231. Sadāśivakuṭumbinī सदाशिवकुटुम्बिनी
Sadāśiva is a general term referring to Śiva. Sadāśiva also means perpetual state of happiness and prosperity. This nāma says that She belongs to the family of Śiva. This family consists of Śiva, Śakti (they are known as parents of the universe), their elder son Gaṇeśa and their second son Kārttikeya (also known as Kumāra, Skanda, and Subrahmaṇya.)
Trika philosophy explains Sadāśiva differently (trika means threefold – Śiva, Śakti and nara meaning mankind). What is known as Supreme Brahman in Advaita is known as Paramaśiva in Trika, who is not included in any of the tattvas. Paramaśiva is beyond all tattvas and explanations. From Him arises Śiva representing Pure Consciousness, where duality is completely absent. Śakti comes out of Śiva and She represents ānanda śakti, known as Bliss. Though Śiva and Śakti are mentioned as two separate tattvas, in reality they are one, as one without the other becomes inert. The third tattva is Sadāśiva, which represents Icchāśakti, the Divine Will to create. This nāma can also be interpreted to mean that She is in the form of Divine Will to create or in the form of Icchāśakti. Lalitā Sahasranāma 658 is Icchāśakti-jñānaśakti-kriyāśakti-svarūpiṇī.
232. Sakalādhiṣṭhānarūpā सकलाधिष्ठानरूपा
Sakala – entire; adhiṣṭhāna – base or basis; rūpa – form.
She is the base for every existence. Triśatī nāma 147 Sarvādhārā also conveys the same meaning. Please refer to this nāma for additional details.
233. Satyarūpā सत्यरूपा
She is in the form of Truth. Lalitā Sahasranāma 818 is also Satyarūpā and is explained thus:
She is the embodiment of truth. Truth prevails during past, present and future. Rig-Veda (VII.104.12) says “A prudent person easily discriminates between truth and falsehood, since the two words are mutually at variance. Of these two, the love-divine, cherishes truth and virtue. He, verily, destroys the falsehood.” The next verse says “All such persons lie entangled in the chair of Lord of resplendence.”
Truth is considered as one of the important aspects of spirituality. That is why She likes those who speak truth. Brahman has two aspects sat and a-sat. Śiva along with Śaktī sustains this universe by nurturing sat (truth) by destroying a-sat (lie).
Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.1) says, “satyaṁ jñānamnantaṁ brahma सत्यं ज्ञानम्नन्तं ब्रह्म” which means Brahman is Truth, Knowledge and Infinity. This nāma reaffirms Her status of Brahman. Knowledgeable men know who Brahman is, but those who have not yet attained spiritual knowledge that is described in the Upaniṣad need repeated assurances that She is Brahman. This assurance is found to be necessary because in Self-realization, faith is the most essential factor.
234. Samākṛtiḥ समाकृतिः
Samākṛta means collected together. In other words, She represents all that exist in the universe.
Kṛṣṇa explains in Bhagavad Gītā (IV.27), “I am the abode of imperishable, immoral, everlasting dharma and eternal Bliss.”
Simple explanation for this nāma that She represents both sentient and insentient. In other words, She is Brahman, which is confirmed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 822, and is explained thus:
She is the Brahman. Since there is no difference between Śiva and Śaktī, She is addressed here as Brahman. There are many nāma-s in this Sahasranāma which affirme Her Brahman status. One merges with the Brahman at the time of liberation, not to be born again.
This Sahasranāma, Upaniṣads, Bhagavad Gīta all try to explain the Brahman in their own way. Brahman can only be explained and cannot be revealed. Since the Brahman does not have a form, the experiences of realised persons differ (Brahma Sūtra III.ii.25).
Advita philosophy of Śaṃkarācārya says that the Self is the only Reality and others are false. The Self is made up of pure knowledge that ultimately leads to pure consciousness (cit). Since the Reality cannot undergo changes, It becomes eternal. The qualities of the Self (Brahman) are – nirviśeṣā (non-characterisation), nirguṇa (devoid of qualities), nirvikārā (without any modifications), śuddha (purity absolute) and sat-cit-ānanda (existence, consciousness and bliss). In the ultimate stage, during bliss the practitioner remains all alone with the highest level of consciousness. At this level, even Śaktī does not exist. Here Śaktī merges into Śiva who alone remains as that level consciousness. This is known as the Brahman.
