Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit


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Hymns of Sankara (788-820 CE)








Saints of India - Sankaracharya 788-820 CE

Sankara took his birth in a Malabar Brahmin family (Nambudiri Illom) at Kalladi near Alwaye presently on the Shoranur-Cochin Railway line.  Sivaguru was his father's natal name;  in due course of time Sankara's father became an adept in Sanskrit and scriptures, married a Brahmin girl, Arya Amba and failed to father a child. The couple prayed to Siva in the local temple, who appeared before Arya Amba in her dream and offered a choice between a long-lived loafer and dullard or a short-lived genius. Obviously Amba chose the latter. That was the child Sankara, said to have been born to her; the father died when he was three years of age. At the tender age of five, he received Gayatri initiation. There is no much mention about his father and he was brought up by the single mother, whose last days were the most harrowing for Sankara. His sojourn on earth was a short 32 years; there are many versions and variations in his date of birth (his appearance on earth). One pick is 788-820 CE.  (C.E. Common era = Christian Era.) Sankara makes a reference to Dravida (Dramila) Sisu (Dravidian child) who was assumed to be Sankara's contemporary Tirugnana Sambandar. From that reference Professor Sundaram Pillai picked 788-820 CE. This corresponds to the dates given by Prof. Macdonell and Prof. Max Muller. Sankara was a quick study and a genius and became proficient in Sanskrit and sacred texts. He took up Sannyasa at age eight. He found a Guru in Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of Narmada. As all mothers, she wanted him to marry and bear grandchildren. He would not have it. There is a story woven around his refusal to marry and his choice for Samnyasa (asceticism).  The mother and Sankara went to a local river for morning ablution. As fate would have it, Sankara was dragged down the river by a croc.  He wanted to die a Sannyasin and extracted a promise from his mother to let him die a Sannyasin. The mother consented;  the croc let loose the hold; Sankara remained a Sannyasin (ascetic) since then.  Some see a parallel between the croc in the river and the croc of Samsara. He somehow disentangled himself from the croc of the river and the croc of Samsara (life on earth--life, birth and rebirth).

He wandered far and wide and at last found his Guru in Govinda with whose help he became a Sannyasi, an adept in Advaitam and a seed for the Sankaracharya lineage. Dasasloki was Sankara's answer to Govindapada, when the latter posed the question to Sankara as to who he was. Adapted from Dasasloki, English translation by S.N.Sastri.

1) I am neither the five elements, nor the organs, nor all of them put together. Self stands alone in deep sleep. I remain alone as non-dual entity.

2) Appellations such as castes, stages of life, rules of behavior, and duties of castes, meditation, concentration of mind  or Yoga do not pertain to me. Body and mind being not-self and thus removed, I am the auspicious self free from all adjuncts and attributes.

3) In deep sleep, there is no Pitha, Matha, Deva, worlds, Vedas, Yajna, Tirthas or Void, say the Srutis. I am the auspicious self free from all attributes. Pitha = father. Matha = mother. Yajna = sacrifice. Tirtha = holy place.

4)  Sankhya, Saiva, Pancharatra, Jaina, Mimamsaka and the like are unsound (doctrines). Mahavakya purports that Brahman is partless and whole; He is Pure. I am the auspicious self free from all attributes.


Sankhya,  Pancharatra, Jaina, Mimamsaka (believer in Mimamsa)

Sankhya: Its philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two eternal realities: Purusha and Prakriti It is therefore a strongly dualist and enumerationist philosophy. The Purusha is the centre of consciousness, whereas the Prakriti is the source of all material existence. For more details go to BG02, refer to comments on VerseBG2.12

Pancharatra: The central dogma of the Pāñcharātra religion is that the deity manifests Himself in five-fold forms: Para, Vyūha, Vibhava, Antaryamin, and Archa. These five aspects are how the absolute, formless Transcendent One (Parabrahman) is brought into living and loving touch with the mundane world so that living beings can interact with the divine. Pāñcarātra are Vaishnavite devotional texts dedicated to a single deity Sriman Narayana who manifests in different forms. God exists in his absolute form (Para), his Vyuha forms (similar to the Catholic trinity), his incarnations (as beings among mankind) and his existence in holy images. For more details go to: vadakalai_tenkalai

Jainism: a dualistic religion founded in the 6th century B.C. as a revolt against the then current Hinduism and emphasizing the perfectibility of human nature and liberation of the soul, esp. through asceticism and nonviolence toward all living creatures.

Mimamsa:  Sanskrit word meaning "investigation"  is the name of an astika ("orthodox") school of Hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermaneutics of the Vedas. Its core tenets are ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. The central aim of the school is elucidation of the nature of dharma, understood as a set ritual obligations and prerogatives to be performed properly. The nature of dharma isn't accessible to reason or observation, and must be inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the Vedas, which are considered eternal, authorless and infallible. The West compares Mimamsa doctrine to similar claims regarding Koran; of Judaism and the Pentateuch, and that of fundamentalist Christian Sects concerning the authenticity of the Bible. - from Harper's dictionary of Hinduism and wikipedia.


    The essence of monistic Hinduism

God and You (It, That, He, She) are One.

Mahavakya =  The Mahavakyas are the four "Great Sayings" of the Upanishads, the religious texts of Hinduism. Each of the Mahavakyas belongs to one of the four Vedas and is said to condense the essence of the entire Veda in one statement.

These sayings encapsulate the central Truth of Hinduism.

The Mahavakyas महावाक्यानि are:

  1. prajñānam Brahma - प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitreya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
  1. Ayam Ātmā Brahma - अयं आत्मा ब्रह्म  "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad1.2 of the Atharva-Veda)
  1. Tat Tvam Asi - तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि "Thou art That" (Chadogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
  1. Aham Brahmasmi - अहम् ब्रह्मस्मि "I am Brahman" ( Brahadaranyaka Upanishad)1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)


Dasasloki continues:

5)  Brahman has no attributes such as upper or lower part, no interior or exterior, no east or west, and no middle or diagonal part, because He pervades like space.  It is one whole without parts. I am the auspicious without parts.

6) Brahman is neither white, nor black, nor red, nor yellow, nor small, nor big, nor short nor long nor knowable because it is of the nature of Jyoti.  I am auspicious self free from all attributes.

Jyoti = Effulgence, Splendor.

7)  There is neither guru, nor Sastras, nor student, nor teaching, nor you, nor I nor this world. Knowledge of one’s own nature does not permit variant views.  I am auspicious self free from all attributes.

8) I am neither awake and Visva, nor dreaming and Taijasa, nor in deep sleep and Prajna; all arise from ignorance.  I am in Turiya State (the 4th state). I am the self free from all attributes.

Details of the below-mentioned entities are described in detail in BG12  (commentary on Verse 12.1)

Visva = the name of the individual soul in waking state.

Taijasa =  the name of the individual soul in dream sleep state.

Prajna =  the name of the individual soul in deep sleep state.

Turiya = the fourth state.

9) Atma, being the goal, is all-pervasive self-existent, and independent, while the whole universe, apart from the Self, is unreal.

(Consider this as an explanation: A thought (world) without a thinker (Self = god) is impossible, unreal and non-existent. In Hindu and Christian tradition, the thought and therefore a word translates into object(s): Let there be Light; there was Light.) In Hindu tradition, God thinks the 'thinkable'; it becomes 'speakable'; the speakable becomes an object. That is why Sanskrit letters and words are sacred. Yes, believe it or not; laugh if you must: God thought in Sanskrit, spoke in Sanskrit, wrote in Sanskrit, produced objects (the universe) from Sanskrit words and communicated in Sanskrit! It is the language of the gods and men; it is of divine origin. It is the seed of the Indo-European languages.

10) Though it is not one, there cannot be  a second different from it. It has neither Kevalatvam nor Cakevalatvam; it is neither Sunyam nor Ca-sunyam, since it is free of duality. How can one characterize  something that is the essence of Sarva-veda (all Vedas = sacred texts)?

Kevalatvam = Absoluteness

Sunyam = void.

He traveled to Benares and found an eager student and admirer in another South Indian compatriot Padmapada. He distinguished himself among the Sanskrit scholars and pundits. He wrote his commentaries on religious texts.

The legend says that on the banks of the Ganges river he had his first encounter with Siva who is known for pranks on his devotees.  A Chandala  (person of low caste, born of a Brahmin mother and a Sudra father) was walking along with a dog coming towards Sankara and his band of disciples; the latter asked the Chandala to stay away from the path of Sankara.  The Chandala addressed Sankara, "O Guruji! Chandala and Brahmana are of the Supreme, whence this difference?"  (It is still a mystery as to how one can tell a Chandala apart from others. Is it by physiognomy, behavior pattern, association, accouterments...?  I understand the broom in his hand was the sine qua non of Chandala. Krishna Bhagavan says in BG 5.18: 'A learned humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even a dog-eater are seen with an equal eye by a punditah (sage).' Here a dog-eater is generally considered a Chandala.

Another expansive version of the same incident gives the following narrative. Sankara himself asked the Chandala to keep some distance from him. (In modern parlance: You, low life; stay away from me, you cur; get the hell out of here; get lost, you scumbag; scram, don't even look back.) The Chandala spoke his mind: What is it that you want to keep away from, my Self or my body? Our bodies are made of food; if you desire, I could keep my physical body away from your physical body.  The Self, that is pure awareness, is (shared by) you and me; thus we are one, and one with One (God).  How is it possible for the Omnipresent Pure Awareness go away from Itself?  Sankara fell at his feet like a stick with all his eight angas at prostration. (Eight Angas / Sashtanga Namaskaram: Prostration with eight limbs touching the floor: two hands, two knees, two shoulders, chest, and forehead.) Sankara thought that Lord Siva himself in the form of Chandala was there to teach him a lesson. He composed 5 slokas, named Manisha Panchaka (Five Convictions).

Siva is an ecumenical Impersonator in Chief. Once he pretended to be a traveling Jewelry Salesman. I know from my childhood days the traveling bangles salesman get to put the bangles on girls, nubile virgins and married women and secretly enjoy groping their tender and soft hands. Some got wise and would put and remove  the bangles themselves. Of course, if they break the glass bangles they had to pay for them. If he breaks them in his attempt, there was no charge.

Coming back to Siva in disguise, He offered to give the bangles free of charge, if Parvati agreed to share His bed with Him. Parvati readily agreed, took hold of the jewels and bangles free of charge and said, "Not now, may be later." What Siva did not know is that a woman knows her husband a mile away from the way he talks, walks, moves and sees, here with His amorous eyes. Parvati knows Siva with a bandana covering her eyes. This is all a game; Siva knew that He could not fool His consort.

At a lonely private spot by the river, Parvati in the form of Chandalini walked in on Siva in meditation. Siva saw the Chandalini with eyes brimming with lust and passion and cast a Come-Hither Look for teaching Her meditation techniques. Who else is more capable of teaching the techniques than the Yogin of Yogins, that is Siva Himself? By mutual consent, they had the encounter by the riverside. Parvati embarrassed Him by saying that by making love to a Chandalini, He became a Chandala.

Meaning of all this is that caste differences were created by man and Manu in the name of gods.

 The slokas ended with a refrain, 'manīşā mama--This is my conviction or thought." that essentially said that anyone, be a Chandala or Brahmana, who was learned enough to look at phenomena in the light of Advaita (Monism), was his guru.  The great Indian tradition doesn't exclude anybody from acquiring knowledge.  He can rise to any height according to his ability and depth of devotion. According to Chandogya Upanishad 5.24.4,  if any one offers the sacrificial remnant of his food to a Chandala, it is offered to the Universal Self (= Universal Consciousness).  Here the caste, the race, and all other discriminatory pettiness are given the short shrift.

Saying 20 by Ramakrishna on Monism. The soul enchained is man, but when free from the chain (Maya), it is the Lord.

Manisha Panchaka: the Five Verses by Sankaracharya.


Chandala's retort:


अन्नमयादन्नमयमथवा चैतन्यमेव चैतन्यात् ।

द्विजवर दूरीकर्तुं वाञ्छसि किं ब्रूहि गच्छ गच्छेति।।


O the best among the twice-born,  What is it that you desire to stay away from, by asking me to leave? Do you want me to move away my body made of food from your body made of food? Do you want Consciousness move away from Consciousness?

(Our consciousness is the contracted version of the Universal Consciousness of Siva. Man has ownership of the food-body to himself. Consciousness, which is the Universal Soul, pervades all beings and is common to one and all. If one being hurts another being, he is hurting the Universal Consciousness and thus himself.  Lesson: Chandala brought out the Advaitic principle that we are not the body but Consciousness. Sankara was shocked to hear such profound idea coming from the mouth of a dog-eater.)

Sankara's extempore verses in reply to Chandala's challenge in Manisha Panchaka.

Verse1. True knowledge is realization that man is not an object but Pure Consciousness that shines in all three states: wakefulness, dream sleep and deep sleep. The Pure Consciousness is the Witness, the Indweller in all bodies from the Creator Brahma to an ant. The one who realizes this knowledge is my Guru, whether he is a Chandala or a Brahmana. This is my conviction.  Lesson: ayam atma brahma = This Self is Brahman.

Verse 2. I am Brahman, the Pure Consciousness appearing as this universe. My Avidya (ignorance/nescience) made of three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) has dreamt all  this up. He who realizes this knowledge of  the eternal, pure and supreme Brahman, is my Guru whether he is a Chandala or a Brahmana. This is my conviction.

Sattva = virtue; Rajas = motion and passion; Tamas = darkness.

3. He who under the tutelage of  his Guru has attained the realization that the whole universe is subject to destruction, meditates on Brahman constantly with tranquil and pure mind, burns his past and future sins in the fire of knowledge, and subjects himself  and his body to Prarabdha karma. This is my conviction.

Carpous (fruit-bearing) Karma is thought, word and deed; each one bears a fruit, sweet or sour in this life or in the future births. Karma has a long arm that reaches you without remiss, has strong memory and makes sure you enjoy or eat the sweet and sour fruits of your Karma.

Prarabdha karma: set in motion; Sprouting; germinates and yields fruits (sweet and sour) according to the seeds.

Arabdha Karma: begun, started, initiated, sprouting seed.

An-arabdha Karma: not begun, not sprouting, seed.

Sanchita: Accumulated; stored dormant seeds = Silos or storehouse.

Kriyamana Karma (Agami): coming; being made; actively made


Abraham Lincoln said,

"The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future."


4. Animals, men and gods experience the pure consciousness as 'I.' The reflection (light) of the Pure Consciousness on the insentient mind, senses and body make them appear sentient. Objects come into perception because of this consciousness. The mind, the senses and the body conceal the Self, though they receive light from it. They are like the clouds hiding the sun. The Yogi who meditates on the Self is my Guru. This is my conviction. 

5. The Self, being Brahman, is the eternal Ocean of Bliss. An infinitesimal fragment of that Bliss nurtures Indra and other gods. The sage attains realization by meditating on the Self with tranquil mind. He whose mind identifies with the Self is not only a knower of Brahman but Brahman Itself.  His feet, irrespective of whose they are, are fit for worship even by Indra himself. This is my conviction.


Sankaracharya's (788-820 CE) male chauvinism and his change of heart, mind and spirit.


    Sankaracharya, propounder of Monistic theory and devotee of Siva (Vishnu, Mother Goddess) was in Kasi. He was seized by Saktas who argued on the greatness of Mother Goddess and Sakti. Sankara beat them all by his arguments; Saktas were heart broken because the arguments were apparently sound and came from the mouth of Sankara, who was a realized soul and knower of Brahmavidya (Brahman knowledge  = God Realization). This debate over the superiority of Siva over Sakti went on for days to the delight of Saivites and to the consternation of Saktas; Sankara won it every time. (In those days, wars [of words] happened on the debating platforms unlike these days.)

   He was once lying with his head towards the south and feet towards the north in utter physical exhaustion on a narrow path. He saw a girl come towards him asking him to move his legs, so that she could pass him to fetch water from Ganges.

Sankara said, "O Mother (அம்மா), go on, jump over my legs if you want. I am not moving. I am too tired to move my legs."  (It is common to address a female of any age as mother as a mark of respect.)

The girl refused to jump over his body or legs and said, " O Brahmana, I cannot jump over a body of a Brahmana. Please move your legs."

Sankara said, "You, silly ignorant girl. There is no harm in jumping over me. Ignorance separates people as Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. Everyone and everything is Brahman (God). Jump over me and you will not incur any sin. I am too tired to move my legs."

The girl said, "I myself will move your tired legs and pass by."

Sankara retorted, " You do what you want."

The girl lifted his legs, and made enough room to pass by.

The girl came back to Sankara who asked for water to quench his thirst.

The girl said with a smile, " You are so near the water, go and get it yourself."

Sankara, obviously irritated by the girl, said, "I told you many times that I am too weak to get up."

The girl then rolled her eyes and uttered in a voice that shook the sky: "Sankara, you ignored Sakti. You said Sakti did not exist, didn't you?"  (Sakti is the power of Siva, depicted as His consort. Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti. It is like a wallet without money.)

Sankara was shaken to the core by the tone and the meaning of the words. He shut his eyes and opened them to find waves of light in her eyes equal to a thousand suns and moons. He ran to hold her feet in reverence and seek refuge. The Light and the girl disappeared. Disappearance of the Light shattered him; his Brahmajnana was shaken to its foundation; his pride was in tatters.  He ran to the temple of Annapurna, crying "Mother." His conviction about Siva being superior to Sive ( Sakti) was fundamentally shaken. Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti (power). In modern parlance: 'Money talks, BS walks.' Sankara sang hymns in honor of Mother Goddess, Sakti. This was sport of Devi, and Sankara was an important participant. If one sees Sakti in every one and everything, she is within your reach.

An ideological adversary converts and becomes his disciple and successor. More light than heat in Sankara's words.

During his tour, Sankara was demolishing the opponents of Monism with well-placed explosive charges in the opponents well-structured arguments so much so they became converts to his philosophy of thought. One such incident involved a husband-wife team of towering intellect, disputatious abrasiveness and royal patronage, which obviously gave them a Big Ego.  Real life Mandana Misra was the worthy but older opponent and his wife Bharati served as the moderator. She devised  a simple objective measure of  heat (fever) generated in a person during an argument. The one who generated more heat than light would be the loser. The loser would convert to the philosophy of the victor and his order of life. (I wish we settle our differences like this.) She placed a flower garland one each for Sankara and Mandana. They wore their garlands and started their arguments and disputations. In the mean time she went about doing her daily chores. They fired salvos and counter-salvos at each other; there was light and heat; this went on for eight days, until it reached a fever pitch. Mandana's hold on his tenets was climbing a slippery slope; he began to cling to the tenets of Sankara and  felt helplessly to side with Sankara. Mandana's  flowers showed signs of wilting, (external and objective) evidence that Mandana (an incarnation of Brahma) generated more heat than light in his arguments and disputations.  Sankara's flower garland was as fresh as the flowers on the living stem indicating that he kept his cool under fire, emitted more light than heat and saved the flowers from wilting. Bharati declared Sankara the winner against her hope and wish. Mandana in the blink of an eye shed his royal robe, donned the saffron robe of Sannyasin, became Sankara's disciple and later his real life successor. His new name was Suresvara Acharya, appointed as the Acharya of the Sringeri Matha later. Suresvara wrote many commentaries: Vartikas, Taitiriya, Brihadaranyaka Bhasyas, commentary of Dakshinamurthy Stotra and Panchikarana, a book on the teachings of Sankara (Naishkarmya Siddhi)....

Bharati though a fair moderator still had remnants of ego in her, did not accept Sankara's Monism and clung to the tenets of rituals.  Legend had it she was the incarnation of Sarasvati, the goddess of speech. They launched verbal salvos at each other; Sankara sent bruising replies; her arguments were losing ground.  As a married woman, she changed her tune and tactic and thought she would demolish bachelor Sankara on the art of conjugal love.  She said to herself, "this time, I will get you good and supine."  When Bharati introduced this new element, Sankara asked for and received deferment. By that time, the local king Amaru  shuffled off his mortal coil leaving a bevy of inconsolable queens in the harem. Sankara saw the opportunity and by his yogic power left his body, entered the body of dead Amaru to every one's surprise, jumping from one chamber to the next like an Alpha Male, engaged in love-making of queens far beyond the range, scope and practice of Kama Sutra so much so Sankara had more intimate knowledge of the art of love than Bharati. Soon to the consternation of the royal household, the erstwhile anabiotic king dropped dead for real from exhaustion of marathon love-making like the bee on its nuptial flight; Sankara left Amaru's body, reentered his own body (under the watchful eyes of his disciples), and was ready for argument with Bharati with his new facile confidence and attitude, beat-you-in-your-own-game.  She posed delicate and intimate questions; his counterpoise was telling in its finesse.  All her moves received instantaneous appropriate reciprocal fitting counter moves from Sankara.  She, a mistress (miester) in the art of love, found Sankara an (verbal) acrobat, whose verbal pośe of balletic perfection left her breathless.  She accepted defeat, was impressed with Sankara's knowledge of the art of love but also the science of love and joined her husband as Sankara's disciple.  Even today, she is tall in her defeat in the temple at Sringeri. Devout followers of Sankara and Saradamba (Bharati) believe that the debate material of the type in Kamasutra, (Havelock Ellis, and  Masters and Johnson) was invented, appended and integrated into the story by overzealous followers and admirers to prove that Sankara was an all-round expert in Tantric sex and Vaidic ways.  After his victorious debate tour, he went to Sringeri along with his disciple Mandana Misra to build a mutt and a temple. There he heard that his mother was seriously ill and went to perform the last rites in Kalladi. He helped his mother in deathbed to have visions of Siva's Ganas and Vishnu's messengers. The local Nambhudiris forbade that a Sannyasi could do the funeral rites and stopped everyone offering help to Sankara. Sankara carried the body to the backyard, created fire before him by his yogic power and cremated her body.  He left Kalladi for Sringeri and later east coast, reformed the Saktas and Bhairavas, built Mutts in Kanchi and Puri  and returned back to Sringeri.  He was back on his tour of the North, built Mutts in Dwaraka, went to Nepal and Kashmir, and later to Badrikesh where he built a temple for Narayana.  He lived for 32 years on this earth and shuffled off his mortal coil, some say in a Himalayan cave, some say in Kanchi.

Pandit N. Bhashyacharya (of Madras) in his "Age of Sankaracharya" (Adyar Library, Madras, 1890 A.D., page 22) says "Lastly towards the end of his life he came to the south but had to leave his body and this world at Kancheepuram at the early age of thirty-two:' Saligram Srikanta Sastry of Sringeri has taken a copy of the 16th chapter of the ninth amsa of "Sivarahasya" from the Manuscript Library in Mysore and has rendered it in Kannada. The English translation of a sentence in the Kannada work is as follows: "Having come to Kanchi, in his own ashrama, he (Sankara) absorbed his gross physical frame into the subtle one, became pure, blissful citsvarupa and attained final Siddhi:'---http://www.kamakoti.org/peeth/origin.html

Sankara takes on the cosmological questions. Does anybody know why God (or whoever it is) created these universes? What is His motive? The Vaishnavas say that Vishnu created this world and beings as a sport and amusement. It is fun for God to play around with exploding Supernovas, hot and dense neutron stars, collapsing White Dwarfs, dusty and gaseous EGG Nebulae (EGG = Evaporating Gaseous Globule), planetary embryos, stellar nurseries where stars are born, shooting stars with long tails, Kuiper Belts, errant Asteroids, ravenously hungry Black Holes, magma-belching volcanoes.... Everyday is July 4th on a cosmic scale. Some say it is for His own edification and glorification. Why do we have to suffer for His vanity, vainglory and self-edification?  Some call God's act His love for humanity and beings. Wars, famines, natural disasters, genocides...are happening under His watch: Are they acts of love? Then what is love? Sankara says the answer lies in Vedanta. It is Samsara--metempsychosis. Sankara believes that we are like plants. When the plant dies, it leaves behind a seed, from which new plant grows and the cycle repeats itself. Likewise, when man dies, he leaves behind Karma, a suitcase of his thoughts, words and deeds (Subtle body). Karma has a long arm. You heard of death and taxes as certainty. Karma is the third certainty, we don't think of.  Karma's long arm reaches and touches you over many future births. Your present life is the Karmic fruit from the seed you left behind or planted in your previous birth. Every thought, word and deed (good and bad) bear seed which grows as a plant, bear fruit, and leave a seed for future birth. The cycle goes on. How do we get rid of this seed? We can roast it so that it cannot germinate. That is called Expiation by Chariyai, Kriyai, Yogam, and Jnanam. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. Once Karma comes to be a Null Entity, there is no more birth. You are liberated; you live in heaven with God (Brahman).

Alvars of Srivaishnavism talk about the worldly miseries in a different perspective. Man would find no need to aspire for heaven, if everyone has a heaven on earth. Karmic miseries suffered by man may be the inducer to aspire for heaven in the after-life.  Kulasekara Alvar explains these miseries of man and his attitude towards his God in the following verse.


 Kulasekara Alvar sings on the misery of life inflicted by the power of Maya, seeking Grace and taking refuge at the Feet of the Lord. Translation by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

வாளால் அறுத்துச் சுடினும் மருத்துவன்பால்
மாளாத காதல் நோயாளன் போல் மாயத்தால்
மீளாத் துயர்தரினும் விற்றுவக்கோடடு்  அம்மா! நீ
ஆளா  உனது அருளே பார்ப்பன் அடியேனே 5.4

Though cut by scalpel and then cauterized, towards the surgeon

boundless love the patient has; likewise by Maya

endless misery heaped on me, O Lord of Vittuvakkottu, You.

as servitor I seek your Grace at Your feet.

According to Advaitic or Monistic philosophy, there is only one Reality, that is Brahman. This universe and beings have no reality.  We live under the cloud of MAyA or illusion. MAyA is like a dream, which we know is not real when we wake up (to god realization). When we rise above the clouds of Maya, the sunshine of Reality is on us. We all know we should not chase a dream, a mirage or an illusion. Stop the chase. Stop chasing the world. Get off this world and come to realization of the Great Self or Universal Consciousness. That means you have to withdraw your senses from the objects of senses like the tortoise, which withdraws its organs under the shell. Why should we do that? Tell me why? Mind may generate a thought, thought may generate a word, and a word may generate a deed. Thought, word, and deed generate Karma, which generates a seed. Karma is what you do with your hand (a synonym for Karma), acts that may be good, bad or indifferent. They generate good Karma or bad Karma; these are acts that you do to your self or that some one else does to you. They are called (Adhiatmika, Adhibhautica, and Adhidaivika) Endogenous, Exogenous and Theogenous miseries: Internal in origin,  like diseases; External in origin like what others do to you; and Divine in origin or unknown in origin, acts beyond your control. BG02 All these come under the term Anubhava, Experience, which causes joy or misery. Misery is attending the School of Hard Knocks.  This School inculcates the knowledge that there is Spirit which is Reality. In western parlance, it puts the fear of God in you. It tells you that you are not the master of the universe. You live under His reign. You have no freedom to do what you will or want. Your freedom is restricted; the restrictions are the five Kankucas. கலை, வித்தை, ஆராகம், நியதி, காலம் (KalA, Vidya, RAga, Niyati, and KAlam = Learning, Knowledge, Desire, Order, and Time) are the five Kankucas (பஞ்ச கஞ்சுகம்) or the Five Jackets. How is that? What you have learned is fistful; what you have not learnt is of the size of the earth. Our knowledge is limited: you cannot be a doctor, atomic scientist, rocket engineer, poet... in one person. So is the case with other restricting Jackets. What you desire, you cannot attain always. An order has been imposed on us, which limits us. Time has put a limitation on man: birth and death.  In association with the five jackets and a body, and becoming eligible to consume the fruits of Karma, the soul acquires the name of Purusha.  In us, there are five afflictions (பஞ்சகிலேசம்): (அவிச்சை, ஆங்காரம், அவா, ஆசை, கோபம் = Spiritual ignorance, Ego, Covetousness, Desire, Anger).  The School of Hard Knocks also makes one's impurities mature and fall (elimination of impurities). Once that happens, spiritual Knowledge dawns on the aspirant  and takes him or her to the Reality of Brahman.  Sankara tells that this world of matter and beings is a product of Maya or an impure substance as opposed to Suddha Sattvam (Pure Empyreal Substance of the gods) and attaining the Reality or Brahman is a process of elimination (of impurities), and realizing the Truth. Comparative analogy: Cheap iron runs in our veins; Gold runs in the veins of gods. The term for our constitutional make is Prakritic (natural, common, vulgar); the gods are made of a-prakritic substance ( Extraordinary substance, Suddha Sattvam = Pure Goodness, divine substance, empyreal substance).

