28. Ekāgracittanirdhyātā एकाग्रचित्तनिर्ध्याता

She is to be contemplated with a focused mind. Citta means heart, mind and reasoning. Previous nāma said that She should be worshipped with a single pointed devotion and this nāma says that She should be contemplated with a single pointed attention.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (VI. 15-19), “The yogi, by constantly fixing his controlled mind on me attains everlasting peace which is the combination of supreme bliss and nirvana that inhabits in me. Arjuna! This yoga is neither for the one who overeats and nor for the one who observes total fasting; neither for the one who oversleeps and nor for the one who is always awake.  Yoga wipes out miseries of those who have regulated diet and recreation, regulated karmas and regulated sleep and alertness. When his mind is thoroughly subdued and fixed on the Atman alone, devoid of yearning for enjoyments is said to have achieved yoga.”

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.ii.8) explains the benefits of such contemplation. “If one realizes Brahman as the cause as well as the effect, all his individual characteristics disappear and all his doubts are cleared. His karmas are destroyed.”

She alone is Brahman and She alone is to be contemplated in order to mitigate the pains of transmigration. Lalitā Sahasranāma explains Her as Brahman through a number of nāma-s. It says, She is nirākārā (137) formless; nirākulā (138) without agitation; nirguṇā (139) unconditioned by the three guṇa-s; niśkalā (140) without body parts;  niṣkāmā (142) without desire; nirvikārā (145) without modifications; niṣprapañcā (146) without expansion; nirāśrayā (147) without dependence.

The fundamental aspect of Brahman is formlessness and hence She is to be contemplated in order to realize Her.

 29. Eṣaṇārahitādṛtā एषणारहितादृता

Eṣaṇa means ardent desire; rahita means free from; dṛta means honoured.

This nāma says that She is worshiped by dy men without any desire. Desire less men are known assthitaprajña-s. Sthitaprajña is the one, whose mind does not waver and hence free from all dualities such as pleasure and pain. This could also mean Yogī-s. Yogī (yolk means union) is the one who has united his individual consciousness with that of the Supreme Consciousness.

Kṛṣṇa describes this person in Bhagavad Gītā (IV.10) thus. “A number of people have attained my preternatural form by means of knowledge, disinterested in other activities and surrendering unto me by sacrificing desire, fear and anger.”

There is a beautiful description of a realized person in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (III.v.1). “The knower of Brahman, having known all about profound knowledge, should try to live upon that strength, which becomes his knowledge; having known all about his strength and profound knowledge, he becomes meditative. Having known all about meditativeness and its opposite (distraction), he becomes the knower of Brahman. How does that knower of Brahman behave? Howsoever he may behave, he is just such.”

Lalitā Sahasranāma (625) says, Kaivalyapada-dāyinī कैवल्यपद-दायिनी which is interpreted as follows:

Kaivalya is the final stage of life of a living being.  Nobody is there with that being during that time.  He is all alone without any help around and he has to achieve on his own.  This is the final stage of one’s evolution.  The soul is about to leave its present body and getting ready to merge with the Brahman.  Kaivalya is liberation or salvation and hence it is called the final stage.  This final stage can be reached in two ways.  One is the mundane stage associated with desires and attachments where soul gets ready for rebirth.  The other stage is the stage of samādi, where the soul gets ready for its union with the Brahman not to be born again.  This is kaivalya.  Lalitāmbikā is the giver of this stage.

Pada means four types of consciousness.  They are sālokya, sarūpa, samībha and sāyujya.  Beyond this is kaivalya.  Sālokya is the stage where one performs ritual worship, worshipping idols or portraits of gods.  In sarūpa he leaves idol worship and does not differentiate himself from god.  In samībha he goes near the god and in sāyujya stage he merges with god.  These are the stages of one’s consciousness that finally lead to kaivalya.  One has to progress from one stage to another and this progression happens depending upon the level of spirituality.  By being spiritual does not mean one has to be religious.  Spirituality transcends religious affinities, though religion forms the foundation of spirituality.  

To attain kaivalya stage one has to progress from ritual worship to mental worship (meditation).  By making sufficient progress in meditation, one has to search for the Brahman within.  Once the Brahman is located and realized within, the practitioner moves to the stage of kaivalya, by detaching himself from worldly affinities by staying connected with his Creator.  His soul is now under preparation to merge with Him, for final liberation. Finally, he gets liberated with no further transmigration for that soul. 

