By Swami Harshananda
Significance of Nilāsukta
Nilāsukta is short sukta which appears in the Taittiriya Samhitā. It is on Nīlādevī, the third consort of Viṣṇu. She is identified with Aditi, the mother of all gods. She is the personification of karuṇā of God. She is also the power that manifests through Surya, Candra and Agni.
Contents of Nilāsukta
A brief summary of the sukta may now be given:
I take refuge in Nīlādevī. 0 goddess! Please speak! O God, who is the supreme creator! That goddess who is the firm refuge of the devotees, who is the consort of Viṣṇu, who is compassionate, who is the mistress of the universe, the repository of all types of strength and power, who is worshiped by the living beings in their minds, who grants all the objects of enjoyment, may that deity give us lordship and bless us with bliss. May Bṛhaspati, Vāyu, the prāṇas in the body and Nīlādevī who is the supporter of the quarters and the earth, who is the mistress of the world and a consort of Viṣṇu, preach to us what is good for us!
Iconographical works, following the Pāñcarātra tradition, describe Nīlā or Nīlādevī as dark-blue in complexion, like the blue-lotus. She is clothed in blue garments and richly bedecked with ornaments. In her four hands she holds two lotuses in two, the other two exhibiting the abhaya and varada mudrās, mudrās assuring freedom from fear and giving boons.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore