Saturday, January 11, 2014


Contradictory to popular opinion, my Sanskrit knowledge is abysmal. I somehow manage to figure out the meanings of verses / songs with great difficulty after consulting many sources. Sometimes, I feel I shouldn't write much because, I have no intent of misleading anyone. 

Secondly, the scripture Lalitha Sahasranamam (1000 Names of the Lalitha, the Goddess Supreme) is called the 'Guhya' Sahasranamam - The 'Secret' Sahasranamam. It is secret because, without the initiation of a particular Mantra (called Panchadashi) this scripture will remain closed for exploration. (For some pure souls, who know this mantra in previous births, the effect may continue in this one, but it is the word of the great Rishis that anyone who wants to read this scripture must be initiated into this Mantra from a Guru)

The Names in this Saharanamam cannot be discussed in public or used for vanity purposes. However, this name - Aprameya brings a very very beautiful aspect of the Goddess that I am unable to resist sharing with rest of the world :-) (Thankfully, my readership is typically in single digits, and that limits the damage done :-) )

The word Aprameya is also a name  of Vishnu in mentioned in Vishnu Sahasranamam. Needless to say, at the Highest Level, there is no differentiation. 

Thanks to my non-existent Sanskrit knowledge, coupled with seeing some Hollywood flicks like 'Ajab Prem Ki Gazhab Kahani...', the word 'aprameya' used to remind of the word love. But, that's no where related to what the word means

The question comes, how is anything revealed? One can say by 'senses' - For e.g., you can see something, hear something, touch something etc. For eg., in TN you can still hear people say 'Pratyakshama paathen!' - Which is 'I witnessed it with my own eyes' - Prati in Sanskrit meaning 'Via' or 'Using' and Aksham meaning 'Eye' - So together it become Pratyaksham. 

(There are funny uses in Tamil where people say 'pratyakshama ketten' which translates to I listened with my eyes, but the intent is 'I heard with my own ears')

So, the first way of how things can be revealed is 'Pratyaksha Pramanam' - Revealing through Eyes (in general, senses)

The second way is by 'Logic' or 'Extrapolation' - You see a ball being hit, and after sometime you hear a crashing sound of a window. Just because you did not see the ball breaking the window, you can still guess that the ball travelled towards the window, and then it broke the window. This is by Logic or Extrapolation - Called 'Anumana Pramana' - Revealing through Logic

The mighty truths beyond the realms of mind and senses cannot be revealed, except by the Vedas - Called 'Shruti Pramana' - Revealing through ('Holy') Words (of Vedas) - These truths cannot be known any other way. There is no questioning of Shruti Pramanam. It is perfect. (There was one useless lady anchor in NDTV who wanted the Acharyas of modern days to re-write Purusha Sukta - The great Acharyas won't change even the intonation of a single syllable revealed by Shruti)

Now we can see that there are three types of Pramanams - Pratyaksha, Anumana and Shruti Pramanam - Three ways of 'Revealing'. The funny thing is that I know this for a very long time. Now came the twist - If pramanam is the word for the 'way of the revealing', what is the meaning for the one that is revealed? It is 'prameya'! 

I then realized that why is Ambal, the Greatest One, The Supreme Goddess called 'Aprameya'? Because, EVEN Vedas, cannot reveal Her! There is nothing known by humans, Rishis, Gods that can reveal Her. She is the PERFECT HIDDEN ONE. 

Words, Metaphors, Logic, Vedas expose their weakness and shy in front of the Glory of the Goddess, Sri Lalitha Maha Tripura Sundari! 

So, now you know why Ambal is called Aprameya. If you have anyways of knowing Her, you can drop all attempts. She cannot be Revealed, by ANYTHING known or Unknown, since She is defined as One who cannot be Revealed. (It is like trying to measure something less than Planck's constant - It is not possible!)

Did I lead you to despair? Just read the next Name in the Sahasranama. (This will show why this is Boss of all Sahasranamas!)

The next name is 'Sva Prakasha' - One Who Reveals / Shines Herself (of Her own volition) - So, when Ambal is pleased, She will reveal Herself. This name is even more dear to me, and I'll save you from my ramblings on this name. (It can be reflected upon in many many ways). 

So, next time you listen / chant Sahasranama, and you get to this Name, bow to Her in all Humility that She is the One beyond all realms and let the ego get squashed. Pray to Her fervently when you get to the next Name for Her to Reveal Herself. 

Bye for now! 


Anonymous said...

Amazing, da Srirama! What a lucid explanation of Something/Someone so elusive. Hats off!! AAna oru observation da. The analogies you use to illustrate the philosophical point you're making (Planck's constant...really???) - we ordinary souls find equally hard to grasp.
Awesome, job!!

Ram said...

In other words, this is equal in the maning as of "manaa vaachaa mogochaaraa"..

Sriram Venkateswaran Iyer said...

Thanks Ram! :)

Sriram Venkateswaran Iyer said...

Thanks Ram! :)

Ram said...

Nice read! However, you could be missing something. Guhya Sahasranamam is different from Lalitha Sahasranamam. Guhya Sahasranamam is from Uddaamareshwara Tantra and is actually the 1000+ names Lord Ganapathi (in his form of Ucchishta Ganapathi). The copies that you might find of this Sahasranamam is not the original names. The real one is kept and shared with utmost secrecy among some of the Srividya schools.