तव स्वाधिष्ठाने हुतवह-मधिष्ठाय निरतं
तमीडे संवर्तं जननि महतीं तां च समयाम् ।
यदालोके लोकान् दहति महसि क्रोध-कलिते
दयार्द्रा या दृष्टिः शिशिर-मुपचारं रचयति


tava svadhisthane hutavaham adhisthaya niratam
tam ide samvartam janani mahatim tam ca samayam
yad aloke lokan dahati mahati krodhakalite
dayardra ya drstis sistram upacaram racayati


O Mother, I praise, placing in your Svadhisthana the fire of sacrifice,
Ever looking on it as the great fire of doom, and placing there her also
Called Samaya, so that when the worlds are burning due to his anger,
Her mercy-moist regard renders to it the cooling touch of early spring..


Water cools and fire burns within the totality of the absolute content of reality, viewed as a phenotype and not as a noumenon. We can think of these two factors, fire and water, as participating from opposite sides of the total situation. When viewed from such an overall perspective, we can appreciate how even this Chakra called Svadhisthana is also based on the principle of the cancellation of counterparts. On a hot summer day a cool and perfumed breeze can act as an absolute source of consolation, even if it should only last for a few moments. The joy of cancellation does not depend upon the duration of the state of consolation and could be enjoyed for itself in the span of a split second.


1. "Svadhisthana"
The term svadhisthana suggests that this is a Chakra founded on itself. We have examined the status of the previous verse, which corresponds to the Chakra conventionally named Anahata, which name suggests that something like a bell remains unstruck. A bell that has not been struck would represent a neutral position between the possibility of its sound and its own material existence. When we come to the Svadhisthana, we have to put its locus a little lower in the vertical axis, because the basis of the Chakra is within itself, not on the numerator side of effects. It has a negative reference, but the numerator against which the cancellation within its scope is to take place has itself a highly positive status. Finally, lower and higher are meant to have no differentiating significance between Chakras and Adharas.


2. "The fire of sacrifice" (hutavaham)
We find here two references to fire, one to the fire of sacrifice and one to the fire of doom. We have to locate these two fires correctly in their proper structural positions before we can grasp the status of this Chakra. The fire of sacrifice could be imagined to be somewhere near the region of the navel, just below the O Point - on the side of existence - because such a fire has to be really capable of burning at least some fuel. This idea of "The fire of sacrifice" is verified in Verse 78.


3. "Fire of doom" (samvartam)
The "fire of doom" cannot be located in the same position as the fire of sacrifice. Doomsday is always in the future and has necessarily an apocalyptic status. The function of doom is thus to be imagined as having a numerator reference, even when that picture has been produced far beyond the Omega Point in the possible world of prospective values. To balance this exaggerated apocalyptic tendency, there is a need to postulate its counterpart in the form of a feminine elemental factor which has to be essential rather than subsistential. Such a factor is what is meant to be implied by the second goddess named Samaya.


4. "Samaya"
We are familiar with this goddess favoured by the Tantric school of Samayins, which we discussed in our comments on Verse 33. The total overall Goddess, having an absolutist status, cannot be held responsible for any partial or unilateral functions. This must be the reason why Sankara resorts to a goddess already known in the context of mother-worship, and introduces her here as capable of counteracting the heat implied in the Omega Point reference.


5. "Cooling touch" (sisiram)
We have already explained that this cooling need not be eternally operating. Cartesian occasionalism permits the notion of cancellation taking place at a given moment and thus revealing the will of the Absolute. Taken in this sense, even in the world of suffering in actual existence, there are pleasant moments of absolute joy, which Wordsworth would perhaps call "intimations of immortality".





Tava svadhisthane - in Your Svadhisthana Chakra
Hutavaham - the sacrificial fire
Adhishthaya - placing
Niratam tam ide - ever I adore it
Samvartam - like the fire of doom
Janani - o Mother
Mahatim tam cha - as also that great one
Samayam - called Samaya
Yada loke lokan dahati - when, by his rage, the worlds burn
Mahati krodha kalite dayardra ya drshtih - Her mercy-moist regard
Shishiram upacharam rachayati - renders to it the cooling touch of early spring..


Svadhisthana: the cool morning breeze in hot summer or, for lovers, after a long night of lovemaking.


It cancels all of the suffering for the whole night: that is the secret called cancellation.

Sva-adhisthana means "one's own foundation": your own basement, depending on yourself from the bottom, where the Devi is found.
A night breeze is a cancellation of the heat.

Two lovers perspiring at six in the morning...mosquitoes dying on your forehead ... big breasts bending... (All the attitudes of the female partridge) 
(The association of the chakora or partridge and the moon has been a theme in a number of  love stories in India. The chakora sometimes symbolizes intense and often unrequited, love. This is probably the source of the erotic association made by the Guru here. It is curiously also associated with eroticism and mysticism in the Sufi songs of the Turks and others, under the name "keklik". ED)


Between perceptual and conceptual, there is a suddenness.
This suddenness is referred to in Verse 18:

"With shades of Your bodily form enriched by the tenderly sunlit dawn,
And the whole earth submerged within magenta glory;
That man, able to contemplate You thus, wins You over with Urvasi and how many, how many other
Heavenly nymphs having gentle, startled, wild deer eyes."