As you march forwards seeking Brahman, you come across a lot of things that declare, ' I am the Truth; I am god; you have to go through me to reach the Lord.'  It could be money, a good job, a good wife, good children, good company, good life, good books, good Faustian knowledge, good associates, good church, good temple, good priests, prophets, sages... the list is endless. A spiritually enlightened or perfected one analyses each one of these claimants and says with conviction, 'Neti Neti' (Not this, Not this), and eventually finds God by acquiring Brahma Vidya (Knowledge of Brahman = Realization of God) and says, "This is It."

Chariyai1 , Kriyai2, Yogam3 and Jnanam4Worshipping God-in-form in a temple1 ; Worshipping Šiva with rites and ceremonies2; Mental worship of Šiva3; Realization of God as transcending form4.  Definition by Swami Sivananda.

The Doctrine of Self (AhamPratyaya) is the Doctrine of I-Consciousness: I am fat, I am thin, I know, I remember, I did . Here is a false assumption on the part of the mind that it is the seer or doer. Ahamdhi, Ahampratyaya, Ahamkriya and Ahamkara are the words used by Sankara to explain, 'I am the seer, I am the doer and other acts that stress on 'I.' This puts the mind in front of the Self (Atman, God); the latter is the real Knower or Doer. The Self is the Subject and the world is the object of knowledge. In fact the subject and object are one. You, the subject see an apple and you become the apple; if you don't become the apple, you cannot see the apple; thus the subject and object are one. If the apple is seen, the Self (atman) is seeing it; the 'I' should know it is the Self that sees. It is not the body (eyes) that sees the apple but the spirit (atman, the soul) underlying it. The apparent demarcation, separation and duality between subject and object is a conventional notion born of ignorance, which is removed by knowledge*. This duality of subject and object is relative reality (VyAvahArika), conditioned by MAyA and the mind. When you take away MAyA and the mind, you go to the realm of Supreme Reality, Supreme Truth, Essence (pAramArthika). When mental activity alone exists as in a dream, there is no validity and thus it amounts to illusion. The mind perceives what is not there in a dream as real. It is PratibhAsika (Illusory) or just appearance, apparition or phantom.

Knowledge*  or Wisdom

Here Jnāna is mundane (Faustian) knowledge, and contains a little spiritual wisdom; Vijnānam or wisdom has a specific reference to experiential knowledge of God. Jnāna is to know that God exists and Vijnāna is directly experiencing god. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (RKPH) asked a rhetorical question in the presence of his devotees, “What is Vijnāna?” He (RKPH) answered that it is to know God in a special way. He added that knowing there is fire in the wood is Jnāna or knowledge, and cooking rice on that fire, eating, and getting nourishment from the cooked rice is Vijnāna. To know by inner experience that God exists is Jnāna, but to “talk to him, to enjoy Him as a Child, a Parent, a Friend, a Master, the Universe, and all living beings is Vijnāna.” (Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.)  [There is Fire in the wood: that is why it is called Firewood.]

Swami Vivekananda told a story on Knowledge. Once upon a time, a flock of sheep adopted a lion cub. (You may say, 'Are you trying to pull wool over my eyes?') The cub was eating grass (Really!); he was growing, and bleating like a sheep (No way!). One day a lion on the prowl saw the lion cub grazing on grass and bleating like a sheep (Come on, are you kidding!). The lion waited until the cub went to sleep. Gingerly, the lion woke up the cub and asked him what he was doing with the sheep. He rebuked him saying that he was a lion cub. The sheep-lion cub said, “No, I am not a lion. I am a sheep.” The lion on the prowl took the sheep-lion cub to the lake and asked him to see his face in the water-mirror. The sheep-lion cub could not believe his eyes and bleated out saying that he looked like the visiting lion. The visiting lion roared and asked the cub to roar like him. He tried and tried but could not emit a roar. He bleated (Is that right.). After a few bleats, the sheep-lion cub roared (Now, I believe you.). He is not a sheep anymore. He is a lion (How nice.). He arrived at Knowledge. Knowledge is to know that you are the soul and not the body. Logic and reason is a preliminary tool for explanation of material knowledge, but an impediment and an imperfect tool for insight into the spiritual knowledge.  

Explanation: The Lion is pAramArthika (The Absolute Reality). (You are really the Atman or Soul.)  The sheep-lion cub has always been a lion. You have always been a Soul. Only in its mind, it was a sheep. That is false knowledge, which has to be removed. It is the cloud of MAyA and the mind that obscured the vision of the sheep-lion and that is VyAvahArika (relative reality). This is phenomenal reality. That is WYSIWYG relative reality. We see what we want to see. We see a snake in a rope in the dark. That is relative reality or superimposition (of snake on the rope). Once the truth or its identity was revealed the sheep-lion underwent realization that it was a lion and not a sheep. In its mind, It is going from being a sheep to becoming a lion, which is its true identity. It is going from ignorance to knowledge (spiritual).

Brahman (pAramArthika ) is the hypostasis of all that exists. If there is no Brahman, there is no world (and no beings). Thus Brahman is the world. You, he, she, it and that are Brahman; they are all one. That is Advaita (non-dual) or Monism. All that you see, hear and experience are relative reality and phenomenal. I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi). existing in MAyA in the realm of relative reality.


The west regards Samsara or Metempsychosis and Karma were invented by the ancient Hindu mind to dispense reward or punishment to human beings when they escape the same in this life for their good or bad deeds. Apart from rewards in heaven, punishment in hell, rebirth in accordance to Karma with regards to heredity, ancestry and environment to enjoy the sweet and sour fruits of Karma constitutes Samsara, life in the phenomenal world.


Exoteric Eschatology. According to Sankara, there are four types of people. 1) The Tamasic people. The dark and dingy souls. When they die, they have a no-frills non-stop straight flight to the Nether Worlds and sustain punishment. After that, they are paroled back to the earth so that they are given a chance to expiate their sins as something less than humans: animals. The fall from being a man, punishment, and rebirth as animal are expiation. 2) The Rajasic people. These are the robotic people who go about doing their daily chores as automatons, perform rituals according to injunctions of sacred texts, and fail to attain spiritual knowledge or know their god. These are the everyday people we have on the world stage. When they die, they take the path of the manes, go through several dark and dingy regions, and arrive at Lunar and Solar Mandalas or spheres. (These areas are not related to the physical moon or sun.) Here they enjoy fun life on account of their good deeds on earth; once their merit runs out, they are shunted back to earth. 3) The Sattvic people. The bright and the good souls. These are the virtuous people who follow scriptural injunctions and come to know the gods they worship. They take the Royal, rather the Divine path of Devayana through bright regions, arrive at Brahmaloka, the world of Brahma the Creator, enjoy the company of gods and Brahma, receive instructions on Samayoga Darsana and complete knowledge of Nirguna Brahman, and attain Moksha or liberation. This, according to Sankara is NOT Ultima Thule. The terms used to describe this state of attainment or liberation are Apara Brahman,  Hiranyagarbha, Apekshiki Mukti or relative liberation. 

Esoteric Eschatology.

4) Paramukti is Supreme Liberation, absolute liberation, final liberation, or Ultima Thule obtained after ParaVidyaJnana (Supreme Knowledge). The liberated soul  becomes one with Para Brahman (Supreme Brahman) with no difference or Bheda. The beauty about Paramukti is that it can be obtained while living on earth; it is called Corporeal liberation or Jivan Mukti (liberation while the soul abides in the body according to Monists). These liberated souls living on earth do not have to take the path of Devayana. He has no obligations, no injunctions to follow, no Karma to accumulate and only Prarabdha Karma to resolve before he shuffles off his mortal coil.

Ramanujacharya of Vishistadvaita philosophy does not believe in Jivan Mukti. He believes in Videha Mukti, incorporeal liberation after death (attainment of emancipation after death).


  Sankaracharya categorized the Hindu monks into ten orders (Dasnami- ten names): 1) Aranya, 2) Asrama, 3) Bharati, 4) Giri, 5) Parvata, 6) Puri, 7) Sarasvati, 8) Sagara, 9) Tirtha, 10) Vana.  The monks are called by the suffixal names as listed above (Dayananda Sarasvati). Some of these names are defunct. These Monastic orders were distributed in India in the four cardinal directions: North, South, East and West headquartered in  Jyotirmath in Bhadrinath, Utter Pradesh; Sringeri Math, Sringeri in Karnataka; Govardhana Math, Puri in Orissa; and Sarada Math, Dvaraka in Gujarat. The heads (Mahants) are called Sankaracharyas after the peripatetic founder Adhi Sankaracharya.  All Dasanami monks carry a staff symbolizing the essential monistic identity of Brahman and atman.

The genius of the Dasanami is it is not sectarian and not confined to Siva worship.  They worship Siva, Vishnu, Sakti, Ganapati, Surya and others and its secular credentials accept Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad….  In Hinduism, the gods and goddesses belong to a henotheistic fraternity-Sorority House. All members including foreigners (Moses, Jesus, Muhammad) can claim individual supremacy with mutual accommodation and no rivalry among the divine members. Simply put, the House is chock-full of Chiefs and no Indians. Where are the Indians? They are us (We the people).  The Hindus one day go to the temple of Lord Venkatesvara (Vishnu), the next day go to the Shrine of Siva and the next day go to the temple of Goddess Durga, Meenakshi.... Hindu regards all of them supreme individually. Many Hindu temples are a henotheistic Fraternity-Sorority House of Worship, wherein Gods and Goddesses of different sects appear in their respective shrines under one roof and confer blessings to the worshippers. We the people go around in a clockwise fashion (No anticlockwise circumambulation) visiting each shrine and offering prayer, beat a circular clockwise path around each shrine and end up where you started. The deities don't vie with each other for attention; they are there in the temple for your welfare. Each temple has a central shrine by occupant of which the temple is usually named. The only thing they expect from you is devotion.

The Sankaracharyas after the tradition of Adhi Sankara can be ardent devotees of Krishna, Sakti, Mother Goddess....  Sringeri Matha has the distinction of having had a head of the monastery without interruption from the time of Adhi Sankara.  The predominant followers are the twice-born Smarta Sect belonging to Brahmana, Ksatriya, and Vaishya Varnas, which offer worship in the tradition of PancAyatana pUja (five Shrines worship) to Siva, Vishnu, Sakti, Ganesa, Surya (and Skanda), who are all aspects of Sagunabrahman (manifest Brahman) originating from Para Brahman (Supreme Brahman without attributes). Skanda worship is the 6th entity in the South.  Smarta derives its meaning from Smriti, sacred texts of human authorship, and  its inspiration from Adhi Sankara. Smartas believe in polytheistic Hindu pantheon and yet may choose One above Other Deities. Rules, rituals and conduct as depicted in Sutras form the centerpiece of their worship. Siva is the most worshipped among the five, whose principal devotees are the Iyers and the Sastries of Brahmana caste.

Sringeri lineage boasts of celibates as the heads, while Dvaraka and Puri Mathas have had householders assume leadership in old age. Jyotirmath has the unfortunate history of going without a head for long periods.

Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Divine Life Society, and Chinmaya Mission claim inspiration from Dasanami order of Sringeri in the South.  The Self-Realization Fellowship and Yoga Vedic Center are the other paramparas.

The Four Amnaya mathas. Modified.  Credit: Sarada Peetham  publications Sringeri

Mathas West North East South
Place Dvaraka Badariksrama Jagannatha Sringeri
Name Kalika Matha Jyotir Matha Govardhana matha Sarada Matha
Deties Siddhesvara Narayana Jagannatha Malahanikara Linga
Sakti Badra Kali Purnagiri Vrsala Sarada
Sacred waters River Gomati River Alakananda Mahodadhi Tungabhadra
Acharya Sri Padmapada Sri Totaka Sri Hastamalaka Sri Suresvara
Veda Sama Atharvana Rg Yajur
Sampradaya Kitavala nandavala Bhogavala Bhuruvala
Mahavakya Tattvamasi Ayamatma Brahma Prajnanam Brahma Aham Brahmasmi
Titles Tirtha Asrma Giri Parvata Sagara Aranya  Vana Sarasvati  Puri**

** = Sarasvati, Puri, Bharati, Aranya, Tirtha, Giri, Asrma.


To honor Bharati, Sankara installed her in Saradamba temple as rock-carved Sriyantra and sandalwood image of the goddess in the name of Saradamba by the banks of River Tunga. Bharati being the incarnation of Sarasvati  blessed Sankara and gave him a boon that she would go to Sringeri where Sankara found his first monastery.  In course of time a golden image of Sarada was installed replacing the sandalwood image (in the 14th century).  She sits on the Meru of Sriyantra (Chakra Peetam) on a golden throne. She is Savitri, Gayatri and Sarasvati, all rolled into one.  She is Vagdevi (diety of Speech) and Brahmavidya (the anthropomorphic form of Brahman knowledge).   Dakshinamurthy is Her male form.  She is Tripurasundari and her Yantra is Sriyantra. She is the Sagunabrahman holding in her hands a jar of Amrta (Ambrosia), a book depicting Supreme Knowledge, a rosary of beads depicting Aksaras or Bijas (Sanskrit letters; a bead is a letter; a rosary is a word or string of  letters or words.), the origin of the universe, and Chinmudra standing for the oneness of Jiva and Brahman. She is Brahmavidya. Sarada as she sits on Sriyantra is called Lalita Raja Rajesvari. Sankara experienced a wave of Consciousness and Bliss envelope him and so called her Chidananda. Sarada emphasizes the Chit (Universal Consciousness) aspect while Lalita emphasizes the Ananda (Bliss, Beatitude) aspect. She rises, transcends and encompasses  the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) and their respective Saktis (Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Isvari). She is Paramesvari lauded with daily Puja and recitation of Lalita Sahasranamam. She is both Sakti and Saktiman and therefore the temple does not have Saktiman, lingam or Siva.

Sankara, the towering intellect of all times, had disciples: Padmapada known for devotion, Totaka for service, Hastamalaka for God-self-realization and Sureshvara for depth of knowledge. The Guru encompassed the skills of all of them. Once Sanandana and Sankaracharya were on the opposite banks of Ganges, when no boats were available. Upon invitation from Sankara to cross the river, Sanandana with faith stepped into the Ganges River. At once the Ganges sprouted and floated lotus blossoms to support the feet and weight of Sanandana, facilitating him to cross the river to everyone's surprise. To memorialize this incident, he was called Padmapada (the Lotus foot).

Another legend says that Padmapada, a great devotee of Narasimha assumed His form (Man-Lion) to tear apart an attacker who came to decapitate Sankara as an offering to Bhairava. Padmapada was wandering in the forest looking for Narasimha (man-lion incarnation of Vishnu) and came across an experienced hunter who denied the existence of such a being. Padmapada insisted it existed and the hunter started looking for it. When he could not find it in the allotted time he was ready to sacrifice himself. Narasimha appeared out of nowhere and saved the hunter from the tragedy. At once, the hunter cast a noose around the neck of the man-lion (Chimeric incarnation of Vishnu) and took him to Padmapada. Narasimha told the enquiring Padmapada that he was impressed by the devotion of the illiterate hunter and thus obliged him. Here is an instance where Lord Narasimha let himself roped by an earthling. Krishna let Himself tied to a grinding stone-wheel by Yasodha. Damodara  (Daama + udara = rope [around] + belly)  is one of many names of Vishnu/Krishna.  The Yadava mothers complained to Yasoda that child Krishna was getting into mischief all the time and was disruptive of their work. To prevent him from leaving her house, Yasoda ties a rope around his waist and anchors it to a grinding stone mortar. (Do you get an urge to shout: Child Abuse?) The sweet gracious redemptory paradox is that Narasimha and Krishna cut the ropes of karma and give their devotees Moksa-liberation. How can one tie Him down unless He willingly submits Himself to a devout hunter or his loving earth-mother, Yasoda?

The following is condensed version of Kumbaya (Come by here; Come by Yuh). "Kumbaya" (also spelled Kum Ba Yah) is a song claimed to have been composed by Reverend Marvin V. Frey (1918-1992) in the 1930s in Portland, Oregon.  In my opinion, there is no religious accretion in this song. Kumbaya is the phrasal name of the Lord, condensed to give a nice ring to it.

“I find it troubling, but not surprising,” said Glenn Hinson, a professor of folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has studied the song. “Yet again, a product of African-American spirituality has been turned into a term of joking and derision. It’s a distortion, and it’s a sad reversal.”  NYTimes Nov 20 2010

The Lord Kumbaya is the Lord of all religions, individually or collectively. What is in a name: Brahman, Siva, Vishnu, the Lord, Allah, Kumbaya....?

Get the complete lyrics from Wikipedia.


Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya

Someone’s laughing, Lord, Kumbaya

Someone’s crying, Lord, Kumbaya

Someone’s praying, Lord, Kumbaya

Someone’s singing, Lord, Kumbaya

Hear me crying, Lord, Kum ba yah

Hear me singing, Lord, Kum ba yah

Hear me praying, Lord, Kum ba yah

Oh I need you, Lord, Kum ba yah

O Lord, Kumbaya

Kumbaya = Come by here =  The Lord who comes by.  Here is the youtube Video-music presentation. Cut and paste:


Totaka was a personal assistant (valet) to Sankaracharya attending to his daily physical needs, thus drawing less respect for his intellectual endowment from the rest including Padmapada. Once Totaka was washing clothes for Sankara in the Ganges River and Sankara waited for him to return before he started teaching the students. Padmapada was impatient and told Sankara that talking to Totaka was like talking to a wall and that he should start his lessons without him. Sankara took offence and by his Yogic power transferred the knowledge of Sastras in a flash to Totaka. (You thought flash memory is today's new thing.) Newly endowed with knowledge, splendor and bliss, Totaka broke out in stanzas in Totaka meter to the surprise of all. He composed Sruti SaraSamuddharana in Totaka meter.

Sribali, a village near Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka, India had a 7 year old 'village idiot' in their midst. He was rich like Kubera, cute like a cupid, radiant like the sun, cool like the moon and patient like the earth. And yet he was an idiot. Upanayanam (triple cord ceremony for a Brahman boy) was performed. He had the autistic behavior like not talking, not making eye contact, not studying and not playing with others. Other children would beat him up and he would take it without complaints. The distressed parents took him to the visiting Sankaracharya who asked him, "Who are you? Are you inert?." The boy blossomed out in never-before spoken words, "I am not inert. Inertness becomes sentience in my presence. My nature is eternal infinite Bliss free from hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, old age, and death and the six milestones in life, birth, existence, growth, change, decay and destruction." Sanskrit words poured out in a gentle stream from his mouth in 12 chaste verses describing the nature of the Self. He presented the essence of the Self as if it were a  gooseberry on the palm of the hand, which earned him the nickname Hastamalaka. Hastamalaka or 'gooseberry on the palm' is an idiom meaning 'the fruit or seed of the Myrobalan in the hand' as a symbol of something striking, unmistakable, palpable and clear. Sankaracharya called the boy Acharya and his composition, Hastamalakiyam. Sankara took upon himself the pleasant task of writing Bhasya (commentary) on his extempore verses. The boy became Sankara's disciple. He determined that the seven year old was a realized soul and that he was beyond Sagunabrahman stage of learning or writing books. He was a supernal soul. Now here is the legend as to how he became what he was.  A mother left a two year old boy near a Yogi in yogic sleep asking him to look after the boy while she bathed in Ganges. The boy crawled into the river, drowned and died. The mother took the dead boy to the awake Yogi in great panic and upon seeing the distressed mother, he left his body and entered the body of the baby. That is what a perfect Yogi can do. (You may say, 'No kidding!') That was the perfected Yogi in the form of a village idiot, uttering the inimitable verses. [His apparently autistic behavior is not from hypoxic brain damage from drowning in the Ganges River.]  He had Brahma Vidya and did not need any instructions. There are several real-life stories of this sort, where children and adults with extraordinary abilities were put in institutions and branded as autistic, insane and the like by adults and authorities of lesser intellect.

The gist of the 12 verses composed by the 7- year-old child prodigy, the boy from Sribala in Karnataka, South India.

1. I am Atma, the eternal Consciousness. 2. Atman is non-dual and changeless. 3. Jiva (Individual soul) is the reflection of the Self, the Universal Soul. 4. Mirror and reflection are adjuncts to face. Likewise Atma stands alone. 5. Self is the eye of eye, mind of the mind and yet different and inaccessible to the organs. 6. Self is self-luminous like the sun. 7. Self is the fountainhead of human consciousness. 8. Self  illumines all. Without it, there is no illumination. 9. The Self remains unchanged and untainted by the illumined intellects. 10. Avidya (ignorance) is the cloud between self-luminous Self and the Jiva. 11. Self is pure like space untainted by dualities. 12. Self is like a crystal with many refractions and colors. There is one moon and many undulating reflections. (God is the moon; we are all the imperfect undulating reflections.)

The sequential presentation of the verses are different between the one above and the one below.

More expansive version appears below: Source:  http://www.geocities.com/ramana_satsang/f_r_i_d_a_y.htm

Question by Sankaracharya:  ‘Who are you?  Whose child are you?  Whither are you bound?  What is      your name?  Whence have you come?  Oh Child!  I should like to hear your reply to these questions.’  Thus spoke Sri Shankaracharya to the boy, and Hastamalaka replied as follows: 


1.      I am neither man, God, yaksha, Brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra,          brahmachari, householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi;  But I am pure          awareness alone.

2.      Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I – the ever-present, conscious Self – cause the mind to be active and the senses to function.  Again, just as the ether is all-pervading, yet devoid of any specific qualities, so am I free from all qualities.

3.      I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as heat is always associated with fire, I am that eternal, undifferentiated, unshaken Consciousness, on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.

4.      I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent as the image in a mirror is not independent of the object reflected.

5.      I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of buddhi (intellect) just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.

6.      I am eternal Consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses, I am the mind of the mind, the eye of the eye, ear of the ear and so on.  I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.

 7.      I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surface of various sheets of water.

8.      I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously illumines all eyes so that they perceive objects.

9.  Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others.  The source from which the sun derives its power is myself.

10.  Just as the reflections of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognizable in agitated intellects though I clearly shine in those which are calm. 

11.  Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do people think that the ever-free Self is bound.

12.  Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious Self pervade everything without being affected in any way.  I am that Self.

13.  Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces appears agitated, so is it with you, the all-pervading God.

15.  The truth of the Supreme Self has been revealed as clearly as a gooseberry is seen on the palm of the hand (Hastamalaka).  Thus this work is named Hastamalaka Stotra.  Hastamalaka the wise youth, is acclaimed as great by all on this earth.

The story of Suresvara Acharya (AKA Mandana Misra) was mentioned earlier.

We always wonder as to how the Acharyas traveled in those days. Life must have been difficult for Sankaracharya while traveling. Here is how Sringeri Guru Nrasimha Bharati traveled from Sringeri to Ramesvaram on January 23, 1868.

Three Biradaris of horses.  100 Brahmins 100 Sudras
83 troops 10 daggers 25 Pikes
2 elephants 2 Palanquins 50 cows
2 Tonjons 8 Umbrellas 25 muskets
6 Chamaras 20 swords 10 horses




Go to MAHAVIDYAS for more details on SriYantra.

   Ignorance is the mire of humanity; the one who rescues us from Avidya or spiritual Ignorance is Guru. Gu is Ignorance and Ru is light, the remover of ignorance-- the light that removes the darkness of ignorance. The medium of removal is Supreme Spiritual knowledge; the mediator is the Guru. He sheds light where there is darkness. Since Guru is the purveyor of spiritual knowledge and the dispeller of spiritual darkness, he is second only to Brahman. There are variations in the interpretation of Guru. Considered in its parts: g, r, u, the g has a function of granting of  Siddhis (supernatural powers); the r has the function of expunging the sins; the u portrays the latent Unmanifest Energy of Vishnu.

    Guru came into place when Mantras, Tantras, Yantras had to be committed to memory for practice and posterity.  The individual soul is full of spiritual ignorance (avidya); the accomplished Guru is full of spiritual knowledge; they found a mutual fit which leads to Mukti (liberation) of the individual soul. Guru knows the Pinda, the Rupa, and Rupa atitia (body, form and what is beyond the form). Pinda refers to the embodied soul (soul clothed in body) fed and sustained by Pinda, food. The form is Saguna Brahman, the visible form of Brahman: Siva and Vishnu in images. Rupa-Atita is what is beyond the form and refers to Parabrahman, the formless, the nameless and the attributeless.  Take Jesus Christ, the son of God; he is the visible form (Saguna Brahman, Brahman with attributes); his Father, the God in heavens is the invisible formless God, Param Brahman (Supreme Brahman). The Pinda is you and me, who know we have a body but ignorant of the immanent soul in us, which is an Amsa (fragment) of the Father.

Pinda-Rupa-Rupa atitia = body- Saguna Brahman-Para Brahman.    Saguna Brahman: God with form as in a picture, statue....; Para Brahman = God as Universal Soul or Supreme Consciousness without form.

Here is the saying of Vivekananda on Brahman.

All this universe was in Brahman, and it was, as it were, projected out of Him, and has been moving on to go back to the source from which it was projected, like the electricity which comes out of the dynamo, completes the circuit, and returns to it. The same is the case with the soul. Projected from Brahman, it passed through all sorts of vegetable and animal forms, and at last it is in man, and man is the nearest approach to Brahman. To go back to Brahman from which we have been projected is the great struggle of life. Whether people know it or not does not matter. In the universe, whatever we see of motion, or struggles in mineral or plants or animals is an effort to come back to the centre and be at rest. There was an equilibrium, and that has been destroyed; and all parts and atoms and molecules are struggling to find their lost equilibrium again. In this struggle they are combining and re - forming, giving rise to all the wonderful phenomena of nature. All struggles and competitions in animal life, plant life, and everywhere else, all social struggles and wars are but expressions of that eternal struggle to get back to that equilibrium. (Author's note: The effort to come back to the center is what I call the centripetal force.)  Christianity believes only humans have souls and other living things--animals, plants, corals do not have soul. Thus it is Ok to eat them.

    When Mantras, Tantras and Yantras were formulated, uttered, practiced and propagated, there was a need for a Guru or teacher to hold the repository of knowledge in memory. They also became the intermediaries between God and man, the Light and darkness. The Gurus brought the Light of spiritual knowledge and removed the darkness that shrouded the soul. The First Guru in this world is Siva and the First Pupil is Vishnu in the name of Matsyendra, the teacher of Yoga.

    The path of Guru is Guru-Krupā-Yoga (Guru-compassion-Yoga), the Path of Guru's Grace.

Vivekananda is not thrilled about the hereditary predatory Gurudom in India: the father Guru passing on the mantle to the son. Read what Vivekananda says about pseudo-Gurus and real Gurus.

One more idea. There is a peculiar custom in Bengal, which they call Kula - guru, or hereditary Guruship. "My father was your Guru, now I shall be your Guru. My father was the Guru of your father, so shall I be yours." What is a Guru? Let us go back to the Shrutis --"He who knows the secret of the Vedas", not bookworms, not grammarians, not Pandits in general, but he who knows the meaning. [Sanskrit]--"An ass laden with a load of sandalwood knows only the weight of the wood, but not its precious qualities"; so are these Pandits. We do not want such. What can they teach if they have no realisation? When I was a boy here, in this city of Calcutta, I used to go from place to place in search of religion, and everywhere I asked the lecturer after hearing very big lectures, "Have you seen God?" The man was taken aback at the idea of seeing God; and the only man who told me, "I have", was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and not only so, but he said, "I will put you in the way of seeing Him too". The Guru is not a man who twists and tortures texts. [Sanskrit]--"Different ways of throwing out words, different ways of explaining texts of the scriptures, these are for the enjoyment of the learned, not for freedom." Shrotriya, he who knows the secret of the Shrutis, Avrijina, the sinless, and Akamahata, unpierced by desire -- he who does not want to make money by teaching you -- he is the Shanta, the Sadhu, who comes as the spring which brings the leaves and blossoms to various plants but does not ask anything from the plant, for its very nature is to do good. It does good and there it is. Such is the Guru, [Sanskrit]--"Who has himself crossed this terrible ocean of life, and without any idea of gain to himself, helps others also to cross the ocean." This is the Guru, and mark that none else can be a Guru, for [Sanskrit]--"Themselves steeped in darkness, but in the pride of their hearts, thinking they know everything, the fools want to help others, and they go round and round in many crooked ways, staggering to and fro, and thus like the blind leading the blind, both fall into the ditch. Thus say the Vedas."

