Nirāśrayā निराश्रया (147)

Āśraya means dependence (that to which anything is annexed or with which anything is closely connected or on which anything depends or rests).  Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.7) uses the word ‘anilayane’ meaning not resting on anything and free from modifications.  She does not depend on anything.  She being the Brahman does not depend upon anything and on the contrary, everything depends upon Her.  This nāma more or less conveys the same meaning conveyed in nāma 132.  Possibly, āśraya in this context could mean the gross body that supports the soul.  Since She is beyond soul (Brahman and soul are different.  Soul is called jīva), there is no question of Her gross body.  Since She is devoid of gross body, it connotes that She is the Brahman.

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.”

This nāma says that She is not dependent on anybody. 

Nitya-śuddhā नित्य-शुद्धा (148)

She is eternally pure.  Impurity is associated with the gross body and the embodiment of purity is within the impure gross body. Brahman is always pure as It is not subject to changes or modifications.  Impurity arises only if an object undergoes changes.

Nitya-buddhā नित्य-बुद्धा (149)

She is eternally wise.  Knowledge is gained by experience whereas being wise (jñāna) is inbuilt.  Knowledge is acquired from the wise.  Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iii.30) says ‘the knower’s function of knowing can never be lost, because it is imperishable.  But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can know’.   The Brahman is self illuminating intelligence.

Niravadhyā निरवध्या (150)

She is inviolable and without defects. Avadhyā means incapable of being transgressed or dishonoured.   Defects arise out of ignorance or ignorance is the cause of differentiating between defect and perfect.  There cannot be any defect in the Brahman as it is eternally pure.  Defects arise out of impurities such as desire, ego, etc.

Nirantarā निरन्तरा (151)

Antara has many meanings such as in the middle, inside, within, among, between, on the way, by the way, near, nearly, almost, in the meantime, now and then, for some time, between, during, without, etc. She is without such divisions.   Brahman will neither divide nor multiply, as He does not change.  It is permanent. 

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.7) says “If he makes even a smallest discrimination from the Brahman, he is afraid of the Brahman” (discriminating self from the Brahman).  Here the fear means rebirth.  The point driven home is the omnipresent nature of the Brahman.  The Brahman within all living beings, be it a plant, an insect, an animal or a human is the same, irrespective of the gross form.   The time, distance and religion do not modify the Brahman.  But it is the ignorance that make one consider Brahman as someone different from what he perceives.

Niṣkāraṇā निष्कारणा (152)

She is without cause. Kāraṇa means that which is invariably antecedent to some product. She is beyond descendance yet another quality of the Brahman. But the universe descends from Her.

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.9) says “There is none in this world who is His master or who governs Him, and here is nothing by which He can be identified.  He is the cause of all.  He is also the lord of the jīva (soul), who is the lord of the sense organs.  No one is His creator and no one is His controller”.

She is invoked in Śrī Cakra by addressing Her as kāranānanda vigrahe (कारनानन्द विग्रहे).It means that She is the blissful elementary matter for manifestation of the universe. Therefore, She is the cause for the universe and there is no cause for Her.

Niṣkalaṅkā निष्कलङ्का (153)

She is without any stains.  Stains arise out of sins.   That is why those who do not commit sins are considered on par with God, as such persons are extremely rare to find.  Īśa upaniṣad (verse 8) uses two words to describe the Brahman without stains.  The first one is śuddham which means pure.  The other one is apāpaviddha meaning unblemished (no race of ignorance).  The Brahman is pure and unblemished.  The sense of dualism is the cause for sins.  These sins cause blemishes.  Blemishes could be of anything viz. anger, hatred, jealousy, etc.  These blemishes are responsible for not realising the Brahman within.  These are called stains and She is devoid of such stains.

{Further reading on sin: With ethicization, morally good or bad actions are systematically converted into religiously good or bad actions.  In as much as any social morality must punish those who commit wrong and reward those who conform, so must a religious morality.  Implicit in these notions of reward and punishment are such ideas as religious merit and sin.  That is the consequences of the rights and wrongs for which one is being rewarded or punished can br conceptualised for present purposes of merit or sin. Sin is directly related to one’s karmic account.}