नरं वर्षीयांसं नयनविरसं नर्मसु जडं
तवापाङ्गालोके पतितमनुधावन्ति शतशः।
हठात्त्रुटयत्काञ्चयो विगालितदुकूला युवतयः॥
naraṁ varṣīyāṁsaṁ nayanavirasaṁ narmasu jaḍaṁ
tavāpāṅgāloke patitamanudhāvanti śataśaḥ |
haṭhāttruṭayatkāñcayo vigālitadukūlā yuvatayaḥ ||
naraṁ - man; varṣīyāṁsaṁ - appearing old; nayana virasaṁ - ugly to look at; narmasu jaḍaṁ - without any pleasure or amusement; tava apāṅgāloke patitam – on whom Your side glance has fallen; anudhāvanti – running after; śataśaḥ - in hundreds; galad veṇī bandhāḥ - loosened hair; kuca kalaśa visrasta sicayā – loosened upper garments exposing bosoms; haṭhāt truṭayat kāñcayo – their waist bands breaking down; vigā lita dukūlā – making their clothes fall down; yuvatayaḥ - young damsels.
“When Your side glance falls on an old man ugly to look at and who has no interest in pleasures, hundreds of young women run after him not realizing that their hair, upper garments and waist bands have loosened and disrobed them.”
The verse talks about the power of Her fraction-of- a-second glance, that too sideways. There is difference between Her direct glance and side glance. Direct glance is capable of offering liberation whereas, Her side glance showers physical, mental and material wealth. This is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 590 kaṭākṣa-kiṅkarī-bhūta-kamalā-koṭi-sevitā. This nāma says that when She glances sideways, as mentioned in this verse, millions of Lakṣmī-s (goddess of wealth) attend on Her. Therefore, it is obvious, that Her side glance gives material wealth and pleasures.
According to the gross interpretation of this verse, She glances sideways on an old and ugly looking man who had lost interest in worldly pleasures. Immediately, hundreds of young women run after him, not realising that their robes are falling down exposing their bodies. This means that the old man regains his youthfulness. Though the verse is erotically presented, a person of Śaṁkarācārya’s calibre would not have composed merely for erotic expression.
The old man on whom Her side glance had fallen attains elevated mental state, beyond the materialistic world. He gets transformed into a yogi by spiritual enlightenment happened due to Her glance. The women who are described here are paśu-s. Paśu means unenlightened individual soul. These paśu-s go after an enlightened soul to learn and practice spiritual path with an intent to attain liberation. In their urgency and eagerness to know Her through him, they forget everything about the material world, which is described in this verse as robes. This also conveys that when an aspirant is ready for liberation, She sends a spiritual Guru on Her own to teach the aspirant during his final journey towards liberation. This argument augurs well with the saying that when the time is ripe, one gets a Guru without any efforts from the aspirant’s side. In fact, She is waiting to offer liberation as She is full of compassion and concern for Her children (human beings). She is Śrī Mātā.
By composing this erotic verse, Śaṁkarācārya probably could have sent a clear message to youngsters thus; “Be what you are and do what you like. But spend sometime in thinking about the Divine Mother. She will not only give you material wealth and pleasures, but will also guide you through true spiritual Gurus towards Her. In the midst of your busy routine, please spend sometime in contemplating Her. I am not asking you to visit holy places. I am merely asking you to visualize Her at least for sometime in a day. She will give you the best and She knows what to give you.”