Lalitha in Sanskrit means playing, sporting, beauty, grace, charm. In general Lalitha also means a woman. We can define Lalitha as a gracious, charming, and beautiful playful woman. Sahasranamam consists of two Sanskrit words sahasram + namam. Sahasram means thousand. Namam means names. Sahasranamam means thousand names. Lalitha sahasranamam means thousand names of Lalitha, the gracious, charming and beautiful woman. She is the Vimarsha form of Shiva. Shiva’s form is called Prakasha. If you have missed my postings on prakasha and vimarsha please vist Finding God 7 (For Prakasha) and Finding god 8 (for Vimarsha).
Lalithambigai as she is often called controls the activities of this entire universe. That is why she is called prakasha vimarsha maha maya swarupini. This form of Lalitha has been discussed in ‘finding god-viii’ in this blog. The one thousand names mentioned in this ancient text called “Lalitha Sahasranamam” are rich treatise for our eyes and ears. The phonetic sounds of the namas are soothing to our ears. When we are able to manifest the form of Lalitha with the help of these namas, that will be a rich treatise to our third eye. Let us understand more about Her and Lalitha Sahasranamam. Lalitha Sahasranamam finds a place in Brahmandapuranam, one of the 18 puranas composed by ancient and well known rishi Vyasar. Lord Hayagriva, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu first imparted this Sahasranamam to Agastya rishi. This Sahasranamam was composed by eight vaak devis (vashinyathi vaak devis) at the instance of Lalitha Devi Herself in Her very presence.. In other Sahasranamams, a nama is usually used more than once to make up 1000 or 1008 namas. None of the namas here are used more than once. She was born out of fire. She lives in the middle Sri Chakram. Sri Chakram is in Sripuram. She is with Lord Shiva. Shiva has various manifested forms and His ultimate form is called Maha Kameshwarar.
Lalithambigai in Her ultimate form is called Maha Kameshwari. She is sitting in the left thigh of Maha Kameshwarar, in the central place of Srichakra which is called Bindu. The Sahasranamam begins by addressing Her as Sri Mata, which means the mother of all. This indicates that She is the one who creates this universe. 999th nama says shivashakthi ikya rupini, which means Her form is the combination of Shiva and Shakthi. 1000th nama addresses her as Lalithambiga, the meaning of which has been discussed above. Even though the combined form of Shiva and Shakthi is said to be the Absolute form, the last nama Lalithambiga is used after Shivashakthi ikya rupini emphasizes her importance of her Absolute form. That is why she is also called Pancha brahma swarupini. Most of the namas have very deep and secret meanings. The secretive nature of the meaning is not revealed to all, as they are meant to be learnt from a Guru. Self-realization, kundalini, meditation are widely explained in this Sahasranamam. She has been beautifully described, her feet, her walking, her eyes, her fore head, her qualities, her nature. Every nama is to be enjoyed. At the end of this Sahasranamam, you can visualize her total form and by deep meditation you can see Her through your third eye. For details on third eye please read my posting "The third eye". Detailed interpreation of each of the 1000 namas along with Introudction, Purva Bhag, Dhyana Verses and Phala Stuti is provided at the following link.