त्वया हृत्वा वामं वपुरपरितृप्तेन मनसा
शरीरार्धं शंभोरपरमपि शङ्के हृतमभूत्।
यदेतत्त्वद्रूपं सकलमरुणाभं त्रिनयनं
tvayā hṛtvā vāmaṁ vapuraparitṛptena manasā
śarīrārdhaṁ śaṁbhoraparamapi śaṅke hṛtamabhūt |
yadetattvadrūpaṁ sakalamaruṇābhaṁ trinayanaṁ
kucābhyāmānamraṁ kuṭilaśaśicūḍālamakuṭam ||
tvayā hṛtvā - conquered by You; vāmaṁ vapur - left side of the body; aparitṛptena manasā - mentally not satisfied; śarīrārdhaṁ śaṁbhor aparamapi - the other half of Śiva’s body; śaṅke – apprehensive; hṛtam abhūt – taken away (by You); yad etat tvad rūpaṁ - because of this, Your present form; sakalam aruṇābhaṁ - totally red in colour; tri nayanaṁ - three eyed; kucābhyām ānamraṁ - marginally bent because of the pair of bosoms; kuṭila śaśi cūḍāla makuṭam – wearing a slightly curved crown with crescent moon.
“Not being satisfied in owning the left side of Śiva, I apprehend that You have taken away His right side too, as Your present form is reddish in complexion with three eyes and marginally bent forward due to the heaviness of Your bosoms with a slightly curved diadem with crescent moon in it.”
Śaṁkarācārya makes a reference to Ardhanārīśvara form of Lord Śiva. The love between Śiva and Śakti is portrayed here in poetic parlance. Parāśakti is too fond of Śiva that cannot be expressed through a narration. In His Ardhanārīśvara form, Śiva has already given His left side to Her. She completely taken away His left side of the body, where the biological heart is situated. Assuming for a moment that He appears before us in His Ardhanārīśvara form, the heart that keeps Śiva “alive” belongs to Parāśakti and not that of Śiva. This clearly proves that Śiva is completely pervaded by Her, the Divine Mother.
She is not satisfied by possessing only the left side of Parameśvara and She wants to own His right side too, says Śaṁkarācārya. In other words, She wants to possess the entire body of Paramaśiva. By looking at Her form, Śaṁkarācārya doubts that She has already done so. Śiva is crystal complexioned and Śakti appears in dark red complexion. Red is an indicator of compassions, which is the most predominant character in Her. Every being in the universe is Her child and She nurtures everyone with great love and affection and hence, She is adored as Divine Mother. It is interesting to note that Lalitā Sahasranāma begins (first nāma) by worshipping Her as Śrī Mātā.
This verse can be interpreted like this based on the above narration: Śaṁkarācārya meditates on Paramaśiva. During intent meditation, divine visions often appear. For a great Yogī like Śaṁkarācārya, these visions would be with comprehensive clarity. When he was meditating on Śiva, He appears in His vision as Ardhanārīśvara. His meditation became too intent and during this state, Ardhanārīśvara form disappeared and he could see only Śakti. Śaṁkarācārya was perplexed when He saw the form of Parāśakti. Śaṁkarācārya wanted to re-ascertain that it is only Śakti. He uses his yogic skill and finds out that it only the Divine Mother. His averment is based on three factors:
1. When Śiva and Śakti sit together, their illumination will be like that of the moon, as Śiva’s crystal complexion diffuses the deep red complexion of Śakti. But, Śaṁkarācārya could see only dark red colour.
2. The way in which She sits appears to be feminine. She has crouched forward because of the pair of heavy bosoms. Bosoms represent Her act of nourishing the entire universe.
3. Śaṁkarācārya happened to see a third eye in Her forehead. In Her normal description, She does not have a third eye, which is an exclusivity of Śiva. On observing the third eye, Śaṁkarācārya apprehended that the form is not merely Hers, but Śiva is within this form of Hers. But for the third eye, even Śaṁkarācārya could not have found out that She has not only occupied Śiva’s left side of the body, but His entire body.
4. Another factor that made Śaṁkarācārya realize that She has pervaded Śiva’s body is the diadem. Śiva does not wear a crown, as He has Gaṅgā on the top of His head. He too has Crescent moon, but it is on His plaited hair. The form that Śaṁkarācārya visioned has a curved diadem. This crown is not a full fledged crown. It is only a partial crown with crescent moon on it. She wears a full fledged crown only when She is alone, while performing Her duties assigned to Her by Śiva and at that time She is worshipped as Lalitāmbikā and Rājarājeśvarī (Lalitā Sahasranāma-s 1000 and 684).
Now a doubt may arise whether this verse refers to Lalitā Sahasranāma 999 Śivaśktyaikya rūpiṇī. The answer could be a possible no. If we look at this nāma, it conveys their unity as well as diversity. They are treated as two different persons and later their interdependence is explained. This nāma does not convey their oneness. But nāma 792 sāmarasya parāyaṇā conveys their oneness. Sāmarasya means annihilation of two dimensions, where two separate entities, Śiva and Śakti are dissolved and there remains only one entity and that is Śiva; parāyaṇa means engaged with the chief authority. This nāma says that She is inherent in Him and not as a separate person or entity and therefore their aikya (union) does not arise at all. Because of this sāmarasya, Śaṁkarācārya sees only one entity in Her form and not as two entities like She sitting on the lap of Śiva or sitting by His side. In the state of sāmarasya, they are One.
One may get intrigued to know why Her form is visible rather than that of Śiva. Unless She is fully satisfied that one is good enough to attain Śiva, who alone is capable of offering liberation, She will not reveal the true nature of Śiva, says Lalitā Sahasranāma 727 śivajñāna pradāyinī. This nāma says that She alone can impart the knowledge of Śiva. This can also be explained in another way. In every action, there is always cause and effect, in which cause is always is subtle and effect is visible. Without cause, effect cannot be there and without effect cause has no role to play. Śiva is cause, which is always subtle and Śakti is the effect, which is always manifested. Hence Śaṁkarācārya sees Her form instead of Śiva.