Soundarya Lahari & Tirtha Yatra (Relationship between Netram & Kshetram)


This is my first blog post.

Today is Vijayadasami and this blog is all about Tirtha yatras, hence am intend to blend the both and write little about one of the famous stotras on devi and “MAINLY ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HER “NETRA” AND “KSHETRAS”

Everybody must have heard about Aadhi Sankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari stotras and the 49th sloka depicts the beauty of Maa Parvati’s eyes, however, the words used to describe the character of eyes can be used as a name of major pilgrim spots in the earth and this is an very interesting analogy.

It means that this sloka depicts the relationship between “Netra” (eye) & “Kshetra” (pilgrim place).

‘Visala’ ‘Kalyani’ sphuta ruchir ‘ayodhya’ kvalayaih

Kripadhara (aa)‘dhara’ kimapi ‘madhura’ ‘bhogavathih’

‘avanti’ dhrastis te bahunagara vistara  ‘vijaya’

dhruvam tat tan nama vayaharana yogya vijayate

Direct meaning: O Mother!,

Your eyes are wide (Visala),

Your eyes are auspicious (Kalyani),

Blue lotus (Kuvalayaih) is unable to rival (ayodhya) against your eyes,

Your eyes are the source ((aa)dhara) for pouring ‘Krupa’ (mercy) on us,

Your eyes are sweetest (madhura),

It offers happiness to Shri Parameshwara (Bhogavathih),

Your eyes are protecting (Avanti)/ saving us,

Your glace returns back victorious (Vijaya) after conquering many cities.

(From the above meaning, it is clearly understood that this sloka is about various behavior & characteristics of her eyes however, the names of same also denote various ancient cities located in Bharat)

Another meaning: As per Kanchi Paramacharya Shri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamy, he described that these eight different expressions of eyes her indirectly denotes eight ancient cities of Bharat.

Visala is Badrinath where Shriman Narayana did the penance in the form of “Nara” & “Narayana” and Narayana taught the holy mantra “Ashtakshara” to Nara and in Badrinath, Shriman Narayana is being worshipped as a Guru which is most significant and Badri Narayan is mentioned as a “God of this country” in Shrimad Bhagawatam and pilgrims to Badrinath temple are chanting “Badri vishal ki jai” and from this we can understand the word “vishal”.

Next Kalyani, this is not the Kalyan located near Mumbai but this city must have been situated in Karnataka around the banks of Tungabadra river and ruled by the Chalukya kings.

Ayodhya – Everybody knows that it is Rama Janma Bhoomi. and Prabhu Ram ruled this entire planet from this city for eleven thousand years according to Shrimad Valmiki Ramayan.

(Below image is, the Ram ghat, Ayodhya)

Dhara is the name of the city in Madhya pradhesh and situated around current Bhopal and later ruled by the king Bhoja & Mahakavi Kalidasa was the great friend of King Bhoja.

Madhura – this also everybody knows that it is Krishna janma bhoomi,

Bhogavati – this city is currently not there and It may not be the city Bhogavati the capital of Padal loka as mentioned in various puranas since Aacharyal spoke only about the cities located in earth however, its older name may be “Kambat” and currently this area is called as a “Gulf of Khambe” in Gujarat.

Avanti is currently called as Ujjain and it is in Madhya pradhesh and being celebrated as a city of Mahakaleshwar

Vijaya means, whether it is city ruled by Vijayanagara kings or Vizayanagar ruled by Gajapathi raju’s, but no, Vijaya is Kurukshetra since ‘Vijaya’ (Arjuna) attained the Vijaya (victory) here, moreover the city witnessed the victory of Dharma is called Vijaya

Yes, this is the play of words by Aadhi Aacharyal who described the qualities and charecterstics of vision of Maa Parvati but also through the same words, he took us to “bigger pilgrimage” without spending penny

Okay, Why I quoted this sloka???

Since the benefit for chanting this verse is, what??? Yes, the benefit is that the chanting of this sloka alone provides all the goodness “Punya” of doing pilgrimages to these ancient places.

Reference: Deivathin Kural book 6th volume (Tamil), Upanyasams of Brahmashri B Sundar Kumar

Image source: shutterstock


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