This nāma says She is That. Spiritual consciousness, in the most concentrated form germinates and grows when sown in the right soil duly nurtured by mediation. She, the Brahman is attained at the end. When She becomes nirguṇa Brahman (without qualities), She merges into Śiva (union of Śiva and Śaktī) and the merged Śiva alone exists. When She becomes saguṇa Brahman (with qualities and attributes), She alone exists without Śiva.
235. Sarvaprapañcanirmātrī सर्वप्रपञ्चनिर्मात्री
Sarva – all or everything; prapañca – manifestations and in particular, the expansion of the universe; nirmātṛ - creator.
She is the cause for expansion or creation of the universe. Expansion means creation and contraction means annihilation. This nāma can be considered as an extension of nāma-s 232 and 234. Lalitā Sahasranāma 620 Aneka-koṭi-brahmāṇḍa-jananī also conveys the same meaning and is explained thus.
She has given birth to billions of worlds is the literal meaning. This is based on Her attributes of causing creation, sustenance and death. The universe is said to contain millions of planets like earth with their own galaxies. Man has four predominant level of consciousness – sleep, dream, deep sleep and turya stages. These four stages of consciousness are related to souls or microcosms. In the same way, the Brahman or the macrocosm has four different stages. They are avyakta, Īśvara, hiraṇyagarbha and virāt.
Avyakta is the state of prakṛti in its un-manifested form, with the three guṇa-s in equal proportions. Avyakta is the first stage of the Brahman that cannot be explained, as this is the purest form of the Brahman, without parentage. This stage is also known as turya or the fourth state of consciousness. It is the non-dualistic state, where the Brahman without a second is realized. It is highly subtle in nature endowed with tranquillity and bliss (cloud nine stage).
The second stage is Īśvara. The concept of God begins here. This stage is the cause of creation, sustenance and death and the stage of ‘all-knowing’. Māyā which is known as illusion is associated with this stage. This forms the casual body or kāraṇa śarīra.
The third stage is hiraṇyagarbha. This is the binding factor of the universe. It holds all the creations together. This forms the subtle body or liṅga śarīra or sūkṣma śarīra.
The fourth stage is virāṭ. This is also known as vaiśvānara. This is where manifestation of forms takes place and the gross form of the world is realized and is seen with biological eyes. But this is not everything. It is only a miniscule of the Brahman. Gross forms become perceivable when vaiśvānara or virāṭ gets associated with māyā. This forms the gross body or sthūla śarīra.
When soul or puruṣa gets associated with prakṛti, the birth of a living being happens. When virāṭ gets associated with māyā, the birth of the universe happens. The former is microcosm and the latter is macrocosm. All these four stages are referred in this Sahasranāma. Avyakta in nāma 398, Īśvara (Īśvarī) in nāma 271, hiraṇyagarbha (svarṇa-garbha) in nāma 638 and virāṭ (virāṭ-rūpa) in nāma 778. This nāma refers to the combination of these four stages.
Aitareya Upaniṣad opens by saying “In the beginning this was but the absolute Self alone. There was nothing else whatsoever that winked. It thought ‘let Me create the worlds’”. This talks about the Will of the Brahman to create and the process of creation.
236. Samānādhikavarjitā समानाधिकवर्जिता
Samāna – equal; adhika – surpassing; varjita – without exception.
This nāma says that She has neither equals nor superiors. She is the Ultimate. Lalitā Sahasranāma 198 is also Samānādhikavarjitā and its interpretation is given below:
She has no equals. Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI. 8) says, “He has no body and no organs. No one is His equal. No one is His superior either. He possesses many powers of knowledge and powers of action.” The Upaniṣad talks about the nature of the Brahman.
Arjuna addresses Kṛṣṇa like this in Bhagavad Gīta ( XI.43) “You are the Lord of incomparable might, in all the three worlds there is none else even equal to You; how then, any better?” She has all these qualities.
She is “akhilāṇḍakoṭi brahmāṇḍa nāyaki śrī rājarājeśvarī lalitā mahātripurasundari parābhaṭṭārikā”. This can be translated into, “O! Devi, You are the creator of infinite number of worlds, You are our Supreme Mother and Thy name is Śrī Rājarājeśvarī Lalitā Mahātripurasundari and You are the Noble Mother of the entire Universe and You alone is worthy of this honour and worship.”
237. Sarvottuṅgā सर्वोत्तुङ्गा
Sarva – all; tuṅga – lofty;
She is the loftiest amongst all. In other words, Her Grandeur is beyond description. Though various references are drawn to compare Her to various objects such as sun, moon, lotus flower, etc, in reality no such descriptions can ever give a complete idea about Her Glories, as Her Glories are beyond description. Such references are drawn only to make us understand how infinite number of suns could shine, as to our knowledge sun is the brightest object of all.
