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Lalitha Sahasranama (IAST: lalithsahasranma) is a text from Brahmanda

Purana. It is a sacred text to the Hindu worshiers of the !oddess Lalita


"e#i$ i.e. the "i#ine %other or !oddess "ur&a$ in the form$ Sha'ti. Lalitha is
the !oddess of (liss$ an eithet for Shi#a)s wife !oddess Par#ati.
*t+molo&icall+$ ,Lalitha, means ,She -ho Pla+s,. In the root form (#+utatti)$
the word ,Lalitha, means ,sontaneous, from which the meanin& ,eas+, is
deri#ed and imlicitl+ extends to ,la+,.
.ontents
/ 0ames
1 .omosition
2 Stor+
3 Lalitha
4 0a&ara
5 center of 0a&ara
6 Bhandasura
7 Structure
8 See also
/9 :eferences
// ;urther readin&
/1 *xternal lin's
0ames
Lalita Sahasranama contains a thousand names of the Hindu mother &oddess
Lalita.</= The names are or&ani>ed in a h+mns (stotras). It is the onl+
sahasranama that does not reeat a sin&le name. ;urther$ in order to
maintain the meter$ sahasranamass use the arti?ce of addin& words li'e tu$
ai$ ca$ and hi$ which are con@unctions that do not necessaril+ add to the
meanin& of the name excet in cases of interretation. The Lalita
sahasranama does not use an+ such auxiliar+ con@unctions and is uniAue in
(ein& an enumeration of hol+ names that meets the metrical$ oetical and
m+stic reAuirements of a sahasranama (+ their order throu&hout the text.
Lalita Sahasranama (e&ins (+ callin& the &oddess Shri %ata (the &reat
mother)$ Shri %ahara@ni (the &reat Aueen) and Shrimat Simhasaneshwari (the
Aueen sittin& on the lionBthrone).<1= In #erses 1 and 2 of the Sahasranama
she is descri(ed as a Cda+at(hanu Sahasra(ha (the one who is as (ri&ht as
the ra+s of thousand risin& suns)$ .hatur(ahu Saman#ita (the one who has
four hands) and :a&as#arua Pashadh+a (the one who is holdin& the roe).<2=
.hida&ni'unda Sam(huta (one who was (orn from the altar of the ?re of
consciousness) and "e#a'ar+a samud+ata (one who manifested Herself for
ful?llin& the o(@ects of the de#as) are amon& other names mentioned in the
sahasranama.
.omosition
Lalitha sahasranama is said to ha#e (een comosed (+ ei&ht #aa& de#is
(#aa& de#athas) uon the command of Lalitha. These #aa& de#is are Dasini$
Eameshwari$ Aruna$ Dimala$ Fa+inee$ %odhinee$ Sar#eshwari$ Eoulini. The
sahasranama sa+s that ,Gne can worshi Lalitha onl+ if she wishes us to do
so,. The text is a dialo&ue (etween Ha+a&ri#a$ an (a#atar) of %aha#ishnu and
the sa&e A&ast+a. The temle at Thirume+achur$near Eum(a'onam is said to
(e where A&ast+a was initiated into this sahasranama. Another alternati#e
#ersion is the Canishad Bramham %utt at 'anchiuram is where this
initiation haened.
This sahasranama is held as a sacred text for the worshi of the ,"i#ine
%other,$ Lalita$ and is used in the worshi of "ur&a$ Par#ati$ Eaali$ La'shmi$
Saraswati$ Bha&a#athi$ etc. A rincial text of Sha'ti worshiers$ it names her
#arious attri(utes$ and these names are or&ani>ed in the form of a h+mn. This
sahasranama is used in #arious modes for the worshi of the "i#ine %other.
Some of the modes of worshi are ara+ana (:ecitations)$ archana$ homa etc.
Stor+
This stotra (h+mn of raise) occurs in the Brahmanda Purana (histor+ of the
uni#erse) in the chater on discussion (etween Ha+a&ree#a and A&asth+a.
Ha+a&ree#a is an incarnation of Dishnu with the head of a horse who is held
to (e the storehouse of 'nowled&e. A&asth+a is one of the sa&es of +ore and
one of the stars of the constellation Satarshi (Crsa ma@or). At the reAuest of
A&asth+a$ Ha+a&ree#a is said to ha#e tau&ht him the thousand holiest names
of Lalita. This has (een con#e+ed to us (+ the sa&e %aharishi D+asa. Lalitha
Sahasranama is the onl+ sahasranama comosed (+ #a&de#atas under
Lalitha)s direction. All the other sahasranamas are said to ha#e (een
comosed (+ %aharishi D+asa.
Paramashi#a is one of the trinit+ of Hindu antheons$ in char&e of mo'sha
(la+am). He married Sati$ the dau&hter of "a'sha. "a'sha and Paramashi#a
did not &et alon& and conseAuentl+ "a'sha did not in#ite Paramashi#a for
one of the &reat ?re sacri?ces that he conducted. Howe#er Sati went to
attend that function in site of Paramashi#aHs rotest. "a'sha insulted her
hus(and and she @umed into the ?re and ended her life. .onseAuentl+ at the
(ehest of Paramashi#a$ "a'sha was 'illed and later resurrected with a &oatHs
head. This incident uset Paramashi#a and he entered into dee meditation.
