naram varsiyamsam nayana virasam narmasu jadam
tava pangaloke patitam anudhavanti satasah
galad venibandhah kucakalasa visrasta sicaya
hathat trutyat kancyo vigalita dukula yuvatayah


A man over-aged, uninteresting to the view, inert in sport,
Falling within the range of your side-glance; they follow, running in hundreds,
Young women, with hair disheveled, their rounded, shapely breasts by blown-off clothes revealed,
Their waist-bands bursting and their silk garments in disarray.

 Love affairs can take place under mild circumstances or under the stress of high voltage. Erotic mysticism, as it is to be understood in the Saundarya Lahari, is of the high voltage type, which is more conducive to revealing the underlying structure of the absolute ground on which the overwhelming dynamism of the principle of beauty must necessarily operate. In Verse 12, Shiva-maids have an advantage over ascetics in the matter of gaining a first glimpse of that exalted value represented by the Goddess. Even an initial participation with what Shiva represents in himself, as the highest of values beyond all states of mind known to lesser artificial austerities or disciplines that the usual recluse might practice, is to be accomplished only through a lifetime of step-by-step endeavour. In this verse, the dynamic content of erotic mysticism is further accentuated and brought into clear relief. One falls in love suddenly, and expressions like "love at first sight" reveal the unpremeditated and overwhelming nature of the event called "falling in love". The mechanism and dynamism involved in this lightning-like process are critically examined in this verse.


Any girl, when she is full of vitality at the proper age, could experience this sudden onslaught of love within herself, even towards a man who has no sex appeal in the ordinary sense. He could be over-aged and no sport at all. The absolute urge or pining for a counterpart for her own soul to fulfil itself vertically at a given moment or occasion in her life, is imperative in its demand for consolation or satisfaction. Heavenly damsels, like Urvasi, Menaka and others in Indra's world above, are known to have experienced this wonderful moment in themselves, in which they are suddenly plunged into a state of total abandon.


All prudery, coquetry and allied sentiments are thrown to the winds at that moment. Such overwhelming infatuation is found in many romantic and even tragic works of literature, irrespective of tradition or cultural background. An English novel is thoroughly enjoyed by an Indian student, because the appeal of love is universally appreciated in its minutest details.


Nothing can be hidden. A student in love is understood by another student in the same state of mind, as Victor Hugo writes of Marius waiting for Cosette in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris in "Les Misèrables". Instances can be multiplied, but what is relevant to this verse is that we must recognize two complementary sides of the total situation in which Absolute Eroticism operates. A well-groomed college student may not be attractive to the most intelligent of girls; while on the other hand, she is intently watching the face of the grumpy, even ugly, absent-minded, over-aged professor, who pays no attention to his appearance at all. A nearer example in India is the figure of Shiva, who takes care to make himself most repulsive to all women by letting his uncombed hair become matted and by wearing live snakes upon his body.


The "Kumarasambhava" portrays an incident in respect of the love affair between Shiva and Parvati, where we have to recognize in the first instance how the God of Love is burnt to ashes by the elaborate Vedic worship that Parvati offers to Shiva to propitiate him. She receives a terrible negative response from Shiva, after which she has to be carried home by her father, who appears as an elephant, representing space. This brutal setback in her efforts to attract Shiva does not stop her . She begins to perform austerities in a Vedantic key, wearing bark garments instead of the rich silk shawls of elaborate Vedism. Shiva not only becomes favourably disposed by the tapas and renunciation in her revised approach, he even takes the trouble to come down from his heights to speak to her personally, in the disguise of a desika, or sannyasin. Their conversation reveals that her aspiration is compatible with his own status as a complete absolutist personality. A cancellation between counterparts thus takes place; not in terms of the mere dualistic ritualistic propitiation of a lukewarm reciprocity or complementarity between them, but under the full stress of the principle of Absolute Eroticism, searching for the total experience of beauty, abolishing subject as well as object and fusing them into one overwhelming upsurge.


It is in such a perspective that we must examine the present verse. Instead of referring to the Shiva-maids' side, it is the numerator aspect of the same, that is, Shiva himself, who is to be taken as the "man over-aged, uninteresting to the view, inert in Sport". The next verse gives us a more verticalized perspective, in which erotic mysticism could have a chance to operate within the span of the 365 days of the year, occurring as a sudden event taking place through the occasionalism of a particular situation. The young women here are not ordinary representatives of their kind. They conform to celestial damsels like Urvasi, although the event here takes place on ordinary neutral ground, neither too earthly nor too celestial. On the numerator side we have an outwardly uninteresting man; and on the denominator side we have the damsels who, like Shakuntala, are ready to fall in love at the slightest stimulus.


The reference to bursting waistbands, total disarray and confusion, and to "pot-shaped breasts"- meant to reveal youth at its peak moment of horizontal maturity - altogether make for the cancellability of the denominator value of womanhood against its masculine counterpart whose beauty is not overt, but innate. That this cancellation must take place under the aegis of the Absolute is insisted upon in the second line.


To fall under the aegis of the Absolute, it is not necessary for a man to be fully favoured by the Goddess of Beauty; it is enough that a side-glance, like a secondary polarized light beam, should fall upon him from a distance.


The neurological law of "partial stimulus, total response" operates here. A side-glance, like the moonlight falling equally on palace and forest, as in Verse 57, is all that is required to give an absolutist touch to the personality of the uninteresting man here.


The reference to the women "running in hundreds" is meant to heighten the aspect of total abandon, and shows that pluralism is permissible on the denominator side, as required by cancellation of the many against the one. The notion of the One cannot be complete without implying the many, because the one and the many are dialectical counterparts, as explained by Parmenides and Plato. According to correct epistemology, the Absolute, by its nature, requires that the many running girls cancel themselves out with the one unique Absolute, represented by the numerator personality here.


