शरीरं त्वं शम्भोः शशि-मिहिर-वक्षोरुह-युगं
तवात्मानं मन्ये भगवति नवात्मान-मनघम् ।
अतः शेषः शेषीत्यय-मुभय-साधारणतया
स्थितः सम्बन्धो वां समरस-परानन्द-परयोः


sariram tvam samboh sasimihira vaksorhayugam
tavatmanam manye bhagavati navatmanam anagham
atah sesas sesity ayam ubhayasadharanataya
sthitas sambandho vam samarasa parananda parayoh


You are the body of Shiva, having Sun and Moon for twin breasts,
Yourself, I surmise Goddess, as a new sinless self;
Therefore, by mutual complementarity, the relation remains one of common reciprocity
Between you two, participating on equal terms of transcendent bliss.


Verses 34 and 35 require a special epistemological and methodological approach before they could make sense to the modern reader. It is only in the light of modern phenomenology, or of intentionality as understood in the philosophy of Brentano, that we can give even a barely justifiable meaning to these two verses. Phenomenological terms like "noetic", "noematic" and "eidetic presentiment" are the only notions in modern philosophy which resemble the treatment that Sankara adopts here. There are different degrees of abstraction and generalization implied when we represent an object, pronounce a judgement on it, or evaluate it. Shiva, as understood here, is only a thin, mathematically understood entity, without any concrete or tangible body of his own. The very first verse of this work presupposes this, when it states that Shiva is incapable even of pulsation without being joined with his own counterpart, Shakti. If mathematics has a teleological status at the positive limit of the vertical parameter, then ontology could be said to mark a point lower down in the vertical scale of intentions or values. Viewed in the light of such a perspective, there is no duplication or conflict between any rival bodies, as between those of Shiva and Parvati.


We suggest that Verses 34 and 35 be scrutinized together because we find a secondary goddess introduced in each of them. The first goddess, in Verse 34, has the status of parity with the numerator value called sambhu (Shiva), while the secondary goddess, found in Verse 35, is not an equal to Shiva in the same sense, but prefers to be his wife in a more negatively feminine manner. In reading both theses verses, we have to keep in mind four degrees of abstraction and generalisation. Sex might be a "fact truth" but it is not a "logic truth". Similarly, the relationship between "Shivahood" and "Parvatihood" could have parity or ambivalence, complementarity, reciprocity or compensation, consistent with the four degrees of abstraction and generalisation, which we could summarily distinguish as first-, second-, third- and fourth-dimensional, based on the principle of the quaternion. We have had occasion to explain this principle many times elsewhere, as in our "Search for a Norm in Western Thought". Basically, these four dimensions are not different from the four states of consciousness described in the Upanishads. The Mandukya Upanishad (See bottom of page) calls them sthula (gross), suksma (subtle), karana (causal) and finally turiya ("the fourth"), which has a fully absolutist status. The numerator aspect has to be further distinguished from its own denominator aspect, because there is a tragic line that separates name and form (nama-rupa) which correspond to conception and perception, respectively. These epistemological, methodological and axiological considerations have to be remembered together if some of the major enigmas of these two verses are to be clarified. We could put our finger on each of the ten distinct enigmas in these two verses taken together. The first seven are in Verse 34:


1. "You are the body of Shiva" (sariram tvam sambhoh)
Shiva has only a thin mathematical status, placed as he is at the extreme positive (Omega) limit of the total situation to be kept in mind here. Thus, at a lower level, tending to be ontological rather than teleological, we are asked here to think of a goddess who still has a hypostatic or positive dignity attached to her body. Such a body is not to be treated as physical in the ordinary sense, but may be said to belong to the world of intentionality, whether subjective or objective. Such notions are also found in Phenomenology, as in the terms "noetic", "noematic" and "eidetic presentiment". The body of Shiva, has therefore, an epistemological status of its own.


