पवित्रीकर्तुं नः पशुपतिपराधीनहृदये
नदः शोणो गङ्गा तपनतनयोति ध्रुवममुं
त्रयाणां तीर्थानामुपनयसि संभेदमनघम्॥
pavitrīkartuṁ naḥ paśupatiparādhīnahṛdaye
nadaḥ śoṇo gaṅgā tapanatanayoti dhruvamamuṁ
trayāṇāṁ tīrthānāmupanayasi saṁbhedamanagham ||
pavitrī kartuṁ naḥ - to purify us; paśupati parādhīna hṛdaye – wholeheartedly surrendered to Śiva; dayā mitrai netraiḥ - compassionate eyes; aruṇa dhavala śyāma rucibhiḥ - splendorous with red, white and black; nadaḥ - rivers; śoṇo gaṅgā – Śoṇo, Ganges; tapana tanaya– daughter of sun, known as river Yamuna; iti – thus; dhruvam – surely; amuṁ - this; trayāṇāṁ tīrthānām – these three rivers; upanayasi saṁbhedam anagham – destroys our sins.
“The one who has wholeheartedly surrendered unto Śiva! The One who has compassionate eyes shining with red, white and black colours! You have given us the holy confluence of three rivers, Sone, Ganges and Yamuna, to wash off our sins.”
It is believed that by taking bath in holy rivers wards off one’s sins. Here Śaṁkarācārya talks about the confluence of three sacred rivers Sone, Ganges and Yamuna and if one takes bath in this sacred confluence, all his sins, it is believed will be washed off. It is said that Parāśakti, who has wholeheartedly surrendered to Śiva, has created this confluence out of compassion for the humanity. Waters of Sona River is said to be red in colour; waters of Ganges is said to be white in colour and waters of Yamuna is believed to be black in colour. However, śyāma also means dark blue and possibly Śaṁkarācārya should have used the word to mean dark blue waters.
The tinges of these colours were already described in the previous verse and the previous verse said that through these colours, She creates three guṇa-s, which in turn cause creation. In addition to this description, Śaṁkarācārya speaks about Her wholehearted surrender to Śiva. This appears to be out of context. But Śaṁkarācārya is not a person who says something out of context. So, there should be some subtle conveyance through this verse. He subtly conveys the benefit arising out of kuṇḍalinī meditation. The three nāḍi-s iḍā, piṅgala and suṣumna are referred through these three rivers. These three nāḍi-s join together at ājñācakra, also known as third eye. In Her subtlest form kuṇḍalinī, She ascends through suṣumna nāḍi to conjoin Her Consort Śiva at sahasrāra. There are two aspects in this interpretation. An aspirant who could activate ājñācakra is able to ward off his sins. After leaving ājñācakra, She proceeds to sahasrāra to surrender unto Śiva. Whole hearted surrender can be interpreted to mean that there will no two separate entities such as Śiva and Śakti at sahasrāra. They both merge together to become one and there exists only Śiva. This phenomenon is known Śiva-Śakti ikya and is discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 999. A yogi who is able to experience Her presence in ājñācakra and the presence of both Śiva and Śakti at sahasrāra will have all his sins annihilated. However, this situation is possible only for those, whose karmic accounts permit this to happen. It can also be said that unless karmic account permits, even ājñācakra will not be activated.