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Book Code: ES49
Paperback:
63 pages
ISBN:  NA
Book Dimensions: 7.25 x 4.75 x 0.16 inches
Shipping Weight: 80 grams

ANANDA LAHARI

(THE BLISSFUL WAVE)
OF
SRI SANKARACHARYA

Translation and Commentary

by Swami Sivananda

Table of Contents

Dedication (5)
Letters (7)
Prayer (9)
Sri Chakra (10)
Devi-Suktam (11)

Sakti-Yoga Philosophy

(12)
Introduction (18)
Ananda Lahari (Devanagari) (30)
Ananda Lahari (English Translation) 39

To Our Divine Mother
The Supreme Goddess
Tripurasundari
is
This Work
humbly dedicated


LETTERS

Ananda Kutir Post
RISHIKESH

5th July 1941

O Tripura Sundari!

O Adorable Mother! I bow to Thee. Without Thy grace no one can get success in spiritual Sadhana and salvation in the end.

O Compassionate Mother! Thou art and ocean of mercy. Bless me. If I get a drop from that ocean will it dry up?

O my Sweet Mother! Guide me. Protect me. Save me. I am Thy child.

Jeya Tripura Sundari!

Salutations

Sivananda


Ananda Kutir Post
RISHIKESH

6th August 1941

Dear Narayan,

Bhakti is supreme love of God. It is the Kohinoor in the crown of devotees. It blooms afterwards into Gyana. It leads to immortality or God-realisation.

Cultivate through Satsang, Japa, Kirtan, prayer, meditation and service of Bhaktas.

Life without devotion is real death. Remember Prahlad, Dhruva, you will draw inspiration.

Worldliness, vasanas, cravings, pride, attachment, egoism and lust are enemies of devotion. Kill them. Do total self surrender unto the Lord.

May your heart be filled with devotion. May you abide in the Lord for ever and ever.

Sivananda


PRAYER

Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike;
Sharanye Tryambake gouri Narayani Namostute.

Our prostrations to Thee, Oh Devi All Auspicious One, giver of success and prosperity, the abode of the helpless, the One with three eyes and of white colour, consort of Lord Narayana.

Adorations to the World-mother (Jagan Mata) who creates, preserves or sustains this universe through Her Shakti and bestows perennial joy and Supreme Peace to Her devotees.


SAKTI-YOGA PHILOSOPHY

Salutations to the Divine Mother

Sakti is Chidroopini. She is pure, blissful consciousness. She is the Mother of nature. She is nature itself. She is the power of Lord Siva or Brahma. She runs this world-show. She maintains the sportive play or Lila or of the Lord. She is Jagad Janani (creator of the world), Mahishasuramardinee (destroyer of Mahishasura), Bhrantinashini (destroyer of illusion or Avidya), and Daridryanashini (destroyer of poverty).

Devi is Sakti of Lord Siva. She is Jada Sakti and Chit Sakti. She is Iccha Sakti, Kriya Sakti and Jnana Sakti. She is Maya Sakti. Sakti is Prakriti, Maya, Mahamaya, Sri Vidya. Sakti is Brahman itself. She is Lalita, Kundalini, Rajeshwari and Tripurasundari, Sati, Parvari. Sati manifested to Lord Siva in the ten forms as the Dasa Maha Vidya, viz., Kali, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneswari, Matangi, Shodasi, Dhoomavati, Tripurasundari, Tara and Bhairavi.

Worship of Sakti or Saktism is one of the oldest and most widespread religions in the world. Everybody in this world wants power, loves to possess power. He is elated by power. He wants to domineer over others through power. War is the outcome of greed for power. Scientists are followers of Saktism. He who wishes to develop will-power and a charming personality is a follower of Saktism. In reality, every man in this world is a follower of Saktism.

Scientists say now that everything is energy only and that energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter. The followers of the Sakta school of philosophy have said the same thing long ago. They further say that this energy is only a limited manifestation of the Infinite Supreme Power or Maha Sakti.

Sakti is always with Siva. They are inseparable like fire and heat. Sakti evolves Nada and Nada Bindu. The world is a manifestation of Sakti. Suddha Maya is Chit Sakti. Prakriti is Jada Sakti. Nada, Bindu and the rest are only names for different aspects of Sakti.

