गतास्ते मञ्चत्वं द्रुहिणहरिरुद्रेश्वरभृतः
त्वदीयानां भासां प्रतिफलनरागारूणतया
शरीरी शृङ्गारो रस इव दृशां दोग्धि कुतुकम्॥
gatāste mañcatvaṁ druhiṇaharirudreśvarabhṛtaḥ
śivaḥ svacchacchāyāghaṭitakapaṭapracchadapaṭaḥ |
tvadīyānāṁ bhāsāṁ pratiphalanarāgārūṇatayā
śarīrī śṛṅgāro rasa iva dṛśāṁ dogdhi kutukam ||
gatāḥ te mañcatvaṁ - (they) have taken the position of legs of your throne; druhiṇa hari rudra īśvara bhṛtaḥ - Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Īśvara as Your servants; śivaḥ - Śiva; svaccha chāyā ghaṭita kapaṭa pracchada paṭaḥ - who is like crystal, formed the seat; tvadīyānāṁ bhāsāṁ - Your splendour; pratiphalana rāga arūṇatayā – reflecting (Your) colour of dawn; śarīrī śṛṅgāra rasa iva – becoming embodiment of romantic emotions; dṛśāṁ - (Your) eyes; dogdhi kutukam – cause happiness.
“Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra and Īśvara form four legs of your throne and Śiva who is like pure crystal form the seat for You to sit and He reflects Your deep red complexion. This vision cases romantic ideas (in your mind) and makes You happy.”
Gross meaning of this verse is that She sits on Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Īśvara and Śiva who take care of the five primary activities of Brahman, which is explained below. She is overall in charge of these five aspects of Brahman, which is discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 250 Pañca-brahma-svarūpiṇī.
There are three aspects in this verse. The first part can be interpreted on the basis of Lalitā Sahasranāma 249, Pañca-pretāsanāsīnā, which is explained like this: She is sitting on a throne held by five corpses. These five corpses are Brahma, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Mahādeva and Sadāśiva. Brahma looks after creation, Viṣṇu looks after sustenance, Rudra causes death, Mahādeva conceals the dissolved universe (tirodhāna) and Sadāśiva again re-creates the universe (anugraha). It is said that these five Lords cannot function without their Śaktī-s or consorts. Commentators refer to the consorts of these five Gods and without them it is said that these Gods cannot perform their duties. This nāma should also be read with another Lalitā Sahasranāma 947, Pañca-preta-mañcādhi-śāyinī, which is explained from the philosophical point of view thus: The other way of looking at this nāma is to resolve on the basis that without kinetic energy, the predominant static energy does not become functional. In other words, Śiva cannot become functional head of the universe, unless ably aided by His consort Lalitāmbikā, the able dynamic energy, the energy created by Śiva Himself. Tantra loka (IV.6) says, “Only by the union with Śaktī, subtle Śiva is known. She is the ultimate unified Śaktī, the Parameśvarī, the very Self of Brahma, Viṣṇu, and Īśā.” The functional heads become ineffective (dead) without the presence of divine energy infused into them by Her. The five cadavers refer to a stage where the superior functional heads turn into corpses in the absence of energy infused by Her, which decisively and authoritatively confirms Her Bramanic status.
Now, the second part of the verse conveys two aspects. One is about the complexion of Śiva and Śakti and another is about śṛṅgārarasa. When we refer Śiva in this verse, it refers to Paramaśiva, in whom She is inherent.
Complexion of Paramaśiva and Parāśakti is discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma 796, Kāmarūpiṇī. Kāma means Śiva. She is in the form of Śiva. They are not different. They have everything in common, except the complexion. Śiva is crystal white and She is dark red. Both of them sitting together appear like rising sun (Her red complexion is transfused with the colourless and translucent complexion of Śiva appearing like the rising sun. The dark red colour gets diffused making it appear as orange colour).
Śṛṅgārarasa used in this verse is interpreted in Lalitā Sahasranāma 376 is Śṛṅgāra-rasa- saṁpūrṇā which says that Lalitāmbikā is an embodiment of extracts (rasa) of finer things in life. There are said to be eight to ten types of rasa-s, though only nine types of rasa-s are generally mentioned. These ten rasa-s are love (śṛṅgāra), heroism, disgust, anger, mirth, fear, pity, amazement, tranquillity and warmth. Saundarya Laharī (verse 51) refers to eight types of rasa-s that She exhibits at different times. She exhibits the essence of love with Śiva, heroism while destroying evils, disgust while dealing with ignorant, fear on seeing the snakes on the person of Śiva, anger with goddess Gaṅgā (as Śiva holds her in His hair), amazement on seeing Śiva’s third eye, warmth while being with Her true devotees and lāsya rasa (expressing emotions as if dancing) while looking at Her attendants. This nāma talks about the essence of love that She exhibits while being with Śiva, all alone. The love between Śiva and Śaktī is beautifully described in various scriptures. The essence of love or śṛṅgāra-rasa is the cause for other rasa-s. Though these narrations go well while visualizing Her form, Her Absolute form is beyond all these qualities and attributes.
As we move towards the end of Soundarya laharī, She is described either as Brahman or as the functional head of Paramaśiva.