मुखं बिन्दुं कृत्वा कुचयुगमध-स्तस्य तदधो
हरार्धं ध्यायेद्यो हरमहिषि ते मन्मथकलाम् ।
स सद्यः सङ्क्षोभं नयति वनिता इत्यतिलघु
त्रिलोकीमप्याशु भ्रमयति रवीन्दु-स्तनयुगाम्


Mukham bindun kruthva kucha yuga mada sthasya thadha dho
Harardha dhyayedhyo haramamahishi the manmathakalam
Sa sadhya samkshebham nayathi vanitha inyathiladhu
Trilokimapyasu bramayathi ravindu sthana yugam.


Shiva Consort, making Your face the locus with twin breasts below,
And below still, as the better half of Shiva; meditating on Your erotic aspect,
Without delay he can stir the hearts of women; this is but slight,
And at once agitates even Her of the three worlds, when sun and moon form Her twin breasts


The same subject of stirring the sentiments of women is continued here. It is not the Advaitic Yogi to be presupposed here, but evidently a Kaulin or a Vamacarin, in the context of the erotic mystical practices prevalent in India at the decadent period, when rigorous moral standards gave way in the nooks and crannies of temple precincts to questionable practices which were not always above board. It is known that Sankara lived at this very period, and he must have known many Kaulins, Samayins and Vamacarins. This verse subjects the practices of such cults to a drastic dialectical revaluation in the light of Sankara's own uncompromising Advaitic position. The intention is unmistakably evident and it gives the key to how we should view this whole series of verses as having nothing to do directly with Shaktya cults as such.


Certain texts that belong to this pre-Advaitic tradition are popular in Bengal even to this day, as is evident from the long passages reproduced by Sir John Woodroffe, who has specialized in this kind of Indian esotericism. The curiosity of certain scholars is guided by lesser motives than the finding of pure wisdom values. Museum pieces and archives are more interesting to them in their vocation, primarily as scholars who have placed themselves outside the spirituality that they study. It is thus that some of these texts reveal an undertone of disapproval of the importance Sankara gives to the eternal female principle. They would rather have him give up his uncompromising love of pure wisdom in favour of a cult in which Shakti is to be considered the last word in philosophy. Woodroffe and Aurobindo Ghose both say that Sankara did not understand the particular aspects of these cults.


This slightly unilateral point of view prevailing in respect of the absolute principle of Beauty, which is to be brought more correctly under a non-dualistic perspective, gives us a hold on the purpose of this verse. It wants to tell us that in the context of erotic mysticism there are two alternatives in visualizing structurally the Goddess involved. One could imagine a circle and insert into it the two orthogonal axes. One could even put the face of the Goddess at the O Point of the situation and then proceed, step by step, to fill in the items of a vertical series of value factors, in descending order. The verse here enumerates the items thus to be arranged vertically on the denominator side. Sankara wished to point out here that such a form of meditation could be considered good, as far as it goes, but not good enough. He does not condemn the practice outright by saying that it is to be omitted. In the last two lines he brings out the contrast of the two approaches. It is below the horizontal line alone that the meditation should apply. Advaitic meditation requires a double correction or cancellation between numerator and denominator values. It is with reference to the breasts of a woman, placed hypostaticaly in the context of the values represented by the sun and the moon, that the cancellation here becomes possible, when the negative approach is replaced by one in which both sides enter as equal counterparts to be cancelled out against each other.


When this Advaitic approach is ensured, all interest in attracting ordinary women in a given locality gives place instead to something noble, by which it is not an eternal female with an earthy reference who is to be won over, but a Goddess, whose range of Beauty applies to all three worlds: bhurloka, bhuvarloka and svarloka.


The amplitude of the parameter is thus not unilateral but fully absolutist, as indicated in the previous verse where both celestial and tribalistic damsels come under the attraction of a true yogi of non-dualistic status. Beauty goes beyond the question of attracting the opposite sex, for it could be thought of as illuminating the Absolute itself. It is to be noted that Sankara does not discountenance the lower form of the Kaulin cult, but recommends its transcendence through a revised attitude.


