The history of Lalitha Sahasranama and its greatness
(I i am reproducing this material with permission of the Author.It is extremely informative)
Sahasranama is in the 36th chapter of Lalitopakyana in Brahmanda Purana. It is presented in the form of instructions imparted to the sage Agasthya by Hayagriva who is an incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu.
Hayagriva tells Agasthya the story of the incarnation of Lalitha Maha Thripura Sundari and describes her sports. He then describes the city of Sripura, Her abode, the greatness of Her Mantra, the panchadasakshari, the essential oneness of Sri Yantra, Sri Vidya, Lalitambika and Sri Guru, and initiates Agastya into the Sahasranamas of Devi’s attendant deities. Though he described every thing so far, Hayagriva did not mention any thing about Lalitha Sahasranama. On repeated questioning of the anxious student, Agastya maharishi, Hayagriva first explains the reasons why Lalitha Sahasranama is so divine and sacred, and why it can be imparted only to the highly potent and exalted and that the reasons why it was not imparted in the first place.
Once Lalitha Devi addressed Vasini and the other vagdevathas (goddesses of speech): “I command you – who know the secrets of Srichakra, and of Sri Vidya and other Mantras to compose a hymn of a thousand names that reveal my greatness. Lead the way to let my devotess obtain My grace by chanting it !”. Accordingly Vasini and the other dieties of speech composed the Lalitha Sahasranama consisting of the most secret mantras. Subsequently one day Devi sitting on her throne, gave the opportunity of her Darshan to all those who were present in the court, including countless Brahma’s, Countless Vishnu’s, Rudra’s and Sakthi’s such as Mantrini, Dandini and the other inhabitants of heaven. She gave them all the opportunity to worship Her. As every one took their seats after the worship, Lalitha Devi allowed Vasini and the other deities to chant the Sahasranama by visual signaling.
They stood up with their palms joined in devotion and chanted “Lalitha Sahasranama” in Her praise. Every one was immersed in wonder and bliss. Devi -Divine Mother was pleased and spoke these words.
“Children, this hymn was composed by Vasini and the other deities of speech, for the good of the world, according to my wish. Chant this hymn to obtain my favor. Those who chant it are dearest to Me. I will grant all their wishes.”
Lalitha Sahasranama is the Powerful Remedy to Cure all sort of Problems in our Life and will give Bliss to the Devotee,who is Following;
If you have time, Please Chant/do “Lalitha Ashtothram”-Archanai ,atleast once in a Week,Particularly on Friday/Tuesday.
If Possible Chant “Lalitha Sahasranama” – Good Remedy for all sorts of Problem.
By Keeping one hand on the Fore head of a Sick Person,and if We chant “Lalitha Sahasranama” with Sincere and True hearted devotion, that sick Person, will be Alright.
In this materialistic world, with an intention to create a mind devoted to mankind, sincere love, unity and by thus to God and avoid hatred and animosity towards our enemies, chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasra Namam, a Sanskrit namavali from the ancient Brahmanda Purana, forms an integral part.
It is natural that, we mankind has to face many obstacles and set backs in our life. However, it is our will to conquer them makes us successful in our endeavors. We should have the Belief, Confidence and Determination to try for this. Some cases these qualities are in-born. But for many these are developed. A useful and beneficial method to develop this is by seeking solace in God by chanting prayers knowing their meanings. It will give the most advantageous benefits if one chants keerthans and namavalis with their meanings in mind. He/She will be able to express more and get closer to God.
It is Impossible to tell the Glory of Shree Maha Lalitha Thripura Sundhari and Impossible to list the countless Benefits of ‘Lalitha Sahasranama’;
Under the Holy grace of Lord ‘Parvathi Parameshvarar’ -some of the benefits of regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasranamavali is listed below;
1] This is the most favored form of prayer to Goddess Lalithambika and it is also very secret and powerful than any other forms of Tantra or Mantra.
2] Regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasranama is as beneficial as visiting religious places, taking bath in a holy river, offering food, offering materials. It is an indirect blessing to those who cannot do these kind of offerings to God.
3] Regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasranama will ward off the evil from uncompleted pooja vidhis or rituals etc. It will also form a way of penance.
4] Regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasranama will ward off premature death, will provide a long and contended healthy life. Fever can be cured by religiously chanting Sree Lalitha Sahasranamam by touching on a persons forehead. The number of times you chant the more benefit you are likely to get. The vibhuti used for Sree Lalitha Sahasranama archana can be applied then on the forehead, which will give much relief to fever and headache.
5] It is said that if one chants religiously Sree Lalitha Sahasra Namam keeping a glass of water (or in a vessel) in front and then pours it over the head, all sorts of troubles related to once planetary positions and from evil spirits will be warded off.
6] It is said that if a person chants Sree Lalitha Sahasranama keeping in mind a picture of Sree Lalitha Devi situated in the divine ocean which contains `Amrut’ , he will be cured from any kind of disease related to poison.
