गते कर्णाभ्यर्णं गरुत इव पक्ष्माणि दधती
पुरां भेत्तु-श्चित्तप्रशम-रस-विद्रावण फले ।
इमे नेत्रे गोत्राधरपति-कुलोत्तंस-कलिके
तवाकर्णाकृष्ट स्मरशर-विलासं कलयतः॥
gate karnabhyarnam garuta iva paksmani dadhati
puram bhettus citta pasama rasa vidravana phale
ime netre gotradhara pati kulottamsa kalike
tavakarnakrsta smarasara vilasam kulayatah
Drawn fully to the ear limits like gleaming arrows of Smara (Eros)
With lashes looking like arrow-base feathers, these your eyes,
Having the effect of disrupting the complacent detachment of the City-Burner,
Make for your glory as the highest of the clan of the Mountain King.
Verse 52 requires a great deal of manipulation and structural construction or interpretation before it gives up its bare meaning. The gleaming arrows of Smara (Eros) have first to be placed in the correct position before they can have even a chance of piercing the heart of the super-ascetic Shiva. Even to think of the possibility of Eros being effective against such a superior target, we have to concede that the person who sends the arrow must himself have a dignity sufficiently rich in order to do so. These requirements are carefully indicated by Sankara when he underlines in this verse that the City Burner, Shiva, is normally detached and placed above the reach of interests that belong to the various grades of values ranged between heaven and earth. The three cities which Shiva burned represent three such intermediate levels. As against such superior qualifications of the husband, what is the qualification of the side of Parvati, which validates her as the rival counterpart of such an exalted value, raised above all earthy considerations? The answer is that Parvati has the glory of being the highest descendant of the clan of the King of Mountains. As the daughter of the Himalayas, she presides over existential values, while Shiva is in charge of corresponding subsistential values.
The main incident in this verse refers to some arrow being aimed in order to be sent with such an intensity and velocity that even the absolute dispassionateness of Shiva will be ruffled. The conditions required for such an arrow to succeed in hitting this difficult target are carefully elaborated here in protolinguistic terms. The analogy of the bow and arrow playing on the face of the Goddess, placed in intriguing positions as if visible yet invisible, has been worked out in sufficient detail already in Verse 47. Kama is well known in Sanskrit poetry. In Kalidasa´s masterpiece of mystical eroticism, the “Kumarasambhava”, the roles of Kama and his wife Rati, as well as those of Shiva and Uma, are described in great detail. The central tragedy in that famous heroic epic is the incident where the attempt of Kama to ruffle the heart of the City-Burner suffers a signal failure. Instead of succeeding, Kama is struck down by Shiva´s lightning and burnt to cinders. The section entitled Rati-vilapa (lamentations of Rati ) reveals some precious structural details, meant to show why Shiva was able to burn her husband down. The arrow was not sent correctly and frontally, but from a hidden point of vantage which Kama slyly selected, with no straightforward intention; and where he stood on one leg, peripherally situated from the place where Shiva sat steeped in deep meditation. The poetic justice of Kalidasa considers that such a punishment was justified. A revised picture is then elaborately developed in the same work. It is only through the side-glances of a beautiful woman that the arrows of love can operate on such a superior man as Shiva. The beautiful woman involved in such a game must deserve on her part, by her nobility of origin at least, to send the arrows of Kama, supported by her side-glances which have to act here as a medium to make them fly most effectively in the direction that would correctly hit the bull´s-eye.
We read in the “Kumarasambhava” that, in the first part of her penance to propitiate Shiva, Parvati followed a ritualism which belonged to the hedonistic and relativistic context of Vedic sacrifice. Having failed in this approach, she lay fainting and was carried away by her father, “ like a wilted lotus flower carried on the tusks of an elephant”. She is taken back to her parental home, horizontally, by the King of the Mountains; instead of gaining what she badly wanted, the vertical home of her husband Shiva. But she does not give up her austerities. This time she takes a revised and revalued Vedantic approach. She abandons luxuries and stands for forty days in water and follows a discipline which has, over and above the one-pointedness of Vedism, that touch of renunciation or sacrifice which changes the complexion of her approach altogether. We have to keep in mind such details well known to everyone sufficiently versed in Sanskrit lore, before we are able to reinterpret the meaning and structural implications of this verse.
