What is the Trishati Archana?
Trishati literally means “the number 300,” and here it denotes the 300 sacred names of the Goddess, which form part of a hymn, or slokam. Goddess Bhagavati remains the presiding deity of this worship.
An archana (light and sound ceremony) is a ritual done in praise of a deity. The names, qualities, attributes and the greatness of the deity are recited, normally before the idol or picture of the deity, while offerings like flowers are submitted along with. An archana will consist generally of the recitation of 108 names of the archetype. There can also be archanas involving 1008 or even a lakh of names of the God. The ritual begins with a sankalpa, where the names of the sponsors are included as the beneficiaries. It ends with the holy aarti (light offering), where lighted camphor is shown to the deity as a final offering, which is then presented to the devotees for their acceptance of the blessings. This sacred Light and Sound Ceremony is performed for inviting divine energies into our lives. It is a simple but effective process for invoking a deity and seeking his or her blessings.
Goddess Bhagavati and Her Importance
Bhagavati is Goddess Shakti, who combines in herself supreme power and motherly compassion. She is also known by many other names, like Lalita, Parvati, etc. She is the active dynamic principle primarily responsible for all prosperity, and is a generator of fertility, purity and abundance. It is Goddess Bhagavati who is invoked in this worship.
Significance of the Trishati Archana Worship
The most famous of the Trishati hymns is the Lalita Trishati (300 holy names of the mother Goddess), which according to mythology are given out by Lord Hayagriva, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, to the great sage Agastya. Contained in the ancient text, Brahmanda Purana, this is considered the most secret of hymns, which also encompasses the divine mother’s powerful Pancha Dasakshari Mantra (15-letter mantra). In this ritual, the Light and Sound Ceremony is performed for propitiating Goddess Bhagavati with the ceremonial chanting of her 300 names contained in the Trishati hymn, and worship is offered to her.