हरिस्त्वामारध्य प्रणत-जन-सौभाग्य-जननीं
पुरा नारी भूत्वा पुररिपुमपि क्षोभ मनयत् ।
स्मरो‌உपि त्वां नत्वा रतिनयन-लेह्येन वपुषा
मुनीनामप्यन्तः प्रभवति हि मोहाय महताम्
haris tvam aradhya pranata jana subhagya jananim
pura nari bhutva puraripum api ksobham anayat
smaro'pi tvam natva ratinayana lehyena vapusa
muninam apy antah prabhavati hi mohaya mahatam
Once Vishnu, having adored you, the bestower of blessings on your worshippers,
Taking womanly form, caused agitation even unto the City-Burner.
Eros, too, worshipping you with body licked into reality by the glances of Rati,
Even to the minds of great recluses, confusion of values brings.
This verse brings us one step closer to the main content or subject matter of this series of verses. Since the central theme of this work is erotic mysticism, the God of Love has to be understood first. Man finds woman beautiful and vice-versa, because between their forms there is operative a subtle parity, reciprocity, complementarity or cancellability in terms of pure and subjective action between values which could be called counterparts. The joy or bliss that results therefrom is not a value to be excluded from the total scope of eternal or absolute values. There is an interaction between contemplative and worldly interests involved in this kind of conjugal joy. The Goddess cannot experience it by herself. The life principle that enjoys it has to participate with both pure or sacred values, on the one side, mixed with more profane values on the other.
The experience of love, which is so well known to young men and women, is such a serious matter that there is not one year in which some suicide pact between a young couple does not occur in one region or another. Like hunger, which has no limbs nor any exact position within the body, love can pervade and possess the whole personality of a man or a woman at a given moment. This given moment is regulated by the principle of occasionalism, as known in Cartesian philosophy, by which the will of God and the disposition of man cancel out on occasions that are fully favourable. It is in this sense that Othello's passion fills him so completely that he becomes a tragic hero of the fullest stature. Cosette and Marius in "Les Misèrables" find themselves in each other's arms before they are even conscious of what they are about. Instances of this kind can be multiplied indefinitely from the world's best literature.
Love is a noble sentiment, laudable in one perspective, but not so much in another. Shakespeare's sonnets contrast the real difference between true and false love. The Upanishads do not treat legitimate love as a forbidden fruit, but include it within the scope of the absolute joy that the soul of even a dignified person should be capable of enjoying. Kalidasa's poem "Kumarasambhava" is perhaps one of the best classical examples on this subject. Shiva forever remains the leader of ascetics even though, in the last verse of that work, he is represented as living eternally in the bedchamber of the Goddess, refusing even breakfast. Here, the paradox of eroticism is faced squarely without making this subject either wholly profane or wholly sacred. It is the principle of the non-dualistic Absolute alone that can finally dissolve this paradox. Eroticism can have the dignity of mysticism only when the contradiction at the core of profane love has been fully abolished. This task is what Sankara undertakes in the present series of verses, and in this verse he clears the ground for viewing the subject of erotic mysticism in the structural perspective proper to it. Further, it is important that such a perspective fall correctly within the aegis of Absolute Beauty, because it is the beauty of the female which is the very occasion for erotic mysticism to come to be talked about at all. The expression sub specie aeternitatis of Spinoza, explained elsewhere, describes this unitive perspective. The passion of Othello becomes a Passion, with a capital letter, when it falls within the ambit of the Absolute on a given occasion. This is the reason why people are said to "fall in love" and justifies somewhat the popular saying that "marriages are made in heaven".
Eros, known in the Greek context, is represented in some paintings as a winged angel that descends onto the body of a beautiful woman from above. The Sanskritic Eros is called Ananga or Manasija ( The "Limbless One" or the "Mind-Born God"). His position in the structural setup is in the peripheral region of the base of the lower rather than the upper of the two cones placed base to base.
With his bow and arrows made of flowers, he lies in wait for the proper occasion to make young lovers fall for each other as they sit in a garden in the flowery season, called vasanta in India, when the cuckoos sing and the mangoes put out their blossoms and tender magenta leaves. The élan vital in nature operates with highest pressure on this occasion, when mentally pictured with the gentle malaya breeze and other concomitant circumstances favourable to the function of this god. Details of the behaviour of Eros and his wife Rati, are depicted in detail in Kalidasa's "Kumarasambhava". We shall have occasion to return to this same subject in the verse that follows. Like hunger, love has no limbs. As an inner experience, it is an amorphous entity that can pervade all the limbs of one's body at a given moment. The Mind-Born God (Manasija) is thus considered limbless (ananga). One might ask how he could send his