Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #29: The Greatness of Shridevi !

Picture of Shri Lalita Maha Tripra Sundari

Our Great Mother Shri Lalita Maha Tripura Sundari

Kiritam vairincham parihara purah kaitabha bhidah
Katore kotire skalasi jahi jambhari-makutam |
Pranamreshweteshu prasabha mupayatasya bhavanam
Bhavasy’abhyutthane tava parijanoktir vijayate ||
– Soundarya Lahari 29

Benefits: Avoiding abortions and taming bad people.

Meaning: Victory to the words (of caution) of your servants[1]: 
“Avoid the crown of Lord Brahma before you!”,
“You may topple over the hard crest of Lord Vishnu, slayer of Kaitabha”[2],
“Please keep off the crown of Lord Indra, enemy of Jambha”[3],
While all these prostrate, you suddenly got up to receive Lord Shiva who came to visit your abode.

Insights: This shloka applauds the greatness of Shridevi Parvati!

  1. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Indra – all these supreme Gods come to Shridevi’s abode to pray her. Their heads decorated with crowns are at the lotus feet of Shridevi. When all these were prostrating, Shridevi suddenly gets up to receive Lord Shiva. Then, Shridevi’s servants caution her (with respect)  to walk carefully avoiding the crowns of great deities.
  2. According to Scripture Bhagavata Purana, Madhu and Kaitabha were two notorious demons. They stole the holy Vedas and hid them in the deep ocean. Then, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Hayagriva(Horse-headed person) and killed both of them and go back the Vedas.
  3. Again, according to Scriputure Bhagavatha Purana, Jambha was powerful demon and was a friend of another daemon called Bali. In a war with Bali, Lord Indra kills Jambha. So, Lord Indra is also called Jambhari(the enemy of Jambha).
  4. Esoteric Meaning #1: This shloka praises the greatness of power of Shridevi. Even great deities like Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Indra go to the abode of Shridevi to pray her to get her kind Grace! It is also implied in the Shloka that her abode is crowded with great deities. So, Shridevi needs to negotiate her way help by her servants to receive her Lord Shiva.
  5. Esoteric Meaning #2: The Gods Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Indra are at the feet of Great Goddess Shridevi.  These deities are the  rulers of creation, sustenance and luxury respectively. So, the verse suggests that Shridevi is the super-ruler of all these aspects.
  6. Esoteric Meaning #3: Although, the great deities such as Lord Brahma are at her abode, Shridevi goes to meet her beloved Lord Shiva in a hurry. It shows the paativritya, i.e. unwavering  devotion and love of Shridevi towards her spouse.
  7. Esoteric Meaning #4: Look at the strategic use of words. Kaitabha-bhida(slayer of daemon Kaitabha, i.e Lord Vishnu) and Jambhari(Enemy of Jambha, Lord Indra).  It shows the valor and power of all these deities.
    Now the question arises: where do they get the power from? Simple. By praying Shridevi Parvati!  How do we get this?
    The verse says that the great deities, such as Lord Vishnu, are at the feet of Shridevi in her divine abode praying her. In other words, Shridevi is the bestower of the power to all deities. So, She is referred as Shakti, meaning power.
  8. Esoteric Meaning #5: The verse uses the word Bhava to refer Lord Shiva.  Bhava means the origin of everything.  Remember, Lord Shiva’s power is Shakti, i.e. Shridevi Parvati, because of oneness of Shiva and Shakti. So, the verse suggests that the Lord Shiva and Shridevi together form the origin of everything, i.e. the Universal Self(the Ultimate Reality).

Words of Beauty: Here are the sweet words that provide melody, rhythm and a nice tone: parihara-purah; kaitabha-bhidah; Katore-koteere. Relish and enjoy!

Let us pray Shridevi with complete devotion:

Ya Devi sarva bhooteshu Shakti roopena samsthita |
Namastasyai namasthsyai namasthasyai namo namah ||
Durga Saptashati

Meaning: Shridevi  is present in all beings as power.
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her and Salutations to Her.

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Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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