Hymns by Sankara to Guru

Isa, the Supreme Lord, having been pleased with Bhakti and Vaidika Lakshana of his votaries in their very many previous births, incarnates out of compassion as Guru in a living and breathing form, inculcates in them the knowledge of the ultimate Reality and helps them cross  the ocean of misery of this earthly existence.

    Vaidika Laksana = Vedic marks = worship according to Vedic Scriptural injunctions.


Tirumanthiram Verse 139:

    Illumination (of the soul) is to see the Holy Form of Guru, to chant Guru’s Holy name, to hear Guru’s holy words, to reflect on the form of Guru. 

Guru is the intermediary between God and man; He is the representative of God on this earth; between God and Guru, Guru takes precedence.

Guru Verses by Sankara with terminal refrain.

Verse 1. One's Sariram (body) may be of great form, Kalatram (wife) beautiful, dhanam (wealth) as big as Mount Meru;. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 2. Wife, wealth, sons, grandsons, home and relatives: all these you may have. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 3.  Satravidya (Scriptural knowledge) may be on one's lips; one may be Kavitvadi (exponent of poetry); one may write good poetry and prose. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 4. In foreign lands, I gain honor and fame; in my own country, I am blessed with wealth; I am of inimitable good conduct. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 5. Kings and emperors adore his feet; but if the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 6. Virtue and generosity brought me fame and rewards from all over the world. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 7. The mind does not dwell on Bhoga, Yoga, stallions and horses, the face of the beloved and riches; If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 8: My mind does not abide in neither the forest, nor the house, nor the future accomplishments, nor the body, nor the precious. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?

Verse 9. Man of virtue who studies this Guru Astakam (Octad on Guru),  and whose mind abides in his sayings--whether he is Yati (ascetic), Bhupati (Lord of the world), Brahmachari (student), or householder-- realizes his desired goal of union with Brahman.

    Union with Brahman is the union of Pinda with Brahmanda. Pinda is food and thus our body made of food and the microcosmic edition of Macrocosm that is Brahmanda (Brahma's egg or macrocosm).

    Here are some of the sayings of Ramana Maharishi on Guru, rendered in prose form by me. By the way he did not have a Guru for guidance. Extracts from The Garland of Guru's sayings. The actual sequence of verses in numbers is given in the brackets.

    1. They who want to escape despondency and yearn for final freedom, the lamp of Guru's wisdom dispels the darkness of illusion of "I" and "mine" and shines as the very Self. (1)

    2. I was reeling and writhing, mistaking the body for me; the gracious silent Guru took pity on me and made me see that the inert body was prone to decay and the real me was the Imperishable true Awareness. I bow and offer my head as the Guru's footrest (his twin feet crown my head). (2)

    3. Guru is an accomplished sage, who reveals with clarity and certitude the ultimate Truth, which reconciles all the discordant creeds and doctrines. My head wears his feet as a crown. (3)

    4. The service rendered to the Guru by the pupil (chosen by the Guru) should be respectful and correct as a wife would do to her husband. (V304)


                   Sankara's  Bhajagovindam, the Hymns of praise to Govinda, Verses 1-31

Sankara contributed twelve verses, Dvadasamanjarika Stotra (a bouquet of twelve blossoms of hymns of praise). His fourteen disciples contributed one verse each, fourteen in all (Caturdasa manjarika stotra). Majarika = cluster of blossoms or bouquet of flowers.

Verse 1. Moha mudgara:  delusion hammer. (in everyday parlance, delusion buster)

 Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, O fool. When the Time comes for departure, rules of grammar will not rescue you.

 Moha: Darkness or delusion of the mind preventing the discernment of truth and leading men to believe in the reality of worldly objects (and knowledge).

Mudgara: hammer

There is a story behind this verse. Sankara was walking along the Ganges River with a coterie of fourteen disciples. Upon hearing a grammarian pundit reciting the rules of grammar, Acharya went into a precipitous debunking (of utility) of grammar in his famous verses. 

      Rules of grammar refers to Pannini's book of grammar, which is euphemism for knowledge of the material world, (which) we need to make a living. This knowledge is known as Aparavidya as opposed to ParaVidya (Supreme knowledge or Brahma Vidya); only the latter will help us attain liberation. When death comes calling,  material knowledge will not come to the rescue; doctors are at a loss; Yamaraja  and his minions haul you away.

    Govinda is one of many names of Krishna. Sankara defines the word Govinda as follows: 1. The finder or searcher of cows (go = cow; vinda = finder); 2. the finder or knower of earth; 3. the conferrer of speech; 4. the One revealed in Vedanta texts. Govinda by any other name is the Hypostasis of all that exists; He is Reality; He is the Ultima Thule. Bhagavan Krishna likes to be called by His favorite name, Govinda.

    Bhaja is worship; the purpose is to attain moksa. Brahma Vidya is the ticket for liberation or Moksa and includes the following.  It can be achieved by Sravana, KIrtana,  Smarana (Manana), PAdasevana, Arcana, Vandana, DAsya, Sakhya, Atmanivedana,  NidhidyAsana, Yoga and SAdhana. (Some more added to indicate Saiva tradition.)

Sravana = hearing (the name and glory of the deity).

KIrtana = singing praise of the Lord.

Manana = thinking (about the deity).

pAdasevana = Serving (worshipping) the feet of the Lord.

Arcana = homage to the Lord

Vandana = showing reverential obeisance to God.

DAsya = servitude to God.

SAkhya = friendship towards or with God.

Satputra (virtuous son) or kriya marga = rituals; (samipya mukti)

SanmArga = path of knowledge

AtmanivEdana = self-gift or offering one's self to God, dedication of one's own self.

NididhyAsana = meditation, perceiving

Yoga = see below

    Sadhana is of three kinds or any combination thereof: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti yoga. Go to Bhakti for details.

Here is another variation/corollary of paths in attaining to Siva (God)   These four Tamil Saiva saints are generally called Naalvar, the Foursome. Each one is known for his path.

Mannickavasagar Sambandar Sundaramurthy Swamigal Appar (rich peasant family)
Gnanamargam or path of knowledge Satputramargam or  path of the son Sakhamargam or path of companion or friend Dasamargam or path of Servant
Sanmarga-Union-Sayujya Sarupa-Likeness-Sarupa Samipa-Nearness-Kriyamarga Saloka-Siva's world-Dasamarga

Bhagavad Gita says the following in the words of Bhagavan Krishna.

Bhagavadgita C8.V5:  At the time of death, he, who remembers Me when leaving the body, goes to My being. Of this, there is no doubt.

            There is story in the Puranas and Narayaneeyam about a Brahmana Ajamila with evil ways. He left his legally wedded wife and associated with another women and had ten children by her. He named one of his sons, Narayana, after the Lord. As Death’s (Yama) ruthless messengers came to grab him, Ajamila yelled out unknowingly (of its effect) for his son, Narayana, which prompted the arrival of the messengers of Lord Narayana at his deathbed. Yama’s servants tied him up and were about to haul him to hell. But the emissaries of Lord Narayana stopped them (Minions of Yama), who read out loud a rap sheet of evil deeds perpetrated by Ajamila. The Lord’s emissaries pointedly told the Yamas’s messengers of the utterance of the Lord’s name Narayana by Ajamila at the time of death. That utterance has the expiatory power, destroys all sins, and makes the utterer eligible for residence in Vaikuntha, Lord’s abode and heaven. Yama’s servants went back to their master and told him about the incident; subsequently, Yama ordered his servants to leave the devotees of Narayana alone and never to approach them. This does not mean that there is no physical death for a devotee of Vishnu. They all go to Vaikuntha after their physical death, avoiding altogether the torturous subterranean world of Yama.

Gandhi, when he was shot by a lunatic Hindu fanatic, knew he was mortally injured and uttered ‘Hey Ram.’  

Hindus utter the names of Ishta-devata, when they trip, sneeze, fall down, and yawn and this is recommended in Bhagavatam 5.3.12.  It is like saying 'God Bless,' when someone sneezes.

Achoo, achoo.---gezhunteit!


Verse 2. O fool, give up the thirst of avarice; rub out your desire; develop (invite) good thoughts in your mind; whatever karma brings to you by way of wealth, accept it with grace in your mind.

    Explanation: There is no objection in having wealth; but the insatiable thirst (trsna) for more wealth should be curbed. Desire is the root of all misery; root out desire for a life of contentment. If one removes one's desire for wealth, how is it that one could make a living in this world? Let karma do its part and bring you the wealth you deserve on account of your past actions. Wealth without greed is good. Live on whatever comes your way without coveting and what you get by honest work. An Avadhuta is an extreme example of Vairagya (absence of worldly passions; freedom from all desires.) He does not earn a living or ask for food. He waits until food comes to him; This situation is compared to a python that waits for food to come to it. Avadhuta. Of course, all cannot be avadhuttas; everything will come to a stop; each one of us is made differently; we follow the path laid by Karma, Vasanas, and Samskaras. SamskAra = mental impressions from former existence. VAsanA = smell that clings to the clothes; here it means the subtle body is laden with Vasanas (residuals) of past karma. Vasanas cause Samskaras, life style and behavior patterns that come natural to you and that which make you different from the rest on account of the fact that the unseen hand of karmic Vasanas move you in such ways.

Verse 3.  Having seen a woman with full breasts and a beautiful navel, don't go into a fit of crushing infatuation. It is mere modification of flesh and fat; think it well in your mind, think it well again. 

Explanation: Sankara shows how to avoid bumps, potholes and puddles in your chosen path. First the greed and now the pheromonal seizure can get you off the best-laid path. This advice coming from Sankara, the Sannyasi, is applicable to Sadhakas who chose Brahmacharya. It advises against extramarital or premarital flings for the householders. One exercises discrimination in making choices. This is considering the two sides of a question or proposition (paksa and pratipaksa).

Verse 4.  A drop of water on a lotus leaf moves to and fro; likewise, know for sure, this wonderful and yet up-and-down life is prone to diseases and seized by egoism; know that the whole world of people is grief-stricken

       Explanation:  There is a particular stress on ego as an impediment. Yes it is. If two people with ego face each other and try their wits against each other, there is tension, rivalry, enmity and fight.  It is I against you. One cannot approach God with this attitude. One has to submerge, drown and destroy ego before one can approach God. Ego is compared to a coconut. When you worship God you offer a coconut, not a whole one but two broken halves. The broken coconut is symbolic of broken ego; that makes it easy to approach God and attain salvation. He is the Real master of the Universe; one offers his ego as a sacrifice to God.  U go, Ego.

    Ramana Maharishi says:

    Karma and MAyA both alike spring from, cling to and grow with ego, the first impurity. When ego dies, the other two can by no means survive. -- Garland of Guru's sayings, passage 733.

    Verse 5. As long as you have wealth and are able to earn, your family is attached to you.  Later, when you live with a decrepit body, no one in the household utters a word to you. (05)

Verse 6.  As long as breath dwells in the body, people in the house enquire about your welfare; once the breath leaves the body, even the dear wife is afraid of the remains (lifeless body).

        (Pavanah = air = prana = breath

Verse 7. As a boy one is absorbed in play; an adolescent, in girls; an old man, in worries. To the Supreme Brahman no one is attached.

    Man's progress in the world goes from infancy to a boy at play, to an adolescent in love and lust, to a married man with family and worry and eventually results in death. At no moment he thinks of the Supreme Brahman. The body and mind and senses are catered to, but the spirit is neglected and happens to be the most important for salvation.

    Katha Upanishad says in Chapter II verse 1 the following:  The Self is not to be sought through the senses. The Self pierced the openings of the senses outward. (The openings are: two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth, one urinary and or genital, and one anus. The woman has three openings, urinary, vaginal and anal in the perineum, while men have two openings, penile and anal. Through these openings and motor functions, we communicate and stay in touch with this world.  There are five sensory organs for hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling. There are five motor organs for speech, prehension or grasping, ambulation or movement, excretion and evacuation, and generation.) Therefore, one looks outward and not within oneself. Some wise man, however, seeking life eternal, with his eyes turned inward, saw the self. Adapted from Dr. Radhakrishnan's translation of Upanishads.  Here Self means Brahman.

Verse 8.  Who is your wife? Who is your son? Strange and wonderful is this world. Of whose (son) are you? Who are you? Where did you come from? O brother, (take a moment to) think of these truths here.

    The following passage is based on Hindu religious tenets (Monism = Advaitism).

    Family, friends, relatives and others are like passengers in a bus and bus stops.  People get on, ride in and get off the bus. Wife makes an entry into a man's life as a traveling companion or vice versa; children come and ride along. Do your appropriate Dharma (duty) to wife, son, and others. Parents in due course of travel get off the bus and never seen or heard of again. You didn't know your wife before she got on the bus and took the journey with you. You will never see her again when she gets off the bus or vice versa. The relationship here is temporal and temporary; the whole journey is a dream.  After a while everyone gets off the bus; no one remembers any of the traveling companions. When they are reborn again, they will not retain the same relationship with you. Each person's karma determines his heredity, ancestry and environment. He or she may be born across continents, race, and species.

 As two wooden sticks jostle in the ocean (of Samsāra or phenomenal world), meet each other for a fleeting moment, and separate after that, even so is the contact between two family members. One should not feel any particular and any undue passion towards them, for separation is a certainty. Love and hate, joys and sorrows are like (spikes of) fever with its difficulties.

    The only traveling companion of all passengers is the Brahman in one's spiritual heart. He is closer to you than any one in this world. He stays with you at all times under all circumstances. You are related to him more closely than you are related to others in the bus. Brahman is the common  resident entity in all passengers. Tat Tvam Asi = That Thou Art.  The empirical beings, the wife, the parent, the son, the daughter and the rest are products of MAya.  Do we get attached or suffer grief when a passenger gets on and gets off the bus? And yet, the Brahman in the spiritual heart is the constant abiding companion of all passengers. We don't realize that. The relatives and others come and go; there is no permanence; get attached to the One who is Eternal and Immutable.  

   Yoga Tattva Upanishad (131b to 134a) states that upon rebirth a mother may become the wife; the wife, the mother; father, the son; the son, the father. Thus, the egos of this world and people wander in the womb of birth and death switching relationships back and forth. For an easier understanding of this passage, think of death of the entire family in an accident, tsunami, cyclone or some such thing and their subsequent births in different roles.

    Verse 9.   Through association with good and holy people (satsanga), there comes non-attachment, which leads progressively to delusion-free state, tranquility, and Jivanmukti (liberation while living).

    The opposite of this (attachment plus all else) is explained in Bhagavad Gita 2.62-63.

BG 2.62: A person while thinking about the sense objects develops attachment to them. From attachment develops desire (Kāmah). From desire develops anger. (You see a car of your dreams, buy it, become attached to it, fall apart when it gets scratched, dented or vandalized and develop anger. The same paradigm applies to people and objects.)


BG 2.63:  From anger comes forth delusion (Sammohah); from delusion comes loss of memory; from loss of memory comes loss of intuitive (discriminative) intelligence; and from loss of intuitive intelligence, he falls.


Sammohah: delusion, bewilderment   Buddhi-nāsāt: loss of intuitive intelligence

A succession of cascading events from unrestrained senses results in destruction. Buddhi, as said earlier is the intuitive (discriminative) intelligence. Bhagavan infers that a person should keep the horses (senses) in harness; He wants us to keep the senses under tight reins and under the control of buddhi and sattvic mind.


    Ramana Maharishi states the following on Satsang and Jivanmukti (association with the virtuous, and liberation while living).


--The Garland of Guru's Sayings --

Verse 328

         Sensible people shun the company

        Of empty talkers who are not content

        Humbly to tread the path of dharma

        And uphold in practice life's ideals,

        But proudly mouth vain words.

        Verse 332

        Those alone are truly virtuous 

        Who abide in the flawless, pure

        Awareness. Others are but base.

        Hence gain new life by dwelling in

        The company of those who live

        In the purity of true awareness,

        Free from all falsehoods. --


        Verse 1144

        what is the highest glory, what

         The state of Jivanmukti, to be

         Yearned for and striven for and gained

         By the poor Jiva born to die

         To know and be the Self, and so

         To end the rampant ego which

         Sprang from forgetfulness of one's

         True Being.


Verse 10.  What good are lust and love in ripe old age? What is the use of a dry lake? Where are the family and relatives when wealth is depleted? Where is Samsara when Tattva (Truth) is known?

        RamanaMahaRishi talks about Samsara versus Tattva (Truth) in the following verses.

Samsara = worldly life.

        Be not afraid of the base, trivial Samsara which, like dreams in sleep, appears in nescience. A dark shadow caused by the mind's desires it cannot stand the true loving splendor of Pure Awareness. --V 27. 

What good are lust and love in ripe old age? Sankara would say at this moment in time: It is beyond redemption even from Viagra!

Verse 11.  Don't be arrogant on account of wealth, Jana (people or community), and youth;  in a wink, Time takes away all. Give them all up because all this is delusion. Having been convinced, know, enter and merge with the Brahman.

Verse 12. Night and day, dusk and dawn, winter and spring come again and again. Time plays; life is wasted and yet the wind of desire never releases (its grip).

Verse 13.  Who is your wife? Why are you so worried about money? O babbling fool, don't you have a restrainer (guide)? In the three worlds, Satsanga alone can serve as a boat to take you across the ocean of Samsara.

            Satsanga = association with (of) virtuous people. The three worlds are Earth, atmosphere and heaven. Samsara is life on this earth, subject to death and rebirth in a cyclical fashion with no liberation or Mukhti. Satsanga guarantees the end of Samsara and attainment of Mukhti.

Here is a view of Samsara from Swami Vivekananda.

"Samsara is the recurring round of birth and death literally, until the soul becomes free. The alpha and omega of Vedanta philosophy is to give up the world, giving up the unreal and taking the real. The bodies of the souls have been constantly dissolving and recurring. Every form, let us say, beginning from the little worm and ending in man, is like one of the cars of the Chicago Ferris Wheel which is in motion all the time, but the occupants change. A man goes into a car, moves with the wheel, and comes out. The wheel goes on and on. A soul enters one form, resides in it for a time, then leaves it and goes into another and quits that again for a third. Thus the round goes on till it comes out of the wheel and becomes free."

Verse 14.    (There goes) one with matted hair; (here comes) one with shaven head; (there sits) yet another with plucked hair and saffron cloth; the fools sport various disguises. They all claim to "see;"  (What they "see" no one knows and neither he knows what he "sees.") In reality he does not "see."  All this Vesha (disguise) is to fill the belly.

    Sannyasi's persona consists of shaved head or matted hair, yellow robes (pitambaram), a stick, a bowl and a flag. This insignia of renunciation commands respect and earns a livelihood for the pseudo-sannyasins. (The accouterments of the Real Sannyasi are the same. He eats to live and does not know where his next meals comes from.) There is no halo around the former's hollowness. His hollowness as opposed to His Holiness wanders around in search of food, pretending to be a Sannyasi.    

    Matted hair, deerskin, and pious pretension do not make an ascetic. An ascetic in name and epicure in practice, though he professes to know Brahman, is far away from Brahman. Appearance does not make an ascetic, though he wanders naked and shameless; a donkey does the same.  Jackals, rodents and deer live in the forest, eat grass, and drink water: are they ascetics? The frogs and fish take birth, eat and die in Ganga. Are they ascetics? –Garuda Purana, II.49.64-67-68. 

A yogin, in a spirit of renunciation, gives up all activities including the performance of sacrificial rites. It is not the external act of renunciation but the internal change that makes a yogin.


Verse 15.  His body is old and fragile; head, gray; and jaws, toothless. He ambles with a stick; and yet hasn't abandoned his bag (pindam = mass) of desires.

    Verse 16.  There is fire in the front and sun at the back; he sits with his chin between the knees in the night. He receives alms in his (outstretched) palms and makes a home under the tree. And yet the ropes of desire has tied him in knots.

    Verse 17.  One may go to River Ganga where it joins the sea or may observe Vratas (vows) and distribute his wealth in charity. One who has no Knowledge (of Brahma Vidya) will attain release in one hundred births, according to all doctrinal schools.

    Three are mentioned for attaining the means towards liberation: pilgrimage to holy places, observing religious vows and anniversaries, and charitable acts such as Anna Dhanam (feeding the poor), keeping the temple clean, digging pond or tank near the temple, doctoring the poor, building hospitals and schools for the poor. These by themselves do not guarantee liberation. Brahma Vidya (Brahman knowledge) is the only way to obtain release.

    River Ganga is holy to the Hindus. Streams, ponds, lakes, wells, peaks of mountains are among the Tirthas (holy places).  Tirtha means all these: water; sacred bathing-ghat; water used in worshipping an idol and given to devotees; water used to washing the feet of great men, as Gurus; temple festival; and sacred places worthy of pilgrimage. Visiting Tirthas goes a long way releasing a soul from being born again in a body in this world of dualities (pleasure and pain). The soul attains liberation and merges with Isvara or Brahman, the very source of the soul. Pilgrimage is common to many of the world religions. Pilgrimage is only the means and not the end. All these are adjuncts in obtaining release. The real that obtains release is knowledge of Brahman and realization, which entail knowing in your heart and soul that you are not the body, and you and Brahman are one. The first step to wards Brahman knowledge is to annihilate Anava Malam (ego) along with Maya and Kanma malam. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. In this world, we celebrate birth, children, youth, beauty, marriage, valor, all related to the body. There is no festival for the celebration of Spirit; if any have a remote resemblance, it is usually defiled by commercialism.

    The Amnayas (Doctrines) lead one to liberation-*. He who knows all the Amnayas is Siva himself.  Urdhavamnaya is the most exalted doctrine and Law of all doctrines: it is the musk among fragrances, Kanchi among cities (it is like saying 'New York' among cities; Remember Frank Sinatra's New York, New York), head among the limbs, Brahmana among castes, King among men, Sanyasa among Asramas, swan among the birds, cow among the four-legged animals, sandal-wood among trees, gold among metals, gem among precious stones, sweetness among tastes, Asvamedha among sacrifices, Mount Meru among mountains, Ganga among rivers, Kasi (the old Benares or Varnasi) among Tirthas (sacred places), Sun among the luminary objects, and Vishnu among Gods. It has to come from the mouth of a Guru. The Mantra is Hamsa. OM NAMASIVAYA  MANTRA

    Here is what Vivekananda says about visiting Tirthas.   

It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is useless. The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to others will fail in the end. External worship is only a symbol of internal worship; but internal worship and purity are the real things. Without them, external worship would be of no avail. Therefore you must all try to remember this.

People have become so degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can do anything, and then they can go to a holy place, and their sins will be forgiven. If a man goes with an impure mind into a temple, he adds to the sins that he had already, and goes home a worse man than when he left it. Tirtha (place of pilgrimage) is a place which is full of holy things and holy men. But if holy people live in a certain place, and if there is no temple there, even that is a Tirtha. If unholy people live in a place where there may be a hundred temples, the Tirtha has vanished from that place. And it is most difficult to live in a Tirtha; for if sin is committed in any ordinary place it can easily be removed, but sin committed in a Tirtha cannot be removed. This is the gist of all worship -- to be pure and to do good to others.

Verse 18. Having home at the roots (foot/feet) of the trees near the temples, sleeping on the bare earth, wrapped in a deerskin, renouncing all possessions and bhoga (enjoyments): (Tell me) who won't be happy with this Vairagya (renunciation)?

    He has no home that one can covet; he has no possession that one can steal; laying on bare earth, he sleeps well; he eats a few mouthfuls a day just to allay his hunger; he wraps himself in deerskin to ward off the elements. An ascetic eats only roots, leaves and fallen fruits. Why shouldn't he be happy?

Verse 19. One may perform Yoga, indulge in Bhoga (enjoyments) or enjoy a good Sanga (good company) or solitude; he and he alone is happy, whose mind finds delight in Brahman.

Verse 20. He who has studied the Bhagavad Gita in part, who drank a drop of Ganga water, and who worshipped Murari (Krishna, the killer of demon Mura) at least once, has not much to fear Yama (Yama has nothing much to talk about him).

    Yama, the god of death, hauls people at any time or place of his choosing through the gates of death. He is always deferential to the devotees of Krishna (and Siva). 

    Here conquering death or not fearing Yama does not mean that the votary will not face physical death; it means that the devotee has no fear of physical death once again because he gets eternal release from rebirth on account of his merits in this birth and upon this present death.

Verse 21.   To be born again, to die again and to lie in the womb are struggles in the world and sea of Samsara, which is difficult to cross. O Murare, Take (me) to the other shore with your compassion.

Murare: Krishna the killer of Mura, an euphemism for ignorance.

saMsAra: going or wandering through, undergoing transmigration; course, passage, passing through a succession of states, circuit of mundane existence, transmigration, metempsychosis, the world, secular life, worldly illusion.

Life is a Sea of Samsara. The fetus floats in a sea of amniotic fluid. To be born again, to die again and to lie in the womb are struggles in the world and sea of Samsara, which is difficult to cross. The fetus drinks from the sea, piddles in the sea, drinks and piddles again and again. Confined, crouched, and bent, it stays all by itself. Rounded up in a ball in its fetal position, with its hands folded in front of the chest and legs bent at the hips, it winces, grimaces and emits sounds no one hears. It wiggles and yawns from boredom. There is nothing to do but to grow. It opens the eyes and sees cataracts all around. It hears the echoes of the sloshing sea. Muffled sounds of the mother's heart and the cacophony of hoots, cackles, wails and sirens impinge on the ears like distant thunders. It has come to recognize the melody of music and the voice of its host. It wants to stretch but a stretch that will never come, until after extrusion. Occasional kicks and thrusts, it can manage to deliver to its host in frustration.   

Verse 22.  The Yogi who wears clothes stitched together from rags on the roadside, treads a path beyond punyam and apunyam (merit and demerit), and whose mind is yoked to yoga, rejoices (in the vision of Brahman) like a child or madman.

Verse 23.  Who are you?  Who am I?  Wherefrom did I come? Who is my mother; who, my father? Think about them deeply and know that all experiences of the world are worthless dreams and give up on them.

Verse 24.  There is One (all-pervading Vishnu) in you and me and elsewhere also. It is useless (for you) to be impatient and get angry with me. See the Self in all things and give up Bhedajnanam (Inability to see Unity in all things).

Verse 25.  Make no war with the enemy, friend, son, or relative; neither you patronize them. if you want to attain Vishnuhood, treat all things  equally.

Verse 26.  Relinquishing  desire, anger, greed, and delusion, he sees in the self: “He I am.”  The fools without self-knowledge remain captives in hell and get roasted.

Verse 27. One should sing the Bhagavad Gita and Sahasranamam. Always mediate on Sripatirupam (the form of consort of Sri = Vishnu).  The mind should be  guided to the company of virtuous people; the wealth should be given to the needy (the depressed, the afflicted).

Verse 28.  One takes to carnal pleasures; alas, the body is afflicted with disease. Although in this world, Maranam (death) is Saranam (refuge, the end), one does not give up the Paapa-aacaranam (evil behavior).  

Verse 29.   Wealth is worthless; always reflect on it. There is no happiness coming from it; that is the (stark) Truth.  For the rich, even a son is a source of fear. Everywhere this is the destined course.

Verse 30. Perform Pranayama, Pratyahara, Nitya-anitya-viveka vicaram, and Japa and attain Samadhi; do them certainly and with great care.

  Pranayama = breath control; pratyahara = withdrawal of senses; Nitya-anitya-viveka vicaram = eternal-non-eternal-discrimination-enquiry; Japa = muttering prayer; Samadhi = absorption of the consciousness in a high spiritual and intellectual objective. TMTM03

Verse 31. Devote yourself to the lotus-feet of the Guru and attain Mukti (salvation) soon from Samsara (rebirth and death). By controlling the Indriyas (senses) and the manas (mind), you will see the deity residing in your heart.

Verse 32. O Bhakta of the Lotus Feet of the Guru, may you attain Mukti (salvation) free from Samsara. By control of indriyas (senses) and manas (mind) you will experience the Lord abiding in your heart.

Verse 33. The foolish grammarian immersed in rules (of grammar) was cured of his tunnel vision and shown the light by the disciples of Sankara.

