What is Lalitha Sahasranamam?
Lalitha Sahasranamam is a sacred Hindu text that is part of the Brahmananda Purana, which is of great antiquity. The hymn sings praises of the Mother Goddess, who is an important deity in the Hindu pantheon. This Stotra is very popular among the devotees of Goddess Shakthi, especially the followers of the Shakta cult in Hinduism, which gives supremacy to the Mother Goddess among all the divine forms.
The Sanskrit term, ‘Sahasranamam,’ means “a thousand names.” It is a form of Stotra which eulogizes a deity by using the deity’s 1,000 names, attributes, or epithets. These names, attributes, or epithets express the quality and nature of the deity.
Which are the popular Sahasranamams?
Many Sahasranamams exist in Hinduism, but some are more popular than others. The most popular ones are given below.
1. Vishnu Sahasranamam (describes the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu)
2. Lalitha Sahasranamam (describes the 1000 names of the Mother Goddess)
3. Shiva Sahasranamam (describes the 1000 names of Lord Shiva)
4. Ganesha Sahasranamam (describes the 1000 names of Lord Ganesha)
These four Sahasranamams are read by devotees daily or weekly, or on auspicious occasions.
How did Lalitha Sahasranamam Originate?
Sri Chakra Maha Meru is the place where the Mother Goddess resides. More than 60 yoginis, who are the Goddess’ servitors, guard her sacred abode. Of these, the most important are the eight Vaag Devis – Vasini, Kameshvari, Aruna, Vimala, Jayani, Modini, Sarveshvari, and Kaulini. It is said that they were the ones who composed Lalitha Sahasranamam upon Goddess Lalita’s command. They also gave it to Lord Hayagriva, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Sage Agastya learned the Stotra from Hayagriva after doing penance to him. It was Sage Agastya who made Lalitha Sahasranamam known to the world.
Temples Associated with Lalitha Sahasranamam
In Tamil Nadu, there are two temples that are associated with the story of Lalitha Sahasranamam. These ancient temples have an important place in the worship of the Mother Goddess. It is believed that chanting or listening to this Stotram in these temples has many benefits.
The two temples are Kanchipuram Kamakshi temple and Thirumeeyachur Lalithambigai temple.
Kanchipuram Kamakshi Temple
Kanchipuram Kamakshi temple is a very renowned temple and one of the 51 Shakthi Peetams or sacred spots where Shakthi is worshipped. The deity here is a form of Goddess Parvati called Kamakshi. Adi Sankara, a great Hindu philosopher, was a devotee of the Goddess. Sage Agastya had learned Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram from Hayagriva, who also explained to Agastya the significance of Goddess Kamakshi in Kanchipuram and taught him the 1000 names of the Goddess.
Thirumeeyachur Lalithambigai Temple
Thirumeeyachur Lalithambigai Temple is the other important temple with links to Lalitha Sahasranama. Thirumeeyachur is near Mayiladuthurai, a town in Tamil Nadu. Lalithambigai is the name of the Goddess here, and she sits on the Sri Chakra Meru. The 8 Vaag Devis who serve the Divine Mother turned into green parakeets and sang the Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram in praise of Goddess Lalitha. All the other Gods, too, prayed to the Mother Goddess at this temple and sought her blessings.
Significance of Lalitha Sahasranamam
- The Goddess herself is very fond of Lalitha Sahasranama.
- It has more power than all forms of Tantra or Mantra.
- It is the main chant of the Mother Goddess.
- The 1000 names of the Goddess are rich in hidden meanings.
- It pleases the Mother Goddess immensely to hear the recital of this Sahasranama.
- Knowledge related to Kundalini Yoga is hidden within this Stotra.
- The greatest Gurus and Yogis have recommended the reading of this powerful Stotra as a remedy for all kinds of problems.
Benefits of Chanting Lalitha Sahasranamam
Chanting the Lalitha Sahasranamam bestows several benefits. They are given below.
- Chanting Lalitha Sahasranamam on Pournami/full moon day can protect you from diseases and ensure longevity.
- Chanting the Stotram helps ward off the adverse effects caused by planetary transits.
- Women can chant the Stotram and offer butter to the Divine Mother for progeny blessings.
- Lalitha Sahasranamam acts as a protective shield and protects you from black magic.
- Each name of the Goddess bestows unique blessings.
- Reading the Stotra helps to get rid of your sins.
- It removes the fear of enemies.
- Chanting it daily for 6 months can ensure the permanent presence of the Wealth Goddess, Lakshmi, in your home.
- If you read it daily for a month or 3 weeks, Goddess Saraswathi will give you a good intellect.
- If you chant Lalitha Sahasranamam regularly, you may not experience any lack in your life.