16. Kañjalocanā कञ्जलोचना

This nāma is writeen in two ways – one is mentioned above and another version is kaṁjalocanā (कंजलोचना). If it is taken as kañja, then it means Her eyes are like water born lotus flowers. Kaṁ refers to watering clouds. Her eyes are not merely compared to the lotus flowers in a pond. Thisnāma says that Her eyes look like blossomed lotus flowers in a lake containing pure water received directly from cloud precipitation.

If kañja is taken, then it means that through the movement of Her eyes, She creates the universe, as explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 281 and Saundaryalaharī verse 55. Former says that She creates and dissolves the universe at the wink of Her eyes and the latter endorsees the interpretation of Lalitā Sahasranāma 281.

This nāma talks about the purity with which She creates the universe. At the time of creation, everyone is created as completely pure. But with the passage of time and by incurring karmas, one becomes a combination of both purity and impurity. The water in the lake is pure, only if it receives water from the clouds. The same lake water becomes impure when the water from the land mixes with the pure rainwater. It is the combination of both purity and impurity. Since She pervades the entire universe, She also represents impurities. If one thinks that Brahman is eternally pure, he questions His omnipresent. But purity and impurity do not cause any modifications or changes in Brahman, as She is only a witness to all the actions.

17. Kamravigrahā कम्रविग्रहा

Kamra means beautiful. This nāma says that She is beautiful to look at. She appears like the sun at dawn, say dhyāna verses of Lalitā Sahasranāma. Her beauty is enhanced due to Her compassion.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 621 is divyavigrahā, conveying the same meaning. Saundaryalaharī verse 12 also explains Her beauty. “Brahmā and other best of poets are not able to draw a comparison to Your beauty even after taking strenuous pains. The celestial women, eager to have a glimpse of Your beauty, mentally contemplate You to become one with Śiva, which is difficult even through penance.”

18. Karmātisākṣiṇī कर्मातिसाक्षिणी

She is a witness to all the actions of all the beings. Karman means actions. Actions are of two kinds, obligatory actions and compulsive actions. Obligatory actions are prescribed as pañca yajña-s and they are Deva yajña, Brahma yajña, Pitṛ yajña, Bhūta yajña, Atithi yajña. These five actions are obligatory. Compulsive actions are those that are done during normal life. Pañca yajña-s though are classified as obligatory, they have to be done concurrently during normal course of life. Lalitā Sahasranāma 946 Pañcayajña priyā explains this in detail. None can escape Her attention as She is the witness to all the actions happening in the universe. She is Viśva-sākṣinī (LS 384).

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.29) “He alone really sees all actions being performed in every way……” This is the quality of Brahman. Though She is the cause for all actions, She does not directly get involved in any actions. She purely goes by the Divine Law Book, the Law of Karma. Before doing an action, one has to think twice. After having done an action, one cannot go to Her to get the action undone or get Her pardon. Both are not possible. Even prayers do not help. The result of all actions is recorded in one’s karma and karma has to be experienced. There is no alternate to this experience. Karmas do not accrue after surrendering unto Her. When the surrender is perfect and complete, She takes him to Śiva for final liberation.

19. Kārayitrī कारयित्री

Kārayitṛ means to cause an action. She is the cause for all actions. This nāma is to be read with the next nāma.

20. Karmaphalapradā कर्मफलप्रदा

When karma is done, there has to be an effect for the karma. This nāma says that She is not only the cause of all actions, but also the effect of all actions. She is both cause and effect. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 862 - kārya-kāraṇa-nirmuktā.

Both nāma-s are explained together.

Though She is both cause and effect, She is not subjected to cause and effect. For Her, there is no cause and effect, as She transcends space and time, an unique quality of Brahman. Cause and effect can be explained thus: Cause and effect includes intellect and ego out of antaḥkaraṇa and five tanmatrā-s or cognitive faculties viz. sound, touch, sight, taste and smell (totalling seven). These are classified as cause and effect because they originated from other causes and they in turn cause other effects. Thus, they become both cause and effect. For example, intellect is the product of Prakṛti. Intellect in turn produces ego and ego produces the five cognitive faculties. Thus, they become both cause and effect. The next category comprises only of effects (totalling sixteen). They do not produce anything and they are jñānendriyā-s or cognitive senses viz. ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose (5), karmendriyā-s or organs of actions viz. mouth, feet, hands, organs of excretion and organ of procreation (5), five basic elements viz. ākāś, air, fire, water and earth (5) and the mind (1) (out of antaḥkaraṇa) thus making a total of 16. The third category is no cause and no effect. Puruṣa or soul alone comes under this category. Soul cannot manifest on its own. Soul can manifest only if it is associated with Prakṛti (on the macrocosmic plane, it is Śiva and Śakti). Thus from mūlaprakṛti the rest twenty four tattva-s originate, thereby unfolding creation. Some are of the view that antaḥkaraṇa includes only mind, intellect and ego thereby excluding consciousness. In that case, twenty five tattva-s are calculated as twenty (five elements, etc) + antaḥkaraṇa 3 + Puruṣa or Soul + Prakṛti.

