241. Kakāriṇī ककारिणी

She is “ka” (क). This is the second akṣara of the third kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra and is the thirteenthakṣara of the entire Pañcadaśī mantra. There are already forty nāma-s which commenced with “ka” (क) (nāma-s 1- 20 and 141 – 160), and by including nāma-s 241 – 260, there are sixty nāma-s, which begin with “ka”.

This nāma says that She Herself is “ka”. As already discussed in nāma-s 1 and 141, “ka” refers to Brahman. This nāma reaffirms that She is Brahman.

242. Kāvyalolā काव्यलोला

Kāvya – poetical compositions; lola – desirous.

She is fond of poetic compositions. Kāvyā-s mean the great epics.  Epics have eighteen types of qualities. The Rāmāyaṇa of the great sage Vālmīki has all the eighteen qualities and is said to be the first among the epics.  She is delighted when She listens to such great epics that fulfil all the eighteen qualities.  The eighteen qualities are serenity, regularity, absence of vanity, sincerity, simplicity, veracity, equanimity, fixity, non-irritability, adaptability, humility, tenacity, integrity, nobility, magnanimity, charity, generosity and purity.

It is said that by properly worshipping Her, one attains poetization capabilities.  The two known examples are in the form of poet Kālidāsa (author of Śakuntalā, Mālavikāgnimitra, Megha-dūta, and Raghu-vaṃśa and dumb turned poet Mūka kavi (mūk means dumb and kavi means poet).

Her liking for poetic compositions can be understood from this scene. This scene takes us back to the situation at the time of first appearance of Lalitā  Sahasranāma.  All gods and goddesses are seated in Lalitāmbikā-s royal court.  Sapta (seven) riṣi-s, other riṣi-s, eighteen siddha-s and other saints are also seated.  The seating arrangement was as per the protocol.  There is a huge throne made out of gold and the best of precious stones.  Suddenly, there was a divine fragrance that spread throughout the royal court and the whole area was filled with radiating red light. Lalitāmbikā entered the court along with Her assistants.  All those seated got up and paid their obeisance to Her. Her form is described in dhyāna verses.  She had earlier summoned Her eight Vāc Devi-s and spoke to them thus: “The eight of you got the power of your vāc (mastery of speech) through my blessings.  You are appointed to provide the power of vāc to my devotees.  You are aware of the secrets of my Śrī Cakra.  You perpetually chant my name with great devotion.  Therefore, I command you to script a verse about me consisting of 1000 nāma-s.  When my devotees recite this verse, I should derive immense satisfaction.  The verse should have my name as its cachet”.  She emphasized three points for composing the verse.  First, it should have 1000 nāma-s; second, the verse should have Her name embossed; third, She should be gratified when Her devotees recite the verse.  Bearing Her command in mind, Vāc Devi-s composed such a verse and were ready for the recitation.  When Lalitāmbikā nodded Her head, Vāc Devi-s commenced their recitation and Lalitā Sahasranāma was declared to the universe.  She expressed Her immense happiness by nodding Her head often and smiling frequently while attentively listening to their rendition.  She also encouraged the Vāc Devi-s by saying ‘good’ and ‘excellent’.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 613 is Kāvyālāpa-vinodinī.

243. Kāmeśvaramanoharā कामेश्वरमनोहरा

Manohara means staling one’s heart. This nāma says that She steals the heart of Kāmeśvara. In Their Kāmeśvara-Kāmeśvari form, they look alike in all respects. Both have four hands and both have the same weaponries and both wear moon in their crowns. In this form, She sits on Śiva’s left lap, signifying creation. When She sits by His side, it means sustenance and when She moves away from Him, it signifies annihilation of the universe. Thus, creation, sustenance and dissolution depend upon Her closeness to Śiva. Creation happens only because She could steal the heart of Śiva.

244. Kāmeśvara-prāna-nāḍī कामेश्वर-प्रान-नाडी

Lalitā Sahasranāma 373 is also Kāmeśvara-prāna-nāḍī and is explained thus:

She is the vital force of Kāmeśvara, the Supreme form of Śiva. This nāma is taken from Veda-s. Śrī Rudraṁ says (Yajur Veda IV.v.10) “Oh! Rudra! We invoke the auspicious form of yours, that is auspicious and ever healing along with the great auspicious form of Śaktī”.

Saundarya Laharī (verse 28) also speaks about the importance of Śaktī in sustaining Śiva. Śiva swallowed the dreadful poison that was formed while churning the ocean of milk. It was due to the auspiciousness of Her ear ornaments, Śiva was saved from the disastrous effects of that poison. The point driven home here is that the eternal Śiva cannot function without Śaktī and by the effect of Her māyā the universe exists today. That is why She is called the life energy of Śiva.

