Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #100: Shridevi ! Your own words are dedicated to your Lotus Feet!

Picture of Durga Devi

Our Exquisite and All Powerful Goddess, the Wave of Beauty:  Parameshwari Shridevi Durga

Pradipa-jwalabhir dhivasa-kara-neerajana-vidhih
Sudha-suthes chandropala-jala-lavair arghya-rachana |
Svakiyair ambhobhih salila-nidhi-sauhitya karanam
Tvadiyabhir vagbhis thava janani vacham stutir iyam ||
Soundarya Lahari 100

Benefits: Attainment of all Occult Powers.

Meaning: O Mother Shridevi ! Composing this hymn of yours, in the words of your own is very much like:
– adoring the Sun by nirajana (i.e. waving the light; a.k.a arati)
– offering the Arghya (water oblation) to the Moon by the water flowing out of  a Moon stone
– pleasing the ocean by giving Tarpana(pouring the water)!

Insights: This is an important concluding verse of mystical hymn Soundarya Lahari. In this shloka, Our Great Universal Master Shri Shankara Bhagavatpadah dedicates the entire hymn to Shridevi with utmost humility and devotion.

  1.  According to Scriptures Tantras, Shridevi is Mantramayi, full of mystical mantras with immeasurable power. She is the inherent power of all mantras. In her capacity as Devi Saraswati, she bestows knowledge. She is also called Vak(speech). So, she is  Varnamayi, meaning made of letters, since speech consists of varnas(means letters). In Sanskrit, letter has a synonym: Akshara, meaning eternal. So, Shridevi is the eternal Ultimate Reality.
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    OK. Here is a paradox.🙂 To Compose any hymn one should inevitably use words. But, the words are embodiment of Shridevi herself! Actually, all the words belong to Her! So, our Great Master Shankara Bhagavatpadah puts it as – composing the Soundarya Lahari is like pleasing Shridevi by offering something that already belongs to her! Shri Bhagavatpadah explains this with beautiful literary analogies.
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  2. Lord Sun is full of brilliant light. How can we please him by Neerajana(waving a light) that already belongs to him?
    Similarly, according to myth a cool water comes out from Moon stone which is presided by the Moon. How can we propitiate the Moon by giving him Arghya(Vedic process of giving water by folded hands)?
    The ocean is full of water. How can we give Tarpana(a kind of water oblation) to the Ocean by water that already belongs to the ocean?
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  3. Esoteric Meaning #1: In this verse, our Great Universal Master Shri Bhagavatpadah dedicates the entire Soundarya Lahari hymn to the Greatest Goddess Shridevi with utmost devotion and complete surrender. He indirectly says: ” All words are yours. You are in words. Everything is yours, Shridevi! Nothing is mine!” This is the exact feeling that we need to have when we pray Shridevi.
  4. Esoteric Meaning #2: The verse suggests the three great powers of Shridevi. How? Look at the word Pradipa jwalabhih meaning shining flame. It suggests the Goddess Parvati, who is the form of fire(Agni). Chandropala means the Moon stone. The Moon is suggestive of Shri Lakshmi, the ruler of prosperity. The word Vagbhih means speech, indicating Shri Saraswati who is the ruler of speech(Vak Devi). By analogy, all these three powers are nothing but Shridevi.
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  5. Esoteric Meaning #3: From the perspective of Kundalini Yoga, the words Jwala means flame indicates Kundalini power in Sushumna. The words Divasakara and Chandra mean the Sun and the Moon, are suggestive of Pingala and Ida channels of our psychic body respectively.
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  6. Esoteric Meaning #4: The verse brings in two words Divasakara and Chandra meaning the Sun and the Moon respectively. It is to signify that Shridevi is intricately present within time. As detailed in an earlier verse, she makes the time happen, by herself being above and beyond time. Look at the elegant and strategic use of words! Par excellence!

Words of Beauty: Here are some homophonic words that offer melody and a nice rhythm: Su-dha, su-teh; Chandro-pala, jala-lavai; Twadiya-bhih, vag-bhih. Relish and enjoy!

Epilogue:

OK. All good things must come to an end.  It was a great journey, indeed! With this article, we conclude our series on selected verses of Soundarya Lahari.  It was a great opportunity to express our devotion to Shridevi.  It had been a very exhilarating experience for us to study Soundarya Lahari and to understand a small bit of infinite glory of Shridevi. By now, we are sure that our regular readers would have very well appreciated the greatness and power of Shridevi via Soundarya Lahari series.

As we discussed many times earlier, Soundarya Lahari is a powerful and mystical hymn. There are many shades of esoteric meanings to a single verse. We have given a drop from the ocean of the nectar from the direct inspiration from Shridevi and the direction of the Sadguru.

As our Universal Master Shri Bhagavatpadah said in this verse, everything belongs to Shridevi. Nothing we could write on our own without her wish and command. So, naturally, with all our devotion and humility, we dedicate all our writings back to her –  just like, all the rivers must merge with the Great Ocean. No option!

We acknowledge our intrinsic limitations. So, we humbly own all the mistakes in interpreting the verses. We beg Shridevi to forgive us and help us correct them as per her wish. We are sure that- as she is the Great Mother, she showers her kind Grace and affection upon us out of her own nature of motherly care and compassion.

As Shri Bhagavatpadah says in Shri Devyaparadha Kshamapana Stotra:

Param jaane Matah twadanusaranam klesha-haranam |

Meaning: But, I know Mother! If I follow you, you eliminate sorrow(problems, worries etc.).

We second that. Let us pray Shridevi always for her kind Grace:

Maha Tripura Sundareem muhur namaskurmahe |
We salute Great Goddess Maha Tripura Sundari again and again.

Sarve janah sukhino bhavantu |
May everybody in the world be happy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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