Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes propitiation of goddess kamakshi which is Chapter 41 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 41 - Propitiation of Goddess Kāmākṣī

Agastya said:

1-2. “Of what type is her Tantra (Mystical diagram and tailisman [talisman?])? Of what nature is the excellent Mantra? Of what type is the disciple? O Hayagrīva, you are omniscient. You are the great Puruṣa (Viṣṇu) himself. O holy lord, with a kind and benevolent look towards me, do explain all these things.”

Hayagrīva said.:

3-6. “Śrī Cakra[1] alone is her Mantra (Yantra). She is Tripurāmbikā and she is Mahālakṣmī herself. Formerly, the Cakra was seen coming out of Ātman throbbing and sparkling. It expanded and increased in luminosity. Indeed the greatness of this wheel (circle) cannot be (fully) comprehended.

The fact is Śrīcakra is Mahālakṣmī herself. It was by worshipping it that the lotus-eyed Mahāviṣṇu attained the form of Kāmasammohinī (Enchantress of even god of Love), fascinating the worlds. After worshipping it, Īśāna became the lord of all lores. By propitiating it particularly Brahmā became the progenitor of the Cosmic Egg. It is by means of its worship that the God of Love became the enchanter of even the sages.

7-10. The Cakra[2] should be made of gold or silver etc. The devotee should place it in front of Śrī Devī and worship it with sweet scents repeating the sixteen-syallabled Mantra. Every day the devotee should wear auspicious dress and equipments. He should worship the goddess with thousands of sacred Tulasī leaves repeating the Mūlamantra. He must meditate upon Śrīdevī. He should propitiate Mahālākṣmī by means of splendid food offering such as honey, ghee, sugar, milk puddings and other blameless articles as well as black gram cakes of pleasing nature. The intelligent devotee should thus propitiate Mahālakṣmī in three Maṇḍalas (zones). Parameśvarī immediately appears before him.

11-12. The delighted goddess will fulfil whatever he desires mentally. If a person worships with white flowers in the manner mentioned before, Bhāratī (goddess of speech) will dance on his tongue perpetually. If a person worships the Cakra with pink flowers in the manner mentioned before, he can control a king with imperial powers, as though he was a mere slave.

13. If a person worships with splendid yellow flowers as before Śrī (Goddess of Wealth) herself will certainly stay on his chest permanently.

14. One shall not worship Śiva with foulsmelling or odourless flowers even if they have good colours. One shall worship Śiva with only sweet-smelling flowers and blossoms.

15. Kāmākṣī alone is Mahālakṣmī. The Cakra is Śrīcakra itself[3]. This Śrīvidyā is the greatest Vidyā (i.e. Mantra). The Nāyikā (heroine) is (the wife of the preceptor) (?)

16-17. The leading Mantra of this deity, O ascetic, is Śrīvidyā alone. At the end of the Mantra ending with the world Kāmarāja, join Śrībījā. This sixteen-syllabled Vidyā is glorified as Śrīvīdyā.

Thus a great secret has been recounted. It must be guarded carefully and strenuously.

18. This Vidyā is the Śakti of all the three Mūrtīs. This Vidyā is in the very form of the vital airs of all Mantras.

19. If this is learned and understood hereditarily, this Vidyā liberates one from bondage. If it is remembered, it destroys sins, old age and death.

20. If it is worshipped, it destroys misery, misfortune, sickness and poverty. If eulogised, it suppresses multitudes of obstacles. If it is meditated upon, it bestows the achievement of all objects.

21. If a person is conversant with the principles of particular Mudrās[4] (Mystic gestures) and if he has destroyed his sins by means of the spiritual worship of the Supreme Goddess (Parameśānī), he shall attain the desired benefit.

22. A man strictly observing the vow of celibacy, should worship with white flowers the deity clad in white garments and present in the centre of a white abode.

23. The Naivedyas (food offerings) shoul I also be white such as curds, milk, cooked rice etc. The devotee should worship the Highest Deity (Parameśvarī) with imaginary white articles as well. While meditating, he should imagine that he is worshipping with white flowers etc.