This nāma says that She is adored by such great men and women for the exclusive purpose attaining liberation

30. Elāsugandhicikurā एलासुगन्धिचिकुरा

Elā – cardamom; sugandhi – fragrance; cikura – hair of head.

Her hair has the fragrance of cardamom. Sugandhi also means Paramātman. Whenever and wherever auspiciousness is abundant, there will be inexplicable fragrance, indicating Her presence.

Her divine fragrance is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma (631) Divya-gandhāḍhyā दिव्य-गन्धाढ्या thus: She is endowed with divine fragrance.  This fragrance is possible from three sources.  Her form itself is full of fragrance.  She is surrounded by demigods and goddesses who have natural fragrance.  Their natural fragrance in combination with Her divine fragrance diffuses across the worlds.  Men worship Her with sandal and other fragrant materials.  The fragrance thus offered by Her devotees imbues to all the worlds. 

When someone mediates on Her with great devotion, at the peak of meditation a pleasant fragrance emanates from him, making his surrounding fragrant.  For this, one needs to transcend his cogitated level.  Patañjali yoga sūtra talks about transcending sensory perceptions (III.42).  Every sensory perception has its own process and limitations.  If one is able to transcend that limit that particular sensory perception, linked with mind and consciousness, takes him beyond his perceptions.

31. Enaḥkūṭavināśinī एनःकूटविनाशिनी

Ena is generally used to indicate about something about which a reference has already been made. Here, it is used to mean Her status as Brahman. Kūṭa means a heap and subtly conveys the accrued sins or karmas. She destroys all the accumulated sins or karmas.

Lalitā Sahasranāma (167) says She is Pāpanāśinī पापनाशिनी and this explained thus: “She destroys the sins of Her devotees. Devotee is the one, who always thinks about Her not only at the time of reciting mantra-s, not only at the time of performing rituals but at all the times.  For such a devotee mantra-s and rituals become meaningless.  It is also presumed that Her devotees will not perform those actions that are termed as sins.  If knowingly someone commits a sin, She will not come to his rescue.  But why does She want to destroy the sins of Her devotees?  Kṛṣṇa answers this question in Bhagavad Gīta (IV.14) “One who understands this truth (refer the previous nāma) about me, does not become entangled in the results of reactions of work (results of reactions mean karma-s.  The concept of karma is based on Newton’s third law – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  This equal and opposite reaction is karma.).She wants Her devotees to pursue the path of liberation for which sins are impediments.  How does She consume their sins?  Chāndogya Upaniṣad (V.xxiv.3) says, pāpmānaḥ pradūyante, which means all sins are burnt up.  The Upaniṣad  further says ‘such sins are burnt like dry grass thrown into a fire’.  The point driven home here is that when She is worshipped with all sincerity, the devotee gets rid of all his sins except prārabdha karma-s (the sum total of all karma-s accumulated over several past births) that have to be experienced.” 

Kṛṣṇa while concluding Bhagavad Gītā says (XVIII. 64-66), “Listen to my supremely secret words again, the most secretive of all. You are extremely dear to me and I shall only say what is beneficial to you. Fix your mind on Me, worship Me and bow down to Me. By doing so, you will come to me alone. I promise you. Resigning all dharma, take refuge in me alone. I shall absolve you of all your sins. Do not worry.” This is what is conveyed through this nāma.

32. Ekabhogā एकभोगा

This nāma can be interpreted in two ways. Eka means one and bhoga means pleasure or delight. She is the subject of delight, which also means bliss. She is the object of delight to Śiva in their Kāmeśvara and Kāmeśvarī relationship. Thus She is both subject and object, which is an exclusive quality of Brahman.

Bhoga also means a coiled serpent, which subtly conveys Her subtlest form kuṇḍalinī. Then this nāma says that She alone is in the form of kuṇḍalinī.

The same meaning is conveyed in Lalitā Sahasranāma (293), bhoginī भोगिनी

33. Ekarasā एकरसा

Eka – one; rasa – essence.

She is the essence of universe. Essence here means cause or seed.

Lalitā Sahasranāma talks about two rasa-s in nāma-s 364 and 376.

