161. Hakārārthā हकारार्था

Nāma 101 is Hakārarūpā which is explained as, “She is in the form of “ha” (ह), the sixth akṣara of Pañcadaśī mantra”. But this nāma says that She is the essence or meaning of “ha” (ह), which forms the ninth alphabet of Pañcadaśī mantra. This is the second “ha” of this kūṭa (kāmarāja kūṭa) and is directly connected to “sa”, the first alphabet of the third kūṭa (śakti kūṭa). This “ha” in conjunction with “sa” subtly conveys the union of Śiva and Śakti and only due to this union, the universe is created. This is the secretive artha (meaning) of “ha” in this nāma, apart from what is explained in nāma 101.

162. Haṁsagatiḥ हंसगतिः

Haṁsa means swan and gati means walking. This nāma says that She walks like a swan. Lalitā Sahasranāma 456 says She is in the form of “haṁsa” mantra, which is also known as paraprāsāda mantra.

Her walking gait is well known. Lalitā Sahasranāma 47 is Marālī-manda-gamanā and is explained thus: Her walking gait is like a female swan.  When She comes out of the kunda (Lalitā Sahasranāma nāma 4) and walking towards gods and goddesses, Her gait is described like this.  The fact is that Her gait cannot be compared to that of swans, as Her gait is incomparable.  In order to give an idea about Her gait, such visual comparisons are made.  Saundarya Laharī (verse 91) says, “Oh! Goddess of graceful gait! Your household swans, as if intent on practising to balance their steps with tripping gait, do not abandon your feet.” 

It can also be explained that She is the ultimate Abode of paramahaṁsa-s (those who have reached the final destination of spiritual path awaiting final liberation). Paramahaṁsa also refers to one’s Sadguru. In the minds of an aspirant, there should be no difference between Sadguru, mantra and Devata (deity).  When this state of mind persists and becomes more and more intent over a period of time, the aspirant first becomes a Yogī and later a Paramahaṁsa. In the word paramahaṁsa, Supreme form of Śiva (Ādiguru) and the highest spiritual knowledge are conveyed. Only in this state, one can authoritatively affirm “I am That” or “ahaṁ brahmāsmi”.

163. Hāṭakābharaṇojjvalā हाटकाभरणोज्ज्वला

Hāṭaka – gold; bharaṇa – wearing; jvala - shine.

She shines like gold or She shines due to the gold ornaments She is wearing. The right way to interpret this nāma is that precious gold ornaments shine because they are blessed to adore Her body. The gold that is described is not the metallic gold. Chāndogya Upaniṣad (I.vi.6) says “Inside the orbit of the sun, there is a bright figure with shining gold beard, shining gold hair and shining gold all over the body, including his nails.” Brahman alone shines eternally and from this Light, luminaries derive their light.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) explains this further. “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire.  When Brahman shines, everything follows.  By Its light, all these are lighted.*”

Lalitā Sahasranāma dhyāna verse says hemābhāṃ pītavastrāṃ, which means that She is gold complexioned and wears lustrous gold clothes.

This verse subtly coveys that She is the Brahman and She is the one who is to be attained for realization and ultimate liberation. In a perfect meditative stage, one can realize this Light* in ājñācakra and above. If this Light is realized, the practitioner’s body gets a natural sheen. Brahman, who is Prakāśa (Self-illuminating) in nature shines forth from his or her body.

164. Hārahārikucābhogā हारहारिकुचाभोगा

Hāra – necklace made of pearls; hāri – captivating; kuca – bosoms; bhoga – curve or enjoyment.

On the grosser side, this nāma that She has captivating and curved bosoms and this can be understood by the pearl necklace worn by Her. Lalitā Sahasranāma 36 is Stanabhāra-dalanmadhya-paṭṭabandha-valitrayā which is explained thus: “The golden belt that She wears supports Her waist as it bends under the heaviness of Her bosoms, resulting in three folds in Her stomach area. 

Saundarya Laharī (verse 80) says “Your bosoms rubbing at the upper arms, abounding the bodice and the God of love, in order to protect Your hip from breaking has bound Your hip with three fold strands.”   

The possible interpretation could be that Her compassion to the universe is vast which is referred to as heaviness here.  The three lines in Her hip indicate Her three activities – creation, sustenance and dissolution.  Her time for compassion is more than Her other activities.  After all She is the Supreme Mother.”

