Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes procedure of practising the royal mantra which is Chapter 38 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 38 - Procedure of Practising the Royal mantra

Agastya said:

1. The great narrative such as the great manifestation (of the goddess), the slaying of Bhaṇḍāsura and the stay at Śrīnagara of the goddess have been heard.

2. Now, I wish to hear the means of practising her Mantra and the characteristics of her Mantras. Please recount all this.

Hayagrīva said:—

3. The verbal product or the word is greater than all other objects. Of all words and utterances, O sage, the collection of the Vedic hymns is the greatest. (also see Notes on Lopāmudrā and Kādi mantra)

4. Of all the hymns in the Vedas, the Veḍic Mantras (spells and secret formulae) are greater than the rest. The Mantras pertaining to Viṣṇu are greater than all other Vedic Mantras.

5. The Mantras pertaining to Durgā are greater than those (ViṣṇuMantras), O sage in regard to vigour and efficacy. O sage, the Mantras pertaining to Gaṇapati are greater than those (ofDurgā).

6. The Mantras of the Sun-god are greater than the previous ones and those of Śiva are still greater than these. The Mantras of Lakṣmī are more powerful than those (of Śiva) and the Mantras of Sarasvatīare more excellent than those (of Lakṣmī).

7. The Mantras of Girijā (Pārvatī) are greater than those (of Sarasvatī). The Mantras of various kinds handed down by sacred tradition (Āmnāya) are greater than those (of Pārvatī). Of all traditional Mantras, the Vārāha Manus (Mantras pertaining to goddess Vārāhī) are more excellent than the above.

8. The excellent Mantras of Śyāmā (Rājaśyāmalā or Mātaṅginī) are more splendid than the rest. O slayer of Ilvala. The Mantras of Lalitā of ten different types are greater than they.

9. Among (those ten), O suppressor of the Vindhya Mountain, two leading Mantras are more efficacious. They are well known as Lopāmudrā and Kāmarāja.

10. That (Mantra) which begins with ‘Ha’ is Lopāmudrā. That which begins with ‘Ka’ is Kāmarāja. The great Īśvara, Kāmarāja is expressed by Haṃsa and other words.

11. Goddess Śrī Lalitāmbikā is expressed by the words Smara etc. The difference between Hādi (beginning with Ha and Kādi (beginning with Ka) Mantras is caused by three Varṇas (letters). Of these two, the Kāmarāja Mantra is the bestower of Siddhis on those who are devout.

12-14. The leading Mantra of Haṃsa etc. (i.e. of Maheśvara) is expressed by three sets of five (Pañcatrika) namely [I set] by Śiva, Śakti, Kāma, Kṣiti (Earth) and Māyā. [II set] by Haṃsa (Maheśvara or swan), Bhṛgu, Kāma, Śaśimaulī (Moon-crested Śiva) and Śakra. [III set] by Bhuvaneśa (the lord of the universe), Candra (the Moon), God of love, Kṣiti and Hṛllekhā (line of the heart). The leading Mantra of Kama etc. (i.e. Śrī Lalitāmbikā), having Smara as the source of origin is expressed in the mouth of Śrī.

15. Those highly fortunate ones who worship[1] (with) Pañcatrika Mahā-Vidyā (the Mantra expressed by three sets of five i.e. 15 letters) which describes Lalitāmbā will have siddhi everywhere.

16. After receiving from the great good preceptor the Mantra sanctified and consecrated by Tripañcārṇa (Three X five letters = Fifteen letters), the learned devotee should practise it very well in the manner expressed below.[2]

17-18. I shall mention it in due order. O sage, listen attentively. The devotee should get up early in the morning and think about of having in his head a brilliant lotus having the splendour of a thousand petals, fine filaments and good pericarp. He should meditate upon his noble and exalted preceptor who is kindly disposed and merciful, as stationed in that lotus.

19-20. Thereafter, he should go out and carry out routine cleaning activities. After returning, he should anoint his body with scented oil. He should take bath in hot and pure water and apply unguents and perfumes over his body.

Water is sacred and pure by nature. What then when it gets into contact with fire and is heated.

Hence, one should take bath in hot water. If that is not available, any available water may be used.

