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enter image description here

Above is an image of Kamakshi Ambal. I've searched many places on the objects that she's holding in her arms. While searching, I found many other deities also having the similar/same objects in their hands.

Can someone tell me what are those marked objects and what does it signify?

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enter image description here As known elsewhere, her Āyudhas are Pāśa, Aṅkuśa, Puṣpabāṇa and Īkṣukoḍaṇda

What are their use?

Bhagwatī being Parabrahma is the possesor of Prakṛti, these Āyudhs are her Śakti-s which she use for the cycle of universe.

आत्माऽसौ सकलेन्द्रियास्रय-मनो बुधयादिभिः शोचितः कर्माबधतनुर् जनिं च मरणं प्रैतीति यत्कारणम् ।
तत्ते देवि महाविलस लहरि दिव्ययुधानां जयः
This Ātmā bounded by Senses, Mind, Intellect, Karma go again and again in cycle of Birth and Death.. all this is Victory of play of your Divya Āyudh-s

In Gītā also

प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः। भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात्।।
With the help of my Power, again and again I pour forth the whole multitude of beings, whether they will or no, for they are ruled by My Will.

So this is the use of her Āyudhs, now the Tattvas told here seperately.

The Īkṣukoḍaṇḍa

It is a characterstic Āyudh of Bhagwatī, it represents Sankalp of Ambā,

Īkṣū is from the word 'Īkṣa' which means to 'think', Brahma Sutra 1.1.5 is 'ईक्षतेर्नाशब्दम्' means Brahma can think on account of Veda Pramāṇ

To create, one need to desire first thus Upaniṣad says 'he thought' 'तदैक्षत' what? 'बहुस्यां प्रजायेयेति' may i become many, and by his mere Sankalp all creation happened.

In Aitreya Upanisad, 'स ईक्षत लोकान्नु सृजा' By his mere Sankalp he created all.

And one of her name is 'ईक्षणसृष्टाणकोट्यै नमः' by her mere Sankalp she created crores of Universe,

As it means 'Thinking' it realtes with Mind, (Manorupekṣukoḍaṇḍā) which i'll explain later

The Puṣpa Bāṇaṃ

कमलं तकैरवं रक्तं कलारेन्दीवरे तथा ॥ सहकारकमित्युक्तं पुष्पपञ्चकमीश्वरि।
The 5 Flowery Arrows in are Lotus, Raktakairav, Kalhāra, Indīvara and Sahakāra

These represents 5 Powers of Bhagwatī,

हर्षणं रोचनाख्यं च मोहन शोषणं तथा। मारणं चेत्यमी बाणा मुनीनामपि मोहदा ॥
Joy, Pleasing, delusion, Tormenting, and Death, these are 5 Bāṇas which causes confusion even in Munis

Another Pramāṇ says

क्षोभणं द्रावणं देवी तथाकर्षणसंज्ञकम्। वश्योन्मादौ क्रमेणैव नामानि परमेश्वरि ॥
Confusion, Tormentating, Attracting, Controlling, Maddening, are 5 arrows respectively

Yet another Pramāṇ

मदनोन्मादनौ पश्चात्तथा मोहनदीपनौ।
शोषणश्चेति कथिता बाणाः पञ्च पुरोदिताः॥
Exciting, Maddening, delusion, Stimulating, Tormenting are 5 arrows of Devī

Well, all are just synonyms. The meaning is by the Bow of Mind, she shots the arrows of these vāsanās, and rules over all

These Bāṇas also represents Tanmātra-s as in ber Name, which are respective Vyāpār of 'Pañchendrīs' and the Guṇ of 'Pañchabhūtas'

Śabd is Guṇ of Ākāśa Tattva sensed by Ear,Sparśa is Guṇ of Vāyu Tattva sensed by Skin,Rūp is Guṇ of Tej Tattva sensed by Eye,Rasa is Guṇ of Jala Tattva sensed by TongueGandha is Guṇ of Pṛthvī Tattva sensed by Nose

Bhagwatī says the same:-

तस्मादाकाश उत्पन्नः शब्दतन्मात्ररूपकः | भवेत्स्पर्शात्मको वायुस्तेजोरूपात्मकं पुनः ॥ जलं रसात्मकं पश्चात्ततो गन्धात्मिका धरा ।
The Bow and arrow combined represents Kriyā Śakti, which means 'Action'... for example Mind(Bow) desired to Taste(Arrow) something,

Now an Indrī(Toungue) will taste its respective Tanmātra(Rasa) present in Jala Tattva, and this process is Action thus they represents Kriya Shakti

The Mahā Pāśa

It represents 'Iccha' or 'Attachment' which is the cause of Bondage, we desire something because of it's Lack, but our desires are infinite as there is no material thing which is Pūrṇa in itself.

Each and 'every' desire is cause of Bondage, Yes, even desire of Mokṣa is, Aṣṭāvakra Muni says

बुभुक्षुरिह संसारे मुमुक्षुरपि दृश्यते ।
भोगमोक्षनिराकाङ्क्षी विरलो हि महाशयः ॥
Those who desire pleasure and those who desire liberation are both found in samsara, but the great souled man who desires neither pleasure nor liberation is rare indeed.

And Desireless alone is free from the Bondage.

