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8 Feb
Lalitha Sahasranamam

Posted by D Apps Ltd in Books & Reference | Feb. 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Lalitha Sahasranama (IAST: lalitāsahasranāma) is a text from Brahmanda Purana. It is a sacred text to the Hindu worshippers of the Goddess Lalita Devi, i.e. the Divine Mother or Goddess Durga, in the form, Shakti. Lalitha is the Goddess of bliss, an epithet for Shiva's wife Goddess Parvati. Etymologically, "Lalitha" means "She Who Plays". In the root form (vyutpatti), the word "Lalitha" means "spontaneous" from which the meaning "easy" is derived and implicitly extends to "play".

This stotra (hymn of praise) occurs in the Brahmanda Purana (history of the universe) in the chapter on discussion between Hayagreeva and Agasthya. Hayagreeva is an incarnation of Vishnu with the head of a horse who is held to be the storehouse of knowledge. Agasthya is one of the sages of yore and one of the stars of the constellation Saptarshi (Ursa major). At the request of Agasthya, Hayagreeva is said to have taught him the thousand holiest names of Lalita. This has been conveyed to us by the sage Maharishi Vyasa. Lalitha Sahasranama is the only sahasranama composed by vagdevatas under Lalitha's direction. All the other sahasranamas are said to have been composed by Maharishi Vyasa.

Paramashiva is one of the trinity of Hindu pantheons, in charge of moksha (layam). He married Sati, the daughter of Daksha. Daksha and Paramashiva did not get along and consequently Daksha did not invite Paramashiva for one of the great fire sacrifices that he conducted. However Sati went to attend that function in spite of Paramashiva’s protest. Daksha insulted her husband and she jumped into the fire and ended her life. Consequently at the behest of Paramashiva, Daksha was killed and later resurrected with a goat’s head. This incident upset Paramashiva and he entered into deep meditation. Sati reincarnated as daughter of Himavat, king of the mountains, and his wife, the apsara Mena. Naturally, Pārvatī sought and received Shiva as her husband.

The devas faced an enemy in Tarakasura who had a boon that he could be killed only by a son of Shiva and Parvati. So, to rouse Shiva from his deep meditation, the devas deputed Manmatha, the God of love who shot his flower arrows at Paramashiva. Paramashiva ended his meditation and in anger for being disturbed, opened his third eye which reduced the God of love to ashes. The Devas and Rathi Devi, the wife of Manmatha requested Paramashiva to give life to Manmatha. Heeding their request Paramashiva stared at the ashes of Manmatha. From the ashes came Bhandasura, who made all the world impotent and ruled from the city called Shonitha pura. He started troubling the devas. The devas then sought the advice of Sage Narada who advised them to conduct a fire sacrifice. From the fire rose Lalitha Tripura Sundari.

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