Puṣṭā पुष्टा (801)

Puśṭi means nourishment. Her form is made up of thirty six tattva-s and beyond. She does not need any nourishment.  The entire nourishment emanates from Her or the universe is nourished by Her through these thirty six principles.  It can also be said that She is nurtured by the love of Her devotees.  Or it can also be explained that She is nourished by the essence (rasa) discussed in the previous nāma. 

Purātanā पुरातना (802)

Purātanā means ancient (the oldest). She is so addressed because She is the first amongst creation. Śiva created Her and the entire creation originated from Her. 

Pūjyā पूज्या (803)

Pūjyā means worshipful.  She is worshipful because She is complete in everything.  Generally, the form and inherent qualities make a person worshipful. This is because such a person is full of positive energies (due to positive thoughts and virtuous actions), which radiates through the bodily form.   After all She is the embodiment of universal energy.  Nāma 213 is mahā pūjyā.

(Further reading:  A good meditation results in positive vibes. Apart from meditation, love for fellow living beings is the biggest source of positive energies. True love makes a person to communicate with plants and animals. Suppose, someone plucks a flower from a plant, he has to learn to express his apologies to the plant for plucking the flower.  The flower belongs to the plant.  Flowers and fruits are the children of plant kingdom.  Such trivial things show the right path to reach the higher levels of spirituality.)

Puṣkarā पुष्करा (804)

She gives puṣṭi (nāma 801) to all Her devotees (puṣṭi means nourishment). Nāma 801 said that She is nourished and this nāma says She nourishes (compare this with series of nāma-s like 158 and 159, 162 and 163, etc).

It is said that there is no difference between ra and la. If the last two alphabets ra is replaced with la then puṣkarā becomes puṣkalā. Puṣkal means copious, abundant, full, complete, etc.  Generally puṣkal is an epithet used for Śiva.  Puṣkalaṁ means Mount Meru, where She resides.  In these contexts, this nāma could also refer to Her nature such as full, complete etc.  Śiva is omnipresent and Śiva’s wife Śaktī is also omnipresent. Or it could also refer to Her domicile, Mahā Meru (Śrī Cakra). 

Puṣkarekṣaṇā पुष्करेक्षणा (805)

Puṣkar means several things such as lotus-eyed, blue coloured lotus flower, heaven, sky, earth, tip of the trunk of an elephant, etc.  If a full moon falls on the nights of Monday, Tuesdays or Saturdays, that night is known as Puṣkar.  The art of dancing, intoxication, etc are also known as PuṣkarŚiva is also known as Puṣkar.  It is difficult to say under what context this nāma is placed here by Vāc Devi-s.   If this nāma is taken as description of Her eyes, then there are other nāma-s such as Kamākṣī (nāma 62), Mṛgākṣī (nāma 561), which describe the eternal beauty of Her eyes. 

Puṣkara also means water that made the earth deluged. At the time of annihilation water surrounded the earth leading to annihilation.  Īkṣaṇā means eye sight.  In this context Puṣkarekṣaṇā could mean Her motherly look during this deluge for recreation.  Contextually also, this interpretation seems to be appropriate. 

Paraṃjyotiḥ परंज्योतिः (806)

Para means supreme, Jyoti means light and paraṃjyotiḥ means ‘Supreme Light’. Supreme Light means the Brahman. Supreme light is Self-illuminating or the prakāśa aspect of the Brahman. From this Supreme light alone, sun get his light and illuminates the galaxy, that is known to us. 

A number of Upaniṣad-s talk about this Light. 

Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.6) says “upon that immortal Light of all lights the gods meditate as longevity.” This means that gods meditate on this Supreme Light for their immortality. 

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) explains this further. “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire.  When Brahman shines, everything follows.  By Its light, all these are lighted.”  This is the famous dīpa ārādhana mantra:

na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ।
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti॥

”न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोयमग्निः।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति॥

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) says, param joytiḥ upasampadyate which means attaining the highest light. The Upaniṣad says “Then, this person, who is the embodiment of happiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature.  This is the Self.”

Realisation happens in a fraction of a second when a person is immersed in the highest level of spiritual consciousness with flashes of Light appearing within him. She is in the form of that self-illuminating light (the Brahman).  To attain this stage no japa or meditation is required. It is only the thought construct that matters. This is why Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (III.ix.10) says, “light is the mind”. 

Paraṃdhāma परंधाम (807)

Parama + dhāma = paraṃdhāmaParama means the highest degree of excellence and dhāma means brilliance (tejas) or a class of super human beings or abode.  Bhagavad Gīta (XV.6) says “Neither the sun nor the moon nor the fire can illuminate that supreme self-effulgent state, attaining to which they never return to this world. That is My Supreme Abode.”  Kṛṣṇa uses the word paraṃdhāma for Supreme Abode.

In the previous nāma it is said that She is self-illuminating. This nāma talks about the nature of the Light. From the Supreme Light emanates the Supreme brilliance. This Supreme Light and its tejas (Supreme brilliance or radiance) go together. 

In the highest level of consciousness, the empirical individual through the process of thought constructs first, moves towards paraṃdhāma and after transcending paraṃdhāma, he reaches Paraṃjyotiḥ. This is the process of merging with the Brahman.  When he enters the brilliance of light (paraṃdhāma) he is showered with bliss and when he moves still further, he merges with the Self-illuminating Brahman (Paraṃjyotiḥ).

This is an appropriate context where one can recall the famous saying of Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.iii.9) ‘tad Viśṇoḥ paramaṃ padam’ (that state which is the highest, where the individual self merges with the Cosmic Self).

Viṣṇu is known as Paraṃdhāman.

{Further reading - A yogi’s experience of effulgence:  “If a person is not Buddha or awakened enough, he won’t be able to resist His emergence as such, i.e. as Effulgence. It feels as if one is blasted by plasma cannon. I mean, it is like being shot by a powerful weapon. His Effulgence bombs you with short but continuous waves of energy. Shocking! People not duly trained and deserving couldn’t tolerate this without becoming unconscious (stupefied). That’s why the Lord is not appearing in that way to them yet. If He did so, they would think that they went into a deep coma or something. So, everything is working as it should and at the right time.

When His Effulgence appears in that pulsating manner, if you are awanened enough, you can resist and enjoy It such and as It is. As the shots impact on you, so to speak, you are forced to open the mouth (vismayamudrā or mudrā of amazement) and your eyes fill with tears. It is a stunning experience! After that, one wonders, what one was doing before. Living without that kind of experience is like being dead, but one doesn’t notice that till he gets the emergence of His Effulgence. But to resist It and accordingly enjoy It, one must be awakened enough or the mind automatically shuts down like a fuse. I suppose, due to the intensity of the experience, that a “usual” mind could be burnt up if it doesn’t shut down in that way. Therefore, everything works as it should. One wants speed up but that’s not possible unless one’s system survives the experience. For that, one must be trained and deserving enough.”}

Paramāṇuḥ परमाणुः (808)

She is the Supreme atom (the aboriginal matter). Supreme atom means smaller than an atom (smaller than the smallest). In today’s context this can be compared to neutron (a sub-atomic particle). This is explained in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.20) which says, “aṇoḥ aṇiyān’ meaning smaller than the smallest.  Smaller than the smallest, gives bigger than the biggest.  The entire creation originates from paramāṇuḥ or aṇoḥ aṇiyān (neutron). 

Anu also means mantra. Then, the nāma means Her Pañcadaśī mantraPara means Supreme and anu means mantra. The Supreme mantra is always Her Pañcadaśī mantra.