The next mantra that we are going to discuss in Lalita Sahasranama is
Om nijājñā rūpa nigamāyai namaḥ
(whose commands take the form of the Vedas.)
Om puṇyāpuṇya phala pradāyai namaḥ
(who dispenses the fruits of both good and evil actions.)
The Nigamas (Veda) is the real command of the Divine Mother. Nigamas are the commands of the Divine Mother. We are supposed to follow what is instructed in the Nigama – this is the meaning of the mantra. ‘She whose commands take the form of the Vedas’.
The mantra means that her commands have taken the form of Nigamas. We have to understand that Nigamas are the real commands of the Divine Mother. We often hear the two words – Agama and Nigama. The meaning of the word Nigama is Veda.
The chapters about Jnana (Knowledge), Karma (action), and worship that is given in the Vedas – all these three are called Nigama. There are more than 108 Upanishads. All these explain the real nature of the Supreme Consciousness. That is the chapter about Jnana (knowledge).
The Tantras are explained in the chapter about Karma (action). All these together are called Nigamas. Nigamas are the commands of the Divine Mother. The Divine mother wants to follow the instructions in the Vedas. That is the command of the Divine Mother.
The word ‘Agama’ is used to mean different things. Tantras are books that explain the different forms of worship. If we follow those worships properly we can attain Knowledge; we can attain liberation. There are three types of Aagama – Shiva Aagamas, Vaishnava Agamas, and Shaktha Agamas.
It is said that Lord Shiva had created 64 types of Tantras like Shambaram, Jalashambaram, etc. & Agamas. By performing Tantras one can attain certain supernatural powers. You will not attain self-realization with supernatural powers.
For that, the Lord has created Sri Vidya also known as Swatantra Tantra or Brahma Vidya using which many have attained the ultimate goal of self-realization. Aagamas are Shiva Aagamas, Vaishnava Agamas, and Shaktha Agamas. The Divine Mother instructs the right way of living by Aagamas and Nigamas (Vedas).
This can be explained in another way. Aagamas are Lord Shiva’s Instructions to the Divine Mother. Nigamas are the instructions of the Divine Mother to Lord Shiva.
The chapter on Knowledge is the instructions of The Divine Mother to Lord Shiva. Chapters on forms of worship (Tantra) are Lord Shiva’s instructions to The Divine Mother.
Some people use the words Nigama for forms of worship (Tantra) and Aagama for knowledge. But mostly the word ‘Aagamas’ is used to Denote the forms of worship to Shiva, Vishnu, and the Devi.
The part that is about knowledge, which is Upanishads that explains the nature of the Supreme Consciousness is called ‘Nigamas’. The Divine Mother instructs us to follow what is said in the Nigamas. The ultimate goal of life is to attain the Supreme Knowledge (Jnana).
ज्ञानाद् एव तु कैवल्यम् – Isavasyopanisad
Moksha is attained through Jnana (self-knowledge)
It is said in the Upanishad that God is Knowledge. The ultimate goal in life is to attain supreme knowledge (jnana). This is the command of the Divine Mother.
There are three things that we should observe in this world. First, those duties that are mentioned in the Vedas. Next Aagamas and then Puranas. Aagamas and Puranas are not against Vedas. They help us to follow what is instructed in the Vedas.
We should take it as a model and perform our duties as per the direction given in that. Our ancestors lead their lives as directed by Vedas and Puranas. If we also follow an ancestor’s ways of life our life will be as per the instructions of the Vedas.
In America, John Kennedy started to jog. Lakhs of Americans started jogging. Indira Gandhi used to wear a special type of sari and sported distinct hairstyle. So, many people imitated that. We always imitate what great men choose to do.
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते || – Gita 3.21
Whatever actions great persons perform, common people follow. Whatever standards they set, all the world pursues.
Whatever a great man does, that other man also do; whatever he sets up as standard, that the world follows. We always do what our spiritual master does. Amma wears a chain made of rudraksha beads. We also wear them. Amma prostrates before everybody when she comes to stage. We also do the same.
Like this, we always follow what great men do. Suppose the father is a smoker. He Smokes. His small baby observes that. He tells his son, “Son, don’t smoke. Smoking is very bad. It affects your lungs”.
But even after listening to these words, when he moves away, the son will sit like his father on his chair, roll a piece of paper pretend to smoke. When he finishes high school, the father and son sit together and smoke.
Nobody follows what we preach. They follow our actions. It is good to live as per the instructions that are given in the Vedas and scriptures like, Puranas and Itihasas, Tantras, and as our ancestors have lived.
The difference between our previous generation and us is that they were more composed and brighter than us. Their family bond was much greater than ours. They were happier than us. They never had any facilities that we have now. Good roads, telephone, wealth, good house, electricity- they never had these. But they were much happier than us.
The only difference was in observing dharma (righteousness). They led a righteous life, we lost the dharma. The only way we can regain the happiness that our ancestors had is to re-establish dharma. Let us pray to Amma to give us the strength to establish Dharma (righteousness) in our lives.