This nāma can be interpreted in another way. Śiva is always Pure Consciousness. If He continues to remain pure all the time, creation cannot happen. It is Parāśakti, who induces Him into Cosmic Union, which results in Śiva getting deluded by Her māyā, loses His impeccable purity and becomes infinite individual souls. This is how Paramātaman becomes jīvātman. It should always be remembered that there is no difference between individual soul and the Self. When jīvātman wants to realize Paramātaman, reverse process has to take place. It is Parāśakti, who makes Paramātaman to multiply into infinite jīvātman-s and in the reverse process (Self-realization), it is the mind that makes jīvātman to become one with Paramātaman (jīvātman understanding its true reality).  The later can happen only through persistent practice. Bosoms that are referred here subtly convey Her Power of māyā. This powerful māyā needs to be transcended by the mind to realize the original Self.

Her kāmakalā form, as described in Lalitā Sahasranāma 322 is explained through this nāma.

165. Hākinī हाकिनी

Hākinī refers to a female demon. It can be said that by attaining the form of a demon, She annihilates all the sinners. This perfectly fits the rule that diamond can be cut only by a diamond. According to Kuṇḍalinī yoga, it is the name of a yogini who presides over ājñācakra, which symbolises purity. Lalitā Sahasranāma-s 521 to 526 describe this yoigni.

This nāma conveys liberation. These are the words of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gīta (VIII.9, 10): “One should know the Brahman as the knower of all in inconceivable form, shining like the sun, beyond all materialistic attributes.  One, who at the time of death by his yogic powers fixes his consciousness between his two eye brows (ājñācakra), with mind fixed on the Brahman, attains Him.” 

166. Halyavarjitā हल्यवर्जिता

Halya means blemishes and varjita means without. This nāma says that She is without any blemishes. This is an exclusive quality of Brahman. When She is without any blemishes, naturally She becomes full or pūrṇa as explained Lalitā Sahasranāma 292 Pūrṇā. This is interpreted as follows:

She is the perfect (without blemishes) totality of everything. Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (V.i.1) says,

पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्ण्मुदच्यते। पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥

pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidaṃ pūrṇātpūrṇmudacyate|

pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate ॥

“That (the Brahman) is infinite and this (universe) is infinite.  One infinite, proceeds to the other infinite.  Then taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), it remains as the infinite (the Brahman) alone”.  There is no better verse than this to explain the all-pervading Brahman.  She is “That” (the Brahman, as Brahman alone is perfect and complete).

167. Haritpatisamārādhyā हरित्पतिसमाराध्या

Haritpati means cardinal deities like Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Soma (or Kubera) and Īśāna. These eight gods are known as aṣṭadikbālaka-s (eight cardinal deities). These deities not only protect the universe from their respective cardinals, but also ensure that the earth’s gravitational force is maintained. These deities have different types of energy levels. For example, Indra’s (East) energy level is the highest and Nirṛti (South West) is the lowest. Nirṛti means destruction. This nāma says that She is worshiped by these eight cardinal deities.

Vāstu śāstra is entirely based upon the energies of these deities. The primordial energy or Ādiśakti or Prakṛti is guarded by 45 deities. Out of the eight primary cardinal directions, North is supposed to be the best. One has to generally choose the same place for meditation. In such a place, North should be kept clean without any obstructions, preferably with a window or opening. Southern side should not have any openings, so that the energy received from North is retained. While meditating, one should meditate facing Eastern side. Eastern side belongs to Indra (some say sun), who is the chief of all gods. Eastern side too should have a window as this side provides solar energy to the meditator. In fact, the opening on the Eastern side should be quite large when compared to North. In order to retain the solar energy within the place of meditation, there should be no openings in Western side. Apart from facing Eastern side, one can also face northeast, which is ruled by one of the direct forms of Śiva. Magnetic energy is provided by northeast direction. This direction should also be kept clean without any obstructions. Similarly, southwest should also be kept clean and without any obstructions. Generally, there should not be any substantial obstructions in meditation room and more particularly in the above referred cardinals. It is always advisable that air conditioners are not used in meditation room. There should be ample amount of fresh air in the room.

168. Haṭhātkārahatāsurā हठात्कारहतासुरा

Haṭhātkāra– forcefully; hata – quickly; āsura – demons.

She destroys demons quickly. For example, She annihilated many demons like Mahiṣāsura, Caṇḍa, Muṇḍa, etc as described in Devī Māhātmiyaṁ. She annihilates such evil doers in order to maintain perfect equilibrium between good and bad. Offenders become highly potent in a short span of time, whereas those who uphold dharma gradually gains potency. Evildoers become strong quickly because their fall will also be faster. On the other hand, pious men grow gradually, but steadily and hence they do not fall. When the growth is abnormal, fall is certain. Demons signify this concept.

