the texture and beauty of a lotus
Karuna Nilaye – A veritable storehouse of compassion
Varivasyathi – Unlimited ‘Aishwaryam’ – abundance
Yo Anudhinam Sa Sive – What is the desire that cannot be achieved by falling at your lotus feet? Or one who meditate your lotus fee every day. Oh, embodiment of Sadasiva, our prostrations to you.
This line tries to do justice to the great significance and value of Parasakthi’s feet, but no divine poet or verse can ever try and fulfil this job to the completion! Her lovely delicate feets are not just a storehouse of compassion but also symbolizes the on-going evolution and flow of nature. Her feet, tender and pretty, are compared to the rare lotus flower which is considered superior to all other flowers. It is not only beautiful in appearence but also is soft to the touch and ideal for worship, and blooms in a gentle pinkish colour which cools the mind. Emitting a very pleasant fragrance, it retains its freshness for a long period of time.
Similarly, the feet of Parameswari is also very special and possesses unique qualities as part of Her unique body – and is superior to any other divine power. Parasakthi’s kindness and love for Her devotees is so great that even though She sits in the ‘Padmasana’ posture, She keeps Her right leg below with the left leg folded which allows Her to move quickly to rush to a devotee’s call. (Wesee in material world sports person keep one leg infront and the other in back for a running race! this is to pick the speed fast!!). What else could be compassion? She wants to instill confidence on Her (God’s) devotees and hence this pose. Devi’s infinite love, motherliness and generosity is so great that despite making mistakes or mis-behaving, people obtain Her help and support. Is it not this intense love that made Mother provides us with good food to eat, shelter to live and sleep – the world’s great natural beauties to enjoy, besides other various pleasant experiences. Also, with what foresight and kindness has She given us the five senses to enjoy all this!
There is nothing to contradict the fact that at Sreedevi’s lotus feet is the storehouse of compassion. The Visalakshi Sreedevi blessed all the Brahmens, encouraging them and showering abundance. Compassionate people win over all the hurdles and obstacles in their lives. Like the waves of the sea that constantly keep rolling, the lotus feet of Parameswari which is compassion itself, is constantly touched by the heads of all Devas, Asuras, Brahmas, Easwaras and Devi continuously blesses them with all kinds of boons. Not only that, Parambika’s lotus feet also bestows Sree Mahalakshmi Kadaksham (shower of wealth) for all devotees who supplicate before Her. Is there any kind of ‘Aiswaryam/divine prosperity’ that cannot be attained by offering worship at Devi’s lotus feet?. (According to Dharma Sasthras / Virtuous thump rules no biggest holiness act equal to ‘Sheer Compassion’ and no biggest sin equal to ‘Himsa/Killings’).
The Sada Sivapathni (consort of Paramatha Sadhasiva) Sreedevi, grants unlimited ‘Siddhis’ on those who continuously/every day pray at Her feet for is She not an ocean of compassion?. She blesses these devotees, granting them the eligibility to attain ‘Sarva Aiswaryam’ (abundance in no small measure). May victory by yours always – so the devotees prayed.
17.2 AYI KAMALE KAMALA NILAYE KAMALA NILAYAH SA KATHAM NABHAVETH
Ayi – Divine Mother
Kamale – One who sits upon the lotus flower (Sree Mahalakshmi)
Kamala Nilaye – One who resides in the lotus.
Kamala Nilayah – One who considers the lotus as home – one who resides in the lotus heart of the devotees (Hridaya Kamalam) the flower represents revealing the universal secrets, devotion and purity (from conception till its blossom and respect). The lotus flower represents Universe and its activities.
Sa katham– Together or along (friend), when?
Nabhaveth – She can, at will, transform a begger’s life by making him a millionaire in all respects, why not, why can’t.
