गिरामाहु-र्देवीं द्रुहिणगृहिणी-मागमविदो
हरेः पत्नीं पद्मां हरसहचरी-मद्रितनयाम् ।
तुरीया कापि त्वं दुरधिगम-निस्सीम-महिमा
महामाया विश्वं भ्रमयसि परब्रह्ममहिषि


giram ahur devim druhina grihinim agama vido
hareh patnim padmam harasahacarim adritanayam
turiya kapi tvam duradhigama nissima mahima
mahamaya visvam bhramasayi parabrahma mahisi
As the Goddess of the Word, Veda-knowers speak of You as Brahma's wife;
Lakshmi is Vishnu's wedded one,
and the Mountain Daughter is Shiva's consort;
Certain others as the unattainable and boundless fourth state refer to You;
While you remain as the great Maya, making the universe go round, as Queen of the Ultimate Absolute.
Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati again figure in Verse 97, as the consorts of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This is the conventional way of treating the three Goddesses. There are also the philosophically-minded people referred to in the third line, who do not resort to mythological language, but understand the Goddess as representing the turiya or “fourth state” of consciousness, as clearly distinguished in the “Mandukya Upanishad”. Sankara is not in favour of any of these four possible alternatives, although he mentions them here in a preliminary fashion as representing the opinions of others. He prefers to call the Goddess a principle of indeterminism in the most comprehensive and overall sense, as understood in the context of brahmavidya (the Science of the Absolute), of which the notion of Maya is a normal corollary.
We could easily see why the mythological or theological view of the Goddess here does not please Sankara. However, as Sankara is a philosopher attached to the Upanishadic view contained in the “Mandukya Upanishad”, one would expect the above reference to turiya to be compatible with his philosophy, and thus deserve his approval. Even this is not so, as Sankara himself states clearly in the last line. The Goddess here is not an idealized transcendental picture presented in a too abstract and generalized form, as the notion of turiya, though such a picture would not come into conflict with the true nature of the Absolute in a more positive sense. In the context of the present work, where it is the negative perspective of the same brahman (Absolute) that can reveal the significant content of Beauty, in relation to which (as a central norm of reference at least) these verses have been composed, consistency would require that we view the status of the Goddess here in a perspective that is more ontologically than teleologically biased.
The “fourth state” would apply more aptly to Shiva whose status, being conceptual, tends to be less real. The content of the Absolute would evaporate into nothingness if mathe­matical conceptualism were allowed to have primacy over the perceptualistic outlook, which is here retained in the name of a residue of the Beauty-value in the Absolute. If even this slight prejudice in favour of the conditioned brahman should be abolished, the poetic function which is at the basis of these verses would be stifled and made altogether ineffective. Bergson also prefers to treat the world as a flux rather than as a mathematical absolute, which is just a conceptual cliché empty of any real content, according to him.
On closer analysis, the difference, between the two Absolutes, called higher or lower brahman, is only one of methodological or epistemological convention. When we mark the ends of electric wires green or red for the guidance of the electrician this does not mean that there are two electricities. In the colloquy of the three gods in the Kena Upanishad we read that Beauty as a value in the form of Uma, the daughter of the Himalayas, is made to occupy the same space that had belonged a moment before to the Higher Absolute (para brahman). Maya and brahman are thus interchangeable limbs of the same equation.
(For the relevant extract from Kena Upanishad, see below. ED)
(The Mandukya Upanishad equates absolute consciousness with that of the 'fourth' or turiya state. It also postulates the quaternion structure when it says, 'Ayam atma chatushpad' (This Self is of four limbs). The four states of consciousness as described in the Mandukya Upanishad are the gross, the subtle, the causal and the "fourth" (sthula, suksma, karana, turiya). The fourth state (also called caturtham) of consciousness is where all predicability is denied to the absolute Self.

Turiya - (the Fourth - or deepest flux of consciousness, is where subject and object merge in the Absolute that is within and without and which has a fully absolutist status. Waking and sleeping are both abolished in terms of an ever-wakeful contemplative state, completely absolute beyond any relativity. In this state opposites such as having form and not having form (rupa-arupa) are cancelled out and mental activities cease; it is beyond waking, dreaming and sleeping and inclusively transcends all the other three states. ED)





Giram aha devim - as the Goddess of the Word
Druhina grhinim - as Brahma's wife
Agama vidah - the knowers of Vedic wisdom
Harah patnim padmam - as Vishnu's wedded one Lakshmi)
Hara saha charim adri tanayam - the consort of Shiva, daughter of the high peak
Turiya kapi tvam duradhi gamanih sima - some as the fourth state of boundless greatness, difficult to attain
Mahima maha maya - as the great Maya
Vishvam - bhramayasi - You turn the world around
Para brahma mahishi - as Queen of the Ultimate Absolute
Sankara here comes out without stage-dress and has an intimate conversation with the Goddess.

Shiva is the abstract numerator principle.
Shiva is the catalytic agent.
(A catalyst is that which precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences:, ED)

The horizontal functional aspects of the world are negative.
One should not minimize Shiva as Shakti-worshippers do.
The vertical axis is a string holding a pearl necklace together.
(The pearls are to be understood as a series of value-items ranging from, say, food at the bottom to the joys of higher mathematics at the top. ED)

Shiva and Shakti joined are a paradox.

Universal concrete beauty is beyond this.

It is BEYOND the fourth state, or turiya.
Brahma and Vishnu's relations with their wives are not fully vertical.

The concrete universal is better than abstraction.







Once upon a time, Brahman, the Spirit Supreme, won a victory for the gods. And the gods thought in their pride, 'We alone attained this victory, ours alone is the glory;


Brahman saw it and appeared to them, but they knew him not. 'Who is that being that fills us with wonder?' they cried.


And they spoke to Agni, the god of fire: '0 god all-knowing, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.'


Agni ran towards him and Brahman asked: 'Who are you?' I am the god of fire,' he said, the god who knows all things.'


What power is in you?' asked Brahman. 'I can burn all things on earth.'


And Brahman placed a straw before him, saying: 'Burn this.' The god of fire strove with all his power, but was unable to burn it. He then returned to the other gods and said: 'I could not find out who was that being that fills us with wonder'


Then they spoke to Vayu, the god of the air. '0 Vayu, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.'


Vayu ran towards him and Brahman asked: 'Who are you?' 'I am Vayu, the god of the air,' he said, 'Matarisvan, the air that moves in space.'


'What power is in you?' asked Brahman. 'In a whirlwind I can carry away all there is on earth'


And Brahman placed a straw before him saying: 'Blow this away.' The god of the air strove with all his power, but was unable to move it. He returned to the other gods and said: 'I could not find out who was that being that fills us with wonder.'


Then the gods spoke to Indra, the god of thunder: '0 giver of earthly goods, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.' And Indra ran towards Brahman, the Spirit Supreme, but he disappeared.


Then in the same region of the sky the gods saw a lady of radiant beauty. She was Uma, divine wisdom, the daughter of the mountains of snow.