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श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति स्तोत्रम् (श्री शंकराचार्यकृतम्) विश्वं दर्पणदृश्यमाननगरीतुल्यं निजान्तर्गतंपश्यन्नात्मनि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतं यथा निद्रया ।यः साक्षात्कुरुते प्रबोधसमये स्वात्मानमेवाद्वयंतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ १ ॥
The universe is like a city reflected in a mirror. It is all inside but because of the influence of Maya it appears to be outside as in a dream. The Truth is the supreme Brahman, the one without a second.. (The mind, senses and intellect are all able to only discern the reflection of the Atman). The identity of the brahman and the Atman is apparent after self-illumination.I offer my profound salutations to the auspicious Guru, who is an embodiment of DakShinamurti, and whose grace is responsible for the illumination.
बीजस्यान्तरिवाङ्कुरो जगदिदं प्राङ्निर्विकल्पं पुनर्-मायाकल्पितदेशकालकलनावैचित्र्यचित्रीकृतम् ।मायावीव विजृंभयत्यपि महायोगीव यः स्वेच्छयातस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ २ ॥
He in whom this universe, prior to its projection was present like a tree in a seed (unmanifested), and by whose magic this was transformed(manifested) in various forms, by His own will similar to a yogi’s- to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
यस्यैव स्फुरणं सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं भासतेसाक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति वेदवचसा यो बोधयत्याश्रितान् ।यत्साक्षात्करणाद्भवेन्नपुनरावृत्तिर्भवाम्भोनिधौतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ३ ॥
He, by whose light the (unreal) universe appears real, teaches the truth of brahman to those who want to know the Atman through the vedic statement tattvamasi (thou art That) and He Who puts an end to the samsaric cycle - to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
नानाच्छिद्रघटोदरस्थितमहादीपप्रभाभासुरंज्ञानं यस्यतु चक्षुरादिकरणद्वारा बहिः स्पन्दते ।जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत्समस्तं जगत्तस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ४ ॥
He whose light gleams through the senses like the light emanating from a pot with holes (in which a lamp is kept), He whose knowledge alone brings the state of knowing (I am That), He whose brightness makes everything shine - to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुःस्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः ।मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणेतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ५ ॥
Some philosophers contend the body, senses, life-breath, intellect and non-existence (shunya) as the real ‘I’ (Atman). Their comprehension is worse than that of women, children, blind and the dull. He who destroys this delusion caused by maya (and makes us aware of the Truth)- to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru,I offer my profound salutations.
राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात्सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् ।प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायतेतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ६ ॥
The brillance of sun exists even when intercepted by Rahu during eclipse. Similarly, the power of cognition only remains suspended during deep sleep. The Self exists as pure being even though unrecognized due to the veil of Maya. A person on awakening becomes aware that he was asleep earlier (and the dream was unreal). Similarly, a person who awakens to the consciousness of the Self recognizes his previous state of ignorance as unreal. He by whose grace alone does one awaken to the consciousness of the Self - to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
बाल्यादिष्वपि जाग्रदादिषु तथा सर्वास्ववस्थास्वपिव्यावृत्तास्वनुवर्तमानमहमित्यन्तः स्फुरन्तं सदा ।स्वात्मानं प्रकटीकरोति भजतां यो मुद्रया भद्रयातस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ७ ॥
He, whose existence is changeless throughout the various states of the body (like old, young etc) and the mind (waking, dreaming etc), and who reveals the greatest knowledge of Atman by jnAna-mudra (the joining of the thumb and the forefinger of a raised right hand) - to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसंबन्धतःशिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितःतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ८ ॥
Deluded by Maya one sees the world in dualities as cause and effect, master and servant, Teacher and student, father and son etc. during both the waking and dream states - to that DakShinamurti, who removes this veil of Maya, I offer my profound salutations.
भूरंभांस्यनलोऽनिलोऽम्बरमहर्नाथो हिमांशुः पुमा-नित्याभाति चराचरात्मकमिदं यस्यैव मूर्त्यष्टकम् । नान्यत् किञ्चन विद्यते विमृशतां यस्मात् परस्माद्विभोःतस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥ ९ ॥
He, whose subtle and unmanifest eightfold form of earth, water, fire, air, space, sun, moon and purusha, causes the moving and unmoving universe, and by whose grace alone does all these manifestations disappear to reveal that ‘All that exists is Brahman’ - to that DakShinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.
सर्वात्मत्वमिति स्फुटीकृतमिदं यस्मादमुष्मिंस्तवेतेनास्य श्रवणात्तदर्थमननाद्ध्यानाच्च संकीर्तनात् ।सर्वात्मत्वमहाविभूतिसहितं स्यादीश्वरत्वं स्वतःसिद्ध्येत्तत्पुनरष्टधा परिणतं चैश्वर्यमव्याहतम् ॥ १० ॥
In this hymn has been made clear the Unity of the Atman shining uniformly in all beings. Therefore hearing this hymn, cogitating on its meaning, meditating on it and singing it aloud, one will achieve sarvatmabhava which is the greatest treasure and one will become Ishwara and he will acquire the eight siddhies (Anima, Mahima, laghima, garima, prapti, prakamyam, ishitwam and vashitwam )
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 100
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health.
Given below is the text of the 100th dasaka wherein Bhattatiri has a glorious, enthralling vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor and the ecstatic outpourings of the devotee who is, as it were, submerged in an ocean of supreme bliss.
अग्रे पश्यामि तेजो निबिडतरकलायावलीलोभनीयंपीयूषाप्लावितोऽहं तदनु तदुदरे दिव्यकैशोरवेषम् ।तारुण्यारम्भरम्यं परमसुखरसास्वादरोमाञ्चिताङ्गै-रावीतं नारदाद्यैर्विलसदुपनिषद्सुन्दरीमण्डलैश्च ॥ १ ॥
Before me, I see an effulgence, as enthralling as a thick blossom of (dark blue) kalaya flowers. I feel as if I am bathed in an ocean of nectar. Then, in the heart of the effulgence I see a divine teenage boy enchanting in his budding youth, surrounded by sages like Naarada whose hairs stand on end by the thrilling experience of Supreme Bliss, and by Upanishads taking the form of beautiful women. नीलाभं कुञ्चिताग्रं घनममलतरं संयतं चारुभङ्ग्यारत्नोत्तंसाभिरामं वलयितमुदयच्चन्द्रकैः पिञ्छजालैः ।मन्दारस्रङ्निवीतं तव पृथुकबरीभारमालोकयेऽहंस्निग्द्धश्वेतोर्ध्वपुण्ड्रामपि च सुललितां फालबालेन्दुवीथीम् ॥ २ ॥
I see your tresses of dark and curly hair, thick and clean, beautifully held together, bejewelled and surrounded by a plume of peacock feathers having shining eyes and encircled by a garland of mandara flowers. I also see your pretty forehead resembling the crescent moon, adorned with smooth white sandal paste mark pointing upwards.हृद्यं पूर्णानुकंपार्णवमृदुलहरी चञ्चलभ्रूविलासैःआनीलस्निग्द्धपक्ष्मावलि परिलसितं नेत्रयुग्मं विभो ते ।सान्द्रच्छायं विशालारुणकमलदलाकारमामुग्धतारंकारुण्यालोकलीला शिशिरितभुवनं क्षिप्यतां मय्यनाथे ॥ ३ ॥
O Lord! The soft waves from the ocean of compassion in the pair of Your eyes create playful movements in your eyebrows and these, coupled with the soft blue eye lashes, captivate every heart. Densely lustrous, shaped like large red lotus petals and having beautiful pupils, they cool the world by their playful glances full of mercy. May those glances be cast on me who is without any other refuge.
उत्तुङ्गोल्लासिनासं हरिमणिमुकुरप्रोल्लसद्गण्डपाली-व्यालोलत् कर्णपाशाञ्चितमकरमणी कुण्डलद्वन्द्वदीप्रम् ।उन्मीलद्दन्तपङ्क्तिः स्फुरदरुणतरच्छायबिम्बाधरान्तःप्रीतिप्रस्यन्दिमन्दस्मितमधुरतरं वक्त्रमुद्भासतां मे ॥ ४ ॥
O Lord! your face, having a prominent pretty nose, lighted up witha pair of oscillating fish-shaped gem-studded ear globes reflected on the cheeks resembling mirrors of blue sapphire, with shining white teeth between parted lips red as the bimba fruit and with a sweet smile dripping love and affection – May that face of yours clearly shine before my eyes.
बाहुद्वन्द्वेन रत्नाङ्गुलिवलयभृता शोणपाणिप्रवाले-नोपात्तां वेणुनालीं प्रसृतनखमयूखाङ्गुलीसङ्गशाराम् ।कृत्वा वक्त्रारविन्दे सुमधुरविकसद्रागमुद्भाव्यमानैःशब्दब्रह्मामृतैस्त्वं शिशिरितभुवनैः सिञ्च मे कर्णवीथीम् ॥ ५ ॥
May you saturate the path of my ears with divine music, Brahman itself in sweet sound form, cooling the whole universe, freely flowing from the flute placed at Your lotus mouth. The flute is held in your hands adorned with gem-studded bracelets and it takes on multiple colours from the rays from Your finger nails (which play on it.) उत्सर्पत्कौस्तुभश्रीततिभिररुणितं कोमलं कण्ठदेशंवक्षः श्रीवत्सरम्यं तरलतरसमुद्दीप्तहारप्रतानम् ।नानावर्णप्रसूनावलिकिसलयिनीं वन्यमालां विलोल-ल्लोलम्बां लम्बमानामुरसि तव तथा भावये रत्नमालाम् ॥ ६ ॥
O Lord! I meditate upon Your handsome neck coloured purple by the radiating lustre of Your Kaustubha jewel; on Your chest adorned by the the Srivatsa mark and clusters of swinging radiant necklaces; and also on garlands of forest flowers, tender leaf buds and bunches of multicoloured blossoms, with bees hovering around them, and necklaces of precious stones adorning your chest.
अंगे पंचांगरागैरतिशयविकसत्सौरभाकृष्टलोकंलीनानेकत्रिलोकीविततिमपि कृशां बिभ्रतं मध्यवल्लीम् ।शक्राश्मन्यस्त तप्तोज्ज्वलकनकनिभं पीतचेलं दधानंध्यायामो दीप्तरश्मि स्फुटमणिरशनाकिङ्किणी मण्डितं त्वाम् ॥ ७ ॥
O Lord! We meditate upon You who attracts the whole world by the spreading fragrances of sandal paste and four other perfumes, whose middle is slender like a creeper though carrying within itself the whole of the three worlds, who is attired in a yellow silk which resembles molten gold placed on blue sapphire and who wears a radiant girdle studded with gems and having tiny bells attached to it.
ऊरू चारू तवोरू घनमसृणरुचौ चित्तचोरौ रमायाःविश्वक्षोभं विशङ्क्य ध्रुवमनिशमुभौ पीतचेलावृताङ्गौ ।आनम्राणां पुरस्तान्न्यसनधृतस्मस्तार्थपालीसमुद्ग-च्छायं जानुद्वयं च क्रमपृथुलमनोज्ञे च जङ्घे निषेवे ॥ ८ ॥
I worship Your two thighs , fleshy and smooth, which steal the heart of Lakshmi and which are always covered with yellow silk cloth for fear of exciting the whole world, Your knees which are like two caskets holding all the desired objects for Your devotees and Your forelegs which are beautifully tapered and fleshy.
मञ्जीरं मञ्जुनादैरिव पदभजनं श्रेय इत्यालपन्तंपादाग्रं भ्रान्तिमज्जत् प्रणतजनमनोमन्दरोद्धारकूर्मम् ।उत्तुङ्गाताम्रराजन्नखरहिमकरज्योत्स्नया चाश्रितानाम्संताप ध्वान्तहन्त्रीं ततिमनुकलये मङ्गलामङ्गुलीनाम् ॥ ९ ॥
I meditate on Your anklets which announce, in their sweet tinkling sound, that your worship confers everything auspicious, on the upper part of your feet shaped like tortoise which lifts up the mind of devotees who prostrate before You (in the same way the Lord, in his Koorma incarnation, lifted up the Mandara mountain which was sinking during the churning of the Milky ocean for amrit) and on the auspicious rows of your toes which are slightly raised, very red and shining like the moon light expelling the darkness of the sorrows of Your devotees.
योगीन्द्राणां त्वदङ्गेष्वधिकसुमधुरं मुक्तिभाजां निवासोभाक्तानां कामवर्षद्युतरुकिसलयं नाथ ते पादमूलम् ।नित्यं चित्तस्थितं मे पवनपुरपते कृष्ण कारुण्यसिन्धोहृत्वा निश्शेषतापान् प्रदिशतु परमानन्दसन्दोहलक्ष्मीम् ॥ १० ॥ O God! O Lord of Guruvayur! O Krishna ! O Ocean of mercy! the soles of your feet which are the sweetest part of your body for the great sages. The liberated ones reside there. They are like the leaf buds of the celestial tree (Kalpa Vriksha), raining all the desires of your devotees. O Lord of Guruvaayur! May those feet always rest in my heart. O Ocean of Compassion! destroy all my sorrows and confer a full abundant flow of Supreme Bliss.
अज्ञात्वा ते महत्वं यदिह निगदितं विश्वनाथ क्षमेथा:
स्तोत्रं चैतत्सहस्रोत्तरमधिकतरं त्वत्प्रसादाय भूयात् ।
द्वेधा नारायणीयं श्रुतिषु च जनुषा स्तुत्यता वर्णनेन
स्फीतं लीलावतारैरिदमिह कुरुतामायुरारोग्यसौख्यम् ॥११॥
Oh Lord of the universe , please forgive me for what I have said here, not knowing fully Thy greatness. This hymn consisting of more than a thousand verses should be blessed by you with all your grace as this which is called Narayaneeyam, is both about Narayana as well that which is written by Narayana. May this hymn which describes in accordance with the Vedas, Your creative actions and Your playful incarnations (leelavataras) , bestow long life, good health and happiness on one and all in this world.
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 99
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 99th dasaka shows how the Vedas praise the Divine The slokas are based on Veda mantras in praise of Vishnu.
विष्णोर्वीर्याणि को वा कथयतु धरणेः कश्च रेणून् मिमीतेयस्यैवाङ्घ्रित्रयेण त्रिजगदभिमितं मोदते पूर्णसंपत्योऽसौ विश्वानि धत्ते प्रियमिह परमं धाम तस्याभियायांत्वद्भक्ता यत्र माद्यन्त्यमृतरसमरन्दस्य यत्र प्रवाहः ॥१॥
Who can describe the magnificent qualities of Vishnu? Can any one count the particles on the Earth? This world was measured by Him by three steps of His and those in the world enjoy, endowed with all the wealth. It is Vishnu who supports all these worlds; may I attain his abode Vaikuntha which is above everything else, which I love very much and where Your devotees experience supreme bless as if nectarine honey flowing.
