A few months back I read a book by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, where he emphasized the importance of worshiping the Feminine aspect of supreme consciousness, which we Hindus love to call as ‘SHAKTI’ or ‘DEVI’, among various other names. Sri Lalitha Sahasranama is one such spiritual text that involves the chanting of 1000 names of ‘Devi Lalita’ (who we also know as ‘Shakti’ or the ‘Divine Mother’).
Now one may wonder what’s so special in chanting or meditating upon names, after all a rose will be a rose whatever the name you call it by,…. or so I thought!
For the last few days I have been listening and meditating upon the ‘Lalita Sahasranama stotram’ and it seems that the logical part of my brain had previously failed to assess the spiritual power hidden behind those names. For example, below are a few of the divine names mentioned in the Lalita Sahasranama, along with their meanings –
Just ponder or meditate upon these words & their meanings and notice how you feel –
- Bhadra moorty – She who is personification of all that is good
- Bhayapaha – She who removes fear
- Bhakthi gamya – She who can be reached by devotion
- Shanthimati – She who is peace personified
- Kaulini – She who is the unification of the principles of Shiva and Shakti
- Kundalini – She who is in the form of Kundalini
- Nirakara – She who does not have any shape
- Padma nayana – She who has eyes like the lotus
- Nithya mukta – She who is forever free of the ties of the world
- Madhanasini – She who destroys beliefs
I could go on and on, writing about the glories of her name but each one of her names carries its own unique mystery, which is worth pondering upon, for example – While Devi Lalita has been described to have eyes like the lotus (Padma Nayana), she is also described to be Nirakara – Someone who does not have any shape. Now, even though, both of these statements contradict each other (having a beautiful shape vs. being shapeless) still, both of these statements can nevertheless be true! (is it really so hard to ‘believe’ that God, who has the power to create all the imaginable and unimaginable shapes in this world (whether humans, animals, or mountains, planets, etc,) is himself/herself incapable to assume any particular shape?)
Till now I had been focusing only on Shiva (or the masculine aspect of the supreme consciousness) so it’s no surprise that I never came across Lalita Sahasranama before! I mean, sure I had heard about Goddess Lalita and that she was somehow related to Kundalini and I may also have encountered the words ‘Lalita Sahasranama’, a few times during my reading before, but it never struck me as anything particularly significant. I would always think that ‘Lalita Sahasranama’ was just about reciting 1000 names of SHAKTI or Devi and I failed to see anything extremely significant in that practice. Furthermore, even though, my dreams, my previous meditation experience, and my subsequent research were all pointing in some ways, towards Goddess Lalita, I was still being stubborn and kept rejecting them as being possible coincidences!
In fact, after having listened to the Lalita Sahasranama just one single time (as mentioned in this post), I reverted back to listening ‘Devi Suktam’ and ‘Devi Aparadh Kshamapana Stotram’ (which I had been doing since the last few months) and even added a few more chants from the Chandi Path (or Durga Saptashati) to my meditation regime before I finally landed upon the following page :
This page recommended the chanting of Lalitha Sahasranam as an excellent alternative to recitation of the ‘Durga Saptashati’ (which is otherwise quite a lengthy procedure) and thus it further led me to the following page describing the glory of Lalita Sahasranama :
…and, it still amazes me how I find a newer connection between Lalita Sahasranama and my spiritual experience (mentioned in the Kundalini Experiences – part 8) every time I visit the aforementioned page! It’s like, while I was trying to force my way in my preferred direction, an unknown force was busy guiding me in a different one. You can call it destiny; you call it grace, but whatever it is I would be a fool to ignore it even now!
In fact, even though, I still know the meanings of only a few words in the Lalita Sahasranama (as the text is in Sanskrit), now, when I meditate upon it, I do so with the faith that the object of my devotion (Devi Lalita or Shakti or Kundalini) is all-knowing (Sarvangna – She who knows everything) and surprisingly, after having listened to the chant for only a few days (till today), I can safely say that it has definitely got a certain kind of pleasant & calming effect on the psyche which is hard to describe.
Finally, for someone who would like to listen to Lalita Sahasranama can do so here: