Our next mantra in Lalita Sahasranama is
unmeṣa nimiṣotpanna vipanna bhuvanāvali
(who causes a series of worlds to arise and disappear with the opening and closing of Her eyes.)
The universe is created and destroyed by Devi. The simple explanation would be that when Devi opens her eyes, the universe is created, and when She closes Her eyes the world dissolves.
In Vedanta, it is called “Shrishti Drishti Vaadam”. The universe is within us. When there is no such cognition, the universe does not exist. It is a very subtle principle expounded in Vedanta that the universe exists only when we believe in its existence.
It is not suitable when it is connected to individuals. But when it is connected to Devi, it is perfectly correct. When she closes her eyes, the universe dissolves, when she opens her eyes, the universe is created.
Devi never closes her eyes, fearing that, if she does so, the universe will be swallowed by floodwaters. She is ever compassionate. “calan mīnābha locanā”- like fish that never close their eyes even while asleep. She can also be adored as one who never sleeps, who is eternally vigilant, like the fish.
Sri Shankaracharya has interpreted thus in the following verse.
निमेषोन्मेषाभ्यां प्रलयमुदयं याति जगति
तवेत्याहुः सन्तो धरणिधरराजन्यतनये
त्वदुन्मेषाज्जातं जगदिदमशेषं प्रलयतः
परेत्रातुं शङ्के परिहृतनिमेषास्तव दृशः – Soundarya Lahari 55
Oh! daughter of the king of mountains, the learned sages say that this world has its genesis and dissolution with the opening and closing of your eyes. I believe that your eyes do not even wink for a moment, so that this world created by the opening of your eyes, does not ever get destroyed in the deluge.
This verse has the same meaning. If Devi closes her eyes the universe will be destroyed in a deluge, if Devi opens her eyes, the universe will be created. These are the words spoken by the noble people.
“O! Daughter of Himavan, (Parvathi) you shine effulgent, tenderhearted, without even momentarily closing your eyes. Your glory embraces this world, intent on saving all its beings”. This is the easiest interpretation for the above verse.
unmeṣa nimiṣotpanna vipanna bhuvanāvali
She who creates and destroys worlds when she opens and closes her eyes. Her tender heart intent on protecting and saving all her children. We describe many forms of the Devi as an example of this attribute of Hers.
In Thiruvarur (Tamil Nadu), Devi is seated on the “Kutikaasanam”. It is a very difficult posture, with one leg crossed over the other. This posture is explained as the posture in which Devi undertakes spiritual penance for the wellbeing of the world.
There is a place called “Maangad” near Chennai. There Devi stands on the toe of one foot, with the other leg tucked on to her waist. She is surrounded by Panchagni (the five fires). Both arms of Devi are upraised.
Standing one the toe of one foot, with the other folded up to her waist, surrounded by the five fires, with arms appraised in prostration, the form of the Devi is one practicing severe spiritual austerity and meditation. It is believed that Devi is practicing this severe penance for the welfare of the world.
Devi is constantly endeavoring to save and uplift her children from the tāpatrayas (ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika & ādhidaivika) of misery and pain existing in this world. She is constantly practicing severe penance for uplifting her children.
Our Amma also sits for darshan, twenty-four hours of the day, with a smiling countenance. Each one of us approaches Her with a different sorrow, with different stories of distress.
But even after a person comes to her again after 30 years, Amma recognizes him instantly. She understands their pain. Often, when people approach her, they lose themselves in the effulgence of Her presence and cannot express their sorrow to Her.
Many foreigners who go for Darshan are not from the English speaking world, it is not possible for us to translate their words to Amma. But Amma understands each emotion and thought that passes through them, and after darshan, they go back content and comforted, surrendering their burdens at Her feet.
She sits happily for many hours, patient and vigorous, without any sign of exhaustion, waiting to receive them. In fact, Amma becomes upset if they do not go for Her darshan. Amma is more upset on the days when there is no Darshan.
It is due to compassion that the divine Mother sits without closing Her eyes, glancing at Her beloved children and with Her Sankalpa (an intention that harnesses the will) showering Her grace upon them. She opens Her eyes and dissolves the Universe when She closes them.