We are now about to enter the seventh āvaraṇa or saptamāvaraṇa (sapta means seven; please recall saptamatā-s), which is known as sarvarogaharacakra (सर्वरोगहरचक्र). This āvaraṇa has eight triangles, as indicated in blue colour in the chart and each āvaraṇa is presided over by a vāgdevī.  These eight vāgdevī-s composed Lalitā Sahasranāma. While reciting Lalitā Sahasranāma, they are worshipped as Ṛṣi-s (in Ṛṣyādi nyāsaḥ they are worshipped as vaśinyādi vāgdevatā ṛṣayaḥ वशिन्यादि वाग्देवता ऋषयः). They composed Lalitā Sahasranāma and made its maiden rendition*. On the subtler side, they preside over all the 51 Sanskrit alphabets and hence they are known as vāgdevī-s (this can also be written as vācdevī-s). Vāc means to express, to speak, etc. Without sound, we cannot understand anything. Parāśakti has given them powers to administer everything related to alphabets. These eight vācdevī-s have attained complete mastery over language. But for their mastery, Lalitā Sahasranāma, an amazing masterpiece, would not have come into existence.  Like primeval stage of vāc**, they work on the subtleties of human mind such as spiritual ignorance, mind, intellect and ego. Subtleties of mind need through transformation in order to understand the teachings of Guru, “tat tvaṁ asi” (You are That). When Guru teaches the concept of “tat tvaṁ asi”, the student should affirm “ahaṁ brahmaṁ asi” (I am That). Merely making a statement saying that I am Brahman is not realization. Brahman is to be experienced through Bliss. These eight devi-s do this subtle work for those who are eligible to have this Supreme Knowledge. Mental afflictions are called roga (sickness) and as these eight vācdevī-s remove mental sickness. This āvaraṇa is known assarvarogaharacakra, where sarva mens all; roga means sickness and hara means destroying. Their place of residence is indicated as 1 to 8 in red colour. Now, let us get to know these eight vācdevī-s. As in other āvaraṇa-s, they are also worshipped in anticlockwise manner.

1. Vaśinī vāgdevī वशिनी वाग्देवी; 2. Kāmeśvarī vāgdevī कामेश्वरी वाग्देवी;

3. Modinī vāgdevī मोदिनी वाग्देवी; 4. Vimalā vāgdevī विमला वाग्देवी;

5. Aruṇā vāgdevī अरुणा वाग्देवी; 6. Jaini vāgdevī जैनि वाग्देवी;

7. Sarveśvarī vāgdevī सर्वेश्वरी वाग्देवी; 8. Kaulinī vāgdevī  कौलिनी वाग्देवी.

Apart from what is explained above, these eight vācdevī-s also represent puryaṣṭaka*** which consists of the following eight - 1) five organs of action (karmendriya-s), 2)  five organs of senses (jñānaendriya-s), 3) antaḥkaraṇa (four in numbers - manas, buddhi, cittam and ahaṃkāra or ego), 4) five prāṇa-s (prāṇa, apāṇa, etc), 5) five elements (ākāśa, air, etc) 6) desire, 7) ignorance and 8) karma. 

With this āvaraṇa, worshipping of secondary deities in Śri Cakra gets completed. Including this āvaraṇa, we have so far worshipped 94 śakti-s. However, fifteen tithi nityā devi-s are yet to be worshipped and they will be worshipped outside the innermost triangle. This will be discussed in subsequent parts.


Below Aruṇā  vāgdevī (marked as 5 in the image), three lines can be noticed. This is called Guru Maṇḍala, where Guru-s reside. There are four types of Guru-s. First is Paraguru, who is the first Guru or Ādi Guru. Ādi Guru is Mahākāmeśvara. It is He, who has initiated Mahākāmeśvarī into Śrī Vidyā. Thus Śiva becomes the first Guru and the first disciple of Śrī Vidyā lineage is Parāśakti. Therefore Ādi Guru Mahākāmeśvara and His disciple Mahākāmeśvarī are worshipped in the inner most triangle and the bindu within. If we look at the image, above the flat end of the innermost triangle and below the triangle where Jaini vāgdevi resides, there are three horizontal parallel lines. This is the place our Guru-s live. There are three types of Guru-s in Śrī Vidyā cult. One’s own Guru is known as svaguru. He is the one who has initiates the aspirant into Śrī Vidyā cult. He is often called Guruji!!. He should be a Self-realized person and should be capable of taking the aspirant beyond māyā. A true Guru is the one who carefully follows up with those who are initiated and takes them to successive higher stages, till Parāśakti is realized. His job does not end here. After making the aspirant to realize Parāśakti, he has to make the aspirant realize Śiva. A Guru has to tirelessly work hard with his students, till they are able to evolve themselves. Only this type of Guru is considered on par with Parāśakti and not those who merely initiate his disciples. If the second type of guru is considered on par with Parāśakti, both the guru and his students accrue huge amount of insurmountable karma. This is to be always kept in mind before getting initiated into Śrī Vidyā cult. Lalitā Sahasranāma 713**** says that Lalitāmbikā Herself is in the form of Guru Maṇḍala.

