VERSE 9

हन्तारं मदनस्य नन्दयसि यैरङ्गैरनङ्गोज्ज्वलैः
यैर्भृङ्गावलिनीलकुन्तलभरैर्बध्नासि तस्यशयम्।
तानीमानि तवाम्ब कोमलतराण्यामोदलीलागृहाण्यामोदाय
दशाङ्गगुग्गुलुघृतैर्धूपैरहं धूपये॥

hantāraṁ madanasya nandayasi yairaṅgairanaṅgojjvalaiḥ
yairbhṛṅgāvalinīlakuntalabharairbadhnāsi tasyaśayam|
tānīmāni tavāmba komalatarāaṇyāmodalīlāgṛhāṇyāmodāya
daśāṅgaguggulughṛtairdhūpairahaṁ dhūpaye||

“Due to the work of Cupid, You made Śiva happy with Your splendorous body parts; Your hair appearing like a chain of bees, bewitch the mind of Śiva. Though Your body is the playground for fragrances, I mentally offer to Your body and hair, the fumes of ten different types of incenses.”

This verse begins with the fourth bīja (ha ह) of the second kūṭa viz. kāmarāja kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra.

Manmatha is known as Cupid. Once, he tried to tempt Śiva towards Pārvatī. Displeased with his act, Śiva burnt him to ashes. Due to the Grace of Pārvatī, Manmatha was resurrected but he could not regain his form and became invisible. Hence, he does not have any form and always acts subtly by working through one’s mind. He cast his influence on Pārvatī by providing Her shapely body, to attract Śiva. This could be his reciprocal act towards Her, as She only had resurrected him. Not only Manmatha sculptured Pārvati’s body as the most beautiful woman, but also made Her hair attractive. Her hair is so long and shiny, it appears like rows of bees. When bees fly together, they fly one after another leaving no space between any two bees. This is drawn as comparison by Śaṁkarācārya.

The aspirant is trying to conceive Śiva and His Consort Pārvatī together. The aspirant now advances spiritually. He now begins to understand that Śiva and Pārvatī are not different. He also begins to understand that one without the other becomes inert. Śiva’s attraction towards Pārvatī means creation. Their microcosmic union happens in sahasrāra, the crown chakra. The aspirant in this verse also conceives their attraction to each other only in his mind. Hence, this also happens only in the microcosmic plane.

Offering fragrant fumes is one of the important aspects of Her worship. This is called dhūpa. Daśāṅga is a powder made out of resins and barks of different trees and herbs such as sandal wood and these ten ingredients are powdered together and sprinkled on live charcoal. Smoke that is generated from the fire is full of aroma. This is done mainly to drive away negative forces in and around a place. It also means that all our bad thoughts and actions are burnt in the fire, giving rise to positive thoughts and actions. In this verse, dhūpa is meant to mean as an offering to Her. There is a verse that is recited while offering dhūpa, which appeals the god of fire, Agni, that he should destroy all the sinners. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (III.37) that sinners are those who are afflicted with rajo guṇa (darkness), which manifests as anger and lust.

We can even say that the aspirant cleanses his own mind with this dhūpa, as he knows fully well that She can perpetually dwell in his mind, provided his mind is clean.

VERSE 10

लक्ष्मीमुज्ज्वलयामि रत्ननिवहोद्भास्वत्तरे मन्दिरे
मालरूपविलम्बितैर्मणिमयस्तम्भेषु संभावितैः।
चित्रैर्हाटकपुत्रिकाकरधृतैर्गव्यैर्घृतैर्वधितै-
-र्दिव्यैर्दीपगणैर्धिया गिरिसुते संतुष्टये कल्पताम्॥

lakṣmīmujjvalayāmi ratnanivahodbhāsvattare mandire
mālarūpavilambitairmaṇimayastambheṣu saṁbhāvitaiḥ|
citrairhāṭakaputrikākaradhṛtairgavyairghṛtairvadhitai-
-rdivyairdīpagaṇairdhiyā girisute saṁtuṣṭaye kalpatām||

“Your Abode is embedded with all types of precious stones, as described in verse 1. Their splendor illumines Your entire palace. In the pillars made of precious gems, lamps are lit and made to hang like garlands. Statues of women made of gold, hold lamps in their hands. These lamps are glowing, lit with cows’ ghee. All these lamps illumine Your Abode. O! Daughter of King of Mountains (Pārvatī), I light these lamps mentally; please accept this offering for Your happiness.”

This verse begins with the fifth bīja (la ल) of the second kūṭa viz. kāmarāja kūṭa of Pañcadaśī mantra.

After offering dhūpa, the aspirant now offers dīpa. Dīpa means lamp or light, which is considered as one of the auspicious symbols. Traditionally these lamps are lit with cows’ ghee. Any product associated with cow is considered as auspicious. Pañcakavya is a mixture of five products of cow such as milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine. Traditionally, these five are mixed by reciting mantras. An aspirant is considered as cleansed of all his sins, if he consumes pañcakavya.

It has already been seen that Her Abode is built with shining gems. Everyday, Her Abode is lit with these multitudes of lamps. Generally, even many lamps lit together do not illumine a place beyond their capacity to illuminate. But, as Her Abode is constructed with gems all round, these lamps illumine Her entire Abode not only due to the light from these lamps, but also of the reflections from the gems.

The lamps are lit in two ways in Her Abode. There are golden statues of women who hold lamps in their hands. There are lamps that are hung like huge flower garlands and the two open ends are tied to two pillars made of gems. As there are multitudes of such pillars, there are multitudes of garlands as well. When these lamps are lit, their lights get reflected in the gems of the pillars. Therefore, not only the light, but also the reflections of the lights illuminate Her Abode. The aspirant only visualizes these lights, though He knows that all these lamps get their light only from Her. There is no other light other than the Light emitted from Her. She is prakaśa vimarśa mahāmāyā svarūpinī (light – reflection of light – in the form of māyā)

This is explained in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15). “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor the moon and the stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything else follows. By Its Light, all these are lighted.”

The visualization of the aspirant clearly explains the power of the mind. It is not necessary that one should meditate on Her. Simple visualization is more powerful than meditation. The aspirant has considerably advanced in his spiritual pursuit, as he meticulously takes care of minute details of his offerings made to Her. He experiences Bliss, by doing so. That is why he often says that everything is offered to Her, only to make Her happy. He now knows that She prevails in his mind as Bliss. He is getting ready to get liberated.

(to be continued)