Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #35: Shridevi herself is the Universe and the Ultimate Reality beyond the Universe!

Picture of Lord Ardhanarishwara

Lord Ardhanarishwara showing the Eternal Oneness of Shiva and Shridevi Shakti

Manas tvam vyoma tvam marud asi marut saarathir asi
Tvam aapaastvam bhoomis tvayi parinathayam na hi param |
Tvam eva svatmanam parinamayithum vishva-vapusha
Chidanand’aakaram Shiva-yuvati-bhaavena bibhrushe ||
– Soundarya Lahari 35

Benefits: Curing of Tuberculosis.

Meaning: O Shridevi! You are the mind, you are the Ether, you are the Air, you are the Fire, you are the Water, you are the Earth,
When you have transformed yourself, there is nothing beyond you!
You yourself, with a view of manifesting as the Universe,
inwardly assume the form of consciousness and bliss! 

This is a very mystical verse with a great message. It declares: Shridevi is everything. She is beyond everything.  There is nothing beyond Her. Let us understand it clearly.

  1. Shridevi is Mind, Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. All these six elements correspond to six psychic chakras viz., Ajna, Vishuddha, Anahata, Manipuraka, Swadhistana and Muladhara respectively, considered from top to bottom of our body.
    According to this verse, Shridevi herself transforms into six elements and manifests herself as the Universe(macrocosm).  As discussed earlier, Shridevi becomes the chakras and gives birth to our body(microcosm).
    Further,  from the perspective of macrocosm, as Shiva and Shakti She is  the Ultimate Reality beyond our Universe. Within our body(microcosm),  She lives in the seventh chakra, i.e. Sahasrara along with Lord Shiva, beyond six chakras.
  2. Esoteric Meaning #1: This verse unveils the fundamental principle of the Tantras and the nature of Shiva and Shakti. Shridevi herself manifests as the Universe and She is beyond the Universe, always united with Lord Shiva.
  3. Esoteric Meaning #2: The verse uncovers the principles of chakra system in Kundalini Yoga. The six psychic chakras are the manifestation of Shridevi herself as Mahamaya(Great Illusion). She stays as Mahadevi(Great Goddess) in the seventh chakra, i.e. Sahasrara, united with Lord Shiva as the Ultimate Reality.
  4. Esoteric Meaning #3: Focus on the phrase Chidanada’karam Shiva-yuvathi meaning “as consciousness and bliss”. According to our Scriptures Tantras, Lord Shiva is embodiment of Bliss(Ananda). Shridevi Parvati is nothing but consciousness (Chit). Both Lord Shiva and Shridevi Parvati together for the eternal Truth(Sat). All these three aspects viz., Sat, Chit and Ananda are the divine attributes of the Ultimate Reality.
  5. Esoteric Meaning #4: Ponder on the word Chidanandakaram Shiva yuvathi.  The word Shiva means Lord Shiva and yuvathi means Lord Shiva’s lady, i.e. Shridevi Parvati. So, the two words together indicate the oneness of Shiva and Shakti, like the word and its meaning(vagartha).As discussed in the meaning  #3 above, the phrase  Chidanandakaram Shiva yuvathi means that Lord Shiva and Shridevi Parvati together form the Ultimate Reality.
  6. Esoteric Meaning #5: Ponder on the two words Vishva vapusha (Body is universe) and Chidananda’karam (embodiment of consciousness and bliss). These two words say that Shridevi herself is the universe and She is the transcendental Ultimate Reality in the form of consciousness and bliss, beyond the world.
  7. Secret Hidden Meaning: Look at the strategic use of the phrase, tvameva svatmanam meaning you yourself.
    A. It says that “Shridevi, you are nothing but the Universal Self(Paramatma)”.
    B. If we apply this phrase to ourselves, it says “(understand that-) real yourself(tvam) as the Individual Self(Svatmanam)”.
    So, by combining A and B, we get the great message of Advaita principle of our Vedas which is established by our Great Universal Master Shri Shankara Bhagavatpadah : Tat Tvam Asi(That thou Art) or Your Individual Self is same as the Universal Self. This is the Highest Knowledge that leads us to liberation(moksha) from infinite birth and death cycle.

Words of Beauty: Here are the group of words that provide a melodious rhythm and sweet tone: Marud-asi, marut-saratirasi; parina-thayam, parina-mayitum; Shiva, yuva-thi. Relish and enjoy!

Let us pray Shridevi, who is both the manifested Universe and the Ultimate Reality beyond the Universe, for Her kind Grace!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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