Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #27: Shridevi! May all our actions be your worship!

Picture of Shridevi Lalita Maha Tripura Sundari

Supreme Mother and Great Goddess:  Shridevi Lalita Maha Tripura Sundari

Japo jalpah shilpam sakalam api mudra-virachana
Gatih pradakshinya-kramanam ashanadya-ahuti-vidhih |
Pranamah samveshah sukham akhilam atmarpana-drisha
Saparya-paryayastava bhavatu yan me vilasitam ||
– Soundarya Lahari 26

Benefits: Realization of the Self, the Ultimate Truth.

Meaning: Shridevi! May my:
– prattle be your prayer,
– forms of my body in my manual work be holy gestures(mudras) of your worship,
– loitering be clock-wise revolution(pradakshina) around you,
– eating be offering of holy oblations in your worship,
– lying down be prostrations to thee,
– attending to all other comforts be a dedication of my entire Self to thee.
(Finally,) May all the actions of mine be your worship!

Insights: Splendid! Superb!! (You may add your adjectives here!)

  1. .Worship of deities to connect to the Universal Self is of two kinds: external and internal.
    External worship involves praying the Universal Self with attributes, i.e.  in the form of idol of deities such as Lord Ganesh, Shridevi, Lord Vishnu and others. External items like flowers, fruits,  and others are used for this kind of worship. It also involves prayers, gestures(mudras), pradakshina, oblations and prostrations as defined by the tradition.
    In the internal worship, we meditate on the attribute-less Universal Self(a.k.a Brahaman) which is infinite, eternal, omnipresent and omnipotent power. We use our own body, mind and actions as means to connect to the Absolute. So, in this shloka, this highest form of internal worship of the Ultimate Reality Shridevi is described very elegantly.
  2. According to this verse, all our natural everyday actions should be offered to Shridevi with feeling and devotion as though we are performing prayers, gestures etc. of the external worship.  In other words, we need to feel with devotion that: our talking as a prayer, many body poses we assume in the whole day as gestures, moving around as pradakshina and so on. What a great way to pray and surrender to Shridevi!
  3. Esoteric Meaning: The message of this shloka is crystal clear: we need to pray Shridevi by surrendering ourselves to Her. We need to not only submit ourselves to Her, but all our actions too!  This shloka upholds the purport of desire-less Karma Yoga and the command of Lord Shrikrishna in Bhagavadgita:
    Swakarmana tam abhyarchya siddhim vindati manavah | – Gita 18.46
    Means: Human beings achieve their liberation by worshiping That(Universal Self) by their actions.
    In this shloka, we worship Shridevi who is same as the Universal Self, by surrendering ourselves and all our actions. This is the highest form of worship one can do.
  4. Words of Beauty: Here are the group of words that provide a nice rhythm, melody and tone: Japoja-lpa,shi-lpa; su-kham,a-khilam; sa-parya, parya-ya; st-ava, bh-avatu. Relish and enjoy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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