2. "Sun and moon for twin breasts" (sasi mihira vaksoruha yugam)
The sunlight and moonlight of spring and summer both have their respective parts to play in making a tree put forth its fresh sprouts and blossoms. How the sun and moon cooperate in such a task has to be intuitively imagined, as when we understand that the twilight periods of both sun and moon, rising or setting through the 365 days of the year, are likely to have some kind of psycho-chemical influence on the growth and metabolism of a human being, especially in a woman. The breasts of the Goddess represent the source of life for all children born anywhere, at any time. There is then nothing too far-fetched implied when it is suggested here that the breasts of the Goddess are derived from the two celestial sources of light that we call the sun and moon, which weave a logarithmic spiral within the individual mind or psycho-physical setup, contributing to the status of the person of the Goddess.


The sun dominates the active daytime, while the moon is most beautiful in its thinnest, crescent-like virtuality, presiding over the subconscious innate world of dreams and reveries. We have already indicated that, if we should abstract and generalize the twilights of the sun and moon rising or setting together, we could derive a vertical parameter as a reference for the alternating influences of sun and moon on the consciousness of the contemplative. When fitted into the overall scheme in terms of a logarithmic descending spiral, it would be possible to justify this reference as implying both a horizontal parity and a vertical reciprocity between them.


It is important for the revised structuralism proper to the value of beauty, as presented to Sankara after his revaluation of Kaulin and Samayin Tantric traditions (in Verses 32 and 33), that the breasts of the Goddess do not have merely an earthy reference. This kind of revaluation was also clearly underlined in Verse 19.


3. "A new, sinless self" (navatmanam anagham)
As we have already indicated, in Verse 34, we are still thinking of the numerator aspect of the personality of the Goddess. If cause is old, effect is new. Causes have a negative ontological reference and effects have, on the contrary, a positive hypostatic or teleological reference. To give a very concrete example, a mango tree displays fresh reddish green sprouts every year in the flowering season. This tender magenta foliage could be compared to the new body rising out of the old body that the tree would otherwise represent. It is the new side, which is an effect in the personality of the Goddess, that is to be understood here. If we now ask about the old aspect of the same personality, which is on the denominator side of the cause and not on the numerator effect side, the answer will be found in the very next verse which views the same complementary, reciprocal and compensatory relationship in a revised and more negative perspective. Sin is always associated with things that are "of earth, earthy". Concepts cannot be associated with sin, because sin can adhere only in the world of percepts. In this sense, the hypostatic aspect of the self of the Goddess, or of anybody else, has to be thought of as removed from all taint of sin.


4. "By mutual complementarity" (sesah sesi)
The complementarity referred to here could only be between the higher body, having a thin mathematical status and the body of Parvati which is more actual, though still hypostatic and pure or celestial. As between any two levels in the vertical parameter, there must be a complementarity between the positivity and the negativity implied between them. In the next verse, however, there is another complementarity between the two denominator aspects of the same principle of Absolute Beauty, which is neither male nor female, nor both indifferently.


5. "Relation of common reciprocity" (ubhaya sadharanataya)
In the original expression in Sanskrit ubhaya means "participating both ways" and sadharanata means "having a common feature". Our translation thus correctly corresponds to the meaning of the original Sanskrit.


6. "Participating on equal terms" (samarasa parayoh)
The Sanskrit term samarasa, meaning "equality of bliss or joy" sufficiently justifies our rendering. The joy refers to the transcendental bliss which we now discuss under No.7 below.


7. " Transcendent bliss" (parananda)
Bliss could be either immanent or transcendent. Consistent with the numerator status of the two partners in this verse, we can see how the transcendent bliss, parananda, applies more aptly here than immanent bliss, which would properly belong to the context of the next verse.


The object of Sankara in Verses 34 and 35 will become all the more evident when we remember that he shuns the technicalities of Tantra and Yoga when they are used too conventionally and out of relation with the realities of everyday life. We even find the name of the Anahata Chakra which is evidently implied in Verse 38, to be omitted by Sankara. Anahata means "not struck" and implies a state of nature. It does not, according to Sankara, call for a special technical term to distinguish it amongst the Chakras. For the same reason, we find that Sankara does not have any use for the terms so inevitably used in Yogic and Tantric literature, such as ida, pingala and susumna. Esotericism for its own sake, like scholasticism in western thought, only detracts from the scientific status of a work of the kind that Sankara intends this present one to be.






