Jaḍa-śaktiḥ जड-शक्तिः (418)

She is the power of inanimate energy (jaḍa).  Generally, two types of energies are referred to in the process of creation.  One is the non-pulsating (inanimate) energy and the other is pulsating energy.  Both are creative energies. The latter is also known as dynamic aspect of the Brahman.  This nāma discusses on the non-pulsating nature of creation.  Inanimate energy or aparā-prakṛti is considered to be of the lower grade when compared to parā-prakṛti or pure energy (nāma 366 is parā).  These two forms of prakṛti are the different modifications of māyā or illusion, which forms part of the Brahman.  Without māyā, the Brahman on its own cannot function.  In nāma 416 She was referred to as Cicchaktiḥ.  This nāma refers exactly the opposite of Cicchakti.  But the creation is not possible without the combination of Cicchakti and Jaḍaśakti

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta (VII.4 and 5) “My manifested nature has eight fold differentiations: earth, water, fire, air and ākāś (ether) in combination with mind, intellect and ego (three of the four components of antaḥkaraṇa).  This is my lower nature (aparā-prakṛti).  But understand that my different and higher nature (parā-prakṛti) is the jīva, the self-consciousness and life-principle that sustains the cosmos”. 

Jaḍaśakti forms part of the saguṇa Brahman (the Brahman with attributes).  This saguṇa Brahman uses both inanimate and animate energies for creation. This is based on the principle that two factors are needed to create a third.  Jaḍaśakti is responsible for creating the objective world (conscious mind is objective in nature) that is described in the next nāma. 

Jaḍātmikā जडात्मिका (419)

She exists as the objective world of māyā that has been discussed in the previous nāma.  Except the Brahman, everything else is called māyā.  When the universe is called as object, then realizing the Brahman can be called as the subject.

{Further reading on subject and object: Let us now understand the subject and object concept of the Brahman. What we are not able to see is not an object. If Brahman is object it has to be seen first before realizing. We are not able to see Brahman. Scriptures also never gave any form to Brahman. Secondly anything could be an object except our own self. Why ‘I’ is not called the object because we use our knowledge in realising the Brahman. How do we get our knowledge? We get knowledge from the objects around us. Tree is an object and we gain knowledge about tree by seeing it. We use our sensory organs to gain knowledge. Knowledge is gained out of the objects only. All objects will perish one day as they exist physically. In the same way, if you look at Brahman as an object, He has to exist physically. If He exists physically, he has to perish one day. Brahman is not visible to us nor is he going to perish like all other living beings. This is yet another confirmation that Brahman is not an object. Only for our convenience we make Him as object by defining various forms. But these forms are not without deeper significance which we shall discuss later. On the basis of the foregoing we can conclude that Brahman is not an object. If He is not an object, then is He the subject?  Let us find out.

Subject is defined as matter for discussion and a cause to experience. Brahman is the subject taken up for discussion and we are waiting to experience the Brahman. Therefore Brahman could be the subject. But we need more proof to confirm this. You call a tree as an object. How do you know it is an object? You are able to see the tree, the object with your eyes. Who is experiencing the vision of the tree? It is you, your sense organ eye experiencing the vision of the tree. So it is you who is experiencing. Does it mean that you are the subject? Possibly yes. You could be the subject. If you are subject, then what is the position of the Brahman? We have been referring the Brahman as the subject. When Brahman, the Supreme is the subject, how can you too be the subject? Does it mean that the subject, you as an individual and the Brahman are one and the same? Does it mean that the knower and the known are the same? Who is the knower? You are the knower. Who is the known? Brahman is the known. How we can call the Brahman as the known? We cannot call him the known at this stage. He can be called as known only after really knowing him. Discussion about the Brahman does not mean that you know him. By these discussions we are only trying to realise the universal existence of the Brahman. The Brahman within you or me or the tree is one and the same as He exists much smaller than an atom.}

Gāyatrī गायत्री (420)

She is in the form of goddess Gāyatrī or Gāyatrī mantraChāndogya Upaniṣad (III.12.1) says “All that exists in this world, whatever there is, is Gāyatrī.  It is the word that is Gāyatrī, for the word gives names to all things and it also tells them not to fear.” The Upaniṣad also says that the Gāyatrī mantra protects and saves a person who repeats this mantra

