किरीटं वैरिञ्चं परिहर पुरः कैटभभिदः
कठोरे कोठीरे स्कलसि जहि जम्भारि-मकुटम् ।
प्रणम्रेष्वेतेषु प्रसभ-मुपयातस्य भवनं
भवस्यभ्युत्थाने तव परिजनोक्ति-र्विजयते
kiritam vairincam parihara kaitabhabhidah
kathore kotire skhahalasi jahi jambhari makutam
pranamresvetesu prasabham upayatasya bhavanam
bhavasya bhyutthane tava parijanoktir vijayate
Remove Brahma's crown from before; and of him called Vishnu,
You are going to hurt his hard headgear; bypass Indra's crown
As, inclining in front of you, they remain at that very moment for him on his homecoming,
You are about to rise, such words of your retinue, they do ring supreme..


Verses 29 and 30 represent two more normalized versions, before the punctuation between sections of ten verses passes over to another aspect of the Absolute as a significant value. We have to imagine here the same beautiful palace with its groves and gardens and flowering trees on a gem-island; first mentioned in Verse 3, and further developed in Verse 8, with the Goddess sitting in full imperial glory within a Mandala in an architectural motif both circular and square. She sits in the centre, evidently, enthroned in all her absolutist beauty and magnificence. We can put into this same picture all the lesser Shiva agents who belong to her personal retinue, on one side of the total situation. On the other side there are the female attendants who are maidens-in-waiting for the private requirements of the Empress herself. We can also imagine armed guards for her protection, distributed more peripherally within the four walls, or even outside. The central room represents the sacred sanctuary where the Goddess of Beauty presides, commanding the total and complex setup of her retinue. We could imagine the three demiurges, who have figured consistently in many previous verses, in the act of inclining in one of the two alternate manners depicted in Verse 25. The vertical version is the one where the three modalities are transcended. The horizontal version is where their crowns are going to be hurt, as the verticalized phase is likely to be induced at a given moment, when Shiva should be imagined as being sighted by the retainers outside as about to visit the Goddess in all her normal glory. Fanfares, trumpets and kettledrums could all be inserted into the picture as we like, according to personal taste, but the essence of the occasional moment is what is to be intuitively caught and understood here.


The first three lines of this verse are to be taken as the words coming from the mouths of the retinue surrounding the Goddess, who are concerned that proper dignity and importance be given to the Devi above all others. It is not the horizontal setup of the Goddess that counts, but the words that ring above the situation as a warning and an important directive, although only intentional in status or import. The words rise above the totality of the important occasional moment to be placed in an eternal present.


The three gods wear crowns of different degrees of hardness or objectivity on the side of effects, which is a form of the second degree of objectivity. The conical crown generally has a gem marking its terminal point in the case of each of the gods, whose functions we already know. Vishnu's headgear is the hardest to transcend. Brahma can be asked to take his crown away from where it can come to clash with that of the Devi, who is fully intending to rise but not actually doing so, still anticipating the homecoming of her lord. The headgear of Indra is to be more lightly bypassed because he has only the status of a demiurge among demiurges. He is not an Ishvara, but only a Deva, still steeped in the world of hedonistic values. All these gods can be thought of as bending over the crown of the Devi herself in such a way as to obstruct the vertical path that the Devi's own crown-tip might have to cross vertically in its ascent. It is her verticality that is to be given primacy on this occasion, and the armed guards are in charge of precautions against possible untoward events. The demiurges might intrude their crowns (representing their pride) and obstruct the free passage of the absolute principle as it passes vertically when she rises to receive Shiva, who descends from the heights of his own mental horizon. The verticality attains its maximum when both are fused together into one parameter, touching both the higher and the lower limits on the very occasion or moment of the eternal present wherein absolute beauty is about to triumph in its full glory. Intentionality is here as good as an accomplished fact, so one should not ask whether the Devi actually rose from her seat or not. This is the perfect picture of absolutist occasionalism in which no brute event really takes place.


