Monday, February 18, 2008

Rupakalamkara - 100th post

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

This is the 100th post in this blog! Not that I have been keeping track and waiting for the hundredth post or anything like that, but just noticed now that it happens to be the 100th post. To mark the century post, and to inspire you and myself in the process I want to mention a set of names from the Lalitha sahasranama!

Now this set of eight names occurs in the LS and is described by the metaphor RupakAlamkAra: The names are extremely poetic, beautifully conceptual and wonderfully painted! Though each and every word in the LS is loaded with myriad meanings and is beautiful beyond words, there are some parts which speak to me more than others and this is one such part. I am not going to attempt to give a detailed commentary on the names here, just a small description of the names along with their english meaning - just enough to plant the seed in your mind and leave you to experience the fullness of the contemplation. For those of you who have the text it is the set from 742 to 749. The names are as follows:

742. BhavadhAvasudhAvrstih: - The rain of nectar (that falls) on the forest fire of worldly existence.
Normally it is held that where there is worldly enjoyment there is no salvation and where there is salvation there is no worldly enjoyment. But the supreme Devi, ensures both (salvation and enjoyment) to Her devotees - such is Her compassion. There are other explanations for this name where the name is split into three seperate names, but that is for another day. My intention is to only highlight the beauty of the names themselves in their most obvious word meaning form.

743. pApAranyadavAnalA - The forest fire (which consumes) the forest of sin.
The mere rememberance of the feet of the supreme Shakti is the expiation of all sin committed. Here the word dava (forest fire) is to be understood to mean devotion, meditation etc which are the means to destroy sin.

744. daurbhAgyatUlavAtUlA - The gale which blows away misfortune (of the devotees) like thistle down (or the tufted seeds of reed).
Apart from the obvious meaning, the word vAtUla also refers to certain types of good actions which lighten the percieved effects of misfortune and here it means that the Devis grace is held to be the origin of such good actions.

745. jarAdhvAntaraviprabhA - The sunbeam (which dispels) the darkness of decay.

746. bhAgyAbdhichandrikA - The moonbeams (which illuminates) the ocean of good fortune.

747. bhaktachittakekIghanAghanA - The cloud (which nourishes) the peacocks which are the minds of Her devotees. This name hints that Her life work (charitra) is the spiritual nourishment for Her devotees.

748. rogaparvatadambholih: - The thunderbolt ( which shakes) the mountain of disease.

749. mrtyudArukutArikA - The axe (which cuts down) the tree of death.

Together, these 8 names are described by the metaphor RUpakalamkarA.