There are around 321 shlokas in Lalita Sahasranama. The preface has 51 shlokas. The main crux constituting the stotra is 183 shlokas. It has 1 dhyana shloka and the phalashruti (explanation on what one can achieve by chanting the stotram) has 86 shlokas.
Amma often says “Whoever chants LalitaSahasranama daily with faith and devotion, Devi takes care of all his/her material needs. At the same, there will also be spiritual progress.”
The Lalita Sahasranama is believed to be composed by the 8 divine Vagdevatas (or Rishis) who are the deities of speech with the following names. 1.Vasini Vagdevi; 2. Kameswari; Vagdevi; 3. Modini Vagdevi; 4. Kamala Vagdevi; 5. Aruna Vagdevi; 6. Jayini Vagdevi; 7. Sarveswari Vagdevi and 8. Koushini Vagdevi. They are believed to be the rishis of this stotram/mantras as there are rishis for every mantra. “Rishis are Mantra-drashtas or “the seers of thought”
The Lalita Sahasranama appears in the Uttara khanda (the last part) of the Brahmanda Purana in the form of conversation (Samvada) between the lord Hayagreeva & sage Agastya as the lord initiates the sage with the auspicious wisdom.
Once Lalita Devi addressed Vasini and the other Vagdevathas “I command you – who know the secrets of Srichakra, and of Sri Vidya and other Mantras to compose a hymn of a thousand names that reveal my greatness. Lead the way to let my devotees obtain My grace by chanting it!”. Accordingly Vasini and the other 7 deities of speech composed the Lalita Sahasranama consisting of the most secret mantras.
There are 51 alphabets in the Sanskrit language. The Vagdevis used the best words and letters to describe the mother and avoided the most difficult ones to ease the pronunciation thus selecting only 32 letters from the Sanskrit alphabet.
Lalita Sahasranama is said to be a combination of Bhakti, Vedanta and the Yoga Sadhana. Vagdevis are very close to the Mother and no-one else could have described mother in such an authentic and spotless way. They are the deities of speech.Who else can write it better than them!
Subsequently one day Devi sitting on her throne, gave the opportunity of her Darshan to all those who were present in the court, including countless Brahma’s, Countless Vishnu’s, Rudra’s and Sakthi’s such as Mantrini, Dandini and the other inhabitants of heaven. She gave them all the opportunity to worship her. As every one took their seats after the worship, Lalita Devi allowed Vasini and the other deities to chant the Sahasranama by visual signaling. They stood up with their palms joined in devotion and chanted “Lalita Sahasranama” in her praise.
This divine stotra was heard by Lord Hayagreeva from the Vagdevis and gave it to sage Agastya. Sage Agastya along with his wife Lopamudra spread gave it to this mortal world. In Tamil Nadu, there is a place known as Thirumeichur (earlier known as Sri Puram). It is believed that it is here where the Lalita Sahasranama was chanted for. the first time in this world.
There is a popular story. Once Adi Sankara wanted to write a commentary on Lalita Sahasranama and asked his disciples to bring the palm leaves containing the mantras. The disciples brought a manuscript and gave it to Sri Sankara. When he opened, he found it to be Vishnu Sahasranama, not Lalita Sahasranama. Sri Sankara said, “Please bring Lalita Sahasranama”. Again a manuscript was given and to the surprise when Sri Sankara opened that too was of Vishnu Sahasranama. This happened repeatedly for many times. Sri Sankara became a bit furious and asked his disciple “Why are you bringing Vishnu Sahasranama when I ask for Lalita Sahasranama?” the disciple replied, “Master, whenever I go to take Lalita Sahasranama, a little girl stands next to the manuscript library and gives me this. I couldn’t refuse!”. Sri Sankara understood what this implied using his divine vision and created a commentary on Vishnu Sahasranama. Later Sri Sankara composed a beautiful hymn on Mother named Saundarya Lahari. Lalitāsahasranāma bhāsya is a commentary (bhāsya) on Lalita Sahasranama by Bhaskararaya. This work was completed in 1728 CE. The translations of this work became popular in all languages in India.
An infant is more affectionate towards its mother than the father.
pitra nirbhalsitho balah
The father always tries to bring us to a disciplined way of life whereas the mother always tries to console us. Even if we do anything wrong, mother forgives and console us.
We praise Devi like this
Bhumau Skalitha Paadaanaam
Thvayi Jaatha Aparaadhanaam
Thwameva Sharanam Shive
If we slip, we fall on to Mother Earth. In the same way, when we do a mistake the divine Mother forgives and with Her unconditional Love tries to correct us. This is why it is said a baby is attracted more towards its mother.
by Swami Sankaramritananda Puri