SAUNDARYALAHARI - THE ETERNAL GRANDEUR


INDIAN EDITION CAN BE PURCHASED HERE 

From Pothi.com     From Flipkart   From Amazon India
Ādi Śaṃkarācārya, adored as Ācārya hails from the Guru lineage of Śrī Dakṣiṇāmūrti, who is an incarnation of Lord Śiva. Ācārya, who is considered as an incarnation of Śiva, had all the qualities of Śiva as well as Śakti. He was in the state of Saccidānanda and at the same time, he has authored many works and one of them being Saundaryalaharī. Majority of his works are related to imparting Advaita philosophy.   We know that Śakti is the Power of Śiva, who always remains silent and meditating. At the same time, He is aware of everything that happens in the universe, through His kinetic power known as Śakti, who is full of knowledge and wisdom. Śiva and Śakti always remain inseparable. Saundaryalaharī begins by emphasizing the union of Śiva and Śakti.
Apart from the fact that Saundaryalaharī was authored by Śaṃkarācārya, there are certain other versions about its origin. Once Śaṃkarācārya had darśan of Pārvatī and Parameśvara. During the darśan, Pārvatī handed over to him, a bunch of palm leaves containing all the verses of Saundaryalaharī. There is another version which says that it has been composed by Vāc Devi-s, authors of Lalitā Sahasranāma. Third version says that these verses were composed by Śiva Himself as an encomium of His Consort Pārvatī.
There is another version about its origin. Śaṃkarācārya went to Kailāsa, the Abode of Pārvatī and Parameśvara. At that time, Śiva gave him five Liṅga-s and Pārvatī gave him manuscripts in the form of palm leaves. Śiva’s vāhana Nandikeśvara was witnessing this and thought that some treasures of Kailāsa were going out of Kailāsa. In the fit of anger, he pulled the palm leaves. But Śaṃkara managed to hold on to some portions of it, though he had lost some, due to Nandikeśvara’s anger. He returned only with first 41 verses and the rest 59 verses were taken away by Nandikeśvara.
The first 41 verses belong to mantra Śātra and Kuṇḍalinī yoga, the subtlest form of Pārvatī. Being an incarnation of Śiva, He composed the remaining 59 verses on his own, describing Her, from Her head to Her feet. For Gods, description begins from feet to head and for Goddesses, it is from head to feet, which is known as keśādi pādāntaṁ. Saundaryalaharī is based on this principle. Original part containing 41 verses is termed as Ānandalaharī and the part composed by Śaṃkara, containing 59 verses, is termed as Saundaryalaharī and all the 100 verses put together is also known as Saundaryalaharī.
Parāśakti is worshiped either through mantras such as Pañcadaśī or through great poetic compositions like Lalitā Sahasranāma. But, Saundaryalaharī is the combination of both and hence is considered as crest jewel of all Her worship. While studying Saundaryalaharī, we should always remember that the entire work is that of Śiva, conveying both gross and subtle interpretations.
Every effort is taken to interpret these verses in simple language and with these few words, this book is placed at Her Lotus feet to bless us with puruṣārtha, the fourfold values of human life - dharma (righteousness or virtues), artha (wish or purpose), kāma (desires and pleasures) and mokṣa (the liberation).

