Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #99: Shridevi bestows anything and everything to her devotee!

Picture of Shri Lalita Mahatripra Sundari Devi

Greatest Goddess Prameshwari Shridevi Lalita Mahatripura Sundari

Saraswathya Lakshmya Vidhi Hari sapathno viharathe
Ratheh paathivrithyam shithilayathi ramyena vapusha |
Chiram jivanneva kshapathi pashu pasha vyathikara
Paranandabhikhyam rasayathi rasam twadbhajanavaan ||
Soundarya Lahari 99

Benefits: Attainment of Ultimate Bliss.

Meaning: Shridevi ! Your devotee would be enriched with so much knowledge and wealth that even Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu feel jealous of him.  He will be so attractive that he loosens the chastity of even Rathi Devi, the consort of Kama Deva. He lives forever by destroying the bonds of mortals and tastes the nectar of bliss called Paraananda.

Insights: This is a very cryptic and esoteric verse again. Let us try to uncover the hidden meaning from Shridevi’s Grace.

  1. This verse explains what a devotee could potentially get by praying Shridevi. According to this verse, he gets immense wealth and knowledge so that even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma will envy him.
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    What does it  mean? Lord Brahma’s power is Shri Saraswati, who is the ruler of knowledge. Similarly, Lord Vishnu is the spouse of Shri Lakshmi Devi who rules wealth.
    .The shloka says that devotee will also get so much knowledge and wealth that even Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu  will be jealous of him!
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  2. By praying Shridevi, devotee becomes so attractive that even Rati Devi gets fascinated. According to Scriptures, Rati Devi is iconic of beauty. She is the consort of Kama Deva, the God of desire.
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    Moreover, the devotee of Shridevi destroys intricate mixture of karmas and pasu-bhava, i.e. limited animal-like feeling. Pasu-bhava refers to human misconception that we are different from God(i.e. the Universal Self).  This is the wrong notion of duality  that our Individual Self is different from God.  The root cause of this is ignorance.
    .According to the verse, Shridevi eliminates the ignorance and helps the devotee in enjoying the nectar of bliss(ananda) of the Ultimate Reality.
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  3. Esoteric Meaning #1: By the above discussion, it clear that devotee gets the following by praying Shridevi: knowledge, wealth, desires and liberation.  According to our Scriptures, these four are the primary goals of human beings(called purusharthas), viz, Dharma(knowledge of duty), Artha(wealth), Kama(fulfilling desires) and moksha(liberation). So, Shridevi helps her staunch devotees in achieving all these goals. All coverered! What more to ask?🙂
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  4. Esoteric Meaning #2: The first two lines cover knowledge, wealth and fulfilling desires which are part of material enjoyment(bhoga). The next lines talk about liberation(moksha), i.e. forever enjoying the eternal bliss by liberating from all bondage by merging with the Universal Self.
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  5. Esoteric Meaning #3: Shridevi has three principal aspects:1. Maha Saraswati who is the ruler of knowledge(Jnana). 2. Maha Lakshmi – the ruler of material enjoyment(bhoga) with wealth and desires. 3. Maha Kali – who rules liberation(moksha). According to the verse, the votaries get the support of these three aspects of Shridevi to achieve the goals of human life(vide supra, esoteric meaning #1).
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  6. Esoteric Meaning #4: Focus on the phrase Chiram jeevanneva meaning eternally living. The devotee of Shridevi gets immense knowledge, enjoys the material prosperity, fulfills all his desires and finally gets connected to the bliss of the Ultimate Reality which is Shridevi herself. All of these happen while living on the earth. In other words, the devotee achieves the Jeevan-mukta state, i.e. one who is liberated while still living.
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  7. Esoteric Meaning #5: The phrase ramyena vapusha meaning with a beautiful body, suggests that the devotee gets the healthy body enriched with beauty. How do we get this shade of meaning? Let us face it. Nobody can get attracted to a sick person no matter however handsome he may be. Right? Also, unless the person is healthy, he cannot live longer and enjoy the bliss either!
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  8. Esoteric Meaning #6: By the above discussion on the verse, it is obvious that the staunch devotees of Shridevi would get knowledge, enjoy material prosperity and good health, fulfill all their desires and finally achieve liberation, all while living here on this earth! It means that Shridevi bestows anything and everything to her votaries.
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Words of Beauty: Here are some interesting words that offer melodious rhyme and rhythm to the verse: vi-dhi-hari, vi-harathe; ratheh, pathi-vrityam, shi-thi; pashu, pasha; kshapathi, vyathi-kara; rasa-yathi, rasam. Relish and enjoy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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