Guru Maṇḍala in detail will be discussed in the next part.

{*Further reading: This scene takes us back to the situation at the time of first appearance of this Sahasranāma.  All gods and goddesses are seated in Lalitāmbikā-s royal court.  Sapta (seven) riṣi-s, other riṣi-s, eighteen siddha-s and other saints are also seated.  The seating arrangement was as per the protocol.  There is a huge throne made out of gold and the best of precious stones.  Suddenly, there was a divine fragrance that spread throughout the royal court and the whole area was filled with radiating red light. Lalitāmbikā entered the court along with Her assistants.  All those seated got up and paid their obeisance to Her. Her form is described in dhyāna verses.  She had earlier summoned Her eight Vāc Devi-s and spoke to them thus: “The eight of you got the power of your vāc (mastery of speech) through my blessings.  You are appointed to provide the power of vāc to my devotees.  You are aware of the secrets of my Śrī Cakra.  You perpetually chant my name with great devotion.  Therefore, I command you to script a verse about me consisting of 1000 nāma-s.   When my devotees recite this verse, I should derive immense satisfaction.  The verse should have my name as its cachet”.  She emphasized three points for composing the verse.  First, it should have 1000 nāma-s; second, the verse should have Her name embossed; third, She should be gratified when Her devotees recite the verse.  Bearing Her command in mind, Vāc Devi-s composed such a verse and were ready for the recitation.  When Lalitāmbikā nodded Her head, Vāc Devi-s commenced their recitation and Lalitā Sahasranāma was declared to the universe.  She expressed Her immense happiness by nodding Her head often and smiling frequently while attentively listening to their rendition.  She also encouraged the Vāc Devi-s by saying ‘good’ and ‘excellent’.}

** Please refer Lalita Sahasranamam 366 to 371.

*** {Further reading on puryaṣṭaka: (as told by sage Vāsiṣṭha to Lord Rama in Yoga-vāsiṣṭha - VI.5).  Brahman who is without beginning or end and which is the seed of the universe, becoming differentiated is jīva (soul); subjecting itself to the idea of separateness, it becomes ahaṃkāra (ego) with manana (contemplation), it becomes manas (mind); with the certainty of intelligence, it becomes buddhi (intellect); then the five elements (sound, etc) through indriyā-s (sensory organs).  With the thought of the body, it becomes the body itself; with the thought of a vessel, it becomes the vessel.  A form (subtle body), having such a nature is called puryaṣṭaka body or eight constituents of the body.  The eight constituents are mind, ego, intellect, sound, touch, sight, taste and smell, the last five together known as tanmātra-s.}

****Further reading:  Lalitā Sahasranāma 713 is Guru-maṇḍala-rūpiṇī and is explained thus:

This nāma subtly conveys that the meaning and interpretation of kāmakalā should be learnt only from a Guru as this has intrinsic and subtle meaning.  Most of these interpretations have already been dealt with elaborately.  Guru maṇḍala means lineages of Guru-s.  Śrī Vidyā attaches great importance to Guru and his lineage.  Whatever Guru says should be final.  Lineage of Guru is stressed because, rituals and certain procedures differ from maṇḍala to maṇḍala (maṇḍala here means group) and each maṇḍala follows different customs and practices.  Each Śrī vidyā student will have three categories of Gurus - Guru, Paramaguru (Guru’s Guru) and Parameṣṭhiguru (Paramaguru’s Guru).  During navāvaraṇa pūja, all these Guru-s are worshipped along with many other Guru-s. This nāma says that She is in the form of Guru maṇḍala.  There is no difference between Guru and Lalitāmbikā, hence this nāma.  The first Guru or Ādi Guru is Śiva.  Guru is also worshipped in sahasrāra, where She conjoins Śiva.