Today, let us discuss the Lalitha Sahasranama or the 1008 names of Devi Adiparashakti. “Sahasranama” means “a thousand names” and “Lalitha” means “Poetry or Poem. "Lalitha is the poem of our soul. Lalitha Sahasranama is the divine poetry of life expressed in a 1008 ways. This depicts the flow of life from our soul to our heart and from our heart to our feelings and our feelings become highly divine and ecstatic. Some of us may already be familiar with this and may have chanted it many times, but if we are honest, we must admit that our chanting is mechanical most of the time. If we chant with complete involvement, devotion and surrender we will be a source of inspiration to everybody around us. In fact, our very presence will inspire and motivate them because Lalitha is the fount of inspiration. The Lalitha Sahasranama is very ancient and has come to us through Sage Agasthya. Each time we chant it and contemplate or meditate upon it, we are tuning in to the vibrations of Devi Herself. We are also synchronizing ourselves with the vibrations of the Cosmos created by Her. When we do this persistently over a period of time, our body, mind and intellect become light, joyous and free. Let us take one or two names of the Divine Mother Shri Adiparashakti from the Lalitha Sahasranama each day and utilize it to get Her grace and blessings.The first sacred name we will chant today is “OM SHREE MATHRE NAMAHA” which means “Supreme Divine Mother, I offer my salutations to You.” Devi is the Creator of the Brahmanda or Cosmos. She is not just the Creator of the Cosmos, She is also the very reverberation that manifests as the Cosmos or Macrocosm. She is also the Microcosm as well because She is enshrined in the heart of each devotee as the Soul. The Divine Mother is the vibration, inspiration and motivation that is sustaining the whole Universe. Today let us pray - “Mother! You dance in my mind as inspiration. You are the Mother of all beings, please harmonize me with Yourself. I am the microcosm. You are the macrocosm. I have been separated from You for ages. I long to see You. I cannot wait any longer. Please shower grace and compassion upon me, Mother.” Then let us begin the chanting - “Mother till now I have chanted Your name in so many ways, but today I came to know the real meaning of Your name. Give me complete awareness as I chant Your name. Fill me with devotion and surrender.” We must pray in this manner and keep on chanting “Om Shri Mathre Namaha” all through the night and day. Then all your negativities will go away. The truth is that just one name is enough to take you to mukti or liberation. Devi says - “I have given you so many divine names because at least one of them will appeal to you and reverberate within you with Bliss. Chant that one constantly and just taste the others.” The second name for today’s sadhana is “SHREE SIMHASANESHWARIYEI NAMAHA” which means “I offer my salutations to the One who is mounted royally on the Lion.” The picture of Devi shows Her royally mounted on the lion which is Her vahana or vehicle. In actuality, the devotee is Her vehicle. Devi seats Herself upon our shoulders when our inner strength is equal to that of a lion. She will ride on our shoulders and protect us from all negative circumstances outside and all negative thoughts and feelings inside. So as soon as we synchronize our frequency of vibration with Hers, this is what happens. She is always with us and constantly protects us. Begin your sadhana after a bath or at least wash your hands and feet and rinse your mouth. Sit down before Devi and chant the mantra chosen for that day’s sadhana over and over again. If we do it with love and devotion, She will certainly manifest Herself in our heart and mind. We should visualize the divine form of Devi between our eyebrows and chant the mantra slowly. Then we start getting completely absorbed in the mantra. We dissolve into it and it dissolves into us. Each syllable of the mantra should be savoured slowly. It should churn the mind. So it is not how many times you chant this mantra, it is how much you feel this mantra. It is like feeling the soft, fragrant petals of a flower one by one. If we chant like this, the bud of the mantra will blossom inside us. Today we will experience something special - the liberation of the mind through the blossoming of the mantra. We can also close our ears with our thumbs and place our ring fingers on the spot between our eyebrows and listen to the mantra resonating within us. It is not only liberation that is important; it is living in joy every second. It is not what you get after you die that is important, it is how you are when you are alive - how calm your mind is, how joyous it is, how relaxed it is, how expansive it is, how simple it is, how peaceful you feel... Lalitha Sahasrana sadhana should be performed in the evening or at night as we are experiencing darkness in our lives and if we do it at night, Devi will bring Her radiance and establish it in us. Tonight let us chant Her name at least for ten minutes and invoke Her Grace.
Extract from ‘The book of direct truths, subtle truths and the mystical truths of Devi Mahatmyam’ by Shri Shri Nimishananda