Sri Matre Namaha
Niradhara – The One Hundred & Thirty Second name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
nirgatah adharah (=adhistanantaram) yasyah sa
Who has no other support
In the real sense She has no other support as She is the support of the whole Universe.
She who does not need any support to herself.
Who has come out from the support ( i.e., base or muladhara). The upasargas are used in the sense of movement (krantyarthe)
She is the form of worship called niradhara which is explained in the SuSam. Of the external and internal worship, the internal worship is of two kinds, sadhara and niradhara. Of them, the niradhara worship is without form.
In some of the names that follow the text puts before us the nature of pure intellect, which is the object of the niradhara worship. The nature of the pure worship is described here by assertion, negation, positive definition and elimination of attributes. Then the means of obtaining it (i.e., Pure Intellect) and the real nature of the results thereby produced is described.
There are three types of ignorant souls (pasus). The first is the vijnanakevala, he who sees self in the non-self and therefore has impurity alone; the second is the pralayakala who has the impurity of karma which is imperceivable and which gives him a new body and the last sakala has the impurity of maya which creates the idea of duality. Of these, the second has the impurity of the first and in the third, impurity of the second.
She is without support. She does not depend upon anybody. Chandogya Upanishad asks “that is finite, that is infinite, that is mortal, that is immortal on what does that rest? On its power or not even on its power?” Finite and infinite, mortal and immortal refers to the Brahman. The Brahman rests not even on its own power. This is ‘niradhara’. Shakthi is worshipped both internally and externally and the internal worship is better than the external worship. External worship is further divided into two categories- Vedic and Tantric. Tantric worship will be taken up for discussion separately. Internal worship is also divided into two categories, one is with form and another is without form. This has already been discussed under ‘kinetic kundalini energy’. Worshipping her internally without attributing any form is considered to yield immediate results which leads to self-realization.
In other words we can say she is independent of everyone and everything in this universe.This reminds me of Devi in the form of Durga. Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and is the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being and has been mentioned in many scriptures – Yajur Veda, Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittareya Brahman. There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari, et al. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon “Mahishasur”. Her nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri. Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or ten directions in Hinduism. This suggests that she protects the devotees from all directions.Like Shiva, Mother Durga is also referred to as “Triyambake” meaning the three eyed Goddess. The left eye represents desire (the moon), the right eye represents action (the sun), and the central eye knowledge (fire). durga has many weapons in her hands.
• The conch shell in Durga’s hand symbolizes the ‘Pranava’ or the mystic word ‘Om’, which indicates her holding on to God in the form of sound.
• The bow and arrows represent energy. By holding both the bow and arrows in one hand “Mother Durga” is indicating her control over both aspects of energy – potential and kinetic.
• The thunderbolt signifies firmness. The devotee of Durga must be firm like thunderbolt in one’s convictions. Like the thunderbolt that can break anything against which it strikes, without being affected itself, the devotee needs to attack a challenge without losing his confidence.
• The lotus in Durga’s hand is not in fully bloomed, It symbolizing certainty of success but not finality. The lotus in Sanskrit is called “pankaja” which means born of mud. Thus, lotus stands for the continuous evolution of the spiritual quality of devotees amidst the worldly mud of lust and greed.
• The “Sudarshan-Chakra” or beautiful discus, which spins around the index finger of the Goddess, while not touching it, signifies that the entire world is subservient to the will of Durga and is at her command. She uses this unfailing weapon to destroy evil and produce an environment conducive to the growth of righteousness.
• The sword that Durga holds in one of her hands symbolizes knowledge, which has the sharpness of a sword. Knowledge which is free from all doubts, is symbolized by the shine of the sword.
Durga’s trident or “trishul” is a symbol of three qualities – Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (non-activity) – and she is remover of all the three types of miseries – physical, mental and spiritual. Anote worthy hymn of goddess durga is:
“Ya devi sarvabhuteshu, shakti rupena samshthitha Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha”.
As I have mentioned earlier durga exists in nine forms at different times.let us see the nine forms.