The first half of this verse suggests something very difficult for us to imagine. We can understand how, when Kama wants to send an arrow sideways to hit an ordinary target, he could intensify its velocity by drawing the bowstring further backward, the ear being the limit to which it can be drawn. It is between the ear and the eye, then, as they jointly operate, that Kama´s arrows in the form of side-glances can affect the ordinary level. But it pointedly says here that the arrows leave only a gleam in her eye, and that instead of the eyelashes being spread horizontally, they are all gathered together to resemble a bundle of arrow-base feathers which, we should suppose, are used for giving piercing power and lightness to the arrows themselves which are very tender, being made of flowers. Kama is sometimes called pancabana (the five-darted one). Each dart is compared in Sanskrit literature to a favourite flower, such as the lotus or the jasmine. The idea is that the five senses co-operate in the appeal for attention that the female principle invites to herself by her own beauty through the intermediary of these flowers and their respective perfumes, colours and tenderness. Flower-tenderness is the nearest analogy to the existent aspect of Beauty. The glance of Shiva on the numerator side is the target to be attained. This target, however, is of a conceptual order. Establishing participation between the two aspects, the existent and the conceptual, contained within the totality of the occasionalism implied in the Absolute has been examined already in Verses 5 and 6.
The suggestion in Verse 47 that the left forearm hides the fixing of the arrow justifies our structural analysis of this verse as belonging to a third-dimensional epistemological level. The base of the ears, to which limit the bowstring has been drawn backward, has to be placed within a conical section with an interior locus, rather than peripherally and horizontally, as in the case of the fusion of many twilights into one verticalized line of light suggested in Verses 42 and 48. We have to think in terms of a revised form of side-glance, not only involving the five senses as five flowers - which would normally be sufficient for Kama to operate with - but we have also to place the ear-limit of negativity in the subjective consciousness at a deeper locus where the mind, itself sometimes referred to as the sixth sense, is located as an “inner organ” or organon.
A beautiful woman´s side-glance becomes powerful to the extent that this kind of verticalization and centralization, attaining to the sixth organ where concepts and percepts meet, could also come into play. There are superficial and deeper side-glances, and Parvati´s side-glance has her own wholehearted mind or personal consciousness behind it, although incidentally it is the same Kama that is operating the instrument, as in every other case of effective eroticism. The arrow-base feathers suggest a gleaming arrow that is fully imbedded and vertically poised within the solid conic structure that we are compelled to presuppose here. The feathers mark the negative terminus, and when the gleaming arrow and its terminus are alone visible, the negative appeal of the Eternal Female for her counterpart may be said to attain its maximum effectiveness. By the same token, it becomes competent to disrupt the complacency or detachment of the most positive of transcendental principles, represented by Shiva. The stage is thus set for the occasionalism to take place in the context of absolute erotic beauty.
The expression ime netre, being grammatically in the dual case, suggests that the two eyes have to be treated as functioning together in unison in a horizontal setup. The positive and negative ends of the arrow have necessarily to point in opposite directions, so the eyes cannot be expected to have the same function of striking the heart of Shiva. This is an additional reason for us to think that the structure here has to be subjected to a revision, at least in terms of a three-dimensional solid structure, preferably one which has double-sided conical elements included within its purview. In short, it is only the verticalized version of the arrow and not its horizontal functioning that can fit into such a multi-dimensional dynamic situation.
We could remark that, in the previous verse, the aesthetic interest, auditory or visual, could be seen either in double-fanwise expansion horizontally, or in a unitary verticalized version of the same. The two fan-folds are dovetailed or telescoped into a bundle as one vertical master-interest in erotic mysticism. This verse only carries over the same structural dynamism, to be imagined in highly vitalistic terms before being cancelled against its own conceptual counterpart. The norm is neither conceptual nor perceptual; neither visible nor invisible - but includes both alternatively. Paradox, if it should persist, should abolish itself by mutual transparency of light, as between existence and subsistence. The resultant would be the Absolute Beauty-Value which is the central theme throughout this work. The mind plays here between the two focuses of structural beauty and poetic actual beauty. The structural beauty is superimposed on top of the actual.
We could further note that the various attitudes of the Goddess have an organic sequence between them. The two eyes that are sentimentally, though negatively, focused on Shiva, must be in a kind of meditation between the eyebrows, making the eyelashes tend to come together at the corners of the eyes. The other sentiments or attitudes would pass through other angles, deflected in different degrees from this vertical starting position and finally ending with a side-glance of grace alighting with sympathy on a dependent supplicant standing far off at the periphery. It is a horizontal side-glance rather than a frontal regard that is thus vouchsafed to the devotee. Such a devotee is, in turn, more than satisfied with even this kind of recognition, because his devotion is able to magnify the value to its fullest possible limit. What is lost in quantity is gained in intensity. In effect the light of the sun´s orb and the beams that come out of it are the same. Substance and attribute thus can belong together.




