Shri lalitha sahasranama Stotra is found in the Uttara Khanda of Brahmanda purana. It is recorded as the conversation between Hayagriva and Agasthya.
Lalita Devi, is considered to be a manifestation of the Shakti. The word “Lalitha” means “the one who is playful“. In the root form (vyutpatti), the word “Lalita” means natural grace of a woman.
Sri Lalitha sahasranama Stotra has three parts, an introduction to devi and her swaroopa(manifestation in different forms), the sahasranama-1000 names of the devi and the phalashruthi(benefits of chanting Stotra).
Kamadeva forced Shiva to break his samadhi sthithi he was reduced to ashes when Shiva opened his third eye.
From the ashes came Bhandasura, who made the whole world impotent and ruled from the city called Shonitha pura. The devas then sought the advice of Sage Narada and the Trimurtis. They could overcome this situation only with the help of Nirguna Brahma, who has no physical manifestation but remains as Sat-Chit-Ananada (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss). Nirguna Brahman divided itself into the Maha Shambhu and the Adi Parasakthi and appeared before them. Maha Sambhu and Adi Parashakti agreed to take the forms of Maha Kameswara and Kameswari Tripura Sundari respectively, for the benefit of the universe.
For this to happen a maha yajna was made, where the entire creation, i.e. the physical universe, was offered as ablation and from the fire rose Kameshvari Tripura Sundari and Kameshvara. Tripura Sundari and Kameswara re-created the entire universe as it was before. They re-created Brahma and Saraswati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and all the other devas. Also, as Vishnu got Tripura Sundari married to Kameswara. Hence Vishnu became brother to Parvati.
It was Brahma to called her by name such as Kamakshi and Kameshvari. She destroyed Shonitapura and killed Bhandasura.
The great architects of devas and asuras, Vishwakarma and Maya created a city called Sripura in the Sumeru Parvatha. They built a palace by name Chintamani and a bed out of Panchabhoota
Brahma, Vishnu, ishwara and Rudra became the four legs supporting.
The second part of the Stotra which lists 1000 names of the devi, describes her manifesting, the form, her beauty, her dress and ornaments, how she did Bhandasura Samhara.
The relationship of the universe and devi, the presence of Devi in Shat Chakras of the body as the ultimate energy known as Kundalini are explained in sahasranama.
The shloka start with the word ‘Srimata’ and the sahasranama shloka ends with ‘Lalithambika’
When we read this together ‘Srimata Lalithambika’ it signifies that Lalitha devi herself is the mother of whole creation.
In the Padma purana, we get the meaning of the word Lalitha, which has root word ‘lokanaatithya lalite lalitha’ which means the one who has captivated the entire creation in her playful charm
The word Lalitha also has eight more meanings, namely brilliance, manifestation, sweetness, depth, fixity, energy, grace and generosity. These are also the eight human qualities.
Devi has a bow made of sugarcane in her hand, like Kamadeva had, it so beautifully explains the cause of her avatara as Kamakshi.
Absence of Kamadeva gave rise to Bhandasura who made the whole world impotent. Now for recreation of the world devi has to come with same bow as of Kama and with such a beauty that she would captivate everyone’s senses.
God Hayagriva explains greatness of this Stotra as follows,
“purananam sripuramiva shakthinam lalitha yatha |
Shrividyopaasakaanam cha yatha devo varah shiva ||
Tatha namasahasreshu varamethath prakeerthitham ||”
How Sripura is great among all the city of gods, how devi lalithambike is great among all the roopa of shakthi, and how shiva is the greatest to those who seek knowledge and for devotion, this sahasranama is the greatest among all.
” vishnu nama sahasraschcha shivanaamaikamuttamam |
Shivanamasahasracha devyaa namaikamuttamam ||”
Chanting a name of Shiva is better than chanting 1000 names of vishnu, and chanting a name of Devi is better than chanting 1000 names of Shiva ”
This explains greatness of the this Stotra.
The phalashrithi(benefits of this Stotra) :
The benefits of this Stotra is explained in 87 shlokas
The reciter will have a positive ambience around him which will be pleasant to people surrounding him. Regular chanting of Shri Lalitha Sahasranama is as beneficial as visiting religious places, taking bath in holy river, offering food and other daana.
Regular chanting of Shri Lalitha Sahasranamam will make a person blessed with word power, fame, good will etc.
As Sanskrit shlokas have very particular pronunciation, regular chanting of these mantras will bring clarity of speech, helps in conditions like stuttering.
Rama(lakshmi) and Vaani (Saraswathi) are said to do her seva with chamara (fans), this signifies by worshipping lalitha devi both wealth and knowledge can be attained.
The two weapons in her upper right and left hands are to cut the worldly desires in out heart and bring us to her feet. The weapon in the lower right hand is the ankusha which teaches it discipline, it reminds us to have control on our worldly desire. After kamadeva, mother lalitha devi took the love into her and became Shri Kameshwari.
The 5 brahmas sitting at her feet are actually the legs of her throne and these 5 brahmas are Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishwara and Sadashiva. These five will become motionless without Shakti. She is the energy through which universe was born and in her the universe will resolve at the end.
Lalitha devi sitting on Shiva is a representation that she is Shiva. Both are inseparable. only when both are together the universe will thrive.
Why do Hindus have so many gods? Why not a God in single form?
It is because God and goddess have different manifestation. Everything in this world happens because of the energy of adi shakthi but she has a form of skandamata a doting figure of loving mother, and bhadrakali who has severed head of rakthabjiasura in her hands. To have the evil destroyed from this world she took that form, hence she is worshipped in that form.
Reciting Stotra, and other form of worship will inculcate discipline on our life because to learn or master a Stotra or a pooja method it takes dedication and displicine. The ultimate goal of attaining knowledge of self and to find happiness among on self becomes easy to attain.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth