Pradeepa jvaalaabhir-divasakara neeraajana vidhih Sudhaa sootes-chandraopala jala lavair-arghya rachanaa; Swakeeyair-ambhobhih salila nidhi sauuhitya karanam Tvadeeyaabhir-vaagbhi stava janani vaachaam stutiriyam

Composing these verses in praise of You, O Mother, in words originating from You, is like worshipping the Sun by waving a light, offering arghya to the Moon with drops of water dripping from a moon-stone and bathing the ocean with its own water.

This is the last verse in Soundarya Lahari composed by Sri Adi Sankara. Through this verse, he brought home to us the truth that all virtues and skills we claim to posses are derived from the Supreme Mother through Her grace. The Soundarya Lahari is a composition, the beauty of which has not so far been surpassed. It is in praise of Ambika, Herself the embodiment and source of all beauty. The beautiful words in which Soundarya Lahari is composed are also derived through the grace of Ambika. That is why Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada has expressed in this verse that singing the praise of Ambika in the composition, Soundarya Lahari, in words originating from Her, is very much like worshipping the Sun by waving a lighted camphor before him, or offering the Moon drops of nectar emitted by the Chandrakaanta stone under the influence of the Moon, or bathing the ocean with its own waters. The lesson to be drawn is that whenever any honour is done to a person, the recipient must remember the divine source from which he derived the qualifications to receive that honour, and feel humble and not elated with a feeling of self-importance.

Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, within the short span of his life, made tremendous achievements. The world of intellect was at his feet. The influence of all other creeds vanished into thin air. His fame travelled far beyond the shores of India. A stone inscription recovered from a temple in ruins in the jungles of Cambodia mentioned that the temple was built by a King whose guru claimed to be a descendent of a pupil of Bhagavan Sankara. French archaeologists have recovered from Cambodia 700 to 800 Sankrit incriptions in stone. All the inscriptions are in beautiful Sanskrit.

Yenaadheetani saastraani bhagavat-sankaraahvayaat; Nissesha soori moordhaali maala leedhaanghripankajaat.

This verse emphasises the greatness of Sri Sankara. It says that all the great seekers of truth (soori) in the country, without exception, acknowledged the greatness of Sri Sankara by bowing their heads at his lotus feet. Such a great soul felt humble after composing Soundarya Lahari and dedicated it to the Supreme Mother. In that way, he taught the world and us the lesson of humility and the need for eschewing from ones nature egoism or arrogance, realising that all merits are derived from the divine source.

October 11,1957