These lines proclaim the truth that Sree Parameswari Herself is Maha Saraswathi and Maha Lakshmi and also Sreedevi is all-pervading. Because the divine Mother, Herself, is the goddess of wealth – Sree Mahalakshmi (consort of Maha Vishnu), who resides in the lotus the realized souls have described Parashakthi as ‘Kamala Vasini’ or one who resides on the lotus. As Mahalakshmi sits on this delicate flower She blesses Her devotees with all the eight kinds of abundance (Ashta Aishwaryam). Normally even if a small bird sits on something as delicate as a flower, the stem is likely to break. Well, then, how can the imposing and all-encompassing ‘Brahmananda Swaroopini’s weight be handled by the lotus? She lets it dawn on us, through this surprising question, that She is the lotus Herself and ultimate truth can sustain anything and everything on this world.
The Gods do not have any self pride so they are weightless and can sit on any flower – that is one opinion. For the meditating devotee, the spinal cord, which holds the seven chakras, is the stem of the lotus. On one of the important chakras – the ‘Anahata Chakra’ or the heart chakra Devi makes Her residence for these privileged devotees. ‘If one prays to ‘Mahalakshmi Swaroopini’, Parameswari, who resides in the lotus flower, worshipping Her with our humble offerings, will there be anything that is not possible?
‘No, Mother, no, you make everything plausible, you render the impossible possible with your blessings, this is undeniable!’ – the Devas prayed thus, falling at Her feet.
17.3 THAVA PADAMEVA PARAM PADAMITHYANU SEELAYATHO MAMA KIM NA SIVE
Thava – Yours
Padhameva – Lotus feet alone
Param – Very great
Padhamityanu – Meditating on your lotus feet every day
Seelayatho – Due to constant practice, this has become a habit
Mama – Mine
Kim Na Sive – Have you ever ignored any of my efforts? No, Mother, no, when I surrendered at your Lotus feet you gave me boons beyond what I deserve and I consider this practice of meditation a great blessing.
One can achieve anything and everything by meditating Her lotus feet constantly, there is nothing impossible for those who practiced it as a routine job. Difficult situations and conflicts that cannot be sorted out even by Brahmas, Devas and Mahatmas (Brahmadi devas) are effortlessly resolved and achieved through Parasakthi’s blessings, for she is One within Lord Siva Himself – this is summed up in the above lines. She has demonstrated to us that one can attain the ‘Kaivalyam’ a much sought after position by just meditating on Devi’s lotus feet. The four kinds of Mukthi Padhas, blessed by various divine incarnations are: Salokhyam, Sameepyam, Saroopyam and Sayoojyam but the ‘Paramathma Parameswari alone can grant the fifth ‘Mukthi pada’ which is the ‘Easwara Mukthi Padham’, also known as ‘Kaivalyam’. We know clearly from this that Devi’s lotus feet is the ‘Parama Padam’ (Ultimate Padham, totally elevated) itself.
The all-powerful and omnipotent Sreedevi alone can elevate the ‘Jeevan/Soul’ to the ‘Kaivalya’ position, and She grants us this yearned for status if we pray to Her regularly with total humility and purity of heart. What else would one want to achieve than this elevated state in the known 14 worlds?
Our accumulated sins, committed knowingly or unknowingly, can be redressed by meditating on Her Lotus feet – this is the absolute truth. By praying and meditating on Sreedevi with strong faith and total devotion, one can achieve all our desires – that is also definite. To get to know a person well we need to either live or move with them for a long period of time. Similarly, we can achieve total knowledge of the Paramatma Paramesweri only by thinking of Her and mentally be-friendling Her all the time.
When the Jeevatma, through the physical body, meditates upon Sreedevi’s lotus feet, the first step in the ladder of spiritual elevation – he is guided to climb up through the various other steps thus enabling him to attain the status of ultimate bliss ‘Mukti Sthaanam’. That is why, the advise is that whatever be form of the lord the meditators or ‘Atma Sadhakas’ are concentrating on, the meditation should start from the lotus feet of that God (personal God/Goddess, Aradhana Murthy irrespective of the name and form).