There is a story in Padma Purāna about Gāyatrī which goes like this:  When Lord Brahma was performing a fire ritual, He called his wife Sāvitri.  She said that she would come with Lakṣmī and other goddesses.  Brahma became wild and substituted a cowherd’s daughter (Kṛṣṇa’s dynasty) for his wife.  He named her as Gāyatrī.  Accompanied by her, Brahma decided to hasten the fire ritual. At that time, Viṣṇu told Brahma to marry her in the gandharva form of marriage (mental union of a man and a woman) and Brahma thus married Gāyatrī.   

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta X.35 ‘among poetic meters I am GāyatrīKṛṣṇa elaborates in chapter X, verses 21 to 41 ‘His prominent manifestations among the beings, forces and objects that are the causes and the results of His creative, preservative and terminative activities of the cosmos’.   Therefore, Gāyatrī is considered as the powerful of all the poetic meters.  Lalitāmbikā is said to be in the form of Gāyatrī.  The appropriate way of interpretation is that Gāyatrī is one among the multitude manifestations of Lalitāmbikā.

{Further reading on Gāyatrī mantraGāyatrī mantra is considered as one of the holiest and powerful mantra-s that finds a place in three Veda-s and a few Upaniṣads. The main difference between Veda-s and Upaniṣad is that the former talks about the Brahman and the latter shows the ways and means of realising the Brahman revealed by the Veda-s. In practical applications, Upaniṣads play an important role than the Veda-s as Veda-s mostly talk about mantra-s and rituals. Amongst all the mantras, Gāyatrī mantra is considered as the most sacred one. Let us now understand Gāyatrī mantra.

Each mantra is made up of certain number of syllables and a mantra with twenty four syllables is called Gāyatrī chandas. This mantra was first realized by sage Viśvāmitra. He attained enormous siddhi-s by chanting this mantra. The twenty four syllables are placed in three lines or pāda-s and each pāda has eight bīja-s. The mantra proper is preceded by ॐ and then by three vyāhṛti-s. Vyāhṛti-s represent the three types of worlds. (The names of the seven worlds are bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ, mahaḥ, janaḥ, tapaḥ, satyaṁ. The first three are called the great vyāhṛiti-s and recited after ॐ by many, before commencing their daily prayers and are personified as the daughters of Savitṛi and Pṛiśni.) Then follow the Gāyatrī mantra proper. ॐ or praṇava is the first manifestation of Śabda Brahman. Before ॐ could manifest into A, U and M it was in the form of nāda-bindu (un-manifested form of sound), the creative power of the universe. All sounds originated from Śiva’s drum. We have already seen that Śiva is the static energy, originated on His own. Śaktī was created out of this static energy by means of abnormal pulsation. Possibly this is the only instance when the static energy pulsated. The pulsation of Śiva manifested as Śaktī and from Śaktī all other manifestations such as prakṛti originated. From prakṛti, five elements originated. This is how the creation was commenced by the Supreme Śaktī, in her vimarśa form. From the nāda-bindu (Śiva and Śaktī combine) three syllables A, U and M originated, representing various triads. These are Brahma, Viṣṇu and Rudra (one of the forms of Śiva is Rudra and this Rudra should not be confused with ekādaśa (11) Rudra-s); creation, sustenance and dissolution; past, present and future and desire, knowledge and action. Thus the Gāyatrī mantra begins with OM, the original manifested sound of the Brahman.

Next to praṇava are three vyāhṛti-s bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ. These vyāhṛti-s represent further manifestation of OM and this manifestation is called origin of speech and said to represent the three worlds of this universe. These three worlds originated from the three letters A, U, M of OM or अ, उ म of ॐ.  From these vyāhṛti-s , was derived the Gāyatrī mantra. Gāyatrī mantra is the origin of three Veda-s (Rig, yajur and Sama Veda-s).  Three loka-s or worlds mean the three stages of consciousness. Bhūr means the lower level of consciousness and lower planes. Bhuvar means the ordinary or normal level of consciousness that is associated with our day to day activities. Svar means higher level of consciousness. Thus, the three vyāhṛti-s in fact mean the modifications in the level of consciousness. Three loka-s are also commonly enumerated, viz. heaven, earth, and the atmosphere or lower regions.  Bhūr-loka, the earth; Bhuvar-loka the space between the earth and sun inhabited by sages and saints; Svar-loka, Indra's Heaven above the sun or between it and the polar star.