The countless universes are only dust of Divine Mother’s holy feet. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour is indescribable. Her greatness is unfathomable. She leads the individual soul from Chakra to Chakra, from plane to plane and unifies him with Lord Siva in the Sahasrara.

The body is Sakti. The needs of the body are the needs of Sakti. When man enjoys it is Sakti who enjoys through him. His eyes, ears, hands and feet are Hers, She sees through his eyes, works through his hands, and hears through his ears, Body, mind, Prana, egoism, intellect, organs and all the other functions are Her manifestations.

Saktism speaks of personal and the impersonal aspects of Godhead. Brahma is Nishkala or without Prakriti and Sakala or with Prakriti. The Vedantin speaks of Nirupadhika Brahman (pure Nirguna, Brahma without Maya) and Sopadhika Brahma (with Upadhi or Maya) or Saguna Brahman. It is all the same. Names only are different. It is a play of words of Sabda Jalam. People fight on words only and carry on lingual warfare—hair-splitting, logical chopping and intellectual gymnastics. In reality the essence is one. Clay only is the truth. All modifications such as pot, etc., are in name only. In Nirguna-Brahma Sakti it is potential whereas in Saguna-Brahma it is kinetic or dynamic.

The basis of Saktism is the Veda. Saktism upholds that the only source and authority (Pramana) regarding transcendental or supersensual matters such as the nature of Brahman, etc., is Veda. Saktism is only Vedanta. The Saktas have the same spiritual experience as that of a Vedantin.

The Devi-Sookta of the Rig-Veda, the Sri Sookta, Durga Sookta, Bhoo Sookta, and Neela Sookta, and the specific Sakta Upanishads such as Tripuratapini Upanishad, Sitopanishad, Devi Upanishad, Saubhagya-Upanishad, Saraswati Upanishad, Bhavanopanishad, Bahvrichopanishad, etc., emphatically declare about the Mother aspect of God. The Kena Upanishad also speaks of Uma Hemavathi who imparted wisdom of the Self to Indra and the Devas.

Divine Mother is everywhere triple. She is endowed with the three gunas, viz., Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas. She manifests as will (Iccha-Sakti), action (Kriya Sakti) and knowledge (Jnana Sakti). She is Brahma Sakti (Saraswati) in conjunction with Brahma; Vishnu Sakti (Lakshmi) in conjunction with Lord Vishnu; Siva Sakti (Gouri) in conjunction with Lord Siva. Hence she is called Tripurasundari.

The abode of Tripurasundari the Divine Mother is called Sri Nagara. This magnificent abode is surrounded by twenty-five ramparts which represent the twenty-five Tattwas. The resplendent Chintamani palace is in the middle. The Divine Mother sits in the Bindu Peetha in Sri Chaka in that wonderful palace. There is a similar abode for Her in the body of man also. The whole world is Her body. Mountains are Her bones. Rivers are Her veins. Ocean is Her bladder. Sun and moon are Her eyes. Wind is Her breath. Agni is Her mouth.

The Sakta enjoys Bhukti (enjoyment in the world) and Mukti (liberation from all worlds). Siva is an embodiment of Bliss and Knowledge. Siva Himself appears in the form of man with a life of mixture of pleasure and pain. If you remember this point always, all dualism, all hatred, jealousy, and pride will vanish. You must consider every human function as worship or a religious act. Answering calls of nature, micturition, talking, eating, seeing, hearing, become worship of Lord if you develop the right attitude. It is Siva who works in and through man. Where then is egoism of individuality? All human actions are divine actions. One universal life throbs in the hearts of all, sees in the eyes of all, works in the hands of all, hears in the ears of all. What magnanimous experience it is, if one can feel this by crushing this little ‘I’! The old Samskaras, the old Vasanas, the old habits of thinking, stand in the way of your realising this Experience-Whole.

The aspirant thinks that the world is identical with the Divine Mother. He moves about thinking his own form to be the form of the Divine Mother and thus beholds oneness everywhere. He also feels that the Divine Mother is identical with Para Brahman.

