हिमानी हन्तव्यं हिमगिरिनिवासैक-चतुरौ
निशायां निद्राणं निशि-चरमभागे च विशदौ ।
वरं लक्ष्मीपात्रं श्रिय-मतिसृहन्तो समयिनां
सरोजं त्वत्पादौ जननि जयत-श्चित्रमिह किम्
himani hantavyam himagiri nivasaika caturau
nisayam nidranam nisi caramabhage ca visadau
varam laksmi patram sriyam atisrjantau samayinam
sarojam tvad padau janani jayatas citram iha kim
Capable of being killed by snow, and fully at home on the snow peak;
Sleeping at night, and in bloom both at dawn and after;
Making Lakshmi's bowl overgenerous to Your Vedic worshippers,
Such the twin lotus of Your foot, it triumphs: what wonder herein?
In Verse 87 the twin feet are treated together, and not as “one plus one”. With this secret in mind, we can grasp the intended meaning more easily than if the theory of ensembles involved here is not duly respected at the very start. In order to treat the twin feet as an ensemble consisting of two items of the same class, it would be helpful for us to put a circle, or even the three circles of the Sri Chakra, round them, placed at the bindusthana (central locus of meditation).
There are three sets of lotuses in this verse which have to be arranged in pairs to fulfil the requirements of the correct structuralism intended in this poem. A hierophantic lotus is likely to be killed by snow, but a golden lotus placed at a high hypostatic level would thrive even at a very low temperature. These two lotuses have thus to be placed on the vertical axis at different levels. There are two other lotuses in the second line which are to be placed horizontally because of the alternation of day and night, and which are not as generalized and abstracted as the first pair of lotuses.
In the third and fourth lines the ensemble represented by the two feet compared to lotuses has no horizontal or vertical duality implied between them. They are compared to the bowl of Lakshmi, though placed at a lower level in a more ordinary, workaday world, where hedonistic and relativistic interests are still natural and permissible. We have seen that Lakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth whom those who want to become rich in this life naturally treat as their chosen divinity. Sankara is evidently thinking here of the Tantric school of Samayins, who belong to the revised and more respectable Vedic context, as against the Kaulins who connive at certain disreputable practices; though perhaps in a manner more correctly fulfilling the requirements of Tantrism in other respects. There is, however, one respect in which the description here does not fit the Samayins. Over-generousness is an absolutist virtue which cannot strictly apply to a relativistic or hedonistic context proper to a Vedic school such as the Samayins. This distinction, between just granting prayers and granting more than what is prayed for, has been brought into its correct revised perspective by Sankara as early as Verse 4, where the feet of the Goddess alone were considered to be expert in yielding “more-than ­asked-for boon”. This is a touch of revaluation coming from Sankara of which the Samayins could be taken to be ignorant.
We have to further note that the Sanskrit language has singular, dual and plural numbers, and not merely singular and plural as in most languages. Here the twin feet could be treated as a singular ensemble, or as being dualistic when each foot has a distinguishable characteristic of its own. Both of these syntactical requirements are meant to be respected in this verse, as we can see by scrutinizing the antecedents of the words padau (your twin feet) and jayatah (they both triumph) where the dual verb agrees with a dual noun. Strict syntactical requirements would demand a separate verb to agree with what should be treated in the singular. Amends for this kind of grammatical discrepancy seem to be made quickly by Sankara at the end of this verse, when it says “what wonder herein”. This is as good as saying that, even if there is an impossibility hiding here, the absolutist status given to the two feet treated together, when understood in all its uniqueness as an ensemble with a unity of meaning in itself and for itself, should not be treated as anything unexpected. In other words, one should not wonder. There is still room for miracles in this world. The Absolute itself is a miracle, and one should not be surprised to find it so.
The reference in the second line to two kinds of lotuses could be treated as referring to a sensitive lotus, like an ordinary lotus, and to one that is not sensitive and does not change, whether it is day or night. The sensitive lotus would correspond to the virtuality or subjectivity implied in a dream state. Ordinary flowers, which have no such sensitivity to light, are like the waking consciousness, lacking subjectivity altogether. This is a horizontal difference between the positive and negative aspects, quantitatively understood, as between plus and minus numbers in the context of Cartesian correlates. They do not refer to the imaginary numbers of incommensurables, which have a deeper and more theoretical transfinite reference. Complex numbers belong together as understood here.
(Cartesian correlates or coordinates, which allow reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allow algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations) were named after René Descartes, French philosopher, 1596-1650. The structural methodology used by Nataraja Guru couls be seen as a three-dimansional revision and revaluation of Descartes. ED)
(An imaginary number is a number whose square is less than or equal to zero. For example, \sqrt{-25} is an imaginary number and its square is -25. ED)




Hima nihantavyam - that which gets blasted by frost or snow
Himagiri nivasaika caturau - the (twin) that are expert in living in the Himalayan region
Nisayam nidranam - which go to sleep at night
Nisi carama bhage ca - at dusk as at the point of death of darkness
Visadau - clear
Varam - desired boon
Laksmi patram - the receptacle of (the goddess of) prosperity
Sriyam ati srjantau - which spreads around wealth with extra readiness
Samayinam - to votaries
Sarojam - the water-born (flower lotus)
Tvat padau - your twin feet
Janani jayatah - o Mother they (both) reign victorious
Citram iha kim - what wonder herein

Another version:

Himani hantavyam - capable of being killed by snow
Hima giri naivasika chaturau - (Your twin feet) fully at home on snow peak
Nishayam nidranam - sleeping at night
Nishim charama bhage cha vishadau - and in bloom at dusk and day
Varam lakshmi patram - as a desirable seat for Lakshmi
Shriyam ati srjantau samayinam - overgenerous in gifts bestowed on Your Vedic worshippers called Samayins
Sarojam tvad padau - such Your twin lotus feet
Janani jayata - o mother , they triumph
Chitram iha kim - what cause for wonder here?
The Devi's lotus is the subject here; it is a lotus which is absolute and thus is not blighted by anything outside itself and horizontal - it is by itself, for itself, in itself etc. It is above the O Point in the numerator domain.

