The Book Of Enlightenment

Of all the divine revelations to the children, perhaps the most priceless of all is the one revealed by the Divine Mother July 23, 1994. In his Sahasrara Kash asked,” Shri Mataji, what was Your original name?” The eternally young Woman, the MahaDevi, replied: “Shri Lalita Devi.”
“The Agni Pr. Says, The first sutra (Siva-sutra, I. 1) says, ‘Atman is his consciousness (caitanya)’; the second sutra says ‘the [worldly] knowledge is bondage.’ Hence what is praised or experienced by the Devas and others is the Atman; for the Tantraraja says, ‘The universal form Lalita is declared to be the very Self’; as she is inseparable from the self, her vaibhava is all-pervading, possessed with infinite powers, etc.”
Sri Lalita Sahasranama
“Now the name Nirmala itself means immaculate; means the one who is the cleansing power and the name of the Goddess also. My actual sign name is Lalita who is the name of the Primordial Mother. That is the name of the Primordial Mother.”
Shri Mataji, New York, USA, 30 September 1981

Truth as awesome and highest as Mount Everest

Sri Lalita Sahasranama 1-100

1) Sri Mata
— The Mother as the creative aspect of Brahman (God Almighty)
— Sacred Mother; the Seer, the Seen and the Seeing.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989

Sri Mata (1)

“We address our mother as mataMata means mother. The prefix Sri is important here. Sri represents the highest form of motherhood. The human mothers can take care of their children with love and affection. But they cannot remove the miseries and sufferings of their loved ones, which they are destined to undergo. Since Lalitambika is much more human than a human mother is, She has the capacity to remove sorrows and miseries of Her children. Children mean all the living beings in the universe, as She is The Mother of the entire universe that includes the galaxy. She is addressed as mata as She is the Creator, sustainer and also the dissolver. The universe was created out of Her.

The universe acts as per Her instructions. When the dissolution takes place, the universe merges back into her. The cycle of samsara (the world which has phenomenal existence and also meaning transmigration) repeats itself by birth, sustenance and death. Samsara is called as an ocean. It is difficult to swim against the current of samsara. The current of samsara is produced by sense organs. These sense organs in turn influence the mind that causes desires and attachments. Only Sri Mata is capable of helping us to cross the hurdles of samsara and reach the destination (realization of Brahman). This is possible only by worshipping Her.

Sri Mata is also said to mean The Mother of the Goddesses Sri Laksmi (goddess of wealth), Sarasvati (goddess of knowledge) and Rudrani (the goddess of dissolution) the wife of RudraRudra is different from Siva. Therefore Sri Mata means The Mother of these three goddesses.

Durvasa is a great saint. He composed Sri Saktimahimnah Stotram containing sixty one verses in Her praise. He surrenders to Sri Mata by saying” Oh! Mata! The Supreme compassionate! I had born to a number of mothers. In future also, I may be born to a number of mothers. My mothers are countless, as I had different mothers for my different births. I am so scared to be born again and to undergo the associated sufferings. Oh! Mata! I am surrendering to you. Please give me relief from my future births.”

When Sri is added as a prefix to any word, it shows the greatness. There are five such words with Sri prefixed in the worship of the Devi. These five together are called Sri Panchagam. They are Sri Puram (the place where She dwells), Sri Cakra (the place where She lives with Her body guards), Sri Vidya (the ritual worship), Sri Suktam (verses in praise of Her) and Sri Guru (the spiritual teacher who initiates disciple into Sakti worship). The main element of Sakti worship is tantra sastra.

Sri also means Veda-s. Veda-s originated from the Brahman. Lalitambigai is the Brahman as repeatedly stressed in this Sahasranama. Svetasvatara Upnishad (VI. 18) says: He first created Brahma and then presented the Veda-s to Him. I, a seekers of liberation, take refuge in that luminous Lord who reveals the knowledge of the Self in the mind.”

It is also said that this nama means the Pancadasi mantra.

It is pertinent to note that this Sahasranama begins by addressing Lalitambika as The Mother of all, which emphasizes Her compassion for the universe and all its beings. Since She is addressed as Sri Mata, this nama refers to creation, the first act of Brahman.”

V. Ravi, Sri Lalita Sahasranama
Manblunder Publication, pp. 41-2

Repetition of this Sahasranama taken by him whose birth is the last

“To make up for the imperfect performances in this age of Kali, which is noted for the prevalence of sin and delinquency on the part of the people in doing their duty, there is no protective mantra except the repetition of this (Lalita) Sahasranama. To a thousand names of Vishnu a single name of Shiva is preferred. To a thousand names of Shiva a single name of Devi preferred … Therefore, it should be repeated daily to ward off the sins of the Kali age. The ignorant do not recognise this hymn of Devi as the best. Some devote themselves to the names of Vishnu and others to the names of Shiva. Rarely one in this world is devoted to the names of Lalita. It is by repeating the names of other deities in hundreds of thousands of births that faith is generated to repeat the names of Sri Devi. Just as it is in the last of all his births that a person devotes himself to Srividya, so it is that the repetition of this Sahasranama is taken by him, whose birth is the last.”


“Lalitopakhyana”, the story of Lalitambika, occurs in the Brahmanda Purana, so also the “Lalita-Sahasranama” (The one thousand Names of Lalita). The reading of the 18 Puranas is to be concluded with this Purana which contains a description of the coronation of Rajarajesvari.

A bit of Mother, a drop, was Krishna; another was Buddha

“The Saktas worship the Universal Energy as Mother; it is the sweetest name they know. The Mother is the highest ideal of womanhood in India. […]

Mother is the first manifestation of power and is considered a higher idea than father. The name of mother brings the idea of Shakti, Divine energy and omnipotence. The baby believes its mother to be all-powerful, able to do anything. The Divine Mother is the Kundalini sleeping in us; without worshipping Her, we can never know ourselves. All merciful, all-powerful, omnipresent – these are attributes of the Divine Mother. She is the sum total of the energy in the Universe.

Every manifestation of power in the universe is Mother. She is Life, She is Intelligence, She is Love. She is in the universe, yet separate from it. She is a person, and can be seen and known – as Sri Ramakrishna saw and knew Her. Established in the idea of Mother, we can do anything. She quickly answers prayers.

She can show Herself to us in any form at any moment. The Divine Mother can have form (rupa) and name (nama), or name without form; and as we worship Her in these various aspects, we can rise to Pure Being, having neither form nor name.

The sum-total of all the cells in an organism is one person. Each soul is like one cell, and the sum of them is God. And beyond that is the Absolute. The sea calm is the Absolute; the same sea in waves is the Divine Mother. She is time, space and causation. Mother is the same as Brahman and has two natures; the conditioned and the unconditioned. As the former, She is God, nature and soul. As the latter, she is unknown and unknowable. Out of the Unconditioned came the trinity, God, nature and soul – the triangle of existence.

A bit of Mother, a drop, was Krishna; another was Buddha. The worship of even one spark of Mother in our earthly mother leads to greatness. Worship Her if you want love and wisdom.”

Swami Vivekananda, Inspired Talks, My Master and Other Writings,
July 2, 1895, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, NY, pp. 48-49.

Devi is avidya because she binds, and vidya because she liberates

“The Goddess is the great Sakti. She is Maya, for of her the maya which produces the samsara is. As Lord of Maya she is Mahamaya. Devi is avidya because she binds, and vidya because she liberates and destroys the samsara. She is praktri and as existing before creation is the Adya Sakti. Devi is the Vacaka Sakti, the manif4estation of Cit in Praktri, and the Vicya Sakti or Cit itself. The Atma should be contemplated as Devi. Sakti or Devi is thus the Brahman revealed in The Mother aspect (Srimata) as creatrix and nourisher of the worlds. Kali say of herself in Yogini Tantra: “I am the bodily form of Saccidananda and I am the brahman that has emanated from brahman.”

K. K. Klostermaier, Hinduism: A Short History
Oneworld Publishers, 2000, p. 211.

You indeed when attained, are the cause of the final emancipation

“O Goddess, who removes the suffering of Your supplicants, be gracious!
Be gracious, O Mother of the whole world!
Be gracious, O Queen of the universe; Safeguard the universe!
You, O Goddess, are Queen of all that is movable and unmovable!
You alone has become the support of the world,
Because You do subsist in the form of Earth!
By You, who exists in the form of water, all this universe is filled,
O You inviolable in Your valor; You are the Gem of the universe,
You are Illusion sublime! All this world has been bewitched, O Goddess;
You indeed when attained,
Are the cause of the final emancipation from existence on Earth!…
O Goddess, be gracious!
Protect us wholly from fear of our foes perpetually,
As You have at this very time saved us promptly by the slaughter of the demons!
And You bring quickly to rest the sins of all the worlds,
And the great calamities which have sprung, from the maturing of portents!
To us who are prostrate be You gracious,
O Goddess, who takes away affliction from the universe!
O You worthy of praise from the dwellers of the three worlds,
Bestow Your boons on this world!

Markendeya Purana, Candi Mahatmya 10

Earth is a living being, a Mother who nourishes us

“The West is exiled of the Goddess — her features are unknown to us, guessed at, hoped for, rejected as aberration, feared as monstrous or deformed. We in the West are haunted by the loss of our Mother. Our mother country is a place many have never visited, though it is endlessly projected as a golden matriarchy, or paradise, but though the house of the Goddess is in disrepair after so many centuries of neglect, some have begun the work of restoration while others have already moved back in and are renovating from within….

Sophia is the great lost Goddess who has remained intransigently within orthodox spiritualities. She is veiled, blackened, denigrated and ignored most of the time: or else she is exalted, hymned and pedestalled as an allegorical abstraction of female divinity. She is allowed to be a messenger, a mediator, a helper, a handmaid; she is rarely allowed the privilege of being seen to be in charge, fully self-possessed and creatively operative.

Sophia is the Goddess for our time. By discovering her, we will discover ourselves and our real response to the idea of a Divine Feminine principle. When that idea is triggered in common consciousness, we will begin to see an upsurge of creative spirituality which will sweep aside the outworn dogmas and unlivable spiritual scenarios which many currently inhabit. When Sophia walks among us again, the temple of each heart will be inspirited for she will be able to make her home among us properly; up to now, she has been sleeping rough in just about every spirituality you can name….

Yet the Goddess of Wisdom is not a newcomer to our phenomenal world, so how is it we have failed to notice her? The Western world has been so busy about its affairs that only a few unusual people have had time to comment on her existence. When they have talked or written about her, it has been in such overblown esoteric language that few had taken notice. Wisdom trades under impossible titles: Mother of the Philosophers, the Eternal Feminine, Queen of Good Counsel and other such nominations do not inspire confidence…. Frequently reduced to God’s secretary, who nevertheless still supplies all the efficiency of the divine office, she is from all time, the treasury of creation, the mistress of compassion.

