Sri Matre Namaha
Chakraraja-ratarooda-sarvayudha-parishkrta – The Sixty Eighth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
cakrarajakhyam rathamarudaih sarvairudhaih pariskrta
She has mounted the chariot named chakraraja armed with all the weapons.
Several kinds of chariots are named in the Lalitophakyanam , of which cakraraja is one. Kiricakra and geyacakra are other types of chariots.
Cakrarajameva rathah tam arudhani yani sarva yudhani taih pariskrta
She is possessed of all those weapons which is mounted on the cakraraja chariot
She who is fully armed and rides in the Srichakra chariot with nine stories
According to this interpretation, the cakraraja means sricakra and sarvayudhani means all the means of attaining the knowledge of the self. These interpretations are explained in the saiva-sutras as Anavopaya, Saktopaya, Sambhavopaya etc. The Yogasutras also refer to these means of attaining the knowledge of “self”.
In all these sastras, Sri Cakra means , that which is pointed to as the pathway to knowledge. The same thing is explained as one of the yoga sutras, That is to say, when the siddhi is attained (i.e., when sricakra is attained well) nothing else remains to be gained by yoga practice.
cakrarajameva ratho yasya (=cakresakhaya siddih tamarudham yat sarvayudham yasmin tat (suddhavidya) taya pariskrta
Here the word cakraraja maybe taken as one word meaning siddhi called cakresattva (power of controlling the Cakras) Arudha = capable of conferring; sarvayudha = all the rites. Even the Bhagavad Gita says, “All rites, O Partha, are included in knowledge, and knowledge means suddhavidya as SiSu says. “The down of suddhavidya implies the mastery of the cakras”.
Chakraraja is the chariot of Lalithambigai in which She travels along with all types of weapons. Weapons mean the ways of attaining suddha vidya or pure knowledge which is called the knowledge of the Brahman. This chariot consists of nine tiers. There are other two chariots that accompany this Chakraraja the details of which will be discussed in the next two namas. This chakraraja is said to mean the Sri Chakra, the place of Lalithambigai. Before we discuss on the intricacies of this nama, let us understand the description of Sri chakra.
Sri Chakra consists of nine partitions or angles broadly divided into five shakthi chakras and four Shiva chakras. The triangles facing upwards are called Shiva chakras, and the triangles facing down are Shakthi chakras. Sri Chakras contains 44 triangles in which 43 goddesses (44th is Lalitha) and 79 yogins (demi-goddesses) live. All the gods and goddesses are said to reside in Sri Chakra and that is why it is said that you can perform pooja to any god/goddess in Sri Chakra. The nama 996 Sri Chakraraja nilaya confirms Her domicile in Sri Chakra. Chakraraja also means the six chakras (muladhara to ajna). Rata means base or foundation. Arooda means control and sarvayudha means pure knowledge which is called suddha vidya. The six chakras form the foundation to attain pure knowledge through which mind can be controlled in the sixth chakra. We have already seen that the five chakras represent the five basic elements and the ajna chakra represents mind. Therefore to control the basic elements and the mind pure knowledge becomes essential.
When chakras are controlled, siddhis are attained. When we discuss about suddha vidya let us also know what Shiva Sutra I.21 says. It says ‘suddha vidyodayac chakreshatva sidddhih’. This means that only through suddha vidya (pure knowledge) mastery can be attained over shakthis. Shakthis here means the chakras. When one is able to attain mastery over the chakras, through the pure knowledge, he can attain the state of Shiva. State of Shiva means oneness with Shiva. In this stage except Shiva nothing exists. Possibly this could mean that he sees everything and everybody as Shiva. This stage is called oneness with universal consciousness.
This is what we have discussed in our previous posting ‘the enlightenment’. Suddha vidya is possible only if maya goes. Krishna says in Gita “all sacrifice of work culminates in transcendental knowledge”. The word transcendental means the knowledge of the Supreme. The ultimate meaning is that when mastery over the chakras and mind is attained, there is nothing one needs to do except to be with the Brahman always. We have to really admire the vak devis about their knowledge of expressing the secrets of self-realization in such a subtle way.
