विभक्त-त्रैवर्ण्यं व्यतिकरित-लीलाञ्जनतया
विभाति त्वन्नेत्र त्रितय मिद-मीशानदयिते ।
पुनः स्रष्टुं देवान् द्रुहिण हरि-रुद्रानुपरतान्
रजः सत्वं वेभ्रत् तम इति गुणानां त्रयमिव ॥
vibhakta traivarnyam vyatikarita lilanjanataya
vibhati tvan netra tritayam idam isanadayite
punas srastum devan druhina hari rudran uparatan
rajas sattvam bibhrat tama iti gunanam trayam iva
The tricolour distinctness of your eyes, O beloved of Isana (the Lord)
Presented in clear threefold relief by the playful use of collyrium,
Would seem to create anew the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva,
Bereft of passion and having the qualities of rajas (active), sattva (pure) and tamas (dark).
Verses 53, 54 and 55 bring us back, though more indirectly, to the question of transcending the three modalities of nature (gunas). These modalities belong to the lower or relativistically qualified version of the Absolute. The non-relativistic version of the same, which is technically referred to as para-brahman, has only a conceptual content. The modalities of nature cannot be present in the world of concepts in any real sense. There is thus an epistemological turning of the tables between the immanent and the transcendent versions of the value called Beauty, which we have to recognize as playing round the region of the eyes of the Goddess. In Verses 25 and 26, the relation between the three modalities and the three gods was employed to bring into dynamic relief the mode of operation of the three gunas. Here, in Verse 53, a colour language is employed to describe the three gunas, where sattva (the pure), rajas (the passionate), and tamas (the inert) correspond to white, red and black, respectively. Mythological, psychological and colour languages are all brought into interplay in this verse to reveal a kind of mesh-like crisscross dynamic frame through which the tendencies involved have to pass so as to be transcended or sublimated. In Verse 54, another analogy is employed to describe the three modalities, where there is a confluence of three rivers having the same three colours. Finally, in Verse 55, transcending the modalities involves the crossing of a split-second gap between the creation and dissolution of the universe. The purpose of each of these three verses becomes clearer to the reader when the intention of transcending the modalities is kept in mind as the common theme running through all of them.
Here in Verse 53, being called the “beloved of Isana” gives the Goddess a position intermediate between the operation of the three gunas and the transcending of the same. The eyes of the Goddess present three colours: the pupils being black, the corners being red and the sclera white. The Goddess is pictured here as playfully adding her own eye-pencil markings to enhance the contrast between the three colours. It is then suggested that such an enhancement is able to produce the three gods once again, from a background in which they existed in perhaps only a virtual form. Virtuality and actuality are conferred upon enti­ties, divinities or tendencies, on final analysis, by the meeting of the two references which form between them a kind of matrix or lattice formation, also called a “grating” in crystallographic interference figures of optical motions. Some such idea seems to be in the mind of Sankara here, whether he was familiar with these scientific notions in the same way we are, or merely understood the basic principle implied therein in a more vague intuitive form.
The last part of this verse qualifies the gods that thus emerge into view as bereft of passion, as the Sanskrit word uparati would suggest; (rati being translatable as “passion”). Thus, there are gods capable of passion and gods who could be created again as passionless versions of themselves. Some commentators have suggested that the antediluvian gods were passionate and that after the deluge they became passionless at the instance of the Goddess. Such an interpretation would only be adding more mythology to an already vague mythological language. We prefer, therefore, to explain that the gods could function with a horizontal reference or, when sublimated, could have a verticalized reference, being placed in the context of the beauty of the face of Parvati. This sublimated state of the Goddess must be the result of the absolute quality of her meditation on her beloved God. The three modalities could have three colours as their monomarks, or three divinities taken from mytho­logy or even three rivers, as in the next verse. What we should try to see in and through these stratifications, tending either to be abstract or concrete, particular or general, is the structural dynamism that is meant to be revealed in the process of trans­cending from the lower Brahman to the higher Brahman. There is, through intentionality, a possible position of participation in which both the vertical and the horizontal references are to be considered equally valid in revealing this structural dynamism underlying the frame of reference.
The mythological picture is concrete and real, and can be said to be of the first dimension.
The picture with nature-modalities is still vitalistically real and could be referred to as a second-dimensional setup.
When these same factors are referred to in terms of colour, they could be said to belong to a third-dimensional context.
The voltage of intentionality could be further increased to abolish even the frame of reference into a fully fourth-dimensional context.
When bathing in the confluence of the three rivers, as described in Verse 54, the pilgrim attains a sense of holiness or sanctification which is fully subjective, and by Verse 55 mythological realism is left far behind, in terms of an eternal present or eternal moment where creation and dissolution come together to participate on the most subtle of grounds, which is neither material nor mental.
The collyrium applied as decoration by the Goddess, out of playful love of enhancing her own beauty, is the Numerator factor here, which puts the gods and the gunas in a new and neutral setting that respects both horizontal and vertical values. How the three gunas and the three gods are to be treated together has already been clarified in Verses 25 and 26. The passionless state has also been explicitly referred to in Verse 26. So, when previous lessons in the same textbook are fully respected, the validity of the lesson in this verse becomes sufficiently clear. It is by intentionality that one transcends the demands of the three nature-modalities. When such intentionality applies to Shiva himself, as the most positive of values, the sublimation takes place most effectively and correctly. It is this strict bipolar affiliation, to the exclusion of all extraneous interests that can spell success in the contemplation of the Absolute.
The “threefold relief” and the eventuality of the creation of the Gods bereft of passion could all be understood together if we should admit that the horizontalized version of value modali­ties of interest is reoriented vertically due to the love of Parvati for Shiva. As between the three gunas themselves, rajas, the middle one, is more fully horizontal than the other two. The complex mechanism to which these gunas are subjected is the subject of the whole of Chapter 14 of the Bhagavad Gita, which could supplement what we have to say here. When rajas (the active), becomes bereft of passion, it would have the thinnest mathematical status possible, because essentially rajas refers to a horizontal function, and would accord with the function of Vishnu in mythological terms.






