Nirashraya   1 comment

Sri Matre Namaha

Nirashraya – The One Hundred & Fourty Seventh name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.


Nirasraya – She who does not need support

nirgatah asrayah yasyah sa

She is without body. She is asraya of all. She depends on none

Ashraya means dependence. Taittiriya Upanishad II.7 uses the word ‘anilayane’ meaning not resting on anything and free from modifications. She does not depend on anything. She being the Brahman does not depend upon anything and on the contrary, everything depends upon Her. This nama more or less conveys the same meaning conveyed in nama 132. Possibly, ‘ashraya’ in this context could mean the gross body that supports the soul. Since She is beyond soul (remember that Brahman and soul are different. Soul is called jivan) there is no question of Her gross body. Since there is no gross body for Her, it implies that She is the Brahman.

Soundarya Lahiri describes her thus:

“Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi;
Atas tvam aradhyam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhir api
Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhavati”

Lord Shiva, only becomes able.To do creation in this world along with Shakthi
Without her, Even an inch he cannot move,
And so how can, one who does not do good deeds,
Or one who does not sing your praise,Become adequate to worship you
Oh , goddess mine, Who is worshipped by the trinity.
Even Lord shiva is inactive without sakthi so how can we say that sakthi needs support?

A famous author after her analysis on sakthi and her energy wrote thus:

Sakti [shakti] means “power”; in Hindu philosophy and theology sakti is understood to be the active dimension of the godhead, the divine power that underlies the godhead’s ability to create the world and to display itself. Within the totality of the godhead, sakti is the complementary pole of the divine tendency toward quiescence and stillness. It is quite common, furthermore, to identify sakti with a female being, a goddess, and to identify the other pole with her male consort. The two poles are usually understood to be interdependent and to have relatively equal status in terms of the divine economy

Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition)

The term shakti refers to multiple ideas. Its general definition is dynamic energy that is responsible for creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe. It is identified as female energy because shakti is responsible for creation, as mothers are responsible for birth. Without shakti, nothing in this universe would happen; she stimulates siva, which is passive energy in the form of consciousness, to create. Ardhanarishvara, a Hindu deity who is half male and half female, is an iconic representation of this idea. The deity is equally male and female, illustrating that the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe is dependent on both forces.Shakti also refers to the manifestations of this energy, namely goddesses. Some goddesses embody the destructive aspects of shakti, such as death, degeneration, and illness, while other goddesses embody the creative and auspicious powers of shakti, such as nature, the elements, music, art, dance, and prosperity.

Shakti may be personified as the gentle and benevolent Uma, consort of Shiva, or Kali, the terrifying force destroying evil, or Durga, the warrior who conquers forces that threaten the stability of the universe. Goddess worshippers often view their deity as the all-powerful Supreme Being, second not even to a male god. There are enduring goddess traditions all over India, especially in West Bengal and south India. Goddesses symbolizing various aspects of power very often predominate in village culture. Village men, women, and children, when they pray for immediate needs, address a female, not a male.

Texts or contexts exalting the Mahadevi [Great Goddess], however, usually affirm sakti to be a power, or the power, underlying ultimate reality, or to be ultimate reality itself. Instead of being understood as one of two poles or as one dimension of a bipolar conception of the divine, sakti as it applies to the Mahadevi is often identified with the essence of reality.

According to Devi Bhagavata, the lord of the ganas, Citrakarma creates the image of a man out of the burnt ashes of Love; the Love god Manmatha who tried to distract Shiva from meditation and got burnt by the power of agni (fire) from the third eye of Shiva. Shiva names the new image, Bhanda or Panda, teaches him a powerful mantra and gives him the boon of being one and a half times as strong as his enemy, and empowering him as ruler for sixty thousand years. By the power of this mantra, one could gain half the might of one’s adversary. Unfortunately, because he was generated from the ashes of Shiva’s wrath he is transformed into a fierce demon. Intoxicated with his new found power he proceeded to rampage the kingdom of the gods. Apprehending defeat and humiliation, there is nothing that any of the gods can do during the sixty thousand years when Siva is protecting Bhanda, but once this time has gone by, the gods try to find a way to destroy him and protect all the Celestials from the atrocities of a demon.

The Devas in disguise of a parrot image together with the holy Trinity, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, summon the Divine Mother Adi Parashakti, Sri Lalita Ambika, in the form of Kamatchi. Legend has it that Kamatchi appeared in her ethereal form in a pit or cave (Bilakasa Swarupa) to save the Devas from Asuras agrees to stop Bhanda’s efforts to overtake the city of the gods and destroy him.

The battle starts and gods rejoice in Kamatchi’s growing success and worship her. Nonetheless, Bhanda is still alive and empowered. Sri Kamatchi Devi agrees to bless all of those worshiping her with progeny, fame, and virtue, among other things. As the city is being attacked by Bhanda, Kamatchi in the form of Parvati marries Lord Shiva, forming a strong allied army. At the same time, Kamatchi proclaims her independence while honoring her independence. Years go by and Kamatchi leaves her Consort to lead the army against Bhanda.

Bhanda does not regard an army of women as a serious threat, and laughs that Kamatchi is as soft and delicate as the flower. To Bhanda’s dismay and the gods’ delight, Kamatchi’s army is very powerful. She is supported by strong women who work together to create unique weapons, particularly the noose and goad (which Lalita’s icon often hold) in order to be successful. One after another, Bhanda’s generals are defeated. Kamatchi creates new gods to fight as the battle rages on, including Lord Ganesa, and he destroys many armies and Bhanda’s brother. As a reward, Kamatchi grants him the right to be worshipped before all other gods. The battle rages on, all of Bhanda’s family is killed, and finally he tries to save himself by creating powerful missiles to destroy Kamatchi. She is too powerful for him and sends Durga after him. Finally, it is a showdown between Bhanda and Kamatchi. She kills him using the kamesvara missile, which has an incredibly bright splendor. The deity’s praise Kamatchi for her courage and success. She agrees to bring back the god of Love, Manmatha and reunites him with his grateful wife Rathi Devi.

This myth shows how Kamatchi is the two forms of human nature simultaneously. She is able to be devoted to her Consort Siva, but to maintain the independence she needs to lead her army to war. She is fierce in her battles, but her most powerful weapons and warriors are created from her laugh and jubilance. Kamatchi shows people the way to deal with problems in their everyday lives. Her being is not an example for those who intend to lead an isolated life. Kamatchi shows how to live in balance, for people with numerous responsibilities. She demonstrates that it is possible to honor the family and other responsibilities, without disappointing anyone.

All I can say in the words of Abirami Bhattar is:

Bhairavi, Panchami, Pasangusa,Panchabani
Kali, Mandali, Malini, Sooli, Varahi,
Chandi who takes the life of bad ones,And greatly glittering Vairavi,
All these names the four Vedas,Tell thine devotees to chant.

Previous One Hundred & Fourty Sixth Name Nishprapancha

Next One Hundred & Fourty Eighth Name Nitya-shuddha


Posted February 9, 2012 by UdayaBhaaskarBulusu

One response to “Nirashraya

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