निर्वासनो निरालम्बः स्वच्छन्दो मुक्तबन्धनः । क्षिप्तः संस्कारवातेन चेष्टते शुष्कपर्णवत् ॥
He who is desireless, self-reliant, independent and free of bonds functions like a dead leaf blown about by the wind of causality.

The only Pūrṇā is Bhagwatī, thus after attaining her no desire exists.

Now, one can say that Devī also desired in beginning for creation, that means she's also not Pūrṇā?

The Answers is, our Desire has a particular purpose to fullfill, लोकवत्तु लीलाकैवल्यम्, But the creation is, just a Play of God

I.e that Supreme Desire of Bhagwatī had no purpose at all, (इश्वरस्य प्रयोजनान्तरं निरूप्यमाणं न्यायतः श्रुतितो वा संभवति न च स्वभावः पर्यनुयोक्तुं शक्यते) thus it never obstructs her completeness

The Mahā Aṅkuśa

After Desire, Anger arises that's why she has 'Krodhākārāṅkuśa',

Aṅkuśa(goad) also represents 'Knowledge', it is a instument used to control Elephant, the elephant represents Intellect and Knowledge alone can control it.

Now see the chain, Gitā 2.62

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते।
सङ्गात्संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते॥
When a man thinks of the objects, attachment for them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises.

I've explained already how Thinking is Īkṣu, Objects are Bāṇas, Attachment and Desire is Pāśa and Anger is Aṅkuśa

Next verse Gītā 2.63 says

क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः। स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति।।
From anger comes delusion; from delusion comes confusion; confusion causes Maddening; and by Maddening he perishes

If you got, These are Bāṇas of Bhagwatī as explained above. These are her Āyudhs,

She gave her Īkṣudaṇḍa and Puśpabāṇa to Kāmdeva which made him victorious in three worlds and he is undefeated Atharvaveda 9.2 aslo says:-

ततस्त्वमसि ज्याया॑न्विश्वहां महांस्तस्मैं ते काम नम इत्कृनोमि ।।

Kāmdev also did sarnagati to Amba, thus the handsomness he has, is just the minute of what is derived from the holy feet of Tripuramba.

So, without grace of Bhagwatī, Mukti is impossible, Gandharva Tantra says:-

तन्निगृहीतचित्तानां पुंसां पुरुषपूजिते ।
अतस्तां च प्रयत्नेन पुरुषा मुक्तिलिप्सवः ॥
Those men whose minds are deluded by her never attains Mukti, thats why those desiring Mukti should worship Bhagwatī

समाश्रयन्ति योगाद्यैर्नित्यानन्दस्वरूपिणीम् । ब्रह्मा विष्णुस्तथा चाहमात्मवत्समुपास्महे ॥
Getting refuge in Bhagwatī who is the supreme bliss, they become the target of salutaions of Brahmā and Viṣṇu and Shiva

येन तेन विधानेन परितुष्टा महेश्वरी। संसारनिगडैर्बद्धः पुमान्विमुच्यते तया ॥
By any method who pleases Bhagwatī, she sets them free from the bondage of Samsār

Those Āydhus which were causing delusion themselves can grant Mokṣa, such is the divinity of Them, Bhagwān says:-

चाप ध्यान वशाद्भवोद्भव महामोहं महाजृम्भणं प्रख्यातं प्रसवेषुचिन्तनवशात् तत्तच्छरव्यं सुधीः ।
पाशध्यानवसात्समस्तजगतां मृत्योर्वशत्वं महादुर्गस्तम्भ महाङ्कुशस्य मननान्मायाममेयां तरेत् ॥
A person by meditation on your Īkṣukoḍanḍa crosses the acclaimed expanding delusions arising in the Samsāra.
by meditating on your Bāṇas crosses the objects of arrows(as i explained above).
by meditating on your Pāśa crosses the death which engulf whole universe.
by meditating on your Mahā Aṅkuśa which is a formidable fort crosses the immeasurable illusions.

She doesn't posses any Var or Abhaya mudra to grant Boons, Her Feets are sufficient for granting infinite times more that the desired. Bhagwatpāda says:-

त्वदन्यः पाणिभ्यामभयवरदो दैवतगण स्त्वमेका नैवासि प्रकटितवराभीत्यभिनया।
भयात्त्रातुं दातुं फलमपि च वाञ्छासमधिकं शरण्ये लोकानां तव हि चरणावेव निपुणौ।।
Other than you, all gods are bestow boons and protect from fear by the hands. You need not to display any gesture like such. Indeed even your feet alone are expert in protecting from fear and giving reward in excess of that desired Oh refuge of the worlds!

Thus, Bhagwati is the sole Adhaar for all beings.

Glories to Karunakatakshini ❤️

कालिकार्पणमास्तु । 🌺

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  • Thank you for the answer. Could you please tell me from the image, which is Pasa and which is ankusha? Which hand holds which and also could you please give the english equivalent of pasa and ankusha?
    – Newbie
    Jun 27, 2022 at 10:24
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    @Newbie Kindly wait, I will edit the answer with image labelling them with english equivalents, and explain all her 4 ayudhas in this answer. Jun 27, 2022 at 13:51
  • Wonderful answer! Really appreciate your help and effort! Many Thanks! :)
    – Newbie
    Jun 27, 2022 at 16:02
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    @Newbie It's all by her, thus all glories at her holy feet ;) Jun 27, 2022 at 16:22

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