धुनोतु ध्वान्तं न-स्तुलित-दलितेन्दीवर-वनं
घनस्निग्ध-श्लक्ष्णं चिकुर निकुरुम्बं तव शिवे ।
यदीयं सौरभ्यं सहज-मुपलब्धुं सुमनसो
वसन्त्यस्मिन् मन्ये बलमथन वाटी-विटपिनाम्


dhunotu dhvantam nas tulita dalitendivara vanam
ghana snigdhaslaksnam cikura nikurumbam tava sive
yadiyam saurabhyam sahajam upalabdhum sumanaso
vasantyasmin manye valamathanvativitapinam.
Let the blooming blue-lotus-forest of your thick, glossy and lustrous cluster of locks,
Oh consort of Siva, banish the darkness within us –
To gain whose natural fragrance the flowers of the garden of Indra
As I can guess, take their place within your tresses.
Whereas, in Verse 46, the author involves himself in the first person directly instead of looking with the eyes of a mathematician-mystic at the jewel on the crown (Verse 42), which does not organically belong to the beauty of the Goddess, in this verse he descends into a more direct relation with the élan vital within the personality of the Goddess in more living terms. Crystal or gem beauty gives place to flower beauty here, where two sets of flowers are seen to be playfully interlaced. They are rivals, one has a perfume that is natural to the life of the Goddess herself, while the other has a “borrowed status”, insofar as it belongs to an Indra-world of values, which is false to the extent that Indra is only a mythological demiurge and not a real person.
Parvati´s hair has a natural perfume. The ancient “Shiva Purana” even speaks of a controversy and a wager on this subject by two holy figures. One said that a flowery perfume could be natural to the hair of the Goddess, while the other, who said that perfume had to be put there and could not be natural, lost the wager. Thus the flowers of Indra´s garden could have a superior fragrance, but they would vie with her natural perfume only in vain. The dispute, according to Advaita, however, is not to be settled in favour of one or the other. There is a darkness to be banished, independently of the value of the rival perfumes, and this is a lesson to be learned and not a question of giving a prize to one of the rivals in a contest. It is true that, methodologically, ontology is more important, so the prize would legitimately go to the natural perfume of the hair of the Goddess, rather then to the derived perfume of the blossoms of Indra´s garden. It is the doctrine that teaches the lesson, not the method of arriving at the doctrine, that is important for us.
Banishing darkness is the main subject of this verse, but where does this darkness reside? The verse itself replies that it is within all of us. It is not the darkness of individuals, some of whom might be more intelligent than others, but a general darkness applicable to all human beings at all times, that is under reference here. An educated man might overcome this darkness and become enlightened, though this accomplishment would only be to him like a flashlight on a misty night. There is a general philosophical darkness in which humanity as a whole could be thought of as being steeped in from the beginning of time. One sparrow cannot make a summer. The blue of the sky is an example of such ignorance, applicable to all humans collectively. Blueness is not really there in the sky, but our error in appraising the blueness which is not there reveals this principle of darkness in a general philosophical sense. It is such a blind or double darkness that is represented here by the glossy dark hair of the Goddess. An intelligent man might direct a flashlight at the face of the Goddess in order to see its bright beauty and to appreciate it, but beyond the range of the flashlight everything is still steeped in a form of primordial double darkness. In this verse the double epithets “blooming blue lotus forest” and “thick, glossy and lustrous” underline the double ignorance with which humanity is collectively cursed, as with concupiscence, which is not the error or sin of any individual.
By the combined presence of two kinds of flowers that we have tried to distinguish, Advaitic cancellation by double negation would take place, by which even this double darkness of a primordial nature, lodged deep within the collective psyche of mankind, could be abolished by a kind of “dive-bombing”. In this verse we have descended from the ruby crown of Verse 42 to the hair, which is not fully within the body limits of Devi. We descend one step more, hierophantically, when speaking of the face in the next verse. Plant life and animal life have a continuity between them which is like that between hair and face, when placed in a vertical descending series.




