विशाला कल्याणी स्फुतरुचि-रयोध्या कुवलयैः
कृपाधाराधारा किमपि मधुरा‌உ‌உभोगवतिका ।
अवन्ती दृष्टिस्ते बहुनगर-विस्तार-विजया
ध्रुवं तत्तन्नाम-व्यवहरण-योग्याविजयते
visala kalyani sphuta rucir ayodhya kuvalayaih
krpadhara dhara kim api madhura bhogavatika
avanti drstis te bahunagara vistara vihaya
dhruvam tat tan nama vyavaharana yogya vijayate
Visala (the expansive), Kalyani (the auspicious), Sphutaruchi (the clear of taste), Ayodhya (the invincible) due to the blue lotus, Kripadharadhara (on mercy´s fountain founded), A certain Madhura (the sweet), Avanti (of saving power), Bhogavatika (enjoyment affording)
All such cities of lasting fame (vijaya), each fit to be called by its own name, within your total regard do they triumphantly reign.
In Verse 48 we have seen how textbook physiography can be viewed in a verticalized perspective. Plainer geography, as it might apply to a country, could also be viewed from a contemplative standpoint. It is a subjective and axiologically-based view that we have to take of a country which might consist of many famous cities, however varied, large or small, which could be brought under eight classes representing human interests in which enjoyer and enjoyed could meet, so as to make a beauty-factor emerge into view.
Each city is a state of mind, representing a dominant interest associated with its origin, its present utility, or a future destiny toward which it paves the way for its inhabitants. Thus revised subjectively in value terms, all cities of any country could be thought of individually or collectively together. In the subcontinent of India, many holy places have thus grown up through history; and places of pilgrimage attract travelers in large numbers even today. In a contemplative geography of this kind, what counts is the absolute Beauty-Value, under whose aegis the eight varieties of interests, here recognized by the names of eight interesting cities, could be contemplatively reviewed.
The idea of eight cities representing the totality of contemplative consciousness is well known in Vedantic literature. Sankara describes in his “Vivekacudamani”, the puryastakam (collection of eight cities as constituting the subtle contemplative body that we could arrive at by a certain kind of abstraction and generalization, This is the method we have to apply in all these verses to extract the contemplative version of a given factual situation. In Verse 50 and following, we must consider further abstractions, such as the nine aesthetic interests that we could distinguish in art or literature. This verse prepares the way for such a generalized treatment by telling us that the regard of Devi could suggest values which represent psychic states or attitudes which, when put together, could apply to the contemplative votary or to the Goddess herself, at once or alternatively, in the world of religious pilgrimage among the holy cities of India. It is the enjoyment that represents the regard, or the eye that recognizes beauty. Happiness or salvation is the overall ground on which beauty can loom into consciousness, in the same way that a bright flower on a lotus plant can enter into the foreground or background of the mind as we meditate upon it; sometimes experiencing clarity of vision and at other times experiencing dim states of mind, having a retrospective or prospective suggestibility. Some kind of happiness relevant to the context of spiritual progress is to be represented by each blossom, interchangeably understood as the regard, or grace, or an eye of the goddess, having a one-to-one correspondence with the contemplative joy within the consciousness of the yogi.
In the “Ananda Lahari” section, a similar structural analysis was undertaken in Verse 32, with the help of other monomarks. Here we are dealing with a more objective and open world where places of pilgrimage, rather than the world of icons, are proper to the present context.
When we think of the relationship of cities to human life and we trace their history, it can generally be said that cities are originally founded near some source of water, which is the most essential of values to attract human life around it. The fountain thus represents the grace of kindness of the Goddess, and such a central interest lends its genetic coloration to any city, even after it has grown through centuries on the basis of the same original factor. It is a continuous streak or stream of value that has made a city famous.
Scrutinizing the content of this verse, we notice that the first-named famous city is Visala, meaning “the expansive”. Heaven is sometimes referred to as being visalam, as in the Bhagavad Gita; expansiveness being suggestive of the plentifulness of opportunities to make a living. In contrast with this first line, the last line refers to all cities bundled up together and treated as belonging to the total regard of Devi. The values that all the cities are meant to represent are evident from the root meanings or derivations of the Sanskrit terms contained in their very names. Commentators have also suggested that a beautiful woman could display eight kinds of recognizable attitudes in her changing looks, revealed by her eyes which could be half shut or fully open. Lotus buds and flowers cold represent such innate open attitudes, totaling up to the Absolute Beauty that is the subject matter or object matter of this verse.
After the attribute of expansiveness comes auspiciousness, followed by clarity of taste. We can easily place these three in a numerator group. The second line represents the values that are to be carefully protected against invasion from outside. Ayodhya suggests an invincible city, like a beautiful princess confined to a tower. Knights errant have to fight battles to win such a beauty-value.
In the third line, the interest is based on enjoyment. Each city has its pleasures of daytime and of night-time. Madhura in North India, or Madurai in South India, derive their names from the sweet associations of those places.
The last line of this verse tells us how to put all expansive values, such as those of heaven, together into one big ensemble; and how to view such a treasure of value as pertaining to the total regard or grace of the Goddess of Beauty, with whom we are always to be concerned. The heaven of the first line is to be included in the cup of total Absolute Value implied in the last line, where it is also suggested that each name is to be treated as a noun as well as having a predicative significance. To extract the central value here requires a special effort of abstraction and generalization on the part of the student or contemplative to whom this verse might apply. If he is able to rise to such a requirement, it would be easier for him to follow the thinner suggestion and generalization contained in the next section of verses (50-60), in which we could say that the structural way of poetic composition sometimes even excels itself by the elusive thinness of its suggestibility. Nominalism and structuralism can also be seen hand in hand here.





