221. Sakārākhyā सकाराख्या

She is in the form “sa” (स), the first bīja of the third kūṭa known as śakti kūṭa and the twelfth bīja of the entire Pañcadaśī mantra. “sa” is used here for the second time and the first “sa” was used in the second kūṭa (nāma-s 121 – 140), known as kāmarāja kūṭa. Sakāra refers to bīja “sa” and ākhyā means to declare or announce. The benefit of bīja “sa” is declared thus.

The third kūṭa has the effulgence of ten million moons and touches the middle of the forehead. Varivasyā-rahasya (verse 21) describes this point as lalāṭamadhya, meaning middle of the forehead. This implies that this point is not ājñā cakra, but above ājñā cakra. This is because the kūṭa shines from anāhata cakra (heart chakra) to ājñā cakra, including ājñā cakra. Thus śakti kūṭa, the third and final kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra is considered as the most powerful of among the three kūṭa-s.

Bīja “sa” is the base alphabet of parābīja “sauḥ” (सौः). “sa” represents creation and action and thisbīja is always worshipped by Kubera, god of wealth.

222. Samarasā समरसा

Samarasa means equal feelings. In other words, She is “rasa” which means essence and the quality of the any external objects does not modify Her quality. Neither the sea water which is salty nor sugar which is sweet affects Her, though She is present in both. The usage of rasa is significant here. It means that She is present as the essence in all that exists. She is like a tiny seed of a huge banyan tree. But for the tiny seed, the existence of a huge tree would not have been possible. In the same way, nothing exists without Her being present as the essence, be it sea water or sugar crystals. If Her presence is properly realized by exploring within, it leads to Bliss. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.7) says that Brahman is “rasaḥ vai saḥ” where Upaniṣad interprets rasa as Bliss.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (II.iv.12) says, “When salt is dissolved in water, it is not possible to take the salt from the water that easily.” Upaniṣad talks about identifying oneself with Her and if this is done, it is difficult to identify oneself apart from Her. Here, knower and the known becomes one to exist only as the known. Knower is the salt and known is the water in this example and knower is the aspirant and known is Parāśakti in spiritual pursuit.  

This nāma also highlights the importance of two aspects of Self-realization. One, knowing that self and the Self are the same. It is not enough to affirm “aham brahmāsmi”. This is only one part of Self realization. Brahman is not limited to one’s own self. Brahman is omnipresent. All that exist are nothing but Brahman. Therefore, understanding that universe is also in the form of Brahman is another aspect of Self-realization. Individual self is only a miniscule of Brahman.

This nāma says that She is present as the essence in all beings and objects. Without Her, no existence is possible, be it animate or inanimate.

223. Sakalāgamasaṁstutā सकलागमसंस्तुता

Sakala – all; āgama – traditional doctrine or percepts; saṁstuta – praised.

She is praised in all traditional doctrines. Traditional doctrine means every authentic Scriptures such as Upaniṣad-s, Vedānta, etc.

Brahma Sūtra (I.i.4) says, “tattu samanvayāt तत्तु समन्वयात्” where Tat refers to Brahman andsamanvaya means regular succession. Brahman, being omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient is the cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. All Her acts happen in regular succession, one after another in an orderly manner. In other words, Brahman was existing before creation, during sustenance and will continue to exist after dissolution, only to create again.

The nāma says that this unique quality of Brahman was declared through Sacred Scriptures such as Upaniṣad-s, Vedānta, etc. Only by understanding these Scriptures, one can attain knowledge that is necessary in realizing Her, as they alone explain Her essential qualities. In other words, it is important to have Her Grace than knowing Her Grandeur.

224. Sarvavedāntatātparyabhūmiḥ सर्ववेदान्ततात्पर्यभूमिः

Sarvavedānta – complete knowledge of Vedas through Vedānta, which means Upaniṣad-s; tātparya – purport of Vedānta (advaita philosophy); bhūmi – base.

She is very purport of Upaniṣad-s. The same meaning is conveyed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 852 Sarvopaniṣadudguṣṭā which is explained thus:

She is glorified in all the Upaniṣads. ud is used for implying superiority in place, rank or power and guṣṭā means announcing.  This nāma says that all the Upaniṣads announce Her glory.  Upaniṣads are the tools that impart knowledge.  By attaining such knowledge one is able to realise the Brahman.  Śaktī alone is capable of revealing the Brahman.  Without Her aid, Śiva can never be realised.  She takes Her devotes in front of Śiva for ultimately revealing Him to them.  The blinding light and conflagration of the Brahman cannot be endured without Her grace.  As Śri Mātā, She knows the extent to which Śiva can be revealed. 

Upaniṣad-s are the latter part of Vedas and deals with the Supreme knowledge.  Upaniṣad-s are also known as jñāna kāṇḍa that imparts Supreme knowledge and is capable of revealing the Brahman. Chāndogya Upaniṣad (I.i.10) says “Knowledge and ignorance produce different results.  Anything done with knowledge, with faith in teachers and in scriptures and according to the principles of the Upaniṣads is more fruitful.”

The statement of Chāndogya Upaniṣad is endorsed by Brahma Sūtra (III.iii.1), which says ‘Any excogitation imparted in all the Upaniṣad-s on account of the sameness of injunction, etc.”  The aphorism says that the main purport of Upaniṣad-s is to establish a connection with the Brahman.  This nāma says that such vital connection between the Brahman and souls are established and maintained by Her.