When we speak of God, no one asks, ‘which God do you mean?’ as they do when we speak of the Goddess. The West no longer speaks the language of the Goddess, because the concept has been almost totally erased from consciousness, although many are trying to remember it. Our ancestors were very young when they were taken from the cradle and it is now difficult for us, their descendants, to speak or think of a feminine deity without the unease of someone in a foreign country. We have been raised to think of Deity as masculine and therefore a goddess is a shocking idea. But we do not speak here of a goddess, rather of the Goddess, and we speak it boldly and with growing confidence, because we find we like the taste of the idea.

When did we make up this idea? Some ask. We didn’t invent this Goddess. She was always there, from the beginning, we tell them. Somehow, humanity left home and forgot its mother. Perhaps our ancestors took her for granted so much that they lost touch? Well, our generation wants to come back home now and be part of the family in a more loving way, because the West has still got a lot of growing up to do and the Goddess has a lot to teach us.

What or who is the Goddess then? Deity is like colourless light, which can be endlessly refractured through different prisms to create different colours. As the poet William Blake said: ‘All deities reside in the human breast.’ The images and metaphors which we use to describe deity often reflect the kind of society and culture within which we have grown up. After two thousand years of masculine images, the time of Goddess reclamation has arrived. The Goddess is just as much Deity as Jesus, or Allah, or Jehovah. She does not choose to appear under one monolithic shape, however. Each person has a physical mother; similarly, the freedom of the Divine Feminine to manifest in ways appropriate to each individual has meant that she has many appearances.

The re-emergence of the Divine feminine — the Goddess — in the twentieth century has begun to break down the conceptual barriers erected by orthodox religion and social conservatism. For the first time in two millennia, the idea of a Goddess as the central pivot of creation is finding a welcome response. The reasons are not difficult to seek: our technological world with its pollution and imbalanced ecology has brought our planet face to face with its own mortality; our insistence on the transcendence of Deity and the desacralization of the body and the evidence of the senses threatens to exile us from our planet.

The Goddess appears as a corrective to this world problems on many levels. In past ages she has been venerated as the World-Soul or spirit of the planet as well as Mother of the Earth. Her wisdom offers a better quality of life, based on balanced nurturing of both body and spirit, as well as satisfaction of the psyche. But we live in a world in which the Goddess does not exist, for a vast majority of people. They have no concept of a Deity as feminine. As Bede Griffiths has recently written: ‘The feminine aspect of God as immanent in creation, pervading and penetrating all things, though found in the Book of Wisdom, has almost been forgotten … The Asian religions with their clear recognition of the feminine aspect of God and of the power of God, the divine shakti permeating the universe, may help us to get a more balanced view of the created process. Today we are beginning to discover that the earth is a living being, a Mother who nourishes us and of whose body we are members.’…

Significantly, the major mystics of all faiths have perceived Sophia as the bridge between everyday life and the world of the eternal, often entering into deep accord with her purpose. But though such mystics as the medieval Abbeses Hildegard of Bingen or the Sufi, Ibn Arabi, are hardly considered to be ‘Goddess-worshipers’ in the feminist sense, they nevertheless show that the channels of the Divine Feminine have been kept open and mediated upon by many so-called patriarchal faiths.”

Caitl�n Matthews, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom,
The Aquarian Press, 1992, p. 5-9.

2) Sri Maharajni
— Great Empress
— The empress who rules the universe

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Those who have such pre-ordained destiny, come to meet the True Inner Guru.

After all their reading, the Pandits, the religious scholars, and the astrologers argue and debate.
Their intellect and understanding are perverted; They just don’t understand.
They are filled with greed and corruption.
Through 8.4 million incarnations they wander, lost and confused;
Through all their wandering and roaming, they are ruined.
They act according to their pre-ordained destiny, which no one can erase.
It is very difficult to serve the True Inner Guru.
Surrender your head; give up your selfishness.
Realizing the Shabad, one meets with the Lord, and all one’s service is accepted.
By personally experiencing the Personality of the Inner Guru,
One’s own personality is uplifted, and one’s light merges into the Light. Those who have such pre-ordained destiny, come to meet the True Inner Guru.
O mind, don’t cry out that you are hungry, always hungry; stop complaining.
The One who created the 8.4 million species of beings, gives sustenance to all.
The Fearless Lord is forever Merciful; She takes care of all.
O Nanak, the Gurmukh understands, and finds the Door of Liberation.
Those who hear and believe, find the home of the self deep within.
Through the Inner Guru’s Teachings, they praise the True Lord;
They find the Lord, the Treasure of Excellence.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Siree Raag, Third Mehl, p. 27.

4) Sri Cidagni-Kunda-sambhuta
— Born from the Pit of the Fire of Consciousness.
— Burns out ignorance and confers Immortality.
— She who rose from the fire of knowledge and is the ultimate truth.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

State where true state of soul is realized

“The yogi realizes that the knower, the instrument of knowing and the known are one, himself, the seer. Like a pure transparent jewel, he reflects an unsullied purity.

With refinement, the consciousness becomes highly sensitive, choiceless, stainless and pure. The perceiver, the instrument of perception and the perceived object, clearly reflected, are nothing but the seer. Like an object reflected flawlessly in a clean mirror, the perceiver, the perceived and the instrument are reflected in one. This transparent reflecting quality of consciousness is termed samapatti, which means assumption of the original form of the seer.

Patanjali’s description of samapatti underlines the subtle distinction between yoga, samadhi and samapatti. Yoga is the employment of the means to reach samadhi. Samadhi is profound meditation, total absorption. Samapatti is the balanced state of mind of the seer who, having attained samadhi, radiates his own pure state. Yoga and samadhi, in other words, can be regarded as practices; samapatti the state towards which they lead.

When all the fluctuations of mind’s sattvic, rajasic and tamasic nature reach an end, mind ceases to gather and transmit information, and citta is like the still, clear water of a calm lake. It transforms itself to the level of the seer, and reflects its purity without refraction. Like a transparent jewel, it becomes at once the knower, the instrument of knowing and the object known. Thus the sadhaka experiences the true state of the soul.”

BKS Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1996, p. 87-8

The knowledge which is the instrument disappears into Knowledge, the Goal, the Self.

“Through repeated practice, Knowledge purifies the embodied soul stained by ignorance, and then itself disappears, as the powder of the kataka-nut disappears after it has cleansed muddy water.

Repeated practice — Long and uninterrupted meditation on Brahman, which firmly stamps a man’s consciousness with the knowledge of his true divine nature.

Knowledge — That is to say, Self-Knowledge, which makes man realize that he is not a doer or an experiencer but the all-pervading Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.

Purifies — Of such illusory ideas as birth and death, happiness and unhappiness, which are falsely superimposed upon Self.

Embodied soul — The Self, through ignorance, seems to be embodied.

Stained — As a result of ignorance such finite ideas as “I,” “me,” and “mine” superimposed upon Self.

Ignorance — Maya, avidya, and ajnana are terms of Vedanta philosophy usually translated by such words as ignorance, nescience, and illusion. They generally denote the same thing. Through ignorance, the Vedantic philosopher contends, the non-dual Brahman appears to have become the manifold universe; the Absolute, the relative. Ignorance has no absolute existence, for it disappears when one attains the Knowledge of Brahman. But it is not non-existent, like the son of a barren woman, for it is the cause of the names and forms of the sense-perceived universe. It cannot be described as either real or unreal, or both real and unreal; as one with Brahman or other than Brahman; as either corporeal or incorporeal, or as both corporeal and incorporeal. The real nature of ignorance is inscrutable, since the mind through which one understand it is itself a product of ignorance. It is without beginning, for time itself is an effect of ignorance; but it has an end, for it disappears when one attains Knowledge. It cannot be either proved or disproved by reason, since human reasoning is tainted by ignorance. Ignorance manifests itself in the relative world through the three gunas, or attributes, known as sattva (harmony), rajas (passion or activity), and tamas (inertia.)

Itself disappears — Thus there is no possibility of the existence of a second entity besides the Self.

Kataka-nut — A nut used in India to purify water.

Muddy — Mud is a foreign element; it is not a natural ingredient of water. Likewise, all finite ideas associated with the Self are foreign to It.

The knowledge which is the instrument disappears into Knowledge, the Goal, the Self.”

Swami Nikhilananda, Self-Knowledge,
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1989, p. 122-23.

Mahadevi or”Great Goddess”Is a term
used to denote the Goddess or Devi that
is the sum of all other Devis. (Wikipedia)

[The Goddess distinguishes between nonconscious Maya and her own true Self as pure consciousness.]

2.11. [cont.] Since Maya is something we can perceive, it has the nature of nonconscious matter; since knowledge destroys it, it is not truly existent.
2.12. Consciousness is not something we can perceive; what we perceive is indeed nonconscious.
Consciousness is self-luminous; nothing else illuminates it.
2.13. It does not even illuminate itself, for that would lead to the fallacy of infinite regress.
As an agent and the object acted upon are distinct entities, so consciousness itself, like a lamp,
2.14. While shining brightly, illuminates what is other than itself. Know this, O Mountain,
For thus have I demonstrated that consciousness, belonging to my own nature, is eternal.

2.15. The visible world appears and disappears constantly in the various states of waking, dream, and deep sleep.
Pure consciousness never experiences such fluctuations.
2.16. Even if this consciousness itself became an object of perception, then the witness
Of that perception would abide as the real pure consciousness, as before.
2.17. And so those versed in religious treatises regarding the real declare consciousness to be eternal.
Its nature is bliss, for it is the object of supreme love.
2.18. The feeling, ‘Let me not cease to be; let me exist forever,’ is rooted in love for the Self.
Certainly there is no actual relation between me and all else, since all else is false.
2.19. Therefore I am regarded truly as an undivided whole.
And that consciousness is not an attribute of the Self,
for then the Self would be like an object.
2.20. In consciousness no possible trace of the object state can be found.
And so consciousness also has no attributes; consciousness is not a quality separate from consciousness itself.
2.21. Therefore the Self in essence is consciousness, and bliss as well, always.
It is the real and complete, beyond all relation, and free from the illusion of duality.

