The Lalitha Sahasranamam is one of the important and famous hymn in the Hindu way of life. It is a hymn in praise of Lalitha Tripurasundari also called as Lalithambika.
According to the Vedas, God is one without a second. Everything in this Universe is nothing but this divinity. Ordinarily, this abstract doctrine cannot easily be comprehensible to all. Most of the Hindu Puranas therefore present God in various forms including that of a human being so that this idea can be easily assimilated and adored. Lalitha Tripurasundari is one of the finest products of this line of thinking.
The Lalitha Sahasranamam occurs in the Brahmanda Purana. It is a hymn that describes the 1000 various names of Sri Lalitha Tripurasundari as the Divine Mother. While doing so, the hymn provides a beautiful mix of poetry, romance, religion and philosophy. It is presented during the course of instructions imparted to Sage Agasthya by Lord Hayagriva who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.The chanting of this Sahasranamam is made the concluding part of the ritualistic worship known as Srividya Upasana. It is the philosophy of the worship of the Divine in the form of the Great Mother. Shiva is a pure being and Shakti is pure will. Each complement the other. Together they are the cosmic whole and whatever transcends it. They are factually one.
The Sri chakra is a diagrammatic representation of Shiva and Shakti and its cosmic manifestation. Lalitha Tripurasundari, the central dot in the diagram is a more concrete form of it as a divine being for worship with adorations and concentration.
The Lalitha doctrine explains Goddess Lalitha as Chidswarupini and Anandarupini namely pure consciousness and blissful consciousness respectively. Human beings can remain cheerful in the world, like children playing by the side of their mother. Living exemplary lives, they finally find eternal rest on the lap of the Divine Mother.
The hymn consists of three parts. The first part is the poorva bhaga which tells about the origin of the hymn; the second part is the main Sahasranama stotram and the third is the uttara bhaga consisting of the phalasruti which describes the benefit arising out of the recitation of the hymn.Broadly, the Sahasranamam describes the beauty of the Goddess, her kingdom known as Sri Puram or Sri Nagara, the great lotus forest known as Mahapadma vana at the centre of this city of Sri Nagara and her ultimate battle against Bandasura and his annihilation.
I have divided the subject into sixteen chapters and tried to briefly explain it to the extent of my understanding.
A group of sixty-three ancient Shaivite saints who lived in Tamil Nadu in India during the period from sixth to the eighth century A.D are called ‘Nayanmars’. Most of them are famous for their poetry in in Tamil in praise of Lord Shiva-one of the Hindu Trinity.
This book contains brief details about the life of these sixty-three Nayanmars.
A group of twelve ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu in India in the eighth and ninth centuries are called ‘Alwars’. They are famous for their poetry in praise of Lord Vishnu-one of the Hindu Trinity. The collection of their four thousand poems is known as the ‘Naalaayira Divya Prabhandam’. These poems are in Tamil Language.
This book contains brief details about these twelve Alwars and their compositions known as ‘Paasurams’.
The Bhagawat Gita is one of the main religious literature in the Hindu way of life. It contains about 700 verses divided into 18 cantos. It is the essence of the philosophy contained in the Upanishads and is a part of the Mahabharata which describes the story of the Pandavas and the Kouravas. The development of the various incidents in the life of the Pandavas and the Kouravas ultimately leads to the war in Kurukshetra wherein the Pandavas finally win the battle.
When Arjuna, the great warrior of the Pandava brothers sees the Kourava army in the battlefield, he is overwhelmed with concern because they are all his kinsmen. He gets terrified. Not because of fear of battle but because of emotions. Krishna who is the incarnation of the Almighty God was acting as his charioteer. Arjuna tells Krishna, ‘My limbs give way. My mouth is getting parched. I feel shaky. My bow slips from my hand. My skin burns all over. My mind is whirling as though I cannot hold on to myself. I see evil portends’.
A conversation ensues between Krishna and Arjuna and this conversation is the Bhagawat Gita.
This book is a brief synopsis of the Bhagawat Gita. I have also published an audio book on this in three parts. The audio book contains also a recitation of the entire Bhagawat Gita.