By this very attitude (or expression, or manifestation) these three gods who have gone into a passionless state, as if carved in a pillar and verticalized, take on the functions of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.
(The three Gunas.Gunas: The triple modalities of nature, originally conceived by Kapila in the Samkhya-pravachana-sutras. They are: sattva, rajas and tamas. They are traditionaly represented by the colours white (sattva), red (rajas), and black (tamas). ED)
There are two eyes and a third, red, eye.
This is reduction and one-to-one functional correspondence.



The Gods are being created by the "tri-colour distinctness" of the Devi's eyes, corresponding to the 3 Gunas (nature-modalities).
("The Goddess is just a woman, any woman."
Nataraja Guru.")
"Bereft of passion" means half-open like a Japanese fan, thus, half-verticalized and not fully open and horizontalized.

The Gunas should not be too pronounced, not too much like an effect on the Numerator side, but half-way down the Denominator side, in between, contemplative.

The gods are nothing but horizontal functions verticalized by abstraction and generalization.

This verse shows how to see vertical reality in the horizontal face of the Devi..




("When a woman looks into a mirror, she sees God."
Nataraja Guru.)
(ED notes that Shiva is here called Īśāna, and that, according to a traditional definition: "Īśāna signifies the subtle ethereal form of Shiva that represents transcendental knowledge". This may or may not be relevant).
(Although the structural diagram below reads "...horizontal fan" in the original manuscript, this may be an error and the caption should read; "...vertical line". This the opinion of the editor at this time and seems to accord more with the passage above; "Bereft of passion" means half-open like a Japanese fan, thus, half-verticalized and not fully open and horizontalized".  The commentary to the next verse, 54, reads "The three Gunas (horizontal modalities of Nature) are folded together vertically, like a closed fan". ED)