24. With pure mind the devotee should worship the sixteen-syllabled[5] Mantra with the Tryakṣarī Bījas (i.e. the three syllables forming the seed).

25-27. The syllables constituting the Mantras shall be repeated in the usual order as well as in the reverse order. He shall meditate on Śrīdevī in the form of a lamp in front of the lord. O ascetic, the Japa shall be mental, Upāṃśu (in whisper) or Nigada (clear loud utterance). It shall be accompanied by Śrīdevīnyāsa (the fingers etc. to be placed in a particular form). An idol of Śrīdevī also should be made. By repeating the Mantra one hundred thousand times, the devotee is liberated from great sins.

28. If he repeats the Mantra two hundred thousand times, the greatest Kāla destroys the sins of the Sādhaka (Aspirant devotee) committed in the course of seven births.

29. By repeating the Mantra three hundred thousand times the devotee is liberated from the sins of a thousand births. There is no doubt about this, O sage, that he becomes exceedingly pure. In that order if he repeats the Mantra one million and six hundred thousand times, he shall attain proximity of Devī.

30. The Puraścaraṇa[6] (Repetition of the name of deity accompanied with Homa etc.) is mentioned as follows. The Pūjā is to be performed three times every day. Then the Japa, Tarpaṇa, Homa and the feeding of Brāhmaṇas—all these should be performed.

31. In the course of. Homa and Tarpaṇa the word Svāhā should be used. In the course of Nyāsa rites and worship the word Namaḥ should be used. At the time of Japa the devotee should duly worship Devī at the end of the Mantra.

32. The Homa shall be one-tenth of Japa; Tarpaṇa shall be one-tenth of Homa; O suppressor of the Vindhya mountain, feeding of the Brāhmaṇas is one-tenth of the Tarpaṇa.

33. If due to obstacles arising from time or place any of the ancillary rites has to be dropped, the devotee should repeat the Mantra twice that number and conclude Puraścaraṇa rites.

34. Thereafter, for the sake of Kāmyaprayoga (rite for the achievement of any desired object) the devotee should repeat the Mantra three hundred thousand times. The devotee should observe Vratas steadily without emotional aberrations. He shall be engaged in the worship three times a day. If he performs Vaśya and other rites (rites in order to win over persons) thereafter, he shall attain Siddhi (that achievement).

35-36. The repeater of the Mantras seated in the middle of the Cakra should contemplate after worshipping. He must think about himself as completely red (like the morning light) in colour. The Sādhya (the object to be achieved also should be thought of as pink in colour). Thereupon, O enemy of the Vindhya, he shall become handsome with all fortunes and facilities. He shall win over everyone. There is no doubt about this.

37-38. Equal parts of Gorocanā (a yellow pigment), Kuṃkuma (saffron) and Sandal paste shall be taken. After performing Japa one hundred and eight times, the learned devotee should apply a Tilaka on his forehead with the same. Thereafter, if he sees, speaks to, thinks about or touches anyone with half of his body, he comes under his control like a slave.

39. O ascetic, in the same way, if a flower, fruit, scent, beverage or cloth is taken and the Japa is performed one hundred and eight times and the article so taken is sent to a woman, immediately that woman is attracted towards him. Her heart will be in utter confusion.

A rite to control other persons

40. The devotee should draw the picture of a beautiful woman on the ground with Gorocanā (yellow pigment). It should be in a secluded spot. She should be depicted as one dressed gracefully and amorously. She should be bedecked in all ornaments.

41. Birth (pedigree), name, Vidyā and the picture of a goad—all should be written in her forehead, neck, breast, navel and knee.

42-43. Words depicting god of love should be written in all joints. The devotee should face that direction and make a Tripuṭa of his body (? bent in three places). He should make kṣobhiṇī (the agitatory gesture) and repeat Mantra eight hundred times after uniting it (?) in the sacrificial chamber full of lustre of the sun and the moon.