Mahadevi or”Great Goddess”Is a term
used to denote the Goddess or Devi that
is the sum of all other Devis. (Wikipedia)


In the Sakta view, Maya is not simply an insentient force but a conscious and willful facet of the Goddess’ personality. Somewhat paradoxically, it is the nondualist school of Advaita, emphasizing an acosmic view of reality and characterizing the realm of Maya as false, that often stresses the greatest difference between Maya and the supreme. Advaita objectifies Maya, viewing it as inert and insentient (jada), over against the supreme, conscious subject that is Brahman (or Atman). By way of contrast, the Devi-Bhagavata, more often than not presenting a Sakta viewpoint, asserts that Maya is “The very essence of the supreme Brahman (maya-para-brahma-svarupani),” and that “The world without Maya would ever be unconscious and inert (jada).”

The Goddess in the above verses of the Devi-Gita ignores for the moment the Sakta perspective, adopting a radical Advaita interpretation by drawing a sharp distinction between herself and Maya. This distinction as characterized here is somewhat at odds with the earlier notion of “difference and nondifference’ as suggested by the substance/attribute analogies of verse 5. The Goddess now denies the “nondifference,” utilizing standard Advaita visual images and metaphors that stress the “difference.” As the pure subject or consciousness (variously called caitanya, samvit, jnana, and cit), she likens herself to a lamp that is self-illuminating, revealing the visible realm that is Maya, the realm of inert, material objects (referred to as drsya,” the seen,” and as jada,” inert, dull, insentient”). Pure consciousness itself is never an object of perception or knowledge, but is instead the eternal seer or witness (saksin), observing the ephemeral and false identities of empirical existence.

The Goddess here also denies that consciousness is an attribute of the Self-or herself-in accord with Advaitic principles affirming the radical oneness of the supreme subject, beyond all qualification or attribution (neti, neti). Only objects have qualities or attributes. Thus the Goddess does not possess consciousness but rather is consciousness.

C. MacKenzie Brown, The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess
State University of New York Press (September 1998) pp. 91-3

Andrew Cohen

We, the Unbelievers
by Andrew Cohen

Enlightenment for the 21st Century

A couple of years ago, I discovered something shocking, extraordinary, and completely obvious: Most of us simply don’t believe in the evolution of consciousness. And I don’t just mean those who are convinced that God created the world in six days. I mean those of us who accept the theory of evolution and who are, at least to some degree, aware of the multidimensional nature of its manifestation all around us. 

We believe in cosmological evolution and understand that we live not in a static universe but in one that is part and parcel of a deep-time developmental process. We don’t doubt that the universe was born many billions of years ago in a blinding flash of light and energy. We believe in biological evolution and have little difficulty comprehending how life itself has evolved from lower levels of development like worms and butterflies to higher ones like dolphins and humans. And many of us even recognize that culture evolves over time and see that development as the expression, at a collective level, of our human capacity for greater and greater complexity and integration. We believe in the evolutionary process because in so, so many ways we can see it all around us: moving, stretching, changing, reaching, from life to death to new life. But when it comes to consciousness—especially our own—I have discovered that our conviction in that same process is often nowhere to be found.

We believe in evolution as an objective fact of life and of the creative process but not necessarily as a living potential inherent in our own subjective experience. It stunned me when I first realized that even many of us who are already dedicated seekers never consider that our very own consciousness, our deepest sense and experience of our self, could actually evolve and develop. It must be because it is such a quantum leap for the subject to become the object—for consciousness to become the object of its own attention and intention. I’m not just speaking about awakening to the experience or fact of consciousness at the level of pure subjectivity, which is what the spiritual experience is typically all about. I’m pointing to something even more difficult to grasp, which is the living potential inherent in consciousness itself for development and growth.

So what does this mean? It means that the feeling/knowing experience of being ourselves can evolve, change, and develop in ways we simply cannot imagine. What is it like for consciousness to evolve? We cannot picture it in the eye of our mind because such development is a journey from the gross to the subtle and is unreachable with thought. How can we possibly imagine that which we cannot conceptualize?

We can imagine our own development as long as we can objectify it with thought. For example, we can imagine ourselves losing weight and building muscle. We can imagine ourselves learning algebra, Chinese, or how to play the guitar. We can even imagine ourselves becoming less selfish and more compassionate. But we simply cannot imagine our own self evolving at the level of consciousness itself. It is important to recognize what an alien concept this actually is in our culture. We are almost never encouraged to grapple with our own evolutionary potential at such a fundamental level, and as a result, most of us have never even considered it. Think about it, just for a moment: What would it be like for my self to evolve in its very essence? What would it be like to develop and grow at a level so profound that I would never be able to see it and yet others would be able to recognize its expression? If we can even begin to look deeply into this question, mysteriously, we will already be participating in the very evolution of consciousness I’ve been speaking about. And if we pursue it wholeheartedly, we will be helping to make conscious a miraculous process that was born many billions of years ago in a flash of light and energy and is only now beginning to awaken to itself, through us.

Andrew Cohen, founder and editor-in-chief of What Is Enlightenment? has been a spiritual teacher since 1986 and is the author of numerous books, including Living Enlightenment and Embracing Heaven & Earth.

Dennis Choptiany, Markham, Canada:“It can be argued that the most profound creation that humans have made is God. With it came the formation of a vast number of religions and their destructive divisions and conflicts. In your opinion, why do people have an apparent ‘need’ for religion and why have religions flourished even today when there is more and more evidence of the validity of agnostic and atheist views?”

Deepak Chopra:“Religions have an appeal because human beings have the fear of mortality. All religions promise eternal life. In the absence of profound knowledge of the workings of the universe, we rely on so-called religious authority to answer the deepest questions of our existence: who am I, where did I come from, what’s the meaning and purpose of existence, do I have a soul, what happens to me after I die, does God exist, and if God exists does God care about me personally.

Unfortunately, religious ideology, dogma and belief systems are no longer congruent with what we know about the workings of the universe. They are inconsistent with our insights from modern cosmology, evolution, biology and the sciences. Hence, religious based on primitive belief (and unfortunately, all of them are based on primitive beliefs) have become quarrelsome, divisive and frequently idiotic.

However, consciousness still remains a mystery. Is our consciousness an emergent property of our biology or is consciousness the ground of existence that differentiates itself and projects itself as reality? This is not a settled issue. The current atheists and agnostics, such as Richard Dawkins, for example, are espousing an old fashioned 19th century atheism. The god they attack can not be defended. My hope is that as science progresses and looks at the mystery of consciousness we will see the emergence of a new spirituality that is secular and scientific and still addresses our deepest longings and our most important existential dilemmas.”

“For where dwell the gods to whom we can uplift our hands, send forth our prayers, and make oblation? Beyond the Milky Way are only island universes, galaxy beyond galaxy in the infinitudes of space — no realm of angels, no heavenly mansions, no choirs of the blessed surrounding a divine throne of the Father, revolving in beatific consciousness about the axial mystery of the Trinity. Is there any region left in all these great reaches where the soul on its quest might expect to arrive at the feet of God, having become divested of its own material coil? Or must we now turn rather inward, seek the divine internally, in the deepest vault, beneath the floor; hearken within for the secret voice that is both commanding and consoling; draw from inside the grace which passeth all understanding?”

Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India
Princeton University Press, 1974, p. 13

“It has been almost twenty years since I wrote Spectrum, and the intervening two decades have convinced me more than ever of the correctness of its essential message: being and consciousness exist as a spectrum, reaching from matter to body to mind to soul to Spirit. And although Spirit is, in a certain sense, the highest dimension or level of the spectrum of existence, it is also the ground or condition of the entire spectrum. It is as if Spirit were both the highest rung on the ladder of existence and the wood out of which the entire ladder is made — Spirit is both totally and completely immanent (as the wood) and totally and completely transcendent (as the highest rung.) Spirit is both Ground and Goal … The realization of our Supreme Identity with Spirit dawns only after much growth, much development, much evolution, and much inner work … only then do we understand that the Supreme Identity was there, from the beginning, perfectly given in its fullness.”

Ken Wilber, The Spectrum of Consciousness
Quest Books, 1993, p. xvi.

Vedanta and Consciousness

The Vedantic concept of consciousness is somewhat different from the every-day, Western concept. In the West, what usually is referred to as consciousness is more likely to be called awareness. In Vedanta consciousness is omnipresent and objectless. There is consciousness behind everything — be it a human, an animal or a stone — but a stone has no awareness and the awareness of an animal is very limited. Likewise, the awareness of humans can be more or less limited. Consciousness is static and forever unchanging, but awareness is dynamic and may undergo changes. Consciousness is the same in all humans and interconnects all humanity. While consciousness is undivided and without limits, awareness may be limited and differ from person to person.

The Ultimate Reality is characterized by three concepts — absolute being, absolute consciousness and absolute bliss. Nevertheless, the Ultimate Reality is beyond these and any other human conceptions — It is objectless, omnipresent, all-pervasive, eternal, infinite, unchanging, motionless and without any form. Often, the Ultimate Reality is referred to as a cosmic ocean of consciousness.”

Steen Ingemann, Guide to Ultimate Reality (

4) Sri Cidagni-Kunda-sambhuta
— Born from the Pit of the Fire of Consciousness.
— Burns out ignorance and confers Immortality.
— She who rose from the fire of knowledge and is the ultimate truth.

68) Sri Chakra-raja-ratha-rudha-sarvayudha-pariskrta
— Mounted on Sri Chakra inside body with all weapons i.e. Powers.
— Enlightens mind to realise Ultimate Reality as an All Pervading-Consciousness.

207) Sri Manonmani
— Highest state of Consciousness.
— Secret name of Sri Durga.

367) Sri Pratyak-Chiti-Rupa
— Inner Consciousness or Knowledge.

404) Sri Bhakta-harda-tamo-bheda-bhanumad-bhanu- santaih
— Effulgence of the Sun; dispels Darkness of Ignorance.
— Giver of the Vision of the Ocean of Consciousness.

573) Sri Prajnana Ghana-rupini
— Supreme Wisdom
— State of Consciousness where nothing else is experienced except Self. —”Like the taste of salt in the sea (It) is everywhere; Prajnana is All Pervasive.”Brahadaranyaka Upanisad

669) Sri Annada
— The Giver of Food.
— Sustains Life and Consciousness.

739) Sri Layakari
—The Fifth State beyond Turiya.
—The State where individual and Cosmic Consciousness merge.

807) Sri Param-dhama
— The Ultimate Light.
— The Ultimate Status
— ‘Yadgatva na nivartante taddhama paramam mama’
“The State of Consciousness from which there is no return is My Ultimate State.” (Bha. Gi. 16-6)

854) Sri Gambhira
— The Bottomless Lake.
—”The Ultimate Mother is to be visualised as a great and deep lake of Consciousness, uncomprehended by Space and Time.”Siva Sutra 1.23

858) Sri Kalpana-rahita
— Pure Consciousness.

