The Lalita Sahasranamam glorifies Devi as Chinta-Mani-Griha-Antha-Stha and Pancha-Brahma-Asana-Sthita. These names mean the one who resides in the middle of a residence named Chinta-Mani and sits on a throne of five Divinities. Below is the esoteric interpretation of these two notable names as I understand it.
There is a Sudha Sagara or nectar-filled ocean within a sacred place named Sri Pura or Sri Pattina. Over there is a beautiful island of gems, the Manidveepa. Fringed with the celestial Kalpa trees, that island looks delightful and regal.
On those royal grounds stands the Chinta-Mani Griha, a palace with three domes and four doorways. The walls, coverings, and everything else of that mansion are made of Chinta-Mani gemstones. Within that palatial home reside many attendant Devis. At the center of that sparkling Chinta-Mani Griha, the Supreme Divine Mother is seated on her super special throne.
That’s the description of Mother Sri Devi’s residence as per the scriptures. From the standpoint of Sri Vidya Tantra, Sri Devi’s palace represents the Sri Chakra. The center where the Divine Mother sits is the Bindu or dot of that sacred Chakra.
Esoteric View of Chinta-Mani Griha
Setting aside those details for a different day, here’s the esoteric meaning of the Chinta-Mani Griha:
- Sri Pura: This denotes a pristinely pure person.
- Sudha Sagara or the nectar-filled ocean: It represents the purity of our subconscious mind.
- Manidveepa or the island of gems: It symbolizes our body that is kept clean and well-groomed. It also signifies the clean and conducive environment around us.
- Kalpa Trees: These wish-fulfilling trees indicate the worldly achievements obtained by Sri Devi’s grace.
- Four Doorways of the palace: These represent the four Gunas. They are Tamas or impulsiveness/inertia, Rajas or hyper activeness, Sathva or serenity, and Turya, the fourth state beyond all Gunas.
- Three domes of the palace: The three Shaktis called Iccha or will, Kriya or action, and Jnana or wisdom. Those are the three things a person needs for self-transformation. In short, it represents a person’s will to work on themselves, the action required to get them there, and the attainment of wisdom that can liberate them.
- Attendant Devis: They represent the Siddhis, the spiritual attainments and occult powers. If desired, a seeker can work towards these in their spiritual journey.
- Chinta-Mani Griha: The palace called Chinta-Mani Griha is a mind with crystal clear thoughts and pure intentions. In other words, a pure mind devoid of negative thoughts. Only in such inner purity can we experience the Divine Mother seated in us.
As seen in the previous name, the Supreme Divine Mother is seated on her super special throne. This name describes that throne which consists of five Brahman or Divinities.
The Lalita Sahasranamam belongs to the Sri Vidya sect of the Shakta tradition. In this, the Mother Sri Devi is the Supreme Divine. When she manifests, she arrives as a combination of Parama Shiva and Para Shakti.
Parama Shiva and Para Shakti are the same. Yet, they are also different! For instance, in an atomic particle, there is matter. But, when we drill into it, we only find energy. Is the reality of that atom matter or energy? Or is it both simultaneously? In this example, that atom denotes the union of Parama Shiva and Para Shakti. That’s the state of Divine Union just before the creation starts. It also indicates the state of Samadhi, represented by the Bindu or dot in the Sri Chakra.
When the Parama Shiva and Para Shakti multiply into this world, they form the Pancha Brahman or the Five Divinities. They are Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheshvara, Sadashiva.
Esoteric View of Pancha Brahman
Once again, setting aside all the mystical aspects, here’s what these five Divinities represent:
- Brahma: Brahma signifies the mind, more so the creative aspect of it. Creativity is a Divine state that flows when Sri Devi’s grace illuminates us.
- Vishnu: Vishnu represents a Sathvik or Zen-like mind alongside a super-smart intellect. As I read somewhere, to navigate this world, we must learn to live like Vishnu! Further, many scriptures imply that the energy flowing through Vishnu is also Sri Devi.
- Rudra: Parama Shiva denotes our eternal awareness, also termed as consciousness. Rudra is an active and thunderous form of that awareness we feel when we are awake and active. In this state, Sri Devi provides us with the requisite energy.
- Maheshvara: This is the form of awareness we experience in our dream state. Parama Shiva as Maha Ishvara is serene yet active. Here, Sri Devi keeps our vital organs functional.
- Sadashiva: Sada Shiva is the dormant form of awareness we feel in a deep sleep. This state is considered the nearest equivalent of the state of Samadhi, minus the crystal clear mindfulness. Here, Sri Devi energizes us by keeping us alive.
That Supreme Devi who shines brightly from within us is Sri Devi. That Divine Mother remains a mystical external concept until we experience ourselves as Her residence. When we know ourselves as an abode of the Divine, we will also see the Divinity latent in everyone and everything around us.
My heartfelt prayers for the Divine Mother to take you to that state of merger with Her!
Happy Navaratri to you!
Om Sri Matre Namaha