44-49. Even from a distance of a hundred Yojanas, he should then imagine and mentally conceive a woman of the following features. She is aflicted by the arrows of the god of Love. Her side glances show signs of excitement. Her pudenda throb indicating the increasing intensity of blazing passion. She is swallowed by the circle of shining rays inside Śakticakra. She has cast off her good conduct and feminine modesty. Her lotus-like eyes are large and wide. Her eyes are attractive. Her bashfulness has disappeared due to the loss of her fortitude (self-control). She is bound by the letters of Mantra, Yantra, medicine and the great Mudrā. Her lotuslike heart trembles due to the flutter of fresh love. She is mentally repeating the Mahāmantra many times. The silken garment has been removed. She is as though deluded, agitated and burned down. Her form is strange and wonderful. She is as though drawn in a picture, devoid of consciousness, hit, thrashed, dissolved, motionless and as though transformed into another person. On account of the power of Mantra, she is whirling like the leaf of bamboo in a violent gust of wind.

50. Thereafter, he should think that the Earth including mountains, parks and forests and bounded by the four oceans has come within the Cakra and is blazing forth.

51. If the devotee practises this rite for six months he becomes very handsome comparable to the god of Love. Merely by looking on, he attracts the world. By this very act of seeing, he wins over everyone.

52. Simply by casting his glance he can excite any woman; by his sight alone he can remove poison; by his very look alone he can make some-one the lord of Speech; by his mere act of seeing he can enchant everyone. By seeing he instantaneously removes Cāturthika (quartan fever) and other fevers.

53. The devotee should secretly wear on his person Śrīcakra drawn with yellow material. There is no doubt about it that thereby he can quickly stun the speech of the disputant.

54. One should draw Cakra with the juice of Mahānīlī (Indigo plant) along with the name of the enemy. He shall then sit facing the south and bum the same in the fire. This causes the death of the enemy.

55. If the name of the enemy is written in the Cakra with the cow’s urine and dung of buffaloes and horses and the Cakra is placed in Ārania [Āranāla?] gruel made of fermentation of the boiled rice, it will enhance the hatred of the enemy.

56. (Defective Text) The name is written with yellow pigment and the Cakra is tied with the hair from the sidelocks of children. The enemy will hang suspended like that (in the sky) (or if the same is hung up) this is a great means of Uccāṭana (Eradication or extirpation).

57. If the Cakra be drawn with the juice of the Indigo plant mixed with milk, lac and Rocanā and if the same is worn on one’s person one can win over the people of the four castes.

58. If the same is written in accordance with the same injunction and put in water and if the water is used for drinking or bathing, the devotee will be blessed with great felicity and matchless fortune.

59. If the devotee thinks continuously about the territory, city or excellent lady depicted in the middle of the Cakra as blazing up, O Sage, he can excite and stir them up within seven days.

60. If the above rite is performed after drawing the Cakra in yellow colour and facing the East, the devotee can make all disputants stunned.

61. The devotee should face the north and worship the Cakra drawn in saffron colour. The whole world can be won over by him thus and not otherwise.

62. If the devotee draws the Cakra with red chalk and worship it facing west, he can then attract all women, win them over and make them excited.

63. The devotee should wander over a mountain alone and in secret and worship the Cakra, O Suppressor of the arrogance of the Vindhya mountain. The repeater of the Mantras attains immortality and freedom from old age. There is no doubt about this.

64. It is great secret that has been communicated, O great Sage. It should be preserved carefully. By guarding it, one shall attain all Siddhis. He will meet sure downfall if he discloses it.

65. If, without performing the Puraścaraṇa. O sage, anyone performs (the above-mentioned) holy rite he will not obtain mastery over the Mantra or achievement thereof).

66. In order to quell defects in the performance, the learned devotee shall repeat Japa one hundred thousand times more. He should duly perform the Pūjā too. Then only he shall become qualified and competent once again.

67-70. If a person endowed with devotion worships the deity continuously without any desire (in return for worship), if he repeats the Mantra to his fullest capacity meditating upon her, she herself shall bear the burden of his weal in this world and accomplish liberation for him. Always staying near him, she will tell him everything. Just as the lowing cow follows the calf so also the goddess shall follow her devotee who has sought refuge in her.”

