261. Lakāriṇī लकारिणी
This is the fourteenth akṣara of Pañcadaśī mantra and the third akṣara of the third kūṭa, known as śakti kūṭa. The other two kūṭa-s are vākbhava kūṭa and kāmarāja kūṭa, sldo known as madhya kūṭa. Like ka and hrīṁ, la is also present in all the three kūṭa-s.
This nāma says that She is in the form of “la” (ल). This third ल represents dissolution. First ल gave victory to the aspirant and second ल ensures sustenance of victory and the third ल referred in thisnāma annihilates all dualities and liberates the aspirant from the afflictions of māyā. In can also be explained that the first two ल-s represent the seed of spirituality and further development of spirituality and the third ल ensures that he understands the existence of Self, which he has not yet realized. At this stage, the aspirant knows about the Self, but he has not realized the Self within. This realization is possible only with practice known as sādhana.
What happens when the Self is realized? Śaṁkarācārya explains this in his very short composition known as Nirvāṇaṣaṭkam (also known as Ātmaṣaṭkam) consisting of only six beautiful verses, all ending with cidānandarūpaḥ śivo'ham śivo'ham चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम्, which means I am Śiva, I am Śiva in the form of Knowledge and Bliss. These six verses (ṣaṭkam means six) convey the following.
“I am not mind, intellect and ego; I am not sensory organs; I am not five elements; I am not a movable object; I am not stars; I am not five types of vital air (prāṇa); I am not internal organs; I am not sound; I am not organs of action. I have no friends and no enemies; I have no assets, no money, no valour not even desire for liberation. I have no good deeds and sins; I don’t have pleasure and pain; I do not recite holy chants, I do not bathe in holy waters, I do not need holy books nor do I perform holy rituals. I am not food, nor the one who consumes it. I do not have death, nor do I have doubts, I have no religion, caste and creed; I have no parents, relatives, friends, teachers and students. Because of my knowledge, I do not have doubts; I am not in touch with my organs. But I am a liberated person because I am Śiva, I am Śiva in the form of Knowledge and Bliss.”
This is the kind of knowledge we are trying to understand through Lalitā Triśatī. Concentrating on Pañcadaśī mantra gives such a Blissful state, but the only condition is that one should get detached from other forms of worship. It should always be remembered that liberation is possible only through human mind.
262. Labdharūpā लब्धरूपा
Labdha means obtained and rūpā means form. This nāma says that She was created by Śiva. He created Her and transferred all His Powers to Her.
During the process of liberation, one has to attain Her Grace and none can go to Śiva directly. She can never be bypassed under any circumstances by anybody. Ultimate knowledge is Śiva and ultimate Bliss is Parāśakti. When Knowledge and Bliss join together, it is liberation. This is whatŚaṁkarācārya has mentioned in Nirvāṇaṣaṭkam mentioned above. The liberated yogi shouts with tears rolling down his cheeks “cidānandarūpaḥ śivoham śivoham”. (I am Śiva, I am Śiva and I am full of Knowledge and Bliss).
Since She is the bestower of liberation, it is important that one should attain Her Grace, for which perpetually contemplating Her is essential. This is the subtle conveyance in this nāma
263. Labdhadhīḥ लब्धधीः
Dhī means spiritual thoughts, meditation, Supreme Knowledge (mentioned in Nirvāṇaṣaṭkam), etc.
Having known that She alone can take one to Śiva for ultimate merger unto Him, now the question is how She can be attained, as without Her Grace, going anywhere near Śiva is impossible. This nāma clarifies this doubt. If an aspirant properly meditates on Her, using one of Her mantras, She gives him the requisite spiritual knowledge. She plants the seed of liberation and it is up to the aspirant to make the seed sprout and grow. The effort of the aspirant is known as sādhana or practice and is to be done through his mind.
This concept is explained by Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (VI.20-23). “The mind that is purified by practicing yoga becomes devoid of thought processes and rejoices in the bliss of the Lord. This bliss is realized through his intellect. He is not affected by sensory perceptions, as a result of which he continues to remain the state of bliss. He decides that there is nothing superior to remaining in God consciousness. He is not even affected by the worst of his miseries. This state that is free from the pains of transmigrations is known as yoga and should be practiced with resolute mind.”
