This text is prepared by volunteers and is to be used for personal study and research. The file is not to be copied or reposted for promotion of any website or individuals or for commercial purpose without permission. Please help to maintain respect for volunteer spirit. How then can the others? Goddess Bhavani is incomparable.
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This text is prepared by volunteers and is to be used for personal study and research. The file is not to be copied or reposted for promotion of any website or individuals or for commercial purpose without permission.
Please help to maintain respect for volunteer spirit. How then can the others? Goddess Bhavani is incomparable. In this verse the difficulty in describing adequately the attributes and qualities of the Goddess by mere mortals has been brought out. Brahma has four faces and is the repository of the Four Vedas. Shiva as DakShinamurthy is knowledge personified. Subrahmanya is renowned for not only the beauty of form but for valour and above all considered to be very meaning of the word OM and one who explained the meaning of OM to Lord Shiva Himself and thus earned the title Swaminatha.
Adisesha, the thousand headed is also repository of knowledge; yet none of these Gods themselves are capable of adequately expressing the greatness of the Goddess.
How then can a mere mortal find adequate expression? It has to be experienced by tasting each of them with one's own tongue.
In a similar manner the manifold attributes and qualities that you have, Oh Goddess, are not capable of being expressed in word as they are not understood even by Vedas and to Lord Parameshwara's eyes alone they are revealed.
The tongue has two major functions - of taste and speech. In knowing and communicating the greatness of the Goddess, speech is useless just as it is useless in communicating exactly what sweetness tastes like. The sweetness of Madhu or honey, of the sweet grapes or milk or ghee can be experienced by the tongue when it performs the functions of taste and this taste is known only to one's own tongue; but even one's own tongue after tasting the sweetness cannot describe and communicate the sweetness in words.
The ineffable sweetness and greatness of the Goddess have not been comprehended even by the Vedas and therefore have remained inaccessible to and beyond expression by Vedas. Even what is revealed by the Vedas is difficult to comprehend and has been understood only by a few and even among those who understand, the level of understanding varies depending upon the depth of their inner experience. When such is the case how can one comprehend the myriad qualities of Goddess?
But even if he comprehends, one's words not being good enough to describe what one sees or experiences, Lord Shiva himself will not be able to adequately describe Bhavani. Each Bhakta will therefore have to experience the compassion or have the glimpse of the beautiful form of the Goddess to the maximum extent possible by one's own devotion and perception. The efforts to have a fuller and better comprehension will have to be continuous because the qualities are limitless, the greatness is incomparable and the beauty is beyond description.
I am your devotee always constantly meditating on you. To the devotee the object of worship and meditation should be pleasant and auspicious in order to visualise it and meditate upon. The divine mother in all her auspicious glory as would appear to a cultured Indian mind is pictured here by Acharya Bhagavatpada.
The Tamboola, tasty and pleasant smelling, is a sign of auspiciousness and good wishes in the Indian household Tobacco is not part of Tamboola. The tender leaves of the betel creeper along with the betel nut to which mouth fresheners like camphor are added are offered on all auspicious occasions in a Hindu household.
They are also offered as part of sixteen upacharas in any puja to a deity after food or Naivedya is offered. Visualising in one's mind the auspicious beautiful form of the Goddess. The dangling of pendants of the ear rings shine and sparkle when her ears are intent on listening to the subtle notes of the Veena.
She who is the daughter of Sage Matanga with her body slightly bowed through modesty and with graceful gaits and beautiful lotus like eyes shines in all splendour as Goddess Bhagavati.
The poet Bhagavatpada now visualises the beauty and grace of the Goddess in another pleasant form for facility of worship and meditation. The beautiful flowers adorn the beautiful form and by adorning the form of the Goddess become indeed resplendent. The melodious music of the Veena held close to the ear of the Goddess depicts the beauty of sound of music. The grace of movements and the natural feminine modesty as indicated by the slightly bent form of the Goddess while playing the Veena and her eyes darting here and there depict the divine and beauteous form of the consort of Shiva ever ready to shower blessings on her devotees.
Beauty and grace, beauty of form and gracefulness of movements, the beautiful sound emanating from a beautiful Veena so gracefully played, the beautiful and lustrous flowers round the neck of the Goddess, nestling and resting along with Veena undulating with the beautiful movements of the body, the auspicious and graceful glance from the beautiful eyes, all these give the devotee a wonderful enthralling personification of beauty for contemplation.
Her eyes beautiful like those of a fawn have captivated Lord Shiva himself. Dazzling like a streak of lightning and wearing a golden yellow dress and beautiful anklets she is very embodiment of auspiciousness.
May the Goddess Aparna with her full and happy face confer her happiness and auspiciousness on me. In this sloka the poet saint, Sankara, describes the auspiciousness of the form of the Goddess. Only an auspicious Goddess can confer auspiciousness on others.
The glorious form of the rising sun is generally considered auspicious. The yellow golden rays of the rising sun bring happiness and joy to all living things. Beautiful gold ornaments studded with precious gems are auspicious. The golden yellow peetambara or dress is also considered auspicious. A smiling happy and full face is auspicious and bespeaks of joy and happiness. Here the splendour of the Goddess in all her auspiciousness is likened to all these.
Above all the very embodiment of auspiciousness, Shiva himself is enthralled by the grace and form of Goddess Aparna. Perhaps while doing penance as Uma she abstained from eating even leaves! The Goddess is likened to a creeper without leaves.