When the divine powers joined together and offered upon Siva Sakthi, Parasakthi emerged out of the third eye of Parvathi Devi and took the form of ‘Chandi Chamundeswari – Mahishasura Mardini’ and mercilessly destroyed all the Demons/Asuras, saving the devotees from their harassment and torture.
The fact derived from this is that joint prayers give stronger results. Oh! Devi, who is at all times within Siva, praised as ‘Siva Swaroopini’ and One who gives the ‘Sivaa-nandam’, that sought-after blissful state, may Victory be yours always’, the noble souls prayed.
18.1 KANAKALA SATHKALA SINDHU JALAIRANU SIMCHINU THEGUNA RANGA BHUVAM
Kanakala Sathkala – With hands that are adorned with gold jewellery, set with precious stones, She blesses ‘Sastrakala Vidya’ or gift of all the arts
Sindhu Jalairanu – With water from the sea
Simchinu TheGuna – By dipping the ‘Nageswara’ flower in the pure sea water
Ranga Bhuvam – Her form shimmers with gold– i.e. One who is adorned and decorated, at all times, with ornaments, Multicolorful
Parameswari, manifested in front of Her devotees as the resident of the sea ‘Sree Mahalakshmi’ with a dazzling body, brilliant ornaments and elegant clothes, and, as Maha Saraswathi, who represents and propagates all the arts ‘Veda and Sastra Kala Vidyas’. She is praised in giving just dues to all as per their offerings and prayers. The devotees, overcome by the magnificence of Devi as She manifested in front of them in full regal splendour, adorned by jewellery of gold, set with precious stones of every kind, holding various divine weapons in Her hands, performed ablutions and enacted various postures or ‘Mudras’ in Her honour, sprinkling scented perfumes and performing different forms of worship, thus pleasing Devi. It is difficult to totally comprehend just what kind of powers a devotee can obtain through worship of the Divine Mother. They are truly stupendous.
One who glitters like gold itself, and worshipped and praised for the foundation and propagation of superior art forms, Parvathi is eligible for ‘Abhishekam’ with water from all the seas in this universe. Elephants of rare breed also shower the Divine Mother with sea water (abhishekam) with their trunks thrilling Her highly. Parameswari is immensely pleased when a devotee honours Her by offering the ‘Nageswara flower (Siva Linga flower) after dipping it in the pure sea water and sprinkling it on Her divine body and She elevates him to heights of bliss. Sea water represents a true family devotee (i.e. samsaree) though his mundane duties are engrossed his daily life yet finding time to worship God makes big thing for Her. ‘Oh! Parambika, may victory be yours always’, the devotees prayed and offered obeisance.
18.2 BHAJATHI SA KIM NA SACHEE KUCHA KUMBA THADEE PARI RAMBA SUKHA ANUBHAVAM
Bhajathi – One who sings divine songs (bhajans)
Sa – With
Kim – What (why not)
Na – In reality
Sachee Kucha Kumba – The possibility of embracing Indrani (Is this possible without being an Indran?). She elevates the devotee to the position of Indran
Thadee Pari Ramba – To embrace, excellent and beautiful physical body
Sukha Anubhavam – Unforgettable experiences – pleasant experiences
When Jeevathma merges with the Paramathma the bliss it experiences is similar to that of embracing Indrani – a state that cannot be expressed in words. The five senses represent the ‘Purusha’; Indrani is not a separate woman, it is simply an experience of the sense organs. A secret fact comes to light that Indrani allows the sense organs to experience their various functions. Here the blissful state experienced when Jeevathma merges with Paramathma is explained in detail. The devotee who praises Parameswari in various ways can achieve simply anything he desires. The happiness derived during the practice of meditation within oneself is the true and ultimate pleasure – we only have a sample of this pleasure and the more materialistic and transitory pleasures achieved by our normal sense organs absolutely no match for this. She is the beauty of beauty in all respect and who bestow the ultimate joy to Her devotees in this world just because they prayed Her.
