Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes the victorious march of the army of lalita parameshvari which is Chapter 18 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 18 - The victorious march of the army of Lalitā Parameśvarī

1-12. Lalitā moved ahead with the intention of waging war.

1. She was assisted by Rājanāyikā. The goad (in her hand) blazed forth. She held a noose which appeared like a serpent. Her bangles made a pleasing tinkling sound as she held the sugarcane bow and a set of five flowery arrows, shining brightly.

2. She scattered a cascade of radiance from her person in all directions. It was ṃore dazzlingly red than a thousand suns. Radiating the lustre of her face in all directions, she made the sky appear as though filled with moons.

3. She was radiant with the circular white umbrella (held above her) which gained the friendship of the sphere of the moon (i.e. resembled it). It (the umbrella) had an extent of ten Yojanas which pervaded the three worlds and which was studded with spotlessly pure white pearls.

4. She was fanned by the groups of female attendants the chief of whom were Vijayā and others, with a set of four Cāmaras (Chowrieṣ) that was rendered splendid by means of jewels aṇḍ precious stones and that was as lovely as the cluster of lotuses or the spreaḍing waves of lustre of fresḥ moonlight.

5. She was endowed with a spotlessly pure refulgence. She indicated her sole suzerainty by means of her Śakti (power, weapon javelin). All the sections of her army were embellished by means of hundreds of imperial insignia. Her Wealth and grandeur were being eulogised by the vocal as well as instrumental music of the celestial deities.

6-8. She (justifiably) assumed and adopted the honour and pride of the imperial wealth that filled up the cavities of the three worlds with troops of śaktis (the various deities assisting goddess). The pride could not be expressed in words, nor could it be comprehended by ṇaeans of intellect. It could not be defined clearly by stating “It is like this or that”. It could not be compared with anything else. She shed benign glances on the faces of all excellent Suras, the chiefs of whom were Brahmā, Īśa, Viṣṇu and Vṛṣā (Indra) as they uttered prayers continuously, offered their services with a spirit of eagerness and vying with one another with palms joined together and kept close to their diadems. She at once randered [rendered?] the three worlds perfectly luminous by the refulgence arising from the five flowery arṛows that shone brightly.

9-1 la. Auspicious shower of fried grains scattered by groups of celestial damsels having a refulgence like the streak of lightning, indicated their hope and wish for her victory.

She was beiṅg ever served at her feet by Kāmeśvarī and others of lovely and desirable lustre, who were very charming in their martial dress and accountrements, who were eternal and who obscured the sun (i.e. surpassed the sun) by means of lustre of their glistening weapons.

In the course of her martial activity, she drove her chariot that had the excellent name Śrīcakra, that scraped the clusters of clouds high above by means of flagstaffs more than ten Yojanas in height, and that was equipped with the power of continuously making roaring and rumbling sounds.

11b-12. In that war (i.e. preparations for war) she had the tawny colour as she was robed in such a garment free from impurities. She glittered with charming splendour. Lalitā moved ahead with an intention for waging war as she was being eulogised by the gods through twenty-five epithets of great value (like precious stones), and which were exceedingly competent to subdue sins of the whole world.”

Agastya said:

13. “O Hayagrīva of great intellect, give me that elixir of life gratifying and regaling my ears through the twenty-five names of Lalitā Parameśānī.”

Hayagrīva said:

14-19. The twenty-five[1] names are Siṃhāsanā, Śrīlalitā, Mahārājñī, Parāṅkuśā, Cāpinī, Tripurā, Mahātripura-Sundarī, Sundarī, Cakranāthā, Saṃrājñī, Cakriṇī, Cakreśvarī, Mahādevī, Kāmeśī, Parameśvarī, Kāmarājapriyā, Kāmakoṭigā, Cakravartinī, Mahāvidyā, Śivānaṅgavallabhā, Sarvapāṭalā, Kulanāthā, Āmnāyanāthā, Sarvāmnāyanivāsinī and Śṛṅgāranāyikā. Those who eulogise Lalitā Parameśvarī of great dignity through these twenty-five names, will attain good fortune, the eight Siddhis and great reputation. Thus, Lalitā, the Divine Mother, who was furious with Bhaṇḍāsura, moved ahead deploying the great army of elaborate preparation and great impetuosity.

Footnotes and references:


The author seems fond of presenting series of epithets like garlands. He gave twelve epithets of Daṇḍanāthā (Potriṇī) (supra 17.18-20) sixteen of Śyāmā or Śyāmalā Mantriṇī (supra 17.33-35). Here in VV. 14-19 he strings together twenty-five epithets of Lalitā.

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