Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #57: Shridevi Helps Her Devotees in Distress by Showering the Grace by a Merciful Look!

Greatest Mother Parameshwari Shridevi Lalita Tripura Sundari

Greatest Mother Parameshwari Shridevi Lalita Tripura Sundari

Drisa draghiyasya dhara-dhalita-nilotpala-rucha
Dhaviyamsam dhinam snapaya kripaya mam api Shive |
Anenayam dhanyo bhavathi na cha te hanir iyataa
Vane va harmye va sama-kara-nipaatho himakarah ||
Soundarya Lahari 57

Benefits: All round luck.

Meaning: O Shridevi, consort of Lord Shiva!  By your far-reaching glance from your slightly-opened eyes having a glitter of blue lotus,
Shower your Grace on me too,  who is standing far off and needing your mercy.
By this, I become rich and no loss is sustained by you! (Just like-)
The Moon spreads his cool rays equally on a forest  as well as a mansion.

Insights:

  1. In the shloka, devotee prays Shridevi to shower the Grace to help him. How? Shridevi has to just look at the devotee with kindness. That’s all! What happens then? The person becomes rich! So, the shloka says that Shridevi’s Graceful kind look on the devotees  makes them prosperous.
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  2.  The verse says: Shridevi helps everybody who prays her, irrespective of distance. She takes care of everybody whoever is in distress. For Shridevi, distance does not matter, but the devotion does, to shower her kind Grace.
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  3. Esoteric Meaning #1: The word deena means the person who is poor, needy or distressed. So, if anybody who is deena, prays Shridevi, he will become:  Dhanyo bhavati  means becomes happy. How? by just a kind look of Shridevi. The Sanskrit word Dhanya means one who has dhana, meaning auspiciousness, money, good luck, happiness, prosperity and so on. So, Shridevi’s look itself brings all these  to the devotee who is in distress.
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  4. Esoteric Meaning #2: Look at the phrase: na cha te hanir iyataa meaning you sustain little loss,  if Shridevi bestows dhana (means prosperity etc. vide supra) to her devotees. It suggests that Shridevi is the infinite source of prosperity and bliss. So, She can bestow them to everybody without sustaining any loss at all!
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  5. Esoteric Meaning #3: Vane va harmye va means whether it is a forest or a mansion. The Moon does not distinguish between the forest or mansion to spread his cool and pleasant rays.
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    In Shridevi’s case, forest and mansion refer to the devotees who are poor or rich respectively. Shridevi treats both  of them equally and showers her kind Grace just by a Graceful look. It is important to understand that people may be distressed, notwithstanding their economic status, viz., rich or poor.
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  6. Esoteric Meaning #4: The shloka says that the Shridevi helps both householder and renunciates in their respective goals.
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    From householder perspective, the word deena means poor. So, the poor householder is requesting Shridevi to shower her kind Grace so that he becomes dhanyah prosperous.
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    A monk does not need money or prosperity. But, he is deena, i.e. distressed from the vicious cycle of birth and death. His goal is to get away from this cycle by achieving moksha(liberation) by merging with Shridevi herself.  So, he is also praying Shridevi to shower her kind Grace to make him fulfilled(dhanyah) by accomplishing liberation(mukti).
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    Thus, Shridevi’s Grace is required for both the householders and monks to achieve their respective goals.
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  7. Esoteric Meaning #5: Look at the phrase vane va harmye va, meaning whether in a forest or in a mansion. It echoes the earlier meaning again. Householders live in mansions and monks in the forest. But, Shridevi graces both to achieve their goals, just like the moon who shines equally on a mansion and forest.
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  8. Esoteric Meaning #6: Again, the word harmye(on mansion) symbolizes the prosperity and material enjoyment(bhoga) that emphasizes the Shri Mahalakshmi aspect of Shridevi who is its ruler. Vane(in forest) suggests Shri Mahakali aspect of Shridevi, who brings liberation(moksha). Remember, householders and monks live in mansions(houses) and forest respectively.
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  9. Esoteric Meaning #7: Notice the phrase samakara-nipaato, which means two things: 1. In case of Shridevi, equally placing the hand on devotees heads to bless them. Here the word kara is to be interpreted as hand. 2. When referring to moon, equally shines(on both mansion and forest). Here, kara means rays. Just amazing play of words!

Words of Beauty: Interesting bunches of words that offer melody and a nice rhythm: dhara-dhalita; sna-paya kri-paya; sama-kara, hima-kara. Relish the nectar and enjoy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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