Friday, December 14, 2012

Now and then I like to let myself believe that I am completely helpless and that my life is completely at the mercy of fate. Sometimes you want to know the reason why your life is not as beautiful as you'd like it to be, why, no matter what you do, your efforts do not seem to pay off as you would like. People have their own ways of dealing with disappointment and confusion. Some seek solace in religion, some turn to astrology for answers.

A few months ago when I was at a somewhat difficult juncture in my life and couldn't decide what I should do, I consulted an astrologer. He offered some clarity on the state of things and what I may expect in the near future. As a remedial measure he advised me to chant the 'Lalitha Sahasranamam'. It was the first time I heard of it. Since then I have read a lot about it to understand it better.

Goddess Lalita is considered the embodiment of Para Shakti or the ultimate female power. Legends associated with Goddess Lalita are found in mythological texts. Devi Bhagavata, Durga Saptashati in Markandeya Purana by the sage Vyasa and Tripura Rahasya narrated by the Lord Dattatreya are some such texts. Books related to Tantra also mention the goddess. As per legends Goddess Lalita represents the Panchabhuta: fire, air, water, space and earth.

The Lalitha Sahasranamam and its significance is explained in the Brahmanda Purana, in a dialogue between Hayagriva, an (avatara) of MahaVishnu and the great sage Agastya. Explaining the greatness of this prayer, Sage Agastya told Hayagriva that chanting the name of Lord Shiva once is as good as chanting the name of Mahavishnu a thousand times. And chanting the name of Devi once is as good as chanting the name of Shiva a thousand times.

Sree Lalitha Sahasranamam is a form of prayer that anyone can chant at any time. It is said that it does not matter if one could not complete chanting it because each of the names of Goddess Lalitha in itself is powerful. Regular chanting of Shree Lalitha Sahasranamam is believed to bring blessings of beauty,  good health, wealth, intelligence, fame, goodwill & success in all endeavors.

Particular importance is given to chant the Sree Lalitha Sahasranamam on Fridays and Thursdays. These days are considered to be auspicious for the worship of  Devi.

I found a pdf of Shree Lalitha Sahasranamastotram here. Although memorising the meanings of each name in he Stotram is not compulsory, understanding the meanings by reading this will help make sense of what you are chanting. There are several videos on YouTube that could help you listen to the pronunciation and learn the Stotram. Here is one of them, for a start.

May the Divine Mother Bless us all.

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