All devotees who surrender at Devi’s lotus feet will surely get this chance of embracing Indrani and blessed with blissful experiences. In order to become Indran one has to perform over 100 Ashwamedha Yagas (win over horse power through customized practices). Though this is a fact, when one meditates on Sakthi’s lotus feet and performs ‘Abhishekam’ on Her physical form (Sthoola Sareeram) with sea water, offering worship with scented flowers, Bhagavathi elevates them to a level where they become Indrani. ‘Hey, Bhagavathi, you have clarified this important process to us, may victory by yours for you will always prevail’ – the devotees prayed to the auspicious Mother.
18.3 THAVA CHARANAM CHARANAM KARAVAANI NATAMARAVANI NIVASI SIVAM
Thava Charanam – We surrender at your lotus feet
Charanam – A place to surrender
KaraVaani – Saraswathi Devi – one who created all epics
Natamara Vaani – The one who is Mahalakshmi, One who resides amidst the Vedas and is the Veda Gnana, One who is the science of music Herself
Nivasi Sivam – One who resides in the Siva Tatvam – the principle of Siva the one who is Parvathi Devi, One who represents all auspiciousness, One who is in the form of Siva Shakthi
A true Krishna devotee Sree Narayana Bhattadiripadu, who wrote the divine epic ‘Narayaneeyam’ has dedicated 70 verses to the description and significance of Parasakthi’s lotus feet. One can understand the greatness of Parambika’s feet by reading these moving verses. Centuries before Battadiripadu wrote the divine story, the Devas had meditated upon Devi’s lotus feet and have described its tremendous greatness in these lines.
‘Divine Mother, we have surrendered at your lotus feet. We know you are our sole refuge and we know you will never let down the pious souls who surrender at your lotus feet. One cannot imagine a better place to surrender than your lotus feet, which is the resovoir of all knowledge, where the ultimate truth of ‘Parama Padam’ exists. You are the spiritual power behind the names, the forms, the ‘Parabrahmam’ and that is why we pray at your lotus feet. Can we ever do full justice to the wonders, powers and invaluable significance of your lotus feet? We doubt it. Suffice it to say that the magnificence of your feet will be an un-ending tale of rich description. The sounds that emerge from your lotus feet are the ‘Veda Sasthram (science of Vedas). You are the Saraswathi Devi (Goddess of Learning) who represents all the Vedas and you are the Mahalakshmi who resides on the lotus flower and to You, Ambika, we prostrate and offer salutations. You perform the three duties of creation, protection and withdrawal by being the Sambu, Sreekrishna and Brahma all rolled into one. Oh, Almighty Devi, we once again surrender at your lotus feet’ These lines form the general essence of the stories, no matter what the source. Yet, they bear an exclusively poetic style in this line.
19.1 THAVA VIMALENDU KULAM VADANENDU MALAM SAKALAM NANU KOOLAYATHE
Thava – Yours
Vimalendu Kulam – A face which is as spotless as the shining full moon, One who is born into the moon family, One who is ever pure
Vadanendu Malam – One whose face resembles the lovely moon, shines with the glory of the 16 arts
Sakalam – One who is with all the good art forms, One who is everything, One who is the Jeevathma
Nanu Koolayathe – One who gives the special privilege of bonding with Her, One who blesses the meditator with ultimate happiness
These lines portray and dwell on the greatness of Sreedevi’s face. After meditating through their heart and visualizing through their mind’s eye, the Devas described Parasakthi’s divine and captivating form, step by step, starting from Her lotus feet right up to Her face.When a person surrenders at the lotus feet of the Divine Mother, the next birth is guaranteed to be in Sakthi’s own family. As per the rules and guidelines of the ‘Samudrika Lakshana’ if one has beautiful feet they are sure to have a very beautiful face. The Devas and noble souls have explained and described the alluring and powerful aspects of Devi’s lotus feet, a beauty to behold. In fact, they have described the appeal of those petal-soft feet of refuge with such depth and feeling that further elaboration of Her face is not needed. Just as a tree gets its beauty and strength from its leaves, branches and roots, similarly, Sreedevi’s beautiful face was undoubtedly derived from Her lotus feet. The above lines emphasize this fact.
