Soundaryalaharī verse 3
दरिद्राणां चिन्तामणिगुणनिका जन्मजलधौ
निमग्नानां दंष्ट्रा सुररिपुवराहस्य भवती2॥
jaḍānāṁ caitanyastabakamakarandasrutijharī |
daridrāṇāṁ cintāmaṇiguṇanikā janmajaladhau
nimagnānāṁ daṁṣṭrā suraripuvarāhasya bhavatī ||
Variations in texts:
1. nakarī नकरी
2. bhavati भवति
This verse is an extension of the previous verse, as it continues to discuss about the dust particles in Her lotus feet. This verse says that the dust particles remove the darkness of spiritual ignorance. They are compared to the sun which dispels darkness. The fragrance emanating from the dust or the nectar from the pollen grains causes spiritual enlightenment. For the poor, these dusts are like gems. For those who are deeply immersed in the ocean of the material world (saṁsāra or transmigration), She is like the tusk of Varāha, the third incarnation of Viṣṇu.
Śaṁkarācārya says that even the dust in Her feet can offer liberation or mokṣa. For the spiritual aspirants it is easier to visualize Her feet than Her whole form, which is described in detail through 59 verses in the second part of Saundaryalaharī. The aspirant who studies and understands the first part becomes perfectly fit to contemplate on Her entire form in the second part.
Advaita Vedānta says spiritual ignorance or nescience is known as avidya, caused by illusion known as Māyā. However, there is a difference between avidya and Māyā. Philosophically, avidya or illusion is known as ajñāna, which has two functions. One is concealment, known as āvaraṇa and the other is projection known as vikṣepa, the latter always follows the former. Āvaraṇa or concealment has five types of veils and they are ignorance, ego, attachment, hatred and tenacity. They can be removed only by negations as described in Upaniṣad-s and if one contemplates on Her lotus feet, one gets Her Grace so that he can negate them through his mind. Vikṣepa is the power of projection, projecting the Self as the material world due to the effects of Māyā. Oft cited example is wrongly identifying a rope as a snake in darkness. This is illusionary projection or deceptive projection. When the illusion is removed, truth is realized. In the same way, when one understands that the material world is nothing but the illusionary projection of Brahman, he realises the Self.
Māyā is not something that is considered as evil. Māyā is inherent in creation. It is also Brahman’s own power. Māyā can be removed only by spiritual knowledge and repeated affirmations. An aspirant has to negate māyā and only his own intellect can do that. Intellect is not our birth right. Intellect is to be acquired. One has to learn to negate the illusionary aspect of the Brahman in the form of māyā and go past it to realize Him. There is no other way the Brahman can be realized except by transcending His own projecting power of Māyā. When one wants to go past Māyā, the first thing that he should do is to get rid of attachments and bondage. These two make an aspirant to get engrossed in gross forms. When one is so attached to the gross forms, he gets deluded by the gross forms. We call them as our father, mother, wife, daughter, son, friend, foe, etc. They are the results of the projecting power of Māyā. Their real form, the Self is concealed from us. If one chooses to ignore the gross shapes and forms and look beyond for the inner Self, he is bound to transcend Māyā and at this stage, he has crossed the greatest hurdle in your spiritual path to become a Yogī. The final liberation for this Yogī is not far away from this point.
When one contemplates on Her sacred feet, such illusions are removed by Her Grace and the aspirant understands the Truth, which is nothing but Her pervasion throughout the universe. The whole universe, both sentient and insentient, reflects Her form. This is spiritual knowledge. Even a tiny pollen grain in Her feet is capable of endowing this knowledge to the aspirants. Minimum effort from the aspirant is only to contemplate on Her feet. The pollen grains in Her feet are compared to the sun, which dispels darkness. A perceivable comparison is drawn between Her feet and the sun. Though the sun shines only at Her command, to make the aspirant understand the sanctity and power of Her feet, Śaṁkarācārya uses this comparison. When the spiritual knowledge dawns spiritual ignorance fades away, thereby, making the aspirant to pursue the spiritual path with dedication and sincerity.
Material world is compared to the ocean, whose fathom is not known. When one gets attached to the material world, which is compared to the ocean, there is no escape for him from the pains and sufferings of transmigration. There is no escape for him from transmigration, as he goes on accumulating his karmas, both good and bad. As long as one has balance in karmic account, transmigration continues. For everyone, life is painful, but the intensity of the pain and suffering differs according to his or her karmic account. Karma ceases to accumulate only if one surrenders to Her through his or her mind.
She is compared to Varāha avatar of Viṣṇu. This comparison can be explained in two ways. Varāha lifts Mother Earth from the depths of ocean. This is an act of compassion. While rescuing the Earth, Varāha also kills a demon by name Hiraṇyākṣa. This is an act of destruction. Those who are immersed in the ocean of saṁsāra, She lifts them up from the depths of their ignorance and make them to pursue the spiritual path. Alternatively, She destroys those who are too deeply indulged in material life causing hindrance to others who follow the path of virtuousness. They are called demons and are invariably destroyed to uphold the universe.
By worshipping Her lotus feet, She gives what one desires. Those who seek material prosperity, She gives them material wealth. For those who seek liberation, She offers them liberation. Those who seek knowledge, She gives them spiritual knowledge. Those who seek material wealth have to undergo further transmigration. Those who seek liberation, subject to their karmic account, are freed from the pains of further transmigration.
This verse talks about four types of men - those with spiritual knowledge; spiritually ignorant men; poor men seeking material prosperity; and those who are totally immersed in the material world with no intention to get liberation. Since She is the most compassionate Mother, She helps them to attain liberation through different ways. A known comparison is a human mother meeting the demands and tastes of each of her children.
The next verse also speaks about the Supremacy of Her Sacred Feet.