These two nāma-s say that She is thus both cause and effect.

With this nāma the first set of twenty nāma-s with the first bīja of Pañcadaśī mantra ka क is completed.

21. Ekārarūpā  एकाररूपा

The next twenty nāma-s begin with the second bīja of Pañcadaśī mantra e ए.

This nāma says that She is in the form of the second bīja of Pañcadaśī mantra e ए.

Varivasyā-rahasya (verse 78) explains the importance of e ए. It says, the eleventh vowel of Sanskrit alphabet e ए refers to TAT, Brahman, who is Truth, Consciousness and Bliss or sat-cit-ānanda and TAT expresses these three qualities of Brahman. This e ए is also known as the vitality of Śrī Vidyā.

Saundaryalaharī (verse 32) says, क ka is Śiva; ए e is Śakti. (Bīja hrīṁ (ह्रीं), known as māyā bījā is also known as Śivaśakti bīja).

22. Ekākṣarī एकाक्षरी

She is in the form of unique bīja or monosyllable OM.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.16) says, “Om is Brahman with attributes and Om is Brahman without attributes.” The Upaniṣad says that Om is both saguṇa Brahman as well as nirguṇa Brahman. Bhagavad Gītā (VIII.13) says, “ekākṣaraṁ brahma” referring to Om.

Apart from Om, She is represented by several monosyllables such as hrīṁ or īṁ (māyā bīja or kāmakalā).

23. Ekānekākṣarākṛtiḥ एकानेकाक्षराकृतिः

The nāma can be split into eka (one) – aneka (many) - akṣarā (words or speech) - kṛti (creating).

This nāma is an extension of the previous nāma, which said that She is in the form of mystical praṇava or OM. This nāma says that She is not just OM, but all akṣara-s in the form of words and speech. Lalitā Sahasranāma 577 (mātṛkā-varna-rūpinī) says that She in the form of fifty alphabets of Sanskrit known as mātṛkā. She is Śabda Brahman.

Śiva Sūtra (I.4) says Jñānādhiṣṭhānaṁ mātṛkā, which is explained as follows:

These fifty one alphabets are split into six groups and worshipped in the six chakras from mūlādhāra to ājñā. These alphabets have different colours and is said to be closely related to cosmological studies. A comparative narration is drawn between Śiva and Śaktī and vowels and consonants. Vowels are always active and dynamic in nature and therefore vowels are compared to Śaktī; consonants are compared to Śiva. Without Śiva-Śaktī combine, the universe cannot exist, as they are two different aspects of the Brahman. In the same way, sound cannot exist without vowels-consonants combine. The sound originates from Śabda Brahman, whereas the universe originates from the Brahman. She is the Śabda Brahman

Mātṛkā can be split into mātṛ + ka.  Mātṛ means mother and ka means un-comprehended (ka also means Brahman). Mātṛkā means that the Divine Mother, who is not fully comprehended.  She is not fully comprehended because of the mala-s (impurities). Śiva is Brahman and only Śaktī can lead one to Śiva to attain the final liberation.  It becomes essential that Śaktī should be first understood to attain liberation.  Lalitā Sahasranāma 727 Śiva jnāna pradāyinī says, that Śaktī alone can lead to knowledge about Śiva for final liberation. Śiva is static and witnessing as opposed to the kinetic nature of Śaktī, who is the universal dynamic energy. Mostly She is not comprehended properly due to the illusionary effects of māyā.  As Mātṛkā, She controls both vācaka and vācya.  Vācaka refers to the letters and vācya refers to the objects referred by vācaka.  For example a table comprising of alphabets to form the word table, is vācaka and the same table as an object is known as vācya.  The cause of vācya is vācaka.  Since She originates sound, or becomes the cause of the sound, She is called Śabda Brahman. She is the source of alphabets and their sound (pronunciation) through which objects are known.  Hence Śaktī is called as the Creator of the universe.  While creating the objective world, She also created illusionary world (māyā), causing deception making Her unaffordable to be comprehend fully.  This leads to ignorance.  Efforts are needed to comprehend Her with Her full Glory.

