ஸ்ரீ ஸௌந்தர்ய லஹரி – ஓர் அறிமுகம் (About Soundarya Lahari)

இந்த நூல் சிறந்த மந்த்ரஸாஸ்த்ரமாக போற்றப்படுகிறது.  இதை எழுதியவர் யார் என்பது குறித்து நிலவிவரும் பல கருத்துக்கள்:

  • லிங்கபுராணத்தில் விநாயகர் வாழ்த்தில், இது மஹாமேரு மலையில் விநாயகரால் எழுதப்பட்ட தென்று கூறப்பட்டுள்ளது.
  • மேரு மலையில் எழுதிவைத்தவர் புஷ்பதந்தர் என்றும், ஆனால் அதற்குமுன்பே அது கைலாஸ மலையில் சிவாலயத்தின் மதிற்சுவரில் எழுதப் பட்டிருந்தது என்றும் ஒரு வரலாறு உண்டு.
  • மேரு மலையில் எழுதப்பட்டிருந்ததை கௌடபாதர் கிரகித்துப் பின் அதை ஆதிசங்கரருக்கு உபதேசம் செய்த்தாக ஸௌந்தர்யலஹரீயைத் தமிழில் மொழிபெயர்த்து பாடலாக்கிய வீரை வீரராஜ பண்டிதர் கூறுகிறார்.
  • ஆதிசங்கரரே கைலாஸ மலையிலிருந்து கொண்டுவந்தார் என்றும் ஆனால் அவருக்குக் கிடைத்தது ஆனந்தலஹரி எனப்படும் நாற்பத்தொரு சுலோகங்கள் மட்டுமே என்றும், பிற்பாதியில் உள்ள ஐம்பத்தொன்பது சுலோகங்களையில் சங்கரர் தாமே எழுதிப் பூர்த்தி செய்தார் என்றும் ஒரு கருத்து நிலவுகிறது.
  • பொதுவாக ஸௌந்தர்யலஹரி என்னும் நூலின் பெரும்பகுதி ஆதிசங்கரரால் எழுதப்பட்டது என்பதிலும், முதன் முதலில் உலகுக்கு அவராலேயே அளிக்கப் பட்டது என்பதிலும் ஐயமில்லை.

இந்த நூல் சாக்த ஆகமத்தின் ஸமயாசார தத்துவத்தின் ஸாராம்சமாக உள்ளது. இதற்கு முப்பத்தாறு வியாக்கியானங்கள் காணப் படுகின்றன. ஐந்நூறு ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் ஒரிஸ்ஸா தேசத்தில், பிரதாபருத்ர தேவருடைய சபையில், இடம் பெற்றிருந்த லல்லர் என்ற பட்டப்பெயர் பெற்றிருந்த லகஷ்மீதரருடைய வியாக்கானம் விரிவானதும் அதிகம் ப்ரசாரத்தில் இருப்பது. கைவல்யாசிரமர் எழுதிய ஸௌபாக்கியவர்த்தினி மற்றும் காமேசுவரஸூரி எழுதிய அருணாமோதினீ சில சிறப்பான வியாக்கானங்கள் ஆகும்.

[[ தந்த்ர ஸாஸ்ர முறைப்படி இந்நூல் ஸ்ரீசக்ரத்திலும், நம் உடலில் மறைந்து காணப்படும் யோகசக்கரங்களைக் குறித்த விஷயங்களையும் போதிக்கிறது. மிகப்பெரிய மந்த்ர ஸாஸ்த்ரமாக கருதப்படுகிறது.

For better illumination on these matters, reference may be made to the following books: (1)Varivasyaa Rahasya by Sri Bhaaskararaaya, (2)The Serpent Power by Arthur Avalon and (3)The Chakras by C W Leadbeater      ] NGS]]

இந்நூலில் உள்ள ஒவ்வொரு ஸ்லோகமும் தனித்தனி மந்திரமாக, பிரத்யேக பலன்களுக்காக ஜபிக்கப்படுகிறது.    

 

From The Ocean of Beauty – Soundarya Lahari of Sri Samkara Bhagavatpada by Pandit S Subrahmanya Sastri and T R Srinivasa Ayyangar, 1937 published by The Theosophical Publishing House

The votaries of the Sakti, the Kundalini, may be roughly divided into two classes:

  • The Samayin-s or those who believe in the sameness of the Sakti and Siva. – They believe in the rousing of the Kundalini, the grossest form of the Chit, and its being worked up in successive stages, by Upaasanaa, Tapas and Mantra-japa, through the six Chakraa-s which are the centres of energy, on to the thousand petelled lotus, wherein abide the Sat and the Chit, and where the unification of the Jivaatman with the Paramaatman is to be effected. This form is therefore exclusively

The Kaula-s or those who worship the Kundalini,i.e.the Sakti which resides in the Muulaadhaaraa, which is known as Kula-plexes. – They believe in worshipping the Kundalini, without even rousing her from sleep and are satisfied with the attainment and enjoyment of purely temporal objects, believing, at the same time, that with the rousing of the Kundalini, they attain liberation. This form is therefore mainly

Mension may also be made of some worshippers who, in addition to attaching due importance to the external forms of worship of the Kaula-s, try to raise highere by making Upaasanaa with Yantraas made of gold and other metals, awake the Kundalini and even work her up as far as the Anaahataa in the heart.

Sankara-bhagavatpaadhaa favours the Samaya.

