परं श्ंभुं वन्दे परिमिलितपार्श्वं परचिता।
यमाराध्यन् भक्त्या रविशशिशुचीनामविषये
निरालोकेऽलोके निवसति हि भालोकभुवने॥
paraṁ śṁbhuṁ vande parimilitapārśvaṁ paracitā |
yamārādhyan bhaktyā raviśaśiśucīnāmaviṣaye
nirāloke'loke nivasati hi bhālokabhuvane ||
tava ājñā cakrasthaṁ - present in Your ājñā cakra; tapana śaśi koṭi dyutidharaṁ - endowed with the brilliance of countless numbers of sun and moon; paraṁ śṁbhuṁ - Supreme Śiva; vande – extolling; parimilita pārśvaṁ - pervaded on all sides; para citā – Supreme Consciousness; yam ārādhyan bhaktyā – the one who worships with devotion; ravi śaśi śucīnām aviṣaye – incapable of causing radiance by sun, moon and fire; nirāloke aloke – devoid of light and is different from the material world; nivasati hi – living; bhāloka bhuvane – Self-illuminating world.
“I extol Supreme Shiva, present in Your ājñā cakra, endowed with the brilliance of countless suns and moons, pervaded by Supreme Consciousness on all sides. The one who lives in a world that is incapable of being reached by sun, moon and fire, which is devoid of light (by these luminaries), which is different from the material world. He lives in Self-illuminating world.”
Beginning from this verse, Śaṁkarācārya talks about psychic cakra-s, which we speak about in kuṇḍalinī meditation. In this verse, he speaks about ājñā cakra. This verse can be considered as an extension of verse 14. This verse says that Śiva is Self-illuminating or Prakāśa. Śaṁkarācārya could not literally explain His Self-illumination. He says His effulgence is brighter than infinite numbers of sun, moon and Agni (fire) put together.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) explains this Light. “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything follows. By Its light, all these are lighted.” This is the famous dīpa ārādhana mantra:
na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti|
न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोयमग्निः।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति॥
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) says, param joytiḥ upasampadyate which means attaining the highest light. The Upaniṣad says “Then, this person, who is an embodiment of happiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature. This is the Self.”
Śiva is Prakāśa and Śakti is Pratibhā. Prakāśa is Self-illumination and Pratibhā is the revelation of this Light. Prakāśa is Consciousness and Pratibhā is the revelation (Vimarśa) of this Consciousness, the point of creation of this universe. The interdependency of Śiva and Śakti is absolute. Ājñā cakra represents mind. This is the point where one’s Guru communicates to his disciples. This verse says that Śiva is present in ājñā cakra of Parāśakti. It is a known fact that Śiva resides only in sahasrāra. Śiva is present in the ājñā cakra of Parāśakti alone, as She always thinks about Śiva. Her mind is totally pervaded by Śiva. Hence, to this devotee, Śiva appears in full Glory in ājñā cakra of Parāśakti. Since Śiva is full of Supreme Consciousness, His presence in ājñā cakra of Parāśakti is reflected in the form of Pure and illuminating Consciousness, which is pervaded on all sides. Pure form of consciousness has the ability to produce light, because during this stage, one is disconnected from the material world. During this state, when concentration is fixed on ājñā cakra, the pineal gland behind ājñā cakra produces light. This is the Light of the Self.
The devotee referred here does not live in the material world. He lives in the highest realm of spiritual world. In this spiritual world, there is no place for luminaries like sun. moon and fire. These three are known as iḍa, piṅgala and suṣumna nāḍi-s. The devotee has brought his awareness to his ājñā cakra and beyond by working through these three nāḍi-s. He has moved away from the material world to the spiritual world. Sun, moon and fire shine only in the material world. Spiritual world is illuminated by Śiva. Since he is in the spiritual world, luminaries are incapable of lighting his world. Since the spiritual world is illuminated by Parāśakti by deriving Light from Śiva, he sees only the Light of Śiva. This is the point of no return for this devotee. He has been liberated and he lives in the spiritual world awaiting His turn to become one with Śiva. This is the world of Her devotees. There are few others like him to attain liberation. She puts them to final tests to evaluate them. Upon passing out these tests, She takes them to Śiva and make them merge with Him.
Kṛṣṇa explains this world in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.6), “That Supreme Abode of mine is not illuminated by sun, moon or fire and those who reach here, never go back to the material world.”
This verse can be meditated in the following manner: Visualize Parāśakti. Her form (as conceived by you) appears in your meditation, when your individual consciousness moves to higher level of consciousness, turya. When the form appears before you, concentrate on Her ājñā cakra. After few minutes, you are able to see Śiva in His full effulgence and Glory. You will enter into the state of Supreme Bliss. You will regain your normal consciousness after sometime. The Bliss enjoyed by you will make you to resort to this meditation frequently. After few days of meditation, you become one with Śiva and Śakti. You become That and you can now confidently affirm “I am Brahman”, because you have realized the true nature of Brahman, in the form of Light.