We now walk through the sun fort to reach bhānu prākāra (bhānu means sun and prākāra means roundabout), the roundabout after sun fort. Sun shines from this place and illuminates all the fourteen mythical worlds (seven upper worlds are mentioned in Gāyātri mantra). As we walk through this prākāra, we find a huge hall which is constructed with lustrous rubies. There is a lotus like gold throne placed at the far end of the hall. On the throne is seated Mārtāṇḍa-Bhiarava (mārtāṇḍa refers to the sun). He is wearing a red flower garland. Flowers in the garland are deep red in color and are very fresh (fresh flowers are specifically mentioned to say that the flowers are not affected by sun’s heat). Light of the sun is known as cakṣuṣmati, which means faculty of sight. Mārtāṇḍa-Bhiarava has two wives and they are Cakṣuṣmatī and Chāyā Devi (chāya means shadow). Two of his wives represent light and shadow. Sun god, who is also known as Mārtāṇḍa-Bhiarava, is a great devotee of Lalitāmbikā. A reference to this is available in Lalitā Sahasranāma 785, Mārtāṇḍa-bhairavārādhyā, which is explained thus: “She is worshipped by Mārtāṇḍa-bhairava.  He is posited in the twenty fourthprākāra of Śrī Nagara.  Śrī Cakra is in the centre of this Śrī Nagara.  Anything associated with Her is prefixed with Śrī, a sign of auspiciousness. Sage Durvāsa says that he worships him with his wife Chāya Devi.” After worshipping Mārthaṇda-Bhairava and his two wives, we proceed to the next fort.

Next fort is moon fort (fort number 24) and we move towards this fort.  This place is very cool and pure white in colour. There are many stars shining in this place. We find moon shining like a pure white flower and is surrounded by many stars. (It is said in Scriptures that all the twenty seven stars, that are referred in astrology are his wives.) We pay our respects to Candran (moon) and exit through the moon fort.

On exiting the moon fort, we find a huge fort called śṛṅgāra fort (fort number 25, the last fort). Śṛṅgāra means erotic sentiments. Lalitā Sahasranāma 376 addresses Her as Śṛṅgāra-rasa-saṁpūrṇā, which means that She is in the form of essence of love. Like all other abstractions, love also originates from Her. Śṛṅgāra fort is built with gold and precious gems. There is a deep trench outside this fort. This trench is full of water. There are many gold boats rowing in the trench. These boats are well decorated with precious gems. Every boat carries pretty divine damsels. We find Manmatha amongst them! After praying to Manmatha, we enter into the great Śṛṅgāra fort.

When we enter into Śṛṅgāra fort, we place our feet with great reverence on the cintāmaṇi prākāra, the roundabout fully constructed with the most precious of all gems, cintāmaṇi. It is called cintāmaṇi, because it is capable of fulfilling all types of desires.  After crossing this cintāmaṇi prākāra, we find a huge tropical garden with full of different types of herbs, flowering plants, huge lotus ponds with inexplicable and beautiful lotus flowers, very tall trees, etc and this place is known as Mahāpadmāṭavi (Lalitā Sahasranāma 59 - Mahāpadmāṭavī-saṃsthā). Lalitāmbikā visits this forest garden frequently. In the midst of this Mahāpadmāṭavi, there is a very huge palace known as Cintāmaṇi Gṛha, the Abode of Lalitāmbikā. Lalitā Sahasranāma 57 says, Cintāmaṇi-gṛuhāntasthā. In the middle of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha is Śrī Cakra and in the centre of Śrī Cakra, is seated Lalitāmbikā.

From the point where we are standing now, we are able to see Cintāmaṇi Gṛha. To reach Cintāmaṇi Gṛha, we are now walking through Mahāpadmāṭavi. As we are continuously reciting Lalitā Sahasranāma, we did not have any difficulty in standing before the Eastern entrance of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha. At the outer side, we find huge vessels made of gold and these are known as arghyapātra-s. These vessels contain pure water. There will be one big vessel in which clean water is poured. There are medium sized vessels for the purpose of drinking, washing hands, washing feet and for gargling. Every time, water is taken from the main vessel and used for the purposes mentioned above and after usage they are accumulated in smaller vessels. Thus we have five vessels and hence it is called pañcapātra (1 main vessel and 4 medium or small sized vessels). This gold pañcapātra is held by god Agni in his hands, who stands outside the entrance of the main gates of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha. Thus, Agni forms the base of these vessels. The main vessel is also known as vardhanī kalaśa. (vardhana means causing to increase or increase in prosperity). There is another vessel called sāmānyārghyapātra, usually a conch. Water to this conch is taken from the bigger vessel of pañcapātra. Water from this is used to purify the offerings made to Lalitāmbikā (including garlands, food, etc). Then there is another vessel known as viśeṣārghyapātra (special arghya vessel). Viśeṣārghyapātra is the body of sun and the contents of viśeṣārghyapātra is nectar and this vessel is specially worshipped. There are several maṇḍala-s in this viśeṣārghyapātra and they are agni (fire), sūrya (sun), soma (moon) Brahmā, (in charge of creation, not the Creator),  Viṣṇu (sustainer),  Rudra (the destroyer),  Maheśvara (the annihilator or the one who conceals) and Sadāśiva (the re-creator; the one who creates the annihilated universe by Maheśvara). These five (except fire, sun and moon) are known as the chiefs of pañcakṛtya-s. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 274 (She is the abode of all the five functions discussed above.  Nāma 250 Pañca-brahma-svarūpinī says that She is the cause of all these five acts.  All these five acts are carried out by Her as prākaśa (cit) vimarśa (śaktī) mahā māyā svarūpinī.  She is also known as Cit Śaktī.  Cit means the consciousness that is absolute and unchanging).  These five gods reside inside the viśeṣārghyapātra and their palaces are situated beneath viśeṣārghyapātra. It is said that all the fourteen worlds (seven below the earth, the earth and six above the earth) are illuminated by these palaces. Preparation of viśeṣārghya and worshipping viśeṣārghyapātra are important aspects in Śrī Cakra Navāvaraṇa worship.