907) Sri Tattvamayi
— The Mother of the Ultimate State of Consciousness.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama,
C. S. Murthy, Assoc. Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

5) Sri Deva-Karya-Samudyata.
— Emerges for a Divine Purpose.
— Appears to answer the prayer of Gods (Divine Beings) for help.
— Battles for the spiritual emancipation of Her devotee.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

The Age when everything becomes unified

“In the New Age we break free of centuries of false doctrines, destructive indoctrinations, absurd ideas, and children’s stories about God, education, medicine, and love. The corrupt foundations of false society crumble. This time of crises is not the signal of the end of the world. What comes is not the end, but the beginning. The dream humanity has lived for centuries ends and we awaken to a bright new day, a bright new way.

Now in the Age of Aquarius, everything becomes unified. All our differences, all our dualities mix together like the fragrances of a flower shop, with all of the different flowers adding their bouquet to the overall mix until they are inseparable. Each individual flower remains distinct and individual, each one’s fragrance is unique and discernible when you come up close to it, yet joined together in unity with the others in the wonderful mixture that is the smell of the shop.

Our individual worth comes from inside, from what we have inside, through our development, our evolution, and what we can give to society. Now our drastic differences dissolve and we integrate into the whole. We integrate and unify with the energy of the universe, with the great cosmic spirit.

Mystically, Aquarius signifies friendship. Friendship bursts upon us in its most elevated sense, in its most noble aspect — with understanding, collaboration, and fraternity. Love and friendship will have nothing to do with possessing or ego. The idea of love meaning “you belong to me” ends in the New Age. The thought of friends of convenience, friendship based on an ulterior motive such as business ends. Love and friendship based on anything other than pure love, the divine and pure love of God, changes the sentiment into a coin of exchange — you no longer have love or friendship because of who you are, but because of what you do or can do for me.

This is the era of peace, of unity, of love. The polarity of Aquarius, Leo, floods us with its complementary characteristics. The celestial throne of the Sun, Leo, encourages, ennobles, enriches, and enlightens us for the growth of our hearts, the growth of our inner beings. Together with Aquarius, Leo promotes the integration of our individuality with our unity with all humanity. We realize that we must first be something in and of ourselves to be something for others.

Under their combined influence, friendship with an agenda disappears into true fraternity, into pure unity. Then we can prepare ourselves for unity with the universal spirit…. In the Age of Aquarius, we break from the past to invent the future we desire in our society and in our person. The answers we find will be wholly new ones, totally original ones, but they require a thorough examination of what has been and what we wish to come. All our institutions as we know them must adapt to this new reality.”

Walter Mercado, Beyond The Horizon:Visions of a New Millennium
A Time Warner Company, 1997, p. 106-8.

12) Sri Nijaruna-prabha-pura-majjad-brahmanda-mandala
— Her red brilliance engulfs all Universes.
— All created Universes are only Her Radiance.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi;
Atas tvam aradhyam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhir api
Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhavati

Lord Shiva, only becomes able.
To do creation in this world.
along with Shakthi
Without her,
Even an inch he cannot move,
And so how can, one who does not do good deeds,
Or one who does not sing your praise,
Become adequate to worship you
Oh , goddess mine,
Who is worshipped by the trinity.

Siva becomes capable of creating the Universe, only when united with Sakti (Thee), but otherwise (when not so joined with Thee), He is incapable of even a stir. How then could one who has not acquired merit (punya in this and previous births) worship Thee or at least praise Thee, who is adored even by Visnu, Siva Brahm� and others?

Soundarya Lahari Verse 1 [2]

58) Sri Panca-Brahmasana-sthita
— Seated above the Five: Sri Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isna and     Sadasiva.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Taniyamsam pamsum tava carana-pankeruha-bhavam
Virincih sanchinvan virachayati lokan avikalam;
Vahaty evam Shaurih katham api sahasrena shirasaam
Harah samksudy’inam bhajati bhajati bhasito’ddhalama-vidhim.

Lord Brahma, the creator of yore,
Selects a dust from your feet,
And creates he this world,
The great Adisesha with his thousand heads,
Some how carries a dust of your feet,
With effort great,
And the great Lord Rudra,
Takes it and powders it nice,
And uses it as the holy ash.

Collecting minute particles of the dust falling from Thy lotus-feet, Brahm� creates this limitless and mysterious universe without any imperfection, visnu in the form of adisesa though with thousand heads, bears it with great effort and siva reducing the particles into ashes besmears his body with them at the time of dissolution.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 2

59) Sri Maha-padmatavi-samstha
— Dwells in the Great Lotus Forest.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Avidyanam antas-timira-mihira-dweeppa-nagari
Jadanam chaitanya-stabaka-makaranda-sruti jhari
Daridranam cinta-mani-gunanika janma-jaladhau
Nimadhanam damshtra mura-ripu-varahasya bhavati.

The dust under your feet, Oh Goddess great,
Is like the city of the rising sun,
That removes all darkness , unfortunate,
From the mind of the poor ignorant one,
Is like the honey that flows ,
From the flower bunch of vital action,
To the slow witted one,
Is like the heap of wish giving gems,
To the poorest of men,
And is like the teeth of Lord Vishnu
In the form of Varaha,
Who brought to surface,
the Mother Earth,
To those drowned in this sea of birth.

The dust of Thy lotus feet is the Island City, wherefrom takes place the luminous sun-rise of spiritual illumination driving away the over-casting darkness of ignorance in the hearts of the devotees. It forms the cluster of flower buds from which gushes forth the nectar of intelligence, enlivening the dull-witted. It is a veritable necklace of wish-yielding gems for the poverty- stricken. And for those immersed in the ocean of worldly affairs, it becomes their up lifter like the Tusk of Visnu, which raised the earth from submergence in pralaya waters when He incarnated as the Cosmic Boar.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 3

Point of contact between individual and Cosmic Consciousness.

The Rudrayamala speaking of the real form of the Lotus Forest, beyond )the world system), says,” Surrounded by a forest of lotus, three lakh of yojanas in extent.” Another one is (on the Meru.) The Lalitastavaratna says (vv. 106-108),” Let us worship the forest of lotuses …” Again the Thousand Petalled Lotus, that is in the Brahmarandhra, facing downward…. This is known as the Great Lotus Garden, above that is samana. “For there is one form both for the body and for the universe, (pindanda and brahmanda.)”

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

61) Sri Sudha-sagara-madhyastha
— Ocean of Nectar.
— Abode of Bliss.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Tvad anyah paanibhyam abhaya-varado daivataganah
Tvam eka n’ivasi prakatita-var’bhityabhinaya;
Bhayat tratum datum phalam api cha vancha samadhikam
Saranye lokanam tava hi charanaveva nipunav.

Oh, She who is refuge to all this world,
All gods except you mother,
Give refuge and grants wishes,
Only by their hand.
But only you mother
Never show the world in detail,
The boons and refuge that you can give,
For even your holy feet will suffice,
To remove fear for ever,
And grant boons much more than asked.

All Deities except Thee, vouchsafe protection to devotees and grant their desires by gestures of their hands. Thou alone art not given to any such external demonstration of giving boons and shelter. It is so because Thy feet are by themselves powerful to protect those in the grip of fear and grant more than what is desired by devotees.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 4

The Ocean of Nectar

“Residing in the centre of the Ocean of Nectar (sudhasagaramadhyastha.) That Ocean is the one above (in heaven.) The Sruti (Tai. Bra. I. 6. 2) declares, ‘The city is surrounded by nectar.’ Another one is in the place of bindu in the centre of the moon in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled lotus. The third one is, ‘In the city called Aparajita (unconquerable) to be attained with devotion on the Saguna-brahman; there are two ocean-like lakes of nectar named respectively Ara and Nya’ (vide Chan. Up., VIII. 5. 4.)”

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

64) Sri Devarsi-gana-sanghata-stuyamanatma-vaibhava
— Gods and Seers perceived Her Cosmic Form.
— Seers realised unity of individual and Cosmic Selves.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Atman is Consciousness

“The Agni Pr. Says, The first sutra (Siva-sutra, I. 1) says, ‘Atman is his consciousness (caitanya)’; the second sutra says ‘the [worldly] knowledge is bondage.’ Hence what is praised or experienced by the Devas and others is the Atman; for the Tantraraja says, ‘The universal form Lalita is declared to be the very Self’; as she is inseparable from the self, her vaibhava is all-pervading, possessed with infinite powers, etc.”

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

Haris tvam aradhya pranata-jana-saubhagya-jananim
Pura nari bhutva Pura-ripum api ksobham anayat;
Smaro’pi tvam natva rati-nayana-lehyena vapusha
Muninam apyantah prabhavati hi mohaya mahatam.

You who grant all the good things,
To those who bow at your feet,
Was worshipped by the Lord Vishnu,
Who took the pretty lovable feminine form,
And could move the mind of he who burnt the cities,
And make him fall in love with him.
And the God of love, Manmatha,
Took the form which is like nectar,
Drunk by the eyes by Rathi his wife,
After venerating you,
Was able to create passion,
Even in the mind of Sages the great.

Adoring Thee who art the bestower of all prosperity on all Thy votaries, Hari (Visnu) was once able to become a charming female and stir waves of passion in the mind of the most impassioned Siva, the destroyer of the three cities and the enemy of Kama. Has not smara (Kama, the god of love) because of having bowed before Thee, obtained a personality, pleasingly attractive to the eye of his beloved Rathi and become capable of generating passion even in the minds of great sages!

Soundarya Lahari Verse 5

65) Sri Bhandasura-vadhodyukta-sakti-sena-samanvita
— Confers powers to devotees to conquer their egos.
— Grants true realisation of Ultimate Reality.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

When Yogin realizes Shakti

“The Siva-sutras (1, 5, 6 and 21) say, ‘The effort (udyama) is called Bhairava; when united with Sakti-cakra, the involution of the universe comes. When Sakti is united, the creation of the body comes to exist. When the bhuta (body) is united, the separation of the bhutas, the composition, etc. of the universe come.’… All these and other things comes to a Yogin when he realizes Sakti.

Just as virility is latent in boyhood and manifest itself in youth, the various powers (saktis) that are in the jiva, remain latent by reason of ignorance. When an effort is made all these shine forth. This is the purport of the above quotation.”

