saundaryalaharI - 4 (fwd)

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at COMCO.COM
Mon Nov 29 18:16:11 CST 1999

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:29:11 -0330 (NST)
From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
To: ambaa-l at
Subject: [ambaa-l] saundaryalaharI - 4

shrI lalitAyai namah

tvadanyah pANibhAyamabhayavarado daivatagaNa
stvamekA naivAsi prakaTitavarAbhItyabhinayA
bhayAttrAtuM dAtum phalamapi ca vAnchAsamadhikaM
sharaNye lokAnAM tava hi caraNAveva nipuNau          4

lokAnAM : for all the worlds
sharaNye: who provides shelter (o bhagavatI)
tvat + anyah: other than You
daivatagaNah: the group of Gods
pANibhyAM: by the (two) hands
abhayavaradah: holding mudrAs of abhaya (dispelling fear) and
               varada ( bestowing boons)
tvam ekA: only You
prakaTita + vara + abhIti: display of mudrAs of bestowing boons and
                      displelling fear
abhinayA: gesture
na + eva + asi: You do not do that ( the reason for that is)
bhayAt: from fear
trAtuM: to protect
vAnchA samadhikaM: more than what is asked (desired)
phalaM api ca: even boons
dAtum ca: to give
tava: Your
caraNau eva: feet even
nipuNau: proficient
hi: indeed

O Goddess: You are the refuge of all the worlds; the assemblage of
Gods, except You, dispel fear and bestow boons by gestures of their
hands (by holding vara and abhaya mudrAs).  You alone do not display
the boon-bestowing and fear-dispelling gestures with Your hands. The
reason for this is obvious.  Your feet, by themselves, are proficient
to protect those in the grip of fear and bestow boons more than what
is desired for the devotees.


The word 'abhaya' means freedom from fear. vara means granting of
desires.  In general, we see the postures of hands of deities in
icons, statues etc. The right hand of deities usually has the
abhaya mudrA with fingers pointing upward and the left hand has
the vara mudrA, with fingers pointing downwards (indicating granting
of boons). In the case of deities with more than two hands, one of
the hands on the right usually has abhaya mudrA, and one of the hands
on the left has the vara mudrA. But these poses of hands are not found
in shrI devI's icons, statues or pictures. shrI devI has in her four
hands the sugarcane bow, pAsha, a~Nkusha, and arrows. She does not
need to keep Her hands in the vara and abhaya postures. Her feet are
proficient in affording immunity from fear and bestowing boons
transcending one's desires.

abhaya also may be interpreted as freedom from fear of the cycle of
births and deaths. The word vara may be interpreted as satisfaction
of all desires. This verse means then that worship of shrI devI's
feet will grant the four-fold puruShArthAs, dharma, artha, kAma,

ekA: only one; shrI devI is the only one (emphasis on one) God who
does not have the hand gestures (of abhaya and vara).

sharaNye: sharaNArhe: one who deserves to be protected

bhayAt trAtuM: saMsArAt rakshituM: to protect from saMsAra

vAnchA samadhikaM phalam dAtum api ca: to give results for more than
what is desired

tava: Your

caraNau: feet are capable of satisfying more than the requested
desires, and to dispel fears; then there is no necessity for Your
hands to gesture the vara and abhaya mudrAs

The one who is the refuge for all the worlds is well beyond all
ordinary Gods. If She is just an ordinary God, She cannot be the
refuge for all the worlds.

In that way, this verse is a continuation of verses 2 and 3 where
the greatness of shrI devI's feet are described.

shrI Kuppuswamy's commentary on saundaryalaharI says that in the
Tanjavur district of Tamila Nadu, India, there is a sacred place
called Avadayarkoil, famous for its ancient temple built by the
great MANikkavAcakar. The moolavirAT of the temple is devI yogAmbikA
symbolized by only two feet, carved in stone, placed on a pedestal
and worshipped as devI. It seems the inner meaning of verse 4 of
saundaryalaharI is fully exemplified by the symbolic form of devI
here. I wonder if any on our List, who are residents of that part
of India, can expand on this temple and the moolavirAt and if there
is a kshetrapurANa for this place.

[Note: I find the translations that are given at for this stotra to be useful. Please
add that URL as an additional reference to this presentation.]

Gummuluru Murthy

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Thu Dec  2 09:58:37 1999
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Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 09:58:37 -0600
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Sankaran Jayanarayanan <kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU>
Subject: chitta shuddhi
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Can someone please help me find a reference to chitta shuddhi in
scripture, Shankara's works or any other acceptable work in the advaita

Thank you very much,


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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