A Special post on this auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya.
Akshaya Tritiya is a celebration of abundance and prosperity, and its origin is deeply rooted in Hindu itihasa and ancient traditions.
Today’s post is about a hymn “Saundarya Lahari”: Waves of Beauty.
Saundarya Lahari, a well-known work attributed to the 8th century Adi Shankaracharya.
Saundarya Lahari literally translates to “Waves of Beauty” and is a hymn consisting of 100 shlokas dedicated to the worship of the Hindu goddess Shakti, particularly in her aspect as the mother goddess or Divine Mother.
The hymn is divided into two parts: the first 41 shlokas are known as the Ananda Lahari or “Waves of Bliss”, which focus on the worship of the formless aspect of Shakti as pure consciousness, while the remaining 59 shlokas make up the Saundarya Lahari proper, which celebrate the beauty and grace of the goddess in her manifest form.
Saundarya Lahari is a long hymn consisting of 100 shlokas. The hymn is divided into two parts - Ananda Lahari and Saundarya Lahari proper.
Ananda Lahari (Shloka: 1-41):
Focuses on the formless aspect of Shakti as pure consciousness or awareness.
Saundarya Lahari Proper. (Shloka: 42-100):
Focuses on the manifest aspect of Shakti as beauty and grace. Addresses the manifest aspect of Shakti, also known as Lalita Tripurasundari.
Brief introduction of Saundarya Lahari: –
Ananda Lahari is the first part of Saundarya Lahari.
This part is consisting of the first 41 shlokas of the hymn. It focuses on the formless aspect of Shakti as pure consciousness or awareness. Ananda means “bliss” or “joy”, and Lahari means “waves” or “currents”. Ananda Lahari, therefore, can be translated as “Waves of Bliss”.
The shlokas of Ananda Lahari are highly philosophical and mystical in nature, exploring the nature of consciousness and the path of spiritual realization. They are addressed to the formless aspect of Shakti, also known as Shiva-Shakti or Pure Consciousness. The shlokas describe the infinite and boundless nature of consciousness, which is beyond all form, attributes, and limitations.
Remaining 59 shlokas form the second part as Saundarya Lahari.
Saundarya Lahari is an intricate and esoteric composition that describes the beauty, grace, and power of the goddess Lalita Tripurasundari, who is considered the embodiment of the divine feminine.
The spiritual significance of Saundarya Lahari lies in its ability to awaken the dormant spiritual energy within the individual and lead them towards self-realization. The hymn employs powerful metaphors and imagery to convey profound spiritual truths, and it is said that by meditating on the shlokas of Saundarya Lahari, one can attain spiritual enlightenment.
In Ananda Lahari, Adi Shankaracharya uses a variety of metaphors and images to convey the essence of pure consciousness. For example, in 1st shloka, he describes consciousness as a “cool moonbeam” that dispels the darkness of ignorance. In shloka no-5, he compares consciousness to a “flameless lamp” that illuminates everything without being consumed itself. In the 9th shloka, he describes consciousness as a “mirror” that reflects everything but is not affected by what it reflects.
Listen one shloka: – sung by Dr. Anamika Pandey, Senior Public Health Expert, Lucknow.
To learn chanting and explanation of “Saundarya Lahari”, Dr. Anamika can be approached through her mail ID: Anamika.firstname.lastname@example.org
In conclusion, the practice of devotion and meditation on the divine feminine is a powerful means of attaining spiritual realization and liberation. By cultivating the qualities of love, compassion, and surrender, one can develop a deeper connection with the divine and awaken the dormant spiritual energy within oneself. The practice of devotion towards the divine feminine is a profound spiritual path that can lead to a transformation of consciousness and the attainment of ultimate truth.
On this day of Akshaya Tritiya, let us turn our gaze inward and behold the radiance of the goddess within. May her divine beauty inspire us to seek the highest truth, to let go of our attachments to the fleeting pleasures of this world, and to embrace the infinite bliss of her eternal presence.