These nāma-s repeatedly say that She is Brahman and explain Her as the One that is beyond any explanation. Taittirīya Upaniṣad Chapter II) says why She is beyond explanation. It says, “nihityam guhāyām निहित्यम् गुहायाम्”. Brahman is inside a cave in our body, which means heart (not the biological heart but the heart chakra). He is the essence of everything and He is the deepest core everything. Without Him, we cannot exist. Hence, this nāma adores Her as the “loftiest person”.
238. Saṅgahīnā सङ्गहीना
Saṅga – affection, desire, etc; hīna – devoid of;
She is devoid of desires, attachments, etc. These are the qualities that originate from triguṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas). Guṇa-s alone determine the quality of a person. At the time of birth, triguṇa-s remain in equilibrium and depending upon one’s karmic manifestation, one of the three guṇa-s become predominant. This nāma says that She is devoid of guṇa-s, as guṇa-s alone cause desires, etc.
Lalitā Sahasranāma says that She is both an embodiment of guṇa-s (984 triguṇā) and She is devoid of guṇa-s (139 nirguṇā). This is the quality of Brahman. The best example is a lotus leaf. Though it is present in water, no trace of water is found in the leaf. Both nirguṇa and saguṇa Brahman are devoid of guṇa-s. Former is the source of the later and the later is the cause of creation.
239. Saguṇā सगुणा
Saguṇa means attributes and this nāma says that She is full of attributes. This nāma refers to Her as Brahman with attributes.
This nāma can be explained through Bhagavad Gīta (VII. 12-14). “Whatever the beings born with sattva or raja or tamo gunas, know, that these gunas originated from Me. Though they originated from Me, in reality I am not in them. The beings are deluded by the effects of these gunas. Hence, they fail to know Me, as immutable and distinct from them. This is because, the divine illusion comprising of these three gunas is difficult to transcend. However, those who perpetually take refuge in Me alone are able to transcend my illusion.”
As discussed earlier, Brahman has two aspects, one is without attributes and the other is with attributes. Let us understand this through Śiva and Śakti. Śiva is Brahman and He is known as nirguṇa Brahman. He does not involve Himself with administration of the universe. He always meditates and generates huge amount of energy and this energy is known as His Power, also known Śakti or saguṇa Brahman. Śiva and Śakti are not two different entities; similarly nirguṇa Brahman and saguṇa Brahman are not two separate entities. They represent Brahman. Brahman is always one. Obviously one’s power cannot be separated from his self and at the same time power of a person cannot exist independently. Thus the source of power and power are interdependent. In the same manner, Śiva and Śakti are interdependent and not independent. In order to differentiate them, Śiva is known as nirguṇa Brahman and Śakti is known as saguṇa Brahman. That is why, these verses adore Her, both as nirguṇa Brahman and saguṇa Brahman. They are not separate; they are One. When Śakti is worshiped, She alone is not worshiped. What we worship is Śiva’s Power and not His Power alone.
240. Sakaleṣṭadā सकलेष्टदा
It is sakala + iṣṭa + dā, which means that She gives whatever is desired.
This nāma can be explained through Lalitā Sahasranāma 698 Sarvārtha-dātrī. She is the bestower of all human desires. There is a specific way of leading human life through puruṣārtha-s which means the end of human life. The end becomes complete only if one lives as per puruṣārtha-s which comprises of dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kāma (desire) and mokṣa (the liberation). These are known as caturvidha puruṣārtha-s. Literally speaking puruṣārtha-s mean ‘what is sought by men’. Out of these four, dharma and mokṣa are the purpose of Vedas as they explain their true nature and guide one to properly understand these two. These two are therefore considered as supreme among the four puruṣārtha-s and considered as spiritual in nature. The other two puruṣārtha-s, artha and kāma do not necessarily mean lower values. But the path of pursuing these two makes all the difference. If they are pursued with passion and desire, they become dangerous and if they are pursued for the purpose of simpatico existence, they are considered as benevolent.
Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (III.i.10) says that what one wishes depends upon his state of mind. The one with a pure mind seeks liberation not only for himself but also for others. The Upaniṣad says that this person too is to be worshiped, because he is selfless and if this person is worshiped, the worshiper gets whatever he asks for. The verse says that there is no difference between a person who knows the Self and the Self itself. They are generally known Guru-s.