Śrī Mātā श्री माता (1)

We address our mother as mātāMātā means mother.  The prefix Śrī is important here.  Śrī (श्री) represents the highest form of motherhood.  The human mothers can take care of their children with love and affection. But they cannot remove the miseries and sufferings of their loved ones, which they are destined to undergo.  Since Lalitāmbikā is much more than a human mother is, She has the capacity to remove sorrows and miseries of Her children.  Children mean all the living beings in this universe, as She is the mother of the entire universe that includes the galaxy.  She is addressed as mātā as She is the Creator, sustainer and also the dissolver.  The universe was created out of Her.  The universe acts as per Her instructions.  When the dissolution takes place, the universe merges back into Her.  The cycle of saṃsāra (the world which has phenomenal existence and also meaning transmigration) repeats itself by birth, sustenance and death.  Saṃsāra is called as an ocean.  It is difficult to swim against the current of saṃsāra.  The current of saṃsāra is produced by sense organs.  These sense organs in turn influence the mind that causes desires and attachments.  Only Śrī Mātā is capable of helping us to cross the hurdles of saṃsāra and reach the destination (realization of Brahman).  This is possible only by worshipping Her. 

Śrī Mātā is also said to mean the mother of the Goddesses Śrī Lakṣmī (goddess of wealth), Sarasvatī (goddess of knowledge) and Rudrā (the goddess of dissolution) the wife of RudraRudra is different from Śiva.  Therefore Śrī Mātā means the mother of these three goddesses. 

Durvāsā is a great saint. He composed Śrī Śaktimahimnaḥ Stotram containing sixty one verses in Her praise.  He surrenders to Śrī Mātā by saying “Oh! Mātā! the Supreme compassionate! I had born to a number of mothers.  In future also, I may be born to a number of mothers.  My mothers are countless, as I had different mothers for my different births.  I am so scared to be born again and to undergo the associated sufferings.  Oh! Mātā! I am surrendering to you.  Please give me relief from my future births.”

When Śrī is added as a prefix to any word, it shows the greatness.  There are five such words with Śrī prefixed in the worship of the Devi.  These five together are called Śrī Panchagam.  They are Śrī Puram (the place where She dwells), Śrī Cakra, the palace where She lives with Her body guards, Śrī Vidyā, the ritual worship, Śrī Sūktam,  verses in praise of Her and Śrī Guru, the spiritual teacher who initiates his disciple into Śaktī worship.  The main element of Śaktī worship is tantra śāstra.

Śrī also means Veda-s.  Veda-s originated from the Brahman. Lalitāmbigai is the Brahman as repeatedly stressed in this SahasranāmaŚvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.18) says, “He first created Brahma and then presented the Veda-s to Him. I, a seeker of liberation, take refuge in that luminous Lord who reveals the knowledge of the Self in the mind.” 

It is also said that this nāma means the Pañcadaśī mantra.

It is pertinent to note that this Sahasranāma begins by addressing Lalitāmbikā as the mother of all, which emphasizes Her compassion for the universe and all its beings.  Since She is addressed as Śrī Mātā, this nāma refers to creation, the first act of the Brahman.

Śrī Mahārājñī श्री महाराज्ञी (2)

Again this nāma also begins with ŚrīMahārājñī means the queen of queens, the empress.

Most of the nāma-s of this Sahasranāma contain powerful bījākśara-s.  It is difficult to segregate these bīja-s from the nāmaBīja-s or bījākśara-s are either single Sanskrit alphabet or the combination of alphabets making a compound alphabet.  Each of these bīja-s is considered as highly secretive in nature, very powerful and can bestow powers on a person who regularly chants these bīja-s duly understanding its meaning.  Specific rules are prescribed for pronunciation. 

Ṣodaśī mantra is considered as the supreme of all the mantra-s in the worship of DeviṢodaśī means sixteen kalā-s or letters.  Kalā* means the sixteen days of waxing or waning moon i.e. full moon to new moon or new moon to full moon.  There is another mantra called Pañcadaśī consisting of fifteen letters.  If one more bīja is added to fifteen lettered Pañcadaśī, it is called ṢodaśīSaundarya Laharī (verse 1) says, “Oh! Mother, the letters of the three groups constitute Your mantra.” (A detailed study of Pañcadaśī mantra is provided in the introduction chapter and in nāma-s 85 to 89) If one chants the Ṣodaśī mantra for the prescribed number of times, (900,000 times) he or she will have no more births.  This sixteenth bīja of Ṣodaśī is hidden in this nāma.  Normally, this should be learnt only from a Guru.  The sixteenth bīja consists of the first four letters of this nāma Ś + r + ī + ṁ = Śrīm, (श्रीं) the Lakṣmī bīja, the bīja of sustenance.

The first nāma talks about Her creative power and the second nāma talks about Her power of sustenance.  As a mother She creates and as the supreme queen, She sustains the universe.

{*Further reading on kalā:  Kalā is the dynamism peculiar to Nature, also known as prakṛti.  This does not mean the prakṛti that exists at the level of Śiva , but Śiva , when envisaged in union with the energy, is eminently endowed with the creative dynamism that Nature will exhibit at Her own stage of differentiation. Śiva  is always two fold, with attributes and without attributes. Śiva  without attributes is considered as the Supreme amongst the creation and is distinct from prakṛti.  When Śiva  is endowed with attributes, it means that He is endowed with kalā-s.

Sixteen kalā-s mean the sixteen vowels, which are full (owing to their ambrosial nature) and where the knowable predominates. Being Śrī Mātā, the Divine Mother, whose name is constituted by these kalā-s (letters).  Impulsion is the culmination of the expansion of kalā. Kalā also means a small part of anything, any single part or portion of a whole, especially a sixteenth part, a digit, or one-sixteenth of the moon's diameter, a symbolical expression of the number sixteen. }