आद्यायाशेषकर्त्रे प्रतिनिमिषनवीनाय भर्त्रे विभूतेर्-भक्तात्मा विष्णवे यः प्रदिशति हविरादीनि यज्ञार्चनादौ।कृष्णाद्यं जन्म यो वा महदिह महतो वर्णयेत् सोऽयमेवप्रीतः पूर्णो यशोभिस्त्वरितमभिसरेत् प्राप्यमन्ते पदं ते॥२॥
O Lord! You are there before anything else appeared; You are the doer of everthing (creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world etc); you appear to be new (different, fresh) every minute, and you are the repository of all material, psychic and spiritual wealth (vibhutis). Only the faithful devotee who offers you havis etc. in sacrifices and worships and recounts your supreme greatness in your incarnations as Krishna etc. becomes pleased, fulfilled and acclaimed and quickly reaches the goal of attaining your abode of Vaikuntha (वैकुण्ठ).
हे स्तोतारः कवीन्द्रास्तमिह खलु यथा चेतयध्वे तथैवव्यक्तं वेदस्य सारं प्रणुवत जननोपात्तलीलाकथाभिः।जानन्तश्चास्य नामान्यखिलसुखकराणीति संकीर्तयध्वंहे विष्णो! कीर्तनाद्यैस्तव खलु महतस्तत्त्वबोधं भजेयम्॥३॥
O Honoured Poets who praise, glorify or acclaim (kings etc.)! Glorify the very essence of the Vedas (Vishnu), the way you understand it the same way, with stories of His exploits and leelas in different incarnations. Knowing that His names are beneficial and auspicious for every one, do samkirtan i.e. singing his names with love and devotion. O Vishnu! By samkirtan, stuti etc. of your greatness may I gain knowledge of Your True Transcendental form (swarupa).
विष्णोः कर्माणि सम्पश्यत मनसि सदा यैः स धर्मानबध्नाद्-यानीन्द्रस्यैष भृत्यः प्रियसख इव च व्यातनोत् क्षेमकारी।वीक्षन्ते योगसिद्धाः परपदमनिशं यस्य सम्यक् प्रकाशम्विप्रेन्द्रा जागरूकाः कृतबहुनुतयो यच्च निर्भासयन्ते ॥४॥
(O Devotees of the Lord!) Always visualize Vishnu’s exploits by which He protected and preserved dharmaand what He did for the well-being of Indra as a servant or as a friend. The Yogis always see Your resplendent abode Vaikunthawhich is above all the worlds and which the best among Brahmins, who are awakened, illumine with a profusion of praise. .
नो जातो जायमानोऽपि च समधिगतस्त्वन्महिम्नोऽवसानंदेव! श्रेयांसि विद्वान् प्रतिमुहुरपि ते नाम शंसामि विष्णो।तं त्वां संस्तौमि नानाविधनुतिवचनैरस्य लोकत्रयस्या-प्यूर्ध्वं विभ्राजमाने विरचितवसतिं तत्र वैकुण्ठलोके ॥५॥O Vishnu! No one already born or yet to be born has reached the end your greatness. Knowing that they bestow benefits and are auspicious, I chant Your names again and again. With a variety of words of adulation, I praise You whose abode Vaikuntha is high above the three worlds
आपः सृष्ट्यादिजन्याः प्रथममयि विभो! गर्भदेशेदधुस्त्वांयत्र त्वय्येव जीवा जलशयन! हरे! संगता ऐक्यमापन्।तस्याजस्य प्रभो! ते विनिहितमभवत् पद्ममेकं हि नाभौदिक्पत्रं यत् किलाहुः कनकधरणिभृत् कर्णिकं लोकरूपम्॥६॥
O Lord! The primordial water that came into being at the beginning of creation took You into its womb. O Narayana who reclined (on Adishesha) in the primordial water! The souls of all beings together merged in You. O Lord who has no birth! From your navel sprouted a lotus which had the quarters (directions) as the petals and Meru as the whorl. This lotus is said to be the form of the world.
हे लोकाः विष्णुरेतद्भुवनमजनयत् तन्न जानीथ यूयंयुष्माकं ह्यन्तरस्थं किमपि तदपरं विद्यते विष्णुरूपम्।नीहारप्रख्यमायापरिवृतमनसो मोहिता नामरूपैःप्राणप्रीत्येकतृप्ताश्चरथ मखपरा हन्त नेच्छा मुकुन्दे ॥७॥
O Denizens of the World! Lord Vishnu has created this world. You do not know this. There is another form of Vishnu which is inside you. Your mind is covered by Maya as if by a fog; you are are satisfied only by the enjoyment of objects of the senses; you are interested only in yagna (sacrifices); It is a matter of great concern that You have no love or devotion for Mukunda (Vishnu).
मूर्ध्नामक्ष्णां पदानां वहसि खलु सहस्राणि संपूर्य विश्वंतत् प्रोक्रम्यापि तिष्ठन् परिमितविवरे भासि चित्तान्तरेऽपि।भूतं भव्यं च सर्वं परपुरुष! भवान् किञ्च देहेन्द्रियादि-ष्वाविष्टोऽप्युद्गतत्वादमृतसुखरसं चानुभुङ्क्षे त्वमेव ॥८॥
O Lord! With thousands of heads, eyes and feet You fill the whole of this Universe and beyond that. Not only that, You shine inside the heart, in a space like a very small hole. O Parapurusha! You are the past and the future and everything. Though you are immanent in the body and the senses you transcend them and you are the enjoyer of supreme bliss sweet as nectar.
यत्तु त्रैलोक्यरूपं दधदपि च ततो निर्गतोऽनन्तशुद्ध-ज्ञानात्मा वर्तसे त्वं, तव खलु महिमा सोऽपि तावान्, किमन्यत्।स्तोकस्ते भाग एवाखिलभुवनतया दृश्यते, त्र्यंशकल्पंभूयिष्ठं सान्द्रमोदात्मकमुपरि ततो भाति, तस्मै नमस्ते ॥९॥
Though You have taken on the form of the three worlds, transcending it, You shine as infinite pure consciousness. Your magnificence is also as great. A small part of You is manifested as the whole world. The major portion, more than Three-fourth, the very embodiment of supreme bliss, shines above all the worlds.
अव्यक्तं ते स्वरूपं दुरधिगमतरं तत्तु शुद्धैकसत्त्वं व्यक्तं चाप्येतदेव स्फुटममृतरसांभोधिकल्लोलतुल्यम्।सर्वोत्कृष्टामभीष्टां तदिह गुणरसेनैव चित्तं हरन्तींमूर्तिं ते संश्रयेऽहं पवनपुरपते पाहि मां कृष्ण रोगात् ॥१०॥
O Lord! Your unmanifest form is very difficult to understand and realise. The purely sattwic form of yours is manifest and it is this form which is like the waves in the ocean of nectar which surpasses everything, which captures the heart by the sweetness of its qualities. I take refuge in this form O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my ailments.
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 98
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 98th dasaka in which is described the upasana of the Nishkala Brahman.
यस्मिन्नेतद्विभातं यत इदमभवत् येन चेदं य एतद्-योस्मादुत्तीर्णरूपः खलु सकलमिदं भासितं यस्य भासा ।यो वाचां दूरदूरे पुनरपि मनसां यस्य देवा मुनीन्द्रानो विद्युस्तत्त्वरूपं किमु पुनरपरे कृष्ण! तस्मै नमस्ते ॥१॥
O Krishna! Prostrations before You in whom all these worlds become manifest, from whom these originate and in whom they dissolve, whose form is all this, in whose Light all these are illumined, who is beyond the reach of words and even the mind, whose real form neither the devas nor the saints know, what to talk of others.
जन्माथो कर्म नाम स्फुटमिह गुणदोषादिकं वा न यस्मिन्लोकानामूतये यः स्वयमनुभजते तानि मायानुसारी।बिभ्रच्छक्तीररूपोऽपि च बहुतररूपो विभात्यद्भुतात्मातस्मै कैवल्यधाम्ने पररसपरिपूर्णाय विष्णो नमस्ते ॥२॥
O Vishnu, The abode of mukti and sachchidananda swarupa (embodiment of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss!) Prostrations before You who does not have birth, action, name, good or bad qualities, who assumes these attributes, by the power of Maya, for the well-being of the world and who, though without form, takes on countless wonderful forms, by the powers of vidya and avidya.
नो तिर्यञ्चं न मर्त्यं न च सुरमसुरं न स्त्रियं नो पुमांसंन द्रव्यं कर्म जातिं गुणमपि सदसद्वापि ते रूपमाहुः।शिष्टं यत् स्यान्निषेधे सति निगमशतैर्लक्षणावृत्तितस्तत्कृच्छ्रेणावेद्यमानं परमसुखमयं भाति तस्मै नमस्ते ॥३॥
Prostrations before You who is neither non-human or human, neither sura nor asura, neither woman nor man and whose form is not matter, action, class, qualities, existence or non-existence. You are that which, when everything is negated, what remains and which hundreds of Vedas, with great difficulty, try to explain by the implied meaning of words which try to point to that which is of the form of Supreme, pure Bliss.
मायायां बिम्बितस्त्वं सृजसि महदहङ्कारतन्मात्रभेदै-र्भूतग्रामेन्द्रियाद्यैरपि सकलजगत्स्वप्नसङ्कल्पकल्पम्।भूयः संहृत्य सर्वं कमठ इव पदान्यात्मना कालशक्त्यागंभीरे जायमाने तमसि वितिमरो भासि तस्मै नमस्ते ॥४॥
Reflected in Maya (like the image in a mirror), You create mahattattwa, ahamkara (ego), tanmatras (subtle forms of sense objects), the five elements of space, air, fire, water and earth, the organs of perception and action. With these You create the whole of this cosmos which is like the sankalpa (imagination) in a dream. Again, You gather these into Yourself by the power of Kala (Time), like the tortoise withdrawing its limbs inside. In the dense darkness wuhich results You shine brightly, O Lord of Guruvayur!, Prostrations to You. शब्दब्रह्मेति कर्मेत्यणुरिति भगवन्! काल इत्यालपन्तित्वामेकं विश्वहेतुं सकलमयतया सर्वथा कल्प्यमानम्।वेदान्तैर्यत्तु गीतं पुरुषपरचिदात्माभिधं तत्तु तत्त्वंप्रेक्षामात्रेण मूलप्रकृतिविकृतिकृत् कृष्ण तस्मै नमस्ते ॥५॥
You alone are the cause of these worlds, by all means and as the indwelling spirit in all beings. You are also known as shabdabrahaman (Vedas), as Karma (action), as Anu (atom) and as Kala(Time). You are the Ultimate Reality about whom the Vedas sing as purusha(indwelling spirit), para (over and above all), Chit(Consciousness) and Atma (individual soul) and whose kataksha(sidelong glance from the corner of the eye) is enough to disturb the equilibrium of moolaprakriti (primordial nature) (thus triggering the process of creation, the One manifesting Itself as Many). O Krishna! Prostrations to you of such majesty and magnificence.
सत्त्वेनासत्तया वा न च खलु सदसत्त्वेन निर्वाच्यरूपाधत्ते यासावविद्या गुणफणिमतिवद्विश्वदृश्यावभासम् ।विद्यात्वं सैव याता श्रुतिवचनलवैर्यत्कृपास्यन्दलाभेसंसारारण्यसद्यस्त्रुटनपरशुतामेति तस्मै नमस्ते ॥६॥
This Maya is indefinable as one cannot say whether it is existent or non-existent, sator asat. Just like one perceives the snake in a piece of string this Maya (Avidya, Ignorance) creates the illusion of this world which really does not exist. This Avidya itself takes the form of Vidya by the grace of the Lord when one listens to the Upanishadic pronouncements about the atman, brahman etc. and becomes the axe with which to cut down the forest of this samsara. My prostrations to you, O Lord!.
भूषासु स्वर्णवद्वा जगति घटशरावादिके मृत्तिकाव-त्तत्त्वे सञ्चिन्त्यमाने स्फुरति तदधुनाप्यद्वितीयं वपुस्ते।स्वप्नद्रष्टुः प्रबोधे तिमिरलयविधौ जीर्णरज्जोश्च यद्व-विद्यालाभे तथैव स्फुटमपि विकसेत् कृष्ण! तस्मै नमस्ते ॥७॥
Just like GOLD in ornaments (of different shapes and sizes) and MUD in pots and other earthenware, when one ponders over it, one realises that the Ultimate Reality is the Non-dual Brahman immanent in the whole of this Universe of multiple forms and names which are all illusory. Just like a dreamer realises that the dream was not real when he wakes up or a person mistaking a piece of rope as a snake realises the truth when darkness makes room for light, when Avidya goes andVidya dawns the Ultimate Reality shines in all its glory. Prostrations to You, O Krishna!
यद्भीत्योदेति सूर्यो दहति च दहनो वाति वायुस्तथान्येयद्भीताः पद्मजाद्याः पुनरुचितबलीनाहरन्ते ऽनुकालम्।येनैवारोपिताः प्राङ्निजपदमपि ते च्यावितारश्च पश्चात्तस्मै विश्वं नियन्त्रे वयमपि भवते कृष्ण! कुर्मः प्रणामम्॥८॥
Fearing whom the Sun rises, the Fire burns, the Wind blows, Brahma and others pay tribute at prescribed times, by whom some are appointed to different positions and later removed from those positions, that controller and discipliner of the Universe, O Krishna! we offer you our prostrations.
त्रैलोक्यं भावयन्तं त्रिगुणमयमिदं त्र्यक्षरस्यैकवाच्यंत्रीशानामैक्यरूपं त्रिभिरपि निगमैर्गीयमानस्वरूपम्।तिस्रोऽवस्था विदन्तं त्रियुगजनिजुषं त्रिक्रमाक्रान्तविश्वंत्रैकाल्ये भेदहीनं त्रिभिरहमनिशं योगभेदैर्भजे त्वाम् ॥९॥
O Lord! You have created this world which is a mixture of the three modes of prakriti. You are indicated by the syllable “Om” composed of three letters. Your form is the combination of the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Your praises are sung by the three Vedas, Rik, Yajus and Sama. You (as the jiva) are the Witness of the three states of waking (jagrat), dreaming(swapna) and deep sleep (sushupti). You incarnate yourself in the three Yugas of Krita, Tretaand Dwapara. You measured the worlds in three steps. You remain without any change in the three divisions of time- past, present and future. I always worship you by the three paths of Karma (action),Gnana (Knowledge) and Bhakti (Devotion). Note: Kalki incarnation is in the beginning of Krita Yuga, not in Kali Yuga itself..
