271. Labdhalīlā लब्धलीला

Līlā means play or pastime. She has five primary acts – creation, sustenance, destruction, concealment (annihilation) and re-creation (Grace). Lalitā Sahasranāma 264 to 274 describe these acts. While creating, She takes the form of Brahmā (god of creation); while sustaining the created universe, She takes the form of Viṣṇu; while destructing (death of individuals), She takes the form of Rudra; while annihilating, She takes the form of Īśvara; while re-creating the annihilated universe, She takes the form Sadāśiva. She does all these acts like a sport.

Brahma Sūtra (II.i.33) says, “Creation is a mere pastime for the Brahman.” The act of Creation, as if it is a play for the Brahman is based on logical reasoning.  The Brahman acts in spontaneity without extraneous influence or motive (Divine Freewill).  Activities concerned with names and forms arise out of ignorance and meant to propound the fact that everything is Brahman. Brahman plays hide and seek game with humans, using His potent tool known as māyā or illusion.

There are three nāma-s in Lalitā Sahasranāma, which talk about “līlā” and they are Līlā-klṛpta-brahmāṇḍa-maṇḍalā (648), Līlā-vigraha-dhāriṇī (865) and Līlā-vinodinī (966).

272. Labdhayauvanaśālinī लब्धयौवनशालिनी

She is perceptually and abundantly youthful. Brahman is devoid of any modifications. Lalitā Sahasranāma 470 is Vayo'vasthā-vivarjitā, which says that She is beyond the effects of aging.  This is the unique quality of Brahman, who does not undergo changes. Lalitā Sahasranāma 430 Nitya-yauvanā, says that She is eternally youthful, as She is beyond time and space.

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (III.21) says, “ahaṁ ajaraṁ purāṇaṁ अहं अजरं पुराणं” where ahaṁ means the Self, ajaraṁ means never aging and purāṇaṁ means eternal. The Upaniṣad says that Brahman is without aging and is eternal and this message is conveyed through this nāma.

273. Labdhādhiśayasarvāṅgasaundaryā लब्धाधिशयसर्वाङ्गसौन्दर्या

adhiśaya + sarvāṅga + saundarya = Every part of Her body is beautiful. Lalitā Sahasranāma 50 anavadyāṅgī also conveys the same meaning.  It says, “Every part of Her body is flawless and in accordance with sāmudrika-lakṣaṇa (sāmudrika means ‘relating to ocean’; it also means body marks.  Sāmudrika-lakṣaṇa is authored by king of seas known as Sāmudrika).  She is nirguṇa Brahman (without attributes) as well as saguṇa Brahman (with attributes).  When She is known as saguṇa Brahman, She is with forms and attributes.  Saguṇa Brahman is discussed here.  Brahman is always flawless.” 

274. Labdhavibhramā लब्धविभ्रमा

Vibhrama means moving to and fro, which can be explained as playing. This nāma says that She takes care of all the activities of the universe like a play. The underlying conveyance in this nāma is that administering the universe, is like a child’s play for Her. She does this with such ease.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 966 Līlā-vinodinī also conveys the same meaning and its interpretation is given below:

Līlā means facility in doing anything.  In the present context, Līlā means Her three primary actions of creation, sustenance and dissolution. Manu smṛti (I.80) says “Brahman creates and dissolves the different periods of Manu-s playfully.”

Brahma Sūtra (II.i.33) says, “Creation is a mere pastime for the Brahman.” The act of Creation, as if it is a play for the Brahman is based on logical reasoning.  The Brahman acts in spontaneity without extraneous influence or motive.  Activities concerned with names and forms arise out of ignorance and meant to propound the fact that everything is Brahman. Brahman plays hide and seek game with humans, using His potent tool known as māyā or illusion.

275. Labdharāgā लब्धरागा

Rāga means feelings, love, affection, desire, etc. This nāma says that She has these qualities. She has these feelings towards two, one is Her Creator Śiva and another is the beings created by Her. In between these two, there are a number of gods and goddesses who take Her commands and protect the beings created by Her. Her love towards Śiva is entirely on a different footing, which cannot be easily described.

Her love for Śiva can be explained through Lalitā Sahasranāma 52, Śiva-kāmeśvarāṅkasthā and part of its interpretation goes like this: “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).” 

Her love for Her devotees can be explained through Lalitā Sahasranāma 8, Rāgasvarūpa-pāśāḍhyā, which is explained thus: “Rāga means desire or a wish.  Pāśa is a type of rope used to pull an object.  She pulls all the material desires of Her devotees using this rope.  There are three śakti-s (śakti in this context means power) – iccā, jñāna and kriya.  This nāma talks about iccā śakti or the desire.  She never allows Her devotees to sink with desires.”

(Further reading on rāga: Rāga is one of the five constituents (kañcuka-s) of māyā. As far as rāga is concerned, it causes the feeling of lack of completeness in the Self (in the form of an individual soul) and makes a person to desire for something else, which he feels could remove his feeling of lack of completeness. But this does not make a person complete and makes him to think again about something else in order to make him full. Thus, he develops a series of desires, attachments, which manifest one after another; and in the process he forgets the true Self within. He does not have time to think about the Self within, as he is too busy with series of desires and attachments. If one is able to win over the five constituents of māyā, he enters into the state of Bliss and awaits liberation. However, this depends upon one’s sādhana (spiritual practice).

276. Labdhapatiḥ लब्धपतिः

She attained Śiva by Her perseverance.

