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 6:

पादुकापञ्चकस्तोत्रं पञ्चवक्त्राद्विनिर्गतं ।
षडाम्नायफलप्राप्तं प्रपञ्चे चातिदुर्लभं ॥ ७ ॥

pādukāpañcakastotraṃ pañcavaktrādvinirgataṃ |
ṣaḍāmnāyaphalaprāptaṃ prapañce cātidurlabhaṃ || 7 ||

This hymn of praise of the Fivefold Footstool was uttered by Him of Five Faces. By (the recitation and hearing of) it is attained that good which is gained by (the recitation and hearing of) all the hymns in praise of Śiva. Such fruit is only attainable by great labour in the Wandering (Saṃsāra).

Commentary by Śrī-Kālīcaraṇa:

He now speaks of the good gained by reciting and listening to this Stotra.

Hymn of praise of the fivefold Footstool” (Pādukāpañcakastotra [Pādukā-pañcakastotra]).—Pādukā means a footstool (Pada-rakṣaṇādhāra). The five of these are: (1) The (twelve-petalled) Lotus; (2) the triangle A-Ka-Tha in its pericarp (3) the region of the Nāda, Bindu, and Maṇi-pīṭha in it; (4) the Haṃsa below; and (5) the triangle on the Maṇi-pīṭha. Or they may be counted thus: (1) The Lotus (i.e., twelve-petalled); (2) the triangle (A-Ka-Tha); (3) Nāda-Bindu; (4) the Maṇi-pīṭha Maṇḍala; (5) the Haṃsa—which is above it and taken collectively form the triangular Kāma-kalā.[1]

Stotra is a hymn of praise. This hymn, including the verse which speaks of the benefit to be gained by listening to it, is one of seven verses.

Uttered by Him of Five Faces” (Pañca-vaktrād vinirgatam).—The Five faces of Śiva as given in the Liṅgārcana Tantra are: “On the West[2] (i.e., back) is Sadyo-jāta; on the North (i.e., left) is Vāma-deva; on the South (right) is Aghora; and on the East (front) is Tat-puruṣa. Iśāna should be known as being in the middle. They should thus be meditated upon in a devout spirit.” Vinirgata means uttered (lit., come out)—that is, uttered by these Five Faces.

By it is attained that good” (Ṣaḍāmnāya-phala-prāpta [prāptam]).—This literally means: “by it is obtained the fruit of what has been spoken by the Six Mouths.” The Six Faces are the five given above and a sixth concealed one which is below, called Tāmasa. This is alluded to in Ṣaḍvaktra-nyāsa in the Śiva-Tantra thus: “Om Haṃ Hrīṃ Auṃ Hrīṃ Tāmasāya Svāhā”; as also in the meditation (Dhyāna) there given, thus: “The lower face, Nīla-kaṇṭa, is of the colour caused by the deadly poison Kāla-kūṭa.”[3]

Ṣaḍāmnāya is what has been spoken by these Faces—that is, all the hymns of praise to Śiva. By the fruit of this is meant the benefit gained by reciting or listening to all these Mantras, and practising the appropriate Sādhana. This is what is gained through this hymn.

It is attainable by great labour in this Wandering” (Prapañce cātidurlabhaṃ).—By Prapañca is meant this Saṃsāra (Wandering or World), comprising the Universe from all effects up to Brahmā, and which is shown by Māyā. It is difficult of attainment (Durlabha), as it is the result of manifold merit acquired by the practice of laborious endeavour (Tapas) in previous births.

End of the Commentary (Ṭippaṇī) of the Name of Amalā. (Stainless), written by Śrī-Kalīcāraṇa on the Pādukāpañcaka-Stotra.

Footnotes and references:


These two accounts appear to agree as to the position of the following in the order stated—viz., twelve-petalled Lotus with A-Ka-Tha triangle in which are Maṇi-pīṭha, with Bindu above and Nāda below. There remains then to be considered the position of Haṃsa and the Kāma-kalā which they form. Both are one and the same, the first being the three Bindus, and the second the triangle; they make (Kāma-kalā), from which emanates (and in this sense forms part of it) the lower A-Ka-Tha triangle (for this Varṇa-maya). In the second classification, the three Bindus and the triangle (Kāma-kalā) which they form are treated as one, and placed above the Maṇi-pīṭha. In the first classification, apparently with a view to gain accordance with the Kaṅkālamālinī-Tantra cited under v. 4, the Haṃsa and the triangle which they form are taken separately, the first being placed below and the other above Maṇi-pīṭha.


The direction one faces is the East.


The poison churned out of the ocean and drunk by Śiva. The word means the secret emissary of Death.

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