सत्यं शुद्धं विबुद्धं जयति तव वपुर्नित्यमुक्तं निरीहंनिर्द्वन्द्वं निर्विकारं निखिलगुणगणव्यञ्जनाधारभूतम्।निर्मूलं निर्मलं तन्निरवधिमहिमोल्लासि निर्लीनमन्त-र्निस्संगानां मुनीनां निरुपमपरमानन्दसान्द्रप्रकाशम् ॥१०॥
O Lord! You are the embodiment of Truth, Purity and Consciousness, ever-free, without any desire, One without a second, unmoved by feelings or emotions and the substratum for the manifestation of all good and fine qualities. You are without any cause, without blemish and the repository of countless magnificent great qualities. In the hearts of Yogis, who have completely cut asunder their attachments to all worldly things, You abide as the effulgence of incomparable supreme bliss. Victory O Lord! to this Nishkala Swarupa of yours.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Chant prefixing ओं and suffixing नमः
ओं तुलस्यै नमःपावन्यैपूज्यायैवृन्दावननिवासिन्यैज्ञानदात्र्यैज्ञानमय्यैनिर्मलायैसर्वपूजितायैसत्यैपतिव्रतायै १०
देवर्षिसंस्तुत्यायैकान्तायैविष्णुमनःप्रियायैभूतवेतालभीतिघ्न्यैमहापातकनाशिन्यै मनोरथप्रदायैमेधायैकान्त्यैविजयदायिन्यैशंखचक्रगदा पद्मधारिण्यै ४०
कामरूपिण्यै अपवर्गप्रदायै श्यामायैकृशमध्यायैसुकेशिन्यैवैकुण्ठवासिन्यैनन्दायैबिंबोष्ठ्यैकोकिलस्वनायैकपिलायै ५०
उत्तानद्वादशीपूज्यायैसर्वदेवप्रपूजितायैगोपीरतिप्रदायैनित्यायैनिर्गुणायैपार्वतीप्रियायैअपमृत्युहरायैराधाप्रियायैमृगविलोचनायै अम्लानायै ८०
हंसगमनायैकमलासनवन्दितायैभूलोकवासिन्यैशुद्धायैरामकृष्णादिपूजितायैसीतापूज्यायैराममनःप्रियायैनन्दनसंस्थितायैसर्वतीर्थमय्यै मुक्तायै ९०
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 97
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 97th dasaka in which Bhattatiri requests the Lord to bless him with devotion of the highest order. The story of Markandeya, who wanted to see the Maya of the Lord, is also described in this dasaka.
त्रैगुण्याद्भिन्नरूपं भवति हि भुवने हीनमध्योत्तमं यत्ज्ञानं श्रद्धा च कर्ता वसतिरपि सुखं कर्म चाहारभेदा:।त्वत्क्षेत्रत्वन्निषेवादि तु यदिह पुनस्त्वत्परं तत्तु सर्वंप्राहुर्नैर्गुण्यनिष्ठं तदनुभजनतो मङ्क्षु सिद्धो भवेयम् ॥१॥
In this world Knowledge, belief (faith), doer, residence, wellbeing, action, food etc. are all made up of the three modes of prakriti (nature, maya) namely sattwa, rajas and tamas and therefore these are all of different forms and can be graded as uttama (the best), madhyama (medium) and adhama (the worst) respectively. However, it is said that visiting Your places of worship, worshiping or serving You, meditating on Your form are unaffected by the three modes of nature. They are नैर्गुण्यनिष्ठं(not rooted in the three modes of nature). Therfore let me attain mukti or liberation by following this path of bharkti (devotion) त्वय्येवन्यस्तचित्तः सुखमयि विचरन् सर्वचेष्टास्त्वदर्थंत्वद्भक्तैः सेव्यमानानपि चरितचरानाश्रयन् पुण्यदेशान्।दस्यौ विप्रे मृगादिष्वपि च सममतिर्मुच्यमानावमान-स्पर्धासूयादिदोषः सततमखिलभूतेषु संपूजये त्वाम् ॥२॥
O Lord! I shall lead my life happy and carefree with my mind firmly fixed on You, doing everything to please You only, visiting those holy places which are visited by your devotees, seeing with an equal mind, devoid of differentiation a brahmin, a thief or an animal, devoid of the feelings of honour, dishonour, competition, jealousy etc. and worshipping You as the indwelling spirit of all beings.
त्वद्भावो यावदेषु स्फुरति न विशदं तावदेवं ह्युपास्तिंकुर्वन्नैकात्म्यबोधे झटिति विकसति त्वन्मयोऽहं चरेयं।त्वद्धर्मस्यास्य तावत् किमपि न भगवन्! प्रस्तुतस्य प्रणाश-स्तस्मात् सर्वात्मनैव प्रदिश मम विभो! भक्तिमार्गं मनोज्ञम् ॥३॥
As long as I am not able to realise You clearly in all these beings I will continue on the path of Bhakti until I become One with you, identify myself with you, realise you within me. This bhagavata dharma, once started, there is no loss. Therefore, in all circumstances, O Lord! bless me with this beautiful path of Bhakti.
तं चैनं भक्तियोगं द्रढयितुमयि मे साध्यमारोग्यमायु-र्दिष्ट्या तत्रापि सेव्यं तव चरणमहो! भेषजायेव दुग्धं ।मार्कण्डेयो हि पूर्वं गणकनिगदितद्वादशाब्दायुरुच्चैः सेवित्वा वत्सरं त्वां तव भटनिवहैर्द्रावयामास मृत्युम् ॥४॥
In order to strengthen this bhakti yoga I have to achieve good health and longevity and, fortunately, for this also I have to take refuge at your lotus feet which is like drinking milk for curing the disease. Markandeya, who was told by astrologers that his life was only for twelve years, sincerely worshipped you for one year and Your soldiers drove away Yama (saved Markandeya from death).
मार्कण्डेयश्चिरायुः स खलु पुनरपि त्वत्परः पुष्पभद्रा-तीरे निन्ये तपस्यन्नतुलसुखरतिः षट्तु मन्वन्तराणि।देवेन्द्रः सप्तमस्तं सुरयुवतिमरुन्मन्मथैर्मोहयिष्यन्योगोष्मप्लुष्यमाणैर्न तु पुनरगमत् त्वज्जनं निर्जयेत् कः?॥५॥
Markandeya thus became a chiranjeevi. Again, wanting to experience supreme bliss, he spent six manwantaras doing penance on the banks of Pushpabhadra river, fixing his mind on Your captivating form. The seventh Indra sent celestial damsels, cool breeze and Kamadeva (Cupid) to delude and entice him away from his tapas but they were scorched by the heat of the tapas(penance) of Markandeya and abandoned their mission. Who can conquer your staunch devotees? प्रीत्या नारायणाख्यस्त्वमथ नरसखः प्राप्तवानस्य पार्श्वंतुष्ट्या तोष्टूयमानः स तु विविधवरैर्लोभितो नानुमेने।द्रष्टुं मायां त्वदीयां किल पुनरवृणोद्भक्तितृप्तान्तरात्मामायादुःखानभिज्ञस्तदपि मृगयते नूनमाश्चर्यहेतोः ॥६॥
Once You appeared before him as Narayana accompanied by Nara and Marakandeya, immensely pleased and singing hymns in your praise, was indifferent to any boon though he was tempted by You by the offer of several boons. But he asked for the boon of seeing Your Maya. Certainly, one who has not experienced Maya, may seek to know the effect of Maya just for the wonder of experiencing it.
याते त्वय्याशु वाताकुलजलदगलत्तोयपूर्णातिघूर्णत्सप्तार्णोराशिमग्ने जगति स तु जले संभ्रमन् वर्षकोटीः।दीनः प्रैक्षिष्ट दूरे वटदलशयनं कञ्चिदाश्चर्यबालंत्वामेव श्यामलाङ्गं वदनसरसिजन्यस्तपादाङ्गुलीकम्॥७॥
Soon after You left Markandeya there was heavy downpour from dark clouds driven by a hurricane and the world was submerged in the tumultous seven seas flled to the brim. Markandeya was tossed about in the sea for millions of years and was in a pathetic condition when he saw You in the distance as a wonderful child of dark blue complexion lying on a banyan leaf with a toe in his mouth.
दृष्ट्वा त्वां हृष्टरोमा त्वरितमुपगतः स्प्रष्टुकामो मुनीन्द्रःश्वासेनान्तर्निविष्टः पुनरिह सकलं दृष्टवान् विष्टपौघम्।भूयोऽपि श्वासवातैर्बहिरनुपतितो वीक्षितस्त्वत्कटाक्षैःमोदादाश्लेष्टुकामस्त्वयि पिहिततनौ स्वाश्रमे प्राग्वदासीत्॥८॥
Seeing the divine child, Markandeya was overcome with ecstasy with hairs of his body bristling. He, foremostamong sages, hurriedly went near the child eager to touch it. But he was sucked inside when the child breathedin. There (within the body of the child) he saw all the worlds. Then he was thrown out with the outgoing breath.The child cast sidelong glances on him. Full of joy, he wanted to embrace the child, but you vanished andMarkandeya found himself in his hermitage as before.
गौर्या सार्धं तदग्रे पुरभिदथ गतस्त्वत्प्रियप्रेक्षणार्थीसिद्धानेवास्य दत्वा स्वयमयमजरामृत्युतादीन् गतोऽभूत्।एवं त्वत्सेवयैव स्मररिपुरपि संप्रीयते येन तस्मा- न्मूर्तित्रय्यात्मकस्त्वं ननु सकलनियन्तेति सुव्यक्तमासीत्॥९॥
Lord Siva with his consort Gauri manifested before Markandeya in order to see him, a devotee dear to Your heart. He gave him boons of non-aging(ajara) and not-dying(amrityutaa) of which Markandeya was already in possession. Thus, by devotion to You, Lord Siva is also pleased. From this it is very clear that You are the very Atma of the Trinity (murtitraya) of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and the Ultimate Authority over everything.
त्र्यंशेऽस्मिन् सत्यलोके विधिहरिपुरभिन्मन्दिराण्यूर्ध्वमूर्ध्वंतेभ्योऽप्यूर्ध्वं तु मायाविकृतिविरहितो भाति वैकुण्ठलोकः।तत्र त्वं कारणांभस्यपि पशुपकुले शुद्धसत्त्वैकरूपीसच्चिद्ब्रह्माद्वयात्मा पवनपुरपते! पाहि मां सर्वरोगात्॥१०॥
In Satyaloka, having three positions for Brahma, Vishnu and Siva respectively, each above the other in the same order. Above these three shinesVaikuntha where Maya does not operate. There in Vaikuntha, in the primordial waters and in Nandagokula You shine in Your pure sattwa aspect undifferentiated from the sachchidananda Brahman. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from all ailments.
© P R Ramamurthy.
स्वयंवर पार्वती स्तोत्रम् (मन्त्रमाला स्तोत्रम्)
बन्धूकवर्णामरुणां सुगात्रांशंभुं समुद्दिश्य शनैरुपेताम्।अम्भोजमृद्वीमभिलाषदात्रींसंभावये निर्जरदारुकल्पाम् ॥१॥
ह्रींमन्थराणि चरणाग्र गतिप्रपाते-ष्वामञ्जुसंक्वणित कङ्कण किङ्किणीनि।कामं कुमारि! तव तानि शिवे! स्मरामिक्षेमङ्कराणि जनकालय खेलनानि ॥२॥
योगेन बाल्यवयसो ललितां पुरस्तात् द्रागेव कण्ठविलसत् कनकोर्मिकौघाम्।आकम्रनद्धरशनां भवतीं निरीक्षेश्रीकण्ठभामिनि कदा प्रपदीनवेणीम् ॥३॥
गिर्यल्पमुग्धविशदं नवयौवनश्री-धुर्यं विलासमयमक्ष्णि कृशं विलग्ने।पर्युच्छ्रितं कुचभरे जघने घनं यत्पर्युत्सुकोऽस्मि सततं जननि प्रसीद ॥४॥
निर्धूतकुण्डलमुदञ्चितघर्मलेशंविस्रस्तकेशमभितश्चलदीक्षणान्तम्।निर्ध्वानिकङ्कणमुदग्रकुचान्तमन्त-र्बध्नामि तातगृहकन्दुकखेलनं ते ॥५॥
योगेश्वरं प्रचुरभक्ति गिरीशमारा-देकान्तवर्तिनमुपेत्य तपश्चरन्तम्।आकांक्षया परिचरिष्णुमनाकुलां त्वांये केचिदीश्वरि भजन्ति त एव धन्याः ॥६॥
गिर्यात्मजे! मदनदाहमहावमान-पर्याकुला पुरहरे हृदयं निधाय।कुर्यास्तपो विदधती कुशलानि भूभृत्-पर्यायपीनकुचकुम्भविशुंभदङ्गी॥७॥
निध्याय मानसदृशा मुहुरिन्दुचूडंमध्ये स्थिता रहसि पञ्चहुताशनानां।तत्तादृशेन तपसा जगदण्डभाजांवित्रासदात्रि! परिपाहि सदाशिवे! नः ॥८॥
दीर्घां परीक्षितुमनुक्षणमाक्षिपन्तं।साक्षात् गिरीशमवधूय त्वया प्रयाते द्राक्तेन संश्रितपदां भवतीं भजामः ॥९॥
गेहे निजे वरणदामलसत्कराब्जां।व्याहारिनूपुरमुदञ्चितमन्दहासां।नीहारभानुधरमुच्चलितां वरीतुंमोहावहां त्रिभुवनस्य भजामहे त्वाम्॥१०॥
श्वस्ताहि कङ्कणविलोकनभीतभीतंप्रत्यग्ररागविवशं मम तं निधेहि।उत्स्वेदवेपथु पिनाकिभृता गृहीतंरुद्राणि दक्षिणकरांबुजमुत्तमाङ्गे॥११॥
रिष्टापहं भवतु भर्तृनखेन्दुबिंब-स्पष्टानुबिंबिततनुं विबुधापगां ताम्।दृष्ट्वाशु रागरभसोदयशोणकोणंदृष्टिद्वयं तव करग्रहणे स्तितं नः ॥१२॥
