In the Tantra Shastra worship of Devi, Sanskrit letters are hidden as it were in the Sri Chakra and Lalitha (She Who Plays) Sahasranama and Soundaryalahari of Adi Shankaracharya.
The Vedas hide the letters and Mahamantras in the Texts dedicated to the Deity.
The Matrikas.Image source: Wiki.
Lord Rudra’s Mahamantra ‘Nama Svayacha, Sivadharaya cha’ is placed in the Eighth chapter (anuvakam) of the Sri Rudram .
The Soundaryalahari contains the 51 Aksharas hidden in 51 slokas.
It may be noted that the first portion of the SoundaryaLahari( was given by Lord Ganesha and the balance was composed by Adi Shankaracharya.
Lalitha Sahasranama contains these Aksharas, Alphabets in them.
Devi is described as ‘Mathruka Varna Roopini’ Lalitha Sahasranama.
Tantra Roopa Manon mayee-Lalitha Sahsranama
Sarva Mantrathmike, Sarva Yantrathmike0Shyamala Dandakam by Kalidasa.Lalita is also known as Matrika Devi, the Goddess of the Letters of the Alphabet. In Sanskrit there are 36 consonants and 15 vowels. In some arrangements of Her yantra these letters are to be found inscribed in the various triangles and petals of Shri Yantra. The combination of the 15 Vowels (the 15 Nityas) and the consonants (the 36 Tattvas) produces all sound, all mantra, all vibration, all word, and all music.
There are 8 letter groups in the Sanskrit alphabet. These 8 groups are personified as the 8 Little Mothers, worshipped all over India. The 9th group is Lalita Herself. She is beyond language and description. It is little realised ‘that gods and goddesses do not have names, but instead are described. “She who Plays” (Lalita) is not the name of the red goddess, but merely one of Her characteristics. She is beyond Name and Form.
In the first 12 verses (shlokas) of the Vamakeshvara Tantra is given a hymn to the Goddess as the Mother of the Letters:
1. I bow to the Goddess made of mantra, who consists of the (51) Ganeshas, the (9) Planets, the (27) Lunar Constellations, the (6) Yoginis, the (12) Signs of the Zodiac, and the (51) Matrika-Seats.
2. I bow to the great Matrika Devi, the Supreme Lady, who in Time is both a fraction of a second and the end of the Universe, the Destroyer and the Creatrix of Time.
3. Who is the whole perfect measure of the letters of the alphabet, worshipped by the Sun, Garuda, the Moon, the God of Love, by Lord Shankar, the God of Fire, and by Vishnu.
4. I worship the Devi of all Devis, the great Shri Siddha Matrika, whose letters of the alphabet, like moonlight, adorn the three worlds.
5. Who is the great thread of the letters of the alphabet, from which is woven the three worlds, who extends from the top of the head to the base of the spine. I worship you, 0 Siddha Matrika.
6. Who is made up of the 11 adharas (in the body), the universe-seed, the source of the primordial triangle. From the top of the head to the base of the spine you are the Origin of the World.
7. Who is the aggregate of the 8 letter-groups A-Ka-Ca-Ta-Ta-Pa-Ya-Sa, the primordial Source and Many Rayed Dweller in the centre of the heart.
8. Unfolder of the letter I, essence of essences, Most Ultimate One, I bow to you Great Devi, form of the Utmost Bliss.
9. The primordial One, of whom other gods and goddesses have no inkling. Who knows what and from where She creates? O Producer of Form and Formlessness!
10. I worship You, the imperishable letter-form from A to Ksha, O Devi, Supremely Auspicious Being. You are the Expansion Mirror, the Maya of the 36 Tattvas.
11. The aggregate of the eight groups of letters, in whom the eight Little Mothers reside, I worship You, Great Lady of the eight siddhis which originate from the eight letter groups.
12. Dwelling at the Auspicious Sacred Seats (Pithas) of Kamarupa, Purnagiri and Jalandhara, I bow to You Great Shree Tripura, the fourfold abode of the Elements.
Syllables of Vidya.
Vidya is feminine of mantra. Lalita has various forms of mantra, the most popular seeming to be the vidya of 15 syllables which runs Ka E I La Hrim, Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim. This is a mantra with three sections which correspond to Moon, Sun and Fire. There is said to be a secret 16th syllable which is the Goddess Herself. This vidya is called Kadi (Ka etc.) because of its initial letter. The Kadi doctrine deals with involution of the yantra, the Hadi vidya with evolution. These 15 syllables correspond to the 15 Kalas of the Moon.
If you refer to the pages on Shri Puja and the Bhavana Upanishad as well as the Shri Yantra figure above and the page on the Nine Mandalas of the Shri Yantra, this text becomes much easier to follow..
Sri Chakra mantra to follow.