Dhunotu dhvantam nah - let it banish the darkness within us
Tulita dalitendivara vanam - the blooming blue lotus forest
Ghana snigdha lakshnam - thick, glossy and lustrous
Chikura nikurumbam - cluster of locks
Tava - Your
Shive - Shiva consort
Yadiyam saurabhyam sahajam - whose natural fragrance
Upalabdhum - to gain
Sumanasaha - flowers
Vasanti asmin - they live here
Manye - as I guess
Valama thana vati vitapinam - of the trees in Indra's garden.

Indigence or darkness is the same as lack of fragrance.

Now the transition is taking place between the first part and the second part, with a different approach..
He is beginning to describe the actual Goddess - starting with the hair.
This is a hypostatic, rather than a hierophantic approach.
(Up to this verse the Saundarya Lahari has been dealing with inner space, particularly with reference to a revised and revalued version of Tantra; from here on the Devi's bodily form is the subject. From now on the Devi is described from the top of Her head to the soles of Her feet - proceeding from the numerator, hypostatic top of the vertical axis to the denominator negative pole at the bottom. ED)

Sankara is saying:
"Dark hair - no, double dark - will abolish my ignorance through double negation, it is dark-splendid".
(This is yet another example of double negation, often described by the Guru as  like the glitter of a lump of coal or a peacock's tail. ED)

Even darkness, like tragedy, can be enjoyed, and you can see something bright.
There is a natural perfume in the hair, coming from inside the body, (an esoteric secret found in the Shiva Purana).
(The reference to this Purana is not clear to us; we are researching this. ED)
The natural fragrance of the hair (Numerator, positive) participates with the fragrance of lilies (Denominator, negative).
These have the same unitive status.
Sankara wants you to see that you can travel from one to the other without contradiction.

He is changing his style now.
He has been indulging in the Tantric structuralism of Kerala
- now he adopts the traditional Sanskrit method: here he begins at the head and goes downwards, describing each part as he goes.

He establishes an equation between Self and non-Self.
They have the same structure.

We equate ourselves with something pure.
How can the hair of the Devi banish our ignorance?
There is a natural perfume as a counterpart to the perfume of the hair of the Devi.
The darkness here is a double darkness, which is bright and dark-splendid.

Jet-black hair has a brightness and brilliance.
The hair is "Thick, shining and soft" - not black.

Sankara is saying there is no duality between positive, numerator hypostatic values and other values that are hierophantic or negative and belong to the denominator side.

The denominator holiness of the flowers is the same as the numerator holiness of the hair.


Another version:
- Let it clear (wipe away the blot).
- Our ignorance.
- Expanse of blooming blue lilies.
- Thick, shining and soft, the growth of hair.
- Your, o Consort of Shiva.
- This, which is the natural perfume.
- To gain (for themselves).
- Flowers.
- Live in it (with the intention of getting some of the natural perfume).
- The garden of Indra
The flowers of the garden of Indra, elevated to hypostatic, ideal flowers, are in the hair of the Devi, and they are trying to borrow the fragrance from her hair.
In Indra's heavenly garden there may be luxuries, but they are not comparable to the Absolute Beauty of the Devi.


Indra's flowers in the Devi's hair are on the positive side.
The Tantra Shastra of the first 41 verses is essentially negative in character.
Now, Sankara is going to use the language of Vedic culture, because he was a Sanskrit scholar and knew the Shastras (scriptures) etc.

Now the hair is thick, soft and brilliant (shining) and resembles an expanse of blue lilies - blue is the hypostatic end of magenta.

Blue from the positive side and red from the negative side blend to make magenta.
There is an exchange - "we correct the darkness of our ignorance by the shining brilliance of your hair."

Indra's flowers want the perfume of the hair of the Devi - Hers is an Absolute Perfume - the perfume of the flowers is relative.
When the two scents come together, our sin is banished.

Narayana Guru has a similar reference where he writes that a garland of three kinds of precious materials (silver, quartz and pearls) should be worn by Subrahmanya.

This is the essence of idol-worship, when the cancellation takes place, sin is abolished: c.f. Kalidasa who, in his poem, will cancel all evil in the body with sandal paste. (This reference is not clear, ED).

So the attempt is to achieve erotic cancellation of sin and concupiscence on your own Denominator side with such a Numerator.
A woman has a perfume rising from the legs (?) to the hair, like a flower.

We live in the gooey stuff; try to cancel it out with this: even if it is not true, it is healthy to believe it.