योगे नवे तव भवानि शिवानि दद्यात्द्रागेव सत्वरमपत्रपया निवृत्तम्।साकम्पमालिवचनैर्विहिताभिमुख्यंद्रागुत्स्मितं पुरभिदा परिरब्धमङ्गम् ॥१३॥
गत्या नितंबभरमन्तरया सलज्जै-रर्धेक्षणैरसकलाक्षरवाग्विलासैः।हृद्यैश्च विभ्रमगुणैर्मदनारिधैर्य-प्रस्तारहारिणी शिवे जननि प्रसीद ॥१४॥
भद्रा मुखेन्दुनमनादभिवीक्षणेषुप्रत्युक्तिदानविरमान्नवसत्कथासु।उद्वेपनादपि हठात् परिरंभणेषुपत्युः प्रमोदजननी जननि! प्रसीद ॥१५॥
यं नाथमादिमुनयो निगमोक्तिगुंफे-ष्वालक्ष्य तान्तमनसो विमुखी भवन्ति।सन्नह्य तेन दयितेन मनोजविद्या-नन्दानुभूतिरसिके जननि! प्रसीद ॥१६॥
कल्याणकुन्तलभरं नवकल्पवल्ली-पुष्पोल्लसद् बहुलसौरभलोभनीयम्।कल्याणधाम शशिखण्डमखण्डशोभा-कल्लोलितं तव महेश्वरि संश्रयामः ॥१७॥
रिञ्चोलिका तव शिवे! निटिलालकानांन्यञ्चत् पटीर तिलके निटिले विभान्ती।मञ्जुप्रसन्नमुखपद्म विहारि लक्ष्मी-पिञ्छातपत्ररुचिरा हृदि नः समिन्धाम् ॥१८॥
सम्यग्भ्रुवौ तव विलासभुवौ स्मरामःसंमुग्ध मन्मथ शरासन चारुरूपे।हृन्मध्यगूढनिहितं हरधैर्यलक्ष्यंयन्मूलयन्त्रितकटाक्षशरैर्विभिन्नम् ॥१९॥
कम्राः सितासितरुचा श्रवणान्तदीर्घाःबिम्बोकडम्बरभृतो निभृतानुकम्पाः।सन्मातुका मयि भवन्तु पिनाकिवक्त्र-बिंबाम्बुजन्ममधुपाः सति! ते कटाक्षाः ॥२०॥
लग्नाभिराममृगनाभि विचित्रपत्रं मग्नं प्रभासमुदये तव गण्डबिम्बम्।चित्ते विभातु सततं मणीकुण्डलोद्य-द्रत्नानुबिम्बपरिचुंबितमंबिके नः ॥२१॥
स्थाणोः सदा भगवतः प्रियतानिधानंप्राणादपि प्रविरलस्मितलोभनीयम्।स्थानीकुरुष्व गिरिजे! तव बन्धुजीव-श्रेणीसगन्धमधरं धिषणान्तरे नः ॥२२॥
वन्दामहे कनकमंगलसूत्रशोभा-सन्दीप्तकुङ्कुमवलित्रयभंगि रम्यम्।मन्द्रादिकस्वर विकस्वरनादविद्या-सन्दर्भगर्भमगजे! तव कण्ठनालम्॥२३॥
रक्षार्थमत्र मम मूर्धनि धत्स्व नित्यं दक्षारिगाढपरिरंभरसानुकूलम् ।अक्षामहेमकटकाङ्गदरत्नशोभंलाक्षाविलं जननि! पाणियुगं त्वदीयम् ॥२४॥
जंभारिकुम्भिवरकुम्भनिभामुरोज-कुंभद्वयी ललितसंभृतरत्नमालाम्।शंभोर्भुजैरनुदिनं निबिडाङ्कपाली-संभावितां भुवनसुन्दरि! भावयामः ॥२५॥
गर्वापहे वटदलस्य तनूदरान्तेनिर्व्यूढभासि तव नाभिसरस्यगाधे।शर्वावलोकरुचि मेदुररोमवल्ली-निर्वासिते वसतु मे धिषणामराली ॥२६॥
मच्चेतसि स्फुरतु माररथाङ्गभंगींउच्चैर्द्दधानमतिपीवरतानिधानम्।स्वच्छन्दरत्नरशनाकलितान्तरीय-प्रच्छन्नमम्ब! तव कम्रनितंबबिम्बम्॥२७॥
स्यन्दानुरागमदवारिपुरारिचेत-स्सन्नागबन्धमणिवेणुकमूरुकाण्डम्।बन्दीकृतेन्द्रगजपुष्करमुग्धरंभंनन्दाम सुन्दरि! शिवे! हृदि सन्दधानाः ॥२८॥
मुग्धोल्लसत्कनकनूपुरनद्ध नाना-रत्नाभयोर्ध्वगतया परितोऽभिरामम्।चित्तप्रसूति जयकाहलकान्ति जंघा-युग्मं त्वदीयमगनन्दिनि! चिन्तयामः ॥२९॥
खट्वांगपाणिमकुटेन तदा तदा सं-घृष्टाग्रयोः प्रणतिषु प्रणयप्रकोपेअष्टाङ्गपातसहितं प्रणतोस्मि लब्धु-मिष्टां गतिं जननि! पादपयोजयोस्ते ॥३०॥
हृद्यर्पणं मम मृजन्तु तदा त्वदंग-मुद्यद्रविद्युति भवेदिह सानुबिम्बम्।उत्तुङ्गदैत्यसुरमौलिभिरुह्यमानारुद्रप्रिये! तव पदाब्जभवाः परागाः ॥३१॥
दद्यात् सुखानि मम चक्रकलान्तरस्थारक्तांबराभरणमाल्यधरा जपाभा।रुद्राणि पाशसृणिचापशराग्रहस्ताकस्तूरिकातिलकिनी नवकुंकुमार्द्रा ॥३२॥
यत्पङ्कजन्मनिलयं करपद्मशुंभ-दंभोरुहं भुवनमङ्गलमाद्रियन्ते।अंभोरुहाक्षसुकृतोत्करपाकमेकंसंभावये हृदि शिवे! तव शक्तिभेदम्॥३३॥
मन्दारकुन्दसुषमा करपल्लवोद्यत्पुण्याक्षदामवरपुस्तकपूर्णकुंभा।चन्द्रार्धचारुमकुटा नवपद्मसंस्थासन्देदिवीतु भवती हृदि नस्त्रिनेत्रा॥३४॥
मध्येकदंबवनमास्थितरत्नडोलांउद्यन्नखाग्रमुखरीकृतरत्नवीणाम्।अत्यन्तनीलकमनीयकलेबरां त्वांउत्संगलालित मनोज्ञ शुकीमुपासे ॥३५॥
वर्तामहे मनसि सन्दधतीं नितान्त-रक्तां वराभयविराजिकरारविन्दाम्।उद्वेलमध्यवसतिं मधुरांगि! मायांतत्त्वात्मिकां भगवतीं भवतीं भजन्तः॥३६॥
शंभुप्रियां शशिकलाकलितावतंसांसंभाविताभयवरां कुशपाशपाणिम्।संपत्प्रदाननिरतां भुवनेश्वरीं त्वांशुम्भज्जपारुचमपारकृपामुपासे॥३७॥ आरूढतुङ्गतुरगां मृदुबाहुवल्लीं आरूढपाशसृणिवेत्रलतां त्रिनेत्राम्।आरोपितामखिलसन्तनने प्रगल्भांआराधयामि भवतीं मनसा मनोज्ञाम् ॥३८॥
कर्मात्मिके जयजयाखिलधर्ममूर्तेचिन्मात्रिके जय जय त्रिगुणस्वरूपे।कल्माषघर्मपिशुनान् करुणामृतार्द्रैःसंमार्ज्य सम्यगभिषिञ्च दृगञ्चलैर्नः ॥३९॥
षण्णामसि त्वमधिदैवतमक्षराणांवर्णत्रयोदितमनुप्रकृतिस्त्वमेव।त्वन्नाम विश्वमनुशक्तिकलं त्वदन्यत्किन्नाम दैवतमिहास्ति समस्तमूर्ते ॥४०॥
या कापि विश्वजनमोहनदिव्यमायाश्री कामवैरिवपुरर्धहरानुभावा।प्राकाश्यते जगदधीश्वरि! सा त्वमस्मान्मूकाननन्यशरणान् परिपाहि दीनान् ॥४१॥
कर्त्र्यै नमोऽस्तु जगतो निखिलस्यभर्त्र्यैहर्त्र्यै नमोऽस्तु विधिविष्णुहरात्मशक्त्यै।भुक्त्यै नमोऽस्तु भुवनाभिमतप्रसूत्यैमुक्त्यै नमोऽस्तु मुनिमण्डलदृश्यमूर्त्यै॥४२॥
षड्वक्त्रहस्तिमुखजुष्टपदस्य भर्तु-रिष्टोपगूहनसुधाप्लुतमानसस्यदृष्ट्या निपीय वदनेन्दुमदक्षिणाङ्के
तुष्ट्या स्थिते! वितर देवि! दयावलोकान् ॥४३॥
यत्नान्तरं भवितृभूतभवं मया यत्स्वप्नप्रजागरसुषुप्तिषु वाङ्मनोऽङ्गैः।नित्यं त्वदर्चनकलासु समस्तमेतत्भक्तानुकम्पिनि! ममास्तु तव प्रसादात् ॥४४॥
स्वाहेति सागरसुतेति सुरापगेतिव्याहाररूपसुषमेति हरिप्रियेति।नीहारशैलतनयेति पृथक्प्रकाश-रूपां परेशमहिषीं भवतीं भजामः ॥४५॥
हारस्फुरत्कुचगिरे! हरजीवनाथे!हारिस्वरूपिणि! हरिप्रमुखाभिवन्द्ये!।हेरंबशक्तिधरनन्दिनि! हेमवर्णे!हे चण्डि! हैमवति! देवि! नमोनमस्ते॥४६॥
ये तु स्वयंवरमहास्तवमन्त्रमेतंप्रातर्नराः सकलसिद्धिकरं जपन्ति।भूतिप्रभावजनरञ्जनकीर्तिसौन्द-र्यारोग्यमायुरपि दिर्घममी लभन्ते ॥४७॥
शतक्रतुप्रभृत्यमर्त्यतत्यभिप्रणित्युप-क्रमप्रसृत्वरस्मितप्रभाञ्चितास्यपङ्कजे!।हरप्रिये! वरप्रदे! धराधरेन्द्रकन्यकेहरिद्रया समन्विते दरिद्रतां हर द्रुतं ॥४८॥
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 96
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 96th dasaka which describes the vibhutis (deivine manifestations) of the Lord and also about Gnaana, Karma and Bhakti yogas..
त्वं हि ब्रह्मैव साक्षात् परमुरुमहिमन्नक्षराणामकार- स्तारो मन्त्रेषु राज्ञां मनुरसि मुनिषु त्वं भृगुर्नारदोऽपि।प्रह्लादो दानवानां पशुषु च सुरभिः पक्षिणाम् वैनतेयोनागानामस्यनन्तः सुरसरिदपि च स्रोतसां विश्वमूर्ते ॥१॥
O Lord of Guruvayur, Embodiment of the whole world and of immeasurable greatness ! You are the Parabrahma, the Ultimate Reality. Of alphabets (aksharas) You are the alphabet ‘A’ (‘अ’), of mantras You are Om (ओम्), of Kings you are SwayambhuvaManu, of saints (maharshis)You are Bhrigu and Narada, of asuras You are Prahlada, of animals You are Kamadhenu, of birds you are Garuda, of serpents You are Adisesha, of rivers you are the celestial Ganga.
ब्रह्मण्यानां बलिस्त्वं क्रतुषु च जपयज्ञोऽसि वीरेषु पार्थो भक्तानामुद्धवस्त्वं बलमसि बलिनां धाम तेजस्विनां त्वम्।नास्त्यन्तस्त्वद्विभूतेर्विकसदतिशयं वस्तु सर्वं त्वमेव
त्वं जीवस्त्वं प्रधानं यदिह भवदृते तन्न किञ्चित् प्रपञ्चे ॥२॥
Of those who revere brahmins you are Bali, of yagnas You are japa yagna(chanting the names of the Lord), of valiant fighters you are Arjuna, of devotees you are Uddhava, of strong men You are the strength, of the shining you are the light. There is no end to your greatness. Whetever is wondrous in this world is Your manifestation only. You are the prakriti and purusha. There is nothing in this world which is not You (your manifestation).
धर्मं वर्णाश्रमाणां श्रुतिपथविहितं त्वत्परत्वेन भक्या कुर्वन्तोऽन्तर्विरागे विकसति शनकैः सन्त्यजन्तो लभन्ते।सत्तास्फूर्तिप्रियत्वात्मकमखिलपदार्थेषु भिन्नेष्वभिन्नं निर्मूलं विश्वमूलं परममहमिति त्वद्विबोधं विशुद्धम्॥३॥
Those who follow the discipline of the varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaisyaand sudra) and ashramas (brahmachari, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyasa) as laid down in the Vedas with devotion to you and surrendering (the fruits of their actions) at your lotus feet will development detachment and gradually give up this path. In them will arise the knowledge (experience) that “ I am that Brahman, whose swarupa is Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, the One and only One immanent in all beings, the root cause of the worlds and itself without a cause.” Thus he gains the highest and the purest knowledge of You, O Lord!
ज्ञानं कर्मापि भक्तिस्त्रितयमपि त्वत्प्रापकं तत्र ताव- निर्विण्णानामशेषे बिषय इह भवेज्ज्ञानयोगेऽधिकारः।सक्तानां कर्मयोगस्त्वयि हि विनिहितो ये तु नात्यन्त सक्ता
नाप्यत्यन्तं विरक्तास्त्वयि च धृतरसा भक्तियोगो ह्यमीषाम् ॥४॥
Knowledge, Action and Devotion- all three lead to You. Those who have gained complete detachment from all materialistic things and pleasures of the senses (vairagya) qualify for the path of knowledge. Those who are totally attached to material things and pleasures of the senses are fit only for the path of Action. The path of Devotion, bhakti, is for those who are partially attached to and partially detached from sensual pleasures etc.
ज्ञानं त्वद्भक्ततां वा लघु सुकृतवशान्मर्त्यलोके लभन्ते
तस्मादत्रैव जन्म स्पृहयति भगवन्! नाकगो नारको वा।आविष्टं मां तु दैवाद् भवजलनिधिपोतायिते मर्त्यदेहे
त्वं कृत्वा कर्णधारं गुरुमनुगुणवातायितस्तारयेथाः ॥५॥
Knowledge and Bhakti can be gained in this martyaloka (world of humans) by their punya (fruit of meritorious actions done by them in their previous births). For this reason even the denizens of swarga (heaven) and naraka (hell) desire to take birth in martyaloka. Fortunately, I have taken a birth in this martyaloka with a human body which is like a ship to cross this ocean of samsara. With a guru (spritual teacher) as the captain of this ship and You, acting as the favourable wind, kindly take me across this ocean of samsara.
अव्यक्तं मार्गयन्तः श्रुतिभिरपि नयैः केवलज्ञानलुब्धाः क्लिश्यन्तेऽतीव सिद्धिं बहुतरजनुषामन्त एवाप्नुवन्ति।दूरस्थः कर्मयोगोऽपि च परमफले नन्वयं भक्तियोग- स्त्वामूलादेव हृद्यस्त्वरितमयि भवत्प्रापको वर्धतां मे॥६॥
Those who are keen on taking to the path of Knowledge and seeking the Unmanifest Brahmanby following the methods propounded in the Upanishadic and mimamsa texts, pass through great difficulties and achieve their objective only after taking many births. The path of action is also far far away from the Ultimate objective of mukti, liberation. But the path of devotion,bhakti, is sweet from the root upwards and takes one to You quickly. May this bhakti increase in me, O Lord! .
ज्ञानायैवातियत्नं मुनिरपवदते ब्रह्मतत्त्वं तु शृण्वन् गाढं त्वत्पादभक्तिं शरणमयति यस्तस्य मुक्तिः कराग्रे।त्वद्ध्यानेऽपीह तुल्या पुनरसुकरता चित्तचाञ्चल्यहेतो- रभ्यासादाशु शक्यं तदपि वशयितुं त्वत्कृपाचारुताभ्याम्॥७॥
Saint (Vyasa) disagrees that more effort is required only in the path of Knowledge. After hearing about the Brahman from a competent guru, if one takes refuge in unwavering devotion to Your lotus feet, his mukti, liberation, is at the tip of his hand. Dhyana (meditation) is equally difficult because of the wavering, unstable nature of the mind. But it can be brought under control by practice, Your grace and your captivating form.