SHIVA IN CONVERSATION WITH SHAKTHI




Kali Yuga is often described as age of darkness, because kali refers to the last and worst of the four Yugas or ages. Kali has got many interpretations depending upon the context. Some of the commonly understood meanings of Kali are strife, discord, quarrel, contention, etc. There is a reference to this in detail in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (IV.viii.3). In general, it is believed that God realization is difficult in kali yuga, due to the predominance of adharma (unrighteousness, injustice, wickedness) over dharma (virtue, morality). It is also interesting to note that kali also refers to symbolical expression for the numeric 1 (probably referring to numero uno). If we seriously investigate why adharma prevails over dharma in the recent times, we will find huge imbalance in the three guṇa-s - sattvic, rajas and tamas.  Sattva guṇa means the quality of purity and knowledge.  The presence of other two guṇa-s is not very prominent in sattva guṇa as this guṇa is endowed with the highest purity.  Rajo guṇa is the activity of passion. Tamo guṇa is inertia or ignorance.  These two guṇa-s have higher trace of other guṇa-s.  Guṇa-s are the inherent qualities of Prakṛti.  Ego and intellect originate from guṇa-s that are present in all the evolutes of Prakṛti at once, but distributed in unequal proportions in each individual.  The predominant guṇa that prevails in an individual is reflected through his thoughts and actions. 

Kṛṣṇa explains guṇa-s in Bhagavad Gīta (IV.6 - 9) “Sattva, rajas and tamas - these three qualities born of Prakṛti (Nature) tie down the imperishable soul to the body.  Of these, sattva being immaculate is illuminating and flawless; it binds through identification with joy and wisdom.  The quality of rajas is in the nature of passion, as born of avariciousness and attachment.  It binds the soul through attachment to actions and their fruits.  Tamas, the deluder of all those who look upon the body as their own self, are born of ignorance.  It binds the soul through error, sloth and sleep.  Sattva drives one to joy, and rajas to action, while tamas clouding the wisdom incites one to err as well as sleep and sloth.”   Kṛṣṇa again says (Bhagavad Gīta XIV.20), “Having transcended the aforesaid guṇa-s, which have caused the body, and freed from birth, death, old age and all kinds of sorrow, this soul attains the supreme bliss.”

This book will make an attempt to explain how to transcend these guṇa-s to experience bliss, which is the infantile stage of our spiritual pursuit. The entire series will be in the form imaginary conversation between Shiva and Shakti. It would be ideal to read this series after reading the following two series.

This book covers birth, death, transmigration of a soul after death, its requirements after exit, Self-realization, transmigration and finally, Liberation. The entire book will be logical, pragmatic and realistic in its approach and may not be based on certain practices that are being followed today.

Shiva and His Consort Shakti descend from Mount Kailāsa to the material world and while going around the material world, Shakti seeks various clarifications from Shiva. Hence this series is titled as SHIVA IN CONVERSATION WITH SHAKTI. 


GURUJI SPEAKS



This kindle edition deals with conversation between a Self-realized Guru and his disciple. The conversation covers various aspects of spirituality, Self-realization and beyond.

KUNDALINI MEDITATION THEORY AND PRACTICE



This book about Kundalini discusses about both theoretical and practical aspects of kundalini meditation, which is generally considered as a complex subject. There are many serious problems associated with kundalini meditation, known as kundalini syndrome. These syndromes manifest only due to lack of proper understanding and practice. This book dwells at length both theoretical and practical aspects of kundalini meditation.

This book also explains the importance of proper postures, breath control, meditative techniques, etc. A few explanatory images are also provided. Apart from dwelling in detail on preliminaries and practices, this book also explains step by step procedure to attain perfection in kundalini meditation.

Throughout this book, IAST font is used and a few characters of these fonts may not appear properly in some of the kindle devices. 


UNDERSTANDING & WORSHIPING SRI CHAKRA




Divine Mother abides in Sri Chakra.  This is also known as Sri Yantra and Chakra-raja. This is the most supreme amongst all the yantra-s.  Uttara bhag (the chapter containing the benefits of recitation, also known as phalashruti) of Lalita Trishati elucidates Sri Chakra in a comprehensive manner.  Sri Chakra is the body of Shiva and Shakti.  Sri Chakra is compared to a human body and Shiva and Shakti are compared to the soul within.  Sri Chakra is full of life and energy and should be worshipped with great reverence.  Any god or goddess can be worshipped in Sri Chakra, as all of them have a place in it. 

