पदं ते कीर्तीनां प्रपदमपदं देवि विपदां
कथं नीतं सद्भिः कठिनकमठीकर्परतुलाम् ।
कथं वा बाहुभ्यामुपयमनकाले पुरभिदा
यदादाय न्यस्तं दृषदि दयमानेन मनसा॥
padaṁ te kīrtīnāṁ prapadamapadaṁ devi vipadāṁ
kathaṁ nītaṁ sadbhiḥ kaṭhinakamaṭhīkarparatulām |
kathaṁ vā bāhubhyāmupayamanakāle purabhidā
yadādāya nyastaṁ dṛaṣadi dayamānena manasā ||
padaṁ te kīrtīnāṁ prapadam – Your feet are known for their inexplicable grandeur; padaṁ devi vipadāṁ - O! Devi! (Your feet are) beyond the reach of any possible misfortunes; kathaṁ nītaṁ sadbhiḥ - how then the great poets; kaṭhina kamaṭhī karpara tulām – compared them (Your feet) to the hard shell of tortoise; kathaṁ vā bāhubhyām upayamana kāle – how did He (Śiva) with His two hands, during marriage ceremonies; purabhidā – Śiva; yat ādāya nyastaṁ - dṛaṣadi – a rock stone (used for mashing, etc); how did He place (Your foot); dayamānena manasā – with soft mind (with compassion).
“Your feet are known for their grandeur and they remove all misfortunes (by contemplating on them). I wonder, how great poets have compared Your feet to the shell of tortoise. Śiva took great care in lifting Your feet with His two hands and placing them on the rock stone during Your marriage with Him.”
It is believed that this verse does not find a place in the original composition of Śaṁkarācārya.
This verse conveys several things. First, it says that by attaining Her feet, no misfortune can ever happen to the devotee. Hence, the verse indirectly asks us to worship Her feet. For the purpose of contemplation, the softness of Her feet is described. Śaṁkarācārya also wonders how such tender feet can be compared to the hard shell of tortoise by other poets. Lalitā Sahasranāma 43 is Kūrma-pṛṣṭha-jayiṣṇu-prapadānvitā (the arch of Her feet is far more beautiful and curvier than tortoise’s shell). Śaṁkarācārya also wonders how Śiva, by using His two hands, very carefully held Her soft feet and kept them on the mashing stone during marriage ceremony. Śiva used extreme care while placing Her feet on the stone, fearing that Her feet could get hurt if they are placed on the stone in a normal way. He is so concerned about Her.
Tortoise is often compared to a strong mind. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (II.58) says, “A yogi withdraws all his sensory afflictions, like a tortoise withdrawing all its limbs, his mind is said to be stable.” Possibly, those poets could have thought about this, when they say that Her feet are like tortoise shell.
During marriage ceremonies, there is one specific ritual called “aśmārohaṇam” (अश्मारोहणम्), which literally means ascending on a stone. A mashing stone is kept on the northern side of the fire pit, known as homakuṇḍa. During this ceremony, the groom by holding brides right palm, lifts her right foot with his left hand and by holding her big toe and place it on the stone. They go back to the fire and make oblations and this process is repeated three times. There are mantras associated with this ritual. The meaning of the mantra is “mount on this stone. During rough times, let your mind be as strong as this stone.” After this, silver rings are fixed on her second toes by the groom. Śaṁkarācārya says in this verse that Śiva takes Her foot in His left hand with great care, so that it is not hurt by the stone. Incomparable compassion and concern for His Consort! Śiva and Pārvatī, as father and mother of the universe set examples for every aspect of marital life. Poet Kālidāsa says in his Raghuvaṃśa “jagataḥ pitarau vande pārvati parameśvarau (जगतः पितरौ वन्दे पार्वति परमेश्वरौ).”
There are several references to this Celestial Marriage. Liṅgapurāṇa (chapter 133) elaborately describes the list of attendees. It is Viṣṇu, who made the kanyādāna (giving a girl in marriage). During this time, divine drums were sounded, divine damsels danced, all the four Vedas were recited, and all gods and goddesses chanted Their praise.
With regard to the comparison of Her feet with the hard shell of tortoise, it is often done, because there is nothing else that can be compared to the shape of Her feet. This is described in Sampuṭīkaraṇa, an ancient Scripture on body parts