Shakti Sadhana
Lalitha Sahasranama : Introduction

Agastya Said :

[1] O Horse-faced one, of great wisdom, well versed in all the Sastras [1], you have related ( to me ) the most wonderful history of Devi Lalitha

[2] You related to me in detail, first the birth of the Mother, then Her coronation and Her Slaying of Bhandasura.

[3] The Sricakra has been minutely described to us in all its glory; as also the greatness of the fifteen syllabled mantra ( Pancadasi )

[4] In the Nyasakhanda, the nyasas [2] such as sodha-nyasa have been described : the method of Anataryaga ( Inner worship ) as also that of Bahiryaga ( External Worship )

[5] And Mahayaga ( The Great Worship) has been described in the Pujakhanda [3]; in the chapter of Purascarana [4]you have told us the rules of Japa

[6] & [ 7 ] In the Homakhanda [5] you have told us the things to be used in the homa and the method of performing it; the fundamental identity between Cakraraja [6], Vidya ( fifteen-syllabled mantra ), Sridevi, Guru and pupil, has been imparted to us in the Rahasyakhanda[7]. In the chapter on prayers ( Stotrakhanda ) various sets of prayers have been given.

[8] The Thousand names of Goddesses Mantrini and Dandini have been given to me, but those of Devi Lalitha, have not been imparted to me.

[9] O Hayagriva, ocean of mercy, on this point doubt has arisen in me : have you forgotton it or knowingly neglected to initiate me into this?

[10] Or, it is because that I am unworthy to hear the thousand names? Tell me the reason why you have omitted this.

Suta Said :

[11] thus questioned by the holy, Kumbhasambhava [8], Hayagriva greatly delighted, addressed the ascetic Kumbhasambhava thus :

Hayagriva said :

[12] Oh Agastya, husband of Lopamundra, listen with concentration. I shall tell you why I did not instruct you in the thousand names.

[13] I did not tell you that because I thought it was a secret, and for no other reason as you have now asked me with devotion, I shall impart that to you.

[14] The Teacher may impart even a secret to a student who is possessed with devotion; but shall never impart to one who has no bhakti [9]

[15] Never to a rougue, to a wicked man; nor to at any time to one who is devoid of faith. It shall be imparted only to one who is thoroughly devoted to the divine Mother, to one who understands the Vidyaraja (The 15 syllabled mantra)

[16] & [ 17 ] To a Upasaka who is pure, you may impart the thousand names. The Goddess Lalitha has many thousand of ever powerful names in the Tantras; but this set of thousand, O Sage, is the first and the best.

SriVidya is the first of all the Mantras, and in it the Kadi is the first and the best.

[18] Just as Sripura is the bes among cities, so is Lalita among the Saktis,and the supreme Siva among the devotees of Srividya.

[19] & [20] So among the various thousands, this is the most Important. Devi Lalitamba is not so much pleased with the recitation of any other set of thousand names as with this. Therefore to gain the divine Mother's favour, one should repeat this continually.

[21] With him who worships Mother Lalita, placing her in the Sri Cakra offering bilva leaves, lotuses or tulasis reciting the thousand names.

[22] With him the Ruler on the lion throne [10] at once becomes pleased. When he has worshipped the Sri Cakra, he should recite the fifteen-syllabled mantra.

[23] And at the end of the japa repeat these thousand names. If he is unable to perform the japa, puja etc he should read these thousand names.

[24] He will thus obtain as much merit as if he performed the worship and the japa in detail. In worshipping Her he may repeat other stotas also; for they confer merit on him.

[25] He should repeat these thousand names as a daily duty; the worship of the Sri Cakra, the japa and the recitation of the thousand names of Devi.

[26] Should be performed strictly by a devotee; the rest is said to be performed for the sake of prosperity; but the repetition of the thousand names is imperative to a bhakta

[27] I will tell you the reason of it, listen, O Kumbhasambhava. Once Devi Lalita, intending to do good to her devotees.

Called her attendant Goddesses headed by Vasini, the goddess of speech, and others, and addressed them thus.

Devi said :

[28] O, ye Goddess Vagdevi!!, Vagdevi !! Vasini and others!! Listen !!
[29] Your splendid power of speech is derived from my grace; you were deputed to confer the power of speech on my devotees.

[30] You know the secret of my cakra, and you are wholly devoted to my names; so I command you to compose hymns to me.

[31] Composed a prayer adorned with my thousand names, so that, thus praised by the devotees, I may at once become extremely delighted.

Hayagriva said :

[32] Thus ordered by the words of the divine Mother, Lalita, the goddesses composed this excellent prayer of the secret names of Devi

[33] Hence it is well known as the thousand secret names. Once upon a time, the Mother, sitting on her lion-throne

[34] Gave audience to all, O Kumbhasambhava, and to worship her there came Crores of Brahmas with Brahmanis

[35] Also there came Crores of Narayanas with Laksmis, Crores of Rudras with Crores of Gauris.

[36] The different Saktis such as Mantrini and Dandini who came to pay obeisance to her , were too numerous to be counted

[37] There were also hords of Devas, hords of men and hords of Siddhas; and Devi Lalitha allowed herself to be seen by them all

[38] When all of them had worshipped her, they took their respective seats then directed by the glance of Sri Devi Lalita

[39] Vasini and others, rising from their seats, with folded hands, praised the Mother Lalitha, singing the thousand names composed by them.

[40] The great ruler Lalita was pleased on hearing this hymns; and all those that were assembled there were amazed.

Devi said :

[41] The Goddess of Speech composed this incomparable hymns at my command.

[42] It is adorned with many of my divine names, which are pleasing to me. Therefore recite always this prayers and thus increase my pleasure

[43] Declare these thousand names to my devotees. If a devotee recite these thousand names of mine even once.

[44] He should be known as most dear to me, and I grant him all that he desires. Having worshipped me in the Sri Cakra, and having recited the Pancadasaksari.

[45] One should repeat these thousand names to please me. Wheather he worships me in Sri Cakra or not, whether he performs the Japa or not.

[46] If he only always recites these thousand names to please me, without doubt he will obtain all his desires by my grace.

Hayagrive said :

[47] Therefore always recite these my thousand names with reverence. Thus the Ruler Lalita, commands the Devas and their followers.

[48] From that time, her command, Brahma, Vishn, Mahesvara and the Saktis, namely Mantrini and others

[49] Ever recite with devotion these thousand names to gain the grace of Laita. Therefore, O sage, the devotees must indeed recite this.

[50] O Lord of Sages, I have already told you why this recitation is necessary; listen ,then with devotion, while I repeat the thousand names.


[1] The Holy Science

[2] The placing and visualization of various parts of mantras in ones's own body so that the upasaka becomes divine and become eligible to recite the Mantras. Its is only a person with such "divinified" body who is deemed elighibel to recite the various mantras.

[3] Chapter relating to Poojas

[4] Ritualistic recitation of Mantras with its 6 limbs Rish ( seer), Chandas (meter), devata, Kara(Hand)Nyasa and Amga(body)Nyasa and mantra

[5] Chapter relating to Fire Sacrifice

[6] Sri Yantra

[7] Chapter on Secrets

[8] Pot born. The legends has it that Agasthya took birth in a pot and not in the womb of a woman.

[9] devotion

[10] The throne of Emperors and Empresses in ancient India are called "Lion Thrones" as sculpure of Lions adorn both sides of the throne.