निषेव्ये नित्ये त्वा महमिति सदा भावयति यः ।
किमाश्चर्यं तस्य त्रिनयन-समृद्धिं तृणयतो
महासंवर्ताग्नि-र्विरचयति नीराजनविधिम्
svadehodbhutabhir ghrnibhir animadyabhir abhito
nisevye nitye tvam aham iti bhavayati yah
kim ascaryam tasya trinayana samrddhim trnayato
mahasamvartagnir viracayati nirajana vidhim
Out of the rays arising from your proper body, representing psychic powers such as atomicity,
For one who contemplates these in terms of oneself,
What wonder for him that all the benefits from the Three-Eyed One should only be worth rejection
And that the fire of doom should perform for him (in turn) the light-waving rite?
The ritualistic supplicant of this verse gets a reward which is much more than what he could expect from the standpoint of ordinary Tantrism, for he is able to place himself before the absolute principle of these verses, in keeping with the Advaitic attitude in which the worshipper and the worshipped are treated as interchangeable terms in the context of the Self and the non-Self. The tables are turned unexpectedly and completely in his favour and the worshipper, instead of worshipping, is himself worshipped. Ordinarily, a believer in the efficacy of Tantric ritualism places himself before an image which is thought of as a presence. By concentrating on this presence, the worshipper will begin to participate in certain values radiating from the body of the Goddess, represented by the image being worshipped. Favours are involved in all worship except the Vedantic one. Such favours could include very base ones, such as praying for the defeat of a particular enemy, or praying for riches; not to speak of attracting women in order to make them obedient to one's wishes. These are lesser benefits which could apply, at best, to one or other of the two schools of Shakti worshipers in the context of Tantra, Mantra and Yantra. These schools are the Kaulins and the Samayins, the former more left-handed or ordinary than the latter. Even if such worshippers should belong to the most respectable of the Shakti cults, we cannot imagine them as seeking benefits which only Upanishadic wisdom could make them aspire to. Even groups of believers belonging to a very superior and intelligent order could be expected to pray for those psychic powers emanating from the body of the Goddess worshipped, which are the eight classically enumerated siddhis (psychic powers), starting with anima (minuteness or atomicity).


The Nyaya and Vaisesika systems of Indian Philosophy begin with the paramanu (an infinitesimal particle or atom) and not with the Absolute, as the first category of significance in their system. We have a series of other values which could be built up in an ascending order with this atomic particle reality as its starting point. Smallness would at once suggest largeness. Brahman is neither great nor small, but both at once. Lightness and heaviness can also be treated as the next pair in an ascending series of benefits known to anterior schools, lesser than what is represented by Vedanta, the final crowning position among them all, as established elsewhere by Sankara .The four other psychic powers are classically recognized and mentioned even in the "Amarakosa" lexicon. They are not peculiar to the Tantric world but acceptable to Indian Philosophy in general.


In the first line of this verse, the Devi's body is represented as the seat from which these psychic powers radiate as their common source. They are like graded rays of light covering a broad spectrum of benefits which the worshipper can acquire for himself by continued meditation on the Devi. These powers are the highest point attainable by an aspirant seeking success in this world and importance in the eyes of his fellow men. This would apply to one who has not risen to a consciousness of the need for detachment or renunciation - as is normal to an aspirant who has had a Guru who makes him interested in self-knowledge and emancipation through it, as proper to the Upanishadic teaching. One step less than such an Upanishadic ideal would lead him into the world of personal benefits, which at best would only apply to some form of success in the public eye. The world beyond would be excluded, and although the gates of heaven might be open to him, the gate of salvation would be closed against him. One has to be able to contemplate values originating from the person of the Goddess, not only of a bodily order, but from a presence that combines and cancels physical and metaphysical values into the unitive terms of one absolute value. The psychic powers are attendant upon the person of the goddess, biased somewhat on the physical side, to the exclusion of the psychic side of the personality. The prayer is thus for unilateral benefits which are only applicable to life here and not to the hereafter.