364 cideka-rasa-rūpiṇī चिदेक-रस-रूपिणी is explained thus: She is the essence of knowledge.  The difference between knowledge and the essence of knowledge is to be understood.  The knowledge of the unconditioned Brahman or the Prakāśa form of the Brahman is different from the conditioned Brahman or the vimarśa form of the Brahman.   The Brahman with attributes and without attributes remains the same, so also their purity of knowledge.  This is the reason for establishing the identity of the both as one  There is no difference between conditioned and unconditioned Brahman as any modifications take place purely at the will of Brahman for the purpose of creation, sustenance and dissolution.  When knowledge is extracted, the essence of knowledge is obtained, possibly from its gross form to its subtle form.  But, the foundational nature of both gross and subtle forms of knowledge is not different. This can be compared to milk and its derivatives.

376 Śṛṅgāra-rasa- saṁpūrṇā शृङ्गार-रस-संपूर्णा is explained thus: Lalitāmbikā is said to be the embodiment of extracts (rasa) of finer things in life.  There are said to be eight to ten types of rasa-s, though only nine types of rasa-s are generally mentioned.  These ten rasa-s are love (śṛṅgāra), heroism, disgust, anger, mirth, fear, pity, amazement, tranquillity and warmth.  Saundarya Laharī (verse 51) refers to eight types of rasa-s that She exhibits at different times.  She exhibits the essence of love with Śiva, heroism while destroying evils, disgust while dealing with ignorant, fear on seeing the snakes on the person of Śiva, anger with goddess Gaṅgā (as Śiva holds her in His hair), amazement on seeing Śiva’s third eye, warmth while being with Her true devotees and lāsya rasa (expressing emotions as if dancing) while looking at Her attendants.   This nāma talks about the essence of love that She exhibits while being with Śiva, all alone.  The love between Śiva and Śaktīis beautifully described in various scriptures.  The essence of love or śṛṅgāra-rasa is the cause for other rasa-s.  Though these narrations go well while visualizing Her form, Her Absolute form is beyond all these qualities and attributes.

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.7) explains rasa. It says, “ससो वै रसः। रसं ह्येवायं लब्धवाऽऽनन्दी भवति। saso vai rasaḥ | rasaṁ hyevāyaṁ labdhavā''nandī bhavati |”. This means that which is identified as the sweetness in everything (rasa, the Self, the source of sweetness) is happy (in the state of bliss). This can be further interpreted like this: The one who knows the Self as the essence of his existence is always in the state of Bliss, as he is not affected by dualities.

Based on these interpretations, this nāma conveys the following. She alone (meant by eka in this nāma) is in the form of essence in all the beings (insentient also included). The one who knows this reality is liberated.  Essence contextually means seed and only from the seed a tree grows and in the same manner, only from the essence of Brahman, the universe appears.

34. Ekaiśvaryapradāyinī एकैश्वर्यप्रदायिनी

Ekaiśvarya as a single word means sole monarchy, in the sense She is the only one, who rules the universe and pradāyini means the giver. She gives a well administered kingdom, where dharma is well established for men to live in peace and happiness. In case, adharma begins to rear its head, She does not hesitate to destroy the sinners. Devī Mahātmyiam, also known as Durgāsaptaśatī describe how She destroys sinners.

If eka and iśvarya are interpreted separately, then it means that She is the giver of unique wealth known as mokṣa or liberation. Liberation alone is called eka iśvarya because the wealth of liberation is totally different from material wealth. The former is the end of one’s transmigration, which is permanent in nature and the latter is the cause for all miseries.

Please also refer nāma 29 for additional details.

35. Ekātapatrasāmrājyapradā एकातपत्रसाम्राज्यप्रदा

This nāma is an affirmation of the previous nāma.

Ekātapatra means single royal umbrella, which is meant only for supreme rulers, known as king of kings. She presides over different kingdoms and each such kingdom is ruled by a king. She is in control of these kings. Gāyatrī mantra refers to seven worlds and they are bhū, bhuva, sva, maha, jan,a tapa and satyaṁ. These seven worlds represent the upper worlds beginning from earth (bhū). She presides over these seven worlds.

36. Ekāntapūjitā एकान्तपूजिता

Ekānta can be interpreted as secretive (in private) and monotheistic doctrine.  In order to have Her Grace, She is to be worshiped in private and in a secretive manner. Then only the connection between the worshipper and the worshipped can be established properly. Tantra doctrine highlights this aspect. There are two possible interpretations for worshipping Her secretively.