flowery arrows without limbs. His bow and arrows are made of flowers to show that his instruments, as well as his limbs, belong to a very tender and neutral order in which matter and mind are interchangeable and can participate both ways. Life is the principle that links matter and mind, and it is exactly at this point of meeting that the Mind-Born God, Eros, has his being. Without anticipating what we shall have many more occasions to elaborate upon, let us fix our attention in this verse on the divinity called Vishnu, who is said to have assumed a beautiful outward female form to distract the attention of Shiva on the occasion of the churning of the milk-ocean mentioned in the Bhagavata legend. In this incident he was named Mohini (the Enchantress). By his intervention, Vishnu was able to avert a conflict that would otherwise have become a disastrous situation. Vishnu's structural position is more centrally located, perhaps a little below the middle of the vertical parameter. It is because of his special normalized absolute position, falling within the scope of the vertical parameter itself, which is of a fourth-dimensional order within the structural totality, that he is able to attract the attention of Shiva himself, in spite of the latter being the most austere of austere divinities. These mythological anecdotes or episodes are not to be directly depended upon by us in this commentary. We only allude to them in passing, so that they might lend whatever verisimilitude they could to our approach, which is one that is primarily nearer to a mathematical structuralism proper to science, treated as integrating physics with metaphysics.
Though Eros is placed in the lower cone, with base upwards, the value-principle implied in him can, at a particular moment, permeate the whole structural field, giving to it a red or magenta hue throughout. The recluses referred to in the fourth line are generally persons who have left their homes to live in Himalayan retreats for the purpose of practising various lukewarm degrees of austerities, usually to forget some past unhappiness in their married lives. The intensity of their devotion to austere ways of life could be great, which would justify the epithet "great recluses" in this verse; but it is to be understood that their detachment has not attained to the positive heights of that leader of all ascetics, Shiva. The influence of erotic values could still be dominant in the minds of such recluses, compromising its absolutist status, however great their lopsided dedication to an austere life might be. It is in this sense that the mountain-daughter, Parvati, is said in the "Kumarasambhava" to be respected even by munis (recluses). Even after leaving their homes, the appeal of a beautiful woman can perturb their minds, causing some confusion of values within their hearts. Such a view finds support in the poetry of Kalidasa, where a traveller from a distant land, separated from his once-favourite wife, bursts into tears when reminded of his lost felicity by the sight of a beautiful tree laden with flowers waving in the breeze. These recluses, as ordinary human beings, still belong to the horizontal plane and are to be situated somewhere peripherally between the bases of the two cones in the structure.
The reference to the body of Eros being licked into shape by his wife, Rati, may need some clarification before we leave this verse. Beauty in its four-dimensional fullness is the resultant of the meeting of two sets of light, as revealed in modern laser technique. Holographs have to be resolved or made clear by one cross-polarized ray meeting another at a certain angle. Eros, by himself, is incomplete beauty, without the admiration of his wife from another position, cutting at correct angles from one of the peripheral rims of one of the cones placed base to base.
Cross-polarized light interferences create visibly living colour effects, as is familiar in modern crystallography. Spectral colours are revealed at the periphery, while magenta pervades the greater part of the remainder of the rim. Some structural explanations of this verse may be considered far-fetched, but our excuse for resorting to such descriptions is that we only intended to add some adequacy or validity to the otherwise "negatively unscientific" or mythological language used here. Our attempt, as we have stated, has been to substitute a more scientifically acceptable version for the mythological language. Myths can verify mathematics and vice-versa.
(Sub specie aeternitatis: Latin for "under the aspect of eternity"; hence, from Spinoza onwards, an honorific expression describing what is universally and eternally true, without any reference to or dependence upon the merely temporal portions of reality. ED)
(Occasionalism is a philosophical theory about causation which says that created substances cannot be efficient causes of events. Instead, all events are taken to be caused directly by God. (A related theory, which has been called 'occasional causation', also denies a link of efficient causation between mundane events, but may differ as to the identity of the true cause that replaces them.) The theory states that the illusion of efficient causation between mundane events arises out of God's causing of one event after another. However, there is no necessary connection between the two: it is not that the first event causes God to cause the second event: rather, God first causes one and then causes the other. ED)