Parameswari’s face shines like the full moon. If one meditates on Her charming face which lights up the whole world, is there anything that cannot be achieved? Certainly not! As per the science of astrology, the moon gives happiness to the mind besides contentment and wealth. This proves that Parasakthi’s face is the moon itself. In the same way the sight of the moon cools the mind, brings one happiness, Her lovely face comforts and promises liberation. One’s mind is in balance and calm. Apart from that, when one meditates upon Sakthi’s divine face which resembles the full moon, shining with 16 art forms, She allows them to have a special bond with Her. Meditating on Parameswari’s face is equal to performing ‘Upasana’ of ‘Shodasi Vidya’ which comprises the 16 art forms
If people worship Bhagavathi even once in a lifetime with love, trust, devotion and surrender, She blesses them with all they need in this birth and the next, showering them with success and glory. ‘May victory be yours always, Devi’, the devotees prayed.
19.2 KIMU PURHOOTHA PURINDHU MUKHI SUMUKHI-BIRASAU VIMUKHI KRIYATHE
Kimu – Whatever it is, whenever it is; wherever it is; whoever it is,
Puruhootha – One who is meditated upon, One who is invoked and welcomed at the place of worship (Avahanam), One who is ‘Maha-raaghni’ or empress of the universe, Dakshayanee Devi
Purindhu Mukhi – One who is seen with a smiling face which is as attractive as a full moon
Sumukhi Birasau – Her face shines with greater radiance than the lustre of a 100 moons joining together
Vimukhi Kriyathe – Her face reinforces the belief that no task is impossible for Her who protects all devotees and helps them to progress and move to higher levels.
Those that have meditated on Parasakthi’s face know that nothing’s impossible for Her. She constantly supports and stands by Her devotees. The above line emphasizes this point in poetic poignance.
The power and peace derived from meditating on Parasakthi’s face even for a day is truly extensive. Visualizing and dwelling on Her divine and charismatic face is sure to invoke Her blessings and fulfillment of all desires. In fact, one wonders if there is anything which cannot be achieved by focusing on Her face which is an ocean of compassion? Her smiling face dispels sorrow, bringing consolation, comfort and relief from all hurdles and difficulties.
The devotees salute Devi who is the Empress, Dakshayanee Devi, (daughter of Dakshan). Even Brahmas, Easwaras and other noble souls of high standing meditate upon Her One for She is eligible to be worshipped by all. One whose smiling face resembles the full moon, and is soothing, bringing peace and calm in times of turmoil. Her attractive face glows so brightly and is so radiant that it outshines the luster of a 100 moons joining together.
The destination of Indraloka becomes a reality when one meditates with sincerity and devotion upon Paramatma Parasakthi’s lovely face – and this is a fact. Worshippers of Devi never know defeat nor face reverses in life, are able to surmount all difficulties and have constant peace of mind in this world despite the emergence of several Asuras. So intense their faith, so great the Divine Mother! ‘Oh! Mahadevi, Please always protect us from evil and may victory be yours always’ the innocent devotees pleaded, saluting Her.
