191. Labhyetarā लभ्येतरा

She is unsurpassable, yet attainable. Labhya means to be understood or known and tara means excelling. Brahman is always unsurpassable as there is nothing beyond Her. She is the ultimate and once She is realized, She takes the aspirant to merge with Śiva. By worshipping Her one gets the kind of knowledge that is required to attain Śiva. Lalitā Sahasranāma 727 is Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī, which means that She imparts the knowledge of Śiva, the Ultimate.  Śiva jñāna (knowledge) means the knowledge of 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. However, it must always be remembered that She is in no way different from Śiva and therefore, whatever is applicable to Him is also applicable to Her.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.23) uses the word labhyaḥ. The verse says that Brahman cannot be attained merely by teachings and discourses. Brahman can be attained only if one has the will to understand Brahman and to him He reveals Himself.

This nāma says that She is not the one, who can be attained merely by knowledge. Though knowledge is a prerequisite to realize Her, one should have the will to know Her in Her full Glory. Will to know Her makes a person to resort to various spiritual sādhana-s, such as meditation.

192. Labdhabhaktisulabhā लब्धभक्तिसुलभा

She can easily be attained by devotion.

Kṛṣṇa talks about this devotion in Bhagavad Gītā (XVIII. 54 & 55). “He, who beholds equanimity (the state of sthitaprajña), attains Me with supreme devotion and by this devotion, he realizes my reality and having realized My reality, he gets absorbed into Me.” Therefore, devotion does not mean worshiping Her externally, but by exploring Her within.

Vivekacūḍāmaṇi (verse 31) says that “amongst things conducive to liberation, devotion alone holds the supreme place.  The seeking after one’s real nature is designated as devotion. Others maintain that the inquiry into the truth of one’s own Self is devotion”.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 119 Bhakti-gamyā also conveys this meaning.

{Further reading on devotion: Brahman can be realised either through bhakti mārg (the path of devotion) or through jñāna mārg (the path of knowledge). In devotional path, the divine grace is an essential factor.  While pursuing the path of knowledge, self-effort is primary.  In bhakti one affirms this world, affirms himself and his life and work with a devoted remembrance of his iśta devata.  Among all the disciplines of worship, bhakti is considered as Supreme.  The desperate longing and intense love for Iṣṭa devata is known as bhakti. The intense search for our true nature is bhakti. The one noticeable, yet significant difference between bhakti and jñāna is the difference in the perception of the Supreme.   In bhakti one perceives Iṣṭa devata and in jñāna he looks for the formless Brahman.}

193. Lāṅgalāyudhā लाङ्गलायुधा

Lāṅgala means plough and āyudha means weapon. Possibly this nāma could refer to Balarāma (elder brother of Kṛṣṇa), whose weapon was plough. He is said to be the incarnation of of the great serpent Śeṣa or Ananta, on which Viṣṇu rests.

This nāma can be interpreted this way. By having plough as Her weapon (except in this nāma, nowhere else plough as Her weapon is mentioned).  She stirs the minds of Her devotees to contemplate Her within. Mind by default is addicted to sensory inputs. Sensory inputs cannot be stopped as long one exists and sensory organs do their intended jobs. Inputs from sensory organs are received at the mind which processes these inputs. When the input is pleasurable, the mind becomes addictive to those inputs and when the inputs cause discomfort, the mind tries to obviate. Comfort and discomfort cause duality. As long as duality prevails, realisation is not possible. In order to make the mind ready for realization, She ploughs the minds of Her devotees and make their mind to ward off dualities, so that She can thoroughly pervade the mind in order to offer them liberation. Since She is coming forward and offer liberation, She is described as the embodiment of compassion.

This has been discussed in nāma 9, Karuṇāmṛta-sāgarā.

194. Lagnacāmarahasta-śrī-śāradāparivīcitā लग्नचामरहस्त-श्री-शारदापरिवीचिता

Lagna – holding; cāmara – hand held fan made of feathers (plume); hasta – hand; śrī – Goddess Lakṣmī; śāradā – Goddess Sarasvati; parivīcitā – fanning Her by standing on either side.

In Her Rājarājesvarī form, both Lakṣmī and Sarasvati stand on Her either side and fan Her, which are made of plumes of peacock. This nāma subtly says that by worshipping Her, one gets both wealth and knowledge. Lakṣmī is Goddess of wealth and Sarasvati is Goddess of knowledge.

The same meaning is conveyed in nāma 63 Lakṣmī-vāṇī-niṣevitā and in Lalitā Sahasranāma 614 Sacāmara-ramā-vāṇī-savyadakṣiṇa-sevitā. Saundarya Laharī verse 99 also refers to this.

195. Lajjāpadasamārādhyā लज्जापदसमाराध्या

Lajjā – bashfulness; pada – path; samārādh – propitiate.

She is fond of those who pursue the path of worshipping Her secretively, devoid of pomp and vanity. The same meaning is already conveyed through nāma 79.

In order to attain Her Grace, one should contemplate Her within and this is called secretive worship. Her true devotee is compared to a tortoise, which shrinks all its body parts within its shell.  She should always be worshipped in solitude.  She does not look into material offerings.  She is concerned about what is being offered from within. 

