Paduka-panchaka (the five-fold footstool)

by Arthur Avalon | 1919 | 5,960 words | ISBN-10: 8178223783 | ISBN-13: 9788178223780

This is the English translation of the Paduka-panchaka which represents a hymn by Shiva in praise of the “five-fold footstool of the Guru”. The short text contains seven Sanskrit verses (including a commentary) dealing with aspects of Tantric Yoga, or “Kundalini Yoga”. This edition contains the Sanskrit text, transliteration and English translatio...

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1:

ब्रह्मरन्ध्र-सरसीरुहोदरे नित्यलग्नमवदातमद्भुतं ।
कुण्डलिविवरकाण्डमण्डितं द्वादशार्णसरसीरुहं भजे॥ १ ॥

brahmarandhra-sarasīruhodare nityalagnamavadātamadbhutaṃ |
kuṇḍalivivarakāṇḍamaṇḍitaṃ dvādaśārṇasarasīruhaṃ bhaje
|| 1 ||

I adore the wonderful White Lotus of twelve letters[1] which is within the womb (Udare) of, and inseparable from, the pericarp of the Lotus in which is the Brahma-randhra, and which is adorned by the channel of Kuṇḍalī.[2]

Commentary by Śrī-Kālīcaraṇa:

The hymn Pādukā-pañcaka, composed by Him of Five Faces,[3] destroys all demerit.[4] Kālīcaraṇa by his Ṭīkā called Amalā (Stainless) makes patent its beauty.

Sadāśiva, the Liberator of the three Worlds, being desirous of speaking of Gurudhyāna-Yoga[5] in the form of a hymn (Stotra), first of all describes the place of the Guru.

The verb Bhaje is First Person Singular, Ātmanepada, emphasizing that Śiva Himself adores or worships. He says, “I do adore or worship.” By saying so He expresses the necessity that all worshippers (Upāsakas) of the Mantras revealed by Him should adore this wonderful twelvepetalled Lotus. He thus shows the necessity of His worship.

The meaning of this verse in brief is this: I adore the twelve-petalled Lotus which is within the pericarp of the Sahasrāra.

Wonderful” (Adbhuta).—It excites our wonder by reason of its being pervaded by the lustre (Tejas) of Brahman, and for other reasons.

Lotus of twelve letters” (Dvādaśārṇa-sarasīruha)—i.e., the Lotus which contains twelve letters. The twelve letters, according to those learned in the Tantras, are the twelve letters which make the Gurumantra; they are Sa, Ha, Kha, Phreṃ, Ha, Sa,

Kṣa, Ma, La, Va, Ra, Yūṃ. Some say that by Dvādaśārṇa is meant the twelfth vowel, which is the Vāg-bhava-bīja.[6] But that cannot be. If it were so, the authority quoted below would be tautologous: “(Meditate on) your Guru who is Śiva as being on the lustrous (Hamsapīṭha, the substance of which is Mantra—Mantra-maya), which is in the pericarp of the Lotus of twelve letters, near the region of the Moon[7] in the pericarp, and which is adorned by the letters Ha, La, and Kṣa, which are within the triangle A-Ka-Tha. The lotus of twelve letters is in the pericarp (of the Sahasrāra).”

The above passage speaks of the Mantramaya-pīṭha. The Mantra substance of this Pīṭha is the Guru-mantra in the form of Vāg-bhava-bīja.[8] There would therefore be a repetition of the same Mantra.[9] “Dvādaśārṇa” is made up by Bahuvrīhi-Samāsa—that in which there are Dvādaśa (twelve) Arṇas (letters). This lotus has therefore twelve petals, on which are the twelve letters.

It is true that the letters are not here specified, and there has been nothing said as to where they are placed; but the Guru-Gītā says[10] that “the letters Haṃ and Sa surround (that is, as petals) the Lotus,” wherein the Guru should be meditated. This leads us to the conclusion that the letters Haṃ and Saḥ are repeated six times, thus making twelve, and so the number of petals becomes clearly twelve, as each petal contains one letter. This is a fit subject of consideration for the wise.

Inseparable from” (Nitya-lagna [lagnaṃ]).—That is, it is connected with the Sahasrāra in such a way that the one cannot be thought of without thinking of the other.

Which is within the womb of and inseparable from the pericarp of the Lotus in which is the Brahmarandhra” (Brahmarandhra-sarasīruhodara).—That is, the Sahasrāra, the thousand-petalled lotus in which is the Brahma- randhra; within its womb, that is to say, within it (Tanmadhye), that is, within its pericarp (Tat-karṇikāyāṃ).

The Kaṅkāla-Mālinī, in describing the Lotus of a thousand petals, thus speaks of the place of the Brahma-randhra: “In its (Sahasrāra) pericarp, O Deveśī, is Antarātmā, and above it is the Guru; above him is the Surya Maṇḍala and Candra Maṇḍala and Mahā-vāyu, and above it is Brahma-randhra.”

Some say that by Udara (belly or interior) is meant within the triangle in the pericarp. That is not right. The word Udara here means “interior” or “centre”. The interior of the Lotus contains its pericarp but the text does not mean the interior of the triangle in the pericarp, because the triangle is not here mentioned. The Śyāmā-saparyā quotes the following explicitly:

“The Lotus of twelve petals (or Letters) is within the pericarp of the white Lotus of a thousand petals, which has its head turned downward, and the filaments of which are of the colour of the rising sun, and which is adorned by all the letters of the alphabet.” Here the statement ‘within the pericarp’ is explicit.

Adorned by the channel of Kuṇḍalī” (Kuṇḍalī-vivara-kāṇḍa-maṇḍita [maṇḍitaṃ]).—The Vivara (Channel) is that by which Kuṇḍalinī goes to Śiva in the Sahasrāra. The Citriṇī contains within it this passage or channel. Citriṇī is the tube (stalk), as it were, through which the passage runs, and Citriṇī adorns and is adorned by this Lotus. As a Lotus rests on its stalk, so does the twelve-petalled Lotus rest on Citriṇī and is made beautiful by its stalk.

Footnotes and references:


Dvādaśārṇa—that is, twelve petals. The petals of the lotus are not independent of the letters thereon.


That is, the Citriṇī-Nādī. The lotus rests on the upper end of Citriṇī.


Śiva. See as to the five faces the citation from the Liṅgārcana- Tantra, v. 7, post. There is also a concealed sixth face, “like the colour caused by deadly poison,” known as Nīlakaṇṭha.


Aghas—sin and sorrow, pain and penalty.


Yoga with the Supreme known as the Guru.


i.e., Bīja of Sarasvatī—Aiṃ.


Candra-maṇḍala, by the Commentator (reading the locative as Sāmīpye saptamī, i.e.., locative case indicative of Proximity).




That is, if we understand that the body of both the Pīṭha and the petals is Aiṃ. The Vāgbhava-Bīja Aim is the Guru-Bīja also.


This verse is quoted in full under v. 6, post.

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