Sati reincarnated as dau&hter of Hima#at$ 'in& of the mountains$ and his
wife$ the asara %ena. 0aturall+$ Pr#atI sou&ht and recei#ed Shi#a as her
hus(and.
The de#as faced an enem+ in Sura Padma J Banda<disam(i&uation needed=
who had a (oon that he could (e 'illed onl+ (+ a son of Shi#a and Par#ati. So$
to wa'e Shi#a from his dee meditation$ the de#as deuted %anmatha$ the
!od of lo#e who shot his Kower arrows at Paramashi#a. Paramashi#a wo'e u
and oened his third e+e and (urnt the !od of lo#e into ashes. The "e#as
and :athi "e#i the wife of %anmatha reAuested Paramashi#a to &i#e life to
%anmatha. Heedin& their reAuest Paramashi#a stared at the ashes of
%anmatha. ;rom the ashes came Bhandasura$ who made all the world
imotent and ruled from the cit+ called Shonitha ura. He started trou(lin&
the de#as. The de#as then sou&ht the ad#ice of Sa&e 0arada who ad#ised
them to conduct a ?re sacri?ce. ;rom the ?re rose Lalitha Triura Sundari.
Lalitha
She is descri(ed as extremel+ (eautiful$ ha#in& dar' thic' lon& hair with the
scent of .hama'a$ Aso'a and Punna&a Kowers. She had the mus' thila'a on
her forehead$ e+elids which aeared as if the+ were the &ate of the house of
the !od of lo#e$ and ha#in& e+es li'e ?sh la+in& in the la'e of her face. She
had a nose with studs that shone more than the stars$ ears with the sun and
moon as studs$ chee's which were li'e the mirror of Padmara&a$ (eautiful
rows of white teeth$ and she was chewin& Tham(oola with camhor. She had
a #oice sweeter than the sound emanatin& from Deena of Sarswathi$ and
ha#in& such a (eautiful smile that Shi#a himself could not ta'e his e+es oL
her. She was wearin& %an&ala soothra and nec'laces$ with (eautiful (reasts
which were caa(le of (u+in& the in#alua(le lo#e of Eameswara$ ha#in&
wiss of (eautiful hair raisin& from her (ell+$ her stomach ha#in& three rett+
folds$ and she was wearin& red sil' tied with a strin& with red (ells. She had
thi&hs which steal the heart of Eameshwara$ 'nees which loo'ed li'e crowns
made of recious &ems$ #olutuous le&s$ uer art of the feet resem(lin&
the (ac's of tortoises$ feet which resem(led lams made of &ems which
could disel worries from the mind of de#otees and a (od+ with the &olden
red color. She was &i#en in marria&e to Eameshwara<citation needed= and
made to sta+ in 0a&ara at the to of %aha %eru %ountain.
0a&ara
0a&ara had 14 streets circlin& it$ made of iron$ steel$ coer$ and lead. An
allo+ made of ?#e metals$ sil#er$ &old$ the white Pusha ra&a stone$ the red
Padmara&a stone$ on+x$ diamond$ Daidoor+a$ Indra neela (toa>)$ earl$
%ara'atha$ coral$ nine &ems and a mixture of &ems and recious stones. In
the ei&hth street was a forest of Eadam(as. This is resided (+ S+amala. In
the ?fteenth street li#ed the Ashta "i&h ala'as. In the sixteenth li#ed Darahi
alias "andini who was her commander in chief. Here S+amala also had a
house. In the se#enteenth street li#ed the diLerent Mo&inis. In the ei&hteenth
street li#ed %aha Dishnu. In the nineteenth street li#ed *sana$ in the
twentieth Thara "e#i$ twent+ ?rst Daruni$ the twent+ second Euru'ulla who
resides o#er the fort of ride$ twent+ third %arthanda Bhairawa$ twent+
fourth the moon and twent+ ?fth %anmatha residin& o#er the forest of lo#e.
center of 0a&ara
In the center of 0a&ara is the %aha Padma Dana (the &reat lotus forest) and
within it the .hintamani !riha (The house of hol+ thou&ht)$ in the north east
is the .hid a&ni 'unda and on (oth sides of its eastern &ate are the houses of
%anthrini and "handini. Gn its four &ates stand the .haduramna+a &ods for
watch and ward. -ithin it is the cha'ra. In the center of the .ha'ra on the
throne of Pancha (rahmas on the Bindu Peeta (dot lan') called
sar#anandama+a (uni#ersal hainess) sits %aha Triura Sundari. In the
cha'ra are the followin& decorations #i>.$ the sAuare called Trilo'+a mohanam
(most (eautiful in the three worlds)$ The sixteen etaled lotus called Sar#asa
arioora'am (ful?llBer of all desires)$ the ei&ht etaled lotus called
Sar#asam'soanam (the all cleanser)$ the sixteen cornered ?&ure called
Sar#a sow(a&+am (all luc')$ the external ten cornered ?&ure called Sar#artha
sadha'am (&i#er of all assets)$ the internal ten cornered ?&ure called Sar#a
ra'sha 'aram (All rotector)$ the ei&ht cornered ?&ure called Sar#a ro&a
haram (cure of all diseases)$ the trian&le called Sar#a siddhi radam (&i#er of
all owers) and the dot called Sar#ananda ma+am (all leasures).