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

Dhanun paushpam maurvi madhu-kara-mayi pancha visikha
Vasantaha samanto Malaya-marud ayodhana-rathah;
Tatha’py ekah sarvam Himagiri-suthe kam api kripaam
Apangat te labdhva jagadidam Anango vijayate

Oh, daughter of the mountain of ice,
With a bow made of flowers,
Bow string made of honey bees,
Five arrows made of only tender flowers,
With spring as his minister,
And riding on the chariot of breeze from Malaya mountains
The god of love who does not have a body,
Gets the sideways glance of your holy eyes,
And is able to win all the world alone.

Oh Daughter of the snow-clad Himalaya mountain! Kamadeva, the god of love, has only a bow made of flowers, with its string comprised of a cluster of honeybees, and arrows barely five. The spring season (periodical and undependable) is his assistant and the southern breeze, his war-chariot. Yet, with such frail equipment, bodiless and alone though he be, manmatha conquers the entire universe, having obtained some favour through Thy benign side-glance.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 6

68) Sri Chakra-raja-ratha-rudha-sarvayudha-pariskrta
— Mounted on Sri Chakra inside body with all weapons i.e. Powers.
— Enlightens mind to realise Ultimate Reality as an All Pervading-Consciousness.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Devi possesses all the means of attaining the knowledge of Self

“Devi possesses all the means of attaining the knowledge of Self…. when the siddhi is attained (when Srichakra is reached) there is nothing more left for you to gain by Yoga practice. Srichakra is the highest point to which Yoga practices can lead….

The Bhagavad-gita says (IV. 33):

“All rites, O Pratha, are included in knowledge”; knowledge means Suddhavidya.

The Siva-sutra (I.22) says: “The dawn of Suddhavidya implies success in the mastery of the cakras.” The commentary on this passage runs thus: “When not desiring limited powers he is prompted by a broad view to embrace all things in himself, his knowledge develops and Suddhavidya dawns. It is then he attains mastery over all the cakras. When the Yogin develops the power or capacity for embracing all things in himself and has touched the feet of Sadasiva, he realizes by the pure knowledge of Suddhavidya which knows not the difference of aham and idam, ‘I’ and ‘this,’ that the Lord is both within and without him. Thus the eternal idea that ‘I am the whole universe’ is pure and stainless (suddha) knowledge (vidya.) When this idea is developed and he is merged in it he, for ever, recovers his own cit-sakti. When by complete absorption in Devi the Yogin does so, he attains supreme lordship over the cakras.”

70) Sri Chakra-ratharudha-dandanatha-puraskrta
— Mounted on Kiri Chakra, led by Sri Varahi, commander of Her armies. — Controls forces inside body and marshals them towards God realization.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Yogin is not subject to death or destruction.

“Kiricakara: Kiri, beams of the light (kiranas) of creation; cakra, the cycle of creation, preservation and destruction. Even though the Yogin has mounted the chariot Kiricahara, i.e. even though he is entangled in the cycle of creation, preservation and destruction, he is (apuraskrta) beyond the scope, reach or touch of Dandana (Yama or Death); he is not subject to death or destruction. The Siva-sutra (III.33) says: ‘Though subject to the cyclic law, he is not excluded from the state of self-experience.’ The holy Krsnadasa comments upon this passage thus: ‘Although the Yogin is involved in the incessantly revolving cycle of creation, preservation and destruction, if, in virtue of his spiritual attainments, he steadfastly clings to the higher path (of Yoga), he does not forfeit the state of self-experience which leads to the highest or turiya condition.’ “

Sri Lalita Sahasranama
C. S. Murthy, Associate Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

77) Sri Kamesvara-mukhalokakalpita Sri-ganesvara
— By Her mere looking into the face of Sri Kamesvara (Siva), Sri-Ganesvara was created.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Devi creates Shri Ganesha

Then Devi Lalita looking again at the face of Her Lord, smiled,
And from the rays of that smile a certain god arose,
Having the head of an elephant with ichor flowing from the temples.

Brahmanda Purana

R. A. Sastry, Lalita-Sahasranama, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, Madras, 1988.

Omniscient, She fulfils all desires through Her aspect as the Witness.
Brahma the Grandsire of the world, seeing these doings of Devi,
Gave Her the name Kamaksi and Kamesvari.

Brahmanda Purana

R. A. Sastry, Lalita-Sahasranama, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, Madras, 1988.

78) Sri Mahaganesa-nirbhinnavighna-yantra-praharsita
— Delighted at Sri Ganesha destroying obstacles of Her devotees.
— Enables devotee overcome impediments by Her presence in body and Cosmos.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

God’s most primal quality is this silence and self-sufficiency

“Chitta is God’s awareness in its simplest form. When your mind is not occupied with thoughts and emotions, it rests in itself alone. Simple awareness is a divine quality, because in chitta the distractions that disguise spirit are stripped away. In place of complex issues and conflicts, you perceive love as the only reality. You see that you have always been nourished and supported; you no longer need to justify your existence. God’s most primal quality is this silence and self-sufficiency, needing nothing else. If we think of creation as a vibrating string anchored at a fixed point, the fixed point is here. Chitta simply is.”

Deepak Chopra, The Path of Love,
Random House,1977, p. 240.

80) Sri Karanguli-nakhotapanna-Narayana-dasakrtih
— 10 avataras of Sri Vishnu emerge from Her fingernails to fight Her battles against Forces of Darkness.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

The ten Avataras of Shri Vishnu pay homage to Mother Lalita

From the right thumb nail of the great Queen there sprang the divine, all-pervading Narayana in the form of a great fish … The ten Avataras having performed their respective onerous tasks stood with folded hands before Mother Lalita saluting Her.


R. A. Sastry, Lalita-Sahasranama, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, Madras, 1988.

83) Sri Brahmopendra-Mahendradideva-samstuta-vaibhava
— Her splendour praised by Sri Brahma, Vishnu and Indra.
—”You are verily that which cannot be uttered.” Sri Brahmadeva (Devi Mahatmyam)

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

On that occasion all the Devas headed by Brahma and Visnu, delighted at the destruction of Bhanda, came to wait upon Her.

Brahmanda Purana

R. A. Sastry, Lalita-Sahasranama, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, Madras, 1988.

85) Sri Srimad-vagbhava-kutaika-svarupa-mukha-pankaja
— Her Lotus Face is the source of all Speech.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Kvanat-kanchi-dama kari-kalabha-kumbha-stana-nata
Pariksheena madhye parinata-sarachandra-vadana;
Dhanur banan pasam srinim api dadhana karatalaii
Purastad astam noh Pura-mathitur aho-purushika.

With a golden belt,
Adorned by tiny tingling bells,
Slightly bent by breasts like the two frontal globes
Of an elephant fine,
With a thin pretty form,
And with a face like the autumn moon,
Holding in her hands,
A bow of sugar cane , arrows made of flowers,
And the noose and goad,
She who has the wonderful form,
Of the ego of the God who burnt the three cities,
Should please come and appear before us.

May the Divine Mother with Her slender waist girdled with jingling mini-bells, body slightly bent in the middle by the weight of Her breasts resembling the frontal globes of the forehead of a young elephant, Her face blooming like the autumnal full moon and Her four hands holding bow, arrow, noose and goad and who is the pride of Siva, manifest her presence before us.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 7

88) Sri Mula-mantratmika
— Source of all the Mantras.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Sudha-sindhor madhye sura-vitapi-vati parivrte
Mani-dweepe nipo’pavana-vathi chintamani-grhe;
Shivaakare manche Parama-Shiva-paryanka-nilayam
Bhajanti tvam dhanyah katichana chid-ananda-laharim.

In the middle of the sea of nectar,
In the isle of precious gems,
Which is surrounded by wish giving Kalpaga trees,
In the garden Kadamba trees,
In the house of the gem of thought,
On the all holy seat of the lap of the great God Shiva,
Sits she who is like a tide
In the sea of happiness of ultimate truth,
And is worshipped by only by few select holy men.

Fortunate are those few, who worship Thee, the inundation of Bliss-Consciousness, as reclining on a mattress that is Paramasiva (the Supreme Siva or Sad�siva) spread on a couch which too is an aspect of Siva, inside the mansion constructed of precious cintamani gems, surrounded by the pleasure garden of nipa trees, in the island of gems of all kinds, encircled by rows of celestial trees, the island itself being situated in the midst of the ocean of nectar.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 8

94) Sri Kohlini
— Dwells in every house, village or forest i.e. everywhere.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Devi is to be worshipped in every place, town, house, village, and forest by men who are devoted to Shakti.

Bha. Utt. Pr.

R. A. Sastry, Lalita-Sahasranama, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, Madras, 1988.

Mahim muladhare kamapi manipure huthavaham
Sthitham svadhistane hridi marutamakasam upari;
Mano’pi bhruu-madhye sakalamapi bhittva kula-patham
Sahasrare padme saha rahasi patyaa viharase.

Oh Goddess mine,
You live in seclusion with your consort,
In the lotus with thousand petals,
Reached after breaking through the micro ways,
Of the power of earth in Mooladhara,
Of the power of water of Manipura,
Of the power of fire of Swadhishtana,
Of the fire of air in the heart,
And of the power of ether in between the eyelids.

Breaking through the Muladhara, Manipura, Svadhishana, Anahata, Visuddhi, and Ajana Chakras (plexuses) and having crossed Prthvi (earth), Apasa (water), Tejasa (fire), Vayu (air), Akasa (ether) and Manasa (mind) – Tatvas of the respective Chakra, Thou ascending through the Susumna sporteth with Thy Consort in the solitude of Sahasrara – the thousand-petalled lotus above in the head.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 9

99) Sri Muladharaika-nilaya
— Dwells in Muladhara Chakra inside body.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

Sudha-dhara-sarais carana-yugalanta vigalitaih
Prapancham sinchanti punarapi ras’mnaya-mahasah;
Avapya svam bhumim bhujaga-nibham adhyusta-valayam
Svam atmanam krtva svapishi kulakunde kuharini

Using the nectar that flows in between your feet,
To drench all the nerves of the body,
And descending from the moon with nectar like rays,
Reaching back to your place,
And coiling your body in to a ring like serpent,
You sleep in the Kula Kunda with a hole in the middle.

Drenching the (seventy two thousand) nerves in the body with the flood of nectar gushing from Thy feet, thou (the Kundalini representing Tripurasundari) descendest from the Sahasraara into the hollow of Thy own ground at the Susumana converting Thyself into a serpent with three coils and a half, and steepest in the crevice in the center of the Mulaathaara lotus.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 10

100) Sri Brahmagranthi-vibhedini
— Cuts Knot of Sri Brahma; devotee consciously transcends wakeful state.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama

1. Srimatha – Mother who gives immeasurable wealth who removes all sorrows and gives only happiness.-indicates also her role of creation.

