Time and again, the world has turned to the east for spiritual needs. India, “the Cradle of Timeless Relics,” the receptacle of ‘the Ocean of Spiritual Knowledge’ has unfailingly provided succour to the seeker, no matter what his perspective is, or how varied his needs are. The Vedas, the Upanishads, Puranas, Ramayana Mahabharatha – .that constitute this ocean have provoked, inspired and guided mankind, endeavoured to enhance their reach in transcending the borders of region and religion. These “Granthas“ or sacraments revealed such reach to the seekers (Rishis or sages) whether they were thinkers, whether they were challengers or critics or even the skeptics and of course beckoned the devout.In these granthas, thoughts were generally expressed through symbols, requiring deep contemplation and experiencing to grasp their hidden meanings,
The Shri Lalitasahasranama Stotram which is chanted devoutedly in many Indian homes is one such Hymn. As the name suggests, Lalitasahasra nama stotra is a Hymn consisting of a thousand names apparently extolling the glory of Lalitaparameshwari through ‘words of praise’. To call it simply a compendium of names would be inappropriate for it contains profound truths implicitly hidden in layers of symbols visible only to the true seeker.
S hi Lalita sahasranama stotra is a part of the Lalitopakhyana in the Brahmanda purana. The shlokas, pregnant with meanings are arranged in a highly logically order. Shlokas 24 to 34 are specially relevant to the materialistic world of today. Of course materialistic approach to life is a fact of life as it has always been and will be. The hymns narrate the slaying of Bhandasura ( a lesser known demon, though very potent).
... teachings became known as the Upanishads and the seekers themselves were given the name Upanishads that literally ... immemorial. The general assumption is that the Vedic hymns were either taught by God to the ... works and knowledge. The first is made of hymns and instructions regarding rights, ceremonies and rules of ... state of mind. In fact, this and other hymns were probably chanted by the Aryan people ...
They picturesquely narrate the terrible war between the forces of Lalitaparameshwari and Bhandasura, culminating in the slaying of the latter finally. This symbolises the tussle or war between the dark (totally materialistic) forces and the forces that symbolize Dharma,( not religion, but a way of life based on ever-lasting principles of Values over Materialism.In fact, it is the unending war that rages in the human mind , relentlessly
“A lazy mind is the devil’s workshop”, The unsavoury conseqences of ignoring this simple message is the essence of Bhandasura Vrittanta. This overtly innocuous but timeless truth was the Central theme of SHAKTI, a dance-drama presented by the members of the ladies club Kaiga Township for their Anniversary Celebration. .It was very well received and was subsequently perfomed at ShreeKshetra Swarnavalli Mutt Premises at the behest of His Holiness Shrishri Gangadharendra swamiji, and who was very appreciative of the dance-drama.
The drama starts with the ”The Big bang” event, and the onset of society (Manukula), a time when the characters believe in “ Work is worship” and in Dharma, Satya, Tyaga and Ahimsa ( righteousness, truth, sacrifice and nonviolence), the four pillars on which the society rests. Peace and harmony pervade the society This bliss is threatened by the onset of a legion of dark forces that spew out Tamas, (Inertia, or the eternal black hole).
In the Asurasabha (court of demons), the Lord of the asuras Bhandasura(extremely handsome, memerising personality) speaks of his kingdom ”Shunyaka” (overtly neutral as it signifies Shunya (Inertia, the Black hole).
He proclaims that he has successfully built a mighty, progressive empire where regressive, the retrograde principles of dharma and satya .have no place. His ministers and commander in chief extoll the virtues of their kingdom where “might is right” and only the fittest survive. They gloat about the strange powers and boons they possess and of their invincibilty. Scornful of women, who, are prophecied to kill them, wrongly, as they are just “dainty objects of desire”, the asuras rejoice. Bhandasura reminds them of their “unfinished task” of conquering “manukula” Together they plan an infallible strategy to break the formidable shield of dharma.