Bhandasura
The de#as ra+ed to her to 'ill Bhandasura. -hen she started for the war
with Bandasura$ she was accomanied (+ the owers called anima$ mahima$
Brahmi$ Eaumari$ Daishna#i$ Darahi$ %ahendri$ .hamundi$ %aha La'shmi$
0it+a "e#aths and A#arna "e#athas who occu+ the cha'ra. -hile
Samat'ari was the catain of the elehant re&iment$ Aswarooda was the
catain of the ca#alr+. The arm+ was commanded (+ "handini ridin& on the
chariot called !iri .ha'ra assisted (+ %anthrini ridin& on the chariot called
!e+a .ha'ra. Fwala malini rotected the arm+ (+ creatin& a ?re rin& around
it. Para Sha'thi rode in the center on the chariot of .ha'ra. 0ith+a destro+ed
a lar&e chun' of BandasuraHs armies$ Bala 'illed the son of Bandasura$ and
%anthrini and "handini 'illed his (rothers called Dishan&a and Dishu'ra.
-hen the asuras created a (loc'ade for the marchin& arm+$ Lalitha Triura
sundari created !anesha with the hel of Eameshwara to remo#e the
(loc'ade. Then Bandasura created the asuras called Hiran+a'sha$ Hiran+a
Easiu and :a#ana. The de#i created the ten a#atars of Dishnu and destro+ed
them. She 'illed all his arm+ usin& Pasuathastra and 'illed him with
Eameshwarasthra. The &ods then raised her. She then recreated %anmatha
for the &ood of the world. This stor+ is contained in the ?rst 73 names of the
?rst 23 slo'as of Lalitha sahasranama. All to&ether it contains one thousand
names. This is also called the :ahas+a 0ama Sahasra (the thousand secret
names). :eadin& it$ meditatin& on the meanin& of the names would lead to
the ful?llment of all the wishes of the de#otees.
Structure
The slo'as are or&ani>ed in such a wa+ that "e#i is descri(ed from ,Head to
;eet, ('*sAdhi Adham).<clari?cation needed= There are (asicall+ ?#e wor's
(ancha 'rt+am). The+ are creation (srishti)$ rotection (sthiti)$ destruction
(samhAram)$ hidin& (thirGdhAnam) and (lessin& (anu&raham). "e#i herself
has (een descri(ed as ,ancha 'rt+a arA+anA, in the slo'a and the ?#e
tas's are descri(ed as follows:
srshti'arthi (rahmma rooA &GthreeB&G#indaBruini samhAriniBrudraBruA
thirGdhAna'areeswari sadAsi#aBanu&rahadhA ancha'ruth+aBarA+anA
This means "e#i is the asect of Brahma$ while creatin& srshti$ asect of
Dishnu while sustainin& sthiti$ asect of :udra durin& dissolution samhara.
These ?#e entities (Brahmma$ Dishnu$ :udra$ Is#ara and Sadasi#a) are 'nown
as ,anchaB(rahma,. Lalitha has desi&nated the ?#e functions to these
(rahmam. Sometimes$ "e#i will ta'e awa+ the life from these ?#e (rahmmam
and ma'e them inacti#e$ erformin& all the ?#e tas's herself. At that time
the+ will (e called ,ancha retam, that is lifeless (odies.
0ow the ?rst three slo'as are: srimata$ the (&reat mother) SrshtiN sri
mahara@ni the (&reat ruler) SthithiN srimat simhasaneswari the (one who sits
on the simhasanam and mana&es) Samharam. Here there is no direct
reference to samharam. But mana&in& here includes creatin& (alance
(etween (irth and death.
The rest of the slo'as co#er thirodhanam and anu&raham.
0ow the next namas B ,chidha&ni'unda sam(hutha de#a'ar+a samudh+atha,
tells us that de#i arose from the ?re of 'nowled&e to hel de#as in their tas'
(war a&ainst asuras B (handasura).
;rom the namAaB Cdh+ath (hanu sahasra(a till sin@anamani man@eera
manditha sree adam(u@a$ all her arts li'e her face$ fore head$ e+es$ mouth$
ton&ue$ #oice$ hands$ hi$ le&s ha#e (een descri(ed.
Thereafter$ "e#i)s lace (.hintamani &ruham)$ her war a&ainst (andasura$
'undalini sha'ti$ her roerties (such as who can reach her and who cannot$
etc.) ha#e (een descri(ed.
The !eneral icture of the !oddess deicts a Parrot and a Su&arcane stic'
with her. Su&arcane reresents the sweetness of her mind.