Nirañjanā निरञ्जना (133)

Añjanā means a black paste (eye liner or collyrium) that is applied to eyes of women.  Hanuman’s mother’s name is Añjanā. “Añjanā nandanaṁ vīraṁ” says a verse.  When añjanā is applied to eyes, they look beautiful.  Her eyes look beautiful without añjanā is the textual meaning.  But añjanā also means ignorance as ignorance is always compared to darkness and knowledge to light.  Nir means without.  She is without ignorance.  Vāc Devi-s would not have coined this nāma to mean that She is without ignorance.  Ignorance and knowledge are associated with human and not with the Divine Mother as She is the embodiment of knowledge.   Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.19) gives answer to this argument.  It Says ‘niṣkalaṁ, niṣkriyam, śāntam, niravadyaṁ, niranjanaṁ”. This means that Brahman has ‘no form, no action, no attachment, above reproach and without any blemish’.  It also says niranjanaṁ which means without any blemish.  Therefore it is to be inferred that Lalitāmbikā is the Brahman.   This nāma says that Her formless (nirguṇa Brahman) form is without any blemishes. Please refer nāma 354 for further details. 

In Kuṇḍalinī meditation, when one reaches ājñā cakra, one will be able to see light.  In the initial stages, this light may have some blemishes and these blemishes vanish along with the practice. This is called Her blemish less form, as Kuṇḍalinī is Her subtlest form.

Nirlepā निर्लेपा (134)

She is without attachments.  Lepā means stain or pollution which is impure.  Attachment is caused by bondage and bondage is the result of karma-s.  Karma-s arise out of actions.  She is beyond karma-s arising out of actions.  This could be interpreted in two ways.  She is attached to Her devotees.  Many devotees are able to manifest Her in their bodies.  In such situations, She becomes one with the bodies of Her devotees.  The karma-s of such devotees do not affect Her.  In fact, if a devotee has such an opportunity, he is absolved of all his karma-s.  This is because of the fact that the divine energy can enter into a body, provided that body is suitable in all respects (such as strength, internal and external purity) to withstand the potency of divine energy.  Some ancient scriptures point out that the body of a devotee becomes pure by merely acquiring knowledge about Her. 

The second interpretation is in line with what Kṛṣṇa says (Bhagavad Gīta V.10) ‘One who performs duty without attachment, surrendering the result to the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action’.  Kṛṣṇa also says ‘There is no work that affects me nor do I aspire for the fruits of action’ (Bhagavad Gīta IV.14).   Lalitāmbikā perfectly fits this explanation.  She performs Her action as directed by Her Lord Śiva, hence karma-s arising out of such actions do not affect Her.  This is the case of yogi-s also.  Yogi-s perform worldly duties, perform rituals, sacrifices, external worships, etc but they surrender the results unto God, either good or bad arising out of such actions.  The attire does not make a yogi.  Only thoughts and actions make a perfect yogi.  If one acquires complete knowledge about the Brahman and remain with the Brahman, karma-s do not affect him. 

Nirmalā निर्मला (135)

Mala means dirt arising out of impure matter, where the afflicted mental state of an empirical individual is disabled by his own impurity causing attachment to actions viz saṁsāra.  She is without such dirt.  In the last nāma impurity arising out of mind was discussed and in this nāma impurities arising out of matter is being discussed.  It is to be recalled that mind and matter is ŚaktīMala is a sense of imperfection that leads to ignorance about the soul and hampers the free expression of the Supreme Self.  This ignorance is caused by ego which is called mala or ānava-mala.  

This nāma says that if one gets out of attachments towards matter by dissolving his ego, knowledge is attained.  Presence of mala causes avidyā (ignorance) which leads to confusion, dirt and darkness.  This darkness can be dispelled by meditating on Her, thereby acquiring knowledge. 

It is interesting to note that all the nāma-s that talk about nirguṇa Brahman either directly or indirectly refer to meditation. 

{Further reading on mala: Mala is known as innate ignorance that conceals the true nature of the Self.  It is mere consciousness of the supposed imperfection and limitation which is responsible for the rise of countless individual selves.  It is the instrumental cause of the impurity or mala.  One’s karmic account is the main cause for the level of innate ignorance. This ignorance is of two types, internal and external.  One is due to the revival of old vasānā-s (impressions) and another one arises from the contact of a certain sense with a certain external object.  Again intellectual ignorance is different from spiritual ignorance.  Intellectual ignorance is dependent upon the connection of the individual self with the body, with which it co-exists. But, in the case of spiritual ignorance, it is independent of intellectual ignorance. It is due to this difference, liberation cannot be attained only by intellectual knowledge. Liberation can be obtained only with the combination of intellectual knowledge and spiritual knowledge.} 

Nityā नित्या (136)

Nitya means eternal and without changes.  As nirguṇa Brahman is being discussed, one of the qualities of the Brahman is explained here.   Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.v.14) describes the Brahman as “the Self is indeed immutable and indestructible”.  Brahman is beyond changes and exists everywhere, omnipresent.

Nitya-s are the fifteen deities representing fifteen lunar days.  They are worshipped while worshipping Śrī Cakra.  Each of these deities has mūla mantra and is capable of giving different siddhi-s.

{Further reading on Nitya-s:  Nitya is said to be the highest object of worship and the ultimate philosophical principle in kula system.  The world kula stands for Śaktī.  Apart from the fifteen nitya-s, sixteenth nitya is Lalitāmbikā Herself, who is also known as Mahā Tripurasundarī.  Out of these nitya-s, the last three nitya-s are more concerned with internal worship. There are nine tantra-s that deal with these nitya-s.  It is also said that the power of Śaktī is known as nitya.]

Nirākārā निराकारा (137)

She is formless. Ākāra means form, figure, shape, etc. This is an important aspect of nirguṇa Brahman (nirguṇa means devoid of all qualities or properties).  The qualities of the formless Brahman are being described one after another. 

Nirākulā निराकुला (138)

She is without agitation.  Ākulā means confounded, confused, agitated, flurried, or disordered. Nir negates all that is meant by ākulā. This means that She is not agitated, not confused etc.  She is the cause for these attributes, but She is not affected by these attributes. 

Though She is associated with ignorance or avidyā, still she is not agitated.  She is associated with ignorance means She is the cause of avidyā.  When She is in the form of māyā or illusion, She causes ignorance.  Māyā prevents the sādhāka to acquire knowledge.  This nāma means that even though ignorance is caused by Her, She is not agitated by this ignorance.