निमेषोन्मेषाभ्यां प्रलयमुदयं याति जगती
तवेत्याहुः सन्तो धरणिधरराजन्यतनये।
त्वदुन्मेषाज्जातं जगदिदमशेषं प्रलयतः
परित्रातुं शङ्के परिहृतनिमेषास्तव दृशः॥
nimeṣonmeṣābhyāṁ pralayamudayaṁ yāti jagatī
tavetyāhuḥ santo dharaṇidhararājanyatanaye |
tvadunmeṣājjātaṁ jagadidamaśeṣaṁ pralayataḥ
paritrātuṁ śaṅke parihṛtanimeṣāstava dṛśaḥ ||
nimeṣa unmeṣābhyāṁ - by winking of Your eyes; pralayam udayaṁ yāti jagatī – universe is annihilated and recreated; tava - Your; iti āhuḥ santa - thus say wise; dharaṇidhara rājanya tanaye – O! Daughter of King of Mountains; tvat unmeṣāt jātaṁ - arising out of Your eye winks; jagat idam aśeṣaṁ - entire universe; pralayataḥ - from annihilation; paritrātuṁ - to protect; śaṅke – I think; parihṛta nimeṣās – not winking; tava dṛśaḥ - Your eyes.
“O! Daughter of King of Mountains! Wise men say that the universe is annihilated and re-created by winking of Your eyes. But, I think that the entire is universe is protected by You, by not winking Your eyes.”
The underlying concept of this verse is difference in perception. Different people think differently. Some speak out of experience and some speak out of knowledge gained through texts. Out of the two, undoubtedly speaking through one’s experience is superior. Śaṁkarācārya says that he does not think what others say is true as his perception is different from others. When others say that the universe is created and annihilated merely by Her wink, Śaṁkarācārya looks at the same concept differently and with more emphatic positive attitude. Wise men say that She annihilates and re-creates the entire universe by a wink of Her eye. Śaṁkarācārya does not disagree with this, but he says that the universe is sustained by Her by not winking Her eyes. If She winks, either the universe will get annihilated or re-created. Both interpretations convey the same quality of Parāśakti, but how the quality is interpreted is different.
One’s perception depends upon one’s inherent qualities. In every human being, all the three guṇa-s are not in equal proportions. A person with sattva guṇa will not think about past and future and in this verse past and future is represented by, annihilation and re-creation, one after the other; but will think only about his present status. Śaṁkarācārya thinks about the present and the present stage is that the universe continues to exist.
Another point driven home by this verse is that creation, sustenance and annihilation, the three main acts of Brahman is done by Her and not by Śiva. Śiva is full of Light and hence He is known as Prakāśa; whereas Śakti is Vimarśa who reflects the Light of Śiva. Śiva does not partake in any actions and He always remains as the Self within. He is nirguṇa Brahman, Brahman without attributes. She is saguṇa Brahman, Brahman with attributes. Without Her, Śiva cannot reflect His Light. Śiva has unique power and He has transferred this power to Śakti, who takes care of the entire universe on His behalf. When She creates, sustains and annihilates, She performs these acts only on behalf of Śiva. This message is conveyed through this verse.
Lalitā Sahasranāma 281 Unmeṣa-nimiṣotpanna-vipanna-bhuvānavalī also conveys the same meaning and is interpreted thus: Unmeṣa means opening eye lids and nimiṣ means closing of eye lids. The creation and dissolution of the universe happens at the wink of Her eyes. When She opens Her eyes, universe is created and when She closes Her eyes, universe is dissolved (vipanna). She does these crucial acts with great ease. This nāma actually highlights the ease with which the Brahman creates and dissolves this universe. This nāma conveys the subtle nature of the cosmic creation. Kashmiri texts interpret Unmeṣa as the externalising of icchā śakti, the commencement of world process. Unmeṣa also means the unfoldment of spiritual consciousness, which is attained by focussing on the inner consciousness.