196. Lampaṭā लम्पटा

Lampaṭa as such means incarnation. It can be said that She is an incarnation of Śiva as there is no difference between Her and Śiva. Lampaṭa also means greedy and this means She is greedy of Her consort Śiva or Her devotees. If this nāma is taken as a continuation of the previous nāma, then it means that She is fond of those who worship Her internally, as explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 870 antarmukha-samārādhyā.

Bīja laṁ (लं) represents pṛthvī (earth) and paṭa means veil. Based upon this interpretation, it can be said that earth is represented by Her. She remains concealed as the essence of creation covered by the objects of the material world. If one wants to realize Her, he has to transcend the material world represented by sensory organs. It is only the impressions of the material world, which prevents Her realization. Material world and its activities are known as māyā. This is called māyā because it not only conceals Her True form but also misinterprets Her as the material world. Effect of māyā is not only deception but also wrongful projection.

{Further reading: Kṛṣṇa explains the concept of looking within exhaustively in Bhagavad Gīta Chapter VI consisting of 47 verses and a gist of which is reproduced here as explained by Swami Chinmayananda. Karma yoga practiced without regard to the fruits of actions, form an external aid to better meditation. The process by which lower is brought under the direct management and discipline of the higher are all together called spiritual techniques. No Guru can take the responsibility; no scripture can promise this redemption; no altar can, with its divine blessing make the lower the higher.  The lower mist necessarily be trained slowly and steadily to accept and under the influence of the discipline of the higher. When a seeker has come in his life to the state explained as yogārūdāḥ, and when in that state of equipoise, the mind is held steadfast in the contemplation of the Supreme, the self-controlled one, in all serenity is capable of maintaining his consistency on meditation in all circumstances, favourable and adverse, at all levels of his personality.  In the right understanding of his own self and the resulting realisation of his own Self, he becomes Self everywhere.  To him, who has realised himself to be Self which is all-pervading, the entire universe becomes his own Self, and therefore, his relationship with every other part of the universe is equal and the same.  For this the seeker should try to withdraw himself from his mental and physical preoccupations.}

197. Lakuleśvarī लकुलेश्वरी

La – infinite; kula – community; īśvarī – chief.

She is the chief of a large number of groups or She is worshipped through lineage. She alone is worshipped through one’s lineage because She alone is capable of offering both material prosperity and liberation. This nāma can be considered as an extension of nāma 194.   

Śiva explains about liberation through kula dharma (righteousness followed through lineages) in Kulārṇava Tantra towards the end of chapter I. He says to His Consort Śakti, “Austerities, pilgrimages, japa, homa, pūja, Vedas, śāstra-s, āgama are done so long as Brahman is not realized. If one desires for liberation, he should seek Divine Truth in all conditions. It is kula dharma that alone liberates.” Kula dharma can be explained as the combination of bhoga (enjoyment without addiction) and yoga (union of individual soul with Supreme Self). Teachings of Kulārṇava Tantra can be practiced only by great yogi-s.

198. Labdhamānā लब्धमाना

She commands respect. She does not demand respect, but She gets respect as She is compassionate to everyone. Apart from this, She alone is capable of imparting knowledge about Śiva, which is a prerequisite to merger unto Him. She is also respected as universal mother and hence She is addressed as Śrī Mātā.

199. Labdharasā लब्धरसा

She is in the state of Bliss or She is the essence of Bliss. Both convey the same meaning. She alone can cause Bliss in trance or in the state of samādhi. Unless one enters the state of samādhi, realization is not possible. Bliss unfolds when soul unites with the Soul (jīvātman uniting with Paramātman – difference between the two is, former is encased by māyā and the latter is absolute Purity and independent). In Her case, when She remains with Śiva, She enters into the state of Bliss. She has different roles to play like creation, sustenance, destruction, concealment and re-creation. Mostly She remains as Lalitāmbikā or Rājarājesvarī and takes care of the universe. Only in Kāmeśvara and Kāmeśvarī forms they remain united.

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.vii) explains this Bliss. It says, “rasaḥ vai saḥ” which means Brahman is rasa, meaning Bliss. But how one experiences this Bliss? This Bliss can be experienced only by entering into that Bliss. Water flows in a river and merely by seeing this water one cannot understand the water thoroughly. Water can be understood unless one takes plunge into the water. Then only, water can be truly experienced. In the same way, Bliss can be experienced only if one enters into the state of Brahman, as Brahman is the source of Bliss. It is only our ignorance, which makes us not to experience this Bliss, which exists all the time.

200. Labdhasampatsamunnatiḥ लब्धसम्पत्समुन्नतिः

She has attained the highest of all treasures or She is the highest treasure of all (samunnati means highest position). For Her, the highest position is Śiva and as there is no difference between Her and Śiva, She needs to attain nothing else. She is Saccidānanda (sat-cit-ānanda). Saccidānanda means existence, consciousness and bliss. Brahman is also known as Saccidānanda. Brahman (without attributes or nirguṇa Brahman) is made up of three important aspects.  They are sat (perpetual existence), cit (the present nāma – pure form of consciousness) and ānanda (the bliss). These three attributes together is called saccidānanda (सच्चिदान्द). Saccidānanda means existence (sat), consciousness (cit) and bliss (ānanda). The pure consciousness here means the spiritual consciousness.  Only the pure and un-afflicted knowledge is capable of producing spiritual consciousness. 

Lalitā Sahasranāma 700 is Saccidānanda-rūpiṇī conveys the same meaning.