We have to note the bursting of the waistbands. Absolutism involves a suddenness or surprise. One enters into its arena with a bang and a crash. Similar expressions are seen to be applied, in other verses, to the startled eyes of deer in Verse 18, and to a "lightning-streak body" in Verse 21, as also the burst of jingling bells on the same waist-belt, seen in Verse 7. This bursting or suddenness is necessary to give the overall absolutist touch that lifts this kind of eroticism out of the context of mundane and conventional love affairs in the world of ordinary sex, which this wholesale version is meant to transcend altogether.

The reference to "pot-shaped breasts" is to show that the rounded shape has a hypostatic origin. This is confirmed by other references, such as in Verse 7, where the frontal knobs of an elephant set the anterior model for the posterior ponderous breasts, and in Verse 19, where the breasts are to be equated to the sun and moon as cosmological luminaries. Such are some of the implications of the erotic dynamism portrayed in this verse.



The girls are on the negative side - see Rousseau and l'Espinasse.
Ugliness is normal on the Numerator.
Beauty is normal on the Denominator.


naram varsiyamasam - a man overaged
nayana virasam - uninteresting to the view
narmasu jadam - inert in sport
tava apanga loke patitam - falling within the range of your side-glance
anudhavante - they follow running
satasaha - in hundreds
galad veni bandhaha - with hair disheveled
kuca kalasaha - their rounded pot-like breasts
visrasta sicaya - by blown off clothes revealed
hathat trutyat kancyo - with their waist bands bursting
vigalite dukulaihi - silk shawls (saris) in disarray
yuvatayaha - damsels

The old sage, or Rishi, gazed at by the Devi's side-glance, attracts hundreds of maidens.

This is because he acts as a medium for Absolute Beauty.
The maidens forget the ugliness of the old man because of his absolute quality.
Their belts are bursting like a flash of lightning.
The Devi is in the Bindu or central locus, sending side-glances to the ugly old fellow, who gets some of the value-light of Absolute Beauty.
(Editorial Note:
There is always a danger, when one is trying to understand this text, of thinking of the Devi as something abstract.
The Devi is not outside ourselves.
Those who really understand the Devi know her as the Great Maya - Mahamaya. Maya is this universe, the "ocean of change and becoming".
There is no inside nor outside to the eternal self.

Consider the following quotes from the Guru:

"Why should I be afraid of the Devi - she is just me upside-down."

"The Devi is just a woman, any woman."
Then a student, Judy Albert, asked; "What, just any woman?"
The Guru replied: "Just any woman."

"When a woman looks into a mirror, she sees God."
"Everything is a reflection except Brahman."
(A nice paradox to reflect on. ED)

"Put the beauty of your girlfriend together with the beauty of the sunset and you are a mystic."

"There is nothing closer to the Absolute than a sixteen year-old girl."

"Erotic Mysticism is the major contribution of India to World Culture."

This is the end of this Editoral Note - our personal opinion and of uncertain value. ED )



Absolute Beauty is independent of physical attraction.

Even a very old man, incapable of any love affairs, if the Devi's glance has fallen upon him, all of the hundreds of dancing girls will fall in love with him, with their hair hanging down and their clothes neglected, their girdles bursting.


Side-glances of the Devi.
("The Devi is just a woman, any woman.")
In schematic, structural, language, this verse wants to say that the Devi, with a side glance...(illegible in the original manuscript)...maidens on her negative side.

Then there is an old pundit, very intelligent.
He is able to describe the beauty of the Devi, because of the side-glance.
(He need not have had the full glance - and may thus be fully absolutist, like Shiva.)
He wants to say that the whole of nature is constituted of a bi-polarity between the mathematical function and the real, female function.

(They are in hundreds, because the quantity is unimportant.)

A woman's body is mainly constituted to nourish
A) a foetus
B) a baby.

Women still want the mathematical counterpart.
They fall in love with some intelligent principle.
 (The old man, as a representative of wisdom, provides the women with a positive intelligent principle and a mathematical counterpart. ED)
They forget to fix their hair and they forget to cover their breasts.

It is like a flash of lightning - something bursting.

Absolute Beauty becomes absolute to the extent that it is not physical.
Then, the disparity in age between the young girls and the very old man means that the relationship is pure.
(In Rousseau's "Nouvelle Heloïse": a rich, noble lady comes running to the tutor.)
How to represent this in the scenario?
First, take care of Rousseau on the screen.
The lovers in "La Nouvelle Héloïse" meet on Lake Geneva.

So, hundreds of young girls have their breasts exposed by the movement of their saris,
Their hair is dishevelled and their waist-bands are bursting:
because they have come in contact with an old man (a log of wood);
because he has been glanced at sideways by the Devi.


Here the Omega and Alpha Points are attracting one another.
VERSE 14 - all of the Chakras are passed in review.
VERSE 15 - shows numerator and denominator values.
VERSE 16 - the effect on the lotus-like mind of poets.
VERSE 13 - (Blank in the original manuscript. ED)
Absolute Beauty is not physical, yet it is overwhelming in its appeal, transcending sex.
An old, dry man will become attractive to young women
- on the condition that he represents some absolute value within himself.

Then there is a breaking of waist bands and corsets,
suddenly there is an element of surprise in Absolute Beauty.
The women have abandoned themselves here, forgetting all conventional modesty.
Girls pursuing an old man - their belts are the binding force of modesty, they are broken.
There are binding forces at different levels.
A side-glance to an old man attracts women.
The multiplication table of G = symmetry.
(This does not have any meaning that the Editor can discern. There is a possibility that the manuscript read "G" instead of "9". This does have some meaning, though still a bit obscure in this context. ED)