The Birth of the Mesmerizing Poem
This Sunday we have a story from Deivathin Kural(Voice of God) about the birth of Soundaryalahari composed on the universal mother, Goddess Parvati.
Adi Shankara travelled to Kailasa, the divine abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He had the Darshan of the universal parents, who were Adi Shankara themselves. This is similar to meeting of Lord Rama with another incarnation, Parashurama. Lord Krishna also had another incarnation, Balarama as his brother.
During the meeting with the universal parents, Lord Shiva gave Adi Shankara 5 Spatika Lingas(ஸ்படிக லிங்கங்கள்) while Goddess Parvati handed over a manuscript with poems written in it. The poems were written in praise of the universal mother. It is said that Lord Shiva himself composed these poems which were 100 in number in praise of Goddess Parvati.
The 5 Spatika Lingas were the form of Lord Shiva. The verses written in the Manuscript were the form of Goddess Parvati. One of the Lingas given by Lord Shiva was consecrated at Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in the name of 'Chandramouleesvara'. The Linga consecrated was Yoga Linga. The remaining 4 Lingas were established at the remaining 4 Mutts established by Adi Shankara.
When Adi Shankara left Kailasa, the guard Nandikeshvara saw the Manuscript in the hands of Shankaracharya. He considered the manuscript in Adi Shankara's hands as very precious. He didn't want such as a precious thing to leave Kailasa.
He got angry and tried to snatch the manuscript. Adi Shankara managed to escape and came out. But 59 Slokas in the manuscripts went to the hands of Nandi and the remaining 41 were with Shankara. We become angry on Nandi snatching the manuscripts. But, here Sri Maha Periyava says that we all should thank Nandi. But, Why? Let us see.
Adi Shankara became very sad on realizing 59 slokas are not with him. At that time, Goddess Parvati appeared before Adi Shankara. "Oh Great One! I understand that you are so worried on realizing most of the Slokas are not with you. I also understand you are very keen on these Slokas as you want to spread it to the world. So, let the remaining 59 be written by yourself". Saying so, the Goddess disappeared.
Immediately, Adi Shankara started describing the Goddess right from her head to her lotus feet part-by-part and completed composing 100 slokas. The first 41 slokas describe Mantra Shastra. That can be followed by quite a few people only. It describes Mantra Yogam, Kundalini Yogam and many more. While doing this penance, even if one mistake occurs, it results in many dangerous things.
But Adi Shankara who is very merciful to all us, composes not about the Goddess' Mantra form but describes the beautiful form from her head to feet which makes us happy on understanding. The last 59 slokas alone, are called as Soundaryalahari while the first 41 are called Anandalahari.
Nandi snatched the manuscripts so that we could get the beautiful words of Adi Shankara which makes it mesmerizing poem. This is why Sri Maha Periyava says we have to 'thank' Nandi for this act.