Bindusthana is the Sanskrit term for "locus" in the first line of this verse. Meditation requires a point of locus (bindu) where all dimensions converge and also emerge, to be thought of both as the source and the point of re-absorption of all manifestations. This is thus the neutral point placed between the two processes (prabhava-pralaya-sthanam) which cancel each other out. The face is the index of one's beauty, and Shiva is referred to in Verse 67 as looking at the reflection of his own face in a mirror and identifying it as the face of his wife, the Goddess. Thus the bindusthana is both subjective and objective in the revised version of meditation presented here.

The Goddess presiding over the three worlds, referred to in the last line, suggests an absolutist version of the same Goddess, though not only unilaterally understood, as with the Kaulins. In other words, the revalued Goddess comprises within her scope both hypostatic and hierophantic items of value. Appreciation of value of an absolutist order can be said to attract that Goddess who represents in herself the same value. This is based on the law of "like attracts like". Here attraction becomes synonymous with appreciation in the context of absolutist devotion.


(Shaktyas are Tantric worshippers of Shakti, or the Devi. ED)


(prabhava-pralaya-sthanam, see Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9,

Verse 18
gatir bharta prabhuh sakshi
nivasah saranam suhrit
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam

[I am] the Goal, the Supporter, the Lord, the Witness,
the Abode, the Refuge, the Friend, the Becoming, the
Dissolution, and Ground of Being, ontological Basis,
and never-expended Seed.


A similar synthesis is effected between ontological or teleological aspects of the Absolute, whether conceived as the Overlord or merely as a Witness. Aspects of Self-surrender are treated on a par with reality conceived in terms of a supreme value as suggested by the term nidhanam (treasure-house) which could also be understood as the simple ontological basis of reality.

(No purpose would be served by going into the various implications of these epithets. They cover every form of possible value in the contemplative context. ED)






Mukham bindum krtva - placing the face at the locus
Kuca yugam - the two breasts
Adhah tasya - below them
Tad adho - below them
Hara ardham - the better half of Shiva
Dhyayad yo - one who should contemplate.
Hara mahishi - o consort of Shiva
Te manmatha kalam - Your erotic aspect
Sa sadyah - he without delay
Samksobham nayati - can stir the sentiments
Vanita - of women
Iti ati laghu - this is but slight
Tri lokim api - even Her of the three worlds
Ashu bhramayati - at once agitates
Ravindu sthana yugam - when sun and moon both form her twin breasts


The author is saying: "I will tell you something negligible; I will also tell you something wonderful.
It is not enough to contemplate this erotic aspect - the lower half is negligible (it only gives the power of conquering women).
But, if he can supply the sun and moon on the numerator side, he will "conquer the three worlds".
(The Advaitic position is superior to the Tantric Kaulin desire to seduce women: the Advaitin wants wisdom, not sensual gratification. The Vedantic Devi is the "lone and eternal one", the Queen of the Ultimate Absolute - not some seduceable floozie. ED)



In this verse, Sankara is cancelling the defect of Vamachara (the "left-hand" path: Kaulins etc.) by the Numerator sun and moon.
Balance the Kaulin's Devi with a Numerator, conceptualized Devi


Here imagine an ordinary Kaulin, a follower of an esoteric form of decadent Hinduism involving orgies etc.

("Kulapata" means of the lowest alphabetical origin (? Kula means a family or clan - "Pata" has many meanings, none of which seems sensible (see BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR A LIST OF DEFINITIONS) - "Pati" means "Lord"  No interpretation of this word and phrase can be determined. The original manuscript is unclear and we know shamefully little Sanskrit. ED))
The face is placed in the Bindusthana (central locus of meditation) and below that, the breasts,
Below that, actual sex - for meditation.