The fully instructed Advaita Vedantin, however, is able to take the revised position indicated in the second line. He does not think of psychic powers that will enhance his value as a spiritual man in this world. He takes the bolder and more correct stand of Vedanta, which gives primacy to the Atman - the Self - rather than to miscellaneous benefits, such as the siddhis, however rare they might be. He thinks of establishing an equation with himself as one pole and the absolute eternal Goddess as his counterpart. Thus, in terms of the self or Atman, there is established a bipolar participation between its further subdivisions, which are here the self of the devotee and the self that the Goddess herself represents. When these attain to homogeneity of status by continued contemplative wisdom-disciplines in keeping with Upanishadic teachings, there is no violation of any principle if we should turn the tables to say that the worshipper becomes himself worshippable to his own non-self counterpart. Any one of the mahavakyas ("great sayings") of Vedanta can do this trick of turning the tables completely in favour of the worshipper. When such a radical change takes place, the Vedantic supplicant would not be attracted any more by benefits for himself, however great, which even Shiva, on the numerator side of the gods, could deign to confer on him. It is not the body, but the positive counterpart of the body of the Goddess, represented by Shiva, that can confer other-worldly benefits which are more spiritual than benefits proper to the body of the Goddess herself. These latter concern only the ontological self, as psychic powers that apply to life here. There is a corresponding series of these psychic gifts of a more spiritual order, which Shiva can confer on behalf of the Devi from his own non-self side. They have a one-to-one correspondence with the former series, starting with minute particles, which still refer to matter only. The benefits from Shiva can range upwards instead of downwards. He is interested in conferring salvation and not heaven.


The third line, therefore, rightly underlines that the intelligent Advaitin will not care for anything less than salvation, which is far beyond heaven. If by mistake Shiva should confer a benefit within the scope of heavenly values only, the superior and proud Advaitin would naturally reject it, and one should not be surprised if he does so. He prays for no sugar-coated benefits, but wants the last benefit of all on the positive side at the Omega Point, which is that intense zone where the powers of doomsday are concentrated, possibly at the top of the crown of Shiva himself. It is that tragic doom that he prays for, not for any benefits at all, and the person able to take such an absolute, firm and radical position, himself becomes the equal counterpart of what that doom represents. Instead of waving lights to the combined presence which includes the Devi as well as the doom of Shiva, when looked upon as representing her full stature of combined bodily and mental aspects together - the self of the worshipper attains to such an exalted dignity that the numerator doomsday fire would wave its lights in turn to propitiate the denominator side, represented by the full-fledged Advaita Vedantic supplicant. Self and non-Self, in other words, are interchangeable in the highest context of Advaita.


The words "attendant on you" (nisevye) mean that the siddhis, or psychic powers, are not intrinsically of the nature of the Goddess, but of the nature of epiphenomena. This phrase clearly states that the siddhis are like servants to the Goddess. The absolute Goddess is not directly interested in conferring siddhis. To pray for them is not respectable enough in her eyes.


The reference to the "Eternal One" is intended to mark the transition from a lower goddess, represented as being within the scope of the three gunas (nature modalities), to one who is more eternal and independent of time and place.


The phrase "in terms of oneself" (aham iti) constitutes the pivot around which the turning of the tables may be said to take place. The Self and the non-Self are involved directly here, without the question of benefits coming to mind at all. The natural pride of a superior Advaitin would make him reject the highest of benefits of a hedonistic order, because without renunciation the self-realization which is the only benefit of Vedanta cannot accrue to anyone. The three-eyed Shiva is still a divinity to be propitiated, and not the complete counterpart of the devotee's own self, when fully abstracted and generalized. Further, it is to be understood here that, when subjected to abstraction and generalization, the deity loses his theological status and becomes the counterpart of the self of the supplicant, so as to cancel himself out in the totality of the unity of the Absolute.


The reference to the "fire of doom" (samvartagni) is intended to match the top limit of a numerator value against the bottom limit of a denominator value as its counterpart, as implied in the person of the supplicant himself.


