Parāparā परापरा (790)

There are three forms of the Brahman, para, apara and parā-para. This nāma discusses about the third form. All the three forms of the Brahman has already been discussed in nāma 366. Parā.

A brief portion of discussion on nāma 366 is reproduced here. “Parā has three stages. Its original para form is considered as supreme and is full of energy.  In order to manifest, it loses its supremacy and energy level gradually and becomes parā-para the mediocre level of supremacy. It further loses its strength at the exact time of manifestation and becomes apara where it loses its supremacy and become manifested.”

When Brahman is omnipresent, He has to have both superior and inferior qualities. Śrī Rudraṁ beautifully explains this concept. Brahman is not only a master, but also a servant.  He is not only the giver, but also the taker. He is not only the creator but also the destroyer. All the qualities that exist in this universe are placed between the two aspects of the Brahman para and apara. This is the unique quality of the Brahman. Unless this quality of the Brahman is fully understood, Brahman can never be realised. To put it more simply, both a deadly snake and a sage of the highest order are Brahman. We are deluded by the respective forms and fail to realise the Brahman ‘within’ (universality of the soul) due to the influence of māyāRamaṇa Mahariṣi says “the ignorant perceive only name and form” (Ramaṇa Gīta. Verse 33).  Kṛṣṇa says In Bhagavad Gīta (IX.29) “I am equally present in all beings; there is none hateful or dear to me.”

Praśna Upaniṣad (V.2) says paraṃ cā paraṃ ca brahma which means Brahman without attributes (para) and Brahman with attributes (apara). Brahman remains the same and for the purpose of our convenience and easier understanding, we have categorised Him as saguṇa Brahman and nirguṇa Brahman. This can be explained this way to avoid confusion. Śiva is nirguṇa Brahman, Śaktī  is saguṇa Brahman, and Śiva-Śaktī is Para-Brahman. This is further explained in nāma 792.     

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.i.4) says “there are two kinds of knowledge, Para, the Superior cosmic knowledge, and apara inferior knowledge relating to the phenomenal world.” The next verse explains still further. It says “Apara knowledge comprises of the four Vedas, rituals, grammar, phonetics, etymology, etc and para is that by which one knows the Brahman which always remains the same and never decays.” It is made very clear that realising the Brahman is important than knowing Vedas and other rituals. Once Brahman is realised, nothing else required to be known.

Śaktī is known as Parā-Śaktī based upon these factors. Parāpara is the intermediate stage between the highest and lowest, a sort of mediocre stage. This is based on the fact that the Brahman is omnipresent. This nāma refers to Her mediocre stage.

{Further reading: Nāma-s commencing from 156 explain nirguṇa Brahman and saguṇa Brahman. For example nāma 162 is nir-mohā which means ‘She is without confusion and the next nāma 163 moha-nāśinī which means She destroys confusion in the minds of Her devotees. Nāma 163 refers to nirguṇa Brahman or para and the next nāma refers to saguṇa Brahman or parāpara and apara.} 

Satyajñānānanda rūpā सत्यज्ञानानन्द रूपा (791)

Satya is truth, jñāna is knowledge and ānanda is bliss. She is the combination of truth, knowledge and bliss. 

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.1) says, satyaṃ jñānaṃ ananthaṃ brahma. This refers to the Brahman. Truth, knowledge and infinity is the Brahman. Attributes of the Brahman is being described by the Upaniṣad. There is a difference between the saying of this Upaniṣad and this nāma. Upaniṣad says ananthaṃ (everything or infinity) and the nāma says ānanda (bliss). The compassionate form of the Divine Mother makes this difference. Bliss is one of the important qualities of Lalitāmbikā.  When we reach the stage of ānanda (bliss), we tend to forget ananthaṃ (all other extraneous matters).

Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (III.ix.28.2) says that knowledge, bliss and Brahman are the same. Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VII. xxiii) says “that which is infinite that is happiness.”

This nāma says the nature of the nirguṇa Brahman. While the previous nāma discussed about the saguṇa Brahman, this nāma confirms Her as nirguṇa Brahman once again.

Sāmarasya- parāyaṇā सामरस्य-परायणा (792)

Parāyaṇa means devoted to or engaged with chief authority. She is devoted to the principle of equality. With whom She is equal? Of course, with Śiva. Without each other, they cannot function. They have attained each other after performing rigorous penance. 

Śiva is Self-illuminating Brahman and Śaktī is His svabhāvaSvabhāva means nature, innate or inherent disposition. The nature of Śiva is reflected through ŚaktīŚiva can realise His Self only in Śaktī, who acts a mirror to Him.  Śaktī is the power of doership of Śiva. It is said that the ultimate reality were to be merely Śiva, He would become inert. Brahman cannot become inert. Though Śiva continues to be inert, Śaktī, the power holder of Śiva acts as the energetic force in creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. Therefore Śiva without Śaktī or Śaktī without Śiva becomes torpid.  They are known as the parent of the universe.

This nāma says that She is equal to Śiva. If Cit is Śiva, ānanda (bliss) is Śaktī. Cit- ānandā is Śivaśaktī.