लक्ष्ये योगिजनस्यरक्षितजगज्जाले विशालेक्षणे
गोक्षीरैरपि नारिकेलसलिलैः शुद्धोदकैर्मन्त्रितैः
स्नानं देवि धिया मयैतदखिलं कल्पताम्॥
lakṣye yogijanasyarakṣitajagajjāle viśālekṣaṇe
gokṣīrairapi nārikelasalilaiḥ śuddhodakairmantritaiḥ
snānaṁ devi dhiyā mayaitadakhilaṁ kalpatām||
“O Devi! With wide eyes, the ultimate goal of all the yogi-s, the protector of the universe, I am offering You a bath using rose water, sandal, saffron, best camphor mixed with pure water and cows’ milk and tender coconut water and with water sanctified with Veda mantras. I do all this in my mind to please You.”
After visualizing Her place, Her throne and after having washer Her feet and offered Her water, the aspirant now gives Her a bath. Śaṁkarācārya says that Parāśakti is the ultimate destination for the yogi-s, because She alone can take the aspirant to Śiva. She is adored in Lalitā Sahasranāma (727) as Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī, which means that She alone can impart the knowledge of Śiva. Unless She is fully realized, Śiva cannot be realized. Liberation can be given only by Śiva. She enables the aspirants to merge with Śiva. Hence Śaṁkarācārya says yogijanasya lakṣye.
The fragrant ingredients conceived by the aspirant shows his love for Her. Since everything happens in the mind of the aspirant, he could collect the best available fragrant. He also gives Her bath with cows’ milk and tender coconut water, which have the capacity to cool down the body. Even sandal and rose water are also body coolants. The aspirant uses these coolants while giving Her bath as the aspirant will not be able to go anywhere near Her, as She is part of Śiva, who is full of illumination, that is several million times hotter than the sun (recall kālagni rudrāya from Śrī Rudram). Finally, he bathes the Divine Mother, Śrī Mātā with pure water, sanctified with Veda mantras. Why the water is to be sanctified by Veda mantras when Vedas originate from Her (Lalitā Sahasranāma 338)? The aspirant has perceived all these rituals in various temples he had visited earlier. Now, he wants to repeat the same in his mind. This change in the attitude of the aspirant clearly indicates that he is now ripe enough to pursue the spiritual path, leading to liberation. He is gradually moving away from the ritualistic path.
This is the fourth verse of mantra mātṛkā puṣpamālā stavaḥ. This verse begins with the fourth bīja Pañcadaśī mantra ल, the other three being क, ए and ई. The first three verses commenced with these three bīja-s.
दत्तं देवि धिया मयैतदखिलं संतुष्टये कल्पताम्॥
dattaṁ devi dhiyā mayaitadakhilaṁ saṁtuṣṭaye kalpatām||
“Devi, Your body is constituted by mantra hrīṁ (ह्रीं); I have gathered bright precious stones from the golden Mount Meru and fixed them on the red upper garment which is in the colour of saffron (kusumba means red or orange coloured safflower, known as falsified saffron) and sacred threads (yajñopavīta or yajñasūtram) made of pure gold, continuously embedded with pearls. All these I offer to You in my mind only to make you happy”
The aspirant is not asking for anything for him, not even liberation; he offers them only to please Her. Except for the love for Her, he does not have anything in his mind. His mind is fully pervaded by Her. This is the kind of love that is spoken of, in Self-realisation. He also does not strain himself by physically visiting the Mount Meru. He mentally goes there and procures the best from the Mount. As a result, he could spend more time with Her, instead of investing his time by visiting different places to procure precious materials for Her. Mind is the most powerful tool available to the mankind, through which alone, liberation can be attained. That is why Śaṁkarācārya lays extreme importance to the mind.
Everything associated with Her is always deep red in colour. Lalitā Sahasranāma dhyāna verses repeatedly confirm this. Red means compassion and She is the embodiment of compassion. Hence every thing associated with Her is red. Śiva is pure crystal complexion, which is transparent and reflects anything that is nearby. She is seated next to Him and Her complexion gets reflected in Śiva and they together appear as the rising sun. This is one of the wonderful descriptions of the Divine Couple.
Yajñopavīta or yajñasūtram is known as sacred thread. This is worn by everyone before performing commencing yajñā-s in olden times. This is called sacred because, it has three threads, each representing Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. It is worn by saying Yajñopavītam paramaṁ pavitraṁ, which means it is extremely sacred. It is believed that by wearing this sacred thread, the performer of the yajñā gets purified. The aspirant, by offering this sacred thread makes Her happy. She is the embodiment of purity and nothing is going to change in Her by wearing this sacred thread and the aspirant also knows this. Still he offers this, purely out of great love for Her. Love is an advanced stage of devotion. In devotion, the aspirant holds Her in a pedestal; but in love, he places Her just opposite to him. The closeness is established in love.