The advanced Sadhak feels "I am the Devi and the Devi is in me." He worships himself as Devi instead of adoring any external object. He says "Saham", "I am She" (Devi).

Saktism is not mere theory or philosophy. It prescribes systematic Sadhana of Yoga, regular discipline according to the temperament, capacity and degree of evolution of the Sadhak. It helps the aspirant to arouse the Kundalini and unite Her with Lord Siva and to enjoy the Supreme Bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. When Kundalini sleeps man is awake to the world. He has objective consciousness. When she awakes, he sleeps. He loses all consciousness of the world and becomes one with the Lord. In Samadhi the body is maintained by the nectar which flows from the union of Siva and Sakti with Sahasrara.

Guru is indispensable for the practice of Sakti Yoga Sadhana. He initiates the aspirant and transmits the divine Sakti.

Physical contact with a female is grass Maithuna. This is due to Pasu Bhava or animal disposition or brutal instinct. Mother Kundalini Sakti unites with Lord Siva in Sahasrara during Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This is real Maithun or blissful union. This is due to Divya Bhava or divine disposition. You must rise from Pasu Bhava to Divya Bhava, through Sat Sang, service of Guru, renunciation and dispassion, discrimination, Japa and meditation.

Worship of the Divine Mother with intense faith and perfect devotion and self-surrender will help you to attain Her grace. Through Her grace alone you can attain knowledge of the Imperishable.

Glory to Sri Tripurasundari, the World-Mother, who is also Raja-Rajeshwari and Lalita Devi. May Her blessings be upon you all!!!


INTRODUCTION

I

Mother worship is the worship of God as the Divine Mother, Sri Mata. Sakti is the power of the Lord or the cosmic energy. Sakti is the energy aspect of Ishwara or the Lord. Sakti is inherent in God. Just as you cannot separate heat from fire, so also you cannot separate Sakti from God, the Sakta, or the Possessor of Sakti. Sakti and Sakta are one. They are inseparable. Worship of Durga or Parvati or Kali is worship of Lord Siva. The Divine Mother, in Her aspect of Durga, is represented as having ten different weapons in her ten hands, and as sitting on a lion.

Electricity, magnetism, force, heat, light, the five elements and their combinations are all external manifestations of Sakti. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic power and will are all Her internal manifestations. She keeps up the Lila of the Lord through the three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Vidya, Santi, lust, anger, greed, egoism and pride are all Her forms. Her manifestations are countless. Durga, Kali, Bhagavati, Bhavani, Ambal, Ambika, Jagadamba, Kameswari, Ganga, Uma, Chandi, Chamunmdi, Lalita, Gouri, Kundalini, Tara, Rajeswari, Tripurasundari, etc., are all Her forms. She is Para Sakti, Radha, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Savitri are the five Prakritis. She is worshipped, during the nine days of the Dussera, as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

She lies dormant in the Muladhara Chakra in the form of a serpentine power or coiled up energy known as the ‘Kundalini Sakti’. She is at the centre of the life of the universe. She is the primal force of life that underlies all existence. She vitalises the body through the Sushumna Nadi and nerves. She nourishes the body with chyle and blood. She vitalises the universe through Her energy. She is the energy in the Sun, the fragrance in the flowers, the beauty in the landscape, the Gayatri or the Blessed Mother in the Vedas, colour in the rainbow, intelligence in the mind, potency in the homeopathic pills, power in Makaradhwaja and gold oxide, will and Vichara Sakti in sages, devotion in Bhaktas, Samyama and Samadhi in Yogins.

You are more free with your mother than with anybody else. You open your heart more freely to your mother than to your father. Na Matuh Paramadaivatam—there is no other God greater than the Mother. It is the mother who protects you, nourishes you, consoles you, cheers you and nurses you. She is your first Guru. The first syllable which almost every quadruped or human being utters is the beloved name of the Mother (Ma). She sacrifices her all for the sake of her children.