2. Sri Maharajni – She who is the empress who takes care of the universe- indicates her role of protection.

3. Sri Math Simasaneshwari – She who sits on the throne of lions-indicates her role of destruction.

4. Chidagni Kunda Sambootha – She who rose from the fire of knowledge and is the ultimate truth.

5. Deva karya samudhyatha – She who is interested in helping devas.

6. Udyath bhanu sahasrabha – She who glitters like thousand rising suns.

7. Chadur bahu samanvidha – She who has four arms.

8. Ragha Swaroopa pasadya – She who has love for all in the form of rope(pasa)-She has this in one of her left hands.

9. Krodhakarankusojwala – She who glitters and has anger in the form of Anghusa —in one of her right hands.

10. Mano Rupeshu Kodanda – She who has the bow of sweet cane which is her mind-in one of her left hands.

11. Pancha than mathra sayaka -“She who has five bows of touch , smell, hearing, taste and sight.”

12. Nijaruna prabha poora majjath brahmanda mandala – She who makes all the universe immerse in her red colour which is like the sun in the dawn.

13. Champakasoka—punnaga-sowgandhika- lasath kacha -“She who wears in her hair flowers like Champaka, Punnaga and Sowgandhika.”

14. Kuru vinda mani—sreni-kanath kotira manditha – She whose crown glitters with rows of inlaid precious stones (Padmaraga stones).

15. Ashtami chandra vibhraja—dhalika sthala shobhitha – She who has a beautiful forehead like the half moon (visible on eighth day from new moon).

16. Muka chandra kalankabha mriganabhi viseshaka – She who has the thilaka(dot) of Musk in her forehead which is like the black shadow in the moon.

17. Vadana smara mangalya griha thorana chillaka – She who has beautiful eyelids which look like the ornaments to her face which is like cupids home.

18. Vakthra lakshmi —parivaha-chalan meenabha lochana – She who has beautiful eyes which look like fish in the pond of her face.

19. Nava champaka —pushpabha-nasa dhanda virajitha – She who has nose like freshly opened flowers of Champaka.

20. Thara kanthi thiraskari nasabharana bhasura – She who has a nose ring which shines more than the star.

21. Kadambha manjari kluptha karna poora manohara – She who has beautiful ears like the kadamba flowers.

22. Thadanga yugali bhootha thapanodupa mandala – She who wears the sun and the moon as her ear studs.

23. Padma raga sila darsha paribhavika polabhu – She who has cheeks which shine more than the mirror made of Padmaraga.

24. Nava vidhruma bimbha sri nyakkari rathna chhadha – She whose lips are like beautiful new corals.

25. Shuddha vidyangurakara dwija pangthi dwayojjala – She who has teeth which look like germinated true knowledge(Shodasakshari vidya).

26. Karpoora Veedi Kamodha Samakarsha digandara – She who chews betel leaf with the spices which give perfume in all directions.

27. Nija Sallabha Madhurya Vinirbhardista Kacchabhi – She who has voice sweeter than the notes produced by Sarawathi Devis Veena(This is called Kachabhi).

28. Mandasmitha prabha poora majjat Kamesha manasa – She who has lovely smile which is like the river in which the mind of cupid plays.

29. Anakalidha Sadrushya Chibuka sri virajitha – She who has a beautiful chin which has nothing else to compare.

30. Kamesha baddha mangalya sutra shobitha kandhara – She who shines with the sacred thread in her neck tied by Lord Kameshwara.

31. Kankangadha Keyura Kamaniya Bujanvidha – She who wears golden Armlets.

32. Rathna graiveya chinthaka lola muktha phalanvitha – She who wears necklace with moving pearls and dollar inlaid with gems.

33. Kameswara prema rathna mani prathi pana sthani – She who gave her breasts which are like the pot made of Rathna(precious stones) and has obtained the love of Kameshwara.

34. Nabhyala vala Romali latha phala kucha dwayi – She who has two breasts that are like fruits borne on the creeper of tiny hairs raising from her belly.

35. Lakshya roma latha dharatha samunneya madhyama – She who is suspected to have a waist because of the creeper like hairs raising from there.

36. Sthana bhara dalan Madhya patta bhandha valithraya – She who has three stripes in her belly which looks like having been created to protect her tiny waist from her heavy breasts.

37. Arunaruna kausumba vasthra bhaswat kati thati – She who shines in her light reddish silk cloth worn over her tiny waist.

38. Rathna kinkinika ramya rasana dhama bhooshitha – She who wears a golden thread below her waist decorated with bells made of precious stones.

39. Kamesha gnatha sowbhagya mardworu dwayanvitha -“She who has pretty and tender thighs known only to her consort, Kameshwara.”

40. Manikhya mukuta kara janu dwaya virajitha – She who has knee joints like the crown made of manikya below her thighs.

41. Indra kopa parikshiptha smarathunabha jangika – She who has forelegs like the cupids case of arrows followed by the bee called Indra kopa.

42. Kooda Gulpha – She who has round ankles.

43. Koorma prashta jayishnu prapadanvidha – She who has upper feet like the back of the tortoise.

44. Nakadhi dhithi samchanna namajjana thamoguna – She who removes the darkness in the mind of her devotees by the sparkle of nails.

45. Pada dwaya Prabha jala parakrutha saroruha – She who has two feet which are much more beautiful than lotus flowers.

46. Sinchana mani manjira manditha sri pamambuja – She who has feet wearing musical anklets filled with gem stones.

47. Marali Mandha Gamana – She who has the slow gait like the swan.

48. Maha Lavanya Sewadhi – She who has the store house of supreme beauty.

49. Sarvaruna – She who has light reddish colour of the dawn in all her aspects.

50. Anavadhyangi – She who has most beautiful limbs which do not lack any aspect of beauty.

51. Srvabharana Bhooshita – She who wears all the ornaments.

52. Shivakameswarangastha – She who sits on the lap of Kameswara(Shri Shiva).

53. Shiva – She who is the personification of Shiva.

54. Swadheena Vallabha – She whose husband obeys her.

55. Summeru Madhya sringastha – She who lives in the central peak of Mount Meru.

56. Sriman nagara nayika – She who is the chief of Srinagara.

57. Chinthamani grihanthastha – She who lives in the all wish full filling house.

58. Pancha brahmasana sthitha -“She who sits on the five brahmas viz., Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Esana and Sadashiva.”

59. Maha padma davi samstha – She who lives in the forest of lotus flowers.

60. Kadambha vana vasini – She who lives in the forest of Kadmbha (Madurai city is also called Kadambha vana).

61. Sudha sagara madhyastha – She who lives in the middle of the sea of nectar.

62. Kamakshi – She who fulfills desires by her sight.

63. Kamadhayini – She who gives what is desired.

64. Devarshi Gana-sangatha-stuyamanathma-vaibhava – She who has all the qualities fit to be worshipped by sages and devas.

65. Bhandasura vadodyuktha shakthi sena samavitha – She who is surrounded by army set ready to kill Bandasura.

66. Sampathkari samarooda sindhoora vrija sevitha – She who is surrounded by Sampathkari (that which gives wealth) elephant brigade.

67. Aswaroodadishidaswa kodi kodi biravrutha – She who is surrounded by crores of cavalry of horses.

68. Chakra raja ratha rooda sarvayudha parishkridha – She who is fully armed and rides in the Srichakra chariot with nine stories.

69. Geya chakra ratha rooda manthrini pari sevitha – She who rides in the chariot with seven stories and is served by manthrini who is the goddess of music.

70. Giri chakra ratharooda dhanda natha puraskrutha – She who rides in the chariot with five stories and is served by goddess Varahi otherwise called Dhanda natha.

71. Jwalimalika ksiptha vanhi prakara madhyaka – She who is in the middle of the fort of fire built by the Goddess Jwalamalini.

72. Bhanda sainya vadodyuktha shakthi vikrama harshitha – She who was pleased by the various Shakthis(literally strength but a goddess) who helped in killing the army of Bhandasura.

73. Nithya parakamatopa nireekshana samutsuka – She who is interested and happy in observing the valour of Nithya devathas (literally goddess of every day).

74. Banda puthra vadodyuktha bala vikrama nandhita – She who was pleased by the valour of Bala devi(her daughter) in destroying the sons of Banda.

75. Manthrinyamba virachitha vishangavatha Doshitha – She who became happy at seeing Goddess Manthrini kill Vishanga(this ogre (brother of Banda) represents our desires for physical things).

76. Vishuka prana harana varahi veeerya nandhitha – She who appreciates the valour of Varahi in killing Vishuka (another brother of Banda-he is personification of ignorance).

77.Kameshwara mukaloka kalpitha sri Ganeshwara -“She who created God Ganesh by the mere look of the face of her Lord , Kameshwara.”

78. Mahaganesha nirbhinna vignayanthra praharshitha – She who became happy at seeing Lord Ganesha destroy the Vigna Yanthra (contraption meant to delay ) created by Vishuka.

79. Banda surendra nirmuktha sashtra prathyasthra varshani – She who rained arrows and replied with arrows against Bandasura.

80. Karanguli nakhothpanna narayana dasakrithi -“She who created the ten avatharas of Narayana from the tip of her nails (when Bandasura send the Sarvasura asthra (arrow), she destroyed it by creating the ten avatharas of Vishnu).”

81. Maha pasupathasthragni nirdagdhasura sainika – She who destroyed the army of asuras by the Maha pasupatha arrow.

82. Kameshwarasthra nirdhagdha sabandasura sunyaka – She who destroyed Bandasura and his city called sunyaka by the Kameshwara arrow.

83. Brhmopendra mahendradhi deva samsthutha vaibhava -“She who is prayed by Lord Brahma , Vishnu, indra and other devas.”

84. Hara nethragni sandhagdha kama sanjeevanoushadhi – She who brought back to life the God of love Manmatha who was burnt to ashes by the fire from the eyes of Shiva.

85. Sri vagbhave koodaiga swaroopa mukha pankaja – She whose lotus face is Vagnhava Koota.

86. Kantatha kadi paryantha Madhya koodaiga swaroopini – She whose portion from neck to hips is Madya koota.

87. Sakthi koodaiga thapanna Kadyatho bhaga dharini – She whose portion below hips is the Shakthi koota.

88. Moola manthrathmikha – She who is the meaning of Moola manthra (root manthra) or She who is the cause.

89. Moola kooda thraya kalebhara – She whose body is the three parts of the basic manthra i.e. pancha dasakshari manthra.