Mount Meru is Her Abode. This is represented by the central dot in Śrīcakra, which is known as bindu. Lalitā Sahasranāma 775 is Merunilayā. She lives atop Meru. Meru is a fabulous mountain regarded as the Olympus of Hindu mythology and said to form the central point of Jambu-dvīpa. Three dimensional form of Śrī Cakra is known as Meru or Mahā Meru. Meru also means the condensed form of Pañcadaśī mantra. There are only nine bīja-s, if repeated bīja-s are removed (The nine bīja-s are: ka, e, ī, la, sa, ha, ra, ma (क, ए, ई, ल, स, ह, र, म) and bindu). Meru also means the spinal cord. She traverses up and down the spinal cord in Her subtlest form kuṇḍalinī.
The verse begins by saying, “hrīṁkārāṅkitamantralakṣitatano” which means Her body is constituted by the sacred mantra ‘hrīṁ ह्रीं’. Lalitā Sahasranāma 301 confirms this by addressing Her Hrīṁkārī ह्रींकारी. The explanation given in Lalitā Sahasranāma is given here. She is in the form of māyā bīja hrīṁ. Hrīṁ is also called śākta praṇava or śaktī praṇava, which means that the worshippers of Śaktī, call hrīṁ as praṇava bīja of Śaktī. This is also known as Bhuvaneśvarī bījā (Nāma 294 is Bhuvaneśvarī). Praṇava is the supreme ॐ. The power of hrīṁ bīja is as powerful as ॐ. That is why in Pañcadaśī mantra, every kūṭa or group ends with the bīja hrīṁ. Hrīṁ is the combination of ha (ह) + ra (र) + ī (ई) + ma (म) + bindu (.). Ha refers to manifestation, ra indicates involution (action of enfolding, the action of māyā), ī indicates perfection and the bindu, a dot on top of the bīja controls all the three. Therefore hrīṁ means manifestation, involution and perfection. The appearance of the bodily form enfolded by perfection is the literal meaning of the bīja hrīṁ. This means that māyā or illusion is causing a veil around the Brahman and this veil can be removed only if one realizes the Supreme Consciousness of Śaktī. Unless the kinetic energy (Śaktī) is fully realized, it is not possible to feel the pulsation of Śiva, the static energy. In fact this bīja can also be called as Śiva-Śaktī bīja as ha stands for Śiva bījā and kāmakalā - īṁ (ईं) stands for Śaktī bīja. The bīja ra (र) conjoins these two bīja-s to form a single Śiva-Śaktī bīja. The role of ra in any bīja is significant. The sound of ra is the chief of all the sounds. Whenever hrīṁ is chanted, it endues peace and auspiciousness.
In any bīja the bindu is important and most of the bīja-s have bindu. For example take the letter ha (ह). When a dot is placed at the top of this ha it becomes haṁ (हं). Without bindu an alphabet remains as an alphabet and becomes a bījā only if a ‘dot’ is placed above the alphabet. The bindu though tiny, is very powerful. There are three major sub divisions in a bindu leading to the union of Śiva and Śaktī, from where the three exclusive actions of the Brahman viz. creation, sustenance and destruction originate. The three major sub divisions are bindu representing Śiva, bīja representing Śaktī and nāda representing their union. A bindu above ha, one of the alphabets of hrīṁ spells like haṁ. This bīja haṁ, a component of hrīṁ represents creation (h), sustenance (a) and destruction (ṁ) the three functions of the Brahman.
The bindu undergoes subtle changes from its origin to delivery. It originates as Parā Śaktī and gets modified as paśyantī, madhyamā and delivered at vaikari, (Please refer nāma 299 for additional details.) At the time of delivery it undergoes modifications through eight stages by deriving power from five basic elements and gets blessed by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra. It begins its journey from the heart cakra with the letter ‘a’ (अ), moves to the throat cakra and conjoins with ‘u’(उ) and further goes up to palate where it conjoins with ‘ṁ’ (मं), the three components of OM (a + u + ṁ). From the palate it moves to forehead where it derives its cosmic energy received through the crown cakra, enters the world of śūnya ( cosmic vacuum) where no energy operates, moves further up towards the top of the skull establishing a link through brahmarandhra with mahā śūnya (the great cosmic vacuum), where the creation takes place. When it moves further, the creation becomes transcendental energy and the life begins to exist out of the Self illuminating cosmic brilliance. That is why bindu is said to be in the form of a luminous dot like the sun, born out of the union of Śiva and Śaktī. There is no differentiation between the bīja hrīṁ and Śiva-Śaktī combine, the point of origin and the point of annihilation of this universe.
At the end of this verse, the first kūṭā of Pañcadaśī mantra is completed. This kūṭa has five bīja-s ka-e-ī -la- hrīṃ, derived from the first letter of the first five verses. This kūṭa is called Vākbhava kūṭa and is also known as agni khaṇḍa and indicates jñāna śakti of Lalitāmbikā. Ka means Brahma, the creator. e means Sarasvatī the goddess of jñāna. ī means Lakṣmī, la means Indra and hrīṃ means the merger of Śiva and Śaktī. The bīja ka is the root of kāma bīja klīṁ (क्लीं). ka also bestows peace and prosperity to the sādaka (aspirant). The next bīja e prevents misfortunes to the sādaka. ī bestows wealth and all good things to the aspirant. The bīja la gives victory to the sādaka. Thus, the first four bīja-s give peace, prosperity, prevention of misfortunes, auspiciousness and a status like Indra. This means victory to the aspirant in every step he puts forward.