(The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic and Neo-Platonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics. Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily thought of as being the same as the creator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense, because both the demiurge itself plus the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are considered either uncreated and eternal, or the product of some other being, depending on the system. ED)

(The Lord or Ishvara is not always identical with the Absolute (Brahman), and very often has only a secondary position. The word derives from the root Ish, which means to control, to govern, to rule, to command, to be master or lord of, etc. Isha means one who controls, governs, etc. Ishvara and Ishvari, in turn, mean the higher controller, higher governor, etc. The word deva derives from the root div which means to shine or to be bright. Deva then mean one who shines, or one who is brilliant, or a being of light. Devas often have a merely relativistic status. ED)






In this verse we are in the Eternal Present in which Shiva and Parvati are equally dignified by cancellation in a world of intentionality (he is "about" to come): both their dignities cancel out.
Kiritam vairincam parihara purah - remove Brahma's crown from before
Kaitabha bhidaha - of him who is called Vishnu
Kathore kotire - his hard headgear
Jahi jambhari makutam - bypass Indra's crown
Pranam reshu eteshu - they remain as inclining in front of You
Prasabham - at that moment
Upayatasya bhavanam - for him, just then coming home
Bhavasya abhyuttane - as rising for Shiva's approach
Tava parijanoktihi - the words of Your retinue
Vijayate - they ring supreme.
A popular print depicting the Devi and Her court.


The attendants, soldiers etc. have different functions. Generally speaking, this verse shows an ascent from the immanent to the transcendent with three possible obstructions from hypostatic gods.
("Hypostatic" is obscure to ED. "Hypostatic" would seem to imply that they are on the positive side. Are they? We may just be being stupid. A lot about this verse is still not clear to us after 45 years. ED) )
A momentary total situation is revealed.
(It should be kept in mind that the three gods represent the creation, preservation and of the horizontal, phenomenal universe. ED)
This verse describes the Devi arising from Her seat. Sankara asks Vishnu and Brahma to remove their crowns, because She is "about" to rise on the entry of Shiva.

Why? Because Her crown will strike against the crowns of the rivals: Vishnu and Brahma. (Actually Brahma's is blocking her vision)

"About to rise" : she does not rise, because she is a lady - but she is about to rise out of respect for her husband.
(See:" The Pageant of Indian History" by Gertrude Emerson Sen)


Another version:
- The crown pertaining to Brahma ("the Lotus-Seated")
- Remove in front (remove that first - "in front" of the Devi, and hiding her glory - and her vision)
- Of (him) who is called Vishnu
- Against the (diamond ) hard crown
- You hurt (Devi is hurting the crown of Vishnu with her own)
- Transcend the crown of Indra (with his erotic preoccupations).
- As these remain in a recumbent posture (the three gods).
- All of a sudden (quickly) (applies to Devi, not Shiva)
- Returning home (Shiva is returning home, in a loin-cloth)
- As You rise in honour of him (suddenly about to rise, these warnings of Your entourage should be heeded)
- The utterings of Your entourage (or attendants)
- Reigns victorious (these warnings are to be heeded)
The Devi is about to rise, the attendants say that Brahma should remove his crown because he is obstructing the vision of the Devi or of the entering Shiva; that the crown of Vishnu will be hurt; (by the tenderness of Her feet, She might be hurt; or Her crown, like a hydrogen flame, might melt his crown)
(This is purposely left vague by Sankara, re Vishnu's crown)
Then one of the female attendants says to the Devi that she had better transcend the crown of Indra.
These three things are said by the attendants.
Brahma is to be removed from below, Vishnu (horizontal) is to be avoided as far as "hurt" is concerned. Indra is to be transcended.

Shiva is returning home and as She is about to rise, the attendants give out certain cautions to avoid disasters.

Victory applies to the Beauty of Devi, who is about to rise; and the less significant values of Brahma, the harsh one of Vishnu and the shoddy erotic values of Indra are all to be dealt with: removed for Brahma, for Vishnu, looked out for and transcended for Indra.


You are asked to appreciate a situation in which these instructions are given in order to protect the beauty and dignity of the Devi for the triumph of the Absolute.

Brahma is told to remove his crown, as it is blocking the Devi's view of the front door.

She is warned not to hurt Herself - or the crown of Vishnu; She should avoid the harsh horizontality of Vishnu.

If the Devi has to attain the height of the Absolute, She might rise when Shiva returns.

She should transcend the erotic Indra.

There are three attendants:
1- one who thinks of the frontal view.
2- one who thinks of the value-encrusted view or aspect.
3- one who thinks of transcending Indra (the hypostatic counterpart of water).
The Guru finally decided that these warnings of the entourage were general in nature and direction.
It was thus left vague whether the attendants are addressing the three gods, the Devi or neither or both.
Anyway it doesn't matter. The point is that the warnings reign victorious.

