Ājñā आज्ञा (828)

Ājñā means orders.  She commands.  If Her orders are not obeyed She is enraged as per previous nāma.

Śiva says in Liṅga Purāṇa (I.87.9-11) “She is śruti and smṛti.  She is fortitude, stabilised by me.  She is the power of knowledge, kriya (rite) and icchā (will).  She is Ājñā. Undoubtedly we are the vidyā-s.  The prakṛti (cause) does not belong to the jīva (embodied soul).  Nor is She a vikṛti (effect) on consideration.  She is māyā.  She is not a vikāra (effect only).   Formerly She originated from my mouth at my behest. She is the eternal deity of five faces (possibly referring to Gāyatrī).  She is highly blessed and bestows fearlessness of the worlds.  At Her ājñā (here it means command), I think about the welfare of the worlds.  I am Śiva.”

Instead of ājñā, this nāma is alternatively referred to as jñāJñā means to know, to have knowledge. Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.2) says, yenāvrtaṃ nityamidaṃ hi sarvaṃ jñaḥ kālakāro guṇī sarvavidyah.  This means “The universe is enveloped by Him.  He alone knows that He is all knowing.  He creates time.  He is pure.”  Knowledge is considered as the prime quality of the Brahman.  Hence, importance is given to the highest quality of knowledge to know Him.  In this context, this nāma addresses Her as the source of knowledge or the embodiment of knowledge. 

Pratiṣṭā प्रतिष्टा (829)

She is the foundation. Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (79.7) says “Dharma, religious righteousness is the support of the whole universe. All are supported by dharma.”

Sixteen syllable meter is also known as pratiṣṭā.

Liṅga Purāṇa (II.21.66) says “Combination of kalā-s in the order of destruction is sāntyatītā, śānti, vidyā, amalā, pratiṣṭhā and nivṛtti.”

Tattva of water (jala tattva) is known as pratiśṭa kalā

This nāma means that She forms the foundation of the universe. This foundation is made up of dharma and righteousness.  (Dharma can be compared to cement and righteousness can be compared to sand.  The one without the other cannot form a good foundation. The universe is created and sustained only on the principle of interdependence. The Supreme authorities, Śiva and Śaktī are also interdependent.  Individual soul and body are interdependent for karmic unfolding.)

Prakaṭākṛtiḥ प्रकटाकृतिः (830)

Prakaṭa means evident, manifest, clear, public and ākṛti means form, figure shape.  This nāma means that Her form or nature is made known to all.  Brahman is present in all the living beings.  But due to the influence of māyā, a man considers himself as body, different from the Brahman.  He recognises him only through his body and others also recognise him through his gross body. Here “I” consciousness prevails.  But what one fails to understand is, that ‘I’ is Śiva.

Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (29.1) says “Certainly all this is water. All created beings are water.  The vital breaths in the body are water.” Thus the Upaniṣad proceeds to say that everything is water.  If interpretation is made this way, then She is in the form of holy waters (rivers). In this context, the nāma says that She is revealed to the universe in the form of water. 

In Śrī Cakra worship, devi-s of first āvaraṇa are known as prakaṭa yogini-s.  Possibly it can be said that these prakaṭa yogini-s are Her form or these yogini-s reveal Her true nature. 

Yogini means a female fairy, witch, sorceress (represented as eight in number and as created by Durgā and attendant on Her or on Śiva.)

Prāṇeśvarī प्राणेश्वरी (831)

She is prāṇa or the chief of prāṇa -s.  Brahma Sūtra (I.i.28) says prāṇastathā'nugamāt (प्राणस्तथाऽनुगमात्) which means ‘Brahman is prāṇa, because It is comprehended thus’.  It is also said that prāṇa is identified with consciousness and the purest form of consciousness is the Brahman. 

Chāndogya Upaniṣad ((I.xi.5) also says “In prāṇa all things appear and disappear”.  Creation and dissolution are the exclusive qualities of the Brahman.  Hence prāṇa is called as Brahman.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.14) says sarve Vedā yat padam āmananti.  All the Vedas praise the goal (the highest, the Brahman). This interpretation is based on pra means exalted and ana means Vedas. 

Individual consciousness bound by ego in association with prāṇa and senses manifest in a bodily form.  Thus prāṇa being one of the vital forces of creation, She is addressed here as the chief of prāṇa -s

Prāṇadātrī प्राणदात्री (832)

Prāṇa nourishes senses.  Without prāṇa, senses and mind cannot function.  The previous nāma said that She is the chief of prāṇa (possibly embodiment of prāṇa) and this nāma says that She is the giver of prāṇaBrahma Sūtra (II.iv5) says, “prāṇa-s must have originated from the Brahman, since speech is preceded by them.”

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.i.8) says, tasmāt sapta prāṇaḥ prabhavanti which means ‘from That (Brahman) seven prāṇa-s (prāṇa here means seven organs - two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, and mouth) have come.  This Upaniṣad confirms the statement of Kaṭha Upaniṣad referred in the previous nāma. 

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (I.vii) discusses further on this.  It refers to prāṇa, vyāna, upāna, udāna and samāna the five types of prāṇa-s.  The Upaniṣad calls these five as prāna pāṇkta (pāṇkta means fivefold) meaning group of prāṇa-s.  This prāna pāṇkta make indriya pāṇkta to function (functional senses). 

Therefore, it is apparent that without prāṇa, senses cannot function.  She gives that ‘vital force’ called prāṇa, without which life is not sustainable. 

When She provides prāṇa to the universe, She becomes Parā-Śaktī or parā-prakṛti. Prāṇa is subjective energy or vital force which is derived from the Brahman.  This nāma again reaffirms Her as the Brahman that permeates and sustains.