A child is more familiar with the mother than with the father, because the former is very kind, loving, tender, affectionate and looks after the wants of the child. Whenever the child wants anything, it runs with out-stretched hands to the mother, rather than to the father. If she hears the cry of the child, she leaves her domestic work and runs immediately to look after the child. In the spiritual field also, the aspirant or the devotee—the spiritual child—has intimate relationship with the Mother Durga than with the Father Siva. Lord Siva is quite indifferent to the external world. He is a Tyagi and a Virakta. He wears the garland of skulls of His devotees, rubs the whole body with Vibhuti or holy ash and remains in the crematorium in an intoxicated state. He is absorbed in contemplation of the Self. He remains in a state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He has handed over the power-of-attorney to His consort, Durga. It is Mother Durga only who looks after the affairs of the world. Lord Siva (Purusha) gazes at Prakriti (Durga) His Sakti. She engages Herself in creation, preservation and destruction.

It behoves, therefore, that the aspirant should approach the Mother first, so that she may introduce Her spiritual child to the Father for its illumination or Self-realisation. That is the reason why the devotees have placed Radha, Sita, Gouri, first in the jugal names viz: Radha Krishna, Sita Rama, Gauri Sankar, Uma Sankar, Bhawani Sankar, Lakshmi Narayana.

The Upasana or worship of Devi or Universal Mother leads to the attainment of knowledge of the Self. The story in the Kenopanishad known as ‘Yaksha Prasna’ supports this view, where Uma taught the Truth to the Devas.

In a fight with the Asuras, the Devas were victorious. The Devas thought that this was due to their own power or prowess and forgot that it was divine help which brought victory to them. Brahman therefore wanted to teach them a lesson. He knew that this idea had puffed them up with vanity and so he appeared before them in a huge form as a Yaksha whose beginning or end was not visible. The Devas did not know Him. They spoke to Agni thus, "O Jataveda! Find out what this great Spirit is." He said, "Yes". Agni ran up to Brahman who questioned, "Who art Thou"? He replied "I am verily Agni, I am verily Jataveda". Brahman asked Agni, "What power hast thou?" Agni replied, "I can burn whatsoever there is on earth." Brahman placed a blade of grass before Agni and said, "Burn this." Agni approached it with all his power. He could not burn it. Next came Vayu, the God of Wind. Brahma asked Vayu, "What power hast thou?" Vayu replied, "I can blow away the whole universe and all that is on the earth." Brahman placed a blade of grass before Vayu and said, "Blow this away." Vayu approached it with all his power and was not able to make it move even an inch from its place. Last of all, Indra, the chief of the Devas himself came. But when he reached the spot, he found that the Yaksha had vanished. Indra was in a great dilemma. He was confused and perplexed. When he was standing there bewildered and ashamed, Uma (Himavati), the daughter of Himavat (Himalayas) and consort of Lord Siva, appeared before him and revealed to him the real identity of the Yaksha. Then only Indra knew the Spirit to be Brahman. He verily became excellent before the other Gods on account of the grace of Mother Uma.

Mother’s grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. Her knowledge is infinite. Her power is immeasurable. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour is indescribable. She gives you Bhukti (material prosperity) and Mukti (liberation) also. Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your heart before Her with frankness and humility. Be as simple as a child. Kill ruthlessly egoism, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. Make a total, unreserved ungrudging surrender to Her. Sing Her praise. Repeat Her name. Worship Her with faith and unflinching devotion. Do special Pooja on Navaratri days. Navaratri is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. Those nine days are very sacred to Devi. Plunge yourself in Her worship. Do Anushthan. Devi fought with Bhandasura and his forces for nine days and nine nights. The war ended on the evening of the tenth day known as ‘Vijaya Dasami’. Or the day of Victory. Akshara Abhyasa for children is done on the ‘Vijaya Dasami’ day. Aspirants are initiated on this day. The beginning of learning of any science is done on this most auspicious day. It was on this day that Arjuna worshipped the Devi before starting the fight against the Kauravas in the field of Kurukshetra.

May the Divine Mother Durga establish righteousness or Dharma in the world! May She destroy all dark hostile forces that disturb the peace of the world! May She soon bring this great war to an end! May She remove all sorts of epidemics and famines from the land! May She bring supreme peace, prosperity and undying bliss to all Her children of this world! May She transmute the Asuras or the demons or people with diabolical tendencies into Sattvic men! May She annihilate the Asuric tendencies such as, lust, anger, pride, hypocrisy, etc., in human beings, which represent Madhu Kaitabha, Mahisha, Shumbha and Nishumbha!