7] It is said that if a person consumes ghee, which is kept while chanting Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam, he will be cured of impotency and will have children.
8]Regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam will ward off any kind of evil deeds or rituals (black magic) aimed at the person who chants the namam. The power derived from the chanting supersedes all other forms of prayers and the person will no more require to consult astrologers or any sorts of occultists. He will have tremendous self confidence in himself.
9] Through the regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam, the atmosphere will be purified. Each nerve in our body will be invigorated and subtle energies will be awakened in the person.
10]Sree Lalitha Devi will protect a person who regularly chants Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam from accidents and from the attacks of enemy and will make him victorious in all his good deeds.
11]Regular chanting of Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam will make a person blessed with word power, fame, good will etc. Particular importance should be given to chant Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam on Friday’s which is very auspicious for the blessing of Devi.
12]Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam is the form of prayer that any one and every one can chant at any time and every time. It does not matter if one could not complete it. Because each of the namam in itself is powerful and will provide all sorts of benefits. It depends on what you wish and how you go about it.
13]It is said that chanting the name of Lord Siva once is as good as chanting the name of Mahavishnu a thousand times. And chanting the name of Devi once is as good as chanting the name of Siva, a thousand times. And of which Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam is the most important one to Sree Lalitha Devi herself.
14] It is very beneficial if all members of the family unite and chants Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam once in a day in the evening or whenever time permits. A family that prays together stays together. It will bring about unity, peacefulness, clear mind to perform and by thus prosperity.
15] In homes where Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam is chanted regularly there will never be any shortage of the basic necessities of life. This is the reason why the ancient Gurus would instruct their desciples to chant Sree Lalitha Sahasra namam even after initiating them into the mantras of other deities such as Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and other Gods and Goddesses.
16] It is also to be noted that by religiously chanting Sree Lalitha Sahasra namavali, we are seeking the blessings of Sree Lalithambika, who is also called Kalima, Durga ma, Devi, Parasakthi, Bhagavathi etc, who in turns is the universal mother. And how can a mother ignore her children when they are in distress or duress or troubles of any sorts? So keep utmost faith in her and start chanting.
17] Each one of the namam by itself is a powerful weapon for many sorts of day-to-day problems.
Lalitha Sahasranamam can be chanted in many different ways. In Stotram form, all 1,000 namams are separated into stotrams of a few namams each and recited in this way. In mantra form, each namam is said individually, preceded by “Aum” and followed by “Namah”. When chanted in mantra form, the endings of each namam are generally changed to “e” or “yai”. Mantra form is commonly used to recite Lalitha Sahasranamam during archana. In the homam form, homam is conducted by ending each namam with Swaha: Homam is the most powerful form of offering and considered as the most revered solution for all problems of the man kind.
The following of chanting Lalitha Sahasranamam:
“Children, if we can do archana of the thousand names of the Divine Mother daily with devotion, we will grow spiritually. There will never be lack of life’s essentials, food and clothing, in a family that chants the Lalita Sahasranama with devotion.”
Sakti or Devi is the divinity of one Universal Goddess representing ‘Prakriti’ or Earth. We have a great range of literature dealing with the immanence of Saktism. Devi Mahatmyam, Devi Bhagavatam, Brahma Vivarta Purana and Skanda Maha Purana are
some of the important Devi literatures. Out of the multifarious forms of Devi worship, two major forms have gained fame, still persisting in Modern India are Devi as Kali and Devi as Lalita. Among them Lalita form has attained recognition as ‘Vaidic’ or the higher philosophical order.
The legendary origin of Lalita cult is found in the Brahmanda Purana. This book consists of forty four chapters out of which chapter 5 to 44 narrate the story of Lalita namely Lalitaupakyana. The purana of Lalita explains about the manifestation of Goddess for the destruction of demon called Bandasura. It details about the construction of Sripura the abode of Lalita in the form of Sri Chakra. Lalita Sahasranama consists of one thousand names and Trisati is of three hundred names, praising her divine attributes. Sri Adi Sankaracharya and Sri Bhaskararaya had contributed commentaries for Trisati and Sahasranama. These texts have shown new dimensions towards understanding and practice of Sri Lalita Cult.
There was once in very ancient times a powerful demon by name Taraka. He was lording over the Universe with his unequalled power and strength. An assemblage of devas resolved that only Skanda can destroy Taraka. But the birth of Skanda had been delayed due to the penance of Lord Siva. Manmata the God of love was assigned to wake up Siva from his deep meditation. He sent out the flower – shafts of lust on the three eyed lord. Siva roused with uncontrollable anger and burnt Manmata by opening the flames of his third eye. Another flame of Siva gave birth to Lord Skanda who then destroyed Tarakasura. Due to the absence of Manmata the creation was stopped. Lord Siva blessed Manmata for his rebirth and while he sprinkled the holy water over the ashes of Manmata, another demon by name Bandasura came out of the smoke. Immediately the iron hands of the demon spoiled the righteousness of the three worlds. Indra, the king of Devas performed a fire ritual according to the advice of Lord Siva, Sri Lalita appeared embodying the powers of creation, protection and destruction. The Devas praised her in eloquent terms as Universal Mother. Lord Siva married her in the form of Kameshwar and the Kingdom of Sri Lalita originated from the Sripura, a beautiful city at the crest of the mountain Meru, built in the form of Sri Chakra. In a fierce battle, Sri Lalita destroyed Bhandasura.