245. Kāmeśotsaṅgavāsinī कामेशोत्सङ्गवासिनी

She is sitting on the left thigh of Śiva. This nāma refers to Their Kāmeśvara-Kāmeśvari form*. Kāma means desire and Īśvara and Īśvarī refer to their Supremacy. When Śiva decided to create the universe, He makes Kāmeśvari to sit on His left lap. Kāmeśvara represents constant energy and Kāmeśvari represents kinetic energy. During this Divine union, kinetic energy forms a sheath around the constant energy (scientifically this cannot be explained as the static energy, which would be more appropriate to use here). But for constant energy, existence of kinetic energy is not possible. Thus constant energy forms the soul within and kinetic energy forms other bodies such as causal, subtle and gross. Thus, the constant energy is Śiva, who is omnipresent and whose origin is not known, like constant energy. Kinetic energy is full of action and is represented by Śakti.

The subtle message conveyed in this nāma is creation of the universe.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 52 Śiva-kāmeśvarāṅkasthā has a very close resemblance to this nāma and almost conveys the same meaning. Śiva-kāmeśvarāṅkasthā is explained thus:

She sits on the left thigh of Śiva.  This is the form of saguṇa Brahman.  Śiva is prakāśa form and self illuminating and Śaktī is His vimarśa form.  It is good to meditate upon this posture of Them.  Why She is sitting on his left thigh?  Heart is on the left side and She is said to be Śiva’s heart (could also mean love). 

Kāma means handsome, desire, god of love Manmatha. Kāma also means knowledge.  Śiva means auspicious. Īśvara means the supreme ruler.  Knowledge is said to be the form of Śiva.  Perception of heart and mind is the knowledge.  Here all the qualities of the saguṇa Brahman are covered.  This is saguṇa Brahman because it talks about forms and qualities.  Nirguṇa Brahman does not have form and attributes.  When māyā or illusion is still associated with Brahman it is called saguṇa Brahman.  This saguṇa Brahman is called Śaktī or prakāśa vimarśa mahā māyā svarūpinī.  Why kāmā is mentioned here?  This kāmā does not mean Manmatha, the god of love.  It means the supreme, not the desire with which this word is associated.  The desire of the Brahman to create the universe is executed through Śaktī, the auspicious form of the Supreme ruler Śiva.  This nāma actually talks about static and kinetic form of energies in unison.  This also could mean the creation of the universe.

246. kāmeśvaraliṅigitāṅgī कामेश्वरलिङिगिताङ्गी

She is in embrace with Śiva and because of this Divine embrace, universe is created. Indirectly embrace here refers to their mutual dependency and trust.

247. Kāmeśvarasukhapradā कामेश्वरसुखप्रदा

She gives comfort to Śiva. This nāma can be explained in two ways. First, She makes Him comfortable by taking over all His Powers (svātantrya śakti) and administer the universe. Alternatively, She gives all comforts to Śiva and ensures that He remains in the state eternal happiness. As She makes Him happy, She is said be the source of Bliss, or She Herself is in the form of Bliss. The former interpretation broadly applied to dakṣinācāra (upright worship) and the latter interpretation is applicable to vāmācāra (tantric worship).

This concept appears in Śrī Rudraṁ (X.2), which says,

या ते रुद्र शिवा तनुः शिवा विश्वाह भेषजी।

शिवा रुद्रस्य भेषजी तय नो मृड जीवसे॥

yā te rudra śivā tanuḥ śivā viśvāha bheṣajī |

śivā rudrasya bheṣajī taya no mṛḍa jīvase ||

Meaning: O! Rudra! The best panacea for transmigration is Your union with Your Power, the most auspicious Parāśakti, grants us Bliss. The verse says that neither Rudra nor His Consort in their individual capacities cause Bliss. He, in the company of His Consort alone causes Bliss. Perpetually remaining in the state of Bliss leads to realization of the Self within. Once the Self is realized, liberation is not far away. The state of liberation depends upon two counts – one’s karmic account and one’s sādhana (practice).

248. Kāmeśvarapraṇayinī कामेश्वरप्रणयिनी

Praṇayin generally refers to a beloved woman of a man, such as wife being beloved to her husband. This nāma says that not only She is attached to Śiva, but Śiva is equally attached to Her. Their relationship is based on give and take policy. He gives Her all His powers and She in turn keeps Him free and carries out all His actions. Mutually beneficial interdependence is the basis of Śiva – Śakti relationship.

249. Kāmeśvaravilāsinī कामेश्वरविलासिनी

She is the Consort of Kāmeśvara. Vilāsin means fond of. Previous nāma said that Śiva is fond of Her and this nāma says that She is fond of Śiva.