225. Sadasadāśrayā सदसदाश्रया

This nāma is to be split like this – sat + asat + āśraya. Sat means existence; asat means non-existence; āśraya means dependence or union.

She is the connecting link between Brahman with form and Brahman without form. It can also be explained that She is both Nirguṇa Brahman and Saguṇa Brahman. Both are derived from the word āśraya. For example, Lalitā Sahasranāma 147 is nirāśrayā, which means that She does not depend upon anyone.

Supremacy of Brahman can only be explained through negations. For example, Brahman is not this, is not that, etc which leads to the final question, who is He? The perfect answer would be that He is nothing and at the same time He is everything. He is beyond description. In the same manner, this nāma says that She is both existence and non-existence. Take for example a human being. He exists today and tomorrow he does not exist due to the death of his physical body. Thus, except Brahman, no one can exist and non-exist at the same time.

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.i.5) says, “The body may decay due to old age, but the space within (the Brahman) never decays.  Nor does it perish with the death of the body.  This is the real abode of the Brahman.  All our desires are concentrated in it.  It is the Self – free from all sins as well as from old age, death, bereavement, hunger and thirst. It is the cause of love of Truth and the cause of dedication to Truth.”

Liṅga Purāṇa (II.15.3) says, “The wise speak of Śiva of the form of sat (existing) and asat (non-existing).”

226. Sakalā सकला

Though it is interpreted that She is in the form of sixty four kalā-s or arts as described in these Lalitā Sahasranāma-s – 236 Catuḥṣaṣṭi-kalāmayī, which says that She is in the form sixty four types of arts; 611 Kalātmikā, which says She is in the form of kalā-s and  Kalā here means digit or minute parts of an entity.  The moon has sixteen such kalā-s, the sun has twelve kalā-s and agni (fire) has ten kalā-s; and 612 Kalānāthā, which means that She is the ruler of kalā-s discussed above.

But this nāma can be best interpreted through Trika philosophy. There are seven types of perceivers according to Trika philosophy and the lowest state is sakala state, where the aspirant is deluded by three types of impurities viz. ego, māyā (known as āṇavamala and māyīyamala – both work on one’s perception) and karma (known as kārmamalā which causes effect on one’s action due to his past impressions known as karmic account). Sakala is the lowest state in spirituality. This goes to prove that She not only exists in Her devotees as the inner Self, but also exists as the Self in all those who do not seek Her, which explicitly explains Her omnipresence.

227. Saccidānandā सच्चिदानन्दा

This is the Supreme quality of Brahman –sat, cit and ānanda or existence, consciousness and bliss. Lalitā Sahasranāma 700 is Saccidānanda-rūpiṇī. She is in the form of sat-cit- ānanda. These three qualities constitute the Brahman.  Sat means the existence, Cit means pure consciousness and ānanda means infinite bliss. In reality, these are not the constituents of the Brahman, as Brahman is without any attributes.  They are the three fold aspects of the Brahman.  But at the human level, they appear as separate attributes due to illusion or māyā.  They succeed one after another during spiritual quest.  First, the existence is realised, second the level of consciousness is improved to higher planes by purifying it and finally bliss is realised.  This is the reason for realising them as individual attributes in a human being.  In the Brahman they remain united as a single aspect. 

This nāma reaffirms Her status as the Brahman. 

228. Sādhyā साध्या

There are several meanings to the word sādhya. This nāma says that She can be attained and this nāma stops at that. How She can be attained is not explained in this nāma and the path of attaining Her is to be construed from other nāma-s. She can be attained in two stages. The first stage is knowing Her grandeur and the second stage is attaining Her Grace and always former leads to the latter.

She can be attained through several sādhana-s, such as ritual worship, mantra japa-s, contemplation, etc. The various ways of attaining Her are explained by Śiva through different Tantra śāstra-s. However, the best way to have Her Grace is only contemplating Her perpetually. When devotion begins to transform into love for Her, She begins to shower Her Grace and Her Grace can be experienced through bliss.

229. Sadgatidāyini सद्गतिदायिनि

Sadgati means good state and dāyini means giving. She is the giver of fortunate state to Her devotees. The good state contextually refers to liberation, known as mokṣa. Purpose of thinking about Her is only liberation, as it gives eternal relief from pleasures and pains of transmigration.

The purpose of human birth is liberation as liberation can be attained only through mind. By properly meditating on Her, She begins to pervade the mind of the aspirant, causing Bliss. This is the initial stage of liberation. Liberation is a long process and needs a lot of patience and practice.

230. Sanakādimunidhyeyā सनकादिमुनिध्येया

Sanaka, Sana, Sanatkumāra, and Sanāndana are the four great sages who were initiated by Dakṣiṇāmūrti.  There was a huge banyan tree under which was seated young Dakṣiṇāmūrti with his aged disciples mentioned above.  The banyan tree is the symbolic manifestation of macrocosm from microcosm.  From a tyny seed of banyan, a huge tree of banyan grows. This is compared to the formation of gross from subtle. Initiation takes place without any words being exchanged.  They are great devotees of Lalitāmbikā.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 727 Sanakādi-samārādhyā also conveys the same meaning.