21. He should then wear clean clothes red or brown in colour. He should then perform Ācamana (ceremonious sipping of water). With great purity (in mind and body) the learned devotee should mentally meditate upon the great Ambikā (Mother-goddess).

22. He should put sacred marks on his forehead in the manner to which he is accustomed, viz. Ūrddhva Puṇḍra (in the shape of capital U), Pañcavardhana (in the shape of the leaf of castor oil plant) Tripuṇḍra (three parallel and horizontal lines) or Agastyapatra—shaped (like the leaf of Agasti Grandiflora). Pure in soul (mind) he should perform Sandhyā Vandana in a secluded spot.

23. He should offer Arghya (water-oblation) along with Darbha grass, raw rice, flower and sandal paste in a vessel of the shape of the leaf of an Aśvattha (Ficus regligiosa) tree.

24-25. Since she too is a deity deserving Arghyas, he should offer three Arghyas to Lalitā. In accordance with his ability he should perform (for propitiating her) the Tarpaṇa rites to goddess Lalitā with the Mūla-Mantra at the beginning, and later to the Devas, the sages and the manes in accordance with the injunctions. He should then worship the Sun god as well as the Goddess as stationed in the disc of the Sun.

26a. Silently and pure in heart, he should enter the sacrificial chamber.

26b-28a, He should apply over his body excellent camphor, musk, sandal paste and other ungunents. He should adorn his limbs with ornaments. He should dress himself beautifully and lovably. He should embellish his hair with fragrant flower garlands. In the matter of ornaments (there are no strict rules to be followed) he can have ornaments in accordance with his wealth or he can have ornaments in Saṅkalpa (imagination).

28b. He should then perform the Nyāsa rites (Assignment of the parts of the bodies to various deities) mentioned subsequently in the section on worship. He should perform rites in due order. He should be seated on a smooth and soft seat. He should then meditate on the great Śrīnagara.

29-31. He should meditate on the divine Śrīnagara beginning with the park of different kinds of trees and ending with Lalitā. He should be pure within and without. Unembarrassed and undismayed, he should perform worship along the path (procedure) mentioned in the Pūjā Khaṇḍa (the Section on worship). He should take up rosary rendered fragrant by means of camphor and musk. Seated facing the north or the east, he should perform Japa of the goddess seated on the throne. If the devotee performs the Japa three million six hundred thousand times, the Vidyā would reveal herself into him gladly.

32. Homa should be one-tenth (of Japa), i. e, three hundred and sixty thousand. The Tarpaṇa shall be one-tenth (of the Homa) i.e., thirty-six thousand. The feeding of the Brāhmaṇas is expressed as one-tenth of the same, i.e. three thousand six hundred.

33. After having achieved the mastery over the Mantra, the devotee should continue Japa for other purposes desired by him.[3] By performing Japas, a hundred thousand times, he can control all human beings.

34. By performing Japas two hundred thousand times, he can fascinate and win over women. By performing Japas three hundred thousand times, he can control all beings and win them over.

35. When the completed Japas come to four hundred thousand times, the daughters of serpents become excited in love for him. When the Japas reach five hundred thousand times, the women of Pātāla become excited for him.

36. The entire group of beautiful women of the Bhūloka (Earth) shall be won over by performing Japa six hundred thousand times. The fawn-eyed beauties of the Svargaloka (Heaven) become excited by seven hundred thousand (Japa).

37. All those who are born of the race of Devas can be won over and subdued by means of eight hundred thousand Japas. One shall win over all gods by means of nine hundred thousand Japas[4].

38. One can win over and subdue Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara by means of one million one hundred thousand Japas. One can achieve the eight Siddhis (Super-human powers) by means of one million two hundred thousand Japas.

39. It was through this Mantra that Indra, achieved Indrahood, Viṣṇu his Viṣṇuhood, Śiva his status as Śiva.

40. Indu (the Moon-god) achieved his moonhood by means of this, Bhānu (The Sun-god) achieved his solar status through this. Understand that the different refulgent mystic powers of all Devas have been acquired by this prominent Mantra.

41. The person who performs Japa of this Mantra shall be rid of all sins. He shall have the most handsome features in all the three worlds. He can enchant and fascinate even the god of love.