This is the verse which refers to the various kinds of eyes of women;- unconquerable, agitating, etc. As so often in this poem, there is an ambiguity present. It is not just cities, but it is the Absolute Beauty of the Devi which is being described.

These eight cities reign victorious.
Functions and values are indicated by the names of cities.
The Devi can have eight attitudes - these are the subdivisions of value, with their functional aspects of Absolute Beauty.
So this verse adds distinct value-functions to the notion of the Absolute.


Another version:
- Named Expansive - Visala.
- Auspicious - Kalyani.
- With crystal clarity of character.
- Invulnerable - fortified - because of blue lilies.
- By the force of blue lotus flowers. (Ayodhya - horizontal).
- Of the overflow of kindness the support.
- A certain city of sweetness.
- Of enjoyment (e.g. Paris)
- Saving (this touches the Alpha Point).
- Your regard.
- Is thus triumphant with the expanse containing many cities.

All these enumerated names must be put into the one consciousness of the Devi: they are triumphant.
They are intransient - the totality of these names triumphs.
Many cities are described here, each corresponding to a quality of the Devi.
This final beauty of the Absolute reigns supreme.

Another version:

The glance of thine eyes is all comprehensive (Visala);
spells prosperity (Kalyani);
serenely dazzles and as such cannot be faced in battle (A-yodhya),
by blue lilies is the fountainhead of the stream of mercy (Dhara),
is superbly sweet (Madhura),
enjoys immense happiness (Bhogavati),
is the saviour (Avanti) (of the devoted);
outrivals in extensiveness (Vistaravijaya) several (other) cities;
and is indeed capable of being (appropriately) indicated by their respective names.
All glory to it!
This verse gives names to eight aspects of the beauty of the eye of the Devi.
Each, qualitatively, represents part of the beauty of the Goddess.
All can be fitted into a schema, which will produce values when meditated upon.
Do not throw away the real - it is not enough to create a vacuum called the Absolute.
The actual is abstracted and generalized to become verticalized.
The eight qualities of Her eyes are graded in a certain way.
This is a method employed by Sankara to show that anything can be reduced from the actual to the vertical.

Eight cities give names to eight aspects of the beauty of the eye of the Devi:
Visala (the expansive), Kalyani (the auspicious), Sphutaruchi (the clear of taste), Ayodhya (the invincible) due to the blue lotus, Kripadharadhara (on mercy´s fountain founded), A certain Madhura (the sweet), Avanti (of saving power), Bhogavatika (enjoyment affording)
All such cities of lasting fame (vijaya), each fit to be called by its own name, within your total regard do they triumphantly reign.
These names have also the following meanings:
(It can be seen that, as so often in this text, a certain ambiguity of meaning is present. We are not sufficiently versed in Sanskrit to disentangle these ambi- or polyvalences, but the general idea is clear enough: the beauty of the Devi's eyes is put together with the names of certain cities. ED)
Show different eyes with different expressions to correspond to each city - make the face of the Goddess into a map of India.


Visala is horizontal.  (Its meaning is "expansive". ED)