Verse 34. Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, O fool; there is no means other than chanting the name of the Lord to cross the ocean of life.

                    End of Bhajagovindam


Saundaryalahari by Sankara

Saundarya = beauty, loveliness, gracefulness, elegance

Lahari = Large wave, billow, surging wave

A surging wave of beauty, grace and elegance

There are one hundred Verses in this composition. Sakti is the Transcendental aspect of Divine Mother who in the bodily aspect is known as Kundalini. She remains in Muladhara Chakra in a static state. The Yogi awakens and takes Her to Sahasrara Chakra for union with Siva. Sakti in Her diagrammatic representation is Sri Chakra. She is worshipped and adored by Bija Mantras or indeclinable syllable seed Mantras (Verses 32-33).  The Transcendental Sakti stays in Muladhara in its corporeal aspect as Kundalini. The first 41 Verses describes raising Kundalini from static aspect in Muladhara Chakra to a dynamic form going up the chakras to Sahasrara for union with Siva. Verses 42 to 100 describe the beauty (of the body parts) of the anthropomorphic form of Sakti (Tripurasundari--TPS).


Verse 1.

शिवः शक्त्था युक्तो यदि भवति शक्त: प्रभवितुं

न चेदेवं देवो न खलु कुशलः स्पन्दितु-मापि।

अतस्त्वा-माराध्यां हरि-हर-विरिञ्चादिभि-रपि

प्रणनतुं स्तोतुं वा कथ-मकृतपुण्यः प्रभवति।।  S

Śivaḥ Śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati Śakta prabhavitum

na ceda evam devo na khalu kuśalaḥ Spanditum api;

atas tvām ārādhyām hari-hara-viriñcādibhir api

praṇanatum stotum vā katham akṛta-puṇyaḥ prabhavati..




Verse 1. Siva, only when united with Sakti, gains the power to create; if not,  Siva  is unable to move forward.  Who except a punyavan can pay obeisance, prostrations, worship and praise to you, who is worshipped by Hari, Hara and Virinci?

punyavan = he who has accumulated good karmic merits. This word is not in the verse.

Verse 2. Virinci (Brahma) gathers the fine dust from your lotus feet and creates all worlds; Shouri (Vishnu) somehow carries out the support of the universe by a thousand heads (Adisesha).  Hara (Siva), having pulverized it  observes this injunction by sprinkling and rubbing the sacred ash all over his body at dissolution.

Sankara is not an Astronomer with a Ph.D. But here he mentions that the universe originated from a cloud of cosmic dust. It gives us an idea that perfected souls knew about the origin of the universe even before today's pundits with Ph.Ds. 

Verse 3. For the spiritually ignorant, it (the dust) is the island city of the Sun. For the dull-head, it is the flowing stream of honey from the bouquet of Kalpa blossoms of pure intelligence. For the deprived, it is the necklace of Cintamani. For those drowning in the sea of births, it is the tusk of Varaha (Lord Boar or Vishnu), the enemy of Mura.

    For the devotee in ignorance of spiritual knowledge, you are the sunshine of knowledge. Your pure intelligence pours forth to uplift the dimwit. For the indigent, your grace yields all wishes. For those drowning in the sea of Samsara, you lift them as you raised the globe of earth by your tusks from the abyss of deep waters during Pralaya when you incarnated as Lord Boar.

Incarnation of Vishnu as Cosmic Boar to rescue the earth from a demon

    Hiranyaksha was a Daitya (titan) and terrorized the world along with his brother Hiranyakasipu.  Hiranya + aksha = golden + eyed; Hiranya + kasipu = golden robed. The golden-eyed demon was beating the ocean with a big cudgel and began producing tsunamis. Varuna, the god of waters was so much agitated by this that he went to Vishnu for help. Vishnu took the form a Boar and saw the demon beating ocean waves into big waves. Hiranyakasa saw Vishnu and took the earth, dove into the ocean and hid it in the netherworld. Vishnu followed him, killed him and brought the earth back to its place.

Verse 4. The galaxy of gods offer protection from fear, and boons by empty mudras (Abhaya Varado--hand gestures). You alone do not show by gesture bestowing of boons and protection from fear.  O refuge of the worlds, even your feet are skilful in protecting from fear and granting fruits more than desired.

    Abhaya Varado:  If you see Hindu gods in the temples, they hold hand and foot positions in such ways that each pose means something. The common pose is Varada-Abhaya Mudra (Boons-No fear Pose)

There are gods and there is the God; the former are numerous and the latter is One. He is the Antaryamin (Inner dweller) of gods, men and all living beings.  All prayers to gods go to Vishnu, because he is the Inner Dweller and Inner Controller of all gods, men and beings. Pray to Him and not to the gods, so says Sankara. Did you know that you can graduate from a human being to a god, according to Hindu religion, if you lead a virtuous life? Still you are not God. The God is God of gods. God (not god) has the ability to create, maintain and destroy the universe. Think of Black Hole, Worm Hole and White Hole as Destruction, Origin, Birth, Maintenance and back again to Destruction.

Vishnu Lakshmi - The Divine Couple

Here are examples of Varada and Abhaya Mudras. The deities (Lakshmi) hold the right anterior hand in almost high-five position (Varada) and left anterior hand (Abhaya) pointing down. The palms always face the worshipper in Abhaya Mudra. The left hand is actually pointing to the feet of the deity, which means that if the votary takes refuge at the deity's feet, there is no fear.

                                                                                                                                       Vishnu and Lakshmi                                                                                                                                          Credit Exoticindia.com

Verse 5. Hari, the giver of prosperity to bowing obeisant devotees, became a woman (one with Sakti--sārūpyam) and stirred the passions of Hara, the enemy of the three cities of the demons. Having bowed to you, Smara (Cupid) sports a body, the cynosure of Rathi’s eyes, which are capable of creating delusion and infatuation in great Munis.

    The diagram below shows the paths to attain and merge with Siva: Chariya, Kriya, Sakha, and Sanmarga and the equivalent relationship with Siva, Slokya, Samipya, Sarupya, and Sayujya. The definitions are given below.  In the above verse, Sankara says that Vishnu took the form of a woman (sarupya)  to merge with Sakti and attain liberation. Siva's eight forms. In this instance Sakti rather than Siva is in the eminent position.

In this instance Sakti is the goal of the votaries, instead of Siva.

Vishnu in the form of Mohini stirred the passions of Hara (Siva). Go to Vishnu Weds Lakshmi for more details.

6.  The flowery bow, the bow string made of a line of bees, the five flower arrows, spring season being the minister, Malaya breeze being the war chariot: these are the possessions of  the Ananga (bodiless) KAmadeva (Cupid).  O daughter of the snowy mountain, having obtained krupa (compassion) from the corner of your eye, Ananga triumphs over this world

    The glance of Sakti confers triumph while the feet of Siva bestows bliss to the votary. KAmadeva = KAma + deva = desire, wish, love + deity = the fulfiller of desires or god of love.  KAma appears in Rg Veda and his consort is Rati; the couple are the deification of beauty, happiness and fulfillment. KAma is desire which arose in the mind of that One, the Being. That was the Will of God; then came fulfillment. Later Kama assumed an erotic role and there are many stories associated with him in that role. One that was significant and precipitated the loss of his physical body and subsequent existence as Ananga, the bodiless form of Kama.  A+Anga = absent + body /body parts. The story is as follows.

This excellent Madhubani painting has its canvas divided into upper and lower compartments. The upper one portrays Lord Shiva engaged in deep and rigorous penance inside a tree-grove on a mountain range, obviously the Himalayas. He is seated on lion skin. His third eye has been prominently portrayed on his forehead. On his right he has his trident and drum nailed into ground and on his left he has his 'kamandala'. The 'Neelakantha' or the blue throated Shiva has been portrayed as total blue. Black trees with green leaves are typical of Madhubani art. The lower compartment depicts Rati and Kamadeva. Kamadeva has in his hands his bow and arrow ready to shoot. Two flowering plants, one each on both sides, further symbolise Kamadeva and the season of spring when Kama is stronger than ever else. In front of Kamadeva there emerges a heap of fire and coal like black ashes under it. It depicts the prime theme, that is, Kamadeva reduced to ashes.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture. Credit: exoticindia.com

The story of Kama becoming a bodiless Ananga

Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth.  The gods sent Kama (god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati.  He (Kama) by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of the beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Siva’s presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances at Siva. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kama’s arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who has complete control over his senses?  Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (detachment, renunciation, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) were associating with a wife of someone else; such was the depth of his Vairagya.  Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's anger was coming to surface. A fire rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana begged Siva to teach him a mantra and confer half the power of Kama to the ash-made man. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama and the result of Siva's fury, the Ash-man became a demon, who with his newfound strength and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari, who defeated the demon and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemism for the semen virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.)  Rati, Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama not to the physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection and since then he is also known by the epithet, Ananga.

TPS = Tripurasundari

(The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand, Bhand (good, good); so the name Bhanda stuck with the Ash-man. Since Bhanda is the product of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the City of gods ruled by Indra, Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion product of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama.  Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years. Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni, Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial present to TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation.  TPS sends the Saktis or the Matrakas (fighting mothers) to face the demon Bhanda, who ridicules the fighting females. From the bodies of TPS and her enemy Bhanda, many previously documented enemies are created to fight each other. When Bhanda creates Hiranyakasippu, TPS creates Prahalada to defeat him; in like manner, Bhanda's Ravana sustains defeat  at the hands of Rama created from the fingernail of TPS. Nama 80 of Lalita Sahasranama says ten avatars of Vishnu emerge from her fingernails to do the fighting against the Forces of Darkness. From the right thumb nail of the Divine Queen, the all-pervading Narayana emerges in the form of great Fish (Matsya). The ten Avatars, after the task is accomplished, stand before her with folded hands and pay obeisance to Lalita (TPS). Demon Mahisasura comes alive and Durga defeats him; at last TPS kills Bhanda. Once the battle is over, gods and Rati, Kama's consort appear before TPS and beg her to bring Kama back to life from death caused by Siva. TPS obliges the gods and panegyrizing Rati. This episode shows that all avatars of Vishnu are resident in her and she can produce them as the occasion demands. Not only male gods are her avatars, but goddesses Bharati, Chandika, Gauri, Kali, and Kumari are her avatars too.

    KAma (Ananga) belongs to the race, Yaksa, jungle spirits, vegetal godlings, popular also in Jaina mythology and Buddhist lore. Students of South Asian religion from the west are of the belief that Yaksas were not Vedic in origin, thus suppressed and later integrated with Non-Aryan gods like Siva. That is the story of Siva incinerating Kama, the Yaksa into ash: non-Aryan on non-Aryan violence, similar to black on black violence.  Hindu devotees don't believe in west's opinion. Kubera is another Yaksa of great fame and immense wealth.

Verse 7.  She, the "I-ness,"  the destroyer of Pura, has slender waist with a girdle of tinkling and jingling jeweled bells curved (bent forward) by the weight of her breasts resembling the frontal bilobes of an elephant, and an autumnal moon face; and holds in her hands bow, arrows, noose and goad. May she grant us her appearance.

Attributes of beauty: Indian poets and artists have a liking for woman with generous breasts, sometimes compared to elephant's cranial lobes; conical breasts; slender waist that is compared to a vine or sinuous thunderbolt; and an elaborate coiffure. The thigh is the silken-smooth stem of partially stripped plantain tree; the face is the moon; the eyes are those of doe; the eyebrows are the stringless bows; the eyelids are the petals of lotus flower; the bewildered eyes are the two leaping fish; the teeth are  jasmine buds; the breath is sweet which drives the honey bees wild; a good bridge of the nose that rises and separates the eyes well; abundant hips sway at various dynamic angles of flexion at spine; gait is that of an elephant and or a female swan, resembling the swaying or sea-saw movement of hips (the Jiggle); the pre-menarchial girl sports lotus buds and fish eyes; girl's hips sway like the tender tendril of windswept creeper; she also walks like a baby elephant. (Remember the Grand Tetons of Grand Teton National Park: they are the frontal bilobes of the elephant in the mind of Indian poet; the twin mountain peaks and the frontal bilobes of an elephant appear as mammary mounds in the minds of the French and the Indian. Devotional song of poet Umapati (1300 C.E.) describes in Kuncitanghristava that the mountain peaks are the jutting breasts of Parvati/Gauri (golden pots), consort of Siva. That description may have a bearing that Parvati was the daughter of mountain.  Man and woman own  parrot-beak nose; Vishnu has neck like that of a conch shell; shoulders and waist are those of the lion and bull. A woman's arms are compared to sinuous serpents and creepers.

Here is the youtube link on Srichakra and Khadgamala Goddesses in Devipuram


Here is a newspaper report on Devipuram.


Verse 8. A few fortunate ones adore you, the large wave of  Consciousness-Bliss. You abide on a couch, that is Parama Siva, which is one aspect of Siva, in a house made of gems in the midst of a garden of Kadamba trees in the isle of gems (Mani dvipa = gem isle) ringed by a grove of divine trees and surrounded by the ocean of nectar.

painting credit: exoticindia.comSiva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi reclines or sits majestically on the couch.

The Mahavidya Shodashi

    This verse details of the layout of Sri Chakra / Sri Yantra, which depicts the sound-body of TPS /Tripurasundari in a diagram.  Yantra or Chakra = instrument, engine, apparatus, amulet with mystical diagram endowed with protective occult powers. The vibrations of deity-specific Mantra, when chanted according to the rules of Tantra, bounce off Yantra or Sri Chakra, go to TPS /Tirpurasundari (or the specific deity), gather power, blessings and boons from the deity and return back to the Sadhaka (chanter of Mantra) suffuse him with divinity and confer on him supernatural powers.

    Pertinent details in this verse: SudhA Sindhu is the Nectarian Ocean and the central Bindu or Baindava sthAna in the diagram is the centripetal point smack in the middle of the Chakra. This Bindu is borderd by a quadrangular space made by intersecting the upright Siva triangles and down Sakti triangles (four Shiva triangles (Srikanthas) pointing upwards and and five Shakti triangles (Shiva-Yuvatis) pointing downwards).

    Yantra or Chakra is a plate or paper on which geometric figures are drawn which concentrate the power of god. Chakra is the diagrammatic representation of a deity. Mantra (or Vidya), Tantra, and Chakra are complementary and necessary for supplicating the deity according to the rules of Tantra, bouncing the petition off Chakra , sending it on its way to the deity,  and receiving the rewards from the deity.  Mantras or Vidyas awaken the superconsciousness, instills knowledge of the Self and helps liberate the soul. Sri Vidya Mantra is a string of fifteen syllables without any meaning based on Sanskrit letters and sounds" ka, e, i, la, hrim, ha, sa, ka, ha, la, hrim, sa, ka, la, hrim.     

The Mandala = Circle. Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra. There are nine triangles, five pointing down and four pointing up. These intersecting nine primary triangles make forty-three secondary triangles. All these triangles and other shapes are enclosed within a eight-petalled lotus (Vasudala), which again is enclosed within a sixteen-petalled (Kalasra) lotus.

(The triangles, and two circles of lotuses are surrounded by Mekhalatraya, three circles (my diagram shows only one circle.) Mekhalatraya is surrounded by a rectangular enclosure (Bhupura) with gates at the cardinal points. The four Upturned triangles represent Siva; the five downturns Sakti. The Siva triangles are known as Srikanthas and the Sakti triangles Siv-Yuvatis. (Yuvati - young woman, maiden) The above triangles are the nine elements (Dhatus, see below). The overlapping of the triangles represent Siva-Sakti merger out of which proceed the creation, protection and dissolution. The five triangles of Sakti give rise to creation and four of Siva the fire of dissolution.

The Bindu in the most central Triangle is the sine qua non of the union of Siva and Sakti or Kāmaeshvari; thus, this triangle is known as Kāma Kala, the seat of Supracosmic desire to create. Kamakala = Essence of Sexual desire  Bindu is described as Sarva Ananda Maya Chakra , meaning Chakra replete with Bliss. Kamakala has three components or three subtype Bindus: Red Bindu, White Bindu and Mixed Bindu. Red Bindu = Menstrual fluid; here it refers to the ovum. White Bindu = semen. Mixed Bindu (Misra Bindu) = union of Siva and Sakti. Lalita (Goddess) has two aspects: Varahi and Kurkulla. Varahi, the father form of the Goddess, provides the semen and the four Dhatus (elements) known as four fires to the offspring. Kurukulla, the mother form of the Goddess, supplies the ovum and five Dhatus (five saktis) to the offspring. Consciousness enters the child through orgasm. The four fires and five Saktis occupy the center of the Chakra. The four up triangles of Varahi having 12 angles represent the 12 sun kalas and 12 sidereal constellations. The five down triangles of Kurukulla having 15 angles represent 15 Moon Kalas (digits) in a fortnight or 15 lunar days. Since man is the microcosm of the Macrocosm and Shri Yantra represents both, the newborn is Sri Yantra or a seedling. Yantra's eight petal lotus and 16 petal lotus amounting to 24 petals show the flowering of the plant.

 There is a temple in the form of Sri Chakra or Yantra. The temple designed by the founder of Devipuram is Dr. N. Prahalada Sastry (b. 1934), a former university professor and nuclear physicist who left a successful 23-year career with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai to begin work on the Devipuram temple in 1983.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devipuram



Note: Sri Chakra-Srsti Chakra: Sri Chakra drawn according to Samayacara sect, Siva triangles point down while five Sakti triangle point up. Bindu is enclosed in a quadrangle. Sri Chakra-Samhara Chakra according to Kaula sect has five down Sakti triangles and four up Siva triangles with the central Bindu enclosed in a triangle.

Though the anthropomorphic worship of TPS is less common, her Sri Chakra Puja is widely seen in the temples. Minakshi of Madurai, Akilandesvari of Tiruchirappalli, Kanchi Kamakshi  are associated with Sri Chakra. Rajarajesvari (TPS) temple in Varnasi and Bangamaru in U.P. are TPS temples among others in North India. Srividya Cult insists that Srividya Mantra and Yantra are she, herself. She has three forms: Sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle), and Para (Supreme form). Sthula is the anthropomorphic form, the goddess in images, idols and icons. Sukshma form is accessible only by Sadhakas, Para form is inaccessible to humans.    

The three lines and gate of the outer wall of the above diagram. Yantra has human body laid out within its contours. The three lines from outside to inside are the feet, knees and thighs. The outer three concentric circles are the abdomen. (Author's note: The three layers: could mean the three layers of abdominal wall, skin, fat and muscle?) The sixteen petal lotus is the lower half of the trunk below the navel; the eight petal lotus to the umbilicus; the triangles to the upper body, including the head. The center corresponds to Sahasrara Chakra with a thousand petals on the Brahma Randhara, the anterior fontanel area.

Sri Chakra, Sri Yantra, Mandala are used interchangeably. Note: Mandala is generic geometric form, while Yantra is deity-specific. Yantra  Sri Chakra means, The Wheel Of Sri, the Mother Goddess. Sri Chakra is Lalita TripuraSundari's creative manifestation.

She exists in three forms.

Sthula form (gross) Suksma form (Subtle) Para form Supreme)
Her Icon Her Mantra Her Yantra

Mandalas are seen all over the world in disparate civilizations of yore; they were geometric shapes: squares, lines, circles, spirals stood for the cosmos. The Indian Mandalas have been, from time immemorial, gave meaning to every line, angle, circle, petal, square, gates. Indian and other civilizations beyond the Indian shores and mountains also made association of a Deity or goddess with those geometric shapes.

Verse 9.   Having pierced the earth element in Muladhara Chakra, the water element in Manipura Chakra, the fire element in Svadhisthana Chakra, the air element in Anahata Chakra, the Akasa element in Visuddha Chakra, the mind element in Ajna Chakra between the eyebrows, passed through all, and ascended through Kula path or Susumna Nadi, you  sport secretly with your consort in Sahasrara Chakra.

    Go to Kundalini Power for details of the Chakras.

Verse 10. You infused (the Nadis of) the body with the nectar streaming from your feet, came down from the radiant Nectarian lake of the Moon of  Sahasrara Chakra, reached the Muladhara Chakra (at the lower end of Susumna Nadi), assumed a serpentine form with three and half coils and sleep in the Kulakunda (Muladhara Chakra) with a hole.

    The deity referred to here is TPS in the form Kundalini in relation to Kundalini Yoga. Saharara Chakra is the Domain of the Moon, the Radiant nectarian lake of the Moon and contains Sri Chakra. Bindu, the centripetal center of Sri Chakra, is the place of union of Siva and Sakti, which results in the flow of nectar from the feet of TPS. The nectar pervades all Nadis throughout the entire body of the Yogi. A perfected Yogi can keep his perfect mind in Sahasrara Chakra remaining in bliss as long as he wants. Lesser achievers have to come down to Anahata or Muladhara Chakras, which indicates that their union with Siva and Sakti at Sahasrara Chakra is reversible because they are still weighed down with desires, cares and worries of the mundane world. Giants like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, completely devoid of desires (Vairagya) can stay in Turiya state for as long as they want. There are seven kinds of men, according to Kundalini Yoga: Anal man, genital man, emotional man, thinking man, sattvic man, and intuitional man.  Chart: Pasu = Animal. Vira = Hero. Divya = divine.


Many people live in the domain of the pelvis: deglutition and defecation, excretion and procreation; in this there is no difference between animal and man; thus, he is called Animal-man. This is the Tamasic man living in the dark recess of the pelvis (Muladhara and Svadhisthana planes). He undergoes transformation into a Rajasic man with motion and passion, still retaining his Tamas (darkness, sloth and sluggishness). The Rajasic man lives in the abdomen around the navel (Manipura Chakra). His attitude and mental makeup are essentially his borborygmi, belching, flatulence, aches and pains: abundance of motion and passion, antisocial behavior. At the level of the heart (Anahata), he experiences a rise in Sattvic qualities with proportional fall in Tamas and Rajas. The man's cognitive center in the pelvis and abdomen rises to the heart level, when he looks around, wants to live in peace with others and develops love for self and others. His Sattva Guna rises with proportional fall in Tamas and Rajas and shows signs of  Sattvic man; his cognitive apparatus is at the level of the throat, which helps him to communicate with others in speech and deed in a civilized manner. This is where most of the civilized world stops. Beyond and above this threshold are Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras, which are reachable only by yogis. As man ascends from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakras, there is a progressive fall in the levels of Tamas and Rajas and rise in Sattva and in Sahasrara Chakra, he is pure Sattva (with infinitesimal Rajas and Tamas), which is a divine state.  To be active and live in this phenomenal world man needs a tad of Rajas.

    Vivekanada says: the Yogis claim that in an ordinary man the Sushumna is closed; its action is not evident while that of the other two is carrying power to different parts of the body.

Verse 11.  The four Srī-Kantas and five Siva-Yuvatis distinct from (the central) Sambhu (Bindu), are the nine Mulaprakrtis; thus, this is your abode with forty-four angles,  two lotuses, one with eight petals and the second with sixteen petals, three circles and three lines.

    Srī-Kantas = refers to the husband, Siva. Siva-Yuvatis: Yuvati = young woman. Sambhu = Siva. See the diagram below for details. There are two cults: Samaya for Siva and the Kaulas for Sakti.

Sri Sri YantramThe Symbolism of the Yantra


Sri Yantra: credit: exoticindia.com

     The central Bindu, the union of Siva and Sakti is Sādākhya Kalā from which emerge all the manifestations represented by the triangles which overlap to create forty-three angles at their periphery and the forty-fourth Kona is the central Bindu. The nine triangles are called Mulaprakrti, which according to Sankhya has 25 Tattvas, the centrifugal evolutional manifestations of Siva and Sakti. BG02.

    Sri Chakra is the transcendent, immanent and phenomenal existence of TPS in all lives and matter. What is here is out there: it means that microcosm is a representation of the macrocosm. The Yantra represents both macro- and microcosms.

    Below is the Saiva view as a basis for TPS taking the role of the Mother of the Universe, transcending Siva, Brahma and Vishnu. TPS takes on the role of Para- and Sagunabrahman.

Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm. Tattvas-36 chart shows the evolution of Pure Consciousness from Atattva to the last element Earth. Siva is Pure Consciousness; in the evolutionary model, there is a chasm between Siva and Sakti; Siva cannot be contaminated with matter so much so that Siva-Niskala-Niskriya-Amanaska has to act through Sakti for the creation of gods, man, beings, and matter. This chasm can be traversed back and forth only by the privileged Sakti. Siva-Niskala-Niskriya-Amanaska is a transcendental entity while Paramesvara or Paramesvari (TPS) is endowed with Maya, the origin of gods, man, beings, and matter. Saktas are of the opinion that TPS is the Mother Goddess of the universe. TPS  = Tri-Pura-Sundari = three-City-Beauty.



The twenty-four categories (Tattvas = building blocks) BG02 BG13

Categories 1 to 5: Mahabhutas: Akasa, air, fire, water, and earth evolve sequentially incorporating the accumulated quality (qualities) of the previous element. There are two divisions in the gross (great) elements (Mahabhutas): Amurtta and Murtta, the formless and the formed. Akasa and air are formless elements, while fire, water and earth formed. BG13

Categories 6 to 10: The five Tanmatras: Tanmatras namely sound, touch, color, taste, and smell are the subtle, rudimentary and nonspecific particles from which the gross elements originate. Let me explain what Tanmatra is. The invisible entity that travels from the flower to your olfactory sense (nose) is Tanmatra, smell.

Categories 11 to 15: Five Sensory organs or organs of perception: These are sensory Jnānendriyas. The five senses are vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching served by the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin.

Categories 16 to 20: Five motor organs: The "eater” or the enjoyer of the senses is bhoktar. The sense organs are different from senses and the five objects of senses are motor functions: speech, grasp, locomotion, excretion, and generation served by (Karmendriyāni) larynx, hands, feet, rectum, and genitals. The doer of these is Kartar.

Categories 21 to 25: Mind, Māyā, Suddha Vidyā, Mahesvara, and Sadasiva. TATTVAS-36 describes 36 Tattvas, which incorporate the 25 Tattvas of Samkhya system.  Go to BG02 for variations of the same theme.

Verse12. O Daughter of  the Snowy Mountain, the best of poets, Vrinchi (Brahma)  try hard to compare your inimitable beauty. Though Siva is difficult to attain by austerities, the heavenly damsels in their eagerness to experience your beauty  attain  imaginative absorption into Siva. 

 The damsels of heaven want to experience the beauty of TPS, daughter of the mountain and consort of Siva. How could they achieve that? The senses of the enjoyer experience the beauty of a person. In their eagerness, they assume in their mind a state of absorption into Siva, so that, through Siva, they can experience the beauty of TPS. It is like woman who cannot be the beautiful wife of a celebrity, imagine to be consorting with the celebrity and thereby experiencing the beauty of the celebrity's wife. This is the sexual fantasies of damsels of heaven and earth and of course, those of the other gender too.

    The celestial women know that Siva is the experiencer of the beauty of TPS. They perform penance, meditate and try to gain oneness with him; thereby they get vicarious experience of TPS through Siva. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had several visions of gods and goddesses including Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad. He had visions of TPS in the form of Sodasi, the other name for TPS. He reveals that he never saw such a radiant beauty melt and spread all around.

This is the vision of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (RKPH) of Sodasi (TPS) as described in the book The Visions of Sri Ramakrishna, page 44 by Swami Yogeshananda..  "It looked as if the beauty of the person of Sodasi had got melted, spread all around, and was illuminating the universe in all directions."

    Swami Gambhirananda in his book Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, page 48 describes RKPH's desire to worship Shodashi (sodasi), the Mother of the Universe on 5th June 1872. Sodasi is the Mother of the universe in the form of a most beautiful woman in the prime of her youth, exquisitely attired, and seated on a throne. She is otherwise known as TPS or Sri-Vidya. The master accepted the Holy mother (his wife) as a symbol for the deity.... This worship of the Mother in human form is sanctioned in the scriptures, though the usual symbols are pictures, pitchers, earthen images, Yantras (ritualistic drawings), etc. Page 49. (RKPH and his wife remained virgins.) RKPH prayed to her, 'O Thou eternal Virgin, Thou Mother Tripurasundari, the Source of all power, do Thou open the gates of perfection.... He mentally identified the different limbs of the Holy Mother with corresponding parts of the deity with appropriate sacred formulae (mantras), and considering her as none other than the Deity Herself, worshipped her duly with the usual sixteen kinds of offering.... The Mother lost all outer consciousness. She was 18 years of age when RKPH performed this puja.

