अरालै स्वाभाव्या-दलिकलभ-सश्रीभि रलकैः
परीतं ते वक्त्रं परिहसति पङ्केरुहरुचिम् ।
दरस्मेरे यस्मिन् दशनरुचि किञ्जल्क-रुचिरे
सुगन्धौ माद्यन्ति स्मरदहन चक्षु-र्मधुलिहः


aralais svabhavyad alikalabhasa sribhir alakaih
paritam te vaktram parihasati pankeruha rucim
darasmere yasmin dasana ruci kinjalka rucire
suganhau madyanti smaradahan caksur madhu lihah.
Your face - exuding perfume as it gently smiles,
Having your bright teeth for filament, surrounded by your natural curls
Like so many reveling honey-licking bees, each the eye of the Burner of Eros
Puts to shame the beauty of the lotus.
In Sanskrit poetry the brightness of the face of a woman has been compared to the beauty of the lotus flower almost to the point of surfeit. The moon is another favourite analogy. A clear complexion and evidence of an intelligence fully alert or alive, with a touch of pink, rose or magenta, sets off the face in a context otherwise steeped in the double darkness of the tresses. By dark-splendour, ignorance might come into its own as a form of tragic wisdom which, when further intensified, could become as good as a plus value, as justified in mathematics, logistics and even linguistics, where a negative multiplied by a negative results in a positive value.
If we consider the face as a Chakra it would naturally occupy the bindusthana, that is, the central locus of meditation or interest. There is a favourite way of describing the beauty of the face of a Goddess, conventionally developed through classical times by Sanskrit poets, the main ideograms of which are seen to be respected by Sankara in Verses 43, 44, 45. It is not just beauty by way of a single assertion that is thus intended to be brought into evidence; it is rather a deeper form of beauty which has a radiance in and of itself, whether in terms of double darkness or double assertion. The brightness is meant to be doubly bright, and the darkness is to be doubly underlined. That is the reason why the poet insists on bumble-bees, on the pearly lustre of teeth seen through parted lips, and on the curls that form a contrasting dark fringe around the fac, to set it off like the moon against the background of a dark cloud. Here Nature is distorted and rearranged and not just feebly imitated, as presupposed in Aristotelian theory, where art is just an imitation of Nature. To Plato, art is an imitation of an imitation and Nature need not be presented with any photographic correctness of detail. Both photographic and holographic versions are to be respected here. With these correctives in mind, we can see each line of this verse leap into new meaning.
We note first that the perfume of the flower is not omitted from this picture of beauty, for beauty is a value inseparable from the function of the rest of the senses. Honey sweetness, flower perfume, ruby brilliance and moonlight glory are all enjoyable aspects of beauty; each lending its depth or other dimensions to the total appeal. The reveling bees, because they are restless and agitated, are suggested as the enjoying factor and natural counterpart of the enjoyment principle. This enjoying factor is carried over to the eye of Shiva, situated above, which enjoys the beauty and looks down onto the bees, whose eagerness to drink the honey, when added together, would amount to his own intense interest in enjoying the same beauty, even though it might be a mirror reflection of his own beauty, as suggested in later verses. An ordinary lotus has only a relative beauty belonging to the side of nature, but the beauty seen here by Shiva´s eyes is the result of an interaction between two aspects of the Absolute. This is why it is said to put to shame a unilaterally-understood beauty of the Absolute. Honey is more deeply situated than the perfume of a lotus. The filaments that represent the teeth here are also deeper than the perfume of the face. The locks of black curls form a fringe. The greedy middle eye of Shiva and the two other eyes are on the side of the enjoyer rather than the side of the enjoyed. There is also a circle of excited honey-licking bees, forming the same fringe of black hair all round. It is not difficult to see that it is a sort of Chakra that the poet is trying to reconstruct - a positive one here, instead of a negative one proper to the Ananda Lahari section. There, the negative Chakra was proper to the context, and a given experience was interpreted in terms which resembled an actual vision, while here the philosophical version is superimposed onto the sensory version.
In the first line of Verse 44 there is a direct reference to the saundarya element, which labels this section definitely, as against the ananda of the previous section.




In this verse we have a conic-sectional view of the Goddess; a lotus floating in water, covered with honey-sucking bees, is compared to the face of the Devi.

The "filament" refers to the inner part of a flower's stem.


(This filament is the Mrinala Tantu or central filament of the lotus stem which is described as being taken by swans to the "mind-lake" (Manasarovar) in the Himalayas. See Verse 38. The vertical axis has just been described as the parting in the Devi's hair; perhaps it could be seen as this filament, if we keep in mind that this view of the Devi's face is a conic section. This may be going too far. ED)


This verse compares the face to a lotus.
There are dark curls around it, representing bumblebees.

The face is round and the lips are slightly parted.
Shiva, the killer of Kama Deva (Eros) is looking up amorously at Her face.
We are traveling from Ananda Lahari to Saundarya Lahari (from the first to the second part of the poem).
Now, in this verse, he is describing a person, but he remains in the mood of Mandalas.


Another version:
- thus the round face, surrounded by curls.
- By its own nature curly
- Like black bumblebees
- Curls
- Your face which is surrounded
- Mocks (puts into ridicule)
- The beauty of lotus flowers
- Slightly parted in a smile
- Of which (lotus face)
- Adorned by pollen (i.e. teeth representing pollen)
- Perfumed
- Attain to infatuation of joy
- Those bees which are the eyes of the burner of Eros


The beauty of the face meets the beauty of the lotus flower.



The lotus face surrounded by bumble-bee curls represents the vertical eye of Shiva, destroyer of Kama Deva (Eros).

This is a verticalized version of the love of Shiva; thus there are no erotic sentiments involved.

In this transitional verse we still have the schematic language left over from the previous verse.
This is a transition from Mandala language to pure language.

The petals at the centre are half-open to signify the delicate aspect at the very core of Beauty - thus the parted lips.

Shiva's eye is drawn to the core of Beauty, with the teeth as pollen.
The curls represent the bees and are involved in a purely vertical love.

The paradox is resolved - how can one person love and one not?
This is because Kama Deva is absorbed in Shiva and loves in a purely verticalized way.
Killing Eros was a process of absorption.

Shiva is a lover without contradiction.
He appreciates only Absolute Beauty.