LalitA sahasranAma is one of the popular hymns in Hinduism.

There is a verse in it which says

"Karanguli nakhotpanna narayana dashakrutih Mahapashu patastragni nirdagdhasura sainika"

Does it mean that the 10 incarnations of Vishnu have come from the fingernails of Sri lalitA or there are any other meanings of this verse?

In my another answer I have shared similar idea of Trimurtis and 10 incarnations emerged from the goddess.

  • Does it mean that the 10 incarnations of Vishnu have come from the fingernails of Sri lalitA?... Yes. And, there are no other deep secrets embedded in this Puranic verse. – Rickross Jul 2 '17 at 16:27
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    @Rickross "And, there are no other deep secrets embedded in this Puranic verse." At least Bhaskararaya believes that there is another meaning; see my answer. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 2 '17 at 16:30
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Bhaskararaya does not simply state that and stop there. You only quoted a very small portion from his explanation and which when read as a whole is of course plain and simple. So, your answer is giving the erroneous impression that it is the actual meaning of the verse which it is not.. The Q itself is not a great Q to start with and ur answer is even more misleading. – Rickross Jul 3 '17 at 17:04
  • @Rickross I disagree. There are two meanings given. One is that it's the Dasavataram that come out of her fingernails. The other is that it's the 5 states of the Jiva and the 5 functions of Ishwara that are being referred to. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 3 '17 at 17:08
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    @RakeshJoshiThere is no need for commentaries for this verse. 1) Lalita Devi also created the Trimurtis from her three eyes.. So do u need to commentaries for those verses as well? She created Ganapaty from her smile, Vedas from her breath.. u need commentaries for those verse too? These are not Veda mantras or some terse verses from Agamas that they will need commentaries. 2) A Purana like the Brahmanda Purana does not have any reasons to uphold a particular worldview (or whatever they are called) like Shakta Or Shaiva. It is just the narration of what has happened. – Rickross Jul 4 '17 at 5:36

The Sri Vidya Acharya Bhaskararaya gives two interpretations of the name in this excerpt from his Lalita Sahasranama Bhashya:

"Nails", joints of the nails or fingertips. Ten forms of Narayana are the ten incarnations of Vishnu, viz., Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, Dwarf, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna, Kalki.... Or, "Ten forms": the word in the text is Dashakritih, which may also be taken to mean the five states of Jiva and the five functions of Ishvara.

In the worldview of the Shaiva and Shakta Agamas, the Jiva is said to have five states, namely waking, dreaming, deep sleep, Turiya, and Turiyatita. And Ishwara is said to perform five functions, namely creation, preservation, destruction, obscuration, and liberation. So Bhaskararaya is suggesting that these may be the ten forms being referred to.

  • SV is not a philosophy. – Rakesh Joshi Jul 2 '17 at 6:45
  • @RakeshJoshi Whether it is a philosophy or not, Bhaskararaya is a philosopher. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 2 '17 at 8:21
  • How do you say that? – Rakesh Joshi Jul 2 '17 at 10:23
  • Do you feel Sri vidya sect is started by Bhaskara or what? – Rakesh Joshi Jul 2 '17 at 10:24
  • @RakeshJoshi "How do you say that?" Bhaskararaya wrote numerous philosophical works. "Do you feel Sri vidya sect is started by Bhaskara or what?" No, of course not. He was a follower of Sri Vidya, not its founder. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 2 '17 at 14:46

This is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana. It is related to the Bhandasura episode when the world was facing a Pralaya like situation. Goddess then have to be invoked from Chidagni Homa Kunda.

Quoting from here:

H. At the end of this great fire sacrifice, all of you (the performers of the Yaga) should jump in to the Homa Kunda (fire pit). While doing so, you must possess absolute devotion.

I. Then, Lalita Parameshwari will manifest.

J. She will be seated in a chariot called Chakra Raja Ratha.

K. She will create Parabrahma in the name of Kameshwara and will have Him as Her consort.

L. This couple will re-create the entire universe, which will turn out to be more beautiful than the previous creation.

M. Lalita Parameshwari will bring Manmatha back to life.

This above passage provides the background.

The next portion of the story is found here. It describes the secondary creation of Goddess Lalita.

She extended Herself in both male and female forms and continued the process of creation.

A. From the left eye, which was of the nature of Soma (moon) came Brahmaand Lakshmi Devi.

B. From the right eye, which was of the nature of Soorya (sun) came Vishnu and Parvati.

C. From the third eye, which was of the nature of Agni (fire), came Rudra and Sarasvati.

D. Lakshmi & Vishnu, Shiva & Parvati and Brahma & Sarasvati became couples.

E. Lalita Devi directed them to continue the process of Creation.

She herself continued to create certain things.

(i) From her long hair she created darkness.

(ii) From her eyes, she created the sun, the moon and the fire.

(iii) From the pendent hanging in front of her forehead came the stars.

(iv) From the chain above her forehead came the nine planets.

(v) From the eyebrows, she created the penal code.

(vi) From her breath, she created the Vedas.

(vii) From her speech, she created poetry and plays.

(viii) From her chin she created the Vedangas.

(ix) From the three lines in her neck, she created various Shaastras.

(x) From her breasts, she created mountains.

(xi) From her mind, she created the power of bliss.

(xii) From her fingernails, she created the 10 incarnations of Vishnu.

(xiii) From her palms, she created the Sandhyas.

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    Other puranas say there are many incarnations of Vishnu. Which 10 incarnations (out of infinite) came out of her finger nails? Another question,in Lalita Sahasranama, it is said she is Padmanabha Sahodari. Is the sister Lalita Devi or Parvati? I ask because according to above excerpt, Parvati and Vishnu were created from eye. Another question out of curiosity, why create Vishnu and Vishnu incarnations separately? – Sarvabhouma Feb 5 '19 at 7:51

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