Agastya said:—

71. “O Hayagrīva, what is the meaning of the term Śaraṇāgata[7] (one who has sought refuge)? Tell me. Who is that Śaraṇāgata whom Gaurī follows like a cow that follows her running calf?

Hayagrīva said:—

72-74. “If a man places his burden on Śrīdevatā, the burden of responsibilities etc. of this world as well as that of the other world and concentrates his mind always on her, if he is favourably disposed towards all everywhere, if he is devoid of antagonists, if without having any one else as his refuge, he prays to Gaurī exclusively stead-fastly to protect him, if he has the confìdence that she will protect him, if his aim and purpose is solely her service and if he is eager to serve and worship her that activity is Śaraṇāgati (seeking refuge).

75. If at any time people praise him or censure him, the man who has sought refuge in the deity thinks like this—“Let the worlds censure or let the people praise”. After thinking thus and after observing his own form with good intellect, he ceases to experience pleasure or sorrow.

76-77. Śaraṇāgati consists of six aspects thinking about favourable things, avoiding unfavourable things; faith that (the deity) will protect, soliciting the deity for protection, surrendering his own self and Kāruṇya (Piteousness or seeking compassion). After surrendering oneself one should dedicate the five Aṅgas (all the five actions of the body).

There is no other means like this to achieve worldly enjoyment as well as liberation from Saṃsāra.

78-81. The following qualities are meant for the attainment of perfect knowledge.[8] The devotee shall always practise them—absence of pride, absence of hypocrisy, avoidance of violence, forbearance, straight-forwardness, service to the preceptor, cleanliness, steadiness, self-control, non-attachment to the objects of senses, absence of egotism, careful observation of the evils of birth, death, old age, ailments and misery, absence of attachment and avoiding involvement with sons, wives, houses etc. continuous even-mindedness irrespective of the desirable or undesirable happening or occurrence, unswerving devotion to the deity, without thinking of other things, resorting to lonely places, distaste for the assembly of people, constant application to spiritual knowledge and understanding the purpose of factual knowledge or philosophy.

82-83. He who works for the deity, he who has her for his goal, who is devoted to her, who avoids attachment and who bears no enmity to any living being attains the greatest Śrī. The preceptor shall be an intelligent man like me and famous too, O Scorcher of Vātāpi. The disciple is said to be one like you by the preceptor of the secret scriptures (āmnāya).

Footnotes and references:


The present chapter deals with the propitiation of Kāmākṣi [Kāmākṣī?]. For this, worship of Śrī-Cakra is essential. As Saundarya-laharī verse 11 describes, Śrī Cakra has the following diagrammatic formation:

“The abode of nine angles—four of Śiva and five of Śakti—together with eight petals, sixteen leaves, three roundings and three walls; enlarges itself into one of forty-four angles” (See the enclosed figure on p. 1365). VV.3-6 describe the importance of Śrī Cakra.


VV.7-13 describe the procedure of worshipping Śrī-Cakra and its efficacy.


VV.15-17 describe the importance of Śrī-Vidyā. It consists of 16 syllabled Mantra—the mantra of 15 syllables given in note of chapter 39 and the syllable Śrīṃ= the Mantra of 16 syllables. The importance of this mantra is not still appreciated by the educated elite even in India.


Mudrā is the name of a particular position or intertwining of fingers. The various Mudrās for Lalitā-worship arc given in the next chapter.


VV.24-29 describe the procedure of Japa of the 16 Syllabled Mantra and its efficacy.


The procedure of Puraścaraṇa of this Vidyā is described in vv 30-33. This Vidyā can be used for achieving certain personal objectives and can be used destructively as well. VV.34-39 describe how the Mantra is to be used for personal positive advantages and vv.40-70 explain how the mantra be used as black-magic such as Māraṇa, Uccāṭana etc.


VV.72-78 explain the concept of Prapatti or Śaraṇāgati.


VV.78-81. enumerate the qualities essential for attaining perfect knowledge.

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