42. He shall be endowed with all Siddhis. He shall be omniscient and shall be worshipped by all. Merely by his sight he can fill the inner (heart?) of all others.

43. He shall be equal to Vācaspati (Preceptor of Devas) in eloquent speech. In glory and magnificence, he shall be equal to the wind-god. In steadiness and firmness, he will be like the Himalaya mountain.

44. In loftiness he will be equal to Meru. In depth and majesty he shall be like a great ocean. Within a trice he can cause excitement in villages, rural settlements, cities, etc. by his personality.

45-46. By slightly bending his eye-brows, he can stun the evil-minded ones, cause yawning them, dispel them, enchant them and even kill them. He will possess the punitive powers got by black magic.

47. His speech is sweet like the current of Gaṅgā. O Pot-born sage, there is nothing unknown to him among the scriptures.

48. He is competent to expound and refute all systems of Philosophy. He knows the entire range of Tattvas. He becomes omniscient.

49. His heart is soft and tender with kindness towards all creatures. The three worlds are incapable of being an object of his fiery rage.

50-53. At his sight, fawn-eyed ladies become excited and experience the following—the knot of their garments round the waist becomes untied or loosened; their girdles slip down. On account of cluster of drops of sweet, they appear to be adorned with pearls; on account of excessive passion their eyes rove; rows and rows of their bangles set with jewels slip off from their lotus-like hands; they become motionless due to the stiffness of their thighs; due to bashfulness their faces are bent down; their pudenda muliebra exude liquid secretions, hairs on the body standing on their ends serve the purpose of ornaments. By the activities of the god of love, they appear to have completely changed forms.

54. Clusters of flames ot excessive passion make them blaze as it were. They appear to be burned by showers of fiery arrows of the god of love.

55. They are afflicted by anxiety; they seem to suffer on account of the fever of love; they are dried up due to bashfulness.

56-57. They have forsaken (the sense of dignity of theiṛ) family caste, (ethical) conduct of life, shyness, retinue, fear of the world, fear of kinsmen and fear from the other world too, and they earnestly request him in their heart of hearts. Those beautiful ladies rush a him wherever he stays in the forest, in the city, or in the temple or in other place.

58. Just as a drop of water when blown about, moves up and down on a lotus leaf, so also the minds of beautiful ladies become restless on seeing him.

59.[5] (Partially defective text). He is humble and modest. Driving away the rude and impolite persons is the greatest achievement. Rows and rows of ail lores serve him.

60. When Trilokī Lalanā (the three worlds in the form of a woman) shines with the discs of the moon and sun as her two breasts, begging to love him at his very sight, then, O ascetic, what need be said about other women more wretched and pitiable?

61. There is the holy proclamation of his fame and glory in all cities, streets, quadrangles and in parks perpetually. It acts as the heavenly tree (kalpaka tree yielding everything that we wish for).

62. At his very sight the signs of sinners perish. Only his good qualities are proclaimed everywhere by leading poets.

63. Those who meditate on the great goddess (Mahādevī) by means of different letters, weapons, different vehicles and ornaments attain the respective super-human powers (Siddhis) relevent to them (i.e. the letters used in Japa. The form of goddess meditated upon etc.).

64. The first part of the Mantra has the fine white lustre of the jasmine and the Moon. That should be thought and pondered over at the root of Ahaścakra, (Wheel of the day)[6]. It has blazing flames.

65. The second part of the Mantra is like the glowworm. It should be observed in the Ahaścakra as one with shining flames till the tip of the hair (on the head)[7]

66. The third part that dispels all sins should be observed in the follow of the two-petalled lotus placed inside the lotus of Bāla and others.[8]

67. For the sake of salvation, Ambikā with white complexion and feature like the Moon-light should be meditated upon.[9]

In the rites for winning over and subduing others (the goddess should be meditated upon as having the red lustre of the dusk.

68. For the acquisition of all sorts of wealth, the goddess with dark complexion is thought of.

For making others silent and dumb, the blue-complexioned goddess is meditated upon. In the rites for making others benumbed, stiff and paralyzed, the yellow-complexioned goddess is meditated upon.

69. For the acquisition of power of composing poems, Lalitāmbikā with white complexion, free from impurities and sparkling like crystal, should be meditated upon.