Durga Shailputri (Daughter of Mountain) She is a daughter of Himalaya and first among nine Durgas. In previous birth she was the daughter of Daksha. Her name was Sati – Bhavani. i.e. the wife of Lord Shiva. Once Daksha had organized a big Yagna and did not invite Shiva. But Sati being obstinate, reached there. Thereupon Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate the insult of husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. In other birth she became the daughter of Himalaya in the name of Parvati – Hemvati and got married with Shiva. As per Upnishad she had torn and the egotism of Indra, etc. Devtas. Being ashamed they bowed and prayed that, “In fact, thou are Shakti, we all – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv are capable by getting Shakti from you.” Brahmacharini
The second Durga Shakti is Brahamcharini. Brahma that is who observes penance(tapa) and good conduct. Here “Brahma” means “Tapa”. The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. There is rosary in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand. She is full with merriment. One story is famous about her. In previous birth she was Parvati Hemavati the daughter of Himvan. Once when she was busy in games with her friends. Naradaji came to her and predicted seeing her Palm-lines that, “You will get married with a naked-terrible ‘Bhole baba’ who was with you in the form of Sati, the daughter of Daksh in previous birth. But now you have to perform penance for him.” There upon Parvati told her mother Menaka that she would marry none except Shambhu, otherwise she would remain unmarried. Saying this she went to observe penance. That is why her name is famous as tapacharini – Brahmacharini. From that time her name Uma became familiar.
Chandraghanta The name of third Shakti is Chandraghanta. There is a half-circular moon in her forehead. She is charmful and bright. She is Golden color. She has three eyes and ten hands holding with ten types of swords – etc. weapons and arrows etc. She is seated on Lion and ready for going in war to fight. She is unprecedented image of bravery. The frightful sound of her bell terrifies all the villains, demons and danavas.
Fourth Durga is Kushmanda. The Shakti creates egg, ie. Universe by mere laughing .She resides in solar systems. She shines brightly in all the ten directions like Sun. She has eight hands. Seven types of weapons are shining in her seven hands. Rosary is in her right hand. She seems brilliant riding on Lion. She likes the offerings of “Kumhde.” Therefore her name “Kushmanda” has become famous. Skanda Mata
Fifth name of Durga is “Skanda Mata“. The daughter of Himalaya, after observing penance got married with Shiva. She had a son named “Skanda.” Skanda is a leader of the army of Gods. Skanda Mata is a deity of fire. Skanda is seated in her lap. She has three eyes and four hands. She is white and seated on a lotus.
KatyayaniSixth Durga is Katyayani. The son of “Kat” as “Katya”. Rishi Katyayan born in this “Katya” lineage. Katyayan had observed penance with a desire to get paramba as his daughter. As a result she took birth as a daughter of Katyayan. Therefore her name is “Katyayani” . She has three eyes and eight hands. These are eight types of weapons missiles in her seven hands. Her vehicle is Lion.
Kalratri Seventh Durga is Kalratri. She is black like night. Durga hairs are unlocked. She has put on necklaces shining like lightening. She has three eyes which are round like universe. Her eyes are bright. Thousands of flames of fire come out while respiring from nose. She rides on Shava (dead body). There is sharp sword in her right hand. Her lower hand is in blessing mood. The burning torch (mashal) is in her left hand and her lower left hand is in fearless style, by which she makes her devotees fearless. Being auspicious she is called “Shubhamkari.”
Maha Gauri The Eighth Durga is “Maha Gauri.” She is as white as a conch, moon and Jasmine. She is of eight years old. Her clothes and ornaments are white and clean. She has three eyes. She rides on bull She has four hands. The above left hand is in “Fearless – Mudra” and lower left hand holds “Trishul.” The above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing style. She is calm and peaceful and exists in peaceful style. It is said that when the body of Gauri became dirty due to dust and earth while observing penance, Shiva makes it clean with the waters of Gangas. Then her body became bright like lightening. There fore, she is known as “Maha Gauri” .
Siddhidatri Ninth Durga us Siddhidatri. There are eight Siddhis , they are- Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva. Maha Shakti gives all these Siddhies. It is said in “Devipuran” that the Supreme God Shiv got all these Siddhies by worshipping Maha Shakti. With her gratitude the half body of Shiv has became of Goddess and there fore his name “Ardhanarishvar” has became famous. The Goddess drives on Lion. She has four hands and looks pleased. This form of Durga is worshiped by all Gods, Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Yogis, Sadhakas and devotees for attaining the best religious asset.
With all these forms at hand it is no doubt that she is independent and she symbolizes courage,valour and godliness.
Let me end this post by saying
Durgashtakamidham punyam,Bhakthidho ya paden nara,
Sarva kamavapnothi,Durga lokam sa gachathi.
If this holy octet on Durga, is read by men with devotion,they would get all desires fulfilled,and attain the world of Durga.