May She give the milk of divine wisdom to Her children and lift them up to the magnanimous heights of divine splendour and glory, the imperishable state of Kaivalya and eternal sunshine!

II

"Saundarya Lahari" means "the Wave of Beauty" because it gives a description of the physical beauty or the bodily perfection of the Devi’s form (Sthularupa). "Ananda Lahari" means "the Wave of Bliss". The first forty-one stanzas encompass the "Ananda Lahari" and the other verses constitute "Saundarya Lahari". The author of this wonderful book is Sri Sankaracharya, the great intellectual genius and Vedantic preacher of Southern India, who was born at Kaladi (Malabar). Among the hymns addressed to Devi, the "Saundarya Lahari" occupies an unprecedented position. It is one of the most inspiring of devotion poems.

"Ananda Lahari" deals with the Kundalini Yoga and the Chakras and other Tantrik subjects. It is a very important work on Tantra Sastra. It contains the essence of Sri Vidya in a nutshell. Hence, it has got the largest number of commentaries.

"Ananda Lahari" is a Tantrik text which deals with the worship of the Supreme Being in Its (feminine) aspect of the Sakti or power or the creative energy known as Sri Vidya. Practice of Sri Vidya is adopted by many people in Southern India, particularly in Malabar.

"Ananda Lahari" is universally recognised as an ancient and authoritative Tantrik work. There are thirty-five commentaries on this book. This book is of immense value to all students of the Agama. Lakshmidhara, Bhaskararaya, Kaivalyasrama, Chyutananda, Kameswara Swami are the chief commentators on this work.

"Ananda Lahari" contains beautiful poems which contains Stotras or hymns in praise of Devi or the Goddess Tripura-Sundari. The stanzas exhibit the highest flights of imagination, remarkable devotional fervour, the exquisite touches of poetical fancy and an insight into the secrets of the Agamas and the Tantras. The stanzas contain various Mantras or mystic formula, along the Yantras or diagrams, for worship of Devi and for the attainment of various Siddhis or powers.

Worship of Devi in the form of Sri Vidya is of two kinds, viz., internal, for advanced students, and external, for the less evolved students. In the internal form of worship there are neither rituals nor ceremonies. The Supreme Being, in the aspect of Siva united with the Sakti, is worshipped at the various centres of energy of the human body or Chakras or lotuses. Those who perform the internal mode of worship believe in the identity of Siva and Sakti, in the awakening of Kundalini and in taking it up, through the various Chakras, to Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled lotus, through worship, Japa of Mantra, where the individual soul unites with the Supreme Soul.

In the external form of worship the Sri Chakra is worshipped. Yantra is inscribed on the Bhurja leaf of gold or other metallic plates. Mantras are respected with gestures, postures, waving of light or Arathi and offerings of incense. Naivedya or various sorts of food or Prasad.

Sri Chakra is the highest point or acme to which Yoga practices can lead. When you attain perfection in Sri Vidya, there is nothing more left for you to gain by the practice of Yoga. Sri Chakra with forty-three triangles is the mansion of the Devi. In the Sri Chakra (Nagara), in the centre between the seventeenth and eighteenth walls, is the seat of Vishnu; between the sixteenth and seventeenth is that of Brahma; between the fourteenth and the fifteenth is that of Indra and other Lokapalas (protectors of the world). All these reside (in their respective places) for the sake of worshipping Devi. The ‘Devi Bhagavata Purana’ says: "Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Varuna, Yama, Vayu, Agni, Kubera, Tvashta, Pusha, Aswins, Bhaga, Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Viswadevas, Marutganas, all these meditate on Devi, the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction."

Outside and beyond the countless myriads of worlds’ systems, in the centre of the Ocean of Nectar, more than a thousand crores in extent, in the Gem Island (Ratnadwipa), a hundred crores in area, the lamp of the world, there is the supreme city of Sri Vidya, three lacs of Yojanas in height and adorned with twenty-five walls representing the twenty-five Tattvas.

