The Divine Mother of the Universe, Lalitha, once gave audience to all the gods. To worship her came crores of Brahmas (creators) and Brahmin’s (consorts of the creators), and crores of Narayanas with their Lakshmis and crores of Rural with their Gaur is. The different Shaktis who came to do Lalitha reverence were also innumerable, as were the Devas and Siddhas.
When they had all worshipped her, they took their seats, upon which, Sri Devi Lalitha, glanced meaningfully Vashini and others, the goddess of speech. There upon they began to sing the thousand names of Lalitha, composed by them earlier, at her express command.
While Devi Lalitha became glad upon hearing the hymn, all those who were assembled there were amazed at its exquisite beauty and puissance. “Declare these thousand names
to my devotees. It a devotee recites it even once, I grant him all his desires,” Devi Lalitha told them.
The above details are conveyed by Lord Havagriva, the horse-faced manifestation of Lord Vishnu worshipped as the embodiment of intelligence, to the Sage Agastya, one of the most revered figures in Hindu lord. The passage occurs in the preface to the Lalitha Sahasranama, a great masterpiece that finds pride of place in the second part of the Brahmanda Purana. (The Puranas are sacred texts which explain the Vedic doctrines, the fountain-head of Hindu philosophy, to lay minds).
Taken as a devotional hymn, the Lalitha Sahasranama is a wonderful track in which deep feeling is expressed in sublime language. The sonorous alliterations and assonances, and the beautiful cadences create an incantatory effect. Unlike other hymns of thousand names, the Lalitha Sahasranama is free from meaningless particles and words, and also from the fault of repetition. The hymn, in its straight-forward significance invokes the celestial qualities of the goddess, and builds an ambience of majesty, beauty, power and sanctity.