आदित्यवर्णे तपसोऽधिजातो वनस्पतिस्तव वृक्षोऽथ बिल्वः।
तस्य फलानि तपसा नुदन्तु मायान्तरायाश्च बाह्या अलक्ष्मीः॥ ६
ādityavarṇe tapaso'dhijāto vanaspatistava vṛkṣo'tha bilvaḥ |
tasya phalāni tapasā nudantu māyāntarāyāśca bāhyā alakṣmīḥ || 6
Meaning: (Auspicious of bilva tree is being explained in this verse) “O Lakṣmī! You appear like the sun! Bilva tree which was created by you is called king of forests. Its fruits are capable of destroying inner ignorance (affliction of antaḥkaraṇa) and external afflictions caused by indriya-s (organs of perception and action). Let these impediments (for Liberation) be destroyed with your Grace.”
Āditya varṇe – resembling colour of the sun. Viṣṇu Sahasranāma addresses Lord Viṣṇu (nāma-s 39 and 563). Puruṣasūktam (I.16) also addresses Brahman as “ādityavarṇaṁ tamasastu pare”. Chāndogya Upaniṣad (I.vi.6) answers this question that lingers in our minds. It says, “There is a deity within the orbit of the sun, who is seen by the yogī-s. His whole body glitters like gold. He has a bright golden beard and golden hair.” Therefore, ādityavarṇa here does not merely mean that She is illuminating, but also subtly says that She is Brahman, taking care of the universe.
tapasa adhijāta – tapas means penance and adhijāta means born out of. She created bilva tree out of Her penance. Bilva leaf is trifoliate, representing three guṇa-s (Three guṇa-s remain in harmony before creating. When this harmony is disturbed, world is created). It can also mean three Gods – Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva According to Lakṣmī Tantra, if one meditates in a forest of bilva trees, the effect of meditation becomes multi fold. Lakṣmī aṣṭotram 78 says ‘bilva nilaya’, which means She resides in bilva tree. Śiva is also worshiped with bilva leaves. Bilvāṣṭakam on Śiva explains the sacredness of bilva leaves.
vanaspati stave – vanaspati means king of forest. Stava is eulogy, praising bilva forest.
vṛkṣa atha bilvaḥ - that auspicious (atha means auspicious) tree is called bilva.
tasya phalāni – fruits of bilva trees, the final product of bilva tree (like any other fruit yielding tree).
tapasā nudantu – here tapasa means warmth; nudantu means dispel.
māya antarāyāśca – māya means causing illusion; antarāya means obstacles; if this is taken as antara, then it means internal. This means inner obstacles that prevents Self-realization. Taking into account, tapasā nudantu māyāntarāyāśca”, it means by your Grace, please remove my inner spiritual ignorance (affliction of antaḥkaraṇa) and offer me mokṣa.
bāhyā alakṣmīḥ - bāhya here means indriya-s. alakṣmī means evil fortune, bad luck, distress, poverty. These are results of afflicted indriya-s or arise due to misuse of indriya-s. Let these be removed by fruits of bilva tree, which is nothing but Her Grace.