Each verse has a Yantra with Bija Aksharas and a prescribed course of worship. The Bija Aksharas and Yantra are inscribed on a gold or copper plate. The food offerings to the Devi vary, according to the mode of worship and the purpose. There is a definite distinctive aim to be achieved by a particular mode of worship with a particular Yantra and a particular mode of worship with a particular Yantra and a particular offering. The days of worship also vary, from 4 to 180 days. Wealth, learning, lordship, success in enterprise, mastery over the enemy, eradication of incurable ailments, etc., can be attained by worship of Devi, in different Yantras, with different Bija Aksharas and different offerings. Worldly people generally use the verses of this hymn for invoking the Devi for the fulfilment of worldly desires. Success depends upon the faith and devotion of the aspirant. If there is any delay in the attainment of the specific fruit, you will have to worship for some more days with intense devotion. These verses can help you in the attainment of the final beatitude of life also, if you seek that alone from the Divine Mother.

Above Sakti and Siva, various manifestations of Para Sakti and of Sada Siva exist. The body of Maha-Sakti or Para-Sakti is formed of pure and concentrated Sattva without any admixture of Rajas and Tamas. The other Saktis have merely a preponderance of the Sattva over Rajas and Tamas and not pure Sattva. Therefore She is the highest, the prototype of Para-Brahman.

The different Saktis are: Para Sakti, Adi Sakti, Iccha Sakti, Kriya Sakti, Jnana Sakti, Bala, Tripurasundari, Raja-Rajeswari, Annapurna, Gayatri, Savitri, Kundalini and many others. Though each name produces a specific result, yet it may also produce a general result. You may repeat any one of the names of the Devi. If you wish to obtain a particular fruit, you must invoke the Goddess by the corresponding name.

Just as the fruit is hidden in the seed, butter in milk, virility in boyhood, so also various Saktis remain latent in man on account of ignorance. If you purify your mind and practise concentration and meditation, all these powers will shine forth.

The highest fruit of meditation or Upasana is the identity or non-distinction with the object meditated upon. The meditator and the meditated become one. The devotee of Devi attains realisation of oneness with Devi through intense Upasana or worship.

The ‘Kurma Purana’ says, "Water is able to quench the fire, the presence of the Sun to dispel darkness, and the repetition of the names of Devi to destroy the multitude of sins in the Kali age." The ‘Brahma Purana’ says, "Those who worship the supreme Sakti, whether regularly or irregularly, are not entangled in Samsara. There is no doubt, they are the liberated souls."

III

A study of "Ananda Lahari" daily in the early morning will be a great help to all who desire material as well as spiritual progress. Get up early in the morning at 4 a.m. Have your bath and other purificatory acts. Then perform your Nityakarma in a separate Pooja room. Place therein the photos of your Ishta Devata, your Guru and that of Tripurasundari, the World Mother and generatrix of this universe in whose praise "Ananda Lahari" is sung. After performing your Nityakarma have a full reading of "Ananda Lahari" with extreme faith and devotion. Keep a ghee lamp burning throughout your Pooja time. In the end, wave lights, burn incense and camphor before the Devi, your Ishta Devata and others. Place the offerings of cocoanut, honey, milk, fruits, etc., before the deity and take the sacred Prasad. If you are not able to read the whole "Ananda Lahari" daily, study at least five Slokas or even one Sloka with intense faith and devotion. Do this regularly without fail.

This will relieve you of all pains, miseries and tribulations. You will attain high position and success in life and ultimately attain Sayujya Mukti also as stated in stanza 22. Pray to Mother Goddess with a melting heart, with faith and devotion. I assure you, you will have rapid success in life and spiritual progress.

ANANDA KUTIR
RISHIKESH
1st March 1941

Swami Sivananda


English Translation

1. Sivah saktya yukto yadi bhavati saktah prabhavitum
na ched evam devo na khalu kusalah spanditum api;
Atas tvam aradhyam hari-haraivirinchadibhir api;
pranantum stotum va katham a-krta punyah prabhavati.

Siva is able to create only when He is united with Sakti. Without Her, He (the Deva) will be unable even to make a little movement. How can I, an unworthy, bow down to Thee or praise Thee, who art worshipped by Hari, Hara, Virinchi and others?

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