The Saundaryalahari (Anandalahari)
This book comprises the first part of Saundarya Lahari (The Upsurging Billow of Beauty), popularly known as Ananda Lahari, covering the first forty-one verses.
This poetic work has fascinated generations of scholars and laypersons with the sublime beauty of the verses in praise of the Devi, but also puzzled people by the authorship of Shankara. The text is a protolinguistic composition using a pictorial language of images. Beauty, elevated to the highest level, provides content to the otherwise abstract notion of the Absolute. The absolute joy of Advaita is presented subjectively as ananda and objectively as saundarya.
This tenth-century hymn to the Devi is a poetic restatement by the philosopher Shankara of his strict Advaita Vedanta monism. In a compelling series of verses, Shankara draws in many strands of India’s heritage and braids them into a vision of luminous, transcendent Beauty.
The present commentary by Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati grew out of his class of intimate meditations. He has integrated the academic disciplines of aesthetics, linguistics, and psychology with contemplation into a comprehensive study of creative manifestation. The heterodox Tantric Shri Vidya schools are centered on the realistic worship of the Devi or Goddess and the Shri Chakra. Keeping in line with contemplation, the Appendix provides 53 meditations on the Shri Chakra.
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