Her marriage is described in Brahmāṇda Purāṇa {Lalitā Māhātmya (chapter 15) which forms Chapter IV of Brahmāṇda Purāṇa}. She addresses other gods and goddesses: “I am always independent. My conduct of life and my sports and pastimes are in accordance with my own whims and wishes. My husband shall be the one, whose conduct befits me.” Kāmeśvara arrived on the scene assuming a form that fascinated and thrilled the universe. He was taken to Her by Brahmā and Viṣṇu. Kāmeśvara was exhilarated by Her beauty and She was also overpowered by His appearance. She decided that He is the right person for Her and their marriage was held with joy and they together ascended the Throne.

277. Labdhanānāgamasthitiḥ लब्धनानागमस्थितिः

Nānāgama – various types of āgama-s; sthiti – abiding.  

Āgama means traditional doctrine or percept or anything handed down and fixed by tradition.  Generally, āgama is used to mean the worship in temples. Construction and methods of worship are prescribed in āgama śāstra-s. This nāma says that She abides in all āgama śāstra-s.

Brahma Sūtra (I.i.3) says, “śāstrayonitvāt शास्त्रयोनित्वात्” which means that Brahman is the source of all Scriptures. This aphorism can be explained to mean that every Scripture is born out of Brahman. In other words, these Scriptures are Her very words and not composed by human beings. Thus, this nāma says that all these Scriptures (of which Āgama is only a part) always abide in Her and are revealed at the appropriate time through some knowledgeable men such as sages, saints and Gurus. These revelations are now being interpreted according to the changing times and convenience, where subtle conveyances are lost in the process.

{Further reading on āgama:  Advaita philosophy acknowledges six types of knowledge.  They are perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), verbal testimony (śabda or āgama), comparison (upamāna), postulation (arthāpatti), and non-apprehension (anupalabdhi). Śabda as a source of valid knowledge means āgama, authentic word that is free from all defects.  It is a canon of knowledge recognised by most Indian systems of thought that the words of such persons as are free from delusion, error, deceit and defects of the senses and the mind are source of valid cognition.  Thus, reason is implicit in faith.  It is not unreasonable to rely on the reliable.  Generally, āgama can said to mean Vedic testimony.

Pāñcarātra āgama-s prescribe five rituals for worshipping Viṣṇu.  Abhigamana (approaching Viṣṇu), upādāna (collecting pūja materials), ijya (the pūja worship), and svadhaya (repetition of Veda-s, verses-s, etc).  Viṣṇu is often praised with gadya (prose, composition not metrical yet framed in accordance with harmony, elaborate prose composition).}

278. Labdhabhogā लब्धभोगा

Bhoga means enjoyment. She experiences all types of pleasures.

The best enjoyment for Her devotees is to experience Her Bliss. She is not only the source of Bliss but also showers Bliss on Her devotees.  The bliss is the penultimate stage of the final salvation.  Such a sort of bliss can be experienced only during the last stages of merger into Brahman, the final stages of liberation, the state of kaivalya.

The best enjoyment for Her is Her union with Śiva at sahasrāra. Lalitā Sahasranāma 320, Ramaṇa-lampaṭā says, “She enjoys Her moments with Her consort Śiva at sahasrāra.  She enjoys the marital bliss. She loves to play around with Śiva.  She makes women devoted to their husbands, since She is the embodiment of women.

279. Labdhasukhā लब्धसुखा

Sukha means happiness, comforts, etc. The previous nāma said that She enjoys all types of pleasures and this nāma gives reasoning for the previous nāma. The happiness is inherent in Her as Brahman is sat-cit-ānanda (existence-knowledge-bliss). But what is bliss?  Our real nature is always in the state of bliss or happiness or ānanda whatever we call it.  But this perennial nature of bliss is disturbed by the powerful tools of desire and associated losses.  Desire is always for the one that one does not possess, and loss is a situation where what one had earlier is not with him now.  Though humans too have inherent happiness, due to the effects of māyā, he is drawn towards the material world and gets deeply sunk, unable to redeem himself. The net result is that he continues to undergo the pains of transmigration, with no salvation in sight.

The inherent happiness can be realized only through a purified mind. She is adored as Labdhasukhā, because She is concerned with the spiritual progress of Her devotees, who aim for liberation. She does not think for Herself but thinks towards the betterment of Her devotees. One of the ways of purifying the mind is to set aside selfishness. What wealth cannot give, inner peace and happiness can give.

The nāma conveys that in order to attain the state of Her happiness, one has to look beyond one’s own interest. Her happiness is only due to this reason.

280. Labdhaharṣābhipūritā लब्धहर्षाभिपूरिता

harṣa – happiness; abhi – contextually can be explained to mean superior; pūrita – filled with.

This nāma says that She is filled with superior quality of happiness. Bliss is not merely happiness.  Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.8) explains this happiness in an elaborate manner.  It multiplies several types of happiness by one hundred and finally says that happiness of prajāpati (divinity presiding over procreation, protector of life) multiplied by one hundred times gives the happiness of(Lord of creatures, the Brahman, the Ultimate.  Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad also explains bliss (IV.iii.32) thus: “This is the supreme attainment, this is its supreme glory, this is its highest world and this is its supreme bliss.  On a particle of this very bliss, other beings live.” 

This nāma implies, that by establishing a divine link (devotion) with Her, She makes one realize the bliss at the right time to ultimately merge with Śiva.