haris tvam aradhya - once Vishnu having adored you
pranata jana saubhagya jananim - the mother that bestows blessings on those who worship you
pura nari bhutva - taking womanly form
puraripum api - even to the City-Burner
ksobham anayat - caused agitation
smaro api - Eros too
tvam natva - on worshipping you
ratinayana lehyena vapusa - with body licked into reality by the glances of Rati
muninam api antah - even to the minds of great recluses
prabhavati hi - is able indeed to bring
mahaya mahatam - for causing confusion of values
Another version:
Hari = Vishnu
Tvam aradya = having adored You
Pranata jana saubhagya jananim = who confers goodness
On worshippers
Pura nari bhutva = once having become a woman
Puraripum api = even that burner of the city (Shiva).
Kshobham anayat = led to agitation
Smaropi = even Eros
Tvam natva = having bowed to You.
Ratinaya lehyena vapusha = with body licked into being by the eye
of Rati (wife of Eros)
Muninam api antah = even within recluses
Prabhavati hi = becomes able to accomplish indeed
Mohaya = to make for confusion of values
Mahatam = to great ones

Vishnu once took the form of a radiant woman, attracting Shiva by coming to the vertical axis.

Biologically, the female is the type, the male a sub-type.


When a man in love sees a woman, what he really sees is his own self.
"kami svatam pasyati" -" a man in love his own self sees"




The body of Eros (Kama Deva ) is licked by his wife, Rati's, glances into a pearly beauty.


Kama Deva

There is sometimes a confusion of values for these poor Rishis (sages), because of the overwhelming beauty involved.

There are many kinds of Yogis, but there are some few, the most fortunate ones, who can see the Absolute in a woman’s body.





Vishnu's beauty is reflected glory from the Absolute Goddess at the O Point - it confuses the Alpha Point.

Grace can operate directly or indirectly.


The reference here is to the churning of the milk-ocean, when Shiva is tempted to fall in love with the female form of Vishnu.

The point is; you can fall in love with Absolute Beauty, even Shiva can - when it is in the vertical axis.



Beauty comes from the O Point.
If Vishnu is in the vertical axis, Shiva has to fall in love - it is communication with the Devi.


Another version:


Hari (another name for Vishnu) having adored You, the source of prosperity of those who worship You, having once become a woman
even the burner of cities
caused to have passion
Smara (Kama Deva, Eros) also
having prostrated to You
by a body licked into shape by the consort of Eros (Rati)
the mind of even recluses
triumphs indeed
conducive of confusion, even to the great recluses (Munis)

Kama Deva
(Eros) derives his beauty from the Absolute, indirectly.


Why does Kama Deva (Eros) triumph over the minds of the Munis (recluses or ascetics)?
Rati confers a beauty on him, which is derived from the Absolute.

The ascetics are overcome by the reflected beauty of Smara (Kama Deva, Eros).
They are simple people on the denominator, practising austerities in the Himalayas.
They are attracted to his beauty.
Even Shiva falls in love with Vishnu (Hari), who falls in the vertical axis.

There are two stories here:

1) Direct light - Shiva falls in love with "himself" - on the vertical axis.

2) Reflected light - Eros and Rati on the horizontal axis. (Eros is more horizontalized - the Guru even refers to him in one place as a "horizontal Shiva" Ed.)



The Munis (ascetics) are peripheral horizontally on the denominator side.
They are attracted even by the reflected, also peripheral, light of Eros.


Confused Sage or Ascetic.

There is sometimes a confusion of values for these poor Rishis (sages), because of the overwhelming beauty involved.


A very confused ascetic bathing in the Ganges.





They now see both the perceptual and conceptual aspects of beauty - where generally they see only the perceptual aspect (because the ascetics themselves are peripheral and horizontalized. Ed.).


When Vishnu, as representing the Absolute Reality, confers Its stamp of reality on the negativity of the pure Absolute Becoming that constitutes eternal essential existence, he may be said to take himself a female form, because femininity has to be negative.
The legendary myth in which Vishnu took such a charming womanly form to confuse even Shiva, reputed to be beyond temptation, supports this.

This Absolute Beauty, as a value in women or rather womanhood, sub specie aeternitatis (under the aegis of the Absolute), can be a rival factor to the divinity called Shiva, when he is considered as a member of the trinity of godheads (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) of the theological pantheon of divinities as Isvaras or Demiurges (minor relativistic divinities).
(This Shiva, considered as a demiurge operating in the field of creation, preservation and destruction and described in Verses 1 and 2, has to be clearly distinguished from the Paramashiva , or Supreme Shiva, the positive counterpart of the Devi. ED)
The myth is justified only when Shiva is given a lower status in the context of the full Absolute, which is neutral and impersonal.

In the second half of the verse the reference is to Eros as the personification of earthly love.
He himself is ananga, (without limbs).
His appearing to have limbs is due to the reflected light coming from the eyes of the horizontal negative counterpart of the pure erotic principle as such - that is, his wife, Rati.
As in modern laser technique, two lights, one reflected and virtual and the other direct; when they are holographically intensified, have to meet to result in the real beauty-value represented here by the Goddess.
Horizontally reflected lights complement each other at this level.
When a pure, universally concrete reality representing the absolute beauty of the Goddess thus becomes manifest, it is suggested, at the end of this verse, that such a beauty will attract even recluses who have won full control over everyday sensuous attractions.
A structural analysis will help to reveal the fourfold factors involved here.




There are two sets of double corrections to be thought of in terms of normalisation and re-normalisation here.
Beauty as an Absolute Value is the central theme.
This beauty could be viewed from two perspectives, which are complementary or reciprocal counterparts, compensatory and cancellable into the final unity of the value represented by the Absolute as Beauty here.
Vertically, Shiva, as the Burner of the Three Cities, is the positive counterpart of Vishnu as the normalising factor.
Horizontally, the virtuality of Eros has its counterpart in the actualising light of his wife Rati.

All around the central value there are groups of contemplatives of different sets and sub-sets, all of whom benefit spiritually or in actual terms from a contemplation of the Absolute.
Shiva as an extremely uncompromising radical and positive principle must have the renormalising factor as a central counterpart which acts as a descending factor or function vis-a-vis this thin mathematical parameter at the Omega Point of the Absolute.