Shariram tvam shambhoh - You are the body of Shiva
Shashi mihira vaksho ruha yugam - having sun and moon for twin breasts, shoulder-borne
Tava atmanam manye bhagavati - Yourself, I surmise, o beneficent goddess
Nava atmanam anagham - as a new and sinless self
Ataha - thus
Sheshah sheshi iti ayam - by mutual complementarity this
Ubhaya sadhara nataya - by common reciprocity
Sthitaha - they remain
Sambandho - the interrelation
Vam - of You two
Sama rasa para ananda parayoh - on equal terms of transcendent bliss

The "new sinless body" is numerator.
The Devi is the body of Shiva - he is purely mathematical and numerator.

There is complementarity and reciprocity between Shiva and Shakti, as also interpenetration, parity and one-to-one correspondence.
One-to-one correspondence.




There is perfect complementarity between the positive and negative sides. There is also equal transparency or homogeneity of value.
Sun and moon are principles in the Numerator relation-relata complex.
"By common features, you participate mutually".



Another version:

- You are the body
- Of Shiva
- Having twin breasts for moon and sun
- Your self
- I consider
- O, auspicious one
- As a new self
- Sinless therefore
- As what remains itself and as its counterpart
- By way of having common factors between the two (i.e. by complemental reciprocity).
- The two remain
- Bound together
- For you two
- Having equality of status in terms of transcendental bliss (You have the same status in the Absolute).
Shiva here has no body: he is a mathematical Omega Point.
How can Shiva's body be said to have two bulging breasts?
Because it is a purely conceptual body - the real sun and the virtual moon are also conceptualized breasts.
The horizontally-conceived body, on the Denominator side, is you, the Devi.
This body belongs to Shiva as your counterpart.
Shiva has only a conceptual body.

The sun and moon are not physical but conceptual breasts - the real breasts would be below the horizontal line.

"Yourself, I consider to be a new self, without sin".
The Denominator could have sin, not the totality.

These could be defined as remainder and remaining: Spinoza, Leibniz and Descartes knew the difference between them,
"Mesure mesurante et mesure mesurée " (
"The measure which measures and the measure which is measured"), as Descartes calls these two factors.

The remainder is a noun, it is quantitative, substantive.
The remaining is a participle, qualitative, predicative; it is "the quality of remaining".
(Both terms can be used as nouns. “Remaining,” as a noun, is an act by which someone or something remains. For instance, in the sentence “The remaining of two natures makes his acts questionable”, “remaining” is the noun. “Remainder,” used as a noun, is the part or parts that are left when something is removed. In the sentence “The remainder of the text will explore philosophical concepts”, “remainder” is the noun. “Remainder” is also used as a noun in mathematics: Here it is the part that is left after subtracting the divisor from the dividend as many times as possible without encountering a negative result. ED)

Read more :

The "new Self" is an emergent Self: a combination of the Self or Devi, and the non-Self, or Shiva; as a result of the merging or reciprocity of the two.

This verse does complete justice to the Devi.

Sankara is saying exactly the same as Narayana or Nataraja Guru.


No pundit of India or methodologist of Europe can explain this verse.
(See Lacombe : "L'Absolu selon le Vedanta")

Transcendental bliss - Shiva and Parvati have between them a parity and a one-to-one correspondence.

(See Bergson: the relationship between Peter and Paul, as described in "An Integrated Science of the Absolute", on this website. ED)

This is too high-class: I have given you the translation.
It is a question of the interpenetration of two aspects of the Absolute, called Para Brahman and Apara Brahman, the immanent and transcendent Absolute.
Here the Guru asks for an explanation of the sun and moon as the breasts of this "new" Self - interposed on the conceptualised body of Shiva.

Between the two there are cancellable relations, implying compensation, complementarity, reciprocity and parity.

Alternatively, the relationships could be described as: complementarity, compensation, cancellability and reciprocity.
(May we emphasize again that the structural methodology used by the Guru should not be pinned down and made into a rigid series of rules - it is a way of looking at things, not a dogma. ED)

These are all dealt with in this verse, which is representative of the ultimate of culture, literature and philosophy. (Shankara should be given a Nobel prize for this).

The basic structural terms assigned to their respective levels:

Ambivalence - the first level, the actual, Subrahmaniam and Ganesha are ambivalent.