24. Etattadityanirdeśyā एतत्तदित्यनिर्देश्या

She cannot be delineated as This or That. This or that can be used only if there is a form bound by time and space. For example, we can say this is a tree or that is a tree, as the tree has shape and form and has got a life span. But She is Brahman, whose primary quality is eternal and omnipresent. As She is the cause as well as effect, as explained in nāma 20, She cannot be delineated.

Kena Upaniṣad (I.4) explains this further. “Brahman is different from all known and familiar objects; It is beyond even unknown objects...” This Upaniṣad explains further about Brahman. It says that Brahman cannot be described by speech, cannot be comprehended by the mind, cannot be seen by the eyes, cannot be heard through ears and cannot be smelt.

Worshipping Her with names and forms are  acts of ignorance. She is present everywhere and She cannot be bound in a shape and form. What exists in that shape and form (idols) exists everywhere, the exclusive quality of Brahman. Unless, one has sufficient knowledge about Her, She can never be attained through hymns and mantras. They serve only as the stepping stones to the spiritual world.

25. Ekānandacidākṛtiḥ एकानन्दचिदाकृतिः

Ekānanda is Bliss, an inexplicable happiness and joy that lasts for ever. This is different from ānanda, the quotidian happiness, which is only temporary. The former arises due to Her Grace and the latter arises due to fulfilment of material desires, which is only temporary. Cid is used here to mean intelligence to comprehend. Thus there are two aspects in this nāma. One is Bliss and another is intellect, referring to the higher level of spiritual knowledge.

The combination of cid (Cit) and ānanda is known as cidānanda, the ultimate reality of Consciousness and Bliss, the state of Paramaśiva {combination of Śiva (Consciousness) and Śakti (Bliss)}. This nāma talks about Her highest Reality, where She remains united with Śiva.

26. Evamityāgamābodhyā एवमित्यागमाबोध्या

She cannot be made known even by āgama śāstra-s. Āgama can be interpreted in two ways. It means acquisition of knowledge and also a collection of traditional doctrines (belief or philosophy). The nāma clearly says that She cannot be understood by merely reading or following certain philosophies. She cannot also be attained by mundane knowledge or worldly knowledge.

This can be compared to a zoology student working in a software firm. What is the connection between zoology and software skills? He has attained skill in software only be learning, grasping, exploring and experiencing. Spiritual path has also the same four aspects – learning, grasping, exploring (within) and experiencing (experiencing Bliss). At the end of these four, he realizes the Self. The most important aspect of the four is exploring. When one explores the Self within, he develops innumerable doubts. These doubts are to be cleared by his Guru. When he becomes without any doubt, Bliss manifests automatically. The next stage is liberation.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.22) explains this. “This Self is That which has been described as not This, not That. It is imperceptible....”

27. Ekabhaktimadarcitā एकभक्तिमदर्चिता

Eka bhakti means focussed devotion or not worshipping multiple gods at a time. Bhakti here means contemplation and does not mean ritualistic worship. Single pointed contemplation on Her is eka bhakti. When one meditates on Her with a focused mind, they enter into the world of ecstasy. Madameans rapture.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (VII.17), “A man of wisdom who is always established in Me and possessing single pointed devotion to Me is superior. I am very dear to him and he is very dear to Me.”

This nāma accentuates the point of contemplating Her within. Unless She is realized and understood as the Self within, liberation will remain only as a distant dream. Any amount of worship and any amount of recitation of Her mantras will not give final liberation. They only lay the foundation, without which, the foundation will not be strong. When one decides to seek Her at any cost, She will become Her Guru and guide the aspirant. Śiva became Her Guru only like this.

One begins his or her spiritual life with external worship, using flowers, making offerings etc. The next stage is the recitation of Her mantra japas. In the initial stages both external worship and mantra japa will go on concurrently. After sometime, there will be an inclination for him to reduce his rituals and finally he stops all his rituals and continues with mantra japa. When this stage comes, he begins to think about Her and begins to make enquiries about Her. He either goes to his Guru or acquires knowledge through books. When his desire to know Her become too intent, he begins to drift away from mantra japas. His japa counts come down and at one point of time He spends most of his time in knowing Her. Day and night do not bother him. He begins to move away from socialisation and entertainment. He tries to spend most of his time with himself. At the end of his quest, He begins to realize Her through meditation. He first sits for meditation at the prescribed time. With more knowledge, he skips timings. He slips into meditation for shorter duration frequently. This, over a period of time becomes perpetual. Now he becomes a sthitaprajña. He continues to undergo sufferings as he is experiencing his karmas. At one point of time, he exhausts all his karmas and becomes a jīvanmukta and dies later at the appointed time. She takes his soul in person and makes it merge with Śiva. This is the only way to attain Her.