ദേവിയുടെ മഹാ മന്ത്രങ്ങൾ – The Maha Mantras

There is nothing unattainable for one who praises the glory of Universal Mother. There is no rebirth for the devotees of Devi.

At the beginning of Lalita Sahasranama, We have understood that the divine mother has manifested from the fire pit of pure consciousness (cid agni kuṇḍa sambhūtā). We saw the description of peerless beauty in a manner that could be understood and appreciated by everybody.

We heard that the divine mother is the queen of the most auspicious city, and sits enthroned on a seat made of the five Brahmas. We heard how She rejoiced at the valor of Her Shaktis who were fiercely destroying the evil forces of Bhandasura.

We heard her attribute as Sri Vidya, the wellspring of sacred knowledge in the sixteen syllable mantra. We listed the mantras which describes Devi as the embodiment of the Mula mantra and one whose subtle body is made up of the three parts of the Panchadashakshari mantra.

Then we listened to how Devi can be attained when the heart melts with love for Devi through purity, intensity and innocence of devotion. “bhakti priyā – bhakti gamyā – bhakti vaśyā – bhayāpahā We realized the greatness of devotion.

We listened to her formless attributes, knowing her to be the all-pervading Pure Consciousness. We saw that there is none other than Devi abiding in this universe. There is nothing unattainable for one who praises the glory of Universal Mother.

There will be no rebirth for them. They will not have to be reborn in the womb of another mother, they will not have to drink mother’s milk. There is no rebirth for the devotees of Devi.

सरस्वत्या लक्ष्म्या विधि हरि सपत्नो विहरते
रतेः पतिव्रत्यं शिथिलयति रम्येण वपुषा
चिरं जीवन्नेव क्षपित-पशुपाश-व्यतिकरः
परानन्दाभिख्यं रसयति रसं त्वद्भजनवान्
– Saundarya Lahari 99

These lines from “Saundarya Lahari,” of Adi Shankaracharya details the results ensuing from singing the glory of the names of Amma. The person becomes attractive to the whole world because he will acquire the beauty of love with grace and munificence of Saraswathi he becomes a profound scholar and Lakshmi Devi assures prosperity.

They become his constant companions. He will never become tainted by lustful emotions and with a pure and tranquil mind, he will live absorbed in the bliss of immortality.

We now come to a very enchanting portion of LalitaSahasranama
mahā lāvaṇya śevadhi
(the treasure house of beauty)
mahā pāśupatāstrāgni nirdagdhāsura sainikā
(who burned the armies of the demons in the fire of the Mahapashupata missile)
mahā gaṇeśa nirbhinna vighna yantra praharṣitā
(who rejoices when Ganesha shatters all obstacles)

There are so many mantras with mahā as a prefix. Let us now look at the portions which have many mantras strung together.
mahārūpā mahāpūjyā mahāpātakanāśinī |
mahāmāyā mahāsattvā mahāśaktirmahāratiḥ ||

mahābhōgā mahaiśvaryā mahāvīryā mahābalā |
mahābuddhirmahāsiddhirmahāyōgēśvarēśvarī ||

mahātantrā mahāmantrā mahāyantrā mahāsanā |
mahāyāgakramārādhyā mahābhairavapūjitā ||

mahēśvaramahākalpamahātāṇḍavasākṣiṇī |
mahākāmēśamahiṣī mahātripurasundarī

All these mantras begin with the prefix “mahā”. Devi is also worshipped as – mahākailāsanilayā – mahākāmēśanayana kumudāhlādakaumudī

There are many mantras that begin with the prefix “mahā” I will explain the general meaning of these mantras. The word “mahā” means “that which is greatest”. “There is nothing greater than this”, is the meaning of the prefix “mahā”. In Katopanishad and the Bhagavad Gita, the Paramatma or the supreme self is described in this manner.

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परा ह्यर्था अर्थेभ्यश्च परं मनः
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्बुद्धेरात्मा महान्परः
महतः परमव्यक्तमव्यक्तात्पुरुषः परः
पुरुषान्न परं किंचित्सा काष्ठा सा परा गतिः ॥ – Kathopanishad 1.3.10-11

The mind is greater than the sense organs, the intelligence is greater than the mind, the great principle (the Maha Tatvam) that underlies the entire universe is greater. Prakriti (Power of Maya) is greater than the Mahat, and Purusha greater than Prakriti. There is nothing greater than Purusha.

Purusha is another word for the Paramatma (the supreme self). It is to Indicate that there is no other greater than Devi,
mahārūpā mahāpūjyā mahāpātakanāśinī |
mahāmāyā mahāsattvā mahāśaktirmahāratiḥ ||

These lines extolling the greatness of Devi is melodious to the ear. It is rendered in the ashram as a namavali of thousand names of Devi. Her names can be chanted in different melodies by the devotees.

It is a reminder to us that there is none other greater than Devi. Therefore if we take refuge in her, she will bless us with everything we need. That is the general meaning of these mantras.