The Devi is the daughter of the mountain clan, and cannot be coquettish in a cheap way.
She has to use her eyes in a most subtle manner; Her coquetry must be just as strong as Shiva's complacency.
(Parvata is one of the Sanskrit words for "mountain"; "Parvati" derives her name from being the daughter of king Himavan (also called Himavat, Parvat) and mother Mena. King Parvat is considered lord of the mountains and the personification of the Himalayas; Parvati implies "She of the mountain". The different names given to the Devi (or Shiva, or others) are always significant. For example - Shiva may be called "The City-Burner" in one context and "The Lord of Beasts" in another verse - emphasizing different characteristics. ED)

There is homogeneity of status; She must show extreme horizontality to compensate for his verticality.

"Having attained to the edge of the ears, as if resembling the feathers..." Shiva is placid and is meditating, but Eros is pulling his bowstring to the ears - thus the eyebrows become arched.


When eroticism acts on the negative side of the vertical axis, Shiva becomes disturbed.



On the cosmic scale, think of horizontal waves as a disturbance of the placidity of the vertical, that means a disturbance of Shiva.

All experience, such as the eroticism here, takes place in the horizontal plane.

All appreciation of beauty and all mysticism is erotic.


Numerator and Denominator cannot co-exist at some levels on the vertical axis.
At lower levels, however, the Devi may have erotic emotions.

Here, Eros' work is brought in to show the erotic, horizontal aspect of the Devi, while Shiva remains mathematically pure;
But both are part of the same Absolute.
The total absolute picture is one in which male and female cancel out.
But the poet concentrates on the beauty of the Devi, which is Absolute Beauty.
The function of the negative absolute is tragic.
The function of the Devi is to create Space - something like waves - horizontally, matter is impenetrable.
Bhogya (enjoyment) is horizontal.
Bhokta (the enjoyer) is vertical.
The meaning of Smara (Eros) is that horizontalizing erotic tendencies disturb the surface AND CREATE THE UNIVERSE.
Devi - the expanding universe.
Deva - (her male counterpart, or Shiva) - the contracting universe.

The Devi is just a woman, any woman.


These are alternating and complementary theories.
These two counterparts could be seen as corresponding to Res Cogitans and Res Extensa, as found in the philosophy of Descartes. (the vertical thinking substance and the horizontal extensive substance).
These are conjugates which are proportional - see Heisenberg (Physicist - the "Father of Quantum Mechanics).
(The reference to Heisenberg is a bit obscure. Perhaps the reference is to the horizontal and vertical being like position and momentum in the quotation below:
"In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously"
The more accurately one property is measured, the less accurately the complementary property is measured, according to Heisenberg. 
In other words, we cannot measure the position (x) and the momentum (p) of a particle with absolute precision. The more accurately we know one of these values, the less accurately we know the other. ED)
Conjugates are correlates, which belong together.
Quality and quantity reciprocate.
(We are talking here about Shiva and the Devi; they are conjugates or correlates and the Saundarya Lahari studies the relationship between them. ED)
The placidity of the vertical axis must correspond to the creative urge of the horizontal.

The triumvirate of the Hindu gods, (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, corresponding to the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe) is finally absorbed by the Goddess.
"The three gods are under Your purview, within Your territory, You are the presiding deity."
They are only points of reference within the totality of the Absolute.

Sringara, the erotic mood, becomes tragic in the text.
The erotic principle of horizontal love - as light and space - disturbs the placidity of the vertical principle.
The horizontal disturbs the placidity of the vertical; so when Eros pulls the string of the bow towards his ear, he disturbs the placidity of the eyes of the Devi.
He is a representative of the erotic principle, which is always present in the universe.

But Eros, the enemy, when sublimated and united with Shiva, cancels out into the glory of the Absolute.
When they are put together, you get the neutral Absolute.


The eyes become disturbed when the bowstring is pulled.
If the Devi thinks of Shiva, the disturbing influence will be absorbed and cancelled out.


"Fully horizontal" means "fully in love and sympathetic".
Jealousy is the result of a 90 degree deflection.
Karuna or compassion is horizontal.
Her pride in Her family is denominator - not directed up to Shiva.
Two versions of the structure referred to above:

colour solid