Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #87: (No) Comparison between Lotus and Lotus Feet of Shridevi !

Greatest Mother Parameshwari Shridevi Lalita Tripura Sundari

Greatest Mother Parameshwari Shridevi Lalita Tripura Sundari

Himani-hanthavyam hima-giri-nivasaika-chaturau
Nishayam nidranam nishi cha parabhaghe cha vishadau |
Varam lakshmi-pathram shriyam ati srijanthau samayinam
Sarojam thvad-padau janani jayatas chitram iha kim? ||
Soundarya Lahari 87

Benefits: Attracting of serpents.

Meaning: Lotus blights in snowfall; your Lotus feet are experts in dwelling in snow-clad mountains,
Sleeps during the night;  shine in both the night and the day,
Able to attract the Shri Lakshmi’s Grace; capable of bestowing Shri Lakshmi(wealth) to the devotees, (So, between a Lotus and your Lotus feet,)
O Mother Shridevi !  what is the wonder if your lotus feet win over lotus? 

Insights:

  1. It is very natural for poets to compare the feet to lotus. But, this beautiful verse shows the fallacy of  such comparison. Lotus blights in snow where as Shridevi’s lotus feet are experts in dwelling on the snow-clad mountains of the Great Himalayas[1].
    .
    The lotus closes itself(sleeps) during night, whereas lotus feet of Shridevi are shining and awake at all times. This is because Shridevi is beyond time and space.
    .
    Our Scriptures say that Shridevi Lakshmi dwells in the lotus(Padmaalayaa) and She likes lotus(Padma priyaa). So, the lotus has got the Grace of Shri Lakshmi to host her and for being favorite to her. What about lotus feet of Shridevi? They are capable of bestowing Shri Lakshmi herself to the devotees!
    .
    According to the verse, there is no real comparison between lotus and lotus feet of Shridevi. What is the wonder if lotus feet of Shridevi win over lotus?
    .
  2. Esoteric Meaning #1: The word snow is a metaphor for cooling bliss that is obtained during advanced traditional yoga path like Kundalini Yoga. So, the verse says that Shridevi is the embodiment of bliss(Ananda).
    .
    The words day and night, imply the eternity(Sat) of Shridevi. Also, According to Tantras, another name for Shridevi is Chiti meaning she is  the embodiment of consciousness(Chit). So, the verse indicates that Shridevi is the Ultimate Reality which is described in our Scriptures as formless energy that is characterized by  Sat-Chit-Ananda.
    .
  3. Esoteric Meaning #2: Focus on the phrase, nishi cha parabhage meaning night and day. These words connect to the word samayinam meaning the devotees[2]. The lotus feet of Shridevi are ready to help the devotees day and night, i.e. any time!
    .
  4. Esoteric Meaning #3: Look at the phrase: nishi cha parabhage cha vishadau meaning shining in the night and the day. It refers to the lotus feet of Shridevi. This phrase mystically indicates that the Shridevi is the continuous Force(Shakti)  that is ever-present which is beyond sleep and wake states of human beings. In other words, Shridevi is the continuous thread that binds different states of humans, such as deep sleep, dream and waking state.
    .
  5. Esoteric Meaning #4: Ponder on the phrase: Shriyam ati Srijanthau samayinam meaning Shridevi’s Lotus feet themselves are capable of bestowing immense wealth(Lakshmi) to the devotee. This phrase deals with the Shri Lakshmi aspect of Shridevi Durga that confers the votaries with  material prosperity and enjoyment(bhoga).
    .
  6. Esoteric Meaning #5:  As discussed above in the point #2, the word hima (snow) implies the bliss. The word hima-giri means the mountain of bliss. So, the meaning of the first line of the verse becomes: “the lotus feet of Shridevi are experts in dwelling in the supreme eternal bliss”.  It indicates the Shri Parvati aspect of Shridevi which grants the eternal bliss to the  devotee by helping them to achieve liberation(moksha).
    .
  7. Esoteric Meaning #6: By the points #5 and #6 above, that the verse clearly suggests that lotus feet of Shridevi have both Shri Lakshmi and Shri Parvati aspects of Shridevi. Hence, they are capable of granting both material prosperity(bhoga) and liberation(moksha) to her staunch devotees. Thus, Shridevi’s lotus feet can bestow material prosperity to house-holders and the liberation(moksha) to monastic seekers.

Notes:

  1. According to our Scriptures, Lord Shiva and Shridevi Parvati have their abode in the Great Himalayas.
  2. Literally, in Sanskrit language Sama-ya means going together. It is a tradition of Shridevi’s worship that  believes in the oneness of Shiva and ShaktiSamayin means the devotee who follows the Samaya tradition.

Words of Beauty: The following words offer a melodious tone and beautiful rhythm to the verse: Hima-ni, Hima-giri; ni-shayam, ni-drayam, ni-shi;  va-ram, pa-tram; ja-nani, ja-yatah. Relish and enjoy!

Action Point: Let us pray the lotus feet of Shridevi for their kind Grace!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

This entry was posted in Soundarya Lahari and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.