[Advaita-l] A Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS - 07)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 14 07:12:27 CDT 2003

Recall the Note about the organization of the ‘Digest’,  from
DPDS – 6 or the earlier ones.
V. Krishnamurthy
A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari -  7

Shivas-ShaktyA yukto yadi bhavati shaktaH prabhavitum
na ced-evam devo na khalu kushalaH spanditum-api /
atas-tvAm-ArAdhyAm hari-hara-virinchAdibhir-api
praNantum stotum vA katham-akRtapuNyaH prabhavati // 1 //
(The Paramacharya stays on this sloka 
 from p.687 to p.806 in the original. 
So we are likely to have several postings,
 upto DPDS – 17,  on this.  VK)
ShaktyA yuktaH bhavati yadi – Only if yoked with shakti
ShivaH devaH – (even) Lord shiva
shaktaH – has the ability
prabhavitum – to create the world;
evam na cet  -- if not so (yoked),
kushalaH na – (He) is not capable
spanditum api – even to make a move.
khalu –  Isn’t it so?
ataH – Therefore,
katham prabhavati – how is it possible
akRta-puNyaH – (for) one who has not accrued  any (spiritual)
praNantum – to do prostrations to
stotum vA --  or to praise (by hymns)
tvAm – You
hari-hara-virinchAdibhir-api ArAdhyAm –
 who are worshipped even by   Vishnu, Shiva,  Brahma and the

(To get the total meaning, please read the English portions
above in the order in which they are presented above. The
Paramacharya does the same thing, but presents it in the order
in which it will make sense in the Tamil language. He usually
does not give the total meaning in one go. VK)

Here is embedded the most important ShAkta doctrine that the
parAshakti is higher than the Triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
It is only by Her will and action that even the actionless
nirguNa Shivam gets into action through the Triad and  the
cosmic process of presentation of Duality starts. “Everything in
the universe moves because of You, Oh parAshakti; when that is
so, even the prostration to you or praise of you by a devotee
does not happen by itself”. And then by implication our Acharya
brings out the point that when ambaal grants the power to
somebody of praising Her, She does not give it to all and sundry
but only to those who have spiritual merits.
And again then, by one more implication, one can take it to mean
that the one who is doing the stotra now, namely, the Acharya
himself, must, ipso facto, be of great spiritual merit.  Is that
what he means? Is he so devoid of humility that he praises
himself by implication? No. Later in sloka 57 he is going to
say: ‘snapaya kRpayA mAm-api’ ( that is, pour your glance of
compassion, EVEN on poor me) and again in sloka 84, ‘mamApi
shirasi dayayA dehi caraNau’ (EVEN on my head please place your
feet). So  the only way we should interpret the present sloka
is: “You can move even the immutable Shivam into action. It is
You therefore who have given even me, who does not have any
spiritual merit, the capability that you usually grant only to
the meritorious ! It is You who have moved my senses of speech
into the action of hymnising You !”

Prostration is by the body (kAyam). Praising through a hymn is
by speech (vAk). By implication the mind (manas) is also
mentioned. Thus in the very first sloka the dedication to Her by
manas, vAk and kAyam has been done. And naturally, the
completeion of this dedication in the form of  ‘Atma-samarpaNam’
– dedication of one’s self in fullness – comes in the very last
sloka (#100).

There is a parallel observation in the very first sloka of
Viveka-chUDAmaNi. “muktir-no-shata-koTi-janma-sukRtaiH
puNyair-vinA labhyate”, meaning, ‘Unless one has earned
spiritual merit in 100 crores of births, one cannot go the jnAna
 mArga and obtain moksha’.  But note: our Acharya does not say
explicitly, in this major work of bhakti,  that only by
spiritual merit you can go along the path of Bhakti or jnAna or
for that matter any noble path. Whereas, in the Viveka
chUDAmaNi, which is a work on the path of jnAna,  -- mistakenly
appropriated by people who think that that is the way to avoid
the traditional worship of deities !-- right in the 3rd sloka,
he says that ‘Seeking a proper guru and starting on the path of
jnAna occurs only by the Grace of God’ – “deivAnugraha-hetukam”!

The bottom line of this sloka is that Shiva earns His place and
prestige only when He is united with Shakti. But the words Shiva
and Shakti have been placed in the sloka in that order, with
Shiva first. This indicates that the dependence is mutual;
neither of them is to be lower in hierarchy or glory. THERE IS
have an equality, ‘samam’ in Sanskrit and this is the origin for
the word ‘samaya’ to get the meaning of  ‘religion’ or
‘tradition’ in Hindu culture.  In the ShAkta and Shaiva
scriptures the word ‘samayAcAra’ is used to denote the path of
worship, that is done mentally through the noblest attitude of
devotion arising from the bottom of the heart. The reason for
the word ‘samaya’ therein is that there are five categories in
which Shiva and Shakti are considered ‘equal’ in that regimen of

One: In their names. Shiva and ShivA; hamsa and hamsI; bhairava
and bhairavI; even, samaya and samayA.
Two: In their forms: KAmeshwara and KAmeshwari are both maroon
in colour, each has four hands, three eyes, the half-moon
adorning their heads, the same four weapons – bow, arrow, pAsha
(noose) and ankusha (spear) --  in the four hands.
Three: In their location: the same peak of Meru; the center of
the Ocean of nectar in MaNi-dvIpa; the same central bindu of
Four:  In their  function: It is the same five-fold function –
called pancha-kRtya – namely, Creation, Protection, Dissolution,
TirodhAna or mAyA, Grace or anugraha leading to moksha.
Five:  In their  benediction to the world.
To be Continued.
PraNAms to all advaitins and Devotees of Mother Goddess.

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.

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