Verse 13. If Your Glance (TPS) falls on ugly sapless men, whose amorous sporting is dead, he will be pursued by hundreds of young women with flying loose hair, pitcher-like breasts laid bare by slipping clothes, snapping girdles from excitement, and slipping silk garments (from lack of support in the waist).

Verse 14. Your two lotus feet (Pādāmbuja yugam) from above the Chakras, radiate rays in the following configuration: fifty-six in Muladhara of Earth element, fifty-two in Manipura of Water element, sixty-two in Svadhisthana of Fire element, fifty-four in Anahata of Air element, seventy-two in Visuddhi of Ether element,  and sixty-four in Ajna of  the Mind element.

    TPS, the Mother Goddess, abides in Bindu the acme and the epicenter of Sri Yantra, which represents the inverted thousand-petalled Sahasrara Chakra. Sri Yantra represents also the body of TPS in a diagram; Her mantra is her body. The epicenter or the centripetal point in Sri Yantra is Padambhuja yugam, the pair of lotus feet of TPS, or Bindu and the Radiant Station from which 360 rays (Saktis) radiate to the lower Chakras to form the elements Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether and Mind. The total rays = 56 + 52 + 62 + 54 + 72 + 64 = 360 Rays. These rays Are something  akin to RTA that holds the Universe together and in order. The common denominator of all these numbers come down to nine, whichever way the calculations are made. The magical number 9 is found in any manipulation of the following numbers: 36 Tattvas; Five Sakti and four Siva Triangles; 360 tithis (digits of the moon in one lunar year 360); nine apertures of the body and nine stupas in Chidambaram temple; nine dances of Siva for nine Saktis; Nataraja's dance on a stage of nine gems; the dance of nine (six Chakras, the sun, the Moon, and the Fire); Pati's nine archetypical forms: Siva, Sakti, Nada, Bindu, Sadasiva, Mahesvara, Rudra-Siva, Vishnu and Brahma; the nine centers, powers, Chakras or Conscious Powers are the nine Padmas or Lotuses: 1) Sahasrara, 2) Nada, 3) Bindu, 4) Ajna, 5) Visuddha, 6) Anahata, 7) Manipura, 8) Svadhisthana, and 9) Muladhara; Brahma's mind-born nine sons: Marici, Bhrgu, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratau, Daksa, Atri, and Vasistha; the Universe of nine substances (the insentient and the sentient), such as earth, water, light, air, ether (Ākāsa), time, space, soul and mind; nine continents; nine mountain ranges; Nine brothers marrying the nine daughters of the deity of Mount Meru: Merudevi, Pratirupa, ugradamstri, Lata, Ramya, Syama, Nari, Bhadra, and Devaviti; Kudilai (Kundalini) giving  rise to Vaindavam, the nine gods, Kundalini, Kudilai, Tatparai, Vagesi, Sadasiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, and Mahesvara; nine states of the soul (TMTM01); nine stages that a soul has to climb to attain Siva; nine Nidhis (Treasures usurped from Kubera) which yield any desire instantly; nine holy rivers: Waters of Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Kaveri, Sona, and Sonanadi. These 360 Rasmis or rays radiate from the six plexuses of the chakras and divide into 72,000 Nadis "innervating" the whole body in order to control and regulate it. All Nadis are non-anatomical mystic channels and one cannot demonstrate them by dissection. Just like the sun radiates its rays to its planets providing light and heat, TPS is the Mother Goddess or Mistress of the Universe, the epicenter of Cosmos, providing support to the cosmos.

Verse 15. How can words infused with sweetness of honey, milk and grapes coming from devotees who bowed to You just once, describe You, who is the autumnal moonlight, who is pure, who wears the moon on the twisted locks and the crown granting the boon of protection from fear and whose hands hold the book and the crystal beads?

    Verse 15. is distinctly different from Verse 4 in that in Verse 15 She shows Vara-Abhaya Mudra (boon-giving and fear-dispelling hands pose), while Verse 4 says, "You alone do not show by gesture bestowing boons and protection from fear."  Both are attributes of TPS.

Verse 16. You are the light of the morning sun to the lotus flowers, (which are) the mind of the king of poets. Those men of peace worship You as the Crimson sun. The sagacious words of Brahma's beloved Sarasvati are like waves of conjugal love and give pleasure to good people.

    As the morning sun opens the lotus buds, TPS makes the minds of poets blossom out; their words of love surge like waves as if they emanate from Sarasvati, the goddess of learning and the arts. The morning sun just before dawn is crimson red which suffuses the vault of the sky on the east. The charioteer of the sun is crimson red and thus is named Aruna. Crimson is also the color of Sarasvati in Rajas mode, which is motion and passion and naturally accompanies love, passion and poetry.

    Sarasvati in her Sattvic mode is white and the "white" poetry that emerges, speaks of Jnanam and Vairagya (Knowledge and dispassion).

Verse 17. O Mother,  he who reflects on you, Vasini and others, the source of  speech  having the luster of freshly-cut gem-stone, is the author of  poetry  and can become  a great poet with wit and words which are as sweetly fragrant as the lotus face of goddess of speech.

 TPS is the Mother Goddess and rules many universes like ours. She invited the Vagdevatas (goddesses of speech) familiar with Sri Chakra and Sri Vidya, to compose Lalitha Sahasranama (a panegyric hymn of thousand names of TPS). She sat one day on her throne and gave the privilege of darshan to countless Brahmas, Vishnus, Rudras and other deities of all the universes and signaled Vasini to chant the Sahasranama. All the deities joined in the chanting and received her blessing and grace.

She addressed the galaxy of deities and said, her hymns, composed by Vasini and other deities of speech for the well-being of the world, would bring them her favor, grace, and fulfillment of their wishes. The premier Vag Devata in the singular is Sarasvati and in the plural refers to eight devatas. Each Devata is doled out by TPS Aksharas (letters of alphabet), of which they are in charge.

The presiding deities and their 51 letters of the alphabet. They are called collectively Vasini Devatas.

Vasini Kamesvari Modini Vimala Aruna Jayini Sarvesvari Kaulini
#1Devata #2 Devata #3 Devata #4 Devata #5 Devata #6 Devata #7 Devata #8 Devata
16 Vowels Five letters of Ka series Five letters of ca series Five letters of Ta series Five letters of ta series  Five letters of Pa series ya, ra, la and va sha, shha, sa, ha, La, Ksha

    The Vag Devatas reside in the 7th Avarana in the centripetal direction. Avarana = anything that conceals, veils, covers, surrounds; here it means that the Devatas reside in the seventh layer of Sri Chakra. HYMNS 2.jpg

   HYMNS 17.jpg


Verse 18. How many celestial nymphs like Urvasi with eyes of the tremulous does of the forest are attracted to  him who meditates on you whose body’s luster suffuses the heaven and the earth in crimson-red radiance of rising sun?

    This verse says in effect that the votaries of TPS are attractive to nymphs of such heavenly beauty like Urvasi, and yet, they having meditated on the divine beauty of TPS, the Mother Goddess, find their attractiveness trivial.

Verse 19. O Haramahishi (Queen of Hara-Siva),  he who regards a (woman’s) face in the central Bindu,  pair of breasts below it,  Harādha still below that, and meditates on  your Manmathakalām will induce immediately agitation in any woman. This is very trivial  and easy for him. He deludes Triloki with sun and moon as her breasts.

Harādha  = half of Hara (Siva) = Female reproductive organs

Manmathakalām = Manifested creative Will

Triloki Three worlds personified as woman.

    Worship of a deity consists in part in meditating on the body parts first and then the whole body and still later the void. This actually speaks of the excellence of the spiritual mind and accomplishment of the votary.

A Sadaka should practice meditation and concentrate his mind on all body parts of his Istadevata from the feet to the crown and from the crown to the feet; by doing this, he will get vision of the whole body of the Devata in his mind. Once perfection in meditation and concentration is attained, the Formless will replace the Deity with form. The gross image evaporates and the subtle formless form (Ether) takes its place. Krishna says the following: Seeing his family and objects day in and day out, man develops love for his wife, son and objects. In like manner if man thinks of Me always, he will merge with Me. 

Krishna talks to Uddhava as follows.

"When the Sadhaka concentrates his mind on My smiling face, there comes a time when he, his mind and I become one and the Sadhaka loses the physical and spiritual delineation between him and Me. The Murti in the mind evaporates; the Yogi brings Ether in its place and rests it in Me, the Paramatman. The Yogi in Samadhi will see Me as Paramatma of all Jivas. The Yogi forgets that he is different from Me; the "I"  in him dissipates; he loses his identity. This is incoporeal Upasana or Videha Kaivalya. Videha = incorporeal. Kaivalya = detachment of the soul from matter, isolation, beatitude.

Verse 20. He, who establishes you in the heart, sees emanation of waves of effulgent rays from your body parts as if they originate from an idol of moonstone, destroys the pride and arrogance of serpents like the Lord of the birds (Garuda), cures by his look any fever and comforts like the essence of nectar flowing from the Pure Nadi.  

    Kundali unites with Siva when the Yogi reaches Sahasrara Chakra; this union results in the release and flow of Amrta, which suffuses all the Chakras and Nadis throughout the body of the Yogi, resulting in Samadhi.

The serpent (Kundali goddess) sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra augments lust, when it pierces other higher chakras lust transmutes into another quality special for that chakra.  Muladhara, Svadhistana, and Manipura Chakras are the repository of strength, power, passion, motion, sexual tension, and other biological urges like eating, sleeping, defecation, procreation, and excretion. Once these centers are activated and the Kundali goddess does not rise above Manipura Chakra, the man is basically an animal. Swami Chinmoy is of the opinion that a Sadhaka should open the Anahata Center (Heart) first before he pierces the lower animalistic sensual centers.  Residing in the pelvic and abdominal centers leads a person astray and leaves him addicted to sex, aggression, violence, exertion of power over the weak, the innocent and the vulnerable. Transformation of the animal-man to man-man takes place in Anahata Chakra. What makes man different from animal is that he is endowed with speech. Air is essential for speech and so Anahata is the domain of Vayu Mandala (the sphere of air- Vāyu Tattva). Anahata Sound is heard here. This is where Sattva (virtue, goodness, strength of character, courage,  wisdom, magnanimity) resides.

The Yogi also acquires certain Siddhis by piercing this center.

By reaching Visuddha Chakra, man becomes Trikåla Jnani (knower of the past, the present and the future).

 Verse 21: Great men, free from impurities and illusion and seeing by a mind your aspect slender like a streak of lightning, of the nature of the Sun and the Moon, sitting in the lotus forest above the six lotuses and the (granthis), are full of Supreme Joy.

You are slender like lightning; You are of the nature of the Sun and the Moon; You are seated in the lotus forest above the six lotuses and (the granthis); Seeing such aspects of yours, waves of Supreme joy come to the mind of great men, free from  impurities and illusion.

    The lightning aspect of Sakti of Tripurasundari is her creative power. The lotus forest is the Sahasrara Chakra above the six Lotuses or Chakras: Muladhara, Svadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha, and Ajna Chakras. She is the Fire in the Muladhara Chakra, the Sun in the Anahata Chakra and the Moon in Ajna Chakra.

    There are three Granthis (Junctional points, Knots, Junctions, hurdles): Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra Granthis. Granthis are equated to the levels of consciousness. Brahma Granthi of Muladhara (and Svadhistana and Manipura) Chakra is physical consciousness; Vishnu Granthi of Anahata Chakra is the Sphere of the Sun and therefore of Light, the beginning of Spiritual Consciousness; The Rudra Granthi of Ajna Chakra is the sphere of the Moon, the center of Spiritual Consciousness. Above the Sahasrara Center, the inverted thousand-petaled Chakra, is the Saadaakhya kalaa (Sadakhya kala), also known as Jyotir Mandala, whose consciousness transcends the physical plane.

    Granthis, hurdles in the ascent of Kundalini, are in the form of spiritual ignorance, Maaya, and desire. Brahma Granthi manifests as attachment to physical objects, earthly pleasures, inordinate selfishness (ego, Ahamkara) and exhibits the enslaving power of Tamas, darkness, lethargy, ignorance. Its habitat is the pelvis, dominant in pelvic functions. Vishnu Granthi at Anahata Chakra manifests motion and passion of Rajas Guna in that the prospective Sadhaka is attached to family, friends and objects. Its habitat is the heart, dominant in emotion. Rudra Granthi manifests clinging to newly-attained Siddhis, other psychical dependencies, and a remnant of ego. Its habitat is Ajna Chakra, a point above human consciousness and below transcendental Consciousness. This border crossing is made more difficult because the neophyte Yogi wants to enjoy the newly-obtained Siddhis (special powers) vicariously; In order to go further he has to give up his power  and desire to exercise his Siddhis, like reading thoughts of others and the rest. The special powers are symptoms of higher Consciousness and should not be used for personal gain or inflicting injury.

Verse 22:  Even before a devotee finishes saying, "O Bhavani, bestow on me your slave, your compassionate glance," You grant him at that very moment the state of oneness with your feet, at which the bright diadems of Mukunda, Brahma, Indra offer oblations of light.

The very moment a devotee starts saying, O Bhavani..., TPS (does not wait for the completion of his words and worship and) grants him grace and compassion; she knows what her devotee wants and needs. Becoming one with Her feet is Sayujya Mukti.
There are four types of liberation:  Salokya, Saannidya (Samipa), Saruupya, and Saayujya. Liberation is the exclusive right of TPS and no other gods.

bhavāni tvam dāse mayi vitara dristim sakaruṉām

Iti stotum vāṅchan kathayati  tvam iti yah;

Tadaiva tvam tasmai diśasi nija sāyujya padavīm

Mukunda brahma Indra sphuta makuda nīrājita  padām

    This verse gives emphasis on the Advaitic philosophy of Sankara: That Thou Art. The devotees of TPS become one with her. Bhavani is the consort or Sakti of Bhava or Siva.  The phrase Bhavani tvam means May I become ThouSayujya Mukti, the highest,  is spiritual union with Mother Goddess; others are in ascending order,  Salokya, the world of TPS; Samipa, nearness to TPS; Sarupya, likeness to TPS; and the last Sayujya Mukti.

The world Bhavani is used both as a noun and a verb, according to Sanskritists. Noun Bhava indicates Siva; the verb Bhava means "become." Bhavani is the consort of Siva or the Sakti of Siva.

Verse 23. The fact that this form of yours with red complexion, three eyes, bent posture because of breasts, a crown of hairdo with half moon in it makes me wonder that You, having expropriated his left side of the body (once before) and not satisfied with it, stole the other half of the body of Sambhu.

    In this verse, there is good-humored jostling and finger-pointing, benign accusation of Sakti stealing the right side of the body of Sambhu-Siva as evidenced by the presence of breasts on both sides. Once before, Sakti appropriated the left side of the body of Sambhu thus giving him the name Ardhanarisvara (ARDHANARISVARA); having not been satisfied with partial appropriation, she usurped the remaining right side of his body. Sankara presents evidence to that effect. The new body after complete appropriation is crimson-red in color. Consider this: Under normal circumstances, Siva is white and Amba is red. Sankara was wont to seeing a masculine chest with robust pectoral on the right side of the body and a female physique on the left side; now it is replaced by Amba's breast; thus the body is fully female. Her head sports half moon and three eyes, exclusive features of Siva. This is further evidence of appropriation. This made her, Kamesvari with three eyes and a crescent moon. Ardhanarisvara is half male and half female, a unified figure of Father and Mother. Now the father figure vanished and the Mother took charge of the whole body, thus projecting the overpowering image of Mother. in Vedas Siva is called the chief of thieves, Taskarānam Pati; ironically Siva becomes the victim of theft by Amba, who first stole the left side of his body and later the right side too. It is not hard now to surmise that Amba is the thief of the chief of thieves. To top it off she stole his moon and the third eye.  That is the vision, Sankara had of Mother Goddess Amba. This is the KAula doctrine of the Saktas. The Saktas

    Humor aside, when the Mother Goddess assumes her dominant role, she takes on all the qualities of the male Gods, who become her children. In further analysis, there is only one Supreme Being and different people call It by different names.

Verse 24. Brahma begets the world; Hari protects; Rudra destroys; Isa withdraws all of them into his own body and in turn  involutes into the body of Sadasiva. Siva whose name is preceded by Sada carries out your order obligingly by taking cues from the movement of your eyebrows.

    Here is the hierarchy:

HYMNS 3.gif ⃗HymnsVerse24A.jpg

    Mother Goddess is the controller of the Universe. Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra do her bidding and carry out her orders: creation, maintenance, and destruction. When the universe involutes, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra and the universe involute into Mahesvara (Isa), who in turn involutes into Sadasiva. They take their cues from the movement of her eyebrows. She is the Mistress of the Universe and all others are her surrogates and servants. This is known as Seshi-Sesa relationship in this context. Mahesvara creates in a linear fashion Suddhavidya Tattva, Māya, Kāla, Niyati, Kalā, Vidya, Rāga, Purusa, according to Saiva Siddhanta.  According to Saktas, Mahesvara has nine facets: Kāla, Kula, Nāma, Jnāna, Citta, Nāda, Bindu, Kalā, and Jiva.  The color-coded items are identical.  

Verse 25. Worship of the three Devas (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra) born of your three gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), O SivE (Sakti), is worship at your feet. They stand near the gem-pedestal supporting your feet with their hands joined in homage above their crowned heads.
Verse 26.
  Brahma dissolves into five elements; Hari fades into cessation; KinAsa (Yama) undergoes destruction. Kubera comes to his end. Indra and his retinue close their eyes.  O Sati, in this universal great destruction, your husband (Sadasiva) alone is sporting.
Sati: a good virtuous faithful wife in reference to Siva's consort. She as the consort of Siva died in the self-generated heat of Tapas. Some claim that she fell in the sacrificial fire of her father Daksa and died because Daksa insulted her and her husband Siva and she wanted to disown the body from her father Daksa.

Verse 27. Whatever I do from the view of Atma Samarpanam to you are all synonymous with worshipping you: my Japam, speech, all movements associated with Mudra during worship, gait as circumambulation of the deity, food, various methods of sacrifice, sleep as salutation, all activities.

Whatever I do is my dedication to Siva. My words are Mantras, eulogies and worship to Siva. My speech is prayer to Siva. All my movements are Mudras during worship of Siva. Every step I take is a ceremonious walk around Siva. Every bite I eat sustains my devotion to you. Laying down is prostration and salutation at the feet of Siva.  In fact all I do are acts of worship to Siva.

More beautiful are these words on Siva by Sankara.


As related by Shankaree of Om Namashivaya group.


Let my every word be a prayer to Thee,
Every movement of my hands a ritual gesture to Thee,
Every step I take a circumambulation of Thy image,
Every morsel I eat a rite of sacrifice to Thee,
Every time I lay down a prostration at Thy feet;
Every act of personal pleasure and all else that I do,
Let it all be a form of worshiping Thee."

Prayers, NyAsa, daily chores, eating, sleeping, walking (circumambulation), sacrifice are all acts of worship and dedication of  soul, body and mind to Him. This is dedication of body, mind, soul and their activities to Siva-Sakti by Jivan Muktas who live as householders. Every act is dedication: the act and the fruit. The enjoyments coming from the acts do not belong to the worshipper but to Sadasiva. The Sanyasins who do not perform exoteric worship do meditation and worship with Sri Chakra, identical with Sahasrara and six lower Chakras.

Verse 28. Even though, Nectar which having been eaten removes the fearful old age and death, Brahma, Indra and all other denizens of heaven die. Sambhu having swallowed a mouthful of poison is not subject to time. That is because of the greatness of Your earring.

The Adityas (gods) drank the nectar of immortality that came out of the Milk Ocean along with Halahala poison, which was imbibed by Siva to save the world. The nectar does not protect the gods from dying at dissolution, though they drank the nectar of immorality; Sambhu-Siva does not die at all though he drank the poison, all because of the greatness of the earring that Uma-Parvati wears. The universe and beings involute in Him at Kalpal Dissolution. The earring of Uma-Parvati is a sign of eternality beyond and not subject to Time and serves as the protector of Siva-Sambhu thereby not only saving Siva from death but also preventing Her from becoming a widow. As the saying goes among Saivites, Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti.

Verse 29. When you Consort Bhava comes to your abode and you rise importunely to honor and welcome Him, may the attendants’ words (of caution) triumph, “You avoid the crown of Brahma in front of you; You will stumble on the hard crown of the destroyer of Kaitabha (Vishnu), You avoid the crown of Jambha (Indra).” These gods are paying Pranam (obeisance) to Siva.

Brahma, Vishnu, and Indra pay homage to Siva; when Parvati rises so fast and importunely to welcome and receive Siva, she may trip on the crowns of prostrate Brahma, Vishnu and Indra. To prevent such an accident, the attendants implore Parvati to exercise caution. Parvati's high regard for Her Husband is such that she may not even notice any prostrators while she hurries up to receive Him.

Verse 30. O the Adored of all, O the Eternal One, The rays of Light emanating from your body such as Anima and others are Your Self. He meditates on You constantly.  To Him who is absorbed into the three eyed One, the Great Fire of Dissolution is like (the burning of) straw and performing the rite of Niranjanam . How wonderful it is!

 This verse is addressed to Mother Goddess. Niranjanam is waving of light before the deity. The Great Fire of Dissolution, which destroys the whole universe and beings,  is compared to the fire of straw and Niranjanam to Devi or Mother Goddess. The devotee of Mother Goddess is absorbed in and become one with her by meditation and thus, is not burnt up in the universal conflagration. He is immune from all calamities. The Great Fire of Dissolution is like the fire in the straw and of no consequence to the votary of the Mother. Another explanation of the straw brings the point that absorption into Siva is like straw.

She is the eternal source of all Siddhis of the Siddhas. Siddhas are the yogins who possess eight siddhis or supranormal powers, which radiate from the feet of the Mother Goddess. Siddhas have attained liberation (jivanmukti) while living. His body is secure from Time or death; he can choose his death at will at a time and place of his choice. They are the gurus and spiritual preceptors. Among Sivas, Siva is the Supreme Siddha; Siddhi is achieving a Siddha which doubles for the person having the siddhi. The Supranormal powers are impediments to Samādhi, which is becoming one with ONE. The siddhis are eight: Anima, Mahima, Gharima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isatva, Vashistva, (and Kāmarutattva.)  Note some texts do not mention Gharima or Kamarutattva.

Major Siddhis which are possessed by Mother Goddess, Bhagavan, Bhagavati, Isvari or Isvara and to a lesser degree by the Siddha.


1.    Anima. (smallness):  Supernatural power of becoming as small as an atom, atomization

2.    Mahima. (largeness): The supernatural power of increasing size at will

3.    Gharima. The supernatural power of making one self heavy at will

4.    Laghima. (lightness): The supernatural power of levitation

5.    Prāptih. Supernatural power to obtain everything

6.    Praakaamya. Capacity to accomplish anything desired

7.    Isitva. Supremacy or superiority considered as a super natural power

8.    Vashistva. The supernatural power of subduing all to one's own will

                                ---Definitions as found in Tamil Lexicon, Madras University


    Kāmarutattva (consummation of all desires)



       Prapti is power to enter anywhere. It also means the supernatural power of obtaining everything. This includes Ability to touch the sun, the moon or the sky. The Siddha can predict the future. He understands the language of birds and beasts, and unknown kind. Prapti is defined as ability to apprehend knowledge and perceptions perceived by the individual soul in his senses, which are presided over by god or gods. Once a Yogi or Siddha enters the body of another, he can perceive and modulate the feelings and perceptions of the the host's senses.

    Prâkâmya is the ability to enjoy anything that is heard, seen, touched, thought and more.

    Isitva is introduction and diffusion of Sakti of His Maya into every Jiva in the universe.  It also means supreme domination.

Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Divination, and Hyperacuity to pain, taste, and smell are supranormal faculties, which are an impediment to True Siddhi (Oneness with One) because they generate Ahankāra, the I-ness, and the Mine-ness and prevent total surrender to God. The eighth power indicates the consummation of yogi's desire for God-realization and subduction from Kāma or sexual desire. Go to the end of the chapter for more details.

Verse 31. Pasupati deluded the world by giving 64 Tantras, the practice of each of which confers (gives birth to) only one Siddhi. Upon Your insistence, He revealed your own Tantra, Akhila Purushartha as one discipline which is independent of all other disciplines and comes down to earth (to help mankind).
Attaining proficiency in the practice of sixty-four Tantras confers Siddhis to the practitioners. They are not Vedic in tradition or practice.  The tantric rituals are sometimes discouraged and looked down upon by others. There are others like Woodroffe who believe that the Tantrics are misunderstood. What Siva gave to the world could only distract man from his main aim in life, Moksa. Tantric Yogis attain Siddhis as discussed earlier which have no value in obtaining liberation. Mother Goddess insisted that Siva give Purusharthas, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa for the benefit of man.  The Mother, Adisakti, asked Siva to reveal the Tantra which is the Bridge across the Ocean of Kula (race, family, community). The Mother became very worried about the advent of Kali age, the destroyer of deeds of merit, and facilitator of sins. The men of Kali age were disinclined to meditate upon the Paramatman (Siva) and quick in committing deeds of sin. Those were the reasons why Parvati asked Siva to save these men and lead them to Moksa.  Go to Kundalini Power for details on the practice of Kundalini Yoga.

Akhila + Purushartha:  Whole or all + Objectives worthy of human pursuit, four in number, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa.

Verse 32. Syllables ka, e, i, and la  with corresponding names Siva, Sakti, Käma, and Kshiti; syllables ha, sa, ka, ha, and la with corresponding names Ravi, Sitakirana, Smara, Hamsa and Sakra; and  syllables sa, ka, and la with corresponding names  Parä, Mära and Hari together with Hrllekha’s syllable Hrim appended to the end of each of the syllables of the three groups become your syllables and parts of Your name (Mantra), O Mother (Tripurasundari = three city beauty--TPS, Sodasi).

She is Tripura because her body is made of three Saktis: Brahmani, Vaisnavi, and Raudri. The three cities are a metaphor for Goddess with three qualities: Sattva, Raja and Tamas (virtue, motion and passion, lethargy or darkness). She is the transcendent beauty of three cities or three gunas or the three cities of the demons.  These triads are called Kūtas ( Kuta, peaks, summit, prominence) or peaks of Sri Vidya Mantra. Vidya (Mantra) of TPS consists of three syllables. Pancha-dash-akshari  (5 + 10 + syllables) Mantra is of three peaks (Kuta): Vagbhava-kuta, Kamaraja-kuta, Shakta-kuta. She is the Pervader of the three worlds: Heaven, earth and netherworld. She is the ruler of three bodies: Karana, Suksma and Sthula--causal, subtle and gross. TPS is the Self in the three states of consciousness of man: wakefulness, dream sleep, and deep sleep. She is also the Self in Turiya and Turiyatita in Yogis--my interpolation.

Chanting of the thousand-syllabled Mantra (Sahasraksari Vidya) accompanies worship of the deity and offering of fistful of flowers (Puspanjali); worship concludes with the Kadi Mantra Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim, ha-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim, Sa-Ka-La-Hrim, (Aim, Klim, Sauh, Klim, Aim, Srim). The 1000-syllabled Mantra consists of power-epithets, Siddhis, Nityas and Kadi Mantra of Lalita. The Guru offers flowers to the disciple who offers them to the deity. Of all the Vidya mantras, Kadi Mantra (starting with K) and Hadi Mantra starting with H are the most efficacious.  Different texts have some variations in the syllables.

1st Peak (Kuta) = ka, e, i, and la-- append Hrim = Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim.  (Siva, Sakti, KAma (Cupid), Ksiti (earth), Hrim)  Vaghbhava Kuta and Vahni (Fire) Kundalini.

2nd Peak = ha, sa, ka, ha, and la; append Hrim = ha, sa, ka, ha, la, Hrim. (Ravi or Sun, Sitakirana (Moon), Smara (Cupid), Hamsa (sky), Sakra (Indra), Hrim. Kamaraja Kuta and Surya or Sun Kundalini.

3rd Peak = sa, ka, and la ; append Hrim = sa = ParA, ka = MAra, la = Hari Hrim.  Sakti Kuta and Soma (Moon) Kundalini.