निर्विण्णः कर्ममार्गे खलु विषमतमे त्वत्कथादौ च गाढं जातश्रद्धोऽपि कामानयि भुवनपते! नैव शक्नोमि हातुम्।तद्भूयो निश्चयेन त्वयि निहितमना दोषबुद्ध्या भजंस्तान् पुष्णीयां भक्तिमेव त्वयि हृदयगते मंक्षु नङ्क्ष्यन्ति सङ्गा ।८॥
Relinquishing the most difficult path of Karma and having developed liking and keen interest in stories of your leelas, I am unable to give up desires (for sensual objects). While fulfilling those desires, I shall remind myself that they are stumbling blocks in the path of bhakti, and endeavour to cultivate unwavering devotion to your lotus feet. Once You are firmly established in my heart all attachments will snap completely.
कश्चित् क्लेशार्जितार्थक्षयविमलमतिर्नुद्यमानो जनौघैः प्रागेवं प्राह विप्रो ’न खलु मम जनः कालकर्मगहा वा।चेतो मे दुःखहेतुस्तदिह गुणगणं भावयत् सर्वकारी’- त्युक्त्वा शान्तो गतस्त्वां मम च कुरु विभो! तादृशीं चित्तशान्तिम्॥९॥
Once upon a time a brahmin, whose mind became detached and purified when he lost all his hard-earned wealth, said when people tormented him that “Neither people, nor time, action or planets is the cause of my sorrow. The mind which projects doership and enjoyership on the atman, is the root cause of my sorrow.” Saying thus he became calm and peaceful and merged in You. O Lord! give me similar calmness and peace of mind.
ऐलः प्रागुर्वशीं प्रत्यतिविवशमनाः सेवमानश्चिरं तां गाढं निर्विद्य भूयो युवतिसुखमिदं क्षुद्रमेवेति गायन्।त्वद्भक्तिं प्राप्य पूर्णः सुखतरमचरत् तद्वदुद्धूतसङ्गं भक्तोत्तंसं क्रिया मां पवनपुरपते! हन्त! मे रुन्धि रोगान्॥१०॥
Long ago King Pururavas was madly in love with Urvasi and (subsequently) he enjoyed her company for a long time. Then he was fed up and became extremely detached. Singing repeatedly that the pleasure from women is frivolous and worthless, he gained devotion to your lotus feet and, attaining jivanmukti, went around immersed in supreme bliss. O Lord of Guruvayur! make me devoid of all attachments and the crest jewel among your devotees. © P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 95
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 95th dasaka which describes Dhyana Yoga.
आदौ हैरण्यगर्भीं तनुमविकलजीवात्मिकामास्थितस्त्वं जीवत्वं प्राप्य मायागुणगणखचितो वर्तसे विश्वयोने ।तत्रोद्वृद्धेन सत्त्वेन तु गुणयुगलं भक्तिभावं गतेन छित्वा सत्त्वं च हित्वा पुनरनुपहितो वर्तिताहे त्वमेव ॥१॥
O Lord from whom the whole word has appeared! In the beginning, you manifested Yourself as Hiranyagarbha embodying all beings and then, manifesting as individual jivas, you remain affected by the modes of sattwa, rajas and tamas of Maya. When sattwa predominates bhakti (devotion to the Lord) matures and rajas and tamas are destroyed. Finally sattwaalso subsides and I remain without any adjuncts, without any attributes, and become one with You.
सत्त्वोन्मेषात् कदाचित् खलु विषयरसे दोषबोधेऽपि भूमन् भूयोऽप्येषु प्रवृत्तिः सतमसि रजसि प्रोद्धते दुर्निवारा।चित्तं तावद् गुणाश्च ग्रथितमिह मिथस्तानि सर्वाणि रोद्धुं तुर्ये त्वय्येकभक्तिः शरणमिति भवान् हंसरूपी न्यगादीत् ॥२॥ When sattwa predominates, then also sometimes, in spite of the understanding that enjoyment of sense objects is fraught with adverse consequences, it cannot be ensured that the mind does not again dwell on such enjoyment when rajasand tamas predominate. The mind and the gunas are tightly intertwined and this can be prevented onlngy by surrendering to you in undiluted devotion as expounded by You, who is beyond the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep states, in the manifestation as Hamsa, swan.
सन्ति श्रेयांसि भूयांस्यपि रुचिभिदया कर्मिणां निर्मितानि क्षुद्रानन्दाश्च सान्ता बहुविधगतयः कृष्ण तेभ्यो भवेयुः।त्वं चाचख्याथ सख्ये ननु महिततमां श्रेयसां भक्तिमेकां त्वद्भक्त्यानन्दतुल्यः खलु विषयजुषां सम्मदः केन वा स्यात् ॥३॥
For those treading the path of Karma, higher and higher levels of enjoyment etc have been created according to varying tastes but these are frivolous and ephemeral. O Lord! you have told your friend (Uddhava) that, of all the paths which take you to higher levels of happiness, bhakti is the most effective. How can the enjoyment one gets from sense objects match the bliss one experiences in the devotion to your lotus feet.
त्वद्भक्त्या तुष्टबुद्धेः सुखमिह चरतो विच्युताशस्य चाशाः सर्वाः स्युः सौख्यमय्यः सलिलकुहरगस्येव तोयैकमय्यः।सोऽयं खल्विन्द्रलोकं कमलजभवनं योगसिद्धीश्च हृद्या नाकांक्षत्येतदास्तां स्वयमनुपतिते मोक्षसौख्येप्यनीहः॥४॥
For those who are content in their hearts by devotion to you and live happily without any desires, are happy and comfortable wherever they are (in all directions), just like for a person immersed in a pool of water, it is water only in all directions. He has no desire for the worlds of Indra, Brahma or yogic powers which gladden the heart. Let that be so, he does not desire even moksha(liberation) which comes his way on its own.
त्वद्भक्तो बाध्यमानोऽपि विषयरसैरिन्द्रियाशान्तिहेतोः भक्त्यैवाक्रम्यमाणैः पुनरपि खलु तैर्दुर्बलैर्नाभिजय्यः।सप्तार्चिर्दीपितार्चिर्दहति किल यथा भूरिदारुप्रपञ्चं त्वद्भक्त्यौघे तथैव प्रदहति दुरितं, दुर्मदः क्वेन्द्रियाणाम् ॥५॥
Your devotee, though attracted by sensual pleasures because of undisciplined senses, invaded by bhakti those pleasures are weakened and they cannot again threaten the devotee. Just like flaming fire burns down a large pile of firewood, the flood of bhakthi in the devotee destroys all sins. What can the vanity of the senses do ?
चित्तार्द्रीभावमुच्चैर्वपुषि च पुलकं हर्षबाष्पं च हित्वा चित्तं शुद्ध्येत् कथं वा किमु बहुतपसा विद्यया वीतभक्तेः।त्वद्गाथास्वादसिद्धाञ्जनसततमरी मृज्यमानोऽयमात्माi चक्षुर्वत्तत्त्वसूक्षं भजति न तु तथाभ्यस्तया तर्ककोट्या ॥६॥
Melting of the heart, bristling of the hairs of the body, tears of joy – without these (signs of intense devotion, bhakti) how can the mind be purified? What is the point of tapas or knowledge without bhakti? When continually cleansed by the siddhanjanaof revelling in stories of Your exploits and leelas, this atman(mind, inner instrument), like the eyes, arrives at the subtle Truth (about you), not by the practice of countless arguments expounded in the sastras.
ध्यानं ते शीलयेयं समतनुसुखबद्धासनो नासिकाग्र- न्यस्ताक्षः पूरकाद्यैर्जितपवनपथश्चित्तपद्मं त्ववाञ्चं।ऊर्ध्वाग्रं भावयित्वा रविविधुशिखिनः संविचिन्त्योपरिष्टात् तत्रस्थं भावये त्वां सजलजलधरश्यामलं कोमलाङ्गम् ॥७॥
Seated in a comfortable posture, with the body erect, focusing my eyes on the tip of the nose, controlling my breath by pranayama(breathing in, holding the air and breathing out as prescribed in the texts on Yoga), visualising the heart-lotus, normally pointing downward, as pointing upward, I shall meditate on your captivating form, of dark blue colour like the water-laden cloud, shining above the sun, the moon and the fire.
आनीलश्लक्ष्णकेशं ज्वलितमकरसत्कुण्डलं मन्दहास- स्यन्दार्द्रं कौस्तुभश्रीपरिगतवनमालोरुहाराभिरामम्।श्रीवत्साङ्कं सुबाहुं मृदुलसदुदरं काञ्चनच्छायचेलं चारुस्निग्धोरुमंभोरुहललितपदं भावयेहं भवन्तम् ॥८॥
I shall meditate on your captivating form with dark silken locks of hair, shining fish-shaped ear-globes, cool smile, wearing a garland of wild flowers illumined by the kausthubha jewel, adorned with beautiful necklaces, with the cravats mark on the chest, shapely arms, smooth pretty stomach, golden coloured silks, fat shapely thighs and beautiful, smooth feet as the red lotus.
सर्वाङ्गेष्वंग! रंगत्कुतुकमितिमुहुर्धारयन्नीश! चित्तं तत्राप्येकत्र युञ्जे वदनसरसिजे सुन्दरे मन्दहासे।तत्रालीनं तु चेतःपरमसुखचिदद्वैतरूपे वितन्व- न्नन्यन्नो चिन्तयेयं मुहुरिति समुपारूढयोगो भवेयम्॥९॥
O Lord! Focusing the mind, again and again, with increasing interest, on all the limbs of your form, I shall concentrate my attention on the beautiful smile on your lotus face. When the mind completely melts there I shall, submerging the mind in the ocean of supreme absolute bliss and consciousness that is Brahman, think no more of anything else. I shall slip into samadhilike this again and again.
इत्थं त्वद्ध्यानयोगे सति पुनरणिमाद्यष्टसंसिद्धयस्ता दूरश्रुत्यादयोऽपि ह्यहमिकया सम्पतेयुर्मुरारे!।त्वत्संप्राप्तौ विलम्बावहमखिलमिदं नाद्रिये, कामयेहं त्वामेवानन्दपूर्णं पवनपुरपते पाहि मां सर्वतापात् ॥१०॥
In this manner, when I am established in dhyana yoga, the eight-fold psychic powers like anima (power to assume the size of an atom), mahima (power to grow the body to enormous size) etc in addition to telepathy, television etc. will automatically fall on my lap. I will not entertain such powers, nor will I desire them, as they will delay my reaching You. O Lord of Guruvayoor! save me from all my afflictions. © P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 94
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 94th dasaka which describes the rise of the knowledge of the Self in the seeker on the spiritual path.
शुद्धा निष्कामधर्मैः प्रवरगुरुगिरा तत्स्वरूपं परं ते
शुद्धं देहेन्द्रियादिव्यपगतमखिलव्याप्तमावेदयन्ते।नानात्वस्थौल्यकार्श्यादि तु गुणजवपुस्सङ्गतोऽध्यासितं ते वह्नेर्दारुप्रभेदेष्विव महदणुतादीप्तताशान्तदादि ॥१॥
Purified by selfless action offered to the Lord, one gets from a competent spiritual teacher knowledge of the nature of Brahman, pure, devoid of body and senses, omnipresent and immanent in all beings. Multiplicity, fatness, leanness and other attributes are superimposed on Brahman because of association with the modes of prakruti or Maya just like bigness or smallness as well as brightness and dimness attributable to the wood which is burnt are superimposed on fire itself which burns wood
आचार्याख्याधस्थारणिसमनुमिलच्छिष्यरूपोत्तरार- ण्यावेधोद्भासितेन स्फुटतरपरिबोधाग्निना दह्यमाने।कर्मालीवासनातत्कृततनुभुवनभ्रान्तिकान्तारपूरे दाह्याभावेन विद्याशिखिनि च विरते त्वन्मयी खल्ववस्था॥२॥
The lower part of the arani (two blocks of wood used for creating fire by friction for vedic rites) is the Teacher, the upper part is the student. The friction or churning of the two generates the flame of knowledge which burns the forest of delusion of the body and the world. And when there is nothing to burn the fire of knowledge also dies down and what remains is the state of sachchidanandawhich is Your nature or swarupa O Lord!
एवं त्वत्प्राप्तितोऽन्यो नहि खलु निखिलक्लेशहानेरुपायो नैकान्तात्यन्तिकास्ते कृषिवदगदषाड्गुण्यषट्कर्मयोगाः।दुर्वैकल्यैरकल्या अपि निगमपथास्तत्फलान्यप्यवाप्ता मत्तास्त्वां विस्मरन्तः प्रसजति पतने यान्त्यनन्तान् विषादान् ॥३॥
Thus there is no other means of wiping out all the sufferings except by attaining You, O Lord!. Other systems do not completely remove sufferings and, once removed, do not ensure that they do not recur again. The path of karma enjoined in the Vedas cannot be effective as there are bound to be unavoidable shortcomings in practising them. Even if it yields results those treading this path become conceited and, forgetting You O Lord!, fall to the abyss followed by endless suffering.
त्वल्लोकादन्यलोकः क्व नु भयरहितो यत्परार्धद्वयान्ते त्वद्भीतः सत्यलोकेऽपि न सुखवसतिः पद्मभूः पद्मनाभ!।एवंभावे त्वधर्माजितबहुतमसां का कथा नारकाणां तन्मे त्वं छिन्धि बन्धं वरद! कृपणबन्धो कृपापूरसुन्धो ॥४॥
O Padmanabha! Except your abode of Vaikuntha which other loka is free from fear? Even Brahma, the creator, lives in fear of your kaalaswarupa, as his life ends after the lapse of two parardhas. Such being the case, what shall we talk about those who, by their deeds not conforming to dharma, have sinned beyond measure. Therefore Giver of boons! Friend of those in misery! Ocean of compassion! Cut asunder my attachments.
याथार्थ्यात् त्वन्मयस्यैव हि मम न विभो! वस्तुतो बन्धमोक्षौ मायाविद्यातनुभ्यां तव तु विरचितौ स्वप्नबोधोपमौ तौ।बद्धे जीवद्विमुक्तिं गतवति च भिदा तावती तावदेको भुङ्क्ते देहद्रुमस्थो विषयफलरसान् नापरो निर्व्यथात्मा॥५॥
O Lord! the reality is that there is no fundamental difference between You as Paramatma and me as the jiva and there is no bondage or liberation for me in reality. The apparent difference is caused by your bodies of avidya (ignorance) and vidya (knowledge) which correspond to dream state and waking state respectively. That is the only difference between the bound and liberated one. The bound one sits on the tree which is the body and enjoys the fruits of sense objects. The liberated one whose nature is Sacchidananda(Truth, Consciousness and Bliss) does not enjoy the fruits of sense objects, therefore is not bound.
