Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #90: May I become a honey bee for the lotus feet of Shridevi !

Picture of Shridevi Mookambika of Kollur

Parameshwari Shridevi Mookambika: Bestower of both Bhoga(prosperity) and Moksha(liberation)

Dhadhane dinebhyah shriyam anisham ashaanusadhrusim
Amandham soundarya-prakara-makarandham vikirathi |
Tav’asmin mandara-sthabhaka-subhage yatu charane
Nimajjan majjivah karana-charanah sat-charanathaam ||
– Soundarya lahari 90

Benefits: Cutting of bad spells cast.

Shridevi ! Thy lotus feet are ever-giving wealth to the helpless, in proportion to their desire.  They strongly radiate the nectar with abundant beauty and auspiciousness.
To attain your lotus feet  which are  like mandara flowers,
May myself with six limbs be a honey bee!

Insights: This is shloka praises Shridevi’s power of bestowing wealth and liberation to her staunch devotees. Let us understand clearly.

  1. Shri Lakshmi  is the ruling deity for wealth. The first line of the verse deals with Shri Lakshmi power of Shridevi that confers wealth and auspiciousness.  It says the Shridevi’s lotus feet themselves are capable of giving wealth continuously to their devotees  according to their desire.
  2. The second line of the verse deals with the power of Shri Parvati who is the ruler of liberation(moksha) from vicious cycle of life and death. The word makaranda(means honey or nectar) suggests the infinite bliss which is the essential nature of the Ultimate Reality. The verse says that the lotus feet of Shridevi are the eternal abode with full of bliss, which needs to be attained by us after the complete liberation.
  3. The last two lines of the shloka say that Shridevi’s lotus feet are like a bunch of divine mandara flowers which grow in the heaven. The devotee prays Shridevi that he should become a honey bee to get fully engrossed in enjoying the beauty and the nectar of eternity emanating from the lotus feet of Shridevi. What a great concept of complete surrender and devotion!
  4. Esoteric Meaning #1: The words amandam means strong or swift and Soundarya prakara means multitude of beauty. So, one represents the force or wave(Lahari) and the other is Soundarya, the beauty. Together, they suggest Saundarya Lahari, the confluence of beauty and power of Shridevi Durga.
  5. Esoteric Meaning #2: Focus on the words Shriyam(wealth) and makarandam(nectar) . They indicate two aspects of Shridevi Durga, viz. 1. Shri Lakshmi, the ruler of prosperity 2. Shri Parvati, the ruler of liberation respectively.
    These words are strategically used to mean bhoga(material enjoyment) and moksha(liberation) respectively. Wealth is required to lead a comfortable life on Earth. Liberation is mandatory to escape vicious cycle of birth and death.
    The lotus feet of Shridevi themselves are capable of bestowing both material prosperity and liberation to her devotees. In this shloka, the devotee prays for prosperous life on the Earth and liberation from the ephemeral world to  attain the eternal abode of Shridevi’s lotus feet.
  6. Esoteric Meaning #3: Focus on the phrase anisham ashanusadrishim meaning continuously and as per desire. These words suggest that Shridevi gives wealth to her devotees continuously and a per their desire.
    Shridevi is the infinite source of wealth. Giving the wealth is not a one time affair. It is perennial. Shridevi fulfills the desire of her devotees, no matter however big or impossible it may be.Thus, the shloka describes the magnanimity and compassion of Shridevi towards her staunch devotees. Parameshwari Shridevi confers anything and everything to us, if we surrender to her completely with full devotion.
  7. Esoteric Meaning #4: Ponder on the last line of the verse starting with Nimajjan. In this line, devotee says that he  is the Individual Self with six limbs(five senses and mind). He/She would like to enjoy the nectar of divine bliss by connecting to Shridevi’s lotus feet  which form the Ultimate Reality by themselves.
    The lotus feet of Shridevi are compared with celestial flowers, Mandara and the devotee would like to enjoy the nectar of bliss just like a bee which also has six limbs! What a wonderful blend of philosophy and literary ornament!
  8. Esoteric Meaning #5: The last line mystically means that the devotee is praying Shridevi to help him/her in getting completely immersed in the eternal bliss of Shridevi, who is the Ultimate Reality. It means that the devotee seeks the help of Shridevi to liberate his own Individual Self by merging with her, i.e. to attain moksha(liberation).
  9. Esoteric Meaning #6: Notice that first line of the verse talks about prosperity(Shriyam) and the last line refers Nimajjan, merging in the blissSo, in the entire verse Shridevi is prayed for material enjoyment(bhoga) first and then liberation(moksha). It is a complete package! Nothing more is required, after all.
    Notice the careful order of words to convey us the priorities. During our life time, we need to enjoy the prosperity, of course, without attachment following Karma Yoga, by the Grace of Shridevi. At last, we should get ourselves liberated by merging with the lotus feet of Shridevi, the Ultimate Reality.

Words of Beauty:  Here the bunch of sweet words that offer a melodious tone and nice rhythm to the verse: Dadha-ne, dee-ne; Shriy-am,anish-am; prakara, makara-nda, vikirati; ni-majjan, majjivah; karana, charanah, charanatam. Relish and enjoy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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