Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #55: Shridevi’s eyes are always open to protect the world!

Picture of Goddess Shridevi

Supreme Goddess Shridevi Durga: the Divine Mother of the Universe

Nimesh’on-meshabhyam pralayam udayam yaati jagati
Tave’ty ahuh santho Dharani-dhara-raajanya-thanaye |
Tvad-unmeshaj jatham jagad idham asesham pralayatah
Pari-trathum shankhe parihrita-nimeshas-tava drishah ||
-Soundarya Lahari 55

Benefits: Power to protect and curing of diseases of kidney.

Meaning: O daughter of king of mountains![1] The sages say that dissolution and genesis of the world happens by closing and opening of your eyes.  I think, your eyes do not close to protect this world from dissolution!


  1. According to our Scriptures, Shridevi Parvati is the daughter of the Great Himalayas, the king of mountains.
  2. It has been said that the divine beings do not blink. Their eyes remain open always! This fundamental divine attribute of Shridevi is described very beautifully here. According to Nala-Damayanti story in the Scripture Mahabharata there other properties of deities that distinguish them from human beings. They are: 1. Deities do not sweat. 2. The flowers they wear do not whither. 3. They do not keep their feet on the ground, out of respect for the Mother Earth. 4. They have a glow(hallow) around them.
  3. According to this shloka, during unmesha, i.e. when Shridevi opens her eyes, the world gets created. When She closes her divine eyes, the dissolution of the world happens. So, Shridevi does not close her eyes at all. She keeps her eyes open always without blinking, to protect the world or to sustain the universe.
  4. The opening of the eyes of Shridevi creates the world. This means Shridevi is Jagajjanani, i.e. the Supreme Mother of the Universe. It also means Shridevi is the Ultimate Source of the world. According to the verse, She always keeps her eyes open to protect the world. What does this mean? It suggests the affectionate and motherly caring nature of Shridevi. It states that Shridevi is very kind and compassionate to the world.
  5. Shridevi as Mahamaya: Shridevi opens her eyes to bring the world. As power of Matrika, hidden in the words, she brings the illusion of the world. So, She functions as Mahamaya, Great Illusion.  The dissolution of the world, esoterically means moksha(merging with the Shridevi). As Mahamaya she keeps her eye open to prevent people from moksha. Why? We need to burn our past karmas, before we merge with Shridevi. So, She helps us in this process.
  6. Shridevi as MahadeviBy Nimesha(closing of eyes),  Shridevi brings about masking of the Highest Knowledge, i.e. Our Individual Self is nothing but the Universal Self, Shridevi. Unmesha, i.e. opening of eyes of Shridevi causes Udaya(rise). Of what? of Highest Knowledge. So, here the word Udaya has to be interpreted as Jnanodaya, which is the rise of Highest Knowledge.
    Now, the verse says: Shridevi keeps her eyes always open. For what? To protect the Highest Knowledge evolved in the fortunate person.  What kind of knowledge She sustains? Jagadidam ashesham pralayatah (Jnanam). i.e. that knowledge which destroys the illusory and temporary world. In other words, the knowledge that helps us to merge with the Ultimate Reality, who is Shridevi Herself!
    So, this shloka esoterically suggests the Mahadevi role of Shridevi that brings about spiritual evolution in us. So, from both the meanings #5 and #6, it becomes very clear that Shridevi functions as both Mahamaya and Mahadevi who bring illusion and spiritual evolution respectively.
  7. The Powers of Hindu Trinity: If Shridevi opens her lotus eyes, world is created. If She closes the eyes, the world gets dissolved. She is kept her eyes to protect or sustain the world.  What does it tell us? Shridevi is capable of performing the functions of Hindu Trinity, i.e. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva by creating, sustaining and dissolving the world.
    So, Shridevi is the Supreme Power which is the Universal Self, beyond the deities.
  8. The Process of Kundalini Yoga: Shridevi is nothing but Mother Kundalini. Nimesha, Closing of the eyes of Shridevi results in the deep sleep of Mother Kundalini. Then what happens?  Pralaya, masking of the Highest Knowledge). Shridevi’s Unmesha (opening of eyes)  indicates the awakened Mother Kundalini.
    What does She do? Udayam yati. i.e. She brings the evolution of the Highest Knowledge that wipes out the temporary world which is said as: Jagadidam ashesham pralayatah. Shridevi keeps her eyes always open to protect the Highest Knowledge in the spiritually evolved person.
    What does it say? It suggests that once Mother Kundalini is awakened by opening  Shridevi’s lotus eyes, she will protect the Highest Knowledge in the person by keeping her ever watchful eyes open.
    So, the entire verse describes the process of awakening Mother Kundalini to evolve the Kundalini Yoga practitioner to help him achieve the real yoga with the Ultimate Reality, Shridevi.

Words of Beauty:  The following words provide melody with added rhyming to give an nice tone and rhythm: Nimesho’-nmesha; pralayam-udayam; yaati-jagati; dharani-dhara. Excellent and delicious nectar of words! Relish and enjoy!!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

Related Reading:
1. If you are new to Rudraksha Yoga,

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