The chief deity in the Kadi tradition is Sri-Lalita-Maha-Tripura-Sundari (TPS) or Raja-Rajeswari, whose Mantra is Kamaraja Vidya.  TPS goes by several names: Lopamudra, Mahendri, Nandini, Lakshanavati, Kameshvari, Dakshina.

    Each epithet carries one or more meanings. She is Kameshvari because she exudes beauty, grace, and possesses exquisite body parts from the crown to the toes (which are described in some details). She is the epitome of love and sexual bliss. All this explains why it is called Kamaraja Mantra. She is the origin of the third Purusartha, Kama (love); the others are Artha, Dharma and Moksa (wealth, Duty, and liberation).

    TPS is invoked in three Kutas or peaks (Vāghbava, Kamaraja, and Sakti.

   Kadi Mantra (Kamaraja Mantra) The Mantra begins with Ka. Kadi confers spiritual progress according to its proponents.

The fourth part is hidden, a secret syllable and Sambhunatha, an aggregate of three saktis of knowledge, Will and Action (Jnana, Itcha, and Kriya), and the Northern Face or Amnaya.

The 16th syllable  (secretive kamakala) is secret and is given to the qualified pupil by a bona-fide Guru.

Guru Lakshmidhara gives Srim as the last symbolic syllable attached to the 3rd string of Mantra. Srim gives completeness or roundness to Srividya in that Vidya has the syllable Srim as its seed.

Explanation and elaboration

The sixteenth letter is given by Guru. The fifteen letter Mantra is Panch-dasAkshari; the sixteen letter mantra is SodasAkshari.  Lakshmidhara gives the 16th letter as Srim to be added to the third group.  Sri Vidya means a Vidya that has SRIM, Sri-bija or Srim as its seed or essence. The sixteen syllables are Sodasa Nityas or 16 KalAs, parts (or digits of the moon) of Devi.  The 16th part is Cit kalA or SAdAkhya kalA of which the other fifteen are derivatives. Cit kalA is TPS.  Variations in interpretation of Vidya mantra exits. Some call it a complete mantra by itself, without any need for Pranava Om or the terminal Srim. They argue that Sri Vidyas Pranavas are Hrim, Srim, Aim, Klim, and Sauh. Lakshmidhara is the proponent of Kadi Vidya, meaning the Mantra starting with the letter Ka.  Hadi Mantra starts with Ha, whose proponents are the epicures.  KaivalyAsrama of Hadi persuasion proposes that in the Second Kuta, Siva stands for Ha, Sakti for Sa, KAma for Ka and Ksiti for La Kaivalyasrama omits SRIM of Lakshmidhara. Other deities for the other Kutas are same as those of Lakshmidhara, except that Srim is dropped.

Kadi Mantra leads to spiritual enlightenment; Hadi Mantra lead to earthly prosperity in this life and hereafter. That is why Kadi practitioners offer worship of Involution (Nivrrti) going from the perimeter of Sri Yantra to Bindu ( from the world of matter to Bindu, the point of Spirituality. The Epicurean Hadi practitioners do the centrifugal worship from Bindu to the periphery of Sri Yantra in their desire to acquire material prosperity.


    Lalita Sahasranama says TPS is KLINKARI represented by Bija Mantra KLIM, also known as Kamaraja Bija. Hence KAma BIja is Klīm; when "Ka" and "La" are dropped, the remaining "īm" is known as KAmakalA in Turiya state.  TPS or DEvi is the creator/creatrix of Klim Mantra or Klinkari; Siva is KlīmkAra and SivakAma. One source tells that Ka is Krishna, La is TPS or Laita, "im" is Bliss.

Hadi Mantra (Lopamudra Mantra). The mantra begins with Ha. Hadi mantra confers prosperity now and hereafter.

Ha/Sa/Ka/La/Hrim = 5 syllables
Ha/Sa/Ka/Ha/La/Hrim = 6 syllables
S/K/La/Hrim = 4 syllables
15 syllables

Kadi + Hadi  = KaHadi Mantra.

The two are known as KaHadi Mantra. The devotees diverge in their worship of Sri Yantra; the Kadi line devotees worship Sri Yantra centripetally (from outside to the center); the Hadi devotees centrifugally.

Pancha-dash-akshari  (5 + 10 + syllables) Mantra with Srim becomes Srividya and represents sixteen Kalās (parts--digits) of Sodasa Nityas; Srim is Cit Kalā, which is the nucleus, the seed, TPS herself, and Sādākhya Kalā (first Being, 1st Consciousness). There are interpreters of Sirvidya (mantra) who say that the Srim is redundant and without Srim it is a complete Mantra by itself.

Verse 33. Smara, Yoni, and Lakshmi are the words with syllables (klim, hrim, and srim) in the beginning of Your mantra, by which, O Eternal One,  the esthetes of great enjoyment worship you with Cintamani tied to the necklace by the thread, pour in the fire of Siva hundreds of oblations of fragrant streams of butter.

Chanting Mantra of Klīm, Hrīm, and Srīm ( three Seed Syllables) by Maha-bhoga rasikas (Great enjoyment epicures--esthetes, a term meaning the ones who enjoy the highest forms of Bhoga here and hereafter. The Fire of Agni belongs to the Svadhisthana Chakra.  When Fire of Agni ascends to Anahata Chakra in the area of the heart, it becomes a purer form of Agni, Sivagni, the Fire of Siva. Kamadhenu is the celestial cow of plenty, whose butter runs into Sivagni in hundreds of streams. All these oblations and worship happen in CittākAsa- the Ether of the mind. The Sadakha wears the necklace with Chintamani, the wish-gem, which ensures Bhoga.  Cittākasa = cidAkAsa is interpreted as the Ether of Consciousness, meaning it is Greater than the Greatest (JyAyAn = Greater, Superior, Larger; ParAyanam = final end, last resort meaning smaller than the smallest). JyAyAn is Mahato MahIyAn, meaning greater than the Greatest. Bindu is the smaller than the Smallest. Bindu is Parama anu meaning the Supreme smallness. These two extremes are called Continuity and Discontinuity, an attempt of the human mind to put a limit to the extremes; in actuality, no one has measured the end points, if there are any.  In its smallness it is the basic form of matter. When the infinite partless small particle (Bindu is God; sub-atomic particles) beyond human imagination become compounds, they become measurable. When they become measurable or apprehended by senses, these sensations are called touch, form and color, taste, and smell. Their respective elements are Air, Fire, Water, and Earth; Earth is earth plus an euphemism for all solid substances.

Verse 34. You are the body of Siva-Sambhu, and have the Sun and the Moon as your breasts. O Bhagavti! I think Your Being is spotless Sambhu with nine aspects. Therefore, this relationship of Sesha and Seshi exists between you both, the ParAnanda and ParA as reciprocal (and equivalent) principles.

ParAnanda = Anada Bhairava.  ParA = Anada Bhairavi.

You are Sambhu in Body and Being. Your are like the two cotyledons wrapped in a sheath. Both of you are of equal status as Sesi and Sesa (The Primary and the secondary). Sesi = Principal, Chief matter, main point; Sesa = accessory, remaining, what is left The two kinds of Kaula: PUrva and Uttara. To PUrva Kaulas Both are equal.  Sambhu has nine Vyuhas or manifestations: kAla, Time;  Kula, troop; nAma, names; JnAna, knowledge;  Citta, mind-buddhi-ahamkara complex;  nAda, sound;  Bindu, the six adhara chakras; KalA, the fifty letters of Sanskrit alphabet;  and JIva, the soul in the body.  Both are equal in all nine aspects. In creation, Sakti is the Sesi, ParA, the principal or the Primary and Siva is Sesa or secondary; in dissolution Siva is the Sesi or Primary and Sakti is Sesa or secondary. Thus in their own portfolio, each one serves as the Primary with the other being the secondary.

Verse 35:

You are the Mind (in Ajna Chakra between eyebrows on the forehead).  You are Vyoma (in Sky in Visuddha Chakra in the throat).  You are Air (in Anahata Chakra). You are the Fire (in Svadhistana Chakra). You are water (in Manipura Chakra). You are the earth (in Muladhara Chakra). Now that you transformed yourself, there is nothing more.  It is with the intention to transform Yourself into the universe, You took the form of  Consciousness-Bliss, O Sakti, the Consort of Siva.

This verse touches on the Kundalini Chakras and the elements associated with these Chakras as the creation of Sakti.

Sakti Devi has three forms: the gross, the subtle, and para forms. The gross (sthula)  form consists of anthropomorphic features with hands and feet. The Suksma or subtle form is her Mantra; her Para or Supreme form is her Real Form (Svarupa). This Para form is Supreme Consciousness beyond the grasp of human mind. Before creation and during Pralaya, Siva and Sakti are one unitary entity, because everything is on hold. That state is called Parasamvit (Supreme Consciousness of Siva), where Siva Tattva and Sakti Tattva are in non-dual state. When the urge to create comes along, a dual state arises: Prakasa = Aham and Siva Consciousness and Vimarsa and Sakti. Prakasa is infinite Light of Siva Consciousness and a subject; Vimarsa is the reflection of Siva in Sakti and an object. When Siva looks at His image in Sakti, He says Aham (I). This is known as Aham Vimarsa ("I" reflection).  He has just become aware of Himself; His awareness is the integral, all-comprehensive, all-inclusive universal Ego. When he says Aham, it is the First reflection (Bimba).  What comes after the Bimba (First Reflection) is Pratibimba, which is none other than the universe. That universe is the Idam (That).  In Parasamvit, Aham and Idam existed in a subtle latent condition. Idam does not come along without Sakti, who provides the Maya Sakti to create Idam.  Aham is subject and Idam is the object. Siva is pure Consciousness; He remains so because it is the Bimba-derived Pratibimba that becomes the universe; to endorse this purity, Maya severs Idam from Aham.  

0-1-2:  Parasamvit, Siva Tattva, and Sakti Tattva are non-dual states. Prakasa = Aham and Siva; Vimarsa = Sakti. Parasamvit =  Supreme Consciousness of Siva.

3.  Sadasiva Tattva = Grace, "This"  (Idam) Consciousness is outward-looking.
4.  Isvara or IsaTattva = Mahesvara, concealment.  "I" (Aham) is inward looking.
5. Suddha Vidya Tattvam = Aham and Idam = "I and This"  of equal emphasis. Creation, Preservation and dissolution.          Suddha Vidya = Pure Knowledge.

Purport: First there is Aham and Idam in the undifferentiated state in Parasamvit.  Later Aham becomes dominant from creation by Maya Sakti; then equalization takes place; Aham and Idam become equal; Maya comes along and severs the Aham and Idam into two entities. Sakti-Maya-Prakrti becomes the universe and beings. Now there is one Aham and many Idams (beings and matter).

Here is another way of looking at Aham and Idam.

The Pure Consciousness (Parasamvit) undergoes transformation and the result is the first product Sadakhya or Sadasiva Tattva (Sadasiva). In a linear cascading fashion, this transforms into the second product, Isvara Tattva (Isvara); further transformation takes place resulting in the third product, Suddha Vidya Tattva. Remember the transformation does not diminish the original substance; it remains withdrawn.  When this transformation is taking place, Maya severs the connection between the united Pure Consciousness (Para-samvit) and the products and their derivatives (downstream Tattvas). Where does this cutting Maya come from; yes, it is from Sakti. Sadasiva Tattva emphasizes Idam, "This." Isvara Tattva emphasizes the Aham, "I." Suddha Vidya Tattva emphasizes both equally. 

 Sakti Devi  like Siva Tattva has two forms: Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa form is Pure Consciousness. Vimarsa form is the power latent in Pure Consciousness. Referring to Siva-Sakti, Siva is Prakasa and Sakti is Vimarsa. In particular reference to Devi, Prakasa is her Pure Consciousness and Vimarsa is her Sakti or her ability to appear as many in a world of multiplicity. Vimarsa is the stuff of Tattvas which make this universe of matter and beings. She who is of red color is the manifested one.  Brahman and his multiplicity have application in Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa is the canvas and Vimarsa is the painted objects; Prakasa is the hypostasis and Vimarsa is the manifest multiplicity. Devi is Nishkala (no parts) and Prakasa; Vimarsa is Sakala (many parts) and manifest multiplicity. KAla, Bindu, and Nada have rolls to play in Vimarsa aspect of Devi. Vimarsa makes demands of Devi's Iccha, Jnana and Kriya for the projecting the manifest multiplicity. 

Verse 36: I pay homage to Sambhu (Siva) who abides in His Ajna Chakra, effulgent as millions of suns and moons together and whose left side is the Supreme Consciousness in the form of Devi (Ardhanarisvara--Androgynous Siva).  Votary with deep devotion attains the Self-conscious and Self-effulgent state which is not in material plane, goes beyond the relams of the light of the moon, sun and fire and is beyond the beyond.

This is the descritption of the Sadhaka of Samaya cult who kindled the fire of Kundali and rises with her to Ajna Chakra. Sahasrara Chakra at the level of midbrain is Jyotir mandala (The Luminous Realm), above the reach of the moon, sun, and fire, which illumines only the Ajna, Anahata, and Svadhisthana Chakras respectively. The Moon in Sahasrara Chakra is different and partless (Niskala) meaning it has no tithis or digits,  always a Full Moon and an eternal Spiritual Light of Bliss-Consciousness.  The resident deities adored and worshipped in Ajna Chakra are Para Sambhunatha and Cit-paramba.

Verse 37.  In Your Visuddha Chakra, I meditate on Pure crystal-like Siva, the creator of Vyoman (Sky, heaven and atmosphere) and Devi who is equal to Siva in every way. In the Lunar splendor radiationg from both, devoid of darkness of Ignorance, the universe is joyous like a Cakori (female partridege).

In the Hindu mythology the Cakori bird delights in and imbibes the moonlight.  As the Kundali comes to rest in Vishuddha Chakra, the darkness of ignorance dissipates with the descent of Light of Consciousness and Bliss. The adored and worshipped deities here are Vyomanesvaran and Vyomanesvari. Some Yogis beleive the resident deity is Ardhanaaresvara or Sadasiva (form of Siva).

Verse 38. I worship the great pair of swans (Ham and Sa – Siva and Sakti) which enjoy only the tasty sap of the full-blown lotus of knowledge, which glide in Manasa Mind Lake of  great men, whose conversations are contained in the eighteen systems of knowledge which separate virtue from evil (as the swan separates the milk from water).

The full-blown lotus of knowledge, the blossoming of which is proof of Kundalini arriving there, refers to the Anahata heart Chakra. The eighteen disciplines of knowledge refer to Atharvan, Ayurveda, Chandas, Danurveda, Dharmasastra, Gandharva Veda, Jyotisha, Kalpa, Nirukta, Niti Sastra, Nyaya, Purva, Rg, Saman, Siksa, Uttara Mimamsa, Vyakarana, and Yajus.  These are the sacred scriptures that separate the virtue from evil. This separation is compared to the mythical ability of the swan to separate the milk from water. Siva-Sakti worshipped in Anahata Chakra are Hamsesvara and Hamsesvari

Verse 39.  O Genetrix, You abide in the fire element in your Svadhisthana Chakra; I eulogize the Fire of Dissolution (Rudra-Siva) and the Great Samayaa (Sakti). The angry looks of Rudra incinerates the worlds; your compassionate looks brings about the cooling affability.   

Siva-Sakti (Samaya-Samayaa) worship in Svadhisthana Chakra is touched upon in this verse.  In the descending order of Chakras, manipura Chakra and water element should have been described in this verse. Sankara chose to describe the Samaya-Samyaa worship and the Fire element. Verse 40 touches on manipura Chakra. Siva burns in Svadisthana chakra and Sakti extinguishes it with the water element in Manipura Chakra. Samvarta (The Great Fire at Deluge--Rudra-Siva), known also as Kalagni figures in close proximity with Janani (Genetrix, the creator, the Mother Goddess). Samvarta destroys with his angry eyes and the Mother creates with Her compassionate affable looks. The deities are Samvartesvara and Samayamba.

Verse 40. Sakti as Lightning is the foe of darkness. With Her flashing and shining jewels studded with many-colored gems Sakti appears like a rainbow. I worship the incomparable dark clouds which rain on the three worlds burnt by the fire of dissolution, which has Manipura Chakra, as the sole place of surrender.

Manipura, Svadhisthana and Muladhara Chakras are whorls of darkness, which dissipate from the Light of Sakti as lightning rends the nimbus clouds with accompanying rains. The deities of Manipura Chakra are Mahesvara and Saudamani.  What Rudra-Siva destroys by the look of angry eyes, Mother counterbalances with the compassionate cool eyes.

Verse 41. In Muladhara Chakra, I meditate on Samayayaa (Sakti--Samayaa) performimg Lasya dance and Nava Atman (Siva-Rudra) with nine sentiments performing Maha Tandava dance. In these twosome dances, the object is creation by the Father, and Mother with compassion.

The nine sentiments of Rudra-Siva are sringāra, love; vīra, heroism; bibhatsa, disgust; raudra, anger; hāsya, anger; bhayānaka, terror; karuna, pity; adbhuta, wonder; sānta, tranquility or contentment; vatsalya, paternal fondness.

Siva in the name of Adinatha and Sakti in the name of Lasyesvari perform the Tandava (the masculine dance) and Lasya, the female dance. The universe undergoes involution  when they stop the dance and then all the elements (Tattvas--building blocks) come to repose in Siva-Sakti. When Siva-Sakti begin their dance again at the end of dissolution, the elements come back to build the universe of matter and beings under the guidance of and contribution from Siva-Sakti.  This dance brings to life beings according to their karmic deeds, so that the soul matures, sheds all the impurities (malas), and attains Moksa. Siva directs Sakti to create the universe and beings ; thus Siva-Sakti are the parents.  The two-part unity is integral with each other as in Ardhanaresvara (Androgynous Siva); Siva is consciousness and Sakti is His power. Siva is Samaya and Navātman. Sakti is Samayā (feminine form of Samaya). Sama means equal. They are equal and similar (sama and samtavam) in Adhisthāna, Avasthāna, Anusthāna, Rūpa, and Nāma (abode, condition, action, form, and name).  Verses 36-41 talks about Ajna, Visuddha, Anahata, Manipura, Svadhistana, and Muladhara Chakras from top down. This reflects the subtle becoming the gross from the Ajna to Muladhara Chakras: Mind, Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
 Samayachara cult believes in the equality of Siva and Sakti.
Navātman is so-called because he has nine Vyūhas or manifestations: Kāla =Time; Kula = colors; Nama = names; Jnana = knowledge; Chitta = mind; Nāda = four forms of sound --Sabda or Sound; Bindu = the Chakras, BINDU; Kalā = the fifty letters of Sanskrit alphabet; and Jiva = the individual soul.  Samayacharins call Goddess (The Saktas)  as Samayaa, while Kaulas call Siva as Navatman  (Kularnava Tantra).  Siva and Sakti of Kaula sect in Muladhara Chakra are Ānanda Bhairava and Ānandabhairavi and of Samayāchārins are Samaya and Samayā. Swami Tapasyananda says that Sakti worship is of three types: Samaya, Kaula and Misra.  Samaya worship is neither exoteric nor esoteric but internal as in Kundalini Yoga. Those who cannot do Kundalini Yoga perform mixed (misra) form of worship (both external and internal). External worship is of two types: Esoteric worship with rituals and exoteric worship.  Chariya's recommendations (idol worship) are external worship (exoteric) suitable to the ordinary devotees, and not confined to a chosen few. Kriya is worshipping of Siva with rites and ceremonies (esoteric rituals and practices) recommended in Agamas.  Samaya worship is mental worship in the sky of the mind and heart (Hrdayākāsa--the sky of the heart --spiritual sky).  Others worship Sri Chakra which contains all Chakras within it and is Siva-Sakti in their bodily form. Adoration or reverent homage of Sri Chakra is equal to worship of Siva-Sakti in all Chakras.

In the above verses the Yogi worships the Sakti in the Sahasrara Chakra. This includes worship of Sri Chakra itself and the six Kundalini Chakras. From verses 42 to 100, Mother Tripura Sundari (TPS) is the object of worship. Herein Samkara worships Her from head to feet and augments the devotion to Devi.

Verse 42, the Crown: O Daughter of Snow-clad mountain! He describes the twelve suns in your golden crown as compact gems. He thinks the crescent moon on your crown is the rainbow because it reflects the many colors of the effulgence of the sun; but it is only the bow of Indra.  

To Samkara it appears that the stars in the firmament, the jewels of the sky are the gems on her crown. The crescent moon is the rainbow. TPS is the Mother of the universe.

Verse 43, the Locks: Let the locks remove the darkness (of ignorance from us). Your dense, soft and shiny locks resemble a cluster of full-blown blue lotus flowers. I think these flowers from the garden of enemy of Vala (Indra) dwell on your locks to obtain the natural fragrance from your locks.

This is the praise of naturally fragrant locks of TPS. The flowers soak up the fragrance from Her Locks. The flowers on the locks of TPS came from the garden of Indra, the chief of gods. The garden of Indra is Nandana. There are five celestial trees: MandAra tree, PArijAta tree (flowering tree), the SantAna or Samtanaka tree (promotes fertility among men), the Kalpa tree (Wish-tree) and Harichandan tree (Fragrant Sandalwood tree). PArijAta tree has flowers throughout all seasons and the flowers carry all fragrances all the times.

Verse 44: The parting of hair. Let it confer Ksemam (wellbeing) on us.  The wave of your facial beauty overflows along the midline parting your hair, having vermilion streak along it, which appears like the rising sun corralled by mass of hair (on either side), the latter acting as foes in the form of darkness.

Verses 45 to 100 will be depicted in a concise form describing the beauty of TPS.

Verse 45: The beauty of Her Face, the curls of hair and the teeth.

  Your face with natural curls of forelock looking like a beautiful swarm of honeybees ridicules the beauty of lotus flowers.  Your smiling face and the brilliant teeth looking like the beautiful fragrant filaments are the joy and cynosure of honey-bee eyes of Siva, the destroyer of Cupid.

Verse 46: Forehead looking like two crescent moons back to back. The forehead shining with lustrous beauty with two crescent moons back to back one below the other forming the full moon, attached to your crown and dripping nectar.      

Verse 47:  The eyebrows are the bow; the eyes are the string.

O Uma, You are the devoted destroyer of the Fear of the world. I think Your slightly curved eyebrows form the bow of the husband of Rati (Cupid); the beautiful honey bee-like eyes form the string grasped by the fist of the left hand and forearm which represent the bridge of the nose and the space between the eyebrows.

Here the eyebrows form the bow; a row of bees form the string; the flowers are the arrows. The intervening bridge of the nose interrupts the string and the space between the eyebrows interrupts the bow. Explanation of these two intervening elements are in order. This is where the fist and forearm come in. The fist grabbing the string from above explains the interruption of the string. The forearm concealing the middle of the bow from above explains the interruption of the bow by the space between the eyebrows. Cupid is holding the string (row of bees) from above and thus his forearm conceals the middle of the bow (the space between the eyebrows).


Verse 48: Praise of eyes of TPS.

Your right being the Sun begets the day, while the left eye being the moon creates the night. The third eye, slightly blossomed golden Lotus, is the Sandhya, occurring in-between day and night. ( The twilight occurs between night and daybreak and day and night.)

This verse indicates that Devi is the creator of the sun, the moon and twilight and the seasons, Yugas and Kalpas.

Verse 49: More on Devi's Eyes.

Your eyes are wide, auspicious and unvanquished by the blue water Lillies; a repository of a stream of Grace and Compassion; extreme sweetness without ostentation; long; and confer protection (to the world). Surpassing irrefutably the expanse of the many cities by their respective names, Your eyes are victorious.  

The cities are Avanti, Ayodhya, , Bhogavati, Dhara, Kalyani, Madhura, Vijaya, and Visala.

There are eight glances of eyes of Devi: agitation, anger, attraction, death, enchantment, infatuation, rejection and tenderness.

Verse 50: The Third Eye.      1

Your two long eyes, like two bees, sport sidelong glances to the ears, which are bent on drinking the honey from the bouquet of flower-poems of nine poetic sentiments from the devotee-poets. Seeing that, the third eye on your forehead is slightly red with jealousy.

The  nine poetic sentiments (Navarasam) are Sringaram1, Hasyam2, Karunam3, Raudram4, Viram5, Bhayankaram6, Bhibatsam7, Adbhutam8 and Santam9. (Love/Amour1, Mirth/Ridicule2, Compassion/Pathos3, Anger/Wrath4, Heroism/Valor5, Terror/Fear6, Disgust7, Wonder8, Tranquility/Composure9.

http://cyberkerala.com/kathakali/navarasam.htm    (Use Control+Click to follow a hyperlink above)

Verse 51. The Moods and the eyes of Mother

Your eyes melt with love upon seeing Siva; show loathness towards other men, anger towards Ganga, wonder upon hearing stories of Girisa (Siva) and fear on seeing the serpents of Hara (Siva); are the producers of SaubhAgya (beauty, grace) in lotuses; and smile at your friends. O Mother, let your eyes show compassion on me.

The Mother's expressive eyes show all these sentiments all at the same time. The expression is multivariate and appears to change depending upon the the object of her eyes.

Verse 52. More on  Mother's eyes

O Flower Bud, on the Family crest of Dhara Pathi (the Lord of the mountains). Your long eyes with eye lashes looking like the feathery arrows reach your ears, destroy the sentiment of tranquility of the mind of Siva and look like the arrows of Smara (Cupid) drawn up to the ear.

Verse 53. The three colors of Devi's Eyes: Red, white, Blue and Collyrium.

O beloved of Isana,  Your three eyes have three separate colors (Red, White and Blue) which in combination with collyrium shine. They represent the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) which you used to recreate the erstwhile Druhina, Hari and Rudra  (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra) who ceased to exist.

The three colors, Red, White, and Blue  represent Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas Gunas which are the euphemistic colors of Brahma , Vishnu, and Rudra based on their portfolios of Creation, Preservation and Destruction. Devi is the Creator, preserver and destroyer and the three gods are the surrogates who carry out Her bidding. The three gods come and go but Devi is eternal.

Verse 54. Three eyes of Mother are the three purifying purifying rivers.

O Mother, Your heart is devoted to Pasupathi (Siva). Your compassionate eyes, of the colors of red, white and black, resemble the holy Rivers Sona, Ganga and Yamuna, whose confluence you bring near us, it is certain, to purify us.  

Rivers Sona (of red color), Ganga (of white waters) and Yamuna (of dark [blue] waters) come to confluence to sanctify us.

Verse 55. Mother's eyes stay open to prevent dissolution of the world.

O daughter of the Royal Mountain, good men say that the world’s annihilation and creation come from closing and opening of your eyelids. To prevent his world, born from the opening of your eyes, from dissolution, I think you do not shut your eyes.

Verse 56. More eulogies of Mother's eyes.

O Aparna (Sakti), the female fish tremble and are afraid of bad-mouthing by your eyes against them. The Goddess of Beauty leaves the closed petals of blue water lily at daybreak and comes back again at night to the open petals of the lily.

The eyes are compared to female fish darting about in the waters and among the water lilies of the pond.  The fish are afraid and jealous of the fissures of the long eyes reaching the ears carrying tattletales about the fish. Sankara says that the long eyes where the outer canthus (outer corner) of the eyes reach the ears for the express purpose of telling tales to the ears.

Verse 57. Shine a beam of compassion on the devotee from Her Lotus Eyes.

O SivA (Sakti), by the far-sighted look of your eye, which is like a slightly open blue Lotus bathing me with compassion, the poor one becomes blessed, which is no loss to you, considering the Moon (light) falls on the forest and the palace.

The devotee (Sankara) addresses Mother Goddess as if he is far off, wretched, and wanting of Her compassion. She, of far sight, showers rays of compassion on a distant miserable devotee as a moon showers its beams on wilderness of forest (spiritual paucity) and the palace (of plethora of spirit).

Verse 58. Praise of the ridge between the eyes and the ears.

O Daughter of the Royal Mountain, who would not notice the Cupid’s bow with flower arrow on seeing the arched ridges between the ears and the eyes. The side-long glances going past the ridges and reaching Your ears give the impression of a fixed arrow (to the bow-string).

Verse 59. Face of Devi as the four-wheeled chariot of Manmatha: two earrings and two virtual wheels from the reflection of the earrings on the temples of Devi.

I think Your face with the reflection on your cheeks of the pair of earrings is the the four-wheeled Ratham (chariot) of Manmatha. The great warrior Mara (Manmatha) having seated on the chariot of Your face attacks the Lord of Pramathas armed with the Earth-Chariot with sun and moon as its two wheels.

