In this section you will find students' notes taken at the daily classes that the Guru gave in the last years of his life, when he was studying the Saundarya Lahari. These notes, and the structural diagrams that go with them, as noted down by various students, make up Saundarya Lahari Notes .


The notes have been copied exactly from the original and only edited to the extent of introducing punctuation etc., e.g. "the", "and" etc., as well a few clarifications, such as correcting "Kama" to "Kama (Eros)". Where there are gaps or illegible passages, they have been left as they were - we do not wish to introduce any of our own subjective interpretation into what the Guru actually said.

These notes were taken over the period from 1969 to 1973, when the Guru died, and give an idea of the development of his thought on the Saundarya Lahari.

There are often several variant translations and structural diagrams for individual verses. While the version of the verses and commentaries given on this website are final in the sense that they are the text that the Guru decided to present to the world, he often said and also wrote in his commentary that any metalinguistic, that is, purely verbal and linear, presentation would always be inadequate. Shankara's work could only be explained by using to the full the possibilities of video technology etc. As we have pointed out elsewhere, the Guru also stated repeatedly that when one was using structural language, one could never reduce the dynamisms to something static and fixed: " If you try and pin it down, you get a chair or a table and it does not dance". So it can help one's understanding of the subtleties of this work to study all the different ways that the Guru looked at this text over the years.

It can also be of great help to study the sections of notes on other subjects than the Saundarya Lahari. These cover erotic mysticism and structuralism in the works of Kalidasa, which have a close relationship with what is found in Sankara's work. Various other subjects are dealt with: the Darsana Mala of Narayana Guru, together with such diverse subjects as the Quran and Bergson's views on the Theory of Relativity. All of these, apart from their intrinsic interest, can be of great help in understanding the structural methodology used throughout this work. We must emphasize again that structuralism is a methodology not a dogma. If it stops being a tool of research and becomes a doctrine it is useless.

The Guru said structuralism was like looking at the world through the cross-hair sights of a machine gun. Everything you looked at, you saw with the horizontal and vertical of the gun-sight superimposed. Science is a process of abstraction and generalization. Structuralism is the highest level of abstraction and generalization. The Guru also stated that structuralism is the highest function of the human mind.





The "Notes" sections contains notes taken by students during the Guru's years of study of the Saundarya Lahari.
The files are classified in folders for each year from 1969 to 1973.
Some of them contain material the Guru was also studying at the time, such as the poems and plays of Kalidasa, which are related to the erotic mysticism of the Saundarya Lahari. Other material in these notes is relevant as explaining the structural methodology which is essential to an understanding of these texts.

Every file of notes begins with a page-by-page index of its contents. Here we will give you only a general list of the contents of each file.  



File slc2:
Verses 1 to 11
Verses 11 to 42
Short list of Verses 1 to 100
Verses 59 to 62
Verses 1 to 41

File slc3:
Verses 1 to 10

File slc4:
Verses 44 to 50
Verses 42 to 44

File slc5:
Verses 51 to 60

File slc6:
Verse 61 to 70

File slc7a:
Verses 71 to 80

File slc7b (X1):
Verses 81 to 90



File slc8:
Film Generalities
Miscellaneous texts
Darsana Mala

File slc9:
The Science of the Absolute
Miscellaneous texts
Texts on the Chakras

File slg1:
Verses 1 to 15

File slg2:
Verses 17 to 30

File slg3:
Verses 31 to 41



File slc1:
Verses 1 to 100
Film Generalities
Verses 32 to 36
Verses 6 to 10
Verses 80, 12,
Verses 42 to 50
Verses 10, 14, 15 to 41
Verses 50 to 100



File slp1
Verses 7, 14 to 39 with omissions

File slp2:
Kandukavati, from the Dasakumaracarita by Dandin

File slp3:
Verses 1 to 41 with omissions
Verses 66 to 100 with omissions
Various short texts

File slp4
Verses 62 and 14
Kalidasa's Malavikagnimitra

File slp5:
Various texts:
Science of the Absolute
Darsana Mala
Verse 56



File slp6:
Verses 1 to 51

File slp7:
Verses 1 to 71

File slp8:
Verses 72 to 100