This is the last version of Nataraja Guru's commentary on the Saundarya Lahari, derived from a typescript  which he revised in person. It must be emphasized that he always said that no verbose or "metalinguistic" commentary could do justice to this work, which could only properly be made understandable by "protolinguistic" means, in some form of "expanded cinema", as he termed it.


The interested reader is therefore strongly urged to consult the various earlier commentaries in "Saundarya Lahari Notes" which, though fragmentary, will prove invaluable to understanding this most difficult work.


These additional comments by the Guru, together with the structural diagrams accompanying them, have been left as they were given by the Guru. There are repetitions in many places, and almost-identical passages and diagrams, but we think it is better to leave them as they are and not lose something potentially valuable by over-zealous cleaning up and streamlining of the material.


The commentary on each verse is intended, as far as possible, to stand alone; thus there are many repetitions of definitions etc. to enable the reader to grasp the references to the Indian tradition and to Western science and philosophy.


We wish to apologize for the lack of standardization and occasional flaws of the structural diagrams. Our only excuse is the fact that the editor is not a graphic designer and has had to learn as he goes along; and also that he is alone and unaided in producing this website. We are constantly revising and correcting these shortcomings.


Please note also that we have preserved the original variations of spelling of the transliterations of Sanskrit words as they appear in the original manuscripts, e.g. "Shiva" may appear as "Siva" (the original Sanskrit consonant is somewhere between the two); "Svadhisthana" as "Swadhisthana" etc.


At the bottom of this page, you will find the translated text of the 100 verses to make it easier to identify the verse required, together with short titles for the verses.


The original Sanskrit text can be found at


A transcription of the text into roman characters can be found at


An index of various versions and comments on the Saundarya Lahari can be found at index.php/content/247-saundarya-lahari-index


A note on hyperlinks: by left-clicking on highlighted words, hyperlinks will appear; some of them are to places within the website itself; others, however, are to articles on the internet, many of which do not reflect the position of Advaita Vedanta but are provided as background information: for example, the god Shiva may be completely unfamiliar to non-Indians, so we have provided links to articles and pictures which will enable the reader to place him in the proper cultural and historical context.


A note on the illustrations: Nataraja Guru said many times that the Saundarya Lahari could only be explained properly through a film rather than through verbose commentaries. We are not yet able to create a film, but we have provided occasional pictures to give some idea at least of what a visual  treatment of this poem might be. ED.


"Even Shiva is not as great as you when you understand. This is the highest water mark of spirituality; you can abolish Shiva and the Devi. The fire of Shiva worships you and Parvati put together. You understand the Absolute and that is all; you become the Absolute. There is no birth, no duration of life, no death, these are only name and form. The Saundarya Lahari  says only that you are the Absolute. The fire of destruction of the world becomes the waving lights of worship for that man who can say of the Devi: "I am You"." 

Nataraja Guru 


"There are many different kinds of yogi; but the rarest and most fortunate of all are those who can see the Absolute in a woman's body." 

Nataraja Guru. 


Nataraja Guru: "Why should I be afraid of the Devi ("The Goddess" a.k.a. the Absolute), she is just a woman"

A disciple: "Just any woman?" 

Nataraja Guru: "Yes, any woman" 


"Put the beauty of your girlfriend together with the beauty of the sunset and you get God." 

 Nataraja Guru



Introduction to the Commentary on the Saundarya Lahari


Commentary on the individual verses:

(A translation of the verses is available for ease of reference)