But, lower down, from the O Point to the Alpha Point on the denominator side, is Lakshmi, who is not always the same; she is affected by the weather and by night and day, etc.


Another version:
That which gets blasted by the frost (or the snows of the Himalayas)
The (twin) that are expert in living in the Himalayan peaks
Which go to sleep at night
At dusk as at the point of death of darkness
Clear (which are both clear)
Desired boon
The receptacle of the Goddess of Prosperity
Which spreads around wealth (with extra readiness)
To votaries (devotees)
The water bound (born ) (flower lotus (lotus flower?)
Your twin feet
O Mother, they (both) reign victorious
What wonder herein?


Another version:

Frost in the Himalayas which blasts a lotus flower
"Expert" because they are Absolute Beauty - they cannot suffer from frost
In the night this flower will go to sleep
At the end of the night, just as at dusk
It is clear (as a flower) at both times
(The Absolute is eternal, not blasted by cold, even though it closes)
A person who worships Lakshmi will have all the boons that are desired - She is a Denominator goddess - but think of Her in a revised, more absolute terms.
(Lakshmi is a relativistic goddess who bestows relativistic gifts - the Devi grants the gift of wisdom - of becoming the Devi herself. ED)

Around the numerator lotus of the Devi, the gift is beyond the normal limit - it is absolute.

Those who know how to worship the Goddess in the right way win much more than just a mediocre boon from Lakshmi.
Sankra is saying: "The conventional goddess, Lakshmi, gives you profit, but I am talking about extra prosperity - something more - is there any wonder in this?"
In the Himalayas there is a beautiful lotus which represents the beauty of the Devi, the negative absolute principle, living in the frost of the Himalayas.
This flower is blasted every day by cold.
But it is not an ordinary flower, it is absolute and resists the frost by its expertness.
It is very different from the ordinary lotuses that people worship.

However, it sleeps at night - even in the Absolute there is an alternation between night and day - it too sleeps at night, just as does any other organism.
Lotuses are placed in different position on the horizontal and vertical axis of the structure.
The Absolute is placed between sleeping and waking.

A woman is supposed to be tender, like the feet - the ontological negative Absolute on the Denominator side.

If she did not sleep, she would not be the Absolute.

She is clear at night, just as at any other time.

How can you have any benefit from contemplating the Absolute?
Every kind of value which is prayed for will be given.
This wealth is thrown out with extra force by the cup or container of the lotus
It is not ordinary gifts, but the Big Bang of the Absolute - something worth while.
To whom are these gifts given? To votaries. The ordinary devotee gets a good house; the man expert in Absolute Values will get wisdom.

"Water bound", describing the lotus flower, means Denominator - not afraid of the frost.
Your twin feet, they are both victorious - what is impossible about this?
You had better find out what I am talking about.

Why twin feet? He has built an image in abstract terms, now do not forget that the two feet are real, the ontological Absolute.
There is a difference in quality, depending on how much of the vertical and horizontal are involved.
The epistemological status of the four elements of the quaternion.
"Lakshmi's bowl overgenerous": on one side put a Jaina or Marwari religious person who accepts the Hindu Goddess without qualification as a relativistic object of religious worship.

(A Jaina is a follower of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. A Marwari is a member of the Marwari ethnic group from Rajasthan, now spread across North India and often associated with money-lending. They are often devotees of Lakshmi, as Goddess of Wealth. ED)

The pair of feet are better than the lotus representing Lakshmi's bowl or seat.
Cancel the duality between the feet, which are both transcendent and immanent.
The Advaitic God is a wonder and a paradox. "What is the wonder here?"
Do not be surprised that there is a wonder.



Put a lotus between the two heels to mark the upper and lower levels: but only one of the heels is touching the ground, the other is raised slightly: thus suppleness is retained even in the universal concrete.


This alternation is most important, as in the representations of Nataraja.


This rhythm applies particularly to the sex organs of both men and women.
"How did you treat the twin feet as singular?"
"Shut up! I told you it is a wonder."
The feet are better than a lotus, as a Guru is better than a book or idol.
Worship the Devi, not a lotus.


Sankara wants to cancel the whole thing out into a beautiful gem.
Read this verse with Verses 71, 88, and 89.
Reduce the horizontal alternations into a vertical, and view it as a flux; this is the methodology to be adopted.
Below are structures relating to the three verses above:


Structure of Verse 71


Verse 71:


Shining by the brilliance of Your fingernails that mock the colour of
Just-opening lotus buds, how could we speak of the beauty of Your hand?
Granted be, o Uma, that the lotus could have one shade less of parity with it
If at all, and that, alas, only when touched by the magenta paste of the sole of Lakshmi as she plays thereon.



Structure of Verse 88.


Verse 88:


Your foot is the seat for good repute, o Goddess;
How then from danger to safety did it come?
The wise treat it as of tortoise-shell hardness; how then was it that Shiva,
At his wedding, could lift it with a tender mind to place it on the ritual stone?







Structure of Verse 89.


Verse 89:


With fingernails like moons, putting to shame
The lotus hands of celestial damsels, and feet that seem to mock celestial trees,
O tragic one, Chandi, Your twin feet offer fruit to heaven dwellers
With leaf-tender finger-tips, and bring secure riches to the poor instantly and incessantly.