5.6: NAMES FROM LALITA-TRISHATI - P.4
(137) sarvAva-guNa-varjitA: avaguNa is bad qualities, namely those that lead to dishonour, disgrace, and disrepute. She is devoid of al such qualities. Of course thid does not mean to attribute good qualities to the attributeless parA-Sakti. She is beyond all qualities. All qualities are those of the mind which is only a superposition on the substratum of the Absolute. In that sense She is not affected by any of them either good or bad. The Space within a jar is not in any way affected by the qualities of the jar. Its relationship to the jar by means of the shape or quality of the jar is a transitory phenomenon. Listen to kaTha-upanishad (5 - 11):
sUryo yathA sarva-lokasya cakshuH na lipyate cakshushair-bAhya-doshaiH /
ekas-tathA sarva-bhUtAntarAtmA na lipyate loka-dukhena bAhyaH //
Just as the Sun, which is the eye of the whole world,
is not tainted by the ocular and external defects,
similarly the Self, that is but one, the immanent one, in all beings,
is not tainted by the sorrows of the world, It being transcendental.
(142) kAla-hantRI : (This name occurs also in lalitA-sahasra-nAma) She destroys, puts an end to, Time (kAla). Time originates from Her. Time finally merges in Her. So She is beyond Time. The concept of Time does not apply to Her. So She 'destroys'Time. The word kAlah also means the God yama of death. So kAlah is Death. Death is what occurs to those who are in the vortex of samsAra, the transmigratory cycle. But those who have crossed the tranmigratory cycle by the Grace of the Mother have no business with Death. Thus She 'conquers' Death. When we are unaware of the Mother, that much of Time is wastefully spent, that is Time is drained. The more our Time is drained the more we are nearer to Death. Thus Time takes us irrevocably to Death. But those moments of our awareness of the immanent presence of the Mother, are conserved moments of Time. Thus saved, the end of our Time is postponed. And those who are aware of Her presence constantly and uninterruptedly, conserve all their Time and Death does not approach them! Thus She destroys the 'power' of Time that brings Death nearer.
There is another aspect of this word 'kAla'. The human life is determined by the number of breaths he inhales and exhales. One inhaling followed by an exhaling is counted as one breath. In the period of 24 hours between one sunrise to next sunrise, one is supposed to have 21,600 such breaths - which, on calculation, gives onbe breath for every 4 sec onds. The more one can reduce this number of 21,600 the longer one lives. This is one reason for the prANAyAma having a beneficial effect on one's longevity. When we hold the breath inside, the mental aberrations also subside. This is called citta-vRtti-nirodha, that is, the stoppage of mind flowing into its channels. When the mind is trained to control its usual flow of thoughts, that is the road to total Realisation. And that is the time when Time itself stops!. The Power of Consciousness within us, which is nothing but the Mother Goddess is the Prime Mover of this achievement, if at all, of ours, and in that sense therefore, She is the destroyer of Time!
(153) kAruNya-vigrahA : Here a form is attributed to the Goddess. It is the form of total compassion and grace. The devotees always need the Grace of the almighty. But if the Almighty is taken to be attributeless, then it may be illogical to expect any activity from that Absolute, in the form of a blessing or benefaction on us. It is absolutely necessary to visualise an attributed God or Goddess with an active intelligence which reacts to our suffering, responds to our prayers and showers its compassion on us. This is exactly what the Mother Goddess lalitA is. She is Compassion and Grace personified! Grace is part and parcel of Her. Grace is Her body. That is why when we pray for the Grace of God, we pray to Her. Prayer to a personal God should be to a form which comes out of its own free will to create, which is unbounded by the kArmic cycle, which is a treasure house of sat, cit, and Ananda and whose sole purpose is to pour out grace. All these constitute the foremost qualities of the Mother.
(162) hamsa-gatiH : The simplest meaning is "She whose gait (gatih) is lovely and majestic like the hamsa, which is the carrier-bird of Creator brahmA. But there are several esoteric meanings. The passage of life-giving air in and out of the human body is called 'hamsa'. cf.
hakAreNa bahir-yAti sakAreNa punar-viSet /
It goes out by the (vocalisation of) 'ha' and comes in by (that of) 'sa'.
This hamsa- mantra therefore is the constant routine of human life, inspite of its involuntariness. It is called ajapA-mantra - where ajapA stands for that which is not being recited. She, the Mother Goddess, is of this form.
Also hamsa denotes the indiviual soul who gets a body appropriate to the merits and demerits acquired by it in its eternal journey. gati is the ultimate destination, of these souls. She is the One who is the ultimate Destination of all souls. cf. brahmvid-Apnoti param (taittirIyopanishad; 2 - 1) meaning, the One who knows brahman, reaches the Supreme. 'From where he never returns' says the scripture in another place - 'yad-gatvA na nivartante'.
Also hamsa denotes a renunciate who has had the Enlightenment of the absolute and therefore has no attachment to any particular place or individual. So such renuciates roam from place to place. Such are those who know Her as She is. So She is the One who is known by such hamsa's.
(171) hArda-santamasApahA : There is a darkness (santamas) of Ignorance covering up the spiritual center in the heart where the spark of Absolute Consciousness is situated. Mother goddess is the One who dispels (apahanti) this darkness. hArda is that which pertains to the heart.
(173) hamsa-mantrArtha-rUpiNI : She personifies in Herself the significance and meaning of the mantra 'hamsa'. The 'ha'syllable connotes the word 'tat' (= 'That')of the upanishads. The 'sa' syllable connotes the word 'tvam' ('You'). 'That ' is not amenable to direct perception. 'You' is direct experience. The mantra 'hamsa' contains within itself the conglomerate identity of both obtained by what is called the definition which discards and does not discard -- jahad-ajahal-lakshaNa .
(183) laya-sthid-yudbhaveSvarI :She is the root cause (both the material and the efficient cause) for dissolution (laya), sustenance (sthiti) and birth (udbhava) . Athing may be produced from its efficient cause but it cannot return to that at dissolution unless it is also the material cause. That is why the laya, dissolution is mentioned here first.