saundaryalaharI - 2 (fwd)

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at COMCO.COM
Tue Nov 23 10:45:55 CST 1999

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 12:45:12 -0330 (NST)
From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
To: ambaa-l at
Subject: [ambaa-l] saundaryalaharI - 2

shrI lalitAyai namah

tanIyAMsaM pAMsuM tava caraNapa~NkeruhabhavaM
viri~ncih saMcinvan viracayati lokAn avikalam
vahatyenaM shaurih katham api sahasreNa shirasAM
harah saMkshudyainam bhajati bhasitoddhULanavidhim     2

O Mother
viri~ncih:  brahma
tava:  your
caraNapa~nkeruha:  lotus feet
bhava:  present in
pAMsuM:  dust
tanIyAMsam:  speck of (very subtle)
saMcinvan:  collecting
lokAn:  all the worlds
avikalam:  without any defects
viracayat:  created
shaurih:  vishNu
enam:  the same (the tiny bit of dust from Your lotus feet)
shirasAM sahasreNa:  by his thousand heads
katham api:  how does he do (i.e. with great difficulty)
vahati:  carrying
harah:  shiva
enam:  the same (the tiny bit of dust from Your lotus feet)
saMkshudya:  by powdering it well
bhasma uddULana vidhim: smearing the ashes
bhajati: serving

O Mother;  brahma, having gathered the tiniest speck of dust of Your
lotus feet, has created the worlds efficiently; shauri carries this
speck of dust on his thousand heads with great difficulty; shiva,
having pulverized this dust, smears his body with it.


shri shankara begins this stotra with a reverent look at the divine
Mother's lotus feet. He ends the stotra also with a similar praise
of the greatness of Her lotus feet (verse 98). [verse 1 is the
benedictory verse and the last verses 99 and 100 are the phalashruti
verses and the stotra may be considered to be starting at verse 2.]

In this verse, the great power or potency of the lotus feet of the
divine Mother is highlighted. The creation, sustenance and destruction
of the entire universe has become possible for brahma, vishNu, and
shiva, only through the power derived by them from shri devI. Further,
the speck of dust from Her lotus feet is the material cause for this
universe. This dust from Her lotus feet provides the blessing for
brahma, vishNu and Ishwara to proceed on with their duties of creation,
sustenance and destruction.

tanIyAmsam: the very subtle, speck of (dust)

viri~ncih: brahma, having gathered this very fine subtle dust from
the devI's feet and with that, created the upper seven worlds (bhuh,
bhuvah, suvah, mahah, janah, tapah and satya) and the lower seven
worlds (atala, vitala, sutala, rasAtala, talAtala, mahAtala, and

avikalam: This may be interpreted as
    (i)  associated with brahma: brahma created the worlds so that
         one world doesn't get into the way of the other; i.e. with
 or (ii) associated with vishNu:  the protection by vishNu is up to the
         final dissolution; he ensures the existence of the universe in
         the regular order in which it has been created, up to the time
         of final dissolution.

shauri:  coming from the lineage of a yAdava king by name shUra;
         Shauri sshUrah janeshwarah: shauri is one of the names of vishNu
         from vishNusahasranAma.
         vishNu the sustainer is said to be lifting the fourteen worlds,
         the upper seven in the form of a porpoise (shiMshumAra) and the
         lower seven in the form of sheSha.

SahasreNa shirasAm: sahasrashIrShA puruShah; from shrutI, with thousand

harah: antakAle prapa~ncam harati harah. The one who destroys the jagat
       at the time of praLaya is hara.

The main essence of the verse is: the greatness of the devI is shown by
the total dependence of the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer of
the worlds on the dust of Her feet, for carrying out their respective
duties. Her greatness is further shown by the fact, that a single speck
of dust of her feet provides the material for the creator to create all
the worlds, with their various contents. The same speck of dust requires
great effort from vishNu to lift the weight with his thousand heads. The
mighty shiva has to reduce this tiny speck to ashes by way of destroying
the worlds.

The meaning of this verse is also graphically explained as follows:
The divine Mother was walking in the pleasure garden of shripuram along
with the attendants. Brahma after having had darshan of devI, gathered
the dust from the path on which devI had walked. With the aid of this
dust, brahma created the fourteen worlds. vishNu, having known that all
the worlds are only particles of the dust of devI's feet, bears them on
his (thousand) heads with great care and reverence. shiva awaits the
time of mahApraLaya to have the gains (dust from shridevI's lotus feet)
derived by brahma and vishNu. At the time of praLaya, he (shiva) reduces
the worlds (dust particles of divine Mother's feet) into ashes and smears
his body with that vibhUti.

Gummuluru Murthy

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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