Sri Matre Namaha
Sharachandranibhanana – The One Hundred & Twenty Nineth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
Sarat (=saratkalikena) candrena nibham (=tulyam) ananam yasyah sa
Sarat chandra nibhanana – She who has the face like moon in the autumn
Whose face is like the autumnal moon. Her face is as charming as the autumnal moon.
Her face is like the moon in spring. Sharad means second half of October, November and first half of December. In a natural horoscope, each rasi represents a solar month. Two solar months are called a rutu and in a year there are six rutus. During this period the moon appears brighter and without blemishes. Please refer nama 133 also.
The same thing is voiced in devi mahamatyam:
Ishath sahasam amalam paripoorna chandra
Bhibanukari kanakottama kanthi kantham
Athyathbutham prahruthamaatharusha thadhapi,
Vakthram vilokhya sahasa mahishasurena.
Gently smiling, pure, resembling the full moon’s orb, beautiful like the splendour of excellent gold was Your face! Yet it was very strange that, being swayed by anger, Mahiasura suddenly struck Your face when he saw it. Such is her beauty but is it we compare her to a moon. what is the significance? I ask myself. You will find the same thing echoed in soundarya lahiri as well.
Sakrn na thva nathva katham iva sathaam sannidadhate
Sweetest words rivaling the honey, milk and grapes,
Can only Come to the thoughts of the devotee,
Who once meditates on your face,Which is like the white autumn moon,
On your head with a crown with the crescent moon and flowing hair,
And hands that shower boons and give protection,
Which hold the crystal chain of beads and books.
There is always a debate on how adi shankara had written about devi. Adi Sankara’s Soundaryalahari is an outstanding work on Devi Parasakthi. The first part of 41 verses called `Aanandalahari’ is regarded a `Mantra Sastra’ describing the gross and subtle form of Devi and mode of worship of the Divine Mother.
The remaining 59 verses contain an exquisite portrayal of the physical form of Devi from head to foot ending with a prayer for Her grace. The very first verse of Soundaryalahari points out that “Sakthi is supreme. Siva is able to create only when He is united with Sakthi. Otherwise Mahadeva cannot even move about!” Adi Sankara adds: “O Lady of the ever-smiling counternance and the limitless virtues”.
The multicoloured sands found on the beach of Kanyakumari containing Thorium, which generates atomic energy represents the manifestation of the miraculous power of the Supreme. It is a symbolic representation of Sakthi which Adi Sankara describes as the “Matrix of the universe.”
The life-like image of Devi Kanyakumari with a smiling face is a combination of innocence, purity and beauty. Here Devi who stands alone continues her eternal penance and radiates sanctity all around. The lines in Soundaryalahari which read “O Goddess Jagadambal, you have given me the faculty of speech. I compose this poem in your praise and offer it to you” confirm the view that Adi Sanakra standing at the feet of our Mother India, composed this outstanding work on Devi. There is no Siva shrine in the Devi temple. Adi Sankara exclaimed, “O Mother your right eye being the Sun creates day and your left eye being the Moon creates night”. The rising Sun and the setting Sun can only be seen at Kanyakumari. On the full-moon days the rising Moon and the setting Sun can be simultaneously seen only at Kanyakumari and not elsewhere. Chithra Pournami is a scene of beauty par-excellence.
Having seen such marvellous environment Adi Sankara compared the right eye of the Devi as Sun and left eye as Moon. In all probability Adi Sankara might have visited Kanyakumari on the full-moon day of Chithirai and the natural beauty of the place, the delightful locale of the holy spot and the divine beauty of Devi Parasakthi at Kanyakumari inspired Adi Sankara to write the monumental work Soundaryalahari.
When we talk about the Mother and her beauty we always imagine her to be as cool as a moon and the radiance around her is illuminating and it appears like the dazzling moon.There is a story connecting abirami and the moon which gave rise to abirami ananthi.
It is said that Abirama Battar’s original name was Subramaniyam. He was a great devotee of mother Abirami. Abirama Battar was a brahmin and a pundit engaged in the vocation of guiding people with the description of days, favourable and unfavourable times for commencing important events etc with the help of an almanac. A very virtuous person who was always lost in the thoughts of Mother Abirami, his speckless devotion attracted the envy of some. They thus to cause trouble for Battar, gave false informations to the then ruling king Saraboji. The king hence asked Battar the description of the day as to whether it was a full moon day or a no moon day. Battar whose mind was lost with Abirami came up with the wrong answer that it was a full-moon day which actually was a no moon day. The king in his fury commanded to slay Battar for coming up with the wrong answer.
Hence Battar sat on a suspended platform supported by hundred ropes under which a huge pyre was raised. His only hope was Mother Abirami and his devotion took shape of hundred songs. At the completion of each stanza he cut a rope to end his life at the end of the hundredth song. Mother Abirami’s heart melted for his devotion and she delayed not a moment to throw one of her earrings towards the sky that shone as the moon on a no moon day thereby saving the life of Her ardent devotee. Is She not the cooling radiance of the moon that lights our path darkened by despair and delusion? It was from henceforth that the devotee acquired the name Abirama Battar. Abirami Andhadhi is a wonderful composition written in the Andhadhi pattern with the commencing of each para with the ending word of the previous para.
Parrot you are oh mother,Light in the hearts of your devotees, you are,
The source of all light you are,Limitless empty space you are,
And Mother you are, who looks to us, as nature great,
Limitless you are chained in my limited mind, Is this not a great wonder.