Beach 1: The First Prostration

Wave 2:  Names ad infinitum for the Nameless

Drop 16:  Three hundred names of lalitA

These are names from lalita-triSati,  three hundred names of lalitA, just as lalitA-sahasra-nAma is a compendium of 1000 names for the mother goddess. This particular piece, triSati,  is considered to be even more sacred and powerful than the sahsra-nAma. The names are not just names, each one of them is a mantra -- in the sense that they have esoteric spiritual meanings and when recited, the very recitation, even without the understanding of the meaning, can give powerful effects, just because of the vibrations they can generate. Every sahasra-nAma and every name of God has this characteristic, but in the case of lalitA-triSati it is expressly certified to be so. Consequently each name is dense with meanings, not only with the obvious ones but with several non-obvious profound interpretations. Our source for the meanings of the names in the triSatI is Adi-Sankara who has written an elaborate commentary on it.
There is a fifteen-letter mantra for the Goddess which is not only famous but at the same time forms the greatest of secrets in the worship of the Goddess -- secret in the sense that the mantra has to be earned from a
guru  orally after a number of prerequisites are fulfilled to the satisfaction of the guru. The three hundred names in the triSati occur in groups of twenty names, one for each letter of the fifteen-letter mantra. So the first 20 names all start with the letter 'ka' which is the first letter of the mantra. The second 20 names all start with the letter 'e' which is the second letter of the mantra; and so on it goes. The mantra is thus well-known because we can guess the text of the mantra by putting together the first letters of the fifteen groups of 20 names. But we are not supposed to be in possession of the mantra until we have 'got' it from a guru -- who must have himself  repeatedly recited it several thousands of times with all the reverence and concentration it demands so that he possesses the spirit of the mantra in him!

For more on guru go to Essay on guru.

This concept  of the spiritual possession of a mantra is an important  part of the culture of the religions of the East. And In Hinduism particularly, the necessity to repeat the mantra has an  extraordinary emphasis because the effect of the  mantra is held to be proportional to the intensity of the spiritual possession of it and this latter, is directly proportional to the number of times it has been repeated formally and reverentially. We shall give below the meanings for probably a little less than one-tenth of the triSati garland of names of the Mother Goddess. The numbers in parenthesis indicate the serial number of the name in the triSati.

(3) kalyANa-guNa-SAlinI: the One who is possessed of all auspicious

© Copyright V. Krishnamurthy  Sep.6, '99.        Home  Contents NEXT