Lalita Sahasranama mentions as ‘Devi is dressed in a blood-red sari’…. why are there such non-vegetarian references in the verses?
In the Lalita Sahasranama (a sacred recital of the 1000 holy names of the Mother Divine), there is a verse, ‘Rakta-varna mansanishta gudanna pritamanasa. Samsta bhakta sukhada lakinyamba svarupini’. (V. 103)
It mentions that the Devi is dressed in a blood-red sari and about Mansanishtha (references to non-vegetarian aspects of one’s body). I thought that the Goddess is vegetarian. They why are there such non-vegetarian references in the verses?
No, it is not like that. These are references to the different Dhaatus (constitutional or fundamental elements that make the physical body).
There are seven Dhaatus in the body, and each Dhaatu has got a specific governing deity attached to it. That is, a specific divine energy is associated with it: such as Lakini, Dakini, etc.
So it is not referring or implying to non-vegetarian offerings.
It means that these divine deities are a part of you. Mansanishtha means that it resides in the muscles of the body. So a specific deity is present in the muscles. And then another deity resides in the skin, a particular deity is present in the blood and so on.
So the verse refers to the different aspects of Divinity present in different parts of the human body.
The phrase ‘Gudanna pritamanasa’ means that when that particular aspect is more dominant in you, what you would like more is sweet food. And if a different aspect is more dominant in you, then you will like sour foods more, such as curd rice.
This verse is actually an explanation for each of the chakras in the body (referring to the metaphysical centers of energy flow in the human body).
So when a particular chakra is opening up or active in you, then you will like a particular kind of food.
So when a particular chakra is active, or if you want to activate that chakra, then it is good to have curd rice, because it has a cooling effect. So in this way, different types of food, different colors and different parts of the human body are associated with different chakras.
There is a deeper science to all this. Do not take it literally to mean that some deity is really seated in a part of the body. This is all very scientific and is related to physiology also.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s discourses at Art of Living.