This line indicates that the goddess is armed with tools and weapons. The essence of beauty and bliss, she resembled the hibiscus in complexion, wore robes of pomegranate-red and ornaments of all types, bearing noose, goad, sugarcane-bow and five shining arrows in her four hands. The gods chanted the praises of this Kamakshi, Kameshi, Kali, celebrating her as Mother Shri Lalita. The goddesses Durga, presiding deity of all mantras, and Shyama, presiding deity of all lores, joined Shri Lalita.Commanded by Brahma, Vishvakarma built a wondrous city on the spot. Brahma pronounced that by herself a woman could not rule over a kingdom. She needed a consort to be complete. Since she embodied love itself, Shankara alone could suit her. As Brahma mused thus, Maheshvara manifested in the form of Kameshvara, a million times more attractive than the god of love. The goddess garlanded him and was given in marriage by Vishnu. The Devas presented them with various weapons and ornaments.
Thereafter, Lalita Devi set out to conquer Bhanda. Out of her goad emerged the goddess Sampatkari, sword in hand, mounted on the elephant Kanakakolahala. From Lalita Devi’s noose emerged the swiftly moving deity Ativaritavikranti seated on the horse Aparajita, holding in her four hands the noose, the goad, the cane and the horse’s bridle. They were joined by the boar-faced Shakti Krodhamukhi leading an army carrying palm-leaf fans set with diamonds and dark Mantranayika on a chariot. Alighting from the elephant Shri Dandanatha mounted the lion Vajraghosha whose thunderous roar deafened the four quarters. From the parrot carried on the hand of dark Mantranayika (whose other names are Sangitayogini and Shukapriya), the science of archery emerged to hand over the bow Citrajiva and inexhaustible quivers.
Lalita Devi moved ahead on a huge chariot on whose ninth step ten Siddhi Devis of china rose complexion were stationed (Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Ishita, Vashita, Prapatisiddhi, Prakamyashiddhi, Muktisiddhi and Sarvakama, each holding the Chintamani, skull, trident and collyrium. There were also eight Shaktis: Brahmi, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri, Chamunda and Mahalakshmi, each holding skull and lotus, red in complexion and in red garments. Above them were the Mudradevis with two hands, expressing mystical gestures, resembling pomegranate flowers and dressed in yellow robes. In two arms they held shields and swords.
Each had her name preceded by “sarva”: Samkshobini, Vidravini, Karshanakrinmudra, Vashankari, Madnanamudra, Mahankushayashti, Khecharika, Bija, Yoni, Trikhandika. Above them were the 16 digits of the moon with secret names, resembling the coral tree, with four arms holding swords, shields, bows and arrows and three eyes each.
On the seventh step were the Gupta Taras, with the lustre of the china Rose, each of whose names was preceded by “Ananga”: Madana, Madanatura, Lekha, Vega, Ankusha, Malangi, holding sugarcane bow, flowery arrows, bouquets of flowers and lotuses. Then were the Sampradayas on the sixth step who had risen from the ashes of Kama, wielding fiery bows and arrows, lustrous like the fire of death, each name preceded by “Sarva”: Samkshobini, Vidravini, Karshanika, Hladanika, Sammohini, Stambhana, Jrimbhana, Unmadana, Arthasadhika, Sampattipurani, Mantramayi and Dvandvakshayankari. On the fifth step were the ten Kulottirnas like crystals, holding axe, noose, mace, bell and gems. Their names, preceded by “Sarva” are: Siddhiprada, Sampatprada, Priyankari, Mangalakarini, Kamaprada, Duhkhavimochini, Mrityuprashamini, Vighnanivarini, Angasundari, Saubhagyadayini.
On the fourth step were the benevolent Nigarbhayoginis of pearly lustre, whose names preceded by “Sarva” are: Yajna, Shakti, Aishvaryaprada, Jnanamayi, Vyadhivinashini, Dharasvarupa, Papahara, Anandamayi, Raksharupini and Ipsitaphalaprada. Each held the thunderbolt, javelin, iron club and discus. On the third step were the eight Rahasyayoginis, deities of speech, lustrous like the red Ashoka, holding bows and arrows, encased in armour, also carrying lutes and books: Vashini, Kameshi, Bhogini, Vimala, Aruna, Javini, Sarveshi and Kaulini. On the second step were three goddesses, with eight arms holding bows, arrows, drinking bowl, fruit, dagger, shields, noose and a bell: Kameshi, Vajreshi, Bhagamalini.
