Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes hymn in praise of lalita which is Chapter 13 of the Lalitopakhyana (or Lalita-Mahatmya), an important scripture within Shaktism embedded as the final part in the Brahmanda-Purana. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between sage Agastya and Hayagriva, which is incarnation of Vishnu and also includes the Lalita Sahasranama.

Chapter 13 - A hymn in praise of Lalitā

The Devas prayed:[1]

1. “Be victorious O goddess, the Mother of the universe. Be victorious, O goddess, greater than the greatest. Be victorious, O abode of weal and prosperity. Be victorious, O soul of the art of Love.

2. O Kālī of beautiful eyes; be victorious. O Kāmākṣī (one of lovely and loveable eyes), O beautiful one, be victorious. Be victorious, O goddess worthy of being propitiated by all the Suras. O Kāmeśī, goddess of love, bestower of honour, be victorious.

3. Be victorious, O goddess, the embodiment of Brahman, the soul of elegance and beauty of Brahman, O Nārāyaṇī, O Supreme one, be victorious, O goddess, the bestower of delight on all the worlds.

4. Be victorious, O beloved of Śrīkaṇṭha (Śiva). Be victorious, O Mother Śrīlalitā. Be victorious, O goddess, the conqueror of glory, O bestower of abundant riches and prosperity of victory.

5. Obeisance to the Cause of that which is born and is yet to be born, Cause of Iṣṭāpūrta (holy and charitable rites), Obeisance to that protectress of three worlds, O goddess who art greater than the greatest.

6. Hail to the goddess identical with (all units of time such as) Kalāmuhūrta, Kāṣṭhā, days, months, seasons and years. Obeisance to the goddess with thousand heads;[2] O goddess with thousand eyes and faces.

7. Bow to you appearing splendid with a thousand lotus-like hands and fed, O goddess, minuter than Atom, greater than the greatest.

8. O mother who art greater than the greatest, more brilliant than the most brilliant, the (nether-world) Atala[3] constitutes your feet and Vitala, your knees.

9. Rasātala is the region of your waist. Dharaṇī (Earth) is your belly. Bhuvarloka is your heart and the world Svar (heaven) is your face.

10. The Moon, Sun and Fire are your eyes, O Ambikā and the quarters (cardinal points) are your arms. The winds are your breaths and the Vedas your words.

11. Creation and formation of the worlds is your sport. Śiva, the very embodiment of Cīt (Supreme Consciousness) is our companion; the Bliss of the Sat (Existent, Supreme Being) is your diet and your residence is in the hearts of good people.

12. The Bhuvanas (Worlds) constitute your forms visible as well as invisible. The clouds are your tresses and the stars your flowers.

13. Dharma etc. are your arms. Adharma etc. constitute your weapons. Yamas and Niyamas constitute the nails of your hands and feet.

14. The utterances of Svāhā and Svadhā that enliven the worlds constitute your breasts. The Prāṇāyāma (Breath-control) is your nose and Sarasvatī (the goddess of speech) your tongue.

15. The Pratyāhāra rite is your sense-organs and meditation is the excellent intellect. The power of Dhāraṇā is. your mind and state of trance is your heart.

16. The trees are the hair on your body. The dawn is-your robe. The past, present and future constitute your physical form.

17. The mother of the universe is Yajñarūpā (whose form constitutes the Yajña), Viśvarūpā (having the universe for her form) and the sanctifier of all. It is she who, due to her mercy and kindness, creates at the outset the entire subjects.

18-19. Though she abides in the heart of all, she is. invisible to the worlds. She is of the nature of fascination. It is she who, out of her sports, creates distinctions between names and forms. She stays presiding over them but is not attached to them. She is the bestower of wealth and love. Obeisance to that great goddess. Repeated obeisance to the omnipotent goddess.

20. Obeisance, obeisance to that great goddess at whose-behest fire, sun, moon and winds function and so do also the elements beginning with the earth.