The book has three sections. First section is titled “Journey to Sri Chakra”. This part elaborately deals with Sri Nagara the outer portion of Sri Chakra. We can enter Sri Chakra only after crossing Sri Nagara, which has several forts guarded by different gods and goddesses. Our journey to Sri Chakra begins from Sri Nagara. During this journey, we worship various gods, goddesses, sages and saints. We also come across various rivers, ponds, forests and gardens. When we have traversed through Sri Nagara, we are able to see Sri Chakra and we continue our journey towards the innermost triangle after passing through various devi-s guarding Lalitambika by remaining in various triangles of Sri Chakra. We worship them and finally proceed to the innermost triangle where we are completely purified. Inside the triangle, we are blessed to have darshan of Lalitambika. After spending sometime at Her feet She takes us to Shiva in the Bindu to get us liberated.
The second section of the book deals with Navavarana Puja. Every aspect of mantras is explained in detail by quoting references form Lalita Sahasranama and other sacred Scriptures. This part of the book is a complete guide to perform navavarana puja and all the mantras with explanations and images are given. This section of the book is eloborate, as it contains mantras, images and explanations and detailed procedure for performing the Navavarana puja.
Third and final section of the book is Bhavanopanishad. Bhavana means imagination or formation of a concept in the mind. Like any other Upanishad, this Upanishad also does not deal with practices. It helps us to contemplate our body with Sri Chakra. There are totally  thirty seven verses (some texts call these as sutra-s). Detailed interpretations are given for all the sutras.  At the end of this portion, we will be able to contemplate our body as Sri Chakra.
Entire book consists of both Sanskrit and English texts. English texts are given in IAST format so that, those who are not conversant with Sanskrit can pronounce the mantras properly. Pronunciation guide is also provided.
This book can be acclaimed as an encyclopaedia of Sri Chakra.

Indian edition is available in these links

POTHI.COM

AMAZON INDIA

FLIPKART


BOOK CAN BE PREVIEWED HERE IN GOOGLE BOOKS

THIS BOOK CAN BE PURCHASED IN GOOGLE BOOKS HERE

LALITA TRISHATI



Śrī Lalitā Triśatī, like Lalitā Sahasranāma is discussed in Lalitopākhyāna of Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa, which is in the form of conversation between Śrī Hayagrīva (an incarnation of Viṣṇu and is considered as the presiding God for knowledge) and sage Agastya, who is a great worshipper of Parāśakti, through his own Pañcadaśī mantra (ka e ī la hrīṁ | ha sa ka ha la hrīṁ | sa ha sa ka la hrīṁ || क ए ई ल ह्रीं। ह स क ह ल ह्रीं। स ह स क ल ह्रीं॥ - this is different from the regular Pañcadaśī mantra (composed by Manmatha, who is also known as Cupid). Triśata means three hundred.

Śrī Lalitā Triśatī consists of three hundred nāma-s, carved out of fifty nine couplet verses. Śrī Lalitā Devi has four forms – gross form, Kāmakalā form, Kuṇḍalinī form, and mantra form.  All these forms are explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma such as kāmakalā rūpā (322), kuṇḍalinī (110), mantra-sārā (846), mahāmantrā (227). She is worshipped in various gross forms such as Kālī, Tārā, Gāyatrī (420), Mahālakṣmī (210), etc. Kāmakalā is Her subtler form, where She remains intimately with Śiva. Her kuṇḍalinī form is the subtlest of all and if She is made to ascend, She rushes to the top of the head, sahasrāra, where She spends intimate moments with Her Lord Śiva. Worshipping Her mantra form is known as Śrī Vidyā. She represents all letters and words in the form of Śabdabrahman (Lalitā Sahasranāma 204 sarvamantra-svarūpiṇi). Each of Her gross form, such as Kālī, Tārā, etc as mentioned in Daśamahāvidyā, is worshipped with different mantras and these worships are known as Tantra-s. 