For one who is in debt financially and otherwise, the Goddess bestows freedom from debts and financial worry. Her hands are like the tender leaves, the pearl ornaments resembling flowers, entwining round the sturdy pillar like form of Parameshwara, her breasts resembling fruits, her speech full of substance or Rasa she removes all ailments. The Goddess is verily a walking chidananda creeper which entwines round a tree and has curative properties.
The creeper is a Himalayan creeper. Himalayas are known to be the home of medicinal herbs. The creeper needs a stout tree for support.
Here Parameshwara is the tree round which creeper Parvati has entwined herself inseparably. The tender hands of the Goddess are like the tender leaves of the creeper; the flowers are the pearl ornaments and the full breasts are likened to the fruits kuchaphala means having fruits shaped like the female breast or the pomegranate. When flowers are in bloom on the creeper the big bees hover around them. Here also the beautiful tresses of the Goddess attract the bees. The only difference is that unlike the ordinary creepers the Goddess is a moving and walking plant.
The plant contains juicy substances. The speech of the Goddess also is full of substance and meaning. The medicinal plant only heals bodily diseases.
But the Chidananda creeper that She is, the Goddess, cures all types of ailments. Aparna as seen in shloka 5, is another name for the auspicious Goddess Bhavani. Parameshwara or Lord Shiva is compared in this sloka to an old tree. The reference is to his agelessness and permanence. Such an ancient tree is entwined by the leafless creeper or Aparna meaning that the Goddess Bhavani is inseparably attached to and is part of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva by Himself is austere, clad in next to nothing, and presents an appearance that he has no wealth or gifts to bestow on devotees. But the auspicious Goddess by her union with Him makes Him also yield manifold blessings for devotees, leading them finally to salvation, self realisation and eternal bliss. Shankaracharya, therefore, considers that the Goddess is supreme and is worthy of being worshipped.
The leafless creeper, therefore, in the lithe and beautiful form of the Goddess is far superior to the apparently attractive leafy creepers which many seek. At your feet, Kubhera, the lord of all riches prostrates with reverence because you are the source of all wealth have created all the wealth in the Universe. You who have defeated Manmatha, the God of Love, are the very origin of Love itself.
Oh Consort of the supreme Lord, Parameshwara, verily you are the very seed of MokSha for the devout seekers. If the first three are sought in that order to achieve the fourth, one has to lead a worthwhile life. Knowledge of the Vedas and other sacred texts traditionally learnt in all humility gives one wisdom and the pursuit of Kama or desire according to Dharma leads to happiness.
Though Artha or material wealth is necessary, it has to be aquired only in Dharmic ways. The material wealth should not be used to one's unbridled desires but should be so utilised to love and enjoy desired objects in a controlled way according to Dharma.
When thus Artha and Kama are pursued in a Dharmic way, mokSha or release from bondage is easier. Since the Divine Mother is the very source of Dharma, Artha, Kama and MokSha, devotion or Bhakti to Her brings to the devotee all the four Purusharthas in the required measure at the appropriate time and makes the life enjoyable, happy, worthwhile and fruitful.
Like the dark rain clouds giving the refreshingly sweet rain water to the thirsty Chataka bird and quenches its thirst so also only your auspicious compassionate glance can steady my mind. I doubt very much whether any other method can achieve it. The vacillating wandering human mind flits from thought to thought and is never steady and fixed at any one thought for long.
Steadfast devotion to the Divine Mother is therefore difficult normally for the human mind unless it is helped by divine will and divine grace of Mother. The Chataka bird depends on the falling rain to quench its thirst. It opens the mouth and waits for the rain to come so that its thirst can be quenched. Rains come from the heavens Godsent, unasked and Chataka bird fed with the fresh sweet drops of rain water feels happy and satisfied.
Similarly it is only the divine grace that can satisfy the longing of the Bhakta even to have steadfast devotion. The control of one's mind is difficult. One's effort however great cannot succeed always. To have steadfast and deep devotion to Goddess, the mind must necessarily dwell on Her form and attributes. But how to fix the mind which flits from thought to thought and is never at one place? For this compassionate Goddess must render her help by allowing her gaze to fall on the striving devotee and aid him in keeping his mind steady in devotion.
In short to have Bhakti itself, the Divine Mother's grace is a 'must'. There is no other way. Oh goddess of incomparable virtue, what difference is there between the Kalpaka VrikShA and the other trees and plants if the former does not grant the heart's desire of those who seek it and pray to it?
The Kamadhenu and Kalpaka VrikSha are the legendary cow and tree respectively which grant one's prayers.
Anandalahari, Ānandalahari, Ananda-lahari, Ānandalaharī: 5 definitions
Norman Brown translated it to English which was published as volume 43 of the Harvard Oriental Series in The Saundarya Lahari is not only the collection of holy hymns, but also a tantra textbook,  giving instructions Puja on Sri-Yantra and worshiping methods, different hymns, different yantra, almost one to each shloka; describes the appropriate tantra method of performing devotion connected to each specific shloka; and details the results ensuring therefrom. There are many interpretations and commentaries but best of these are arguably those that provide word-to-word translations, as also the yantra,  the devotion to be performed and the results of the devotion. While Shankara was returning after visiting Kailash, Nandi stopped him on the way. He snatched the manuscript from him, tore it into two, took one part and gave the other to Shankara.