गच्छायैः वरकेतकीदलरुचाताम्बूलवल्लीदलैः
पूगैः भूरिगुणैः सुगन्धिमधुरैः कर्पूरखण्डोज्ज्वलैः।
मुक्ताचूर्न्णविराजितैः बहुविधैर्वक्त्रांबुजामोदनैः
पूर्णा रत्नकलाचिका तव मुदे न्यस्ता पुरस्तादुमे॥

gacchāyaiḥ varaketakīdalarucātāmbūlavallīdalaiḥ
pūgaiḥ bhūriguṇaiḥ sugandhimadhuraiḥ karpūrakhaṇḍojjvalaiḥ|
muktācūrnṇavirājitaiḥ bahuvidhairvaktrāṁbujāmodanaiḥ
pūrṇā ratnakalācikā tava mude nyastā purastādume||

“Umā Devi!I place before You in a gem studded box, betel leaves having the colour of pandanus, along with betel nuts, camphor, paste made out of white pearls and other condiments that produces excellent flavor for Your felicitousness .”

This verse begins with the first bīja (sa स) of the third and last kūṭa viz. śakti kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra. This is the 12th bīja of the Pañcadaśī mantra.

After offering to Her an excellent feast, the aspirant now places before Her a gems studded box containing betel leaves. Betel leaves help in digestion. He describes the colour of the betel leaves to the petals of pandanus (small palm like tress, whose fragrance can be felt from a distance. This will appear like a pineapple plant). She is very fond of this fragrance. This fragrance also attracts snakes. The outer petals of the plant are dark green in colour. The aspirant compares this to the betel leaves. Except Śaṁkarācārya, no one can draw these types of incomprehensible comparisons. Probably he would have thought that Śiva likes snakes and this is the plant that is not only fragrant, but also attracts snakes. That is why She also likes the petals of this plant.

When betel leaves are chewed with paste made of seashells, the mouth turns deep red, which in turn enhances Her beauty. Or it can also be explained that the betel leaves add further redness to Her lips, as explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 24 which says that Her lips look like bimba fruit which is deep red in colour.

She has a special liking for karpuravīṭikā which is a combination of fragrant ingredients (condiments), used to chew along with the betel leaves. The ingredients used are – saffron, cardamom, clove, camphor, kastūri, nutmeg and mace or myristica fragrans or jātipattrī (arillus of the nut also known as myristica officinalis). The ingredients are finely powdered and mixed with powdered sugar candy. This karpūravītikā powder when used with betel leaves for chewing gives immense fragrance and delicious taste). When She chews this, it provides fragrance to the entire universe. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 26. When She chews betel leaves with karpūravītikā and seashell paste, Her face shines and a pleasing fragrance emanates from Her mouth, says Lalitā Sahasranāma 559, tāmbhūla-pūrita-mukhī. Śaṁkarācārya repeatedly uses this description in his various titles. For example, he describes Her lips in Bhavānībhujaṅgam (7) as bimbādharasmera, which means that Her smile looks likes ripened bimba fruit, which is deep red in colour. Bimba fruit looks like human lips.


कन्याभिः कमनीयकान्तिभिरलङ्गारामलारार्तिका
पात्रे मौक्तिकचित्रपङ्क्तिविलसत्कर्पूरदीपालिभिः।
तत्तत्तालमृदङ्गगीतसहितं नृत्यत्पदाम्भोरुहं
मन्त्राराधनपूर्वकं सुविहितं नीराजनं गृह्यताम्॥

kanyābhiḥ kamanīyakāntibhiralaṅgārāmalārārtikā
pātre mauktikacitrapaṅktivilasatkarpūradīpālibhiḥ|
tattattālamṛdaṅgagītasahitaṁ nṛtyatpadāmbhoruhaṁ
mantrārādhanapūrvakaṁ suvihitaṁ nīrājanaṁ gṛhyatām||

“Beautiful damsels decorate the plate by arranging pearls in different patterns and light the series of camphor pieces. I humbly wave this plate before You. When I do so, damsels dance, musicians sing, men rhythmically beat drums and Vedas are recited by Vedic exponents. Please accept this offering of light.”

This verse begins with the second bīja (ka क) of the third and last kūṭa viz. śakti kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra. This is the 13th bīja of the Pañcadaśī mantra.

After having offered Her a grandeur feast and betel leaves with karpuravīṭikā, the aspirant now proceeds to offer nīrājanaṁ, which is difficult to explain in any other language. The best available translation is ‘waving of light before an idol as an act of adoration’. This is also known as ārati, which means cessation of worship. Once ārati is shown, no further rituals are carried out, except some upacāra-s mentioned in the next verse.

When nīrājanaṁ is offered, it is generally accompanied by playing of drums, recitation of Veda mantras, ringing bells, blowing conch, playing multiple musical instruments such as pañcavādyam, etc. Women will be performing classical dance. The whole atmosphere will be electrifying that enables many enter into a state of trance. Their entire concentration will be only on the illumining nīrājanaṁ. It will appear as if the whole world is there. It is also believed that gods and goddesses along with sages and saints are present in invisible forms. This offering is only to remind us that She is Self-illuminating. While performing nīrājanaṁ the following verse from Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) is recited to all those present that Brahman alone is Self-illuminating.

na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ।
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti॥

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोयमग्निः।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति॥

In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything follows. By Its Light, all these are lighted. Lalitā Sahasranāma 806 worships Her as Paraṃjyotiḥ परंज्योति: (Supreme Light).

This is a video link from Youtube with complete recitation Mantramātṛkāpuṣpamālāstavaḥ