To the Kaulins, he says: "Yes, You can go into the basement for Your orgies, but where is the value, the philosophy?"
The main purpose of life is salvation, You have to be a mukti kami (seeker for liberation).
There are gradations in value, the highest is salvation or Moksha.


(Temple girls" refers to devadasis. ED)

The lower grade of meditation draws only temple girls.



A dancing girl representing the God Shiva Nataraja.



 Shiva Nataraja.



Add this to the previous structure, then they cancel and you get the Absolute.
Sun and Moon: these are supplied as the Numerator side of the meditation, on the actual and virtual sides of the horizontal axis.

The pundits interpret this verse only in a vulgar way.
On the other hand, the man who can supply the Numerator breasts of the Goddess, (i.e. revalue the Kaula) in terms of the sun and moon - his cosmology is complete.

The translations all seem to say that meditation on the Denominator or Numerator is incidental - that the Denominator is all right without the Numerator.

The ancients were not wrong, but the interpretation is wrong.
Sankara is discarding something as negligible: as soon as it is treated schematically, it leaps into meaning.
The Absolute Value Factor is ineffable - Sat (existence) and Chit (subsistence) are absorbed into Ananda (bliss).
Sankara knew semantics, the advanced aspect of Vedanta - see the Brahma Sutras.

The Sun and Moon are to be considered as the breasts of the Goddess - supply them as a Numerator to cancel the Denominator of the Kaulins. (Relativistic Devi-worshippers.).
In this verse, we have two-way compensation.
"Compensation" because one side is seen as being inferior to the other; i.e. supplying the Numerator sun and moon as the breasts of the Devi, meditatively cancelling out the Denominator Kaulin orgies.

"Know Brahman (the Absolute) and You become Brahman" is the boldest statement in the whole of the Upanishads.
Know Absolute Beauty and the same thing happens.

If you can compensate for the Denominator Maya with the conceptual light of the Numerator, then you have done the trick: "knowledge is power".

Bindu is the objective locus exterior to yourself, for meditation.


The lower half is the Kaula Matha - that aspect which represents the erotic element.
The man who concentrates on this aspect of the Absolute at once becomes interesting to all women.

But the luminaries of the sky can be supplied by a man and the resultant Goddess is Tri-Loki: (the Goddess of the Three Worlds) at once he will be able to confound the three worlds.

This shows the hierophantic worship of Kaulin orgies.
There are those who gain power over women by concentration on the lower sexual source.
This is Kaula. Sankara corrects it by adding the numerator factor.


Another version:


- Making the face as the central locus
- The pair of breasts
- Beneath that
- Beneath ( even) that
- Better half of Hara (i.e. a triangle.)
- He who can meditate upon
- O wife of Shiva
- Your erotic aspect
- He without delay
- Cause mental disturbance
- To women
- This is negligible
- Even the One of the Three Worlds
- Quickly confounds
- As having sun and moon as breasts


Supply the Numerator for the Kaulin Denominator
- think of the Cosmic Person filling the whole universe
- then you will have power not merely over ordinary women but over the whole of the Three Worlds.
This verse is a correction of the partial Kaulin perspective.


Ascending eroticism is one thing, descending eroticism is mysticism.
First focus on the face, then divide into the breasts (cf. sun and moon) as Numerator to the Denominator breasts (they can point downwards.)
The face is the central locus.


1) This is a revaluation of Kaula (relativistic erotic Tantra).

2) The relative and actual side, the hypostatic and hierophantic sides: when you put them together, you get the gold dollar, when taken part by part it is pluralistic small change: it gives you a kind of psychic power (siddhi) over women, but not salvation.

3) If you want absolute consolation, you abstract and generalize and concentrate on the Devi as the Absolute Goddess: this is quite a different thing.
This way you agitate the Devi herself "of the three worlds".



Show a degenerate city, full of temples, like Kanjeevaram; this is a picture without a Numerator, and whatever pleasure is found there is really suffering.