The book contains detailed interpretation of all the 300 nāma-s, with appropriate references from Lalitā Sahasranāma, Bhagavad Gītā, Upaniṣad-s, etc. Apart from interpretation of nāma-s, formation of 300 nāma-s, Pañcadaśī mantra, Śri Cakrā and Śri Vidyā are also explained. 


INDIAN EDITION

BOOK PREVIEW
(cover is different in different editions)



VISHNU SAHASRANAMA



Viṣṇu means all pervading. Viṣṇu is the administrator of the universe. He puts in place, the laws of the universe and administers the universe strictly according to the law.  He is a strict disciplinarian, yet highly compassionate in nature.  He presides over all the seven planes of the universe. The abode of Viṣṇu is supposed to be the Supreme one. He has prescribed various paths through which one has to travel to reach His abode, the point of no return for a soul, known as liberation.  He has been referred to in Vedas. Without Viṣṇu, no fire ritual is complete. He is quite often referred to as Puruṣa, the Supreme Soul.  His famous sleeping posture on Ananta, the snake, who floats on the ocean of milk, is very well known.  This posture is not merely a gross description, but has got subtle meaning. Ananta means infinite and the milk of ocean refers to the eternal bliss. He lies in the ocean of eternal bliss. Those who seek Him also enter the state of bliss at some point of time.  He incarnates in different forms to destroy evil doers.  His avatars occur whenever there is imbalance between morality and immorality. When immorality begins to dominate over morality He incarnates.  His notable incarnations are Lord Rāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa.

The scene of unfolding this great Sahasranāma happened in the great epic Mahābhārata authored by sage, Veda Vyāsa. Bhīṣma was lying on a bed made of arrows awaiting his death.  At that time, he was meditating on Kṛṣṇa.  Knowing this, Kṛṣṇa asked Yudhiṣṭhira (eldest among Pāṇḍava brothers and known for his righteousness) to seek spiritual initiation from Bhīṣma and also told Bhīṣma to initiate Yudhiṣṭhira. Yudhiṣṭhira asks Bhīṣma kimekaṁ daivataṁ loke meaning who is the Supreme Lord of the world. Bhīṣma replies by saying, that the purest, the most auspicious, the chief among the gods and the father of all the beings is the One who is Supreme, referring to Lord Viṣṇu. This conversation appears in the pūrvabhāg of this Sahasranāma.   The spiritual initiation of Yudhiṣṭhira by Bhīṣma is Viṣṇu Sahasranāma. Kṛṣṇa was also present when this happened and this Sahasranāma was blessed by the Lord Himself.   

Viṣṇu is also known as Nārāyaṇa. Garuḍa Purāṇa (III.24.54, 55) explains the etymological meaning of Nārāyaṇa. “As He is the resort of merits and demerits and as He abides in the waters of ocean, He is called Nārāyaṇa. Water is also called nāra (probably meaning cosmic water); as His Abode is water, He is called Nārāyaṇa.” Viṣṇu is the most auspicious form of the Brahman.  He is not only invoked during auspicious occasions, but also while performing funeral rites.  At the time of conclusion of all rituals, the effect of the rituals are surrendered to Viṣṇu. 

Viṣṇu Sahasranāma consists of three parts – pūrvabhāg or the first part; stotrabhāg or the main part from which one thousand names or nāma-s are composed; and uttarabhāg or the concluding part. The main part consists of 108 couplets from which all the 1000 nāma-s are derived. Apart from these three parts, this Sahasranāma has seven dhyāna verses by which one can meditate upon His auspicious form.

All the one thousand nāma-s have been interpreted based on ancient Scriptures like Upaniṣad-s. Wherever possible, quotation from Upaniṣad-s and other Scriptures have been used. Many of the nāma-s are interpreted from the point of view of attaining Him to get liberation. Wherever needed, Sanskrit verses have been used along with IAST, for the sake of proper pronunciation. 




BOOK PREVIEW
(the cover will appear differently)