There is difference between liberation and merger. Liberation means that the entire karmic account has already been exhausted and on his death, he reaches higher planes. He is not generally reborn, except at the will of God when He finds that his presence in the universe is necessary to reform the world. He is born as a sage or saint and none of the actions done by him during this birth cause karma, as he represents God. This man will be recalled by Him, once the assigned task is completed. Merger is the ultimate. This soul is not reborn and on death, merges into the Supreme Light of God. Its entire sub-conscious mind is burnt in the Light of Śiva. Only Śakti decides those, who fall under this category.
264. Labdhavāñchitā लब्धवाञ्छिता
Vāñchita means wished or desired and labdha means obtained. This nāma says that She has got everything that She wished for. She is beyond any material desires as She is the one who fulfils everyone’s desires.
But Her only desire is to shower Her Grace on the right persons, who have attained perfection insādhana. The condition of this person is described in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iii.21). “His form is beyond desires, free from evils and fearlessness. As a man, fully embraced by his beloved wife, does not know anything at all, either external or internal so does this self (the aspirant), fully embraced by the Supreme Self, does not know anything at all, either external or internal. That is his form, in which all objects of desire have been attained is the Self, and is free from desire and devoid of grief.”
Kānci Paramācārya said, “It is difficult to train the mind to the practice of meditating on a form or repeat a mantra. But, the first step has to be taken. It is only when it is pleasing to our mind that we will take the first step. In the spiritual path there is a first step which is pleasing. That is Ambikai’s feet. Without any difficulty, anyone can start meditating on Devi’s lotus feet. If we think of the beauty and coolness of that Lotus Feet, the mind will get used to remain steady in that. If we worship like this always, by Her grace, there will be end to birth. Or, one can first read the stuti-s (stotra-s) which speak of Her greatness. The first step is reading; then japa; then meditation. When meditating like that we should pray ‘Parāśaktī! Bless me, so that when life leaves this body, I should be meditating on you and join you on again.’ If, everyday, we pray like this at Her lotus feet, even at the moment when life goes out of the body, meditation on Her will be there by Her grace. After this body goes, we can merge with Her totally, be freed from the cycles of birth and death and can become bliss ourselves.” (Voice of God – Volume I)
265. Labdhapāpamanodūrā लब्धपापमनोदूरा
She is far away from perpetual sinners. In other words, She can never be attained by those who indulge in repeated inhuman activities. Knowingly repeating a wrongful activity is termed as sin. Pāpa here refers to repeated sinners like murderers, rapists, neglecting aged parents, etc. Every sin has got a remedy but the above three sins do not have any remedies and one has to surely face the consequences of these misdeeds in this life itself. Sins arising out of these three inhuman actions fructify in this birth itself. This nāma talks about only these types of sinners. In order to understand this concept well, study of two nāma-s in Lalitā Sahasranāma is needed and they are given here.
Pāpanāśinī पापनाशिनी (167): She destroys the sins of Her devotees. Devotee is the one, who always thinks about Her not only at the time of reciting mantra-s, not only at the time of performing rituals but at all the times. For such a devotee mantra-s and rituals become meaningless. It is also presumed that Her devotees will not perform those actions that are termed as sins. If knowingly someone commits a sin, She will not come to his rescue. But why does She want to destroy the sins of Her devotees? Kṛṣṇa answers this question in Bhagavad Gīta (IV.14) “One who understands this truth (refer the previous nāma) about me, does not become entangled in the results of reactions of work (results of reactions mean karma-s. The concept of karma is based on Newton’s third law – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This equal and opposite reaction is karma.).She wants Her devotees to pursue the path of liberation for which sins are impediments. How does She consume their sins? Chāndogya Upaniṣad (V.xxiv.3) says, pāpmānaḥ pradūyante, which means all sins are burnt up. The Upaniṣad further says ‘such sins are burnt like dry grass thrown into a fire’. The point driven home here is that when She is worshipped with all sincerity, the devotee gets rid of all his sins except prārabdha karma-s (the sum total of all karma-s accumulated over several past births) that have to be experienced.
Pāparaṇya-davānalā पापरण्य-दवानला (743): Pāpa means sins. She is the forest fire who blows away sins that cause miseries. Rudra Yāmala says “Indra! This supreme secret which destroys all sins immediately is to repeat Pañcadaśī mantra 1008 times by standing in water after taking bath with total devotion and faith.”
Lalitā triśatī nāma-s 31 and 112 convey the same meaning. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta (XVIII.66) “Resigning all your duties to Me, the all powerful and all supporting Lord, take refuge in Me alone, I shall absolve you of all sins, worry not.”