In conclusion, we have shown how the structural and methodical requirements are seen to be fully respected here. Inversion, one-to-one correspondence, self/non-self dialectics, theological worship - both in ascending and descending order, also with one-to-one correspondence between them - and above all, how hedonistic values are only worth rejection, are all to be noted here as being conducive to Sankara's task of re-evaluating Tantric worship in terms of a fully-fledged Advaitic one, which is seen to be clearly undertaken in this and many other verses of this series.

Siddhi: Attainment. Certain supra-mundane attainments gained through certain yogic practices. Eight such attainments are referred to by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. (Nataraja Guru)

We reproduce here some interesting definitions of siddhis from the Sanskrit-English dictionary of Monier-Williams:
Siddhi: The acquisition of supernatural powers by magical means or the supernatural faculty so acquired (the eight usually enumerated are given in the following sloka:


anima laghima praptih prakamyam mahima tatha isitvam ca vasitvam ca tatha amavasayita
Sometimes 26 more are added, e.g. dura-sravana, sarvajnatva, agni-stambha etc.
  1. anima : the superhuman power of becoming as small as an atom.
  2. laghima : a kind of siddhi or supernatural faculty of assuming excessive lightness at will.
  3. prapti : the power of obtaining everything.
  4. prakamya . irresistible will or fiat.
  5. mahima : the magical power of increasing size at will.
  6. isitva : superiority, supremacy, one of the eight attributes of Shiva.
  7. vasitva: the supernatural power of subduing to one's own will, mastery of one's self, command.
  8. kamavasaya: the power of suppressing desire (one of the eight supernatural faculties of Shiva).
dura-sravana: hearing from afar, sarvjnatva : omniscience, agni-sthamba : the (magical) quenching of fire etc.etc.

(An epiphenomenon (plural - epiphenomena) is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon. ED)





In this verse, Self and non-Self have reciprocity in attaining psychic powers - the worshipper is worshipped.


Svadeho bhuta bhih - arising out of Your own body
Ghrni bhih - from the rays which are
Anima adhya bhih - psychic powers such as
Abhito nishevye - atomicity attendant on you
Nitye tvam - o eternal one
Aham iti sada - in terms of oneself eternally
Bhavayati yaha - one who contemplates
Virachayati -
Nirajana vidhim - by light-waving rite


There is reference here to the devotee being identified with Brahman.
(Advaita Vedanta's fundamenal premise is that the Self (The devotee) and the Absolute (Brahman) are one. This is expressed in different ways by the Mahavakyas.

According to the Advaita Vedanta tradition the four Upanishadic statements indicate the ultimate unity of the individual (Atman) with the Absolute (Brahman).

Some of the main Mahavakyas are:

  1. prajñānam brahma - "Prajña is Brahman", or "Brahman is Prajña" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
  2. ayam ātmā brahma - "I am this Self (Atman) that is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)
  3. tat tvam asi - "Thou art That" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
  4. aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman", (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda

Animadhi means siddhis such as materialisation, prophecy etc.
Animadhi siddhis refer to the properties of matter: becoming light, becoming heavy, becoming large, small etc..
Vedanta does not concern itself with these.
(They are irrelevant. Vedanta seeks only wisdom. ED)


Another version:

- From Your own body
- The rays of light
- All the accidental attributes of manifestation of Your body
- At the core
- You are unchanging
- As I myself think, for him, all the powers of Shiva become as straw
- In comparison with the fire that burns everything


To the man who can think of this truth :" I am that Goddess"- when Shiva destroys the world - to this man the flames of universal destruction are just the waving of camphor lights - a lesser light being waved in adoration of the Absolute - subject and object are one.

This verse contains the high water mark of speculation.



What remains after the destruction of the universe is Yourself.
(What remains is the Self - in the Self there is no distinction between you and the Devi. ED)

When this is understood, then the philosopher - king will secure peace for the world.
The philosopher - king is one who wants nothing.