In a group there are many persons, whose vibrations may not be the same, which is bound to hamper the manifestation of bliss in a particular individual. Secondly, Her Grace depends upon a person’s proximity to Her. Again this is not the same in everyone. In a group, everyone will have different level of spiritual attainment. She showers Her Grace only in private, not with many people around.

Monotheistic doctrine is the philosophy of believing in one God.  In order to attain liberation, which is an exclusive job of Śiva, She is to be realized first. She alone can take a yogī to Śiva for liberation. In extremely rare instances, where love for Her is highly intent, She manifests in a form, with which She is contemplated and this is not possible when other people are around.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.1) advises to withdraw one’s sense organs from external objects and see the Self within. This is possible only if one keeps himself secluded and practices this contemplation.  Lalitā Sahasranāma 870 Antarmukha-samārādhyā अन्तर्मुख-समाराध्या also conveys the same meaning.

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

37. Edhamānaprabhā एधमानप्रभा

She is the Supreme Light. Brahman alone is Self-effulgent. Only from this Light, everything else shines. Lalitā Sahasranāma (414) Svaprakāśā स्वप्रकाशा and (806) Paraṃjyotiḥ परंज्योतिः also says that She alone is Self-illuminating.

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.”  This is the famous dīpa ārādhana mantra:

na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ।
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti॥

”न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोयमग्निः।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति॥

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VII.iii.4) says, param joytiḥ upasampadyate which means attaining the highest light.  The Upaniṣad says “Then, this person, who is the embodiment of happiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature.  This is the Self.”

Realisation happens in a fraction of a second when a person is immersed in the highest level of spiritual consciousness with flashes of Light appearing within him.  She is in the form of that self-illuminating light (the Brahman).  To attain this stage no japa or meditation is required.  It is only the thought construct that matters.  This is why Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (III.ix.10) says, “light is the mind”. 

The soul which is also known as jīva when placed in an empirical self, the divine transcendental light ever shines within its glory, but unfortunately hidden from our perception because of our thought constructs.  This Self-illuminating light is known as prakāśa form of the Brahman and referred to as Śiva.  This is also known as the Supreme consciousness or Supreme light of consciousness.  When there is a harmonious synthesis of prakāśa form of Śiva and vimarśa form of Śaktī, manifestation of the universe takes place. Vimarśa form reflects the Self-illuminating light of prakāśa form and the one without the other becomes incapable of causing manifestation.

38. Ejadanejajjagadīśvarī एजदनेजज्जगदीश्वरी

It is ejat (movables) + anejat (immovables) + jagat (universe)+ īśvarī (Supreme ruler).

She is the ruler for both sentient and insentient.  She is not only the Creator but also the Sustainer of the universe.

39. Ekavīrātisaṁsevyā एकवीरातिसंसेव्या

Ekavīra means unique hero or pre-eminent hero. Saṁsevya means worshipped or served. Contextually ekavīra means all those who have attained the four puruṣārtha-s as discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 291, puruṣārtha-pradāPuruṣārtha is the fourfold values of human life.  They are dharma (righteousness or virtues), artha (wish or purpose), kāma (desires and pleasures) and mokṣa (the liberation).  She is the giver of this puruṣārtha.  She is worshipped by all those who have been blessed with puruṣārtha-s.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 777 is Vīrārādhyā, which says that She is worshipped by vīrā-s or warriors.  Characteristics of vīrā are defined. He should have realized the Self, devoid of ego, opposed to dyads and should be brave as well.  In this context vīrā means courageous devotee. When one realizes Self, he need not be afraid of anyone.  She is worshipped by such warriors.  Such warriors are freed from the fear of death.

40. Ekaprābhavaśālinī एकप्राभवशालिनी

Eka – one; prābhavaka – possessing power; śālini – in abundance.

This nāma talks about Her unique Superiority. Kṛṣṇa explains this power in Bhagavad Gītā (X.42). “I hold the entire universe by a fraction of my Yogic Power.”

All Her powers are in abundance, a unique quality of Brahman.

With this, twenty nāma-s beginning with the second akṣara (e ए) of Pañcadaśī mantra is concluded. There are forty more nāma-s that begin with e ए.