Vilāsin also means moving to and fro. Based on this meaning, this nāma says that She moves to and fro between Śiva and those who are ready for merger into Śiva. There are several stages before merging into Śiva. The stages are sādhana, contemplating a form, contemplating within, state ofsthitaprajña, state of jīvanmukta, liberated soul and finally merger with Śiva. Except the last stage, She takes care of other states of an aspirant. Even in the last stage, She only takes that yogī to Śiva, by imparting knowledge about Him. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 721 Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī and the interpretation of this nāma is given below:

She imparts the knowledge of Śiva, the Ultimate.  Śiva jñāna (knowledge) means the knowledge of the Brahman, which is also known as the Supreme knowledge.  To know Śiva, one should first know His Śaktī, who alone is capable of leading a person to the Brahman or Śiva.  Rāmāyaṇa says ‘wind can be realized through movements, fire can be realised through heat and Śiva can be realized only through Śaktī.’ It can also be said that Śiva is the source of knowledge for Her. 

It is said śaṁkaraṁ caitanyam which means that Śiva is both jñāna and kriyā.  He is the sovereign, pure free will in knowledge and action.  Based upon this principle, Śiva Sūtra-s opens by saying caitanyamātmā.  Caitanyam means consciousness of the highest purity and knowledge.  There is no difference between Brahman and the highest form of consciousness.  But how Śaktī alone is capable of unravelling Śiva?  This is answered by Śiva Sūtra (I.6) again which says that by meditating on Śaktī, the universe disappears as a separate entity thereby unveiling Self illuminating Śiva.  The process of such happening is described in Spanda Kārikā (I.8) (another treatise of Kashmiri Saivism) which says ‘the empirical individual cannot ward off the urge of desires.  But entering the energetic circle of the Self (Śiva), he becomes equal to that Self.’ The seeker of Śiva becomes Śiva himself.  This is known as Śiva jñāna and She imparts this kind of Supreme knowledge. 

It is also said that Śiva cannot be attained without first realising Śaktī. She alone can lead one to Śiva. Śiva is inaccessible directly. Unless She chooses to impart the required Supreme knowledge, none can realise Śiva. Hence, She is called Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī.

250. Kāmeśvaratapaḥ siddhiḥ कामेश्वरतपः सिद्धिः

She is the resultant factor of Śiva’s penance. This nāma can be explained like this. Even before creation, Śiva was there all alone and nobody knows His origin. He is both ādi and anādi (existence from the beginning and having no beginning). He began to meditate intensely and as a result He attained enormous power and this power became unique to Him. This Power of Śiva is known as His Absolute Power of Authority and His Power of Autonomy. This is known as His Svātantrya Śakti, which He transferred to Parāśakti. Thus, Parāśakti represents the total Power of Śiva. There are references that She too attained Śiva by resorting to severe penance.

Śivānandalaharī (verse 1) says, “nijatapaḥ phalābhyāṁ निजतपः फलाभ्यां” which means that both Śiva and Śakti are formed due to mutual penance.

{*Further reading on Kāmeśvara – Kāmeśvarī:  In the Supreme form, Śiva and Śaktī are called Mahā Kāmeśvara and Mahā Kāmeśvarī.  They are the Ultimate and the Absolute.  In the absolute form, She is called prakāśa vimarśa mahā māyā svarūpini. Both of them in this absolute form have four hands and hold the same weapons - pāśa, aṅkuśa, bow made of sugar cane and arrow made of flowers.  Both of them have moon in their crowns.  Mahā Kāmeśvara is pure, transparent and colourless form.  He is seated on a throne, with left leg folded and his right foot placed on the ground.  She, the red complexioned beauty incarnate, radiating with smile that is filled with joy and grace, ever ready to help Her devotees, walking towards Mahā Kāmeśvara with full of bashfulness.  His pure, transparent and colourless form gradually turns red with every step She puts forward towards Him.  Even swans, praised for their agile walk are ashamed of themselves on noticing the way She walks towards Him. Mahā Kāmeśvara beams with loving smile on seeing Her.  She sits on His left thigh with Her right leg folded and left foot placed on a golden vessel filled with rubies. The moment She placed Her left foot on this vessel, the red colour of the rubies reflects everywhere.  When She sits on His lap, His form also turns red.  Both of them are radiating and when gods and goddesses look at them, they mistake the bright red radiation emanating from them as sun. This divine couple always stays united and that is why in this Sahasranāma, the penultimate nāma is called śivaśaktī aikya rūpiṇī.  This nāma complies with the above description.  This form is called the Absolute form.  It is presumed that there is nothing beyond this Śivaśaktī aikya or the Absolute form.}