The foundations of Hinduism are the eternal and super sensuous truths discovered by ancient Indian sages. Most of them are unknown. The truths discovered by them are known as the Vedas.
Sages are the great souls who have found out the truth and devoted their life, energy and experience for the welfare of the people. They are extraordinary human beings having great wisdom, vast experience and character worthy of imitation. They gifted everything to the world without seeking fame or any kind of gain. Welfare of the world was their sole objective.
According to Hindu chronology, the period of the ancient sages is till the end of Dwapara Yuga, which is about 5000 years back. The penetration of these sages in the subjects they dealt with is very profound and clear. The later generation just interpreted their work and followed their footsteps.
India has been blessed from time immemorial by the advent of innumerable sages. In this book you can read the stories of some of these known sages.
Saints are the great souls who have devoted their life, energy and experience for the welfare of the people. They are extraordinary human beings having great wisdom, vast experience and character worthy of imitation. They gifted everything to the world without seeking fame or any kind of gain. Welfare of the world was their sole objective.
India has been blessed from time immemorial by the advent of innumerable saints. In this book you can read the stories of some of these known saints.
The Atmaarpana Stuthi is a hymn in Sanskrit language composed by Appayya Dikshitar, one of the great saints and proponent of Advaita Philosophy after Adi Sankara. It is a hymn in praise of Lord Shiva and is also known as ‘Unmattha Panchaa Shath’.
Once Dikshitar felt that he has to put himself to a test as to whether his devotion to Lord Shiva was indeed true. He thought, ‘Suppose I become insane, will my mouth utter the name of Lord Shiva. If that be so, then it must be real.’ So, he embarked on an experiment. He made a paste of Datura seeds. These seeds are poisonous and if taken in, will make a person insane. He also prepared an antidote to this poison.
He called his disciples. He gave them the poisonous paste and the antidote. He told them to give him the first potion for a week and write down whatever he said in that state of mind. After recording this, they have to give after a week, the antidote that would bring him back to normalcy. Indeed, it was a remarkable experiment to find out how serious he was about Shiva.
The experiment started. The disciples recorded what he said during that time. It was this hymn on Lord Shiva consisting of fifty verses. ‘Panchaa Shath’ means 50 and ‘Unmattha’ means “one who has lost his mind”. So, it is 50 verses composed during the period when he lost his mind.
Sandhya Vandanam is one of the efficient spiritual rituals of the Hindus. It helps in the realisation of the Divinity of the Self called as Atman in Hindu philosophy. It is an obligatory daily ritual called as Nithya Karma. It is an all-round complete ritual which incorporates the principles of the Supreme Divinity referred to as Brahman. Each part of the ritual gives an external expression for the development of an internal mental attitude and spiritual feeling. In this process, there is an effort to bring about self-purification and attunement to the Cosmic Reality.
The rituals are to be done thrice daily-early morning, at noon and at sunset. In the Hindu way of life, each person is primarily affiliated to a particular Vedic study, namely the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Sama Veda. Though the objectives are generally the same, there are variations in the mantras of these three vedas.
This book is an attempt to give the meanings of some of the important Mantras of the Yajur Veda sect basically followed in the southern part of India. Based on the different stages of the ritual, it has been divided into eighteen chapters for the purpose of easy grasp and understanding by those who are not well-versed in the knowledge of these mantras.
Brahma Yagnam is one of the important daily rituals to be performed by those following the Sanatana Dharma particularly those belonging to the brahmin community. It is a very simple process and would involve approximately 10 to 15 minutes daily.
As is well known, the Vedas have been classified into four groups by Sage Veda Vyasa as Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharvana Veda. Hinduism prescribes the learning, preserving and propagation of the Vedas particularly by the brahmin community. So, every day after the Sandhyavandana in the afternoon, the learning process of the Vedas is required to be done. As a prelude to this process, the first mantra from each of the four Vedas is recited. While doing so, other important deities are worshipped in brief and tarpana, which may be called as oblations in English, is given to the Devas, Rishis and Pitrus. This is the Brahma Yagnam.
A brief summary of the various mantras contained in Brahma Yagnam relating to the Yajurveda followers is given in this book along with the mantras. There is also an addendum consisting of the Sandhyavandhanam mantras.