Sri Matre Namaha
Mahapadhmatavi-samsta – The Fifty Ninth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
Mahanti padmani yasyam atavyan tasyam samyak tistati
She dwells easily in the forest which is full of lotuses
She resides in the great forest of lotuses.
The thousand petalled lotus which resides in the brahmarandhra is also called padmatavi
“Surrounded by a forest of lotsuses, three lakhs of yojanas in extent. Another one is (on the meru). The LaStRtn, (slokas 106 to 108), “let us worship the forest of lotsuses which is……. etc.”
Again the thousand -petalled lotus that is in the brahmarandhra is also called padmatavi. “Above that there is the kula lotus, thousand petal facing downward…..This known as the great lotus garden and above is the Samana. “For there is one form both for the body and for the Universe (Pindanda and Brahmanda)
She dwells in a great forest full of lotus flowers. Lotus flowers grow only in water. Nature’s bounty has been mentioned here. Big mountains with high peaks were referred earlier. Now indirectly the water bodies are mentioned. Mahapadhmam also refers to a type of elephants. This nama talks about the crown chakra or sahasrara, situated above the six chakras of our body. A minute aperture in the centre sahasrara is called brahmarandhra or padmatavi. The divine energy enters our body through this aperture only. Our contact with higher planes is established through this aperture. This aperture is connected to all the six chakras. Lalitha conjoins with her consort Shiva in sahasrara. This nama talks about Her domicile in the middle of a thousand petal lotus or sahasrara.
The very name of the Hindu worship, ritual, puja, can be translated as “flower act.” Elaborate and simple garlands, fragrant whole flowers and piles of petals daily rain over Deities in temple, home and village shrines wherever Hindus worship.
But the lotus is mentioned here. why?
so we have look into the characteristic nature of this beautiful flower.So let’s turn our minds to the flower and its mention in the different scriptures. understanding its nature will indeed give us the knowledge and power to understand the Maha Maye.
The sacred lotus, known botanically as nelumbo nucifera (literally “nut-bearing aquatic”), comprises the most important and attractive wetland plant species in India. A pond of mature lotus is a stunning sight. Quite unlike water lilies, whose leaves rest on the water’s surface, lotus leaves rise above the water on stems from 1 to 8 feet tall. And the flowers, 4 to 10 inches in diameter, usually rise above the leaves.Few flowers have found such prominence in legends and symbolism as the lotus. The Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions have amassed a wealth of fascinating stories about the species. In Hinduism, the flower is said to be the center of the universe. There is a story that it arose from the navel of God Vishnu, and at the center of the flower sat Brahma. Each of the three Brahminical deities, Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector) and Siva (the Merger) are associated with this plant. The lotus is associated with Prajapati (Brahma) in the cosmogonic myths of the Brahmana portion of the Taittiriya upanishad (800 bce). There are also accounts of the world born through a “Golden Lotus” and Padmakalpa, the Lotus Age in the Padmapurana (678 ce).”The Taittiriya Brahmana describes how Prajapati, desiring to evolve the universe, which was then fluid, saw a lotus-leaf,pushkara parna, coming out of water. It is described that when divine life-substance was about to put forth the universe, the cosmic waters grew a thousand-petalled lotus flower of pure gold, radiant like the sun. This was considered to be a doorway, or an opening of the mouth of the womb of the universe. Hindu texts describe that water represents the procreative aspect of the Absolute, and the cosmic lotus, the generative. Thus, lotus is the first product of the creative principle.” The role of Lord Brahma was to re-create the universe after the great flood on this planet. In order to create the universe, He used the different parts of the lotus plant. Goddess Lakshmi, sits on a fully bloomed pink lotus as Her divine seat and holds a lotus in Her right hand . It is also mentioned in the Mahabharata that Lakshmi emerged from a lotus which grew from the forehead of Lord Vishnu, and a garland of 108 lotus seeds is today used for the worship of Lakshmi. The Goddess of Power, Durga, was created by Lord Siva to fight demons and was adorned with a garland of lotus flowers by Varuna. Goddess of Wisdom, Saraswati is associated with the white Lotus. And virtually every God and Goddess of Hinduism–Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Durga, Agni, Ganesha, Rama and Surya–are typically shown sitting on the lotus, often holding a lotus flower in their hand. The lotus which serves thus as the seat of the Deity, signifying their divinity and purity, is called padmasana or kamalasana.Scripture indicates at least a 6,000-year association of the lotus with Hindu culture and religion. Lotus is mentioned in the Rig Veda, and it finds frequent mention in the later Samhitas. In the Rig, two varieties are described: one white (Nelumbo nucifera), the other blue. In the Atharva Veda, the human heart is compared with the lotus flower. According to the Panchavimsa Brahmana, the flower is born of the light of constellations. In the Taittiriya, a garland of such lotuses, pundari sraga, is mentioned. The blue lotus, pushkara, is mentioned in several places in the Rig and still more in the other Vedas. It is alluded to grow in lakes and is compared to the bowl of the sacrificial ladle due to its shape. The common use of this variety for decoration is evident from the frequent descriptions of the Asvins, the youthful twin Gods of the dawn, wearing a garland of blue lotus and being called ‘Pushkar Rajas.’ “In the Bhagavad Gita, man is adjured to be like the lotus–he should work without attachment, dedicating his actions to God–untouched by sin like water on a lotus leaf and the beautiful flower standing high above the mud and water. In the postures of hatha yoga, the lotus position, padmasana, is adopted by those striving to reach the highest level of consciousness, which itself is found in the thousand-petalled lotus chakra at the top of the head. Atman dwells in the lotus within the heart. Visualize within yourself a lotus, centered right within the center of your chest, right within your heart. Try to mentally feel and see the heart as a lotus flower right within you. Within the center of the lotus, try to see a small light.That is the “Maha Maye” and that is the mention made here to signify that every person i n this universe has such a beautiful flower inside them and it is the seat of the Goddess. So when one purifies their mind and heart and open them up for the Goddess he is the divine and in him she resides.
She has names inspired by or associated with the lotus. She is commonly called:
Padmini, “possessing Lotus;
“Padmesthita, “standing on Lotus;”
Padmavarna, “Lotus colored;”
Padmasambhava, “Lotus born;
“Padmakshi, “eyes like Lotus;”Padmanana, “face like Lotus;
“Sarasijanilaya, “dwells in lotus;
“Padmapriya, “fond of Lotus”and
Padmahasta, “holds a Lotus in her hand.”
The flower by its very appearance symbolises the Hindu principles of glory which are truth, auspiciousness and beauty ( Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram). This forms the reason for using it for the comparison of the different aspects of God like His lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.The lotus also extends a more spiritual meaning. It blooms in the morning and withdraws its petals in the night. Thisbehaviour of the flower brings to light the fact that one’s mind blooms with the illumination of spiritual knowledge and cringes without it. Further more the flower blossoms in slushy areas sustaining its purity and despite its surroundings. This reminds one to remain pure and beautiful under all circumstances.
The lotus leaf is often allegorically used in the Hindu scriptures. The flower though thrives in water, its leaf never gets wet. This symbolises the nature of a Jnani or a realised person who is ever blissful, untouched by the sorrows and the changes which is characteristic of the world.
So we could say she resides in the heart of a person who is untouched by joys,sorrows ,misery,fame,cruelty and all other emotions.The liberated soul is the residence of the Maha Sakthi.