[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-44)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 22 23:26:07 CST 2003


Recall the Note about the organization of the ‘Digest’,  from DPDS – 26 or the earlier ones.

V. Krishnamurthy

A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari -  44

(Digest of pp.987 -993   of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume, 4th imprn.)


sudhAm-apy-AsvAdya prati-bhaya-jarA-mRtyu hariNIM

vipadyante vishve vidhi shatamakhAdyA divishhadaH /

karALaM yat kshhvelaM kabaLitavataH kAla-kalanA 

na shambhos-tan-mUlaM tava janani tATangka-mahimA // 28 //


AsvAdya api  : Even after having consumed

sudhAm : the nectar 

prati-bhaya-jarA-mRtyu-hariNIM : (which) eradicates the dreadful old age and death

vishve divishhadaH  : all the divines

vidhi-shatamakhAkhyAH : like BrahmA, Indra and others 

vipadyante : meet their end (at the time of pralaya).

Yat : (But) the fact that 

shambhoH  :  for Lord Shiva

kabalitavataH : who had consumed 

karALaM kshhvelaM  : the terrible poison (of KalakuTa) 

kAla-kalanA na : there is no submission to Time 

tan-mUlaM : has its reason (in) 

janani : Oh Mother

tava tATangka-mahimA : the Glory of Your ear-ornament (tATangka). 


We have always been led to believe that some one who has consumed he most dreadful poison has to meet his end, whereas some one who has taken the nectar will be immortal. What is happening here is exactly the reverse. All the divines who had partaken of the nectar have all to disappear at the Deluge whereas the Lord who has consumed the most dreadful hAlAhala, is standing as the lonely survivor after the Deluge.  


What is more, this  partition of the Lord on the one side and all the other divines on the other side is also happening in the context of Service to the Mother Goddess. Mukunda, Brahma and Indra and all those divines fall at Her feet with their crowns touching Her feet (#22), while the crownless dweller of the burial ground is distinguished as unique.  The punchline of this remark is that those who fell at Her feet are destroyed in the praLaya, but He who  did not so prostrate before Her is unaffected by the praLaya!


There is even another shloka (#29) which says that She runs to welcome  the one who did not serve, and while so running,  tramples on the crowns of those that chose to serve Her and fall at Her feet! 

[Since the Paramacharya elaborates rather lengthily 

on this reference to shloka 29 here, 

I am giving it  here with meanings and all, 

though he has not yet finished his discussion of #28. VK ]


kirITaM vairinchaM parihara puraH kaiTabha-bhidaH 

kaThore koTIre skhalasi jahi jambhAri-makuTaM /

praNamreshh-veteshhu prasabham-upayAtasya bhavanaM

bhavasyA-bhyutthAne tava parijanoktir-vijayate // 29 //


vijayate : Remarkable (=  to be noted) are

tava parijanoktiH  : the words of your maids-in-attendance,

abhyuthAne  : at the hasty stir to welcome

bhavasya : Lord Shiva

upayAtasya : (who) had come

bhavanaM : home

prasabham : suddenly, unannounced.

praNamreshhu eteshhu : “Amidst all these prostrating (divines)

parihara : avoid

vairincham kirITam : the crown of Creator Brahma;

purah : in front (of you) 

skhalasi : you are trampling (over)

kaThore koTire : the heavy crown 

kaitabha-bhidaH : of ‘the enemy of Kaitabha’ ( =  ‘Vishnu’)

jahi : (also) avoid

jambhAri makuTam : the crown of ‘the enemy of jambha’ (= ‘Indra’)”.


Among the many names of the Creator Brahma, the Acharya most often uses the name ‘virinchi’ (See shlokas nos.1, 2  and 12 for example). The word ‘rinchati’ means ‘creates’ . The prefix ‘vi’ before the word adds a special effect to that action indicated by ‘rinchati’. In other words, Creator Brahma does the creation work most effectively and with dedication. Therefore he is ‘virinchi. 


‘Kaitabha-bit’ denotes the One who vanquished the asura Kaitabha; therefore it is Vishnu. When He was in yoga-nidra, the asuras Madhu and Kaitabha attacked the  Lord BrahmA, patent in the region of the divine navel of Lord Vishnu.  And Brahma sang a song of praise of lord Vishnu so that He may wake up. The Lord obliged by shaking up the Goddess Yoga-nidrA,  and vanquished the two asuras. Goddess Yoga-NidrA is none else but the Mother Goddess. It is quite fitting therefore that Vishnu is remembered here  as Kaitabha-vid; because it is Kaitabha that connects Vishnu, Brahma and parA-shakti in the same cosmic event. 

His (Vishnu’s) crown is not just an ordinary one. It is solid, not hollow in its material. Why is it solid? The reason comes in the stotra called ‘Vishnu-pAdAdi-keshAnta-stotra’ of the Acharya himself. “kRta-makuTa-mahAdeva-linga-pratishhTe’ meaning thereby that the crown of Vishnu is in the form of a shiva-linga. Now comes the ironical situation!. It is this crown that the maids-in-attendance of ambaaL are wanting her not to trample over. It is the shiva-linga-formed crown  on the head of Vishnu that is now at the feet of ambaaL! And that is what She is about to trample, in her hurry to welcome Her Lord, when He arrives home suddenly.  When Bhakti and Love are in full flood, as in the case of Kannappar’s behaviour,  none can default  any action, even if it looks like one that is faulty!


The context in which this happens is still more interesting.  Bhava is returning to his bhavanam – this is the context. Bhava means Shiva. Bhavanam means home. He is returning home unexpectedly and ambaal, as soon as She became aware of this, She hastens to welcome Him – in the tradition of a traditional pati-vratA. ‘prasabham’ means in great haste and excitement’. And here comes a word ‘abhyuthAnam’ that has great significance. 


‘abhyuthAnam adharmasya’ – does it not ring a bell?  It is the Lord’s promise in the Gita, that he will come whenever there is a damage to dharma.  In that context, ‘abhyuthAnam’ means ‘rising to the occasion’.  But now Soundaryalahari adds another meaning to that word ‘abhyuthAnaM’.  It also means ‘rising to welcome’  or ‘welcoming’.  This sets up an interesting thought in my mind. Why not we appropriate this meaning in the shloka of the Gita also. Then it would mean:

abhyuthAnam adharmasya =  the welcome offered by adharma. 

In other words, to make the Lord come down as an avatar, a welcome strategy  would be adharma. It was the adharma of a Ravana, of a Hiranyakashipu, of a Kamsa that brought in three great avatars of the Lord!. But let us not carry the analogy too far. We should also remember what finally happened to these carriers of the welcome banner!


We have strayed too far from the shloka 28, which was our main discussion point. Let us go back to it now. 


To be Continued

Thus spake the Paramacharya

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.
Also see the webpages on Paramacharya's Soundaryalahari :

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