90. Kulamruthaika rasika -“She who enjoys the ecstatic state of oneness of one who sees, sight and what is seen or She who gets pleasure in drinking the nectar flowing from the thousand petalled lotus below the brain.”.

91. Kula sanketha palini – She who protects the powerful truths from falling into unsuitable people.

92. Kulangana – She who is a lady belonging to cultured family or She who is like Srividya known only to one whom it belongs.

93. Kulanthastha – She who is fit to be worshipped anywhere.

94. Kaulini – She who is the unification of the principles of Shiva and Shakthi.

95. Kula yogini – She who is related to the family or She who is related to the ultimate knowledge.

96. Akula – She who is beyond kula or She who is beyond any knowledge.

97. Samayanthastha – She who is within the mental worship of Shiva and Shakthi.

98. Samayachara that para – She who likes Samayachara i.e. worship stepwise from mooladhara Chakra.

99. Moladharaika nilaya – She who exists in Mooladhara In Mooladhara which is in the form of four petalled lotus the kundalini sleeps.

100. Brhama Grandhi Vibhedini – She who breaks the tie in Brahma grandhi i.e she who helps us to cross the ties due to our birth.

within each individual, the self-illuminous purusa, atman illuminates

“According to the Sankhya (and the view of Yoga is the same) the life-monad (called purusa, ‘man,’ ‘atman,’ ‘self,’ or pums, ‘man’) is the living entity concealed behind and within all the metamorphoses of our life in bondage. Just as in Jainism, so also here, the number of life-monads as in the universe is supposed to be infinite, and their ‘proper nature’ (svarupa) is regarded as totally different from that of the lifeless ‘matter’ (prakrti) in which they are engulfed. 

They are termed ‘spiritual’ (cit, citi, cetana, caitanya), and are said to be ‘of the nature of sheer, self-effulgent light’ (prabhasa.) within each individual, the self-illuminous purusa, atman, or pums illuminates all the processes of gross and subtle matter — the processes, that is to say, of both life and consciousness — as these develop within the organism; yet this life-monad itself is without form or content. It is devoid of qualities and peculiarities, such specifications being but properties of the masking realm of matter. It is without beginning, without end, eternal and everlasting, and without parts and divisions; for what is compounded is subject to destruction. It was regarded originally as of atomic size, but later as all-pervading and infinite, without activity, changeless, and beyond the sphere of movements, ‘at the top, the summit’ (kutastha.) The monad is unattached and without contact, absolutely indifferent, unconcerned, and uninvolved, and therefore never actually in bondage, never really released, but eternally free; for release would imply a previous state of bondage, whereas no such bondage can be said to touch the inner man. Man’s problem is, simply, that his permanent, ever-present actual freedom is not realized because of the turbulent, ignorant, distracted condition of his mind.”

Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India,
Princeton U. Press, 1974, p. 285-86.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

“In the primordial mysteries, the Feminine — whose nature we have attempted to discern in the symbols and functions of its elementary and transformative character — assumes a creative role and so becomes the determining factor in early human culture. Whereas the instinctual mysteries revolve around the central elements of the life of woman — birth, menstruation, conception, pregnancy, sexuality, climacteric, and death — the primordial mysteries project a psychic symbolism upon the real world and so transform it.

The mysteries of the feminine may be divided into mysteries of preservation, formation, nourishment, and transformation… At all stages of the primordial mysteries it is the central symbol of their realization…. The woman is the natural nourishing principle and hence mistress of everything that implies nourishment…. Thus the transformative character o the Feminine rises from the natural to the spiritual plane. The culture-bringing primordial mysteries cultimate in a spiritual reality that completes the mystery character of the Feminine.”

Erich Neumann, The Great Mother

They ask thee concerning the Spirit.
Say: “The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord:
Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you.”
If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration:
Then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter against Us.

surah 17: 85-86 Al Isra’ (Night Journey)

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’n

“The Mother is the most lovable person for a living being. A child always calls upon his mother first when he is in difficulty. But a biological mother, though a symbol of divinity, can only remove physical difficulties and that too only partly. The Holy Mother is the causative and creative force of the entire universe. She is infinite and limitless. She is omnipresent both in forms and as formless. She is all powerful to remove all kinds of sorrows and sufferings.

Sri means Laksmi (goddess of wealth), Sarasvati (goddess of learning), prosperity, beauty, success, decorated with jewels, supreme intellect and one who can impart knowledge of vedas. Here Sri refers to the power of speech and Sabda-brahman.

Sri-mata is the progenitor of all – whole universe, Nature, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesa. She is all supreme – Parabrahman. The three names of the Divine Mother – mata, rajni and isvari refer to the three phenomena of creation, preservation and destruction of the universe due to three aspect of the supreme.

Om Sri-Matre namah”

R. Prasad, Lalita-Sahasranama

“Shakti is the hidden power that turns matter into life. She is the divine spark, the flow of God’s love.

Anyone who is connected with spirit has Shakti, which manifests in five ways that the God Herself manifests. (For the sake of simplicity I will use the word God and apply feminine pronouns whenever I have the goddess Shakti in mind.) As described in the ancient Shiva Sutras —’teaching about Shiva’— these are five powers:

Chitta Shakti: the awareness of God
Ananda Shakti: the bliss of God
Icha Shakti: the desire or intention to unite with God
Gyana Shakti: knowledge of God
Kriya Shakti: action directed toward God

If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

Chitta Shakti: ‘I am.’
Ananda Shakti: ‘I am blissful.’
Icha Shakti: ‘I will’ or ‘I intend.’
Gyana Shakti: ‘I know.’
Kriya Shakti: ‘I act.’

If a child came to me and asked, ‘How did God make me?’ these five things would be my answer, because this is how God made Herself, or at least made Herself known to us, and at each stage of giving birth a new exclamation of discovery emerged. First She experienced Herself as existence (‘I am!’), then creative joy (‘I am blissful!’), pulsing desire (‘I will!’), cosmic mind (‘I know!’), and finally the shaping force that molds all things (‘I act!). Because none of these except ‘I am’ had ever existed before, each came as a revelation.

All of these qualities have universal application … These five powers form a cascade, spilling like water from unmanifest spirit to the material world. Tagore employed almost the same analogy when he poetically asked, ‘Where is this fountain that throws out these flowers in such a ceaseless outbreak of ecstasy?’ In one beautiful line he states the mystery precisely. What is the origin of the infinite display of nature’s abundance? The flowers are outside, but the fountain is inside, in divine essence. To realize this you must become that fountain; you must have the assurance that the flow of life can gush through your being at full force. This state of connection is supreme existence. When you join the cosmic dance, the powers of God as creator-mother fully infuse you.”

Deepak Chopra, The Path of Love

“Goddess Revival

UCLA archaeologist Marija Gimbutas turned historical scholarship on its head in the ’70s and ’80s with the research that depicted peace-loving, cooperation-based, Goddess-worshipping societies in ancient Europe — which were overrun in the Neolithic era by Indo-Europeans who imposed patriarchal order. Gimbutas’ vision of an earth-friendly, feminine-centered spirituality has sparked a religious awakening; an estimated 400,000 Americans now declare themselves neopagans, and many more with feminist or environmentalist leanings are helping revive the Goddess worship.”

Unte Reader, May/June 1999

“The holy Mother (Srimata.)

The Mother is usually called upon in times of sorrow; but our natural mothers are not able to remove the three kinds of pain (tapatraya.) Great men have said: “Since I have had many thousands of births, I have had many mothers; many also have been my fathers; I know not how many I am yet to have in the future; and their number is beyond my calculation. O Treasure-house of compassion! Save me, who am overpowered with fear and have no other refuge, from the vast and disastrous ocean of samsara.”The greatest World-Mother is the only one who is capable of removing the endless misery (of existence.) We praise Her as The Mother so that She may be induced to show mercy to us.”

R. Ananthakrishna Sastry, Sri Lalita-sahasranama

“The experiential core of ‘Hinduism’ can be intellectually and discursively understood through the classes and reading with which we have been involved throughout the semester. However, there is a point to which there is a gap in understanding, a point at which one may become frustrated at not being able to clearly articulate or fully understand the material at hand. This is the gap which lies between the knowledge experience, between studying what we are studying and experiencing what we are studying. Each person has moments of clarity in her/his life; moments in which, for an instant, everything falls perfectly into place and there is not a trace of effort to understand what was once the mind’s struggle. Sitting in the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetham, closing my eyes, and allowing the beautiful Lalita’s mantra penetrate my being caused a subtle, yet incredibly palpable, shift to occur inside of me. For an instant, I felt the essence of the mantra, that of the goddess’ subtle form, that of the entire universe. I will not attempt to describe this inexplicable moment. I would rather leave it in the hands of whomever so chooses to experience this crystal clarity of consciousness for her/himself.”

Rebecca L Thomas,

“Even today Hebrew males are taught to offer daily prayer, ‘Blessed Art Thou O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.’ Mohammed stated, ‘When Eve was created, Satan rejoiced.’ As the Hebrew myth of the creation was later adopted into the sacred literature of Christianity, along with all the other writings of the Old Testament, the writers and religious leaders who followed Christ assumed the same prose of contempt for the female, continuing to use religion to lock women further into the role of passive and inferior beings, and thus more easily controlled property of men.”

Merlin Stone. When God was a Woman,
A Harvard/HBJ Book, 1976, p. 224.

“Candi Mahatmya 10: Worship of The Mother Goddess or feminine principle is prominent in contemporary Hinduism. She is identified with Earth — Artharva Veda 12.1, p. 207; with prakriti/matter, and maya/illusion — cf. Shiva Purana, p. 118. Often she is depicted in her terrible aspect as a dread warrior and destroyer of evil. The Goddess is known by various names: Durga, Kali, Shakti, Devi; in this text she is called by her name Candika.”

World Scripture, International Religious Foundation

“There are many indications now that women are beginning to get in touch with their own fundamental nature in ways that have been forbidden to them by patriarchal traditions, set up as the only acceptable moral system several thousand years ago, which have kept our civilization in thrall to a philosophy that derogates the feminine and natural world. The remote, transcendent deity postulated by Western culture has proved enormously violent in all ‘his’ incarnation from the warlike Old Testament Yahweh to the familiar Christian deity of crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, and battlefield invocations the world over. Now there is a fast-spreading tendency among women to reject this deity. Studies of the doleful history of Western religious sexism have made it clear that the God created in man’s image has promoted more male cruelty toward women than any other single cause.”