The philosophical base of this unprecedented success of Devi is that, the ‘ajnana’ (ignorance) is removed by ‘jnana’ (realization).There are some Eastern and Western savants who glibly assert that Saktism is an invasion of Aryanism by non – Aryanism, and there are others who say that the Mother cult is pre -Aryan and originally belonged to the Sumerian or other culture and latter on entered Aryanism
1. The worship of the primordial power as Mother is an ancient Indian tradition. The upanishads declare that God is the first cause of Universe. The entire universe has arisen from God. Thus God is verily the mother of Universe
2. Sri Lalita Sahasranama begins with its first hymn as, ” Sri Matre Namaha ”
3. Means, Praise the God as Mother. By worshipping the God as Mother one approaches Her like a child. This way of worship removes the ego and the sense of ‘I’ from the devotee and he is free from the travails of Samsara.The term Lalita means lovely, elegant or charming. The philosophical basis of Lalita cult is Sri Vidya, which is the ultimate knowledge. It is the realization of the soul through synthesis and reconciliation. Devi is the immanent soul of all souls. She is the infinite and eternal supreme Bliss. She induces the intuitive knowledge of God, which is herself. Sri Vidya shows the practical method to experience the truths of Vedanta as Brahma Vidya. The worship of Sakti, who is denoted by the syllable ‘Sri’ is called as Sri Vidya. The prayers are conducted by invoking Sri Lalita over the Sri Chakra which is the diagrammatic representation of the Universe, Mantra, Yantra and Tantra are the three aspects of Sri Vidya. Yantra is the form of symbolic representation of Mantra. Tantra consists of mind concentration; rituals and kundalini yoga.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa considered his body as the great Yantra. He praised Sakti as ‘I am the device and you are the operator’. Bavanopanisad also defines the human body as the Yantra
4. Sri Vidya treats equally all the paths to attain salvation. Brahmavidya and SriVidya are unique. Sri Lalita can be worshipped by both saguna and nirguna paths. Sri Lalita Cult accepts Bakti yoga, Karma yoga, Raja yoga and Jnana yoga. It considers both family life and hermitage as the ways to reach God. Sri Lalita is the form of all and accepts and all forms of worship. The Kundalini Sakthi is the supreme power in the human body. It could be invoked to realize God in this very life, with in the physical body. Sri Lalita Sahasranama mentions the names of Chakras present in the human body. According to it there are six chakras namely Muladara, Svadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Visudhi and Ajna. The supreme locus of the Paramatma is in the Sahasrara. When the Kundalini Sakti is roused by appropriate means, it travels along the suksumana nadi in the vertebral column and reaches the Sahasrara. Thus Sri Lalita cult emphasizes the excellence of Yoga. It harmonizes Hata yoga, Raja yoga, Mantra yoga, Laya yoga, and Bhakti yoga. Negative notions on the reality of the world find a suitable answer in Sri Lalitha Cult. Seeing the mother pervading everything, it sees the world not as a battle field but as a play ground. The Lalita doctrine explains Goddess Lalita as Cidswarupini and Anandarupini (pure and blissful consciousness). The material universe is nothing but her play (lila). Human beings can remain cheerful in the world, like her children playing by the side of their mother. Living exemplary lives, they finally find eternal rest on the lap of the Divine Mother
5. The desire less devoted state of mind enables the devotee to experience her ‘lila’ in a calm and happy spirit. Sri Lalita Sahasranama explains the Divine mother as “Siva Sakti Iykya Rupini”
6. The unification of Siva and Sakti. This union can be interpreted as the consciousness and its power or the blissful union of the soul with the over soul. Sri Lalita cult is the harmonious blend of all paths of spirituality which is called as “Samarasamarga” and leads to the ultimate realization. It inculcates the healthy physical and moral life with truth and love. Sri Vidya shows the path for transcendence with in this world. There is no discrimination of caste, creed or gender in Lalita cult. It proclaims that one who has not refrained from evil acts and who has no peace of mind and self control can not realize God by any means. Lalita cult consists of a great potential philosophical core and this is only a maiden attempt to point out the importance of the cult.
According to Me, Nobody in this World should shed tears,We all are Childrens – Prince and Princess of our Divine Mother Shree ‘Lalitha Thripura Sundari’,She is always ready to clear our problems,Then why we have to shed Tears?.
Loka samastha sukino bavanthu !
shree mathre namahaa!
om shakthi om!