Also left vague (purposely?) by Sankara is the question of whether it is Vishnu's crown or the Devi's feet which will be hurt as she rises.
We may assume that both are possible consequences.
(Ambiguity is a constant factor in these verses, both or several interpretations may be valid. ED)
To the Guru's mind, this verse seems to be a revaluation of the Vedic context - subordinating the pleasure-loving, hedonistic gods to the all-inclusive Absolute.

But not, of course, excluding them; for, as we have already seen, the real puja (worship) is that puja which the gods are perpetually doing to the footstool of the Devi. And in this verse, too, we find the line "as these remain in recumbent posture". ("Inclining in front of you." ED)
Here we have occasionalism, general intention, a phenomenological epoché.
A cross-section view must here be taken of the Devi's throne room.
(Epoché, Greek -  epokhē,  "suspension") is an ancient Greek term which, in its philosophical usage, describes the theoretical moment where all judgments about the existence of the external world, and consequently all action in the world, is suspended. One's own consciousness is subject to immanent critique so that when such belief is recovered, it will have a firmer grounding in consciousness. ED)



(The above structural diagram shows the three gods on the numerator, hypostatic side, and thus resolves our quibble in an earlier comment of ours - however we still do not understand WHY they are hypostatic in this verse.  This is despite the fact that the Guru says that " this verse seems to be a revaluation of the Vedic context - subordinating the pleasure-loving, hedonistic gods to the all-inclusive Absolute." ED)
The Devi is about to rise in honour of Her husband, who is about to enter.
Brahma, Vishnu and Indra are notified by the Devi's attendants that something great is about to happen.
(We must remember that, beneath the imagery of a Goddess in a queenly court etc. , this verse is describing the final cancellation between the positive and negative poles which makes this universe burst into existence and is the essence of the ultimate delight - Saundarya Lahari - the "upsurging billow of ultimate delight" - which is what this poem is all about. The three gods and their subordinate functions of creation etc. are all secondary to this final cancellation. ED)

Remove these three crowns, which are in the way when the Devi wants to rise.
These are three types of holiness which are obstructions to the plus and minus joining together into absolute value.
Absolutism triumphs over the relative values of religion (represented by the three relativistic gods. ED).
(Yet again, here we have relativistic ritual Vedism and absolutist vertical Vedanta - Karma Kanda and Jnana Kanda. ED)

This is meant as an occasion, with a general intention.
Shiva is here an abstract principle who will descend on a situation.
She is about to rise and She is to avoid coming in contact with the crowns of three Vedic gods.

The attendants warn of three possible accidents:
1- Brahma's crown is obstructing the Devi's vision.
2- She might hurt the hard crown of Vishnu.
3- Surpass the ordinary crown of Indra.

The intention is on the part of the Devi's retinue - soldiers and ladies.
They are anxious and victorious.
When the Devi and Shiva meet, the Absolute triumphs, so it is an important occasion.

Another version:
- Brahma's crown (pertaining to)
- Remove (withdraw, clear)
- What is in front
- Of he named Vishnu
- Hard crown
- You hurt (Devi will hurt)
- Transcend the crown of Indra
- As they remain recumbent (in respect of the Absolute)
- At that moment
- Of coming home
- On the arrival of Shiva (bhavasya)
- The sayings of Your retinue
- Reign supreme

Purposely vague is who is standing and who is arriving.
This may be a trick of Sankara : bhavasya. (This is not clear to ED)
"On Your rising" or "on the arrival of Shiva"
This is the world of intentions - like that of the modern phenomenologists.
All the theological gods are swept away; what is left is an epoché, or mental state.

This is an eternal present in which Shiva and Parvati are equally dignified by cancellation in the world of intentionality - he is "about" to come.
Both their dignities cancel out.

The Goddess here is NOT mathematically thin, there is a horizontal content also - soldiers, royal pomp, attendants.

Shiva is coming, She is about to rise.
Brahma, Vishnu etc. are existential gods - hence the hard crowns,
bypassed by verticalisation from the negative side.
This is a moment of intentionality
- the event takes place above the horizontal in the world of concepts.

They are "about" to meet - there is an intention
- this is a vertical participation without carnality.
- Shiva can be Ardhanarisvara (half-male, half female)
- copulation is not necessary, it passes vertically through the whole situation.
A popular print of Ardhanarishwara.