Manmatha is Cupid and Pramathas are the attendants of Siva. Devi's face is so shiny it reflects the earrings on her face. Her face is the chariot with two earring-wheels and two virtual wheels from reflection. Siva's Chariot is the universe with sun and moon as its two wheels with a host of attendants.

Verse 60. Devi's speech excels the wave of nectar.

O Sarvani (Devi-Sakti), Sarasvati, imbibing Your beautiful speech, excelling the wave of nectar, by the cup of her ears continuously, replies in praise of its poetical charm by nodding of her head and jingling of her earrings.

Verse 61. Devi's Bamboo-like nose full of pearls.

O Flag of the House of Snowy Mountain, let your bamboo-like nose grant us the desired fruit. The innards of the bamboo are chock-full of pearls. From that abundance, one pearl, extruded by the cool exhalation of the left nostril, turned out to be the external nose ornament.

Verse 62. Devi's red lips and the Bimba fruit

62: O One with beautiful teeth. I speak of a simile to Your beautiful red lips. Let the Coral Creeper bear fruit. Bimba fruit out of its desire to serve as a comparison of the red color of Your lips ended up in shame because reflection of Devi’s red lips gave the fruit its color.

Verse 63. Chakora birds drink the splendor of the smile of the moon of Devi's face.

63: The Cakora birds drinking the splendor of the smile of the Moon of Your face became dull in the beak from satiation. They, on their own accord, wanting the taste of sour taste, drank to excess every night the wave of nectar, thinking it to be sour gruel.

Cakora Birds (mystical bird, Skylark) drink the nectar that flows from moonlight for sustenance. In like manner, Acharya drinks the rays (radiant smile) of the Moon of the face of Devi. Pretending to drink sour Kanji (¸ïº¢), which is rice-water, fights satiation with moon-light, so that one can keep on imbibing the moon-light

It also means gruel made of grains or cereal.

Sankaracharya addresses SivA (Sakti) and says in verse 57, 'the splendor of the Blue Lotus Eyes of Devi bathes him with compassion, as the splendor of moonlight bathes both the forest and the palace. Forest is euphemism for a jungle without spirit. Palace is a place chock-full of spirit.'

saroja-bhramara jena cakora-candrika tena
pati-brata stri-lokera pati
anyatra na cale mana jena daridrera dhana
ei-mata prema-bhakti-riti

As a bumblebee yearns for lotus flowers, a cakora bird yearns for moonlight, a chaste wife yearns for her husband, and a pauper yearns for money, a devotee yearns to attain love for the Divine Couple.


Verse 64. The tongue of Devi is of Hibiscus color.

64. O Mother, The hibiscus-colored tongue of yours constantly utters the many stories of your husband and thus becomes victorious. Seated on the tip of Your tongue is Sarasvati who changes from the brilliant crystal form to Ruby form.

Verse 65.

65. Mother likes to chew Tambula.

O Mother, after vanquishing the Daityas in battle, and rejecting the remnants of offerings of Siva as the share of Chanda after destruction of the three cities, Vishaka, Indra, and Upendra  came to You, shorn of helmets but retaining the armor, to receive from you and chew to dissolve the rolls of  Tambula with Moon-white fragments of camphor.

 Tambula is a delightful postprandial chew or mouth freshener made of betel-leaf, a daub of lime, catechu spread on the leaf, and a generous pinch each of areca nut, cardamom, cinnamon and a tad of edible camphor sprinkled on the daub; the whole thing is deftly packaged inside the leaf and fastened with a clove. It is ready for chewing, and stimulates salivation and flow of gastric juices. The ingredients leave the tongue and spit fiery red; one can swallow the juice; some prefer against city ordinance to spit the juice on the sidewalk creating red Rorschach inkblots (read spit-blots).  You can go to Jackson Heights, Queens, New York or Oak tree Road in Iselin, NJ to witness these Rorschach  fiery red blots made fresh on the sidewalks by the chewing public. It is the leading cause of sub-mucous fibrosis and oral cancer in India.  If you wonder what those black ovals and circles about the size of dimes, nickels and quarters are on famous sidewalks in  New York City, it is the blackened chewing gum.  On fifth avenue NY, you will see in front of famous stores a scraper scrapping the black bubble gum residues left by the gum-chewing public on the sidewalk.

Rorschach test

a test for revealing the underlying personality structure of an individual by the use of a standard series of 10 inkblot designs to which the subject responds by telling what image or emotion each design evokes.

If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood, you probably remember the classic western movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, where Clint Eastwood portraying a farmer spits his succulent tobacco juice on obnoxious living salesman stuffed in a white garb, dying bad dudes, pesky critters, surly dogs, and stinging scorpions with an attitude of supreme contempt, enduring insolence, fearlessness, annoyance, devil-what-may... His famous saying in the picture is, "Are you going to pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?" If you want to see Clint Eastwood spitting Tobacco Juice copy and paste: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0euplRrCJ60

Verse 66.The sweetness of Devi's voice outdoes the tones of Vina.

66. Devi, while nodding Her head in approbation and appreciation of the Sarasvati’s singing and playing on the Vina extolling the many glories of Pasupati (Siva), spoke; the sweetness of Your voice drowned the low tones of the strings of the Vina so much so that Vani puts it in its case and hides it out of sight.  

Vina = stringed instrument. Vani = Sarasvati.

67. Devi's Chin is eulogized.

67. O Daughter of the Mountain, Your chin is touched by Himavan with fatherly affection, while Girisa (Siva) raised it again and again with the intent to kiss. It is fit for being held by Sambhu’s hand, which becomes the handle of the mirror of Your face. In what way we can speak of Your chin which is beyond compare.

68. Mother's neck is praised.

Your neck appears in horripilation from the embrace of the arms of Siva, the destroyer of three cities and looks like stalk of the lotus- face. The row of naturally white pearls worn below appears soiled by copious black sandal paste and looks like the Lotus root laden and soiled by mud.

The poet-devotee Sanakara sees the neck's downy hairs stand on end, and the white pearls smeared with sandal paste applied over the chest and neck.

69. Mother's neck: the three lines.

Gale rekhaas tisro gati-gamaka-giitaika nipuNe
viraajante naanaa-vidha-madhura-raagaakara-bhuvaaM
trayaaNaaM graamaaNaaM sthiti-niyama-siimaana iva te --69

69. O Mistress of the musical modes, Gati, Gamaka and Gita are the three lines in your neck, which are reminder of the many-stranded thread tied at your wedding (by Your Consort), and also originate the three sweet musical notes.

The three musical notes are Sadja, Madhyama and Ghandara svarams. These three Ragas show themselves on the neck as three lines; the neck is the locus of larynx which articulates the Ragas.

There are 22 Srutis. They originate 7 Svara-s called SA, RI, GA, MA, PA, DHA, NI in that order, which are the abbreviations of Sadja, Rsabha, Gandhara, Madhyama, Pancama, Dhaivata, and Nisada, which are the cries of peacock, Cataka bird, goat, Kraunca bird, Cuckoo, frog, and elephant.

There are two Svar-s: Suddha (Pure) and Vikrta (modified or transformed). SA, RI, GA, MA, PA, DHA, AND NI are the Suddha Svara-s. Please refer to technical musical book for more information.


Gati, Gamaka and Gita: 


gamaka - a shake or oscillation of a note, also known as bending the pitch. It is a deliberate decoration of wavering of a note to add grace and beauty. There are over 10 types of gamaka, listed here

gati - the gait, or the number of subdivisions or swaras per beat. There are 5 types: tishra, catushra, kanDa, mishra, and sankeerna. It may also take 11, 8, etc. and is formed by taking the beat and multiplying by the number (ex: aadi taaLa in catushra gati is 8 times 4 = 32 beats). Not to be confused with naDai or jaati

geetam - an abhyaasa musical form or "song" considered the simplest musical form, created by Purandara Daasa in order to introduce taaLas in combination with lyrics. Geetams have no absolutely defined divisions of pallavi, anupallavi or caraNam though these may be observed in many cases. Geetams last 10-12 aavartnams from beginning to end with no break. They often have no sangatis, with each swara taking one syllable. Some geetams have sancaarams in mandrastaayi poorvaangam and taara staayi uttaraangam. Topics are usually on God. There are 3 types of geetams: sancaari or samanya, lakshana, and suladi.

madhyamam - ma, the 4th note, equivalent to fa in the Western do re mi system. There are two types of ma, shuddha madhyamam and prati madhyamam.


70. Mṝṇālī-mdvīnām tava bhuja-latānām catasṛṇām
saundaryam sarasija-bhava stauti vadanai .
samtrasyan prathama-mathanādandhaka-ripoś
ām śīrāām samamabhaya-hastārapaadhiyā .. 70

70. The lotus-born Brahma afraid of the nails of Siva which caused the destruction of the enemy Andhaka and sliced one of his heads, eulogizes with the remaining four heads your beautiful lotus stalk creeper-like hands so that he can ask simultaneously for  refuge from fear, and protection of his remaining four heads from Your four hands.

Andhaka meaning Blind, the demon was the son of Kasyapa and Diti and the epitome of spiritual blindness. Though he had good seeing eyes, he walked as if he was blind. During his attempt to steal the PArijAta tree (the Coral Tree) from Svarga, Siva killed him. Parijata tree is one of the five trees that emerged from the churned Milk Ocean. It gives off a scent that pervades the worlds. Saci, Indra's wife wears the famed flowers from the tree. Andhaka was caught red-handed stealing the tree and killed. While Krishna and Satyabhama were visiting Svarga, Satyabhama took a liking for the tree and Krishna uprooted and mounted the tree on Garuda, his Vahana. Krishna and Indra fought over the tree. Indra lost the battle and Krishna let him live. Indra as a token of appreciation offered to lease the tree for the duration of the life of Krishna in Dwaraka with the stipulation that the tree would be returned upon his earthly demise. The tree was returned to the rightful owner after Krishna's death. The leaves are trifoliate forming the Holy Triad: the left leaflet is Siva, the right Brahma and the middle Vishnu.

71. Devi's hands praised

Nakhānām uddyotair nava-nalina-rāgam vihasatām
 karāām te kāntim kathaya kathayāma katham Ume .
 kayācid vā sāmyam bhajatu kalayā hanta kamalam
 yadi krīḍal lakmī-caraa tala lākā-rasa-caam. 71..

71. O Goddess Uma, Tell us how we can describe the effulgence of your hands, lit up by the radiant nails, which excel the redness of the newly-blossomed lotus. Somehow these flowers can obtain some semblance to your nails, when their redness gets augmentation by contact with lac on the sole of the feet of Lakshmi.

72.Devi's Breasts are praised.

samam devi skanda dvipa-vadana pītam stana-yugam
 tavedam na
khedam haratu satatam prasnutamukham;
śak ākulita-hidayo hāsa-janaka
 sva-kumbhau heramba
parimṛśati hastena jhati .. 72..

72. O Devi, may your pair of breasts which are draining milk always, and which are simultaneously nursed by Skanda and Ganesa, drown our sorrows. Heramba, seeing your breasts, touches his own frontal bilobes with his hands, wonders whether they are there in place and draws laughter.

Heramba = Ganesa, her son

73. More praise of Devi's breasts.

amū te vakśojāv amṛitarasa-māṇikya-kutupau
 na samdeha-spando nagapatipatāke manasi naḥ;
 pibantau tau yasmād avidita vadhū saṅga-rasikau
 kumārāv adyāpi dvirada vadana krauñca-dalanau .. 73..

73. O the flag of the King of Mountains. We don't have one iota of doubt in our mind that your two breasts are Ruby-Jars filled with nectar. Having imbibed (from the Ruby-jars), the young boys, elephant-faced one and the Krauncha-piercing Kartikeya are to this day inexperienced in union with women.


Vahaty amba stamberama-danuja-kumbhaprakṛitibhiḥ
 samārabdhām muktā-maṇibhir amalām hāra-latikām;
 kucābhogo bimb’ādhara-rucibhir antaḥ śabalitām
 pratāpa vyāmishrām pura-damayituḥ kīrtim iva te .. 74

74. O Mother, On your breasts lie a necklace of pure pearls obtained from the head of Gajasura, which (the pearls) reflect in many colors your bimba-like red lips,  are red inside and are like the fame mixed with valor of the destroyer of three cities.


tava stanyam manye dharaṇi-dhara-kanye hṛidayataḥ
 payaḥ pārāvāraḥ parivahati sārasvata iva;
 dayāvatyā dattam dramila-śiśur  āsvādya tava yat
 kavīnām prauḍhānāmajani kamanīyaḥ kavayitā-- 75

75. O Daughter of the mountain, I think Your breast milk is the ocean of milk which flows in the nature of Sarasvati. Having imbibed it, which is full of compassion, the Dramila Child became the charming poet among the mighty ones.

Many commentators consider Tirujñānasambandhar (Tiru-jñāna-sambandhar) as the Dramila child that Sankara is referring to.

Thirgnanasambandar (TS) was a great Tamil saint-poet(643C.E. to 659A.D). When he was three years of age, his father left him on the steps of the temple tank for a ceremonial dip in the water. The child panicked and cried when he saw his father dip into the water and not come up. Soon Siva and Parvati appeared to him and Siva asked Parvati to give him the expressed milk from her breast for the crying child in a golden cup. The child stopped crying upon imbibing the milk; when the father came up to him and upon seeing a milk mustache on the child, he asked the child to show the person who gave the milk. He even wielded a stick in a threatening manner; in answer to his father's question he broke out in poem and recited a song at the tender age of three saying that the Milkman was wearing a rolled palmyra leaf ear ornament, was riding a bull, was wearing ashes on his body and a young moon on his locks, stole his heart... This song was interpreted in many ways. The milk that he imbibed was fortified with Sivagnanam or Siva's wisdom or gnosis. To the author (me), it appears that gnanam is cognate with gnosis. The ear ornament that the child saw was usually worn by Uma indicating that the child saw vision of Ardhanarisvara and the left ear of Uma. Ardhanarisvara is the Mother-Father figure --Ammai-Appan. TS was regarded as the son of Siva.

A commentator takes issue with others who call DRAMILA as DRAVIDA. He says that there was nothing like Dravida, Dravidian, Dravida country. Dramila is the name of Bharata-khAnda.  He further states that Dramila got corrupted to Dravida and later to DrAvida.

Most of the children (1-7 yrs of age) operate on Muladhara plane. They are worried about their immediate needs like eating, playing, sleeping, excretion, evacuation, possessing. It is not so with Sambandhar.

There are exceptional children: child prodigies in music, painting, arts, sciences, religion. These exceptional children operate at Ajna level. Thiru-Gnana-Sambandhar (643 C.E.- 659 C.E.) was a child-saint-poet-prophet and sang devotional songs at a tender age of three in praise of Siva and Parvati in Tamil.

Thodudaiya seviyan vidai-yerioor thoo-ven-mathi-soodi-k

Kaadudaiya-sudalai-p-podi-poosi en ullam Kavar kalvan

Edudaiya-malaraan munai-nal panintheththa arul-seitha

peedudaiya Brahmapuram meviya pemmaan ivan anre.

He, with an ear that has a rolled palm leaf (as an ear ornament), the Rider of bull (Nandi), the Wearer of pure white moon (in his locks),

The Wearer of hot ashes of cremation grounds, the Stealer of my heart, mind and soul (Ullam),

The One who bestowed grace on adoring Brahma seated on many-petalled lotus on a day in the past,

He, the Great God, abides in Brahmapuram of great fame.

You may wonder how a three year old can compose poetry. Here is an example of what I watched on TV.

TODAYShow.com contributor

updated 11:31 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 10, 2008

Elizabeth Barrett is to all appearances your standard 17-month-old girl, complete with wisps of gossamer hair so blond it’s almost white and the unsteady gait that is the definition of a toddler. As her parents and two other adults talk earnestly around her, she paws through a couple of large-format children’s books on a table, blissfully unaware of the conversation around her.

Then TODAY’s Ann Curry holds up a sheet of paper with the word “HAPPY” printed in big, block letters and asks Elizabeth to read it. She read it and identified many other words.

Verses 76- 83: The verses are becoming a little racy. Let us give it a rest and resume later.

Verse 84.  Mother's feet are praised.

84. O Mother, Your Feet form the head of the Vedas and their ornament. The Ganga River in the matted locks of Siva is the water-offering at your feet; the red lac of your feet offers the luster to the crown of Vishnu. May You out of compassion rest Your Feet on my head too.

85. More praise of Mother's feet

We say Namas (Salutations) to Your Feet, which are a delight to the eyes, which are painted by the brilliant lac, which kick the the Ashoka trees of Your pleasure garden, and by which, the jealous Isana of Pasus desires to be kicked.

Here Pasus are the individual souls and Isana is Pasupathi or the Lord of the souls. Barren Ashoka trees bear flowers, when they are kicked by auspicious Devi.  Siva, the consort of Siva, jealous of Ashoka trees, wants similar treatment from Devi in their love-sports.

86. Devi's Feet and Anklet are praised.

86. After calling You teasingly by wrong Gotram, Your husband hung His head in shame, at which moment Your two lotus feet touched His forehead. The enemy of Isana, having been burnt by the third eye of Siva and harboring the thorn of hostility inside him had it removed by jingling Your anklets, that made (onomatopoeic) sounds like kili kili.

Siva called Parvati, Ganga in a teasingly playful benign mood. Parvati and Ganga are His wives. In the fertile mind of Sankara, Siva calls Parvati, Ganga; realizing His mistake, He hangs His head low; Parvati as a reflex action kicks the head of Siva on the forehead at or near the third eye, which once upon a time incinerated the god of Love for awakening Him from Tapas and inducing the ambience of love for Parvati. KAma or Cupid has a festering anger towards Siva for reducing him to ashes. Cupid upon hearing the jingle of the anklets (kili kili) and seeing Parvati kick Him on the culpable third eye, breaks out and jumps for joy for extracting his vengeance on Siva. Kili kili is onomatopoeic sound of the anklets of Parvati.

The View from the West.

Pārvatī (Daughter of Parvata, the personification of Himalayas, and consort of Siva). The West is of the opinion that there were many goddesses and minor ones in the Hindu religious landscape, who later were absorbed into One Great Goddess Devi who has all the Saktis of all goddesses in Her. Parvati is Sakti Jagatmata, the World Mother and Prakrti. Her other names are Uma, Gauri, Syama, Candi, Bhairavi, Durga, Kali, Ambika. The West draws comparison with Egyptian goddess Isis who was identified with every goddess in Egypt. The Sumerian Mother-goddess was called the Lady of the Mountain. Goddesses in various cultures have some association with mountains, because a woman's frontals look like twin peaks of the mountain.


The story of Gotra and the Y Chromosome.

Parvati is Kula or Sakti and Siva is Akula. Gotra has other near synonyms: Santati, AnvanAya (lineage, Janana (race), Kula or SantAna (family) and Abhijana (descent). A man usually marries within his caste (JAti); in the South India, it is common that the man marries maternal uncle's daughter or older sister's daughter. There is Sapinda, the kinship through six generations in an ascending and descending line , or through a man's father. Sapinda is prohibited relationship as defined below.


Gotra means "Cow-pen or Cow-shed" and is of two kinds - Vaidika and Laukika Vaidika is according to the Vedic prescription and the Laukika is "mundane, worldly, common". In ancient times the extended family members shared one cowshed and therefore that name stuck.   Gotra is a family tree whose root can be traced to a common ancestor. Since  it is exogamous and patrilineal, it is  based on the Y chromosome.  The females claim the Gotra of  father, and of  husband after marriage. A man can not marry a woman of the same Gotra.  But a male can marry a woman of the same Gotra at least seven degrees removed from his father.  The Vaidika Gotra members trace their lineage from high priests and renowned  Rishis, namely  Bharadvaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Visvamitra, Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha (SaptaRishis) and more (Atharvan, Angiras, Bhrgu). Strictly speaking only Brahmanas can claim a  Gotra.  The Ksatriyas and others can not claim any such medallion or pendant, simply because they are not cognate to the original Brahmana Rishis and for that reason they are categorized in the laukika (mundane) variety. (Since the whole of India was sanskritized, other castes also adopted the Gotra.)  There were exceptions:  Visvamitra and Vasistha,  both Ksatriyas by birth performed tapas ( austerity) and were accepted as Brahmanas. Mundane Gotra members  are defined as non-cognate followers of  a succession of disciples of the original Priests and  Rishis.  There is no genetic or Y chromosome connection here between the mundane Gotra members and the original Progenitors listed above.  Y chromosome is transferred intact from father to son. The only way to resolve the dispute is to perform DNA analysis of Y Chromosome in males, and Mitochondrial DNA of all people and find out the common denominator or tree structure in Vaidika and Laukika Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. Additional benefit would be finding any strays among other castes who belong to Brahmana caste and strays who are Non-Brahmins among Brahmana caste by the strength of DNA analysis. It is a known finding that Brahmins by and large belong to Eurasian genetic pool and are closer to Europeans than to ancient aboriginal people of India. Ramanuja took in his fold a lot of Jains, Buddhists and non-Brahmins; genetically there is a mingling between the Brahmins of yore and the neo-Brahmins of post-Ramanuja period. The Brahmins are not as pure as one would think. There are apparent whites in USA who have sickle cell trait or even disease, though they have all the conventional features of white people. That means they have black heritage in them. Does it all mean anything? Claim of superiority by race, color or caste is for the weak, who has no other flotation device in this sea of Samsara; he or she clutches on the straw of race, color or caste to claim superiority in a roiling sea, where intellect, prudence, patience, tolerance, compassion, sense of justice, sympathy, and empathy are the flotation devices. Bigotry, arrogance, false sense of superiority, and inhumanity are the dead weights that sink the soul, body, and mind into the abyss of darkness.

87. Two beautiful feet.

O Mother, The lotus of your two feet are beautiful, manifest well on the snowy peaks at night and daybreak, bestows wealth to the Samayas, sleeps at night, and offers abode to Lakshmi, while the common lotus perishes in the snow. What is so wondrous about the triumph of Yours?

88. Devi's forefoot praised.

padaṁ te kīrtīnāṁ prapadamapadaṁ devi vipadāṁ
 kathaṁ nītam sadbhiḥ kaṭhina-kamaṭhī-karparatulāṁ .
 kathaṁ vā bāhubhyām upayamana-kāle purabhidā
 yadādāya nyastaṁ dṛ
adi daya-mānena manasā .. 88..

88. O Devi, How was it decided by the poets that Your forefoot, the abode of fame, amicability and auspiciousness is equal to the tortoise shell? How was it possible for Purabhida to take Your foot by His two arms and place it on the hard millstone with a compassionate mind?

The forefoot is compared to the hard tortoise shell. What made the poets compare the forefoot of woman to the tortoise shell? Devi's feet are soft, tender and compassionate and the comparison of Her feet to tortoise shell is ununderstandable.

Siva places Devi's forefoot with love and tenderness on the hard rock as part of the marriage ceremony, which is practiced even to this day. How could Siva put such a soft tender foot of Devi on a hard piece of rock?

Purabida is Siva the destroyer of three cities.

89. Devi's feet a source of wealth for the poor.

Nakhair nāka-strīNām kara-kamala-samkoca śaśibhis
 tarūṇām divyānāM hasata iva te caṇḍi caraṇau;
 phalāni svaḥ-sthebhyaḥ kisalaya-karāgreṇa dadatāM
 daridrebhyo bhadrām shriyam aniśam ahnāya dadatau || 89 ||

89. Your feet with moon-like nails make the celestial maidens close their lotus-like hands, give the poor wealth always instantly and laugh at the Kalpaka trees whose tender shoots give fruits only to the celestials by the tips of their hands.

Devi's toe nails are so brilliant and moon-like that the celestial maidens do not want to show their nails and so close the palms. Kalpaka trees in heavens fulfills all the desires of the celestials only and not the people on earth.

90. Sankara's desire to seek bliss at the feet of Devi.

dadāne dīnebhyaḥ śriyam aniśam āśānusadṛiśīm
 amandam saundarya-prakara-makarandam vikirati .
 tavāsmin mandāra-stabaka-subhage yātu caraṇe
 nimajjan majjīvaḥ karaṇa-caraṇaḥ śaṭ-caraṇatām. 90..


Your feet are a bouquet of Mandara flowers of beauty dripping honey and give wealth incessantly to the poor according to their desire. May my life with the six organs become the six-footed honey-bee swooping down on to your auspicious feet.

Sankara compares his soul with six organs to the six-footed honey-bee. Sankara wants to immerse himself in the honey of Bliss at the Lotus feet of Devi as a honey-bee would swoop into the flowers containing honey.

91. Devi's gait

Padanyāsa krīḍā paricayam iva-arabdhumanasaḥ
 skhalantas te khelam bhavana kalahamsā na jahati .
 atas teṣām sikṣām subhaga-maṇi mañjīra-raṇitac-
 chalād ācakṣāṇam caraṇa kamalam cārucarite .. 91..

91. O Goddess of beautiful life, the resident swans trip, yet do not give up pursuing You without remiss, and observe Your gait (watch you do the walk) , as if it is a sport. Your lotus feet under the pretext of jingling of the gem anklets give instructions and teach them (the fine art of beautiful gait).


92. Devi, the Goddess of gods.

92. Gatās te mañcatvam druhiṇa harirudr’ eshvara-bhṛitaḥ
 Śivaḥ svacchac-chāyā-ghaṭita-kapaṭa-pracchada-paṭaḥ .
 tvadīyānām bhāsām prati-phalana-rāg’āruṇatayā
 śarīrī śrṅgāro rasa iva dṛiśām dogdhi kutukam .. 92

92. Your surrogates Druhina, Hari and Rudra have assumed the shape of a cot (being its four legs to serve you), while Sadasiva white in color becoming the bed sheet appears red from the reflection of your color and presents Himself as the embodiment of love and joy to Your eyes.

Druhina = Brahma, Hari = Vishnu, Rudra = Siva. Sadasiva is the 3rd Sakti in the Suddha Tattvas. They all serve Devi.

Tripura Sundari (Devi) sits on a couch whose legs are Siva, Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra. In Tantra literature, there are five Sivas: Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma; all of them are described as Mahapreta ("Five Great corpses") because they are all inert without Sakti. Siva is Sava (corpse, Sava Rupa); hence, Sakti Devi (TPS) is portrayed as standing on Sava-Siva. (Remember the Maharaja standing on the tiger he killed! The British took up the sport by aping the Maharaja.) The Five Great Corpses (pancha-maha-preta or Pancha Mahapreta) become inanimate objects upon which Devi (Sodasi) sits, reclines, presides, and merges as Consciousness. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress or bed sheet; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi reclines majestically on the couch. (This picture shows that she is sitting on top of Siva on a couch whose legs are the four deities.)  In another portrayal, Devi is united with Paramasiva in the palace of Cintamani stone in the Jeweled island full of Kadamba trees surrounded by ocean of Ambrosia. (A source says that there are seven Sivas: Parasiva, Sambhu and the five Mahapretas.)


93. Devi's natural beauty.

Arālā keśeṣu prakṛiti saralā manda-hasite
 śirīṣābhā citte dṛṣad upala śobhā kuca-taṭe .
 bhṛisham tanvī madhye pṛithur urasija aroha viṣaye
 jagat trātum śambhor jayati karṇā kācid aruṇā. 93

93. The incomparable compassion of Sambhu, Aruna to safeguard the world excels in curliness of locks, natural candid smile, Sirisa flower-soft mind, gem-hard slope of breasts, extremely slender waist, and generous wide bosom and hips.

94. The moon is the Vanity Chest of Mother.

kalaṅkaḥ kastūrī rajani kara bimbam jalamayam
 kalābhiḥ karpūrair marakatakaraṇḍam nibiḍitam.
 atas tvadbhogena pratidinamidam riktakuharam
 vidhirbhūyo bhūyo nibiḍayati nūnaṁ tava kṛite --94

94. The stain on the face of the moon is musk; the orb of the moon is an emerald vessel with water and fragments of camphor. As the vessel is emptied by Your use, Brahma replenishes it everyday again and again for You (with the digits of the waxing moon).

The moon is the Vanity Chest for Devi to keep toilet articles, which as they are used are replenished by Brahma. The fragments of camphor in the watery moon are the digits of the moon. As Devi uses the camphor (digits), Brahma keeps replenishing the Vanity Chest. Waning moon is exhausting the vanity chest by Devi and waxing is replenishing the chest by Brahma.