जीवन्मुक्तत्वमेवंविधमिति वचसा किंफलं दूरदूरे तन्नामाशुद्धबुद्धेर्न च लघु मनसः शोधनं भक्तितोऽन्यत्।तन्मे विष्णो! कृषीष्ठास्त्वयि कृतसकलप्रार्पणं भक्तिभारं येन स्यां मङ्क्षु किञ्चित्गुरुवचनमिलत्त्वत्प्रबोधस्त्वदात्मा ॥६॥
What is the use of talking about jeevanmukti by mere words. It is far removed from those who are not pure in mind and there is nothing which can purify the mind more easily than bhakti. Therefore O Vishnu! Bless me with unwavering devotion surrendering everything to You so that I, with some help from a guru, gain knowledge of Your True nature and completely merge my identity in You.
शब्दब्रह्मण्यपीह प्रयतितमनसस्त्वां न जानन्ति केचित् कष्टं वन्ध्यश्रमास्ते चिरतरमिह गां बिभ्रते निष्प्रसूतिं।यस्यां विश्वाभिरामास्सकलमलहरा दिव्यलीलावताराः सच्चित्सान्द्रं च रूपं तव न निगदितं तां न वाचं भ्रियासम्॥७॥
Those who are more interested in the Vedas also do not know You and their efforts are fruitless. They carry this vedic lore for long without it bearing fruits. Let me not carry the load of words which do not describe your divine incarnations, your leelas which captivate the hearts of all and purify all and your sachchidananda swarupa (embodiment of Absolute Truth, Consciousness and Bliss)
यो यावान् यादृशो वा त्वमिति किमपि नैवावगच्छामि भूम- न्नेवं चानन्यभावस्त्वदनुभजनमेवाद्रिये चैद्यवैरिन्!।त्वल्लिङ्गानां त्वदङ्घ्रिप्रियजनसदसां दर्शनस्पर्शनादि- र्भूयान्मे त्वत्प्रपूजानतिनुतिगुणकर्मानुकीर्त्यादरोऽपि ॥८॥
O Lord! I do not know anything about Your swarupa (form), Your attributes or Your activities. O Enemy of Sisupala! Even then let me worship you alone, without being distracted by anything else. Let me see, touch etc. your images or symbols and all those devotees for whom your lotus feet are very dear. Let me also develop reverence for your worship, obeisance and sankirtan (singing about your qualities, exploits and leelas).
यद्यल्लभ्येत तत्तत्तव समुपहृतं देव दासोऽस्मि तेऽहं त्वद्गेहोन्मार्जनाद्यं भवतु मम मुहुः कर्म निर्मायमेव;।सूर्याग्निब्राह्मणात्मादिषु लसितचतुर्बाहुमाराधये त्वां त्वत्प्रेमार्द्रत्वरूपो मम सततमभिष्यन्दतां भक्तियोगः ॥९॥
O Lord! I am your servant. Whatever comes to my hand, let me offer it to you. Let me have the chance to clean and wipe your temples frequently without being indifferent. Let me worship you, shining with four hands, in the Sun, Fire, Brahmin or the Self. Let devotion, marked by the complete dissolution of my heart in You, constantly flow in me, O Lord!
ऐक्यं ते दानहोमव्रतनियमतपस्सांख्ययोगैर्दुरापं त्वत्संगेनैव गोप्यः किल सुकृतितमाः प्रापुरानान्दसान्द्रम्;।भक्तेष्वन्येषु भूयस्स्वपि बहुमनुषे भक्तिमेव त्वमासां तन्मे त्वद्भक्तिमेव द्रढय हर गदान् कृष्ण वातालयेश ॥१०॥
O Lord! Oneness (Union) with You is not attainable by such means as daana (giving alms, making gifts etc), homa (worship by offerings made into the fire), vrata (keeping vows), niyama(control of mind and senses), tapas (observing austerities), Sankhya, yoga etc. But gopis, the most fortunate ones, attained this Oneness (Union) marked by absolute bliss simply by your company. Though there are many devotees of Yours, you have given the devotion of gopis a much higher place. Therefore O Lord of Guruvayur! make my bhakti more firm and unwavering and take away all my afflictions. © P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 93
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 93rd dasaka which describes what one can learn from the twenty four teachers of an avadhuta(sanyasi) which would be helpful for all sadhaks on the spiritual path.
बन्धुस्नेहं विजह्यां तव हि करुणया त्वय्युपावेशितात्मा सर्वं त्यक्त्वा चरेयं सकलमपि जगद्वीक्ष्य मायाविलासम्।नानात्वात् भ्रान्तिजन्यात् सति खलु गुणदोषावबोधे विधिर्वा व्यासेधो वा; कथं तौ त्वयि निहितमतेर्वीतवैषम्यबुद्धेः॥१॥
O Lord! By your grace I will forsake all attachments arising out of relationships such as wife, son, brother, sister etc and with my mind fixed on You, I will give up everything and move about freely, seeing (understanding) the whole world as an illusion created by the play of Maya. The concepts of Vidhi (something obligatory) and nishedha (something forbidden) arise because of the sense of multiplicity created by delusion (Maya). For the devotee whose heart is anchored in You and who is equanimous and sees You in all beings, how can vidhi and nishedha apply?
क्षुत्तृष्णालोपमात्रे सततकृतधियो जन्तवः सन्त्यनन्ता-स्तेभ्यो विज्ञानवत्त्वात् पुरुष इह वरस्तज्जनिर्दुर्लभैव।तत्राप्यात्मात्मनः स्यात् सुहृदपि च रिपुर्यस्त्वयि न्यस्तचेता-स्तापोच्छित्तेरुपायं स्मरति स हि सुहृत् स्वात्मवैरी ततोऽन्यः॥२॥
There are infinite number of beings whose sole preoccupation in life is with satisfying their hunger and thirst. Of these, because of his knowledge and power of reasoning, man is considered superior. But taking birth as a human is rare. Even here some are friends of their own selves; others are enemies of their own selves. He who, fixing his mind steadfastly on You, thinks of ways of liberating himself from the pains and sorrows of life, is a friend of the Self. Any one who does not take to this path is the enemy of the Self.
त्वत्कारुण्ये प्रवृत्ते क इव नहि गुरुर्लोकवृत्तेऽपि भूमन् सर्वाक्रान्तापि भूमिर्नहि चलति ततः सत्क्षमां शिक्षयेयम्।गृह्णियामीश, तत्तद्विषयपरिचयेप्यप्रसक्तिं समीराद् व्याप्तत्वं चात्मनो मे गगनगुरुवशाद्भातु निर्लेपता च ॥३॥
O Lord! if your grace is there who cannot be a guru even in this mundane world? I shall learn patience and forbearance from the Earth which remains stable in spite of being invaded by everyone. From the Air, I will learn non-attachment in spite of contacts with the objects of the senses. From the sky (space) as my guru may Il learn pervasiveness as well as non-attachment.
स्वच्छः स्याम् पावनोऽहं मधुर उदकवद् वह्निवन्मा स्म गृह्णां सर्वान्नीनोऽपि दोषं तरुषु तमिव मां सर्वभूतेष्ववेयाम्।पुष्टिर्नष्टिः कलानां शशिन इव तनोर्नात्मनोऽस्तीति विद्यां तोयादिव्यस्तमार्ताण्डवदपि च तनुष्वेकतां त्वत्प्रसादात् ॥४॥
By your grace, O Lord! From water I will learn to be pure, purifying and sweet. From fire, I will learn not to absorb the bad qualities in whatever I eat. Like fire inherent in trees, I will see myself in all beings. Just like waxing and waning is of the kalas of the moon, not of the moon itself, I will understand that growth and decay are of the body, not of the Atman (indwelling spirit).
स्नेहाद्व्याधात्तपुत्रप्रणयमृतकपोतायितो मा स्म भूवं, प्राप्तं प्राश्नन् सहेय क्षुधमपि शयुवत् सिन्धुवत् स्यामगाधः।मा पप्तं योषिदादौ शिखिनि शलभवत् भृङ्गवत् सारभागी भूयासं, किन्तु तद्वद्धनचयनवशान्माहमीश प्रणेशम् ॥५॥
O Lord! Let me not be like the pair of doves which lost their lives because of their affection for their little ones captured by a hunter in his net (into which they also entered). Like the python I will eat only when something comes my way, enduring hunger until I get something. Let me become Let me not fall for women etc. just like the flying insects into the fire. Let me, like the honey bee, take only the essence of things. But Let me not destroy myself by accumulating wealth like the honey bee by accumulating honey (for which people drive away the bees by fire)
मा बध्यासं तरुण्या गज इव वशया, नार्जयेयं धनौघं हर्तान्यस्तं हि माध्वीहर इव, मृगवन्मा मुहं ग्राम्यगीतैः।नात्यासज्जेय भोज्ये झष इव बडिशे, पिङ्गला वन्निराशः सुप्यां भर्तव्य योगात् कुरर इव विभो सामिषोऽन्यैर्न हन्यै॥६॥
O Lord! Let me not be bound by woman like the he-elephant by the she-elephant (which is used to lure and trap the he-elephant). Let me not accumulate wealth like the honey bee; it will be snatched (or stolen) by thieves like the honey-gatherer (takes away the honey stored by the honey bees). Let me not be deluded by folk songs like the deer which gets caught when listening to the music. . Let me not be attached too much to food like the fish for the meat in the bait. Let me sleep peacefully giving up all desires like the prostitute Pingala. Let me not be killed for my possessions, like the kurara bird with a peace of meat in its beak.
वर्तेय त्यक्तमानः सुखमतिशिशुवन्निसहायश्चरेयं कन्याया एकशेषो वलय इव विभो! वर्जितान्योन्यघोषः।त्वच्चित्तो नावबुद्ध्यै परमिषुकृदिव क्ष्माभृदायानघोषं गेहेष्वन्यप्रणीतेष्वहिरिव निवसान्यिन्दुरोर्मन्दिरेषु ॥७॥
O Lord! Let me remain happy devoid of egotism like an infant child. Like the single bangle in the hand of the girl, let me remain without the company of anyone devoid of mutual chattering. With mind fixed on you, let me not be aware of anything else, like the arrow-maker, concentrating on his work, is not aware of the din and noise when the king’s procession passes by. Let me live in houses built by others like the snake in the holes made by rats in the earth. त्वय्येव त्वत्कृतं त्वं क्षपयसि जगदित्यूर्णनाभात् प्रतीयां त्वच्चिन्ता त्वत्स्वरूपं कुरुत इति दृढं शिक्षये पेशकारात्।विड्भस्मात्मा च देहो भवति गुरुवरो, यो विवेकं विरक्तिं धत्ते सञ्चिन्त्यमानो , मम तु बहुरुजापीडितोऽयं विशेषात् ॥८॥
From the spider let me learn that this universe created by You is absorbed (dissolves) in Yourself. From the peshakara worm, let me understand that by the continuous remembrance of your form I myself take that form. This body which is full of faecal matter and is reduced to ashes in the end is the foremost guru, as it instils discrimination and dispassion when contemplated; more so this body of mine subjected to lot of suffering.
ही ही! मे देहमोहं त्यज पवनपुराधीश! यत्प्रेमहेतो-र्गेहे वित्ते कलत्रादिषु च विवशितास्त्वत्पदं विस्मरन्ति।सोऽयं वह्नेः शुनो वा परमिह परतः साम्प्रतां चाक्षिकर्ण-त्वग्जिह्वाद्या विकर्षन्त्यवशमत इतः, कोऽपि न त्वत्पदाब्जे ॥९॥
O Lord of Guruvayoor! Remove my attachment to this body because of which one loses one’s freedom, entangled in house, wealth, wife etc and forgets Your lotus fee. After death this body is consumed by fire or eaten by dogs. Now (while living), the skin (sense of touch) and the tongue (sense of taste) drag the helpless person here and there. There is none eager or interested in your lotus feet. .
दुर्वारो देहमोहो यदि पुनरधुना तर्हि निश्शेषरोगान् हृत्वा भक्तिं द्रढिष्ठां कुरु तव पदपङ्केरुहे पङ्कजाक्ष! ।नूनं नानाभवान्ते समधिगतममुं मुक्तिदं विप्रदेहं क्षुद्रे हा हन्त! मा मा क्षिप विषयरसे पाहि मां मारुतेश॥१०॥
If attachment to the body is unavoidable at this stage, then O Lotus-eyed One! Remove all my afflictions and bless me with unshakable devotion to your lotus feet. O Lord of Guruvayur! This body of Brahmin, capable of taking one to liberation, was attained after innumerable births. O Lord do NOT, NOT throw this into the frivolous enjoyment of the senses; save me from such a contingency.
© P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 92
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 92nd dasaka which describes the path of Karma coupled with Bhakti (devotion to the Lord), with a prosaic translation in English.
वेदैः सर्वाणि कर्माण्यपरफलदया वर्णितानीति बुद्ध्वा तानि त्वय्यर्पितान्येव हि समनुचरन् यानि नैष्कर्म्यमीश!मा भूद्वेदैर्निषिद्धे कुहचिदपि मनःकर्मवाचां प्रवृत्तिः दुर्वर्जं चेदवाप्तं तदपि खलु भवत्यर्पये चित्प्रकाशे ॥१॥
Understanding that the karmas (rites, actions) prescribed by the Vedas are to be performed without attachment to the fruits (results) thereof, I shall perform such karmas as offerings to you and thus will I reach the state of Naishkarmya, the path of knowledge. Let not my mind, speech or action engage in karma prohibited in the Vedas. If some such thing happens unavoidably, I offer that also to You, O Lord, the Light of Consciousness.
यस्त्वन्यः कर्मयोगस्तवभजनमयस्तत्रचाभीष्टमूर्तिं हृद्यां सत्त्वैकरूपां दृषदि हृदि मृदि क्वापि वा भावयित्वा।पुष्पैर्गन्धैर्निवेद्यैरपि च विरचितैः शक्तितो भक्तिपूतैः नित्यं वर्यां सपर्यां विदधदयि विभो! त्वत्प्रसादं भजेयम्॥२॥In the other karmayoga in which one engages in loving devotion to You, I will create in stone, mud or in the mind a form of yours which is dear to my heart and daily offer worship to that image, according to my capacity and with heart-felt devotion, with flowers, incense and naivedya and thus make you pleased with me (obtain your prasada).
स्त्रीशूद्रास्त्वत्कथादिश्रवणविरहिता आसतां ते दयार्हा- स्त्वत्पादासन्नयातान् द्विजकुलजनुषो हन्त! शोचाम्यशान्तान्।वृत्यर्थं ते यजन्तो बहुकथितमपि त्वामनाकर्णयन्तो दृप्ता विद्याभिजात्यैः किमु न विदधते तादृशं मा कृथा माम्॥३॥
Women and Sudras who are deprived of hearing your stories etc are to be pitied. Let that be so, but I feel sorry for those dwijas, who are supposed to be nearer to your lotus feet but still attached to the pleasures of the senses. They perform yagas and other vedic rites for making a living and turn a deaf ear to stories about Your much talked about leelas and exploits. Vain and conceited about their learning and their high birth, what is it that they do not do? O Lord do not make me like them.