For the acquisition of wealth, Lalitāmbika with golden complexion is contemplated.

70. Those who meditate upon her as a great mass of splendour refulgent like a ruby-lamp from the Mūlādhāracakra to the Brahmarandhra (the aperture on the crown of the head) shall achieve all siddhis (Super-natural powers).

71. Thus, O Pot-born sage, those who observe and meditate upon Śrīdevī by means of various types of Dhyānas obtain great glory and wealth. This is attained only by good people, never by bad people.

72. Only, they, by whom severe penance has been practised, do perform meditation. He who meditates has no subsequent birth. He who is not Śaṅkara himself, never gains Mantra Vidyā of Lalitā Parameśvarī).

73. If this Mantra is possessed by anyone in a family, the members of his family shall be gratified and liberated. There is no doubt about it.

74. This is decided in all the scriptures, that this lore about the goddess is concealed and hidden. Her Mantra is the greatest of all secrets.

The Vedas and the scriptures eulogise Laliteśvarī.

75. She alone is the supreme Ātman. She alone is the greatest destination. She alone is the greatest holy place of pilgrimage. She alone is the great fruit and result.

76. Sages sing about her who gives five types of Siddhis. Sanaka and others meditate on her. The excellent gods beginning with Brahmā, worship her.

77-79. She is not attained by any of the following types of people—persons of despicable conduct, accused ones, men of crooked minds, who are against Devas, those who indulge in futile arguments, those whose intellect wanders in vain, the spoiled ones, those who have no good habits, those who live upon the leavings of others, those who have been dropped down from their families, cruel ones, those who hate systems of philosophy and cults of religion, persons of sinful practice, those who censure good conduct and custom, haughty fellows, those who speak arrogantly, hypocrites and those with excessive pride. To people like these, men as well as Devas, she is inaccessible.

80. It has already been said, O Pot-born sage, that she is worthy of being worshipped by Devas.

It is for the purpose of slaying Bhaṇḍāsura that she manifested herself from Cidagni (the fire of knowledge and consciousness).

81. The form of Mahā-Tripurasundarī is of extensive splendour. Laliteśvarī was eulogised by Brahmā as Kāmākṣī.

82. The goddess is designated Lalitā (the coaxed deity) as she was caressed by the mind of god Śiva while he was meditating upon Lalitāmbikā with utmost devotion.

83. Whatever exploits she did, have been recounted. In another Section I shall mention the injunctions regarding the mode of worship as mentioned in scriptures. I shall mention her miraculous elegance and charm.

Footnotes and references:


v.l. Japanti (N) ‘perform the Japa of’.


VV. 17-32 describe the procedure of Sādhanā for getting “mastery” over the Lalitā mantra.


VV. 33-62 described the “fruits” or powers one achieves after performing specific quantity of Japa of mantra.


Veṅkt ed. deletes the line :

daṣa[dasa?]-lakṣeṇa Śakrādidikpālān vaśamānayet |

“He can control the guardians of quarters like Indra by one million Japa”.


The Veṅkaṭeśvara Press Text reads:

Vinītānavanītānāṃ vidrāvaṇamahāphalam |

The text is defective—vinītā should be emended as Vanitā.

N. (Nirnaya Sagar) text reads:

Vanitānavanītānāṃ vidrāvaṇa-mahānalam |

“He is the veritable huge fire who melts the butter in the form of ladies. (He is so exceedingly seductive)”.


The text reads ‘ahaścakre’. It should be emended as ‘ā-hṛccakram’ upto the plexus—yogic cakra—at the heart’.

Nirṇayasāgara text confirms this emendation.


The text is corrupt. It should be as in the Nirṇayasāgara text:

vibhāvanīyo hṛccakra āphālāntaṃ jvalacchikhaḥ /

“It should be observed at the yogic plexus in the heart (lustrous) like a fire blazing with flames”.


The Veṅkaṭeśvara Press text reads:

bālādipadmastha /

The Nirṇayasāgara text gives a better reading:

Lalāṭa-paṭṭastha /

“That which is at the fore-head”

The yogic plexus is of two petals.


VV. 67-71 Various Dhyānas of Lalitā for different objectives or fruits.

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