Barbara G. Walker, Feminism and the Future

(Barbara G. Walker is widely recognized as one of the founders of the new feminism. She is the author of many books, including The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, The Crone, Women’s Rituals, and The Skeptical Feminist. Source: Georg and Trisha Lamb Feuerstein, Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow, The Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 1993, p. 139.)

“The expression, Shaktism is derived from the word ‘Shakti.’ The word Shakti means ‘Power’ both latent and manifest. When personalised it means the Devi of Power; she is Devaa. The Devi Shakti is the power aspect of the supreme spirit. The doctrines and ritual of Shaktism are contained in a special branch of the holy Scriptures of India, called Tantra Shastra, which acknowledges the authority of the great Veda. ‘Veda’ means the God inspired word which has from the oldest times been the foundation of Indian spiritual thought and culture; but it is not confined to what is called the four Vedas. They are but parts of it and based on the one Veda—for ‘Vak’ or ‘Logos’ is one.

Shaktism is an eminently practical religion. Practically the whole content of its scriptures consists in rules and ritual by which the higher realisation of the spiritual truth may be gained. This way of personal spiritual attainment, or Yoga, which is known to all Indian religions, is called in Shaktism, Sadhana. Very often the remark can be found in the Tantrik texts that by merely pondering about the husks of words nothing is done, i.e., mere book-knowledge is useless—but that only by practically touching the truth itself can liberation, bliss and the highest consciousness be won.

This truth, to which Shaktism is devoted with all its energy, is represented by the conception of the goddess Shakti. Such a conception, that truth unveils itself spiritually in a female aspect, can only be grasped with difficulty by the European mind. The European mind is not accustomed to see differences between male and female in the spiritual world, and finds them only as far as physical sexual differences can still be discerned. But the idea of a female quality of the spirit has always been known to the deeper minds of humanity and stretches through the whole inner history of culture. Leaving aside the cults of aboriginal tribes, animism, etc., there may be mentioned, in addition to the Goddess Shakti of Indian culture, the conception of Isis in the Egyptian religion, of the figure Kwannon in China, the idea of Eve in Babylonian times and many others leading up to that connected with the Madonna of the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly there are very interesting and important differences in all these great conception; but it would go too far here to treat of this special subject. It is mentioned only to show that female spirituality has always played an important role in human thought.

The Goddess Shakti is the ‘power’ which pervades the whole of the universe, and from which the Universe has emanated. There is nothing within the manifest world which is not Shakti in its essence. The manifest world is mind and matter, that is to say, all that we call our thought, will, imagination, etc. is mind, and all the realm of nature is matter. She—in her highest aspect—is pure spirit or pure consciousness—as such she is called Chit-Shakti—but her nature and essence become apparent also in all that we are aware of through our senses. So She is matter—substance too—and as such She is called Maya-Shakti. Here is no antagonism between the spiritual and the natural sides of the universe, since she is both of them. In order to illustrate more clearly this important principle of Shaktism.”

Dr. Hans Koester
The Indian Religion of the Goddess Shakti

“Lalita Sahasra-nama: Brevity is the essence of most of Vedic scriptural literature. Most of the ‘sUtra’ literature are of this type. Take for example, Brahma-sUtra, Dharma-sUtra, Grihya-sUtra, nArada-bhakti-sUtra, shAndilya-bhakti-sUtra etc. These aphorisms are so concise and compact that commentaries on each run to pages explaining the succinct words with meanings literal, subtle and contextual. Just like them, this Lalita sahasra-nama also falls into that category. Even though the Stotra format has helped the poet-visionary to sing with poetic ecstasy, the words used are mostly technical terms of Tantra shastra, and without a rudimentary knowledge of which, the profound meaning of the names may not be intelligible at all.”

S. Harihareswara

If you can empty your mind of all thoughts, your heart will embrace the tranquility of peace.
Watch the workings of all of creation, but contemplate their return to the source.
All creatures in the universe return to the point where they began.
Returning to the source is tranquility, because we submit to Heavens mandate.
Returning to Heavens mandate is called being constant.
Knowing the constant is called ‘enlightenment’.
Not knowing the constant is the source of evil deeds, because we have no roots.
By knowing the constant we can accept things as they are.
By accepting things as they are, we become impartial.
By being impartial, we become one with Heaven.
By being one with Heaven, we become one with Tao.
Being one with Tao, we are no longer concerned about losing our life,
Because we know the Tao is constant,
And we are one with Tao.

Tao Te Ching 16 (Lao-Tzu)

Therefore, he who knows this, having become peaceful, controlled, detached, patient and concentrated,
Sees the atman in himself and sees all in the atman.
Evil does not overcome him, but he overcomes all evil; evil does not consume him, but he consumes all evil.
Free from evil, free from passion, free from doubt, he becomes a knower of Brahman.

Sukla Yajur Veda
Brihadaranyaka Up. 4.4.23

“The whole point of yoga, which means ‘yoke,’ is harmony with the one source of all being. Meditation has this same focus — inner attunement and union with ultimate reality or God. Brahman, the pure, absolute being or one God behind all and through all in all, is defined (as in Christian mysticism) chiefly be negatives. In other words, Brahman is beyond any possible human descriptions. He is ‘ the God beyond the word God.’ The many deities in the Hindu pantheon are all in varying degrees manifestations of the aspects of Brahman. Another way of putting it is to say that they symbolize or express the broad range of energies active in nature and the cosmos. Thus, while to westerners Hinduism seems like polytheism (and by inference, therefore, primitive and inferior), Hindus see themselves as truly monotheistic. There is but one Brahman, but there is a multiplicity of ways of approaching him. This accounts for the fact that the gods worshiped in one village in India may be quite different from those worshiped in the next, and also for the great tolerance shown by Hinduism for other faiths. Since there are many avatars or incarnations of the Divine in Hindu thought, the orthodox Christian views of Jesus or the saviours in other faiths makes perfect to a Hindu.”

Tom Harpur, Life after Death


1. Lalita Sahasranama is a sacred Hindu text for the worshipers of the Goddess Lalita Devi, i.e. the Divine Mother, in the form of her and the male gods’ feminine power, Shakti. Lalita is the Goddess of bliss, an epithet for Parvati. Etymologically ‘Lalita’ means ‘She Who Plays’.

The names are organised as in a hymn, i.e. in the way of stotras. This hymn occurs in the Brahmanda Purana. It is a dialogue between Hayagriva, a minor incarnation (avatara) of Vishnu and the great sage Agastya.

The Lalita Sahasranama is held as a sacred text for the worship of the Divine Mother, Lalita (and is also used in the worship of Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Bhagavathi, etc.. It is a principal text of Shakti worshipers. Lalita Sahasranama names the various attributes of the Divine Mother, and all these names are organised in the form of a hymn. This Sahasranama is used in various modes for the worship of the Divine Mother. Some of the modes of worship are parayana (Recitations), archana, homa etc.

Lalita Sahasranama is famous for the internal organization of its text and the rhythmic sound vibrations associated with its verbal audio recitation that its rendering can produce. Usually, in a sahasranama, if the same name repeats, the commentators use their scholarship and inspiration to give different meanings to different occurrences of the same name. Lalita sahasranma has the unique distinction, among all the sahasranamas, of not repeating even a single name. Further, in order to maintain the metre, sahasranamas use the artifice of adding words like tu, api, ca, and hi, which are only conjunctions not necessarily needed for the meaning except in rare cases of interpretation. Lalita sahasranama has again the unique distinction of not having even a single such innocuous word in its texture.

Every letter and word of the Lalita Sahasranamam is protected from interpolation, mutilation etc. through axioms called CHALARNA SUTRAS or PARIBHASHA SUTRAS in a manner similar to as the Vedas are protected through various methods like – padam, kramam, ghanam etc. The pronunciation of individual words is to be done with care to ensure that there is no distortions in the meaning of the words. The whole hymn is a string of Mantras with hidden esoteric meanings. The sahasranama is an esoteric text and many meanings are attributable to each of these names; as many as sixteen meanings are known to be applicble for some names. Extensive commenteries have been written on the Lalita Saharanamam and a notable translation of an authentic commentary is ‘Lalita-Sahasranama with Bhaskararaya’s Commentary'” (Translated Into English) By: R. Ananthakrishna Sastry Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai. and another by Dr. C Suryanarayana murthy published by Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai. (Wikipedia)

2. Soundarya Lahari, composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, holds a high place in liturgical literature on account of its poetic, devotional and mystic aspects.

Soundarya Lahari combines in itself hymns of devotional prayer, a Mantra Sastra and a spiritual (meditative) mode of worship of the Supreme Mother. As a hymn of praise it is suited to the novice in spiritual exercise. As a mantra Sastra it fulfills the material and spiritual needs of the seeker. As a Tantra Sastra it elucidates a spiritual discipline, guides and leads the aspirant to liberation also which is the summum bonum of human existence.

Soundarya Lahari—the very word—conveys the great meaning. It is a Flood of Beauty. The first 41 poems of this book of 100 verses are called as Ananda Lahari—Waves of Bliss.

The second portion is called as Soundarya Lahari—waves of Beauty. It contains a magnificent exposition of the beauties of the charming form of the Divine Mother from head to foot. It is an exquisite and delicious literary master- piece also.

If people read and recite this Stotra with all faith they can find many details of the worship of the Supreme as Mother—The Dynamic aspect of Brahman—as Sakthi, Her Potency, manifestations for worship, modes of meditation internally in the microcosm.

Dr Rati Saxena

“Lalita Sahasranama is held as a sacred text for the worship of the Divine Mother, Lalita, and is also used in the worship of Durga, Parvati, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Bhagavathi, etc. It is a principal text of Shakti worshipers. Lalita Sahasranama names the various attributes of the Divine Mother, and all these names are organised in the form of a hymn. This Sahasranama is used in various modes for the worship of the Divine Mother. Some of the modes of worship are parayana (Recitations), archana, homa etc.

Usually, in a sahasranamam, if the same name repeats, the commentators use their scholarship and inspiration to give different meanings to different occurrences of the same name (this practise occurs also in Jewish Talmudic commentary). Lalita sahasranama has the unique distinction, among all the sahasranamas, of not repeating even a single name. Further, in order to maintain the metre, sahasranamas use the artifice of adding words like tu, api, ca, and hi, which are only conjunctions that do not necessarily add to the meaning of the name except in rare cases of interpretation. The Lalita Sahasranama however does not make any use of such auxiliary conjunctions and is therefore unique in being a pure enumeration of holy names that meet the metrical, poetical and mystic requirements of a sahasranama solely by their order throughout the text.”

Wikipedia (Web July 25, 2012)

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