On the step in the centre of the chariot were fifteen deities, all round on the Anandamahapitha, the great seat of bliss, who are eternal, resembling Lalita in forms and weapons: Kameshi, Bhagamala, Nityaklinna, Bherunda, Vahnivasini, Mahavajreshvari, Druti, Tvarita, Kulasundari, Nitya, Nilapataka, Vijaya, Sarvamangala, Jvalamalinika and Chitra.
Shridevi or Lalita’s favourite was Sangitayogini also called Mantini, deity of music, riding in the chariot Geyachakra on whose first step sat Mantini. On the second step were Rati, Priti and Manoja holding lutes and bows, dark like the Tamala tree. On the third step were the deities of Kama’s arrows: Dravini, Shoshini, Bandhini, Mohini and Unmadini with five gods named Kamaraja, Kandarpa, Manmatha, Makaradhvaja and Manobhava, glowing like the Palasha flower.
On the fourth step were Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Rati, Priti, Kirti, Shanti, Pushti and Tushti, the eight Kumaris, holding lances and discus. On the fifth step were sixteen deities: Vama, Jyeshtha, Raudri, Shanti, Shraddha, Sarasvati, Shribhushakti, Lakshmi, Shrishti, Mohini, Paramathini, Ashvasini, Vichi, Vidyunmalini, Surananda and Nagabuddhika, lustrous like the ruby, covered in armour, holding thunderbolt, baton, shataghni and bhushundika.
On the sixth step were the Bhairavas with trident and drinking bowl: Asitanga, Ruru, Chanda, Krodha, Unmattabhairava, Kapali, Bhishana, Samhara. On the seventh step were Matangi, Siddhalakshmi, Mahamantangika and Mahati holding bows and arrows. With them were the heads of Ganas, Kshetrapa, Durgamba and Batuka along with Lakshmi, Sarasvati and the treasures Shanka and Padma. On the same step were the ten deities of the quarters holding thunderbolt, spear, Kala’s staff, sword, noose, pennant, mace, trident, missile of darbha grass and the discus.
On the chariot Kirichakra rode Dandanatha, boar faced, dark complexioned. On the second step were Jrimbhini, Mohini and Stambhini with pestle, plough and liquor pot. On the third step were five deities led by Andhini seated on the Devi yantra. On the fourth step were six deities led by Brahmi. Beneath them were the seven Dhatunathas: Yakshini, Shankhini, Lakini, Hakini, Shakini, Dakini and another Hakini ready to consume the seven ingredients of the body. Krodhini and Stambhini fanned with chowries on the same step flanked by plough and pestle. The terrible lion Chandocchanda stood before Dandanatha with three eyes. On the sixth step were eight deities led by Vartali: Varahi, Varahamukhi, Andhini, Rodhini, Jrmimbhini, Mohini and Stambhini with a dusky white buffalo on their left to carry Dandanatha. Beneath them were Indra and the other guardian deities of the cardinal points. On the wheel were Jrimbhini, Stambini and Mohini presiding over the Northwest. At the end of the step was Kshetrapala holding skull and mace, damaru and serpent noose. Beneath them were ten Bhairavas: Hetuka, Tripurari, Agnibhairava, Yamajihva, Ekapada, Kala, Karalaka, Bhimarupa, Hatakesha and Achala.
This is the scene which brings us to the spot where the war between devi and banda takes place.The weapons that she carries is the basic concept of hindu life.
1. Believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
2. Believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world’s most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God’s word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
3. Believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
4. Believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
5. Believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny.
6.Believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
7. Believe that an enlightened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God.
8. Believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, noninjury, in thought, word and deed.
9. Believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God’s Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.
So she holds these principles in her hand to lead us into the path of enlightenment.All these weapons are not used to destroy mankind but to destroy our fanatism, ego, selfishness, karma, greed etc.in man and makes a good human being.
The nine storeyed chariot which holds the different goddess is the manifestation of our life.as we conquer each step in our life we move closer to the goddess and she removes all obstacles as we move a step towards her is rightly seen in the steps in which the dieties have taken their places.