After OM and three vyāhṛti-s, the famous Gāyatrī mantra of twenty four syllables are placed. It has three pāda-s or lines. The first line of eight bīja-s is tat saviturvareṇyaṁ तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं. tat means that, savitur means the Creator, vareṇyaṁ means the Supreme. The first pāda means ‘That Supreme creator’. The second pāda or line of eight bīja-s is bhargo devasya dhīmahi भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि. bhargo means illuminating form, devasya means that belongs to the Brahman, dhīmahi means meditate. The second pada means we meditate on the illuminating form that belongs to the Brahman. The third pāda or line of eight bīja-s is dhīyo yo naḥ pracodayāt धीयो यो नः प्रचोदयात्. dhiyo means the modifications of the mind, yo means that Brahman, naḥ means ours, pracodayāt means inducing. The third line means modification of our mind is induced by that Brahman. As a whole this is the meaning of Gāyatrī mantra without vyāhṛti-s and pranava. “We meditate on that illuminating form of the Supreme Creator, who induces modifications in our mind (mental modifications).” It is to be understood that such mental modifications do not happen if our consciousness is in the same frequency as that of the Brahman. Mental modifications happen only in the lower planes.

Any mantra with gāyatrī meter will have twenty four bīja-s and this meter is supposed to protect our gross body. The gross body is nourished by the vital force or prāṇa and the first pāda of Gāyatrī mantra represents this vital force. The second pāda gives knowledge. Knowledge means, knowledge about the Brahman. This knowledge is gained through Veda-s and Upaniṣads. In ancient days, a disciple is sent to a Guru for learning Veda-s at a very young age. As the first step towards learning Veda-s, the disciple is initiated into Gāyatrī mantra. The third pāda of this mantra refers to turya stage, a stage beyond the three stages of sleep, dream and deep sleep. The process of Brahman realisation or Self-realisation happens if this fourth state of turya is reached and transcended. Only when one moves away from all types of consciousness, the Supreme Self-illuminating Brahman can be realized. When the mind gets totally detached from consciousness, the state of void is reached.

Gāyatrī mantra is often said to represent the sun. In fact this is true to a large extent. Sun fits perfectly the description of the Brahman. Without sun, the world cannot function. The energy itself is derived from the sun. Sun is also self illuminating like the Brahman. The light of the sun alone illuminates other objects, or other objects are known only with the rays of the sun. Since all the qualities of the Brahman perfectly fit the sun, it is referred to as the creator. That is why the word savitur in the first pāda is said to mean the sun. But it should not be construed that Gāyatrī mantra is about sun. Sun is one of the creations of Śaktī and it is not the Brahman that we are discussing. The main qualities of the Brahman like illumination, creation etc happens only through the light of the sun and we realize that these acts happen because of sun’s energy. The internal Self illumination that is several times powerful than the sun and when realized within, is known as Self. Therefore, Gāyatrī mantra is about the Supreme Brahman. That is why the mantra itself uses the word ‘meditate’. Only through meditation, modifications of the mind can take place that can ultimately lead to un-conscious state of the mind where the self illuminating Brahman is realized.

If Pañcadaśī mantra of Lalitāmbikā is recited once, it is equivalent to three recitations of Gāyatrī mantra. Each line of Pañcadaśī mantra is equivalent to one recitation of pūrṇa Gāyatrī mantra. The Gāyatrī mantra has got several curses from various gods and sages. The sage Viśvāmitra himself has cursed this mantra and there are certain mantra-s that are to be recited to remove all such curses. Unless these curses are removed, none can attain siddhi in this mahā mantra.}

Vyāhṛtiḥ व्याहृतिः (421)

She is in the form of vyāhṛti-s of Gāyatrī mantra as discussed in the previous nāma.