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 3:

तत्पुटे पटुतडित्कडारिमस्पर्धमानमणिपाटलप्रभं |
चिन्तयामि हृदि चिन्मयं वपुर्नादबिन्दुमणिपीठमण्डलं ॥ ३ ॥

tatpuṭe paṭutaḍitkaḍārimaspardhamānamaṇipāṭalaprabhaṃ |
cintayāmi hṛdi cinmayaṃ vapurnādabindumaṇipīṭhamaṇḍalaṃ || 3 ||

In my heart I meditate on the Jewelled Altar (Maṇipīṭha), and on Nāda and Bindu as within the triangle afore-spoken. The pale red[1] glory of the gems in this altar shames the brilliance of the lightning flash. Its substance is Cit.

Commentary by Śrī-Kālīcaraṇa:

The place of the Guru is on the jewelled altar within the triangle. He therefore describes the jewelled altar (Maṇipīṭha).

In my heart” (Hṛdi), in my Mind (Manasi).

On the Jewelled Altar and on Nāda and Bindu” (Nāda-bindu-manipīṭha-maṇḍala [maṇḍalaṃ]).—The compound word may be formed in two ways: Maṇipīṭha-maṇḍala [maṇḍalam] along with Nāda and Bindu (Nāda-bindubhyam saha), or Nāda and Bindu and Maṇi-pīṭha-maṇḍala [maṇḍalam]—i.e., all these three. Some interpret this to mean that the Maṇḍala Maṇipīṭha is composed of Nāda and Bindu. But that cannot be. Nāda is white, and Bindu is red; and the pale red glory whereby the Maṇi-pīṭha shames the lustre of the lightning flash is neither red nor white.

The Śāradā-Tilaka says: “This Bindu is Śiva and Śakti,[2] and divides itself into three different parts; its divisions are called Bindu, Nāda, and Bīja.” If this be interpreted to mean, as it ought to be, that Bindu is Para-Śakti-maya, and Bīja, Nāda, and Bindu, are respectively Fire, Moon and Sun, then Nāda being the Moon is white, and Bindu being the Sun is red. Pūrṇānanda also speaks[3] of Nāda as being white like Baladeva etc.

The Bṛhat-Śrī-krama also says: “There was the imperishable Bindu, lustrous (red) like the young Sun.”

Now, as one is white and the other red, they can never be the pale red gem. The meaning given by us is therefore correct. The solution is that Nāda is below, and Bindu above, and Maṇi-pīṭha in between the two—thus should one meditate. This has been clearly shown in the Guru- dhyāna in Kaṅkāla-mālinī-Tantra: “Meditate on the excellent Antarātma[4] in the (region of the) Lotus of a thousand petals, and above it (Antarātmā) meditate on the resplendent throne[5] between Nāda and Bindu, and on this throne (meditate) upon the eternal Guru, white like a mountain of silver.”

The pale red glory of the gems in this altar shames the brilliance of lightning” (Paṭu-taḍit-kaḍārima-sparddhamāna-maṇi-pāṭala-prabhaṃ).—This qualifies Maṇi-pīṭha-maṇḍalam. To be “paṭu” is to be able to fully do one’s work. Now, lightning wants to display itself. Here the idea is that the pale red lustre of the gems in the Pīṭha shames the uninterrupted brilliance of the reddish-yellow (Piṅgala) lightning flasḥ. It is of a pale red colour inasmuch as the Maṇi-pīṭha is covered all over with gems.

Its substance is Cit” (Cinmayaṃ vapuḥ).—The Cinmaya or Jñāna- maya body. The body of Nāda, Bindu and Maṇi-pīṭha is Cinmaya or Jñāna-maya.[6] Others interpret it to mean “I meditate on the Cinmaya body of the twelfth vowel,[7] the Bīja of Sarasvatī, which is the Gurumantra.” But that is wrong. The Guru is white, and his Bīja is also white; to attribute to it a pale red lustre would be incongruous.

Footnotes and references:






V. 35, Ṣaṭcakra-nirūpaṇa, ante.


This Antarātmā is Haṃsa. Unless the words in the text, “in the lotus of a thousand petals,” be read Sāmīpye saptamī, the view here expressed differs from that adopted by Kālīcaraṇa, that Haṃsa is in the twelve-petalled lotus.


Siṃhāsana—lit., lion seat, the seat of the honoured one, the King’s seat.


That is, their substance is pure Cit not in association with Māyā.


The Bīja of Sarasvatī or Vāgbhava-Bīja is Aiṃ. Ai is the twelfth vowel.

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