We are now at the main gates of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha. We go around Cintāmaṇi Gṛha to fully understand its grandeur. Now we are on the eastern side. Main entrance gates to Cintāmaṇi Gṛha are situated on the eastern side. We are now facing Cintāmaṇi Gṛha and to our right, is the palace of Śāmala Devi. We have already seen her in the space between forts 7 and 8 (silver and gold forts). This is another palace of Śāmala Devi (this can be explained as a palace for refreshment). To our left is the palace of Vārāhi Devi. We have already seen her in the space between forts 15 and 16 (forts of pearls and emerald). Like Mantrinī Devi (Śāmala Devi), Vārāhi too uses this refreshment.

Cintāmaṇi Gṛha has four main entrance gates, one each at the four cardinals. Each of these main gates is guarded by āmnāya devata-s. Eastern gate is guarded by Bhuvaneśavarī (representing mantra yoga). South side is guarded by Dakṣiṇa Kālī (path of devotion). Western side is guarded by Kubjikā (path of tantra, the main authority being Kubjikatantra). Northern side is guarded by Guhya Kālī (path of knowledge).

As we go around, at Southeast corner, we find a fire altar, known as Cidagnikuṇḍa. Lalitāmbikā originated from this kuṇḍa. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 4, Cidagnikuṇḍa-saṃbhūtā, which is interpreted thus: {Cit + agni + kuṇḍa + saṃbhūta.  Cit means nirguṇa Brahman or Brahman without attributes (the foundational consciousness).  Agni kuṇḍa means a fire altar, in which fire sacrifices are done by offering oblations.  Saṃbhūtā means born.  Agni kuṇḍa or the fire altar means the dispeller of darkness.  Darkness means lack of knowledge or ignorance which is called a-vidyā (vidyā means knowledge).  This should not be interpreted as the one who was born out of the fire.  She is the Supreme Consciousness who dispels ignorance.  She dispels ignorance through Her form of pure Consciousness, who illuminates within, dispelling the darkness of māyā.} After prostrating before this fire altar and after having seen the birth place ofLalitāmbikā, we move forward to Southwest, where we find Cakrarāja ratha, the chariot ofLalitāmbikā. This is described in Lalitā Sahasranāma 68, Cakrarāja-rathārūḍha-sarvāyudha-pariṣkṛtā, which is reproduced here, as reference is made to Śri Cakra in this nāma.

{Cakrarāja is the chariot of Lalitāmbikā in which She travels along with all types of weapons.  Weapons mean the ways of attaining suddhavidyā or pure knowledge which is called the knowledge of the Brahman.  This chariot consists of nine tiers.  There are other two chariots that accompany this Cakrarāja the details of which will be discussed in the next two nāma-s.  This Cakrarāja is said to mean the Śrī Cakra, the place of Lalitāmbikā.  Pariṣkṛtā means adorned.

A brief knowledge of Śrī Cakrā becomes a necessity to understand this nāma. Śrī Cakrā consists of nine partitions or angles broadly divided into five Śaktī cakra-s and four Śiva cakra-s.  The triangles facing upwards are called Śiva cakra-s, and the triangles facing down are Śaktī cakra-s.  Śrī Cakrā contains forty four triangles in which forty three goddesses (44th is Lalitai) and seventy nine yoginī-s (demi-goddesses) live.  All the gods and goddesses are said to reside in Śrī Cakra and that is why it is said that one can perform pūja to any god/goddess in Śrī Cakra.  The nāma 996 Śrī Cakrārāja nilayā confirms Her domicile in Śrī Cakra.

Cakrarāja also means the six cakra-s (mūlādhārā to ājña). Ratha means base or foundation.  Arūḍha means control and sarvāyudha means pure knowledge which is called suddhavidyā.  The six cakra-s form the foundation to attain pure knowledge through which mind can be controlled in the sixth cakra. The five psychic cakra-s represent the five basic elements and the ājña cakra represents mind.  Therefore to control the basic elements and the mind, pure knowledge becomes essential.  When cakra-s are controlled, siddhi-s are attained.}

After worshipping Cakrarāja, Lalitāmbikā’s chariot, we move on to North western side, where we find Geyacakra ratha, This is the chariot of Mantrinī Devi who is also called Śyamalā Devi. After worshipping the same, we move forward to North eastern side, where Kiricakra-ratha is situated. This chariot belongs to Daṇḍanāthā Devi who is also known as Vārāhī Devi. After worshipping this chariot, we proceed to the main entrance gates of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha.

From a distance, through the Eastern gates of Cintāmaṇi Gṛha, we are able to see the outer wall of Śrī Cakra. We are greatly exited to get into Śrī Cakra, for which we are awaiting for necessary permissions from Śyamalā Devi, Vārāhī Devi and Bhuvaneśavarī Devi. We are now waiting outside the gate, taking rest under the huge tress of Mahāpadmāṭavi.