Here is the opening poem (slokam) of Adi Sankaracharya’s beautiful set of Sanskrit slokas , Soundarya Lahari, extolling the Divine Mother, the consort of Lord Siva.
Siva sakthyayukto yadi bhavati saktaha prabhavitum.
Na che deva devam devo na khalu kusalaha spandithum api
Atastwamaaraadhyaam hari hara virinchaadibhirapi
Pranamthum sthothum vaa kathamakruta punyaha prabhavathi.
“Oh! Supreme Goddess, , Even The Supreme Lord of The Universe gets His power and capacity only when You join Him. If You are not with Him He is devoid of His dynamism and can not even move. It is by worshipping You,The Supreme Power, that the Trinity Siva, Vishnu and Brahma get the power to go about their ordained tasks of destruction, management and creation. This being so, those that are not blessed for their good deeds can not hope to be eligible even to extoll You.”
This poem in its own way reconciles the concepts of Dwaitha (Dualism) and Advaitha (Monotheism). The poem signifies the inseparable relation between energy and matter.
This relation is exemplified by the concept of Arthanareeswara in Indian philosophy and mythology, where the Supreme Being is viewed and worshipped as half man, half woman, the left half of the deity depicted as feminine, Parvati and the right half as masculine Siva.
In a memorable poem of his great Sanskrit classic Raghuvamsam, Kalidasa extolls the inseparable bond of the divine couple, the parents of the universe, beautifully as the relationship between a word and its meaning.
In the nineteen sixties, I had seen the Graceful Telugu actress , Raja Sulochana give a public dance performance as Artha Naareeswara. The costume and the makeup was designed skillfully to suit the role. She even sported a curved half mustache on her right upper lip. The costume contained a veil stitched into it, which she deftly maneuvered, to cover the left or right half of her body as the choreography demanded. .
At the link below you can find quite a few pictures of Ardha Nareeswara.
While I was in college, we had a lesson in our Telugu poetry curriculum. The lesson comprised of extracts from the Telugu Epic, Swarochisha Manu Sambhavam or as it is called simply, the Manu Charitra,, written by the great poet Allasaani Peddanamatya who was one of the Eight Stalwarts (Ashta Diggajas) in the Court of the renowned emperor Krishna Deva Raya.
In the opening verses of the epic Peddana seeks the blessings of various deities in favour of his King Emperor, Krishna Raya. One of the poems, which invokes Ganesha, goes like this in Telugu, ” Ankamu jeri Sailatanayaa sthana dugdhamulaanu vela baa-
-lyaanka vichesta dondamunannavvali changabalimpa boyi yaa
vanka guchambu ganakahi vallabha haaramu gaanchi vay mri-
Nalaankura sanka nantedu Gajaasyuni goltu nabhistasiddhikin.”
Here is my attempt at a free translation of the poem into English.
‘The infant Ganesa is in the lap of Arthanaareswara. He is drinking milk from the left breast of his mother. As it is the wont with infants , he tries to reach (as other children do with one of their hands) with the trunk of his elephant-head, the right breast to fondle it, but is unable to find it. Instead he finds the snake with which Siva usually adorns Himself.
He mistakes it to be the soft stalk of a water-lily, and ( as elephants would when they happen to find a waterlily) tries to grab it to devour the juicy stalk. I invoke this innocent infant Ganesa to fullill my wishes’
Great imagery, isn’t it?
Here is a beautiful animated video of child Ganesh sounding his papa’s kettle-drum, (damroo) and dancing along with his friends, the mice, and his Pramadha hordes as retinue, while his mother Parvathi looks at him in mock disapproval.
Check out this video on YouTube: (Naache Dhin Dhin – Bal Ganesh – Kids Animation Movie – Kailash Kher – Indian Mythology Songs)