Adi Shankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari – Dr.M.L.Vasanthakumari – Sanskrit

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The hymn of Saundarayalahari contains 100 poems (verses) of four lines each said to be written by jagadguru Shri Adi Shankaracharaya (8th Century Indian Philosopher). Legend of this work is often substantiated by the distinct difference that is present in the two sets of poems “Anandalahari”. The waves of bliss (verses 1 to 42) and “Saundarayalahari” — The waves of beauty (verses 43 to 100) the complete set is known as Saundarayalahari. Anandalahari deals with the Mantra, Yantra and Tantra practices of Shaktha cult. The Shaktha system is a system of rituals accompanied by Meditation based on Advaita philosophy. Shaktha sect worships Devi through rituals and meditation and is based on a non-dual interpretation of reality. These verses are on a metaphysical plane, describing the philosophical & spiritual aspects of Shakthi worship. A notable feature of this set of verses is that the verses are not interlinked in anyway, they stand apart. The language is also highly transcendental in nature.

Saundaryalahari, the second part, is a description of the Supreme Mother from crown to feet, as a description of the vision the Shri Adi Shankaracharya experienced. These verses are said to be written by Shri Shankaracharaya himself. He made generous us of figures of speech of Sanskrit poetcs. However, the term “Saundaryalahari” is now commonly applied to the entire hundred verses. 

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