21. Repeated obeisance to that goddess who, at the beginning of the (period of) creation, created Brahmā, the primordial creator, the first bestower of plenty and who sustained him herself single-handed.

22. Obeisance, obeisance to that goddess by whom the-earth is held up, who is incomprehensible and immeasurable too, by whom the Ether is supported and in whom the sun rises.

23. Obeisance, obeisance to that goddess where the entire universe takes its origin, where it rests soundly and wherein at the proper time it gets merged.

24. Obeisance, Obeisance to you of the Rajas nature as the origin. Obeisance, obeisance to you of the Sattva nature for the sustenance. Obeisance, obeisance to you of the Tamas nature as the destroyer. Obeisance, obeisance to you of the nature of Śiva when devoid of Guṇas.

25. Obeisance, obeisance ter you, who are the sote mother of the universe. Obeisance, obeisance to you the sole father of the universe. Obeisance, obeisance to you, identical with all forms and Tantras (Rituals and rites). Obeisance, obeisance to you, O goddess in the form of all Tantras (Talismans and mystical diagrams.

26. Obeisance, obeisance to you, O chief preceptor unto the worlds. Repeated obeisance to you, to the magnificence of all types of utterances. Obeisance to Lakṣmī, the sole goddess of pleasure. Obeisance, obeisance to the omnipotent one, O consort of god Śambhu.

27. O mother, how can I describe your excellent prowess and influence. It is without beginning, middle or end. It is not constituted of five elements. It cannot be expressed by words or comprehended by mind. Its magnificence and power cannot be inferred. It is formless. It is without Dvandvas (mutually opposed pairs). It cannot be perceived by the eyes.

28. Be gracious unto us, O goddess of the universe. Be pleased, O goddess saluted by the universe. Be pleased, O goddess of learning, of the form of the Vedas. Be pleased, O Māyāmayī (one equipped with the magical power of delusion), O Mantravigrahā (who are the embodiment of Mantras). Be pleased, O goddess of everything, O Omniformed one.”

29. After eulogising the great goddess thus, all Devas including Vāsava (Indra) bowed down, to her again and again and hurriedly sought refuge in her.

30. On seeing Vāsava bowing down, that goḍḍess became delighted. The bestower of boons on all embodied souls she asked him to request for any boon he liked.

Indra requested:

31. “(Defective Text) O goddess of welfare, if you are pleased, save our lives. We have approached you seeking refuge. Due to the harassment of Daitya king, our life has become unbearable.”

Śrīdevī replied:

32. “I shall myself defeat Bhaṇḍa, born of Daitya race. I shall eagerly grant you three worlds including the mobile and immobile beings.

33-36. Let all the groups of Devas be joyous and free from fear. The men who eulogise me devoutly by means of this hymn shall be blessed with virtue, glory and fame for ever. They will be richly endowed with learning and humility. They will have long life free from sickness. Due to my blessing, let them be endowed with sons, friends and wives.”

Obtaining the boon thus, Devas as well as Devendra of great strength attained the greatest pleasure, on looking at her frequently.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The use of a string or series of epithets as a prayer of a deity is as old as the Yajurveda in the ‘Black’ portion of which we have Rudrādhyāya (Tai. Saṃ. IV.5.) and in the ‘White’ portion the śata-rudriya (Vāj. Sam. Ch. 18). The tradition was continued in Purāṇas and we have ‘a thousand epithets of Viṣṇu’ in the Mbh. Anu. ch. 149. Here though not a thousand names, we have a series of epithets glorifying Lalitā and hailing her victory and equating her with the Almighty or Parabrahman (VV 1-29).

There is a separate sahasra-nāma of Lalitā with an erudic commentary of Bhāskara-rāya alias Bhāsurānanda.

[2]:

Here Lalitā is equated with Puruṣa in Puruṣa-Sūkta (RV.X.90).

[3]:

VV. 8-10 describe how the different worlds—the nether-worlds and the higher worlds constitute the body of Lalitā.

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