A deer is neutralised eroticism, innocent and drunken.


Absolute Beauty comes like the expression of the slender, beautiful deer's eyes when startled.

Trasat is the startled movement of a faun.

"Having wild-doe eyes" and belonging to a respectable family, like Urvasi. (a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. ED): there is an enigma here.

These eyes are found in a fourteen year-old girl fed on simple, peasant food like ragi (sorghum), not in the over-nourished daughters of respectable families.
Your eyes become bright by waiting and crying: too much kissing and food makes them dull.

Idealism is making a story about wild horses vomiting fire in heaven, as in Plato.
Advaita rejects this kind of story-telling. Instead it gives more down-to-earth examples, like a beautiful thunderstorm cooling the tired lovers in this verse.
Isn't that beautiful? Isn't it the Absolute?
(The tender erotic beauty in the wild-doe eyes is a more realistic representation of the Absolute than some mythological horses. The Absolute in the Saundarya Lahari is represented as the Devi - remember always that she is  "just a woman, any woman". This is of the essence of the erotic mysticism that this work is meant to describe.
As the Guru said:
"Put the beauty of the sunset and the beauty of your girlfriend together and you are a mystic." ED)

Suffering is cancelled by the breeze, like a drop of water on a wound.

A coincidence is an approval from God.
Fire of Sacrifice.
Fire of Doom.

In the Svadhisthana Chakra a denominator glance cools the burning worlds.
They burn by the joint glance of the Devi and Shiva's anger.
There is a paradox here between fire and water.






A breeze can cancel the heat of summer; the cool morning can cancel the fatigue of hot lovers after a ten-hour night of lovemaking.

This is common in Kalidasa's poetry: one drop of water from the cloud is enough to cancel the fatigue of the prostitutes who have wounds on their bodies from over-passionate camel-drivers.

(Kalidasa, in the Ritusamhara, describes summer:

To relieve their lovers of heat,
Women make them lie
On their girdled, round hips covered with silken robes, or
On their sandal-anointed breasts
Heavy with ornaments.
They seek help from fragrant flowers
Set in coiffures after a bath,
To intoxicate and delight their lovers. ED).

You can put cancellation at any level. Cancellation by oneself: there are two aspects of ontology in the Svadhisthana Chakra.


The series of Chakras is supposed to represent the whole of the experience of the human psyche, including the negative side of the woman's psyche, such as the menses.

These Chakras cannot be finalized with this kind of language (metalanguage or the language of words, as opposed to protolanguage, which in the Guru's terminology, means the structural methodology he is using in the present work, among others.
The Cartesian co-ordinates are protolinguistic in essence; so also are the longitudes and latitudes of maps. ED.).


You should know how to extract the truth from a myth.
A myth is a kind of lingua mystica; a special language which conveys an experience by analogy, parable, fable or figure of speech. It is a literary device to convey something other than what it actually says.

Sankara takes the older idealization and symbolism of mythology and revises it, giving a picture you can verify, because it is correlated to the range of real experiences available to every man in the world; because it is related to the seasons (Chakras).
(The Ritusamhara of Kalidasa has six cantos for the six Indian seasons - grīṣma (summer), varṣā (rains), śarat (autumn), hemanta (cool season), śiśira (winter), and vasanta (spring). It is generally considered to be Kaldiasa's earliest work.

The word saṃhāra is used here in the sense of "coming together" or "group". It is often translated as Medley of Seasons or Garland of Seasons,

The changing seasons are depicted against the thematic backdrop of how lovers react to the landscape. This imbues the poem with a strong strand of eroticism  (sringara rasa). ED)

Sankara is against idealization.
He has normalized the Yogashastra (texts on Yoga).
That is the beauty of it.
When he uses mythology, it is only a thin veneer, which does not hide the structure that he wants to reveal.
It is an actual seasonal phenomenon that Sankara relies upon to describe his series of Chakras, like morning and evening.
He makes use of mythological monomarks because there are no others for these functions.
At the end he strikes a balance between the gods and goddesses to reveal the Absolute...he says your own body can become the function of Kama Rupa.
(kama - desire, rupa - body. ED)


He avoids esotericism and symbolism by not referring to the abstractions of the Samkhya like Ida, Pingala etc.
(In Kundalini Yoga there are three nadis: ida, pingala, and sushumna. Ida lies to the left of the spine, whereas pingala is to the right side of the spine, mirroring the ida. Sushumna runs along the spinal cord in the center, through the Chakras. ED)

He avoids the use of merely mathematical symbolism as too abstract and intellectual.


The two swans are back-to-back in this Chakra; face-to-face in the previous one.

