Devi’s Tatanka & 3 forms

For Lord Siva, who consumed poison, there is no death or end and it is because of your divine earring,

Om tāṭaṅka yugalī bhūta tapanoḍupa maṇḍalāyai namaḥ
(who wears the sun and the moon as a pair of large earrings) praises Lalita Sahasranama about the earrings of Devi.

The Indian time scales are based on the solar and lunar calendars. We have nazhika (the time taken by earth to rotate by 6 degrees.), day, night, vaaram (a week), paksham ( the period either side of the Full Moon Day), uttarayana, dakshinaya, varsha (year), manwantara and so on. By saying that the sun and moon are the earrings of Devi, we mean that Devi is beyond the time, who is presiding the time. Devi is omnipresent. Her hairlocks is compared to Space. The sun and moon is a mere ornament on Her ears.

The importance of Devi’s earring is described in Saundarya Lahari. The story of the churning of the milky ocean (Palazhi) by the devas and asuras is well known to all of us. So many things emerged from the ocean and the most deadly Halahala poison also emerged from the churning about to destroy the creation, when Lord Shiva drank it to save the world. Mother held her hands at the Lord’s neck and Lord Shiva became NilaKanda (the blue-throated one). When the dissolution of the world happens, everything ceases to exist except Shiva & Parvati.

LalitaSahasranama describes Devi as
Om maheśvara mahākalpa mahātāṇḍava sākṣiṇyai namaḥ
(who is the witness of the great Tandava dance of Maheshvara (Shiva) at the end of the great cycle of creation.)
Om mahā pralaya sākṣiṇyai namaḥ
(who is witness to the Great Dissolution)

सुधामप्यास्वाद्य प्रति-भय-जरमृत्यु-हरिणीं
विपद्यन्ते विश्वे विधि-शतमखाद्या दिविषदः ।
करालं यत् क्ष्वेलं कबलितवतः कालकलना
न शम्भोस्तन्मूलं तव जननि ताटङ्क महिमा
Saundarya Lahari 28

Oh! Goddess! even after taking amrita (nectar) which is capable of removing the dangerous ageing and death (jaraanara and marana), all devaas including Lords Brahma, Indra get destroyed during mahaa-pralaya. But you alone are the witness, Oh! Goddess! Who witnesses the tandava of Sada Siva. For Lord Siva, who consumed poison, there is no death or end and it is because of your divine earring, Oh! Janani!

According to Hindu rituals, widows won’t wear ornaments especially earring. Shiva’s existence is protected by Devi’s earring. The tāṭaṅka were considered most auspicious by the married women in India.

Even in the great dissolution, The Lord and Devi are there. They are the witness. We praise them as माता च पार्वती देवी पिता देवो महेश्वरः । My Mother is Devi Parvati, and my Father is Deva Maheswara (Shiva). It is the power of Devi’s tāṭaṅka that Maheshwara is One without an end (Anashwara).

Lalita Sahasranama describes mainly three forms of Devi. Sthoolam (gross), Sookshmam (subtle) & Param (primordial). Sthoola means the visible form with hands and feet. We see idols and imagery of Devi, great Saints and Sages who exhibits Devi’s qualities, some are blessed to Her voice, yet others have heard the sound of Devi’s anklets. Many have had the vision of Devi in their dreams. Saints like Sambandhar as explained earlier had the blessings to get milk from the Mother. All these are the gross form.

In all mantras, Devi resides as the root cause. This is her subtle form. Those who chant the Mantras, practice and focus on the sounds are connected to the subtle form of Devi.

Param is the form without any attributes. Only with spiritual sadhana, hard penance and knowledge, one could grasp this form.
Om abhyāsātiśaya jñātāyai namaḥ
who is known only through the strenuous practice of spiritual discipline says Lalita Sahasranama. This means that only reak sadhaks and strenuous penance will lead to Devi’s blessings.

We praise the Lord as Jagan Niyantha, Jagadathmakascha. This means that God is the creation and one who sustains it. The creator and the creation are not separate. God has transformed Herself to this creation. It is also controlled and sustained by Her. Usually, Creation (Srishti), Sustenance (Sthithi) and Dissolution (Samhara) are the three functions talked about in scriptures, in Lalita Sahasranama 5 functions are described. Disappearance (Thirodhanam) & Blessing (Anugraham) are the other two. They are known as Pañca Kṛtya.
Om pañca kṛtya parāyaṇāyai namaḥ
(who is devoted to the five functions)
The first mantra of Lalita Sahasranama, Om śrī mātre namaḥ denotes the creation, the second one, Om śrī mahā rājñyai namaḥ denotes the sustenance and the third one Om śrīmat siṁhāsaneśvaryai namaḥ denotes dissolution. All the mantras that follow are about the power of her illusion. The second last mantra, Om śiva śaktyaikya rūpiṇyai namaḥ denotes anugraham.