A source says that Kali is associated with the waning tithis (digits) of the moon, while Sodasi is associated with the waxing digits of the moon. Amavasya (new moon) goes with Kali while Sodasi goes with Purnima (Full moon).  Full moon of Sodasi is full knowledge; Kali's new moon is transcendence of all knowledge; thus, Kali and Sodasi complement each other. (Kali and Sodasi are names of Devi.)

It is Kadi Mantra or Vidya because the first letter is K or Ka; Hadi Mantra starts with Ha or H. The fifteen syllables refer to the 15 digits of the moon. The 16th syllable is Goddess Herself.

The names of the tithis (digits) are 1. Prathama (new moon), 2. Dvitiya, 3. Tritiya, 4. Chaturthi, 5. Panchami, 6. Shashthi, 7. Saptami, 8. Ashtami, 9. Navami, 10. Dashami, 11. Ekadashi, 12. Dvadashi, 13. Trayodashi, 14. Chaturdashi, and lastly either 15. Purnima (full moon) or 15. Amavasya (new moon). The sixteen-petal lotus represents the 16 tithis  or digits of the moon on the bright and the dark side.  AmAvAsyA = (amA = together + Vas = to dwell)  = The night of the new moon when the sun and the moon dwell together.

The 16 Tithis are under the rule of 16 Nitya Devis or Sodasa Nityas (So + dasa = 6 plus 10): 1.Maha Tripura Sundari, 2.Kamesvari, 3.Bhagamalini, 4.Nityaklinna, 5.Bherunda, 6.Vanhivasini, 7.Maha Vajresvari, 8.Shivadooti (Roudri), 9.Twarita, 10.Kulasundari, 11.Nitya, 12.Neelapataka, 13.Vijaya, 14.Sarvamangala, 15.Jwalamalini and 16.Chidroopa (Chitra). Maha Tripura Sundari (Devi) is Maha Sakti, the ruler of all and therefore is not visible to the eye.  Purnima Moon contains all Nityas conferring the splendor and brightness to the Moon. As the moon wanes, one Nitya leaves the moon for the sun and so on until all Nityas have left for the sun and the moon disappears completely on Amavasya, the new Moon day.  Amāvāsya = the day when the sun and the moon dwell together. The Nityas one by one return to the Moon and make it wax again and shine brighter and brighter. Krishna Paksa = dark side of the moon; waning moon; dark side does not mean the geographical dark side of the moon that is not seen by the human eye. The first one to leave the moon is Kamesvari and the last one Chitra; the first one to arrive at the moon is Chitra and the last one Kamesvari.  Nitya  = the Eternal One.

Go to Comments on Verse 32 for details on Kadi and Hadi mantras

Kadi Mantra (Kamaraja Mantra)

Chanting of the thousand-syllabled Mantra (Sahasraksari Vidya) accompanies worship of the deity and offering of fistful of flowers (Puspanjali); worship concludes with the Kadi Mantra Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim; Ka-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim; Sa-Ka-La-Hrim, (Aim, Klim, Sauh, Klim, Aim, Srim). The 1000-syllabled Mantra consists of power-epithets, Siddhis, Nityas and Kadi Mantra of Lalita. The Guru offers flowers to the disciple who offers them to the deity. Of all the Vidya mantras, Kadi Mantra (starting with K) and Hadi Mantra starting with H are the most efficacious.

    The chief deity in the Kadi tradition is Sri-Lalita-Maha-Tripura-Sundari (TPS) or Raja-Rajeswari, whose Mantra is Kamaraja Vidya.  TPS goes by several names: Lopamudra, Mahendri, Nandini, Lakshanavati, Kameshvari, Dakshina.

    Each epithet carries one or more meanings. She is Kameshvari because she exudes beauty, grace, and has exquisite body parts from top to toes (which are described in some details).  Here Kama means Creative Will. All this explains why it is called Kamaraja Mantra. She is the source of one of the Purushartas, Kama. Others are Dharma, Artha and Moksa.

    TPS is invoked in three Kutas or peaks (Vaghbava, Kamaraja, and Sakti.

Vaghbahava is Jnana (Spiritual knowledge- goddess Sarasvati) Sakti that confers liberation to the embodied soul; Kamaraja is the Kriya Sakti (Action--Durga); Sakti is Iccha Sakti (Will--Lakshmi).

Vak, Kama and Sakti Kutas form the body of the Mother from the crown to the neck, neck to the hips, and hips to the toes respectively.

Body parts of Mother Goddess and the corresponding Kutas

Vak Kuta

From the crown to the neck

KAma Kuta

From the neck to the hips

Sakti Kuta

From the hips to the toes

    Kamaraja Vidya (mantra). Kamaraja is personified as Devi (Tripurasundari--TPS), adored by  Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra of three Gunas; She is the desire of Siva; She abides in three Bindus; She manifests the universe. She (Yantra) has three circles and three angles meaning that her feminine nature is represented as an inverted triangle. Her Mantra is the three-syllable KLIM (Ka + La with m terminator). He who hears Bija with  Ka and La attains salvation. the letter "I" refers to Kamakala in Turiya state. She is Triads Galore: Her Bindus point to Iccha, Jnana anbd Kriya ( Will or desire, Knowledge, and Action). She is Moon, Fire and Sun. She creates Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra; She is the three-city beauty; She is Tripura because she dwells in three Nadis, Susumna, Pingala and Ida; She is the repository of three Saktis; three colors (white, red and mixed); three gunas (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas); "three feet"-- white Samvit, Supreme Consciousness without any stain; red ParAhamta, Supreme individuality, the Vrtti the first manifestation from Samvit; and a mixed entity of the previous two meaning 'I' associated with white, red and mixed colors. The term 'I' (Aham) points to Goddess as Indu (white), Supreme Individuality as red Agni and Ravi as Mixed.  These are the Carana TrItaya (feet three = three feet). Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra are born from the letter A U M.  Three syllables of Her Mantra KLIM are the three divisions of Panchadasi: Vagbhava, Kamaraja, and Sakti Kutas. Ka is the Bija of KAmini, the aspect of Tripurasundari in Muladhara Chakra. The three lines (Triangle) in Muladhara are the Sthula aspect of the Susksma Sakti, Kamakala in Sahasrara Chakra. Man has this threefold Sakti in him in a limited fashion; thus he should worship Her. This worship will liberate him from the ocean of Samsara.

Three Bindus are Her body; Moon, Fire and Sun.  Below is a diagram of  (TPS) KAmakalA's body parts and meditation. Her face is meditated upon as Brahma; the breasts as the two Devatas (Hari and Hara), and the genitals as Cit-kala. Imagine that Her body from genitals to the toes is born from KAma. She is adorned with jewels and dress and adored by the three Devatas. Meditation upon the goddess with Samarasya (equal feeling, one with) frees one from Samsara (cycle of birth and rebirth in the world of misery). MahaTripuraSundari inseparable from Kamesvara is the aggregate of Bindus and KAmakalA. The single Bindu at the top is Her Face the Sun and also Brahma; the pair of Bindus below are her two breasts (Moon and Fire, also Hari and Hara) and also Prakasa and Vimarsa. The three folds are marks of beauty. The inverted Triangle is Her Yoni (womb). Nada that emerges from Her is the origin of all letters, words, phrases, and objects (the World of letters and objects). A Letter or Word is Brahman and the Object it denotes is Brahman. She is repository of three Bindus. TriPuraSundari =  (Tri = Three Bindus, Sun, Moon and Fire) + (City) + (Beauty). It also means Three-City-Beauty.  Hari and Hara: He who destroys (harati) all grief and sin. Hari is Vishnu and Hara is Rudra

Meditate in Citkala, and Bindus of TPS. The Sadhaka should think that his own body is like that of Kamakala. The sixteen years old TPS emanates light equal to millions of suns shining on every part of the universe. The upper Bindu gives rise to Her head, neck and throat and indicates Brahma with Rajas Guna. The two lower Bindus give rise to Her body consisting of Her body, two breasts (referring to Hari and Hara--Sattvic Vishnu and Tamasic Rudra), the three abdominal beauty folds. KAma gives rise to Her genitals, hips, thighs, legs and feet. Mediate on all parts of Her body. They who worship her in her body with equal feeling (SAmarasya) are cured of the poison of transmigratory ocean of Samsara.

95. Sanctity of Devi's Feet.

purārāte-rantaḥ-puram asi tatas tvac-caraṇayoḥ
 saparyā-maryādā tarala-karaṇānām asulabhā .
 tathā hy’ete nītaāḥ śatamakha-mukhāḥ siddhim atulām
 tava dvār’opānta sthitibhir aṇim’ādābhir amarāḥ .. 95

95. You abide in the inner quarters of the Destroyer of three cities; worshiping you at Your Feet in nearness to You is not easy for the ones with unsteady libidinous mind. All celestials with Satamakha (Indra) as their head attain inimitable superhuman Siddhis like anima, which serve as gatekeepers (and keep them away from your inner quarters).

Only very close relatives are allowed into the inner living quarters. In like manner, only very Pure Devotees are allowed to worship at the feet of Devi in proximity to her, meaning perfected Yogis only attain Sahasrara Chakra. Celestials and their head have superhuman Siddhis like Anima, Mahima and the rest, which serve as gatekeepers preventing them to worship at the feet of Devi in close proximity. The Siddhis (the psychic powers) are not a license or an admission ticket into inner quarters. They are not equal to the Devotees of Devi. Indra and other gods come and go; Devi remains for ever.

96. Supreme Chastity of Devi.

kalatram vaidhātram kati kati bhajante na kavayaḥ
 śriyo devyāh ko vā na bhavati patiḥ kairapi dhanaiḥ;
 mahādevam hitvā tava sati satīnām acarame
 kucābhyāmm āsaṇgaḥ kuravaka-taror apy asulabhaḥ -- 96

Don't many poets serve the wife of Vidhata (Brahma)? Who does not become the the Lord of the goddess of wealth with some kind of wealth? O Sati, the First among Chaste Women, except Mahadeva, no one, not even the Kurvaka tree, enjoyed embrace of  your breasts.

Kurvaka Tree (Henna Tree, BimbijAla tree) blossoms out in florid exuberance only upon embrace of a beautiful women. The poet brings out the supreme chastity of Parvati by saying that not even the Kurvaka tree experienced an embrace from Parvati. Sankara contrasts Sati's Chastity with that of Sarasvati and Lakshmi by saying anyone can become the Lord of Learning or Wealth. The implication is that learning and wealth have many suitors and husbands.

97. Devi is All.

girām āhur devīm druhiṇa-gṛihiṇīm āgamavido
 hareḥ patnīm padmām harasahacārīm adri-tanayām.
 turīyā kāpi tvam duradhigama-niḥsīma-mahimā
 mahāmāyā vishvam bhramayasi parabrahma mahişi. 97

97. O Parabrahma Mahisi, The knowers of Agamas call you goddess of speech (Sarasvati), the wife of Hari, and the wife of Hara, the daughter of the mountain. You are the Fourth One, the Mahamaya, the one who makes the universe revolve, and the unattainable.

  98. Sankara pleads with Devi to inculcate facile poetry in him.

कदा काले मातः कथय कलित् आलतालक्तकरसं

पिबेयं विद्यार्थी तव चरण-निर्णेजन-जलम्

प्रृत्या मूकानामपि च कविता-कारणतया

यदा धत्ते वाणी-मुख-कमल-ताम्बूल-रसताम्

kadā kāle mātaḥ kathaya kalit’ ālaktaka-rasam
 pibeyam vidyārthī tava caraṇa-nirṇejana-jalam;
 prakṛtyā mūkānām api ca kavitā-kāraṇatayā
 yadā dhatte vāṇī-mukha-kamala-tāmbūla-rasatām-- 98

O Mother, tell me at what time I, the seeker of knowledge, will imbibe the lac-laced red ablution water of your feet, which being the cause of poetry even in a naturally dumb person, is similar to betel leaf and areca nut juice of the lotus face Vani? When will it be granted (the boon so that poetry flows out of my mouth like lac-laced red water)?


98. Sankara pleads with Devi to inculcate facile poetry in him.

कदा काले मातः कथय कलित् आलतालक्तकरसं

पिबेयं विद्यार्थी तव चरण-निर्णेजन-जलम्

प्रृत्या मूकानामपि च कविता-कारणतया

यदा धत्ते वाणी-मुख-कमल-ताम्बूल-रसताम्

kadā kāle mātaḥ kathaya kalit’ ālaktaka-rasam
 pibeyam vidyārthī tava caraṇa-nirṇejana-jalam;
 prakṛtyā mūkānām api ca kavitā-kāraṇatayā
 yadā dhatte vāṇī-mukha-kamala-tāmbūla-rasatām-- 98

O Mother, tell me at what time I, the seeker of knowledge, will imbibe the lac-laced red ablution water of your feet, which being the cause of poetry even in a naturally dumb person, is similar to betel leaf and areca nut juice of the lotus face Vani? When will it be granted (the boon so that poetry flows out of my mouth like lac-laced red water)?

There are several legends associated with this verse. One legend says that a dumb devotee became a great poet just by drinking the lac-laced red ablution water of Devi's feet at the temple.

Adi Sankara is believed to 
have composed Saundarya 
Lahari in Mookambika Temple.

 Sankara is purported to have concocted a special Prasada-Tirtham (KashAya Tirtham) made of  Water, Cardamom, Ginger, Jaggari, Lavangam, Pepper, and Tippali.

The famous Mookambika (Mūkāmbikā) Temple is on the banks of the river Sauparnika in Kollur, about 135 Kms from Mangalore and 80 Kms from Udupi, in the valley of Kodachadri peak of Western Ghats in south India.  The temple is dedicated to Mookambika in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Sakthi. The Linga is famed in having a golden streak (Suvarna Rekha) across its face vertically, the left part larger than the right representing the inseparability of Siva and Sakti. Goddess Parvati, Lakshmi and Saravati form the larger left side and Siva, Vishnu and Brahma form the right side. (Think of Ardhanarisvara.) The Panchaloha image (five-element metal) of the Goddess on Sri Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi Sankaracharya during his visit to this place. The Lingam with golden streak is in front of the idol of Devi, the Mother Goddess, who assumes the Padmasana pose with three eyes and four arms, two posterior hands holding Discus and Conch and the anterior hands granting Abhaya and Varada Mudras. In the shrine near the main image are those of Mahakali and Sarasvati. Sankara sat on a stone slab for meditation in the temple. That slab called Sankara Peetha is still there . There is room near the sanctum  enshrining the Sankara Simhasanam which is regarded as the very spot where he meditated and had a vision of Mūkāmbikā, who is regarded as a manifestation of Sakti, Sarasvathi and Mahalakshmi.

Adi Sankara is beleived to have composed Soundarya Lahari in Mookambika Temple.

The Hindu Newspaper reports the following:

The Mookambika Temple was established by Shankaracharya. Legend has it that a "Jyotiralinga" appeared here when sage Kola-Maharishi was doing penance. When Shanakaracharya learnt about that, he went to Kollur and worshipped Adishakti. The goddess appeared before him and ordered him to get her statue installed beside the "Jyotirlinga."

Shankaracharya then had the statue sculpted in the form in which he had seen the goddess. He also ordained that prayers should be offered daily to the goddess. The architecture of the temple dates back to the times of Keladi Nayakas, a fact testified by inscriptions.

There was once an Asura (Demon) known as Kaumasura who, on the strength of a boon from Siva, was oppressing the Suras (gods), who went into hiding. Guru Sukracharya, the Preceptor, the High Priest and Martial Arts Guru of the Demons foretold the future that the Demon king would be a victim of death by a woman. Kaumasura prayed to Siva. Before he could articulate and ask for a boon, Vagdevi (goddess of speech, Sarasvati) renders him speechless. (He was rendered incapable of spoken, written and sign language.) Because of his lack of expression and communication, he could not get his boon from Siva and was called Mookasura (Dumb Asura).  Kola Rishi appealed to Sarasvati for help. She put together the power of all gods and created a Supreme Power in the form of a female deity, who brought down the Demon once for all and granted him salvation. From that day the goddess was called Mookambika granting boons to Her devotees.  Sridevi abides here in Padmasana pose.  Sanakaracharya had vision of Mookambika and installed the deity in Kollur. He installed Sri Chakra with Mookambika sitting on top of it. In front of the Srichakra-Mookambika idol sits a Lingam with Kali (Parvati) and Sarasvati flanking Mookambika.

In the temple, Sankara had a vision of Devi and thus earned a special sanctum for himself. India-born Muslim ruler Tippu Sultan (1750-1799) paid a visit and offered Salam to Devi during Pradosha (evening) Puja and in his honor Pradosha Puja (aka Salam Mangalarthi) is conducted to this day. Muslims visit the temple on a particular day for Devi Darshana. Many families with hearing-, speech-, and vision-impaired children visit, make vow and pray to Devi at the temple for correction of the defects.


Verse 99. Jivan Mukti: Liberation while living on earth.

सरस्वत्या लक्षम्या विधि-हरि-सपत्नो विहरते

रतेः पातिव्रत्यमं शिथिलयति रम्येण वपुषा ।

चिरं जीवन्न् एव क्षपित-पशु-पाश-व्यतिकरः

परानन्दाभिख्यं रसयति रसं त्वद्भजनवान्  99.

99.sarasvatyā lakşmyā vidhi-hari-sapatno viharate
 rateḥ pātivratyam śithilayati ramyeṇa vapuşā;
 ciram jīvann eva kşapita-paśu-pāśa-vyatikaraḥ
 parā’nand’ābhikhyam rasayati rasam tvad bhajanavān .. 99.

Your worshipper sports with Sarasvati and Lakshmi and invites jealousy of their consorts, Vidhi (Brahma) and Hari (Vishnu). With a beautiful body, your worshipper diminishes the chastity of Rati. By eternal life and shattering the bonds of spiritual ignorance of the soul, he enjoys the Supreme Bliss. 99


Verse 99. Jivan Mukti: Liberation while living on earth.

सरस्वत्या लक्षम्या विधि-हरि-सपत्नो विहरते

रतेः पातिव्रत्यमं शिथिलयति रम्येण वपुषा ।

चिरं जीवन्न् एव क्षपित-पशु-पाश-व्यतिकरः

परानन्दाभिख्यं रसयति रसं त्वद्भजनवान्  99.

99.sarasvatyā lakşmyā vidhi-hari-sapatno viharate
 rateḥ pātivratyam śithilayati ramyeṇa vapuşā;
 ciram jīvann eva kşapita-paśu-pāśa-vyatikaraḥ
 parā’nand’ābhikhyam rasayati rasam tvad bhajanavān .. 99.

The worshipper of you sports with Sarasvati and Lakshmi and invites jealousy of their consorts, Vidhi (Brahma) and Hari (Vishnu). With a beautiful body, your worshipper diminishes the chastity of Rati. By eternal life and shattering the bonds of spiritual ignorance of the soul, he enjoys the Supreme Bliss. 99

Comment: Sporting with Sarasvati is becoming a learned man in sacred texts. Sporting with Lakshmi is enjoying wealth. Both acts invite jealousy from their respective consorts. Inviting attention from Rati married to KAma the god of love, the worshipper of Devi with a beautiful body diminishes Rati's chastity.


100. The universe and All are Hers



स्वकीयैरम्भोभिः  सलिल-निधि-सौहित्यकरणं

त्वदीयाभि-र्वावाग्भि-स्तव जननि वाचां स्तुतिरियम् ।।100।।

100. pradīpa-jvālābhir-divasa-kara-nīrājana-vidhiḥ
 sudhā-sūteś candropala-jala-lavair arghya-racanā .
 svakīyair ambhobhiḥ salila-nidhi-sauhitya-karaṇam
 tvadīyābhir vāgbhis tava janani vācām stutir-iyam. 100

100. O Creator and Sculptor of words, the words of this hymn of praise are your words. It is like oblation of the flame of a lamp to the sun, the oblation of water from the moonstone to the moon, and the oblation of his own waters to the ocean.


100. O Creator and Sculptor of words, the words of this hymn of praise are your words. It is like oblation of the flame of a lamp to the sun, the oblation of water from the moonstone to the moon, and the oblation of his own waters to the ocean.

Sivanandalahari. Condensed presentation.

1. Dedication to the devotees of Siva and Sakti.

2. Sambhu the grantor of happiness.

3. Siva, known by the three Vedas, is the first, the foremost and the destroyer of three cities.

4. I seek the Lotus-like feet of Siva, who though close to the Holy Triad, is difficult of access.

5. I am a total ignoramus . Please protect me and shower mercy on me.

6.Waste no time on  empty talk which does not save you from death. Worship the feet of Sambhu.

7. Let my mind, speech, hands, ears, and eyes dwell on you. No book can match them.

8. Other gods are unlike Sambhu. Shell is not silver. Glass is not gem, water and flour are not milk, and mirage is not water. Worship only Sambhu.

9. Look not for a flower in the deep dark lake, perilous forest, and tall mountains. Offer the flower of your own mind to the God whose consort is Uma.

8. Other gods are unlike Sambhu. Shell is not silver. Glass is not gem, water and flour are not milk, mirage is not water. Worship only Sambhu.

9. Look not for a flower in the deep dark lake, perilous forest, and tall mountains. Offer the flower of your own mind to the God whose consort is Uma

10. Meditate on His lotus feet with waves of Supreme Bliss, whatever your form is: god, man, animal, bird, insect or worm.  

11. Keep His Lotus Heart in your hold and become His, to carry the load of life whether you are a Brahmacharin, family man, recluse with matted hair or whatever else.

12. If your mind rests on the feet of Sambhu, it is Yoga and you are Yogi, whether you live in the cave, house, forest, mountain, water or fire.

13. This world is too fast for meditation. I am too poor, blind and foolish to deserve your mercy. Who else is there in these three worlds to give me refuge?

14. The poor me is your relation. Forgive my sins. The refuge has to come from you to a relation like me.

15. O Lord, You show no interest in me. You have not wiped clean the letters of fate written on my head, which renders me incapable of meditation on You. I am brimming with vile desires. You keep telling me that you cannot change the script on my head and yet you sliced off the head of the Creator Brahma by mere fingernails of yours.

16. Under your protection are the remaining four heads of Brahma, who scribed the penury on my head. Your tender glance and goodness to the poor grant me protection.  

17. Your feet are concealed by heads of the galaxy of gods offering worship to You.  O Swamy, how could I see Your feet though You are all-pervasive and compassionate and I am full of merits?

18. You are the only one who can grant the Supreme Fruit (liberation) to man. Vishnu, your principal appointee in divine position, worships you constantly. O Siva, considering your kindness and my desire, when will your look of compassion grant me protection?

19. The cycle of life in this world full of evil desire lands one at the door of the abode of harm and pain of the evil master. Why do you not erase my fatigue? Tell me who gets its (life's) favor?

20. My mind saunters through the woods of Moha (delusion), dances on the bosom of damsels, and meanders on the branches of desire at will on all sides. O Kapali,  O Bhiksu, bind my erratic monkey-like heart with (the tie of) devotion. O Siva, O Vibhu,  render my mind servile to you.

21.  O Smarari,  (I have) come with Sakti to the heart, the tent of spotless white cloth, the firm pole tied by the rope of steadiness and motion and the lotus-shaped beauty, which is placed on the path of Sanmarga and worshipped by Siva Ganas. O Swami, O Vibhu, may you be triumphant.

Comment: Smarari is Siva the enemy of Cupid because he ruined the meditation of Siva.  Sanmarga is the path of Virtue. Ganas are the attendants of Siva. This verse talks about the Anahata Chakra (Heart Lotus) of Kundalini Yoga. The ties are the Nadis. The Nadis are steady and exhibit motion and pulsation in the sense that Prana runs through them. Naturally the heart is lotus-shaped. It is on the ascendant pathway of the Yogi and Kundalini, as they ascend to Vishuddha and Ajna Chakras and onto Sahasrara Lotus.

22. My mind through avarice, bent on stealing another’s wealth, enters the home of the wealthy, O Taskarapati (the Lord of thieves). How would I ever put up with this mind, the stealer of heart, O Sankara who grants happiness? O Vibhu (the all-pervasive One),  make my mind servile to You and bestow compassion on this Niraparadhi (the innocent one).

23. O Vibhu, I worship You. Be the grantor of happiness to me. Confer on me the Vibhitvam or Vishnutvam (the portfolio of Brahma or Vishnu) as the fruit of my worship. I would fly like a bird or dig deep into the earth as an animal in order to see You again. How will I bear this sorrow, O Sankara, the grantor of happiness.

This verse is a reference to the appearance of Siva in the form of Fiery Lingam whose ends span the bowels of the earth and the vault of the sky. Brahma and Vishnu were arguing with each other as to the superiority of one over the other. That is when Siva appeared as the Fiery Lingam to prove the point that He is unfathomable and superior to both. Vishnu assumed the form a Boar and dug deep into the earth to find the lower end of the Lingam, while Brahma assumed the form of a swan and flew up to find the upper end of the Lingam. Both failed to find the ends and accepted defeat and supremacy of Siva.

24. When will I be living with Your Ganas in the Kailasa mountains in the gem-studded golden mansion of Yours with my palms together in salutation above my head before You, Sambhu?  O Vibhu, O Paramasiva, I cry in bliss and spend the Kalpa of Brahma as if it is a moment, O swami who stays with the mother.



One will develop love and devotion for Lord Siva if he is freed from egoism. Chariyai,

Kiriyai, Yoga and Jnana are the four Sadhanas or steps to kill egoism and attain Lord Siva.

Chariyai: The worship of the all-pervading, eternal Supreme Being through external forms, is called Chariyai. The requisite initiation for this, is Samaya Diksha. Erecting temples, cleaning them, making garlands of flowers, singing Lord’s praises, burning lamps in the temples, making flower gardens constitute Chariyai.

Tamil Lexicon: Chariyai = சரியை: (Šaiva.) First of the four-fold means of attaining salvation, which consists in worshipping God-in-form in a temple.


Kiriyai is to perform Puja, Archanas. The worship of the cosmic form of the Eternal Ruler of the universe externally and internally, is called Kiriyai. For Kiriyai and Yoga, the requisite initiation is called Visesha Diksha.

Tamil Lexicon: கிரியை:1. Act, action, deed; செய்கை. 2. (Šaiva.) Second of the four-fold means of attaining salvation, which consists in worshipping Šiva with rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Āgamas.


Yoga is restraint of the senses and contemplation on the internal light. The internal worship of Him as formless, is called Yoga. For Kiriyai and Yoga, the requisite initiation is called Visesha Diksha.

Tamil Lexicon: Yogam = யோகம் = Path of yoga which consists in the mental worship of Šiva in His subtler Form.


Jnana is to understand the true significance of Pati, Pasu, Pasa and to become one with Siva by constant meditation on Him after removing the three Malas, viz., Anava (egoism), Karma (action) and Maya (illusion). The direct realisation of Lord Siva through Jnana Guru, is called Jnana. The initiation that leads to it, is called Nirvana Diksha.

Tamil Lexicon: Jnanam = ஞானம். Path of wisdom which consists in the realization of God as transcending form.

























Sivanandalahari (1-100 Verses)



Veeraswamy Krishnaraj.  

  Free download


The above file has all 18 chapters of Bhagavadgita in Sanskrit, Transliteration, colorized words for easy identification, word 4 word translation, superscription of words, rearrangement of words in a readable form in English. 



 Sample Verse


अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः ।

दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ॥१६- १॥

śrībhagavān uvāca: abhayaṁ sattvasaṁśuddhir jñānayogavyavasthitiḥ
dānaṁ damaś ca yajñaś ca svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam 16.1

śrībhagavān uvāca: abhayam1 sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ2 jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ3
dānam4 damaḥ5 ca6 yajñaḥ7 ca8 svādhyāyaḥ9 tapaḥ10 ārjavam10 16.1

śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: abhayam1 = fearlessness; sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ2 = purity of the mind; jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ3  = steadiness in Yoga of knowledge; dānam4 = charity; damaḥ5 = self-control [of organs]; ca6 = and; yajñaḥ7 = sacrifices; ca8 = and; svādhyāyaḥ9 = study of the scriptures; tapaḥ10 = austerity; ārjavam10 = rectitude... 16.1 continued.

16.1:  Sri Bhagavan said: Fearlessness, purity of mind, steadiness in yoga of knowledge, charity, self-control, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, rectitude,  (continued)...