 

Exerpts from ‘The Foreword’ by Sri Anna N Subramanian of Ramakarishna Students Home of the Ramakrishna Mission to the ‘Soundarya-Lahari of Sri Sankaracharya’ by Swami Tapasyananda  and published by The Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

 The origin of Sakti worship can be traced to such Vedic texts as Sri-Suktam, Durga-Suktam, Bhu-Suktam, Bahvrcopanishad, Tripuropanishad, Bhaavanopanishad and other Devi Upanishads. In Sandhya Upasana, we think of Gayatri Devi in the solar orb and imagine that the Sun shines by Her effulgence and She is also the Truth which has kindled the light of reason in our minds. Her praise is sung thus in the Mantra, ‘Aayaatu Varadaa Devi’  :

 “To those who adore Thee, O Mother, Thou grandest all boons. Thou are the origin of the Vedas and of all the worlds. Be pleased to shine in my heart and accept my adoration. Thou art effulgence. Thou art the light of the Devas and Thou art in everything and beyond everything. Bathe me in Thy Light and purify me.”

A little reflection will thus show that the daily Sandhya-vandana enjoined by the Vedas is primarily Sakti-worship.

1. In the Mahabharata, there is reference to Sakti worship in many contexts.

  1. Before entering the Matsya kingdom for spending the last year of exile incognito, Dharmaputra prays to Durga.
  2. At the commencement of the battle of Kurukshetra, SriKrsna asks Arjuna to get down from the chariot and to pray to Durga, and Arjuna does so.
  1. In most of the Puranas, the importance of Sakti worship is alluded to:
    1. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, we see Rukmini worshipping at the shrine of Ambika before her marriage.
    2. The Brahmanda Purana contains Lalita Sahasranama and Trisati with detailed instructions regarding modes of Devi worship.
    3. Chandi or Devi Matamyam forms part of Markandeya Purana.
    4. Then we have the vast literature consisting of Agama, Rahasya, Samhita, Yamala, Arnava, and Tantra with their numerous commentaries which codify the method of Sakti-worship and explain its philosophy.
    5. Soundaryalaharai states that after Siva had filled the world with other Tantras, He gave out, at the request of the Devi, the Sri-Tantra which fulfils the objects covered by all the other Tantras, and this is known as the worship of Tripura or Sri-Vidya.
  1. We are told that Dattaatreya , seeing the Upasana of Tripura is considered the highest of all modes of worship and that its effects includes the benefits of other modes too, composed the Datta-Samhita of 18000 verses laying down the details of Tripura-worship. Sage Parasurama abridged it to 6000 Sutras. His pupil Sumedha abridged the same further in  the form of a dialogue between Datta and Rama, in his Parasurama Kalpa Sutra. In 1775, Umanandanatha,  a disciple of Baskararaya, composed the Nityotsava, clarifying the methods of worship according to the Sutra. Alater scholar, Rameswara Sastri, a disciple of Bhaskararaya, wrote a succinct gloss of the Sutra by name ‘Soubhagya Subhodaya’. Bhaskararaya himself exponded the methods and philosophy of Sakti-worship, in his book called the ‘Setu-bandha’ which is a xcommentary on the Nitya-sodasikarnava of Vamakesware Tantra and also in his Lalita-Sahasranama-Bhasya. These three works of Bhaskararaya are considered the PrasthanaThraya of Sri-Vidya.
  1. Other works on the Sakti-worship include the following:
    1. Adi Sankara’s Prapanchasara
    2. Adi Sankara’s Soundarya lahari
    3. Tirumoolar’s Thirumanthiram in Tamil
    4. Abhirami Andhaathi in Tamil
    5. Arthur Avalon’s books
    6. Writings of Sri Aurobindo
    7. Dasa-Maha-vidya by Kavyakanha Ganapathi Sastri, disciple of Sri Ramana Maharishi, on the worship of Kali, Tara, Sundari, Bhuvaneswari, Bairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi, and Kamalatmika
  1. Numerous are the places of Sakti-worship: sakti is adored as
    1. Uma in the Himalayas
    2. Amba in Kashmir
    3. Visalakshi in Varanasi
    4. Gauri in Kanyaa Kubja
    5. Bhavani in Maharashtra
    6. Kali in Calcutta
    7. Bala in Kanyakumari
    8. Meenakshi, Mantrini or Shyamala in Madurai
    9. Akhilandeswari or Dandini in Jambukeswaram
    10. Kamakshi or MahaTripurasundari in Kanchipuram
    11. Sarada at Shringeri
    12. Chamundeswari in Mysore
    13. Bhavati in Kerala
    14. Bhadrakali or Ellaiamman in unpretentious temples of the South India
    15. Durga-Lakshmi-saraswati in the Navaraathri

In the Southern cult of Sri-Vidya, the Divine Mother is mostly worshipped  in her aspect as Lalita-Mahatripurasundari.

  1. Mantra, Yantra and tantra form the three corners of the triangle of Sri-Vidya. The worship of the Yantra, internal and external, and the practice of Kundalini Yoga and other Sadhanas constitute the Tantra or modus operandi.
  2. If Sakti-worship is done with understanding and appreciation and with love in the heart, then Mantra, Yantra, offerings, the procedure and paraphernalia of Puja are all transformed into forms and expressions of ChitSakti.
  3. The object is to effect the transformation of the materials and acts of ordinary experience into forms revealing the power and the bliss of the Divine Mother.
  4. The Soundaryalahari says that if the worshipper practises Atmarpanam, ordinary talk is converted into Japa, normal work with the hand becomes Mudra, walking becomes Pradakshina, eating becomes Homa, lying down Pranaama – in fact whatever action is naturally done is transformed into worship.
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