19.3 MAMA THU MATHAM SIVA-NAMADHANE BHAVATHI KRIPAYA KIMUTHA KRIYATHE
Mama – Mine
Thu – Your – with you
Matham – Faith, trust, side or party, team
Sivanamadhane – On the basis of Siva’s name
Bhavathi – From there, Maheswari Devi, your blessings
Kripaya – Mercy
Kimutha Kriyathe – One who helps us to accomplish difficult tasks with ease
The Paramathma takes the form of Sada Siva which represents Purusha Thathvam (manly truths) and Parasakthi/Prakruthi represents ‘Sthree Thathvam (Womanly truths). For lay man’s eyes Parasakthi being feminine and Siva masculine, they correct and guide the ‘Jeevatma’. Siva as a father, correcting a child when it makes a mistake and, Parasakthi, as a mother, protecting her young one with compassion take responsibility for the progress of these souls and bless them depending upon their sincerity and eligibility. Actually speaking Siva and Sakthi are inseparable therefore either of them neither a man nor a woman; yet for our convenience sake we can call them mother or father / God or Goddess! As we all know in spiritualism Paramathma is neither a man nor a woman accordingly He or She can’t be pre-fixed. However this way spiritualism will become more complicated therefore we can call Paramatman as Divine Mother since anyone’s first contact is with their Mother than Father but keep in mind that both of them are equally important in ones life.
The devotees praise Ambika thus: ‘Divine Mother, we know that our staunch belief in you is the very basis of our success. Oh! Parasakthi, who is praised by the name ‘Siva’ and worshipped by all, we salute you’
One whose smiling face resembles the full moon, which cools, soothes and calms the mind, one whose face dazzles like a 100 moons jointly shining together; one who blesses the ‘Saadaka’ and meditator with the glorious possibility of reaching ‘Indraloka’ (The abode of joy) of which there is no doubt, can we comprehend a power so great, a compassion so limitless, a face so beautiful and a nature so sweet? Parasakthi’s dynamic combination of these qualities fill the devotees’ heart with love and wonder and they offer salutations at Her feet.
When one prays to Her by simply reciting the name ‘Siva’ She showers abundance. Even those who prostrate before Her but once in their life achieve all their desires with ease. May you have more and more victories – so the devotees prayed.
20.1 AYI MAYI DHEENA-DHAYAALU-THAYA KRIPAYAIVA THWAYA BAVITHAVYAMUME
Ayi – Mother, Universal divine mother
Mayi – Mine, ours
Dheena Dhayaalu Thaya – Please show mercy and compassion on us weak souls
Kripayaiva – Displays mercy with just a fleeting glance
Thwaya – Yours
Bavithavyamume – Mother, compassion incarnate, please always show us compassion, One who allows us to experience Her blessings and glory, One whose divine body portrays divine compassion
The above lines describe the devotees presenting a supplication to Sreedevi to show compassion to them at all times. ‘We, who are entangled in the net of samsara, drowned in illusion, harassed by the evil asuras (some of our bad qualities can be compared to these evil demons), please display mercy with your divine glance and protect and comfort us. Can one ever set limits to your infinite compassion, Oh ocean of mercy?’ – the devotees plead to the Divine Mother.
‘Please give us special support’, the devotees requested. ‘In the same way you warded off the various Asuras, please be our refuge in times of difficulties, shielding us from problems, for, will not just a fleeting glance from you resolve any crisis or conflict? We need your mercy always. You are solely capable of releasing us from the ocean of Samsara, relieving us from the bonds of illusion or ‘maya’. Please bless us so that our bondage is with you – divine and permanent – and not with this temporary human body, inheriting all its problems and sorrows. Maheswari, may victory by yours’ prayed the humble souls.
20.2 AYI JAGATHO-JANANI KRIPAYASI YATHASI THATHA(A)NU MITHASIRATHE
Ayi – Jagadambika, Divine Mother, The birthplace of all souls, As long as the space and time exists.
Jagatho – World where all immovable and movable beings evolve
Janani – One who gave birth, created, One who represents desire, knowledge and deed
Kripayasi – Please show mercy on us with your compassionate heart
Yathasi – Whenever, however and at whatever time it is required
Thathanu Mithasirathe – At such times, please manifest before us
The fervent prayers of the devotees to the Divine Mother, who is the ocean of compassion, is detailed in the above lines. Despite living beyond all matter, She is instrumental in creating the world, in charge of its evolution and withdrawal. The devotees request Her to hear their prayers and manifest before them in Her divine form whenever or however the need arises at whatever time, and to bless them with Her divine glance and grant protection. ‘The embodiment of truth, nobility and perfection, Oh! Mother, may you have victory over victory’, the pious souls reiterated.