(A sample definition of ambivalence from the Glossary on this website is: "The principle of harmonization is very much like a principle of ambivalence going from plus to minus and arriving at a neutral point of homeostasis. The overall science dealing with this is Yoga - always with a middle ground. There are many levels of finding such homeostasis, such as between the spiritual and the social, in which the middle ground is morality; crime and punishment in which the middle ground is therapeutic correction. A similar ambivalence is between the psychological and physiological, in which the middle ground is awareness of harmony and a sense of ease." ED)

Reciprocity - the second level; Saraswati and Lakshmi.


(As always,when dealing with structural methodology, simple definitions are inadequate, but examples will give some definition to these extremely subtle terms. The interested reader should pass in review the various places in these verses - too numerous to enumerate - where the relationship between Saraswati and Lakshmi is described. The same applies to all these terms. The dictionary definitions do not help much. ED)

Complementarity - the third level, the Devi with callosities - she wants to establish the final cancellation with Shiva, here, she is his complementary counterpart.

(There is a reference here to Verse 82. ED)

Verse 82.

"Beating both the best of elephant trunks, and groups of golden banana stems,
By thighs and by knees having goodly callosities, due to daily devotions
To Your Lord, even the twin frontal knobs of the heavenly elephant
You outdo, o Mountain Daughter triumphant."



Cancellation - the fourth level, the final operation - Shiva and Shakti united.

(There are so many verses dealing with this cancellation that it would be futile to try to enumerate them. ED)

Parity - refers to the horizontal alone; bilateral symmetry.




Another version:
- You, the body
- Of Shiva
- Having sun and moon for (twin) breasts (parity)
- Your self
- I consider
- O beneficent Goddess
- As a new self (suggests complementarity - revision)
- Sinless
- By virtue of this (juxtaposition of values)
- With mutual complementarity these
- By being reciprocal, with common features
- Stands (the relation stands)
- The relation
- Of you both
- As (twin) participators on equal terms in transcendental bliss (cancellable)
Male and female are related in such a way that they belong together in the Absolute.

The ontological vertical axis is not enough: that is only an Aphrodite, a relativistic Goddess.

Sankara is saying: "But you are the body of Shiva, and the new Self is the Absolute.
You are both participators in some kind of colour".


"You are the body of Shiva…", "…new and sinless self", "…sun and moon as twin breasts": with this verse, Sankara is adding a Numerator to the relativistic eroticism of the Kaulins on the negative, denominator side; thus there is a new body with breasts, descending from the numerator side.

Shankara wants to cancel the lower eroticism with a higher one.
He has first proven in the two previous verses, 32 and 33, that he knows the secrets.

Between matter and mind, positive and negative, there is a neutral Truth.
In this sequence, the previous positions have been given, now comes Shankara's revaluation.
Parity - the sun and moon as twin breasts; in pure value terms they fall into the same vertical axis.
Horizontally, they represent the breasts; the structure has to be ontologically valid, going from what we know to what we do not.

They have perfect reciprocity, complementarity etc.
Above, the vertical and horizontal versions exist without contradiction, the bilateral symmetry of the two breasts is not contradictory to the sun and moon, which have a vertical status: turn them 90 degrees and make the Devi with an actual body.
Abolish all colours for a Taoist picture, change to dots and lines, with dark and light lines, until she is made pure by the influence from the touch of Shiva's trident. Let the trident be just a thin line above her head; her body derived from that, then a verticalized sun and moon turned 90 degrees and descending to form her breasts.


Shiva and Parvati.

Let her lower half be purified by a figure-8, becoming wholly illumined, then show an amethyst quartz with light and dark sides cancelling out into neutrality, finally becoming grey.

Both persons become equally immersed in transcendent bliss.
(Keep in mind parity, reciprocity, complementarity etc.)



You can have a full-dress participation of Yin and Yang.
Show the interference of two wave-lengths, making various figure-8´s, finally merging into one.
You can show an embrace from Kalidasa's "Kumarasambhava" here.


Shiva and Parvati.


The Goddess confers on Herself hypostatic status and cancels Herself against Shiva.
The hypostatic side is "sinless".
At the other side of this is double negation

There is a"new body" on the numerator side.
Shiva is bodiless.