War is inevitably an exercise in politics. In the best case the political process provides checks and balances that can contain or even prevent war. In other cases the political process itself is the primary driving force towards war. These two realities are not mutually exclusive. The Persian Gulf War of 1991 provided evidence of both political realities. Politics influenced the nature and the ...
Bhandasura begins the assault by unleashing “Aalasyastra” (missile of laziness) on the vaccillating human mind. Humans slip into the deep slumber of “inertia” and become indifferent to their karma. (assigned duty).
The inner foes (desire, anger, hatred, greed, vanity (moha)) take over. Bhandasura’s chief minister Vishanga strikes next by poisoning the mind further. Man begins to despise Satsang (good/noble company).
Vishanga is followed by Vishukra who annhilates creativity, thus making the victim impotent or vi-shukra. The final. blow is dealt by the infamous Mahishasura who is inertia incarnate. He fans egoism and egotism till they rage to uncontrollable proportions. Thus the transfomation from Sat to Asat (demon) is complete. Just as mankind is slipping into the abyss of “kamapralaya” (deluge of desires), realization dawns . Unable to fight the powerful demonic forces, they seek refuge by offering prayer to Jaganmata (the universal mother) for deliverance from the quagmire they have got themselves in. They perform Manasa Yagna, cleansing themselves in the fires of repentance by offering all that is ”Self’ at the holy sacrificial altar of Chitagnikunda (Chit=consciousness, agnikunda = alter of sacrifice).
They resort to “Sharanagati” (total surrender).
Pleased, Goddess Lalitaparameshwari arises in the devotee’s mind (chitagnikunda sambhuta) to decimate the evil forces. (Shlokas 1 to 24 describe the emergence of divine ” Shakti” of un-comparable beauty and the stage is set for the “Bhandasura vadha ghatta” or “The Slaying of Bhandasura”
This is followed by the glorious scene of Shrilalita parameshwari, seated on Shrichakraraja chariot accompanied by Shaktisena (army of one crore of women) who arrives at the gates of Shunyaka . Her unique army is led by her minister, Shymalamba and commander Varahidevi.Mantrini Shyamalamba effuses positive energy and heads a contingent of women playing music that clears the mind and calms it.Dandanatha Varahidevi possesses a divine plough which she uses to expose the “demons “ who bury themselves under the cover of “goodness”. The ferocity of the war that ensues stun the reader into believing it is a 21st century war. All the efforts of Bhandasura and his army by using Astras and shastras (missiles and weapons; applying tantra (strategy); and unleashing yantras (black magic) to wreck havoc in the battlefield turn in vain as Shaktisena has a reply for everything. The war culminates with the annhilation of Bhandasura and his Shunyaka army. The Divine Mother thus liberates her children from the evil forces, and establishes Dharma again. It is sad that the word Dharma is loosely and wrongly used for Religion these days
Introduction Few episodes in history are more painful to Americans than the Civil War, fought between the North and the South. This biography, Great American Generals - Robert E. Lee, by Ian Hogg, takes the reader through the life of one of the greatest heroes of that war, Robert E. Lee. It is a thorough, in depth record of the life of Lee and begins with a detailed account of his family history ...
. The age we live in now is called Kaliyuga or the age of adharma where the balance tips towards adharma. We are steadily heading towards kamapralaya, the deluge of Desire. Our society is becoming extremely myopic in nature where life is all about I, Me and Myself, where one does not care for the other let alone the fellow creatures or the world around. Greed, unabated desires, jealousy hatred and anger that dominate the world today are the root cause for many maladies that plague humanity today. The gospel truth (Dharma) that good life is in ‘Unity in Diversity’ and not ‘Exclusivism’ as evidenced in the ‘Unholy’ wars we see from time. We seem to be heading towards a similar situation depicted in the Lalita Saharanama depicted above. Unless we recognise that the overriding factor in life is Dharma, over unreasonable, uncontrolled desire in materialistic gains, we are sure to meet our doom. A proper understanding of the truths hidden in the Sahasranama and other scriptures will be a great help for us live our life better!