Here, even the beauty of the Devi is cancelled by the descending Omega Point of the fire of destruction of Shiva.
This is seen as the waving of puja lights for the man who realizes that what is left after this destruction is his own self.


Even Shiva is not as great as you when you understand.

This is the highest water mark. You can abolish Shiva and the Devi.
You are worshipped by the fire of Shiva and Parvati put together.
You understand Brahman and that is all, You become Brahman.





"Teach the truth and want nothing" - this is the greatest thing.
Attain to absolute Brahman - You become Brahman.
Even Shiva's attributes are like straw for such a man.
If you are conscious of the trials and sufferings that poor humanity has gone through in the name of religion - then you will always weep when you understand this verse which elevates the human soul to a level higher than that of the gods.
(In Indian Law, a disciple can call himself equal to God.)


The psychic powers are in the rays emanating from the core of the Devi.
The centre is the Devi, the periphery is the siddhis (psychic powers).
These siddhis are abolished as the voltage is increased, like the filament in an electric light-bulb.

Another version:


- Originating in Your own body
- Of rays
- Of psychic powers such as anima (smallness, largeness, heaviness, etc. - these are only considerations coming from differences of intensity of light.
- Closely waited upon all around (these rays are servants of the Goddess, waiting around.)
- O eternal, thee
- Always as myself (I place myself inside You, as having the same soul-content)
- Who imagines (or creatively appraises)
- What wonder (is there?) (rhetorical question)
- For him
- (That) the plenitude of the three-eyed one (Shiva)
- Treating (it) as a piece of straw (as nothing, negligible)
- The great all-consuming fire
- Should perform (or make)
- The ritual act of waving flames


There is an agent of action and all psychic powers and Siddhis are simply a result of rays of light radiating from the core of the Devi (the agent of action).
She is waited upon all around by the rays, which are simply acting as servants for her.

"What wonder is there that for him who places himself within You as being of the same soul, he should regard the plenitude of Shiva as a piece of straw?"
The great fire of Shiva, resulting from the negative Devi (presiding) uniting with the Numerator of Shiva - is considered by the devotee to be as of straw - for the devotee is the Absolute and the fire is simply the waving of Puja lights in honour of the devotee himself.



He is as great as any god.
No other religion will teach this.
This is the ultimate teaching of Vedanta.
"It is more precious to me than the Taj Mahal"


The Guru speaks of Voltaire on the burning of Lisbon in "Candide": "Lisbon is in flames: what is so great about Your God?"
- only Rousseau answered this question.

No theologian in the West has succeeded in explaining why God burned Lisbon.
But here is a real answer to the question. ("God is not good, He is goodness"- Newton)
("Goodness" is substantive "God is good" is predicative)

Explaining away evil does not work - it must be cancelled with good and then transcended to the Absolute (God).

The worst aspect of life, represented by Shiva's destruction, is here cancelled by beauty and kindness (motherhood) and in the resulting Absolute the devotee must exist.

This is the term of Vedanta: "You are that".
("Tat tvam asi" in Sanskrit; one of the Mahavakyas; "that" being the Absolute. ED)

Beyond relativism is the Absolute: anything can happen to the world, but not to the Absolute.

The key to high voltage intelligence is renunciation. (See Chapter V of the Bhagavad Gita. ED)
This verse is about reversed worship - an inter-physical and trans-subjective relationship.
This is again a verse where the worshipper is worshipped.
Instead of the Devi being worshipped, she worships the worshipper.
The lights originate in the Devi (multiplicity and plurality) and are waved as one light in the Numerator.


