सरस्वत्या लक्ष्म्या विधिहरिसपत्नो विहरते
रतेः पतिव्रत्यं शिथिलयति रम्येण वपुषा।
चिरं जीवन्नेव क्षपितपशुपाशव्यतिकरः
परानन्दभिख्यं रसयति रसं त्वद्भजनवान्॥
sarasvatyā lakṣmyā vidhiharisapatno viharate
rateḥ pativratyaṁ śithilayati ramyeṇa vapuṣā |
ciraṁ jīvanneeva kṣapitapaśupāśavyatikaraḥ
parānandabhikhyaṁ rasayati rasaṁ tvadbhajanavān ||
tvat bhajanavān – Your devotee; sarasvatyā lakṣmyā – in the company of Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī; vidhihari sapatnaḥ; their Consorts Brahmā and Viṣṇu; viharate – take away (for courting); ramyeṇa vapuṣa – (by means of his) handsome body; rateḥ pativratyaṁ śithilayati – destroys the chastity of Rati; ciraṁ jīvanneeva – by remaining as an immortal; kṣapita paśupāśa vyatikaraḥ - freed his soul from the bondage of ignorance; parānanda abhikhyaṁ - splendour of the Supreme Bliss; rasayati rasaṁ - enjoys the essence.
“Your devotee becomes enemy to Brahmā and Viṣṇu, as he takes away their Consorts Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī. By means of his handsome body, he also takes away Rati (the divine damsel). By attaining immortality, he has freed his soul from the bondage of ignorance and perpetually enjoys the essence of Supreme Bliss.”
This verse has only subtle meaning and if this is interpreted on the grosser side, it is absolutely wrong. The man that is referred here is the one who has excelled in samayācāra worship. When he has already merged his individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness (Śiva), he needs nothing in this material world. By worshiping Her, he has attained everything – supreme spiritual knowledge, enough material wealth and physical fitness. By referring to Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī, Śaṁkarācārya conveys that such a devotee has attained everything that is possible in his living. By referring to Rati, he says that this yogi’s body automatically attains eternal youthfulness. By uniting his jīvātman (the self) with Paramātman (the Self), he becomes a jīvanmukta (liberated while living). He enjoys every minute of his jīvanmukta state, as he always remains in the state of Supreme Bliss. He perpetually remains in the state of Supreme Bliss. Śaṁkarācārya uses the word “parānanda” (the state of spiritual ecstasy or Supreme Bliss).
Jīvanmukta, though liberated completely in this life, continues to exist with his body to exhaust the remnants of his karmic impressions. During this life, he has been rewarded by Her as he had pursued four puruṣārtha-s (puruṣārtha means object of human life), dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa, in the most rightful manner. Dharma is a way of living without hurting others and following dictums of śāstra-s. It is a way of discharging one’s duty, without hurting others either physically or mentally. Artha is the right way of earning material wealth. He is able to earn wealth better than others, as he has Her Grace. By earning wealth, he gives away his wealth to others, after decently maintaining his family. In other words, he distributes his excess, after saving for his family’s future, for the purpose of charity. This is because, as far as he is concerned, everything is Brahman to him. He cannot see others suffering. He has highest level of philanthropic attitude (Recently Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc are living examples). Instead of multiplying his wealth beyond a point, he shares his excessive wealth with needy and derives inexplicable happiness. Kāma means all types of his desires. Desire for spiritual pursuit, desire for maintaining harmony, desire for both mental and physical happiness, etc are classified under kāma. When he has attained everything, he needs nothing to attain. After having fully lived his life, he aspires for mokṣa, the liberation.
This sincere devotee has evolved to this stage by his sheer spiritual practices and deep love for Her. He fully understands that he can be liberated from the pains of transmigration only by the Divine Mother, who is always compassionate. He has moved faster from the mundane stage of his existence to this Blissful state. He fully understands the sayings of Adhyātmarāmāyaṇa (Bālakāṇḍa – verse 51), “Knowing this (you are That or you are Brahman), my devotees attain Me. Those who are devoid of devotion to Me, roll in the abyss of śāstra-s. Theirs is neither knowledge nor emancipation, even through hundreds of transmigration.” (For a Self-realized person, dictums of śāstra-s and procedures do not matter as he is fully aware that reality is Brahman alone.)
How liberation happens? Kaivalya is the final stage of life, of a living being. Nobody is there with that being during that time. He is all alone without any help around and he has to achieve on his own. This is the final stage of one’s evolution. The soul is about to leave its present body and getting ready to merge with the Brahman. Kaivalya is liberation or salvation and hence it is called the final stage. This final stage can be reached in two ways. One is the mundane stage associated with desires and attachments where soul gets ready for rebirth. The other stage is the stage of samādhi, where the soul gets ready for its union with the Brahman not to be born again. This is kaivalya. Parāśakti is the giver of this stage. There are four types of consciousness. They are sālokya, sarūpa, samībha and sāyujya. Beyond this is kaivalya. Sālokya is the stage where one performs ritual worship, worshipping idols or portraits of gods. In sarūpa he leaves idol worship and does not differentiate himself from god. In samībha he goes near the god and in sāyujya stage he merges with god. These are the stages of one’s consciousness that finally lead to kaivalya. One has to progress from one stage to another and this progression happens depending upon the level of spirituality. By being spiritual does not mean that one has to be religious. Spirituality transcends religious affinities, though religion forms the foundation of spirituality. To attain kaivalya stage one has to progress from ritual worship to mental worship (meditation). By making sufficient progress in meditation, one has to search for the Brahman within. Once the Brahman is located and realized within, the practitioner moves to the stage of kaivalya, by detaching himself from worldly affinities by staying connected with his Creator. His soul is now under preparation to merge with Him, for final liberation. Finally, he gets liberated with no further transmigration for that soul.
Similar message is conveyed through Saundaryalaharī (verse 22). “O! Bhavāni! The one who addresses You as Bhavāni seeking your compassion to bestow Your glance on him considering him as Your servant, offered liberation by You instantaneously, even before he could complete the word Bhavāni...”
In a nutshell, this verse (99) conveys the benefits of worshiping Divine Mother. In the highest level of devotion, the difference between Her and yogi is annihilated and they both become one, the state of kaivalya. Just before entering into the state of kaivalya, devotion for Her transforms into love for Her. When the love for Her is intensified, the yogi loses all worldly interests and perpetually stays with Her waiting for Her approval to get liberated.