266. Labdhāhaṁkāradurgamā लब्धाहंकारदुर्गमा
She is not easily attainable by those who have ego. Ego leads to self-pride and arrogance. Ego is taken up for discussion here to the extent of spirituality. There are two types of ego; one is essential ego, with which a person is identified. Another type of ego is non-essential or inflated ego. This type of ego is generally found in certain types of gurus and practitioners who resort to extravaganza while performing rituals, etc. These types of people are those who have not entered the path leading to liberation. They confine themselves to elaborate rituals, losing the focus on the Self. They continue to persist in duality and always consider Her on a different pedestal. They always think that they are all knowing and pretend to everyone that She speaks to them every day. Such men not only are the great sinners, but bound to get back in this life itself, as discussed in the previous nāma.
There are three nāma-s in Lalitā Sahasranāma that talk about pride. Nirmadā निर्मदा (158) says that She is without pride and the next nāma says Madanāśinī मदनाशिनी which says that She destroys pride of Her devotees. Nāma 302 Hrīmatī ह्रीमती is important among these three. This nāma says that Her modesty prevents Her in participating in the rituals performed with pomp and vanity. She is ashamed of participating in such rituals. The worship of Śaktī should always be secretive in nature. She has a liking for such secretive worships and these worships are performed only internally. By worshipping Her internally, one realizes Her subtle forms viz. kāmakalā and kuṇḍalinī forms. Realization through internal worship is much faster than by performing external rituals.
Kṛṣṇa explains the qualities of a demonic person thus (Bhagavad Gīta XVI.4): “Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, sternness and ignorance are the marks of him who is born with demonic nature.” Kṛṣṇa says in the next verse “The divine qualities bestow liberation and the demonic qualities lead to bondage.”
267. Labdhaśaktiḥ लब्धशक्तिः
She is an embodiment all powers, which includes the power of māyā. She represents the independent power of autonomy of Śiva and obviously, She is vested with all powers. There is none in this universe, who can match Her Powers.
Alternatively, this nāma can be explained through Lalitā Sahasranāma 199 Sarvaśakti-mayī, which says that She is the power of all śaktī-s. There are two different meanings for the word śaktī. Śaktī means power. As far as She is concerned, Her power is the divine power. She uses this divine power for Her acts of creation, sustenance and dissolution. Since Her saguṇa (form) is being discussed, it can be said that She has ministers such as Vārāhī, Śyamalā, or even Her ten forms which is popularly known as dasa mahā vidyā, who are Her śaktī-s. In this context śaktī-s mean these goddesses who function under Her control. In literal sense, She is in the form of all such goddesses, in view of the omnipresent nature of the Brahman. Since She is the embodiment of all śaktī-s, She is known as Śaktī. This is the reason for addressing Her as Sarvaśakti-mayī.
268. Labdhadehā लब्धदेहा
She takes whatever forms She likes. In fact, all sentient and insentient are Her forms. She manifests in all forms right from a tiny insect to human beings.
This nāma can be further explored. Śiva forms the soul of all beings. Without Him as the soul, no one can attain a form. Śiva and Śakti never get separated. When He becomes a soul, She embraces Him in the form of causal, subtle and physical bodies. This is also known as Divine Embrace. When Śiva is Puruṣa, She is Prakṛti, in which Puruṣa grows. Ātman does not change, whereas the shape of bodies, which encompasses Ātman vary according to one’s karmic account.
269. Labdhaiśvaryasamunnatiḥ लब्धैश्वर्यसमुन्नतिः
Samunnati means huge and iśvarya means wealth. She has huge wealth. All that exists in the universe belong to Her. This nāma can also be interpreted to mean that Her wealth is Śiva. There can be no greater wealth than Śiva in the universe. She is Śiva’s wealth and Śiva is Her wealth. This the highest point of their interdependency.
270. Labdhavṛddhiḥ लब्धवृद्धिः
She is the Absolute and there can be no waning and waxing in Her status. She is Supreme. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.23) says, “Brahman neither increases nor decreases”. This means that Brahman is not affected by the deeds done by the mind and body. Both for a saint and sinner, the Self is always the same.
The same Upaniṣad further elucidates the Brahman (V.i). “That (the Brahman) is infinite and this (universe) is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. Then, taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), it remains as the infinite (the Brahman) alone.” The original verse goes like this:
पूर्णमदः पूण्नमिदम् पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते।पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥
Pūrṇamadaḥ pūṇnamidam pūrṇātpūrṇamudacyate|
Pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate||
This nāma is in confirmation of Her Brahmanic status.