On the subtler side, demons can be interpreted to mean desire, attachment, pride, prejudice, lust, ego, etc. These qualities are inherent in all humans. These qualities beyond a point cause mental afflictions and change the character of a person from inherent goodness to badness. Bad qualities are not inherent in any individual, but acquired due to various reasons and environment with which he or she is associated. The one who is able to win over these afflictions by constantly fixing his thoughts of Her is known as sthitaprajña. When one mentally surrenders to Her, She ensures that he is not affected by desire, attachment, etc. She does not hesitate to annihilate those qualities in him, so that he can confidently move forward in his spiritual journey.

169. Harṣapradā हर्षप्रदा

Harṣa means happiness or pleasure and pradā means bestow. She is the giver of happiness. This nāma is to be read along with previous nāma. Previous nāma said that She destroys inherent desire, attachment, etc, provided one mentally surrenders to Her. Mental surrender means annihilating non-essential material thoughts and making Her to pervade the mind through constant practice. This stage can arise only if one moves away gradually from ritualistic worship including japa-s and meditation. This is the stage where meditation happens perpetually. When She pervades the mind, where is the necessity for japa-s and meditation?

When non-essential thought processes are annihilated, dualities get destroyed. The initial sings of destruction of dualities is worshipping one form of God, with which the aspirant is most comfortable with. This is the initial stage of realizing the Self. This stage gives immense pleasure and happiness to the aspirant. In his spiritual world, now there remains only His own Deity, his own Guru and his own self. Persisting with this stage leads to further advancement towards realizing the Self.

Śiva, in Adhyātma Rāmāyaṇa (I. 48 to 50) explains to Parāśakti about realizing the Self. “Brahman is One and it is not right to say that He got Himself divided into infinite number of individual souls. When a devotee affirms through his mind that ‘I am That’, this That and Brahman are not different. When a person realizes that both Paramātama and jīvātma are the same with the help of understanding mahāvākya-s (such as ahaṁ brahmāsmi, tat tvaṁ asi), avidyā and karmic imprints get destroyed.  The one who realizes this is worthy of becoming one with me. But those who are ignorant about this reality, not knowing me this way and get deluded with percepts of śāstra-s in mind do not get liberated even after hundred births.”

170. Havirbhoktrī हविर्भोक्त्री

Havis means oblations offered in fire during rituals (homa) and bhoktṛ means the one who enjoys the oblations offered. Agni is the carrier of all oblations to the respective gods. There are two types of oblations; one ending with svāhā and the other ending with svadhā. In fire rituals done for propitiating gods, svāhā is used and while propitiating ancestors (pitṛ-s), svadhā is used. Both are said to be Agni’s wives. Agni is only a miniscule of Her Infinity. She is Brahman and Agni is one of the gods. Agni merely carries these oblations to Her. When She accepts the oblations, all gods and all pitṛ-s are satisfied, as She is omnipresent.

There are five references in Lalitā Sahasranāma about yajñā-s and they are 535, 536, 769, 881 and 882. This nāma can be further explained with Lalitā Sahasranāma 881 Yajña-priyā, Which is explained as follows:

She is fond of sacrifices.  In yājña, oblations are offered to different gods and goddesses to appease them.  The navāvaraṇa pūja itself is considered as a sacrificial ritual.  yājña also means Viṣṇu.  It is said that yājñovai Viṣṇu which means yājña is Viṣṇu. In this context it can be explained that She is fond of Viṣṇu Her brother. 

Kṛṣṇa says (Bhagavad Gīta IV.24 and 25) “The process of offering and oblation itself, both are Brahman. The fire and the one who makes oblation into it are other forms of Spirit.  By realising this, being absorbed in Brahman during all activities, verily such a one goes to Spirit alone. Yogis duly offer sacrifice only in the shape of worship to gods.  Others pour into the fire of Brahman the very sacrifice in the shape of the self (individual endowed with ego) through the sacrifice known as the perception of identity.”

Yajur Veda (III.v.11) and Rig Veda (I.164.50) say yajñena yajñamayajanta devāḥ which means ‘by the sacrifice the gods worshipfully performed the sacrifice.” (This forms the beginning of the last mantra of puruṣa sūkta.)

{Further reading on yājña: (in the words of Dayananda Sarasvati as appearing in Rig Veda Samhita) Yājña is not merely a sacrificial ritual.  It embraces all the achievements on a social plane to amend the conditions of our worldly living against poverty, miseries, sickness and disease and in the subsequent stage to assure a better future even beyond death.  It is not the ritual that would lead to that goal, it is the hard, honest and sincere devotion in all department of knowledge – science, technology, philosophy and spirituality, that would assure the fruits of yājña.}