Mahāpātaka-naśinī महापातक-नशिनी (214)

She destroys great sins.  There are certain rules for expiations of sins.   Sins are committed knowingly and unknowingly.  There is no remedy for committing a sin knowingly. The worst sin is brahmahatyā, which means murdering the one who is an exponent of Veda-s.  It is said that there is no remedy for this sin.   For such sins, karmic account swells and accordingly one has to undergo sufferings either in this birth itself or in subsequent births.   (A study of birth chart will reveal whether a person has such karmic afflictions, based on 5th and 9th houses.  Though various remedies are prescribed to eradicate such afflictions, the best remedy is to feed the deserving poor and starving animals. For brahmahatyā doṣa, it is said that there is no remedy at all.)   One has to surely undergo sufferings for such sins either committed in this birth or in previous births and such sufferings cannot be mitigated by performing remedies.   This nāma says that She can absolve even the worst sins of Her devotees.  

Mahā-māyā महा-माया (215)

Māyā means illusion.  She is known as mahā-māyā svarūpinī.  The entire universe functions on the basis of māyā or illusion.  If She does not cast Her effect of māyā on this world, there will no activity at all.  Her spell of māyā makes us to seek the Brahman, Her another form, prākaśa vimarśa mahā-māyā svarūpinī.  Even the sages and saints are no exception to Her spell of māyā.  The intensity of māyā is felt depending upon one’s karma.  The ‘hrīṁ (ह्रीं)’ bīja is called māyā bīja (please refer to the discussion on Pañcadaśī mantra). 

{Further reading on māyā:  In advaita philosophy (non-dualism) to some thinkers the terms māyā and avidyā mean the same thing. But some advaitins differentiate them and say that māyā is an auxiliary to Īśvarā and avidyā is an auxiliary to soul. The main function of māyā is projection, projecting the Brahman in various shapes and forms.  But avidyā can both obscure and project, but covering is the main function of avidyā. According to some, the substrate of avidyā is soul and according to some others, avidyā resides in the Brahman.

The root of māyā is which means ‘to measure’. The infinite Brahman appears as if measured due to the effect of māyā. The root also means, leading to the ideal of illusionary appearance.  The word māyā can be split into + yā.  Then it means that which is not, but appears to be.

Māyā is regarded as Śaktī, the attribute of the Brahman.  Brahman is essentially without attributes and is known as nirguṇa Brahman.  But viewed in relation to māyā, it is saguṇa Brahman or with attributes.  Just as a magician conjures up many things by his magical power which he really does not possess, so Brahman with māyā śaktī projects the appearance of the world.  As things conjured up by the magician are false, so the projected world is ultimately false. 

The phenomenal world is mere illusion or māyā.  It is in reality non-existent. It appears to exist only because of the external objects that are related in the self, behind the mind.  It is nothing but a mere illusory projection of ātman.}

Mahā-sattvā महा-सत्त्वा (216)

Sattvā is one of the three guṇa-s, the other two being rajas and tamas.  Out of the three, sattva guṇa is supreme. When this guṇa is dominant in a person, he cannot commit any sins either knowingly or unknowingly.  She chooses these persons to shower on them Her special grace.  Here She is referred to as an embodiment of the qualities of sattva guṇa such as understanding the reality, emitting positive energy from one’s own self, the mental and physical strength due to the positive vibrations etc. 

Mahā-śaktiḥ महा-शक्तिः (217)

Śaktī means energy.  Because of Her sattvic guṇa, She possesses supreme energy, with which She controls the universe.  The universe functions only with the energy of the Brahman.  For example, the gravitational force that keeps the planets in a place, thereby avoiding collision and resultant great dissolution. Therefore, She by Her supreme energy keeps this universe afloat. 

Mahā-ratiḥ महा-रतिः (218)

She gives immense happiness and delight to Her devotees. (rati means pleasure, enjoyment, delight in, fondness for). This is possible because She has that kind of potential energy, full of happiness and delight.  After all, She is the incarnation of auspiciousness.  Her form, Her radiance, Her qualities, Her supreme care (being Śrī Mātā or the divine mother) all these lead to happiness when one cogitates Her sincerely.  There is also another reason for this.  Śiva is known for His auspiciousness.  His wife is also full of auspiciousness as She is always with Him.  998th nāma of this Sahasranāma is Śrī Śiva meaning auspiciousness. Nāma 53 is Śiva.