Lalitha Sahasranama’s dhyan sloka gives huge and valuable inputs about Her physical appearance. When we meditate on her, we can meditate on this form. Sindhooraruna vigraham - Sindoorammeans the kumkum kept on women’s forehead, which is always red in colour. Arunam means the colour of sun rise, which is also red. The complexion of Lalitha is red. Why her complexion is referred twice - one example is referring to the colour of the kumkum, and another example referring to the colour of sun at the time of his rise. Is it not enough if her complexion is compared with any one of the two? It was felt by vak devis to emphasize the deep red colour of Her complexion one example was not enough and hence two examples were cited. Vigrahaam means her form. Thrinayanaammeans three eyed. Generally all devas and devis said to have three eyes. Third eye should not be taken in its literal sense. Third eye is the eye of jnana. If you acquire jnana your third eye will be opened automatically. Gods have more jnana than us. That is why Gods are described with the third eye. These three eyes represent the sun, the moon and the agni (the god of fire).
Manikya mouli spurath – She is wearing a crown studded with ruby stones (ruby stones are red in colour). Her crown also has moon (mouli). Thara nayaka shekaram – thara means stars. Moon is said to be the chief of stars. She is wearing in her crown the chief of stars, viz. moon. Wearing the moon in her shining crown is emphasized by referring to the moon twice. Probably we can also say that the rubies are shining red with the aid of the moon light. Smitha mukim: – smitha - smile, mukim – face. She has a smiling face or She is always smiling. Generally all the Gods do have smiling faces. Then what is special with Lalithambigai? The answer is given in 48th nama ‘maha lavanya shevathi:’ She is the embodiment of all the beauty in the universe and there is no other beauty which can be compared to Her. She is referred as ‘the brahman’ in various namas. “The Brahman” is the ultimate joy.
Lalithambigai is the combination of beauty and joy. Beauty is with reference to the physical body and joy is related to the mind. The joyful mind is reflected in Her physical body, adds luster to Her beauty. It is said that face is the index of mind. You can easily identify a person from his face. There will be ‘tejas’ or shine in his face, who does a lot of upasana. (upasana – various types of worshiping shakti, such as japa, pooja, chanting of mantra, havana or homa, meditating her, etc ) When a person gets such a tejas by merely worshipping Her, will there be any words to describe Her Brahma tejas? Idol worship: Worshipping an idol is individual’s choice. You cannot say whether it is right or wrong. It depends upon one’s mental makeup. If someone finds manifestation difficult, he can with the aid of an idol or a picture can visualize that form of God. But, when you take up idol worship, you have to necessarily follow the prescribed rituals.
When pooja and other rituals are done with great devotion and sincerity, you can over a period of time certainly observe changes in the face of the idol or picture. The cosmic energy you are generating during the rituals gets transferred to the idol and the idol becomes energized. No doubt idol worship is secondary, but you can begin with idol worship before realising the Brahman within. Smitha mukim can be interpreted in this context also. We will continue our discussions on dhyan sloka in the next postings.