पापोऽयं कृष्णरामेत्यभिलपति निजं गूहितुं दुश्चरित्रं निर्लज्जस्यास्य वाचा बहुतरकथनीयानि मे विघ्नितानि।भ्राता मे वन्ध्यशीलो भजति किल सदा विष्णुमित्थं बुधांस्ते निन्दन्नुच्चैर्हसन्ति त्वयि निहितमतींस्तादृशं मा कृथा माम्॥४॥
“This sinner keeps chanting ‘Krishna’, ‘Rama’ in order conceal his bad deeds and conduct. Because of this constant chattering of this shameless fellow I am unable to get a chance to talk about many things. This brother of mine cannot do anything fruitful, he just worships Vishnu always” –Thus talk some people about those who are wise and have given their hearts to You. They use abusive words against your devotees and laugh loudly in derision. O Lord! do not make me like them. .
श्वेतच्छायं कृते त्वां मुनिवरवपुषा प्रीणयन्ते तपोभि- स्त्रेतायां स्रुक्स्रुवाद्यङ्कितमरुणतनुं यज्ञरूपं भजन्ते।सेवन्ते तन्त्रमार्गैर्विलसदरिगदं द्वापरे श्यामलाङ्गं नीलं संकीर्तनाद्यैरिह कलिसमये मानुषास्त्वां भजन्ते ॥५॥
People worship you in Krita Yuga as a saint, of pure white complexion, by performing tapas (severe austerities). In Treta yuga they worship You as the embodiment of Yagna, of red complexion, wearing sruk, sruva etc. by the performance of yagas(sacrifices). In Dwapara Yuga You are worshipped in a form shining with the discus and the mace, and of dark complexion, following the tantric system of worship. . In Kali Yuga You are worshipped in a form with deep blue complexion by sankirtan (singing aloud Your names and Your praises) and other means.
सोऽयं कालेयकालो जयति मुररिपो! यत्र संकीर्तनाद्यैः निर्यत्नैरेव मार्गैरखिलद! न चिरात्त्वत्प्रसादं भजन्ते।जातास्त्रेताकृतादावपि हि किल कलौ संभवं कामयन्ते दैवात्तत्रैव जातान् विषयविषरसैर्मा विभो! वञ्चयास्मान्॥६॥
O Enemey of Mura! Giver of Every Thing! This Kali Yuga wins over other yugas because in Kaliyuga only people can quickly please You (get Your blessings) by such effortless means as chanting your names and singing about your exploits and leelas. Even those born in Kruta, Treta and Dwapara yugas wish to be born in this Kali Yuga. We, your devotees, have taken birth in this Kali Yuga fortuitously by luck or fate. Lord! Please do not delude us into thinking that sense objects are sweet like nectar while in fact they are poison.
भक्तास्तावत्कलौ स्युर्द्रमिलभुवि ततो भूरिशस्तत्र चोच्चैः कावेरीं ताम्रपर्णीं किल कृतमालां च पुण्यां प्रतीचीम्।हा! मामप्येतदन्तर्भवमपि च विभो! किञ्चिदञ्चद्रसं त्व-य्याशापाशैर्निबध्य भ्रमय न भगवन् पूरय त्वन्निषेवाम् ॥७॥
In Kaliyuga there will be bhaktas (devotees). In Dravidadesa there will be more bhaktas. Wihin Dravidadesatoo the number of bhaktas will be more on the banks of Kaveri, Tamraparni, Kritamala and Prateechi. O Lord! we are also born in this region and we have a modicum of bhakti to You. Please do not delude us and bind us with the rope of desires. Please give us an opportunity to fully worship you.
दृष्ट्वा धर्मद्रुहं तं कलिमपकरुणं प्राङ्महीक्षित् परीक्षित् हन्तुं व्याकृष्टखड्गोऽपि न विनिहतवान् सारवेदी गुणांशात्।त्वत्सेवाद्याशु सिद्ध्येदसदिह न तथा त्वत्पदे चैष भीरुः यत्तु प्रागेव रोगादिभिरपहरते तत्र हा शिक्षयैनम् ॥८॥
In times gone by King Parikshit took out his sword to kill Kali who was an opponent of dharma and was merciless but he (Parikshit) did not actually kill him pondering over the good points of Kali. In Kali Yuga good actions like Your worship etc. will bear fruit quickly whereas bad actions will yield results only after a long interval. Moreover, Kali is afraid of Your devotees. O Lord! punish this Kali when he prevents people from taking to the path of Bhakti by making people ill etc.
गङ्गा गीता च गायत्र्यपि च तुलसिका गोपिकाचन्दनं तत् सालग्रामाभिपूजा परपुरुष! तथैकादशी नामवर्णाः।एतान्यष्टाप्ययत्नान्ययि, कलिसमये त्वत्प्रसादप्रवृद्ध्या क्षिप्रं मुक्तिप्रदानीत्यभिदधुरृषयस्तेषु मां सज्जयेथाः ॥९॥
O Parapurusha! Gita, Ganga, Gayatri, Tulasi, Gopichandan, worship of Salagrama, Ekadasi and the letters of Your names - these eight which are effortless, make You pleased and therefore in this Kaliyuga they lead people to liberation quickly- so say the rishis. Therefore O Lord! make me attached to these eight.
देवर्षीणां पितॄणामपि न पुनरृणी किङ्करो वा स भूमन् योऽसौ सर्वात्मना त्वां शरणमुपगतः सर्वकृत्यानि हित्वा।तस्योत्पन्नं विकर्माप्यखिलमपनुदस्येव चित्तस्थितस्त्वं तन्मे पापोत्थतापान् पवनपुरपते! रुन्धि भक्तिं प्रणीयाः ॥१०॥
One who, forsaking all actions, totally surrenders himself to You, becomes rid of obligations to the celestials, rishis and forbears; Nor does he become a servant of any of them. The fruits of any bad activity arising out of him unwittingly is wiped out by You, seated in his heart. O Lord of Guruvayoor! block the sorrows springing from my sins and bless me with bhakti. © P R Ramamurthy.
NARAYANEEYAM, DASAKA 91
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto of Srimadbhagavatamwhich focuses on the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of Guruvayoor in these dasakas also. . Given below is the text of the 91st dasaka which eulogises Bhakti (devotion to the Lord) with a prosaic translation in English.
श्रीकृष्ण त्वत्पदोपासनमभयतमं बद्धमिथ्यार्थदृष्टेः मर्त्यस्यार्तस्य मन्ये, व्यपसरति भयं यत्र सर्वात्मनैव।यत्तावत् त्वत्प्रणीतानिह भजनविधीनास्थितो मोहमार्गे धावन्नप्यावृताक्ष स्खलति न कुहचिद्देवदेवाखिलात्मन्॥१॥
O Krishna! You are above all the other gods and the indwelling spirit (atman) of all beings. Worshipping your lotus feet is the best means of totally banishing all fears for those who see things where none exist and suffer from this delusion. He who follows the methods of worshipping as propounded by you will never trip and fall even though he runs on a deluding path blindfolded..
भूमन् कायेन वाचा पुनरपि मनसा त्वत्बलप्रेरितात्मा यद्यत्कुर्वे समस्तं तदिह परतरे त्वय्यसावर्पयामि|जात्यापीह श्वपाकस्त्वयि निहितमतिः कर्मवागिन्द्रियार्थ- प्राणो विश्वं पुनीते न तु विमुखमनास्त्वत्प्रसादाद्विप्रवर्यः ||२|
O Magnificent Lord! powered and motivated by you, the indwelling atman, whatever I do by thought, word or deed, I offer at your lotus feet. Even one who by birth is a shwapaka (one who cooks and eats dogs), if he surrenders to you his mind, deeds, words, sense objects and the prana (vital air), purifies the world; not the best among brahmins who has turned away from your lotus feet.
भीतिर्नाम द्वितीयाद्भवति, ननु मनःकल्पितं च द्वितीयं तेनैक्याभ्यासशीलो हृदयमिह यथाशक्ति बुद्ध्या निरुन्ध्याम्।मायाविद्धे तु तस्मिन् पुनरपि न तथा भाति मायाधिनाथं तं त्वां भक्त्या महत्या सततमनुभजन्नीश! भीतिं विजह्याम् ॥३॥
Fear arises when there is a second (entity, object). The second is only a projection of the mind not real. Let me therefore practice the unity of my atman (individual soul) with you, the paramatman (Universal soul) by disciplining the mind with the higher intellect. When the mind again comes under the influence of maya it goes back to its previous state of seeing multiplicity in place of unity. Then I will continuously think of you and identify with you, the master of maya, with loving devotion and thus conquer my fear.
भक्तेरुत्पत्तिवृद्धी तव चरणजुषां संगमेनैव पुंसा- मासाद्ये पुण्यभाजां, श्रिय इव जगति श्रीमतां सङ्गमेन।तत्संगो देव भूयान्मम खलु सततं, तन्मुखादुन्मिषद्भिः त्वन्माहात्म्यप्रकारैर्भवति च सुदृढा भक्तिरुद्धूतपापा ॥४॥
Just as wealth is acquired by association with the wealthy in this world, the sprouting of devotion and its growth is achieved, by those who have earned enough punya, by association with those who are devoted to your lotus feet. May I always have the company of such devoted people and let me, by hearing stories of your greatness and magnanimity flowing out from their mouths, strengthen my devotion which will wipe out my sins O Lord!
श्रेयोमार्गेषु भक्तावधिकबहुमतिर्जन्मकर्माणि भूयो गायन् क्षेमाणि नामान्यपि तदुभयतः प्रद्रुतं प्रद्रुतात्मा।उद्यद्धासः कदाचित् कुहचिदपि रुदन् क्वापि गर्जन् प्रगाय- न्नुन्मादीवप्रनृत्यन्नयि, कुरु करुणां लोकबाह्यश्चरेयम् ॥५॥
With unwavering regard for devotion as the best way of attaining liberation, let me sing about your incarnations and chant your divine names. By these two means, let my heart melt very soon and may I laugh some times, cry sometimes, shout or sing or dance like mad at other times steeped in love for you and walk completely outside the conventional materialistic way of life. May I have your grace for such a state of mind O Lord!
भूतान्येतानि भूतात्मकमपि सकलं पक्षिमत्स्यान् म्रुगादीन् मर्त्यान् मित्राणि शत्रूनपि यमितमतिस्त्वन्मयान्यानमानि।त्वत्सेवायां हि सिद्ध्येन्मम तव कृपया भक्तिदार्ढ्यं विराग- स्त्वत्तत्त्वस्यावबोधोऽपि च भुवनपते! यत्नभेदं विनैव ॥६॥
O Lord of the worlds! With a subdued mind, I shall pay obeisance to all the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and all that have been formed of these elements such as birds, fish, animals, humans, friends, foes which are all nothing but Your own manifestation. By worshipping You, my devotion will take root, I will develop detachment and True Knowledge about You will dawn on me without any other effort.
नो मुह्यन् क्षुत्तृडाद्यैर्भवसरणिभवैस्त्वन्निलीनाशयत्वा- च्चिन्तासातत्यशाली निमिषलवमपि त्वत्पदादप्रकम्पः।इष्टानिष्टेषु तुष्टिव्यसनविरहितो मायिकत्वावबोधा- ज्ज्योत्स्नाभिस्त्वन्नखेन्दोरधिकशिशिरितेनात्मना सञ्चरेय॥७॥
I shall pass my days without being distracted by hunger, thirst etc. arising in the path of this mundane life, with the mind dissolved in You and not moving away from Your lotus feet even for a second, with continuous remembrance of Your captivating form, neither happy when something good happens nor unhappy when undesirable things occur realizing every thing is Maya, with the mind cooled by the moonlight from Your toe nails which shine like the moon. भूतेष्वेषु त्वदैक्यस्मृतिसमधिगतौ नाधिकारोऽधुना चेत् त्वत्प्रेम त्वत्कमैत्री जडमतिषु कृपा द्विट्सु भूयादुपेक्षा।अर्चायां वा समर्चाकुतुकमुरुतरश्रद्धया वर्धतां मे त्वत्संसेवी तथापि द्रुतमुपलभते भक्तलोकोत्तमत्वम्॥८॥
If I am not yet qualified to experience You as the indwelling spirit (atma) of all beings, May I have love for You, friendship with your devotees, compassion towards dull-heads and indifference to enemies. May I develop earnest interest in worshipping you in an idol or image. Serving you by these means I will soon become one of the best among your devotees. आवृत्य त्वत्स्वरूपं क्षितिजलमरुदाद्यात्मना विक्षिपन्ती जीवान् भूयिष्ठकर्मावलिविवशगतीन् दुःखजाले क्षिपन्ती।त्वन्माया माभिभून्मामयि भुवनपते! कल्पते तत्प्रशान्त्यै त्वत्पादे भक्तिरेवेत्यवददयि विभो! सिद्धयोगी प्रबुद्धः ॥९॥
O Lord of the worlds! Your Maya veils your real nature by projecting it in the form of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and space. It pushes beings, which are tossed about with no control over themselves, into a web of sorrow and misery according to the their many karmas, past and present. O Lord! Let not Your Maya overcome me for which Siddhayogi Prabhuddha has prescribed Bhaktito your lotus feet as the only remedy. .
