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.. shrI Lalita chatuHShaShTyupachArasaMgrahaH ..

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Five, ten, sixteen and twenty-four Upacharas are generally oered to deities during Pooja or Archana. However, sixty-four Upacharas are prescribed during the Navavarana Pooja of Shri Lalita Mahatripurasundari Rajarajeshwari Paraabhattaarikaa in the Shrichakra. These sixty-four Upacharas are detailed in Vamakeshwara Tantra and in the Parashurama Kalpasutras. Though it is not possible to physically oer all these sixty-four Upacharas to Shridevi, by mentioning these Upacharas and oering the same at the lotus feet of Shridevi using ones imagination, the merit of actually oering these Upacharas to Shridevi are obtained. The truth of this statement is conrmed by Shri Bhaskararaya in his Setubandha and also by Shri Rameshwara Suri in his commentary on the Parashurama Kalpasutras. Shri Lalita Chatuhshashtyupachara Samgraha is a hymn, which beautifully summarizes these sixty-four Upacharas. This hymn, composed from a high state of consciousness, is the masterpiece of Brahmasri K. P. Narayana Shastrigal, the late Asthana Vidwan of Mysore State and Dakshinamnaya Shringeri Sharada Peetham and retired professor of Advaita Vedanta, Chamarajendra Sanskrit College, Bangalore. A scholar par excellence and a highly accomplished Upasaka of Shri Mahatripurasundari and Shri Chandramoulishwara, Shri Narayana Shastrigal was held in a very high regard by the Shankaracharyas of the Amnaya mutts and by scholars across the sub-continent. Most of his disciples went on to become Mahamahopadhyayas and scholars of great repute. He spent a greater part of his life in the holy city of Varanasi and was popularly referred to as Kashivasi Narayana Shastrigal. He was instrumental in editing and publishing the rst ever copy of Skandadevas Rudra Bhashya. He accepted Turiyashrama towards the end of his life. It is popularly remembered to this day in Kashi that when the great man attained Siddhi, a Bana Linga had materialized on his body. It is indeed due to the limitless compassion of Shridevi that I was fortunate to have as my Guru Brahmasri

K. P. Shankara Shastrigal, younger brother of Shri Narayana Shastrigal, an equally brilliant scholar and an equally accomplished Shrividya Upasaka. It is recorded that one afternoon, after performing Nirajana to Shridevi, Narayana Shastrigal burst into a hymn and a disciple noted it down. The then Shankaracharya Mahaswamigal of Shringeri read the hymn and declared that it was indeed Shridevi who had spoken through Shastrigal. The following hymn, which is a composition of Brahmasri Narayana Shastrigal, has been reproduced over the ages in various books like the Shrividya Ratnakara of Karapatri Swamin, Saubhagya Ratnakara Valli of Purnananda, Shrividya Saparya of Dattatreyanandanatha, by various Guhananda Mandali books and many books dealing with Shrichakra Pooja and Devi Stotras in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Malayalam. One may estimate the greatness of this hymn by simply considering the fact that this hymn was included in their Saparya Paddhatis by great men like Chidanandanatha and Karapatri Swamin. It is unfortunate however that none of these publications have given any credit to the author of this supremely beautiful hymn by at least mentioning his name.

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Encoded, proofread, and text introduction by Harsha Ramamurthy harsha ramamurthy@yahoo.com

Please send corrections to sanskrit@cheerful.com Last updated July 6, 2004

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