Another version:


- Arising out of Your proper body
- By rays
- Such as anima (one of the psychic power series - eight aishwarya siddhis) (aishwarya means "wealth" ED)
- Around You in attendance
- O everlasting one, You
- As I am always (the equation between self and non-self)
- He who (always) contemplates
- What wonder is there (there is no wonder)
- For him
- That full benefit to be derived ( from the worship) of the Three-Eyed One
- The great fire of doom
- Performs
- The rite of light waving


structure slg2-p84-v30



The Devi represents probabilities, Shiva represents possibilities
- there are 64 of them indicated in this verse





("Pujari" is the person who performs a ritual or "puja". ED)


Another version:


Out of the rays arising from Your proper body, representing psychic powers such as atomicity (Anima):
Attendant on You, o Eternal One, one who contemplates these in terms of oneself,
What wonder for him that all benefits from the three-eyed one should only be worth rejection,
And that the fire of doom should perform for him in turn the light-waving rite.


Here Self and non-Self have reciprocity in attaining psychic powers.
The worshipper is worshipped.
This is fully Advaitic - it transcends Tantra.
Psychic powers are relativistic and worth only rejection.


The Devi gives sayujya - identity with Herself.
The rays are powers that arise from Her psycho-physical body.

The psychic powers - the siddhis - are accidental attributes - but She is "eternal" or Absolute.

"In terms of oneself" - put yourself on the Denominator side
and the Devi on the Numerator.

The fire of doom is in the future, apocalyptic and Numerator
- it will come to the Advaitin who cancels the Self and the non-Self.

Relativistic or material benefits are the result of relativistic worship - asuddha nirvana.

(This is "impure emancipation"- see Chapter 10 of the Darsana Mala by Narayana Guru) - it is "of this world".


Darsana Mala, X, 1:

1. nirvanam dvividham suddhamasuddham ceti tatra yat
suddham nirvasanam tadvadasuddham vasananvitam

"Emancipation is of two kinds -
What is pure and what is impure.
What is without incipient memory-factors, that is pure,
Likewise, what is qualified by incipient memory-factors is impure."


The fire of doom is the Omega Point - beyond the Goddess.
Shiva  is hot, She is cool.


Sadhya, Sadhana, Siddhis.
End, Means, Result. These are triputi.

(Triputi: the tri-basic prejudice of seer, sight and seen, or the division of subject, object and meaning which is responsible for our wrong appraisal of reality.

Literally: "Having three bases". A technical term in Vedanta referring to three aspects of cognition, namely: the subjective, the objective and the process itself. The knower of the pot and the object called the pot and the knowledge of the pot would illustrate the three ways by which the same cognition could be viewed. Absolute knowledge is without this triple-based difference. ED)


The world is evaporating upwards - She brings it down and holds the universe together like Max Planck's "H".


There is a dialectical relationship between entropy and negentropy, evolution and involution, implosion and explosion.

The universe is kept in equilibrium by cybernetic feedback.
The Devi is entropy.


"Free expertness" means "belonging to the Self".

Paratantra is objective.

(Svatantra and paratantra are technical terms meaning impulses of an ascending or descending order, referred to as "overt psychic powers" when applying to Shiva, and as "free expertness" when applied to the Devi. Although the functions are ambivalent, it is the linking parameter represented by the Shiva-principle that is the agent for the world to descend again after its dissolution. ED)


The traditional four "life-purposes" or purusharthas are artha, kama, dharma, moksha (wealth, pleasure, obligation and emancipation).


By comparison, below is a structure from Verse 23, which is the reverse of the present verse.



Do not be surprised, I am going to say that all of Shiva's wealth is as a piece of straw to the devotee of the Devi.
When Shiva burns the three worlds, that fire is merely as Puja lights being waved for the Devi.

Sankara is saying, "I have transcended all the siddhis (psychic powers) which surround the Devi.
I am not worshipping the Devi; I am equating my Self with the Devi (who is the non-Self). I have no other object than that equation."

Then the burning of the worlds is as the waving of Puja lights to the devotee.

He is saying, "I want only Tat tvam asi ("That You Are" - "that" being the Absolute)"
The worshipper himself is worshipped.

He is a Paramahansa; the white swan who rises to the Numerator side, drinking from the milk-ocean, leaving behind the water and rising above the ocean of birth and death (Samsara).