So it is "tava" - "Your" Svadhisthana Chakra.
It is a cross-section of the Absolute for the purpose of Schematism or Structuralism.
There is no duality between the Chakras, they are different cross-sections, like slices of the same cucumber.

As in the Pythagorean theorem, there are two proofs of everything: one is axiomatic (not requiring proof) and one is experimental or geometric .
But the truth is neither axiomatic or experimental.
(The reference to the Pythagoras Theorem is not entirely clear to us. The two swans could well represent the two proofs - axiomatic and experimental - but there is a problem in that the two swans are related as below:

and it seems to us that axiomatic and experimental proofs would be structurally related as below:
It is very possible that we are mistaken. Such problems as this are the delight of structural methodology. ED)

This Chakra has fire as its basis. "In your Svadhisthana, I worship that fire principle (of non-being), o Mother".
"Her, also"  means "I worship both of you".
By the regard of these two, all the worlds have caught fire and continue to burn, "by his anger..."
Both of them are responsible for the burning, thus: "joint glance".
Finally it is "Your" side glance, this is the Devi outside the context.
For She does not oppose the Numerator of Shiva - but cools it.
The two swans have equal status in this burning Chakra, but the Chakra belongs to the Devi.
This is a normalized version of the Absolute.
If destruction comes from the Numerator, it must be re-normalized by the saving principle - the cooling glance of the Devi on the Denominator.


There is the total Devi and there is another Devi, and they cancel out.

The Guru says:
"Yesterday, I got ideas about the Chakras.
They use circles, petals, triangles, etc."

At the centre is the Bindhusthana. (Taxonomy) (?)
"Svadhisthana" means: standing on its own.
"Muladhara" is the seat of Kundalini etc .
Finally there is the one Chakra which contains all the rest.
Sankara has taken all this and put some order into it.
He gives the greatest status to overwhelming beauty.
Consciousness can be filled by one idea.
In the passage in Kena Upanishad referred to below it says that "that very space" was filled by the Devi, Uma Haimavati.
("Then in that very space in the sky the gods saw a lady of radiant beauty. She was Uma, divine wisdom, the daughter of the mountains of snow").
The Kaulins were worshipping women;
Sankara put order into the confusion between Buddhism and Hinduism.
"By the mere regard or glance of these two..."
She is responsible for the burning, along with Shiva. He says: "I worship them both".
They are jointly responsible, great anger is in their hearts.
But the sidelong glance of the Devi provides the wintry touch.

(You said that they were jointly responsible, now you have the Devi functioning oppositely.)
In the fire principle there is parity between them, but the parity is horizontal and at a given level; while vertically they must have their Alpha- and Omega-Point functions.

There is no contradiction here. You can put both of them together at the centre.
The Devi can let everything burn, but not the Absolute Beauty.
(How do you know? Because it cannot be otherwise. This is an example of "argument by impossibility" (i.e. "The impossibility of being otherwise". ED) - anupalabdhi pramana.)
(Anupalabdhi (अनुपलब्धि) means non-perception, negative/cognitive proof. Anupalabdhi pramana suggests that knowing a negative, such as "there is no jug in this room" is a form of valid knowledge. If something can be observed or inferred or proven as non-existent or impossible, then one knows more than what one did without such means. ED)

So the Devi is given a double function in this verse.

Vertically viewed, there is no contradiction here.
Horizontally, there is a contradiction.

Do not forget that in the whole work there is a slight focus on the negative side of Absolute Beauty.


Once upon a time, Brahman, the Spirit Supreme, won a victory for the gods. And the gods thought in their pride,  'We alone attained this victory, ours alone is the glory; Brahman saw it and appeared to them, but they knew him not. 'Who is that being that fills us with wonder?' they cried. And they spoke to Agni, the god of fire: '0 god all-knowing, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.' Agni ran towards him and Brahman asked: 'Who are you?' I am the god of fire,' he said, the god who knows all things.' What power is in you?' asked Brahman. 'I can burn all things on earth.' And Brahman placed a straw before him, saying: 'Burn this.' The god of fire strove with all his power, but was unable to burn it. He then returned to the other gods and said: 'I could not find out who was that being that fills us with wonder.' Then they spoke to Vayu, the god of the air. '0 Vayu, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.' Vayu ran towards him and Brahman asked: 'Who are you?' 'I am Vayu, the god of the air,' he said, 'Matarisvan, the air that moves in space.' 'What power is in you?' asked Brahman. 'In a whirlwind I can carry away all there is on earth'. And Brahman placed a straw before him saying: 'Blow this away.' The god of the air strove with all his power, but was unable to move it. He returned to the other gods and said: 'I could not find out who was that being that fills us with wonder.' Then the gods spoke to Indra, the god of thunder: '0 giver of earthly goods, go and see who is that being that fills us with wonder.' And Indra ran towards Brahman, the Spirit Supreme, but he disappeared.  Then in the same region of the sky the gods saw a lady of radiant beauty. She was Uma, divine wisdom, the daughter of the mountains of snow.