Compassion is God’s property so anyone who is compassionate is a representative of God. Apart from that, to respond with compassion at the appropriate time has added value, and such actions receive additional blessings. The lines explain this fact to us.
I know some of the religious and spiritual books does not allow or permit to claim that man/woman can be or as good as God. My point of view is that anything and everything can be God or his/her representation. I agree with you God does not required a human form to understand the difficulties of mankind. However, here the argument is that God is allowing you to think whatever way you want to assume God and his form, qualities and appearance. This freedom is very much given to mankind therefore the Sasthra vachanam “Bhagavan Manushyaroopena” is true in terms of compassion, protection and good deeds. Ofcourse God is infinite but his/her creations will have some portion of God’s presence, qualities and characteristics; this amasa (share/portion) is more than sufficient to claim that God/Goddess can be in human form.
20.3 YADUCHITHA-MATHRA BHAVATHYURAREE KURUTHAADHURU THAAPA MAPAAKURUTHE
Yaduchita Mathra – Make me eligible to be whatever I am capable of
Bhavatyuraree – One who lifts us from the net of samsara, entangled in problems and sorrows, One who lifts us from the bonds of ‘Maha Maya’ (Greatest illusion / ignorance)
Kuruthadhuru Thaapa – Before we get scorched in the fire of ‘samsara’ / material world and mundane life, Oh Ocean of Mercy, Maheswari, please protect us with your divine hands and feet
Mapaakuruthe – During times of stress and hardship, a glance at your face, shining like the cool moon, calms our mind
Finally, all the devotees get together and surrender themselves to Mahishasuramardhini – the above moving line points out the trust and love these great souls have for Ambika, merging with Her and humbly requesting the honour of serving Her, or asking for any good She needs them to do.
It is always ideal for the Guru (The one who removes the ignorance from us and teach the ultimate truth) to select his disciple rather than the disciple requesting the Guru to do so. Tribhuvanasundari, Mahalakshmi Devi, please make me eligible for whatever I’m capable of, based on my limitations. I’m trapped in the unrelenting cycle of birth and death, like the continuous waves of the sea, stuck in this vicious cycle and can only obtain relief from this with your will and grace. Oh, Mother, please elevate me to whatever I’m capable of before I get charred in the scorching fire of ‘samsara’; please guide me through an escape route with your hands and feet which show the signs of mercy at all times.
Sree Parvathi, we bow at your lotus feet, millions of times. For one who never lets down the believer, Oh Supreme Truth, ‘Parabrahman’, our salutations to you again and again. May victory by yours, for in your triumph lies our progress and elevation and so we pray that you emerge victorious in this cruel war.
Please accept our inadequate praise of you with the name ‘Mahishasura Mardhini’ since you destroyed not only that cruel and powerful ‘Asura’ but also other evil ones. We say inadequate as no words nor verse would ever do true justice to One so powerful, so kind, so charming, so beautiful and so divine. Please bless us as we surrender this divine epic at your lotus feet.
The intention to write, the meaning in what we write and the writing itself is all through Sree Ambika’s presence. I consider the period from the day I started this project to the day I completed it as a Sreedevi Mahotsavam. Nothing would have been possible without Parasakthi’s blessings and I pray that the days when readers go through this piece of work are Sreedevi Mahotsavam for them as well.
Om Sarvamangala Maangalye Sive Sarvaartha Sadhake, Saranye Thrayambike Gauri Narayani Namosthuthe
Om Santhi Santhi Santhi:
Om Thathsath, Jagadambaarpanamasthu