Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes manifestation of kameshvara which is Chapter 14 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 14 - Manifestation of Kāmeśvara

Note: The Āgamas regard ‘Parama-Śiva’ and his Śakti (Potency) called Lalitā here as superior to the trinity of the lower grade viz. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. From philosophical standpoint there is no difference between Power and Master of the Power (Śakti and Śaktimān). When the Supreme Power (Parā Śakti) Lalitā is born, her consort (the Śaktimān) Parama Śiva must manifest. Here he has done so and is designated as Kāmeśvara due to his most beautiful form.

Hayagrīva said:

1. At the same time, Brahmā, the grandfather of worlds, desirous of seeing the goddess of Devas, came there along with great sages.[1]

2. Then there arrived Viṣṇu seated on the son of Vinatā (i.e. Garuḍa). Śiva too, seated on his Bull, came there to see the universal goddess.

3. Nārada and other celestial sages came in a group to the supreme Goddess. Then came the groups of celestial damsels to see that great Deity.

4-8. Viśvāvasu and other Gandharvas as well as Yakṣas came there.

Then, on being commanded by Brahmā, Viśvakarmā, the lord, built a divine city there on a par with (Amarāvatī). the city of the immortal ones.

Then the goddess Durgā, the presiding deity of all Mantras, and Śyāmā the presiding deity of all lores, approached Ambikā.

Brāhmī and other (divine) mothers came there surrounded by their respective groups of goblins. Aṇimā and other Siddhis (spiritual achievements) and crores of Yoginīs came there; Bhairavas, Kṣetrapālas, Mahāśāstā the leader of the Gaṇas (groups of attendants), Mahāgaṇeśvara (i.e. Vināyaka), Skanda, Baṭuka and Vīrabhadra came there and they bowed to the great goddess and eulogised her.

9-13. The city was beautiful with its ramparts, arched gateways and multistoreyed buildings. It had big stables, pens etc. to house horses, elephants and chariots. It looked splendid with many royal pathways and roads. There were charming abodes of Sāmantas (barons and lords), ministers, twice-born castes, Vetālas, man-servants and maid-servants. The centrally situated royal palace was divine and was beautified with gateways and minarets. It had many halls. It was rendered splendid by means of Assembly chambers. There was a great hall of thrones. It was studded with the nine kinds of precious stones and it appeared bright and beautiful. In the middle there was a divine throne made of Cintāmaṇi (wish-yielding) stone. It was self-luminous, unparalleled and similar to the rising sun. After scrutinizing all these, Brahmā the grandfather of the worlds, thought thus:

14. “Even if he happens to be ignorant and puerile, the person who presides over this city shall excel the worlds, due to the power and influence of this city.

15. A woman alone does not deserve to rule over a kingdom. A man too without a woman (does not so deserve it). The Śruti says that one should crown a man who has the characteristics of a great person, who has an auspicious preceptor and who is united in wedlock to a woman who is agreeable and suitable to him.

16. This lady shines like the embodiment of presiding deity of the sentiment of love. Excepting Śaṅkara, no one else in the three worlds can be her bridegroom.

17-20. He has matted hairs and wears a garland of skulls. He has an uneven three numbers of eyes and holds a skull in his hand. Though fair in complexion he is of stained (black) neck. He smears ashes all over his body. Bones from the cremation ground constitute his jewels. Will that extremely auspicious lady choose him who is the abode of everything inauspicious?”

Even as god Brahmā was thinking thus, Maheśvara (Śiva) appeared in front of him assuming a form that fascinated the whole universe. He had a divine personality endowed with handsome features of ten million Kandarpas (God of Love) i.e. he was ten million times more beautiful than Kandarpa), dressed in divine robes, and wore divine garlands and was besmeared with heavenly scents and unguents. He was adorned with crown, necklaces, bracelets, earrings etc. He thus appeared in front of Brahmā, assuming a form fascinating the world.

21. Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, embraced that youthful hero having a charming body and named him Kāmeśvara.

22. Coming to the decision, “This is a befitting bridegroom for that supreme Śakti.” all of them went to her accompanied by him.

23. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara eulogised Parā Śakti. On seeing that fawn-eyed goddess the youthful Nīlalohita (Śiva) became overwhelmed with love and forgot his activities.

24-25. On seeing him who appeared like Smara (god of Love) who had regained his physical body, that lady of tender form was also overpowered by the god of love. She considered him (entirely) befitting herself. Being excited and afflicted by love, both of them eagerly gazed at each other. Though learned and self-controlled and specially conversant with all emotional feelings they behaved in a manner that their conduct was not comprehended by others. They were agitated and unhappy in their minds for a short while.

26-29. Then Brahmā spoke to the great goddess, the sole heroine (ruler) of the world:—“These Devas, sages and groups of Gandharvas and Apsarases wish to see you the goddess in the battlefield along with your beloved husband, O Goddess who is befitting and loveable to you? Who is that blessed man? For the purpose of protecting the worlds resort to the supreme Puruṣa. Be the queen of this city. Be installed in this excellent throne. You will be ceremoniously crowned by the exalted, sinless divine sages.

We wish to see you seated in the throne along with your husband. We wish to see you equipped with the emblems and insignia of imperial power, bedecked in all jewels.

Footnotes and references:


VV. 1-8 tell us that Lalitā is a Supreme Deity, all lesser gods, divinities, Siddhis etc. come to pay obeisance to her.

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