दुःखान्यालोक्य जन्तुष्वलमुदितविवेकोऽहमाचार्यवर्या- ल्लब्ध्वा त्वद्रूपतत्त्वं गुणचरितकथाद्युद्भवद्भक्तिभूमामायामेनां तरित्वा परमसुखमये त्वत्पदे मोदिताहे तस्यायं पूर्वरङ्गः पवनपुरपते! नाशयाशेषरोगान् ॥१०॥
Seeing the sorrow and suffering through which all beings pass, I will develop dispassion and discrimination and, having obtained from a competent guru the secret of your true nature, develop loving devotion to you by hearing stories about your qualities, leelas and exploits and, overcoming the maya of yours, experience the pure bliss at your lotus feet. This is the first step towards that, O Lord of Guruvayoor!, destroy all my afflictions.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -9
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskasmn 81 to 90 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
Krishna, along with Satyabhama, attended the marriage of Draupadi. He stayed with the Pandavas at Hastinapura for sometime for their happiness. He then established the city of Indraprastha and came back to Dwaraka. Arjuna, in the guise of a sanyasi, abducted and married Krishna’s sister Subhadra whose hand had been promised to Duryodhana by Balaram. Arjuna had the tacit consent of Krishna who somehow pacified an enraged Balaram. Krishna then went to Indrapastha along with Arjuna, Subhadra and Balaram to show his affection for Arjuna and the other Pandavas. While at Indraprastha Krishna met Kalindi on the banks of Yamuna and married her. He helped Arjuna to burn the Khandava Forest to propitiate Agni. Krishna also married Mitravinda who was deeply in love with him but was afraid of her brothers. Satya, daughter of Nagnajit, was won by Krishna after tethering seven powerful bulls simultaneously, taking seven different bodies. Krishna also married Bhadra whose hand was offered by her brothers. Riding on Garuda with Satyabhama seated on his lap and breaking the forts Krishna massacred Mura’s army making Pragjyotishapuram a city with blood flowing. Five-headed Mura rose up from the waters of the sea threatening Krishna who cut off his head by his ckakra. Narakasura who came with sixty five four-tusked elephants also met the same fate as Mura. Praised by Bhumi, Krishna crowned Bhagadatta, son of Narakasura, as the king. Narakasura had kept in captivity sixteen thousand young women who loved Krishna and had taken refuge in him. They were released from captivity by Krishna and sent to Dwaraka. The four-tusked elephants were also sent to Dwarka except the one gifted to Bhagadatta. Krishna then went to swargaloka with Satyabhama to give Aditi her ear globes snatched by Naraksura. They were welcomed and honoured by Indra. Satyabhama was the envy of celestial damsels whom the former excelled in beauty.. Krishna forcibly took with him the Kalpavriksha from heaven after subduing an angered Indra. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:कल्पद्रुं सत्यभामाभवनभुवि सृजन् द्व्यष्टसाहस्रयोषाःस्वीकृत्य प्रत्यगारं विहितबहुवपुर्लालयन् केलिभेदैः ।आश्चर्यान्नारदालोकितविविधगतिस्तत्र तत्रापि गेहेभूयः सर्वासु कुर्वन् दश दश तनयान् पाहि वातालयेश ॥८१.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You planted the kalpataru in the backyard of Satyabhama’s residence. You married the sixteen thousand young women rescued from the captivity of Narakasura, put them in separate houses, kept them in good humour by your playful activities and, taking as many forms, you surprised Narada by being with each of one of those wives in their respective houses, engaged in various mundane activities. You also fathered in each of them ten sons each. O Lord! save me (from my ailments)दशकम्-८२ श्लोकसंख्या-१०
Pradyumna, son of Krishna born of Rukmini , was abducted by Shambara. Pradyumna killed Shambara and, along with Rati, returned to Dwaraka and abducted the daughter of Rukmi. Aniruddha, Pradyumna’s son of excellent qualities, married the grand daughter of Rukmi. Krishna attended this wedding where Balarama killed Rukmi because of a quarrel in the game of dice. Bana, son of Mahabali and a devotee of Lord Siva had one thousand hands. His daughter Usha had, in a dream, intimate relations with Aniruddha whom she had never seen before. She fell madly in love with him and pined for him. Her maid Chitralekha drew pictures of eligible young men for her. Usha recognised Arniruddha in one of the pictures. Chitralekha brought Aniruddha to Usha by her yogic powers and the couple spent time together in secret. Bana got wind of this and imprisoned Aniruddha. This news was brought to Krishna by Narada. Krishna attacked Shonitapuram, capital city of Bana, with the Yadava army. Shiva, guarding the fort, fought back with his bhuthaganas. Bana engaged Satyaki in battle. Kumara, Siva’s son, fought Pradyumna and Krishna himself took on Siva. Krishna countered all of Siva’s astras until Siva fell into a swoon by the mohanastra sent by Krishna. Shiva’s bhuthaganas fled in fear. Bana fought valiantly with five hundred bows but all the bows were broken and his hands were being cut one after another. Shivajwara was overcome by Vishnu jwara. All of a sudden Siva regained consciousness, sang praises of Krishna and requested Krishna to leave Bana, whose sins had been purged, with two hands on each side. Krishna relented and, honoured by Bana, returned to Dwaraka with Aniruddha and Usha who were joined in wedlock. BhattathiriConcludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
द्विजरुषा कृकलासवपुर्धरंनृगनृपं त्रिदिवालयमापयन् ।निजजने द्विजभक्तिमनुत्तमा-मुपदिशन् पवनेश्वर! पाहि माम् ॥८२.१०॥
King Nriga, cursed by a brahmana, had taken the body of a huge lizard and was trapped in a well. O Lord of Guruvayoor! You took him out of the well and despatched him to heaven advising your own people about the importance of showing reverence to brahmanas. Please save me (from my ailments)
दशकम्-८३ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Paundraka Vasudeva king of Kurusha thought (or imagined) that he was an incarnation of Narayana himself. He carried, on his body, the distinguishing marks of Mahavishnu like srivatsa (created by a red hot iron or some other metal), a huge discus made of iron, kaustubha represented by a precious stone, ear globes (kundalas) and yellow silk garments. He sent a messenger to Krishna with the message that he (Paundraka) was the real incarnation of Mahavishnu and Krishna should give up all those distinguishing marks of Vishnu and surrender himself to Paundraka. After the messenger left Krishna came to Paudraka with the Yadava army when Paundraka flung his discus at Krishna who cut off Paundraka’s head with his Sudarsana chakra and destroyed his army. Paundraka, though he challenged Krishna, had mentally identified himself with Mahavishnu. Killed by Krishna he merged in Krishna attaining Sayuja Mukti. Sudakshina, son of the King of Kasi, created Kritya, a fierymalevolent entity by abhichara (black magic), to kill Krishna who flung his Sudarshana chakra at it. The chakra chased the terrible Kritya which, crying hoarse and enraged, went back and burnt Sudakshina himself. The city of Kashi was also destroyed by Krishna’s chakra. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka: .
सांबं कौरव्यपुत्रीहरणनियमितं सान्त्वनार्थी कुरूणांयातस्तद्वाक्यरोषाlद्धृतकरिनगरो मोचयामास रामः ।ते घात्याः पाण्डवेयैरिति यदुपृतनां नामुचस्त्वं तदानीम्तं त्वां दुर्बोधलीलं पवनपुरपते तापशान्त्यै निषेवे ॥८३.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! Samba, son of Krishna by Jambavati, abbducted Lakshana, daughter of Duryodhana but was caught and incarcerated by the Kauravas. Balarama went to the Kauravas to mollify them but enraged by their words threatened destruction of Hastinapura. However, Samba was released and Balarama left the matter at that thinking that it was for the Pandavas to kill the Kaurawas. O Lord of Guruvayur! who can understand your leelas? I take refuge in you for the removal from my afflictions.
During a solar eclipse Krishna, leaving Kritavarma and Aniruddha for the defence of Dwaraka, left for Samanthapanchaka, a place well known for a holy dip during the solar eclipse, along with yadavas and their womenfolk.. Krishna, for the welfare of all, himself took a holy dip, gave cash as dakshina to brahmins and mingled with Pandavas, Kauravas and other friends. Hearing from the wives of Krishna the manner in which Krishna had married them, Draupadi was very pleased as also the other women in the group. Then Krishna, seeing the gopas went to them and eagerly met with the gopis whose bodies had become wafer thin as they were pining in separation from Krishna. The sight of Krishna was a virtual carnival for the gopis whose heart had been stolen by Krishna who found again the joy of nestling in their familiar bosoms. Embracing Radha, Krishna consoled her saying that so much delay was caused because of the fights with enemies. Radha, deeply in love, lost herself in Krishna who imparted to the gopis, who had by this time overcome the pangs of separation, the knowledge that He was the Sachidanandaswarupa Atman in all beings. Gopis realised the truth of this in their lives and experienced the bliss of Krishna Consciousness. The Rishis made Vasudeva perform a Yaga, for the removal of all difficulties and for the benefit of all. The yaga lasted for three months during which period the gopis enjoyed the company of Krishna. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka: व्यपगमसमये समेत्य राधांदृढमुपगुह्य निरीक्ष्य वीतखेदाम्।प्रमुदितहृदयः पुरं प्रयातःपवनपुरेश्वर! पाहि मां गदेभ्यः ॥८४.११॥
When it was time for taking leave, You went to Radha and firmly embraced her. Seeing her free from sorrow, your heart was filled with joy and you then left for Dwaraka. O Lord of Guruvayoor! save me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-८५ श्लोकसंख्या-११Jarasandha, king of Magadha, had kept in captivity twenty thousand and eight hundred kings and was toturing them. Without anyone to turn to for help, they sent a messenger to Krishna begging him to put an end to Jaransandha. When Krishna was preparing to attack Jarasandha with his army, Narada came and informed him of YudhiShthira’s preparations for a Rajasuya Yaga. Making up his mind that both these events could be accomplished simultaneously, Krishna proceeded to Indraprastha, the capital city of Yudhishthira. The reason was that before starting the Rajasuya Yaga Jarasandha had to be defeated any way. YudhiShthira was happy when Krisha came with his wives. Yudhishthira had scored victory over all the other kings except Jarasandha. He therefore entrusted this job to Krishna, Bhima and Arjuna. The three of them went to Jarasandha in the guise of brahmins and asked for a duel from him with any one of the three. Jarasandha, who respected brahmins, readily agreed and chose Bhima as the opponent. It was a terrible duel and Bhima was finding it difficult to cope. Then Krishna by signs told Bhima that he should vertically cleave into two parts Jarasandha’s body in order to kill him. Bhima did accordingly and sent Jarasandha to the abode of Yama. Krishna released all those kings kept in captivity by Jarasandha and asked them to go back to their respective kingdoms and look after their subjects.
Krishna took active part in the Rajasuya Yaga by washing the feet of brahmins etc. Fortunate indeed was Yudhishthira. The question arose who should be honoured by agrapuja in Rajasuya. Sahadeva suggested Krishna’s name and this was accepted by all except Sisupala who opposed it denigrating Krishna. Pandavas took up cudgels against him but Krishna checked them and himself cut off Sisupala’s head with his chakra. Sisupala merged with Krishna as he was continuously thinking of Krishna only for three births albeit as an enemy.Rajasuya was successfully completed and cries of joy arose from the people ‘victory to Yudhishthira’ and ‘victory to Krishna’. However, Duryodhana was green wth envy seeing the prosperity and success of the Pandavas. He was confounded in the hall constructed by Maya for Yudhishthira. Areas with water appeared to him as dry land whereas dry areas appeared as full of water. The result was funny. He appeared to wade through water, careful not to wet his clothes, while walking on dry area. On the other hand he walked freely on areas with water as if it were dry land. It was real funny.Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following slokq..तदा हसितमुत्थितं द्रुपदनन्दिनीभीमयो-रपाङ्गकलया विभो! किमपि तावदुज्जृंभयन् ।धराभरनिराकृतौ सपदि नाम बीजं वपन्जनार्दन! मरुत्पुरीनिलय! पाहि मामामयात् ॥८५.११॥
The funny scene created by Duryodhana generated uncontrollable laughter in Draupadi and Bhima which Krishna encouraged on the sly by his sidelong glances. This way Krishna sowed the seed for the great war of Mahabharata, happy that the purpose of his incarnation, that of reducing the burden of the wicked on Mother Earth, was soon to be accomplished. O Janardana! Lord of Guruvayoor! save me from my illness.
दशकम्-८६ श्लोकसंख्या-११Salva who was defeated by the cadaver forces during the marriage of Rimini obtained a viand (air plane) from Lord Shiva and attacked Wanaka when Krishna was in the country of Korus. Pradyumna fought him with the Yadu army and killed his valiant minister Dyumna. The battle lasted for 27 days. By this time Krishna reached Dwaraka along with Balarama and attacked Salva whose army had been decimated. Salva broke the bow sharnga of Krishna and killed before his very eyes the illusory body of Vasudeva created by his magical powers. Some say Krishna for a second thought it was real but Vyasa does not agree with this view. Saubha was pulverised by the mace of Krishna and cast into the sea and Salva also fell with his neck cut off by the chakra of Krishna. Dantavaktra attacked Krishna with his mace; Krishna killed with his mace Kaumodaki. Like Sisupala he also merged with Krishna whose incarnation was for the liberation of those who always had the Lord in their hearts. YudhiShthira lost Draupadi in a game of dice between him and Duryodhana’s uncle Sakuni, master of deception in the game. Draupadi was dragged into the sabha (assembly) and Dussasana pulled at her robes. She frantically clutched her robes but it was of no avail. Helpless, she cried out her heart in anguish to Krishna to save her honour. Krishna heard her call and while Dussasana kept pulling at the robes of Draupadi, unending lengths of clothing unwound from Draupadi’s body. Exhausted Dussasana gave up the effort. Thus did Krishna save Draupadi’s honour.
On another occasion during the stay of Pandavas in the forest, Durvasa arrived as a guest after Draupadi had partaken of the food from the Akshayapatra, after which the Akshayapatraautomatically becomes empty. Draupadi was afraid of the anger of Durvasa. Krishna came to her rescue and ate the remnants from the Akshayapatra.Durvasa and his disciples had the feeling of eaten a sumptuous meal. Thus was Draupadi saved from her predicament.
When preparations were on for a war, Arjuna opted for Krishna alone on his side while Duryodhana chose to have whole of the army of Krishna. Arjuna sent Krishna as emissary of the Pandavas to Hastinapura where Krishna spoke, on behalf of the Pandavas. While Bhishma, Drona and others accepted the proposals of Krishna, Duryodhana was adamant and refused to yield even as much land as could accommodate the tip of a needle. Krishna then revealed his cosmic form which terrified the city of Hastinapura.
When Arjuna, seeing Bhima, Drona and others ready to fight in the opposite camp, was overcome by the feeling of pity at that thought that he was out to kill them. Krishna told him that there was no death for the atman which is eternal, only the body dies. None can kill and none can be killed. Forget the fear of killing and and, with your mind fixed in me, engage in this righteous war for dharma which is the duty of a kshatriya. Krishna reveals to Arjuna his cosmic form and restored him to his normal state, ready to do Krishna’s bid.
Bhishma, a staunch devotee of Krishna, was killing tens of thousands of kings daily and even Arjuna was tired of fighting. Then, Krishna, hreaking his promise of not taking up weapons in this war, jumped from the chariot and ran towards Bhishma with his sudarshana chakra, as if in a rage, but Bhishma (who had vowed that he would make Krishna take up arms in the war) simply saluted Krishna, with palms of his hands held together at his heart and his bent in reverence.
In the fight with Drona, Krishna accepted on his breast the Vishnavastra aimed at Arjuna by Bhagadutta. Arjuna had vowed to kill Jayadratha by sunset and the latter went into hiding awaiting sunset. Krishna, by the brilliance of his chakra, hid the rays of the sun. Thinking the sun had set Jayadratha appeared on the scene and Arjuna killed him fulfilling his vow.
When Karna aimed his Nagastra at Arjuna, Krishna made the earth sink a few inches allowing the nagastra only to knocked off the crown on the head of Arjuna.
Ashwathama killed the sons of Draupadi when they were asleep. Arjuna, on the advise of Krishna, defused the Brahmastra of Ashwathama but still it still entered the womb of Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu. Krishna, taking a miniscule form, entered the womb and with his chakra and protected the child in the womb.
Bhattathiri concludes this chapter with the following sloka:
धर्मौघं धर्मसूनोरभिदधदखिलं छन्दमृत्युः स भीष्म-स्त्वां पश्यन् भक्तिभूम्नैवहि सपदि ययौ निष्कलब्रह्मभूयम् ।संयाज्याश्वमेधैस्त्रिभिरतिमहितैर्धर्मजं पूर्णकामंसंप्राप्तो द्वारकां त्वं पवनपुरपते पाहि मां सर्वरोगात् ॥८६. ११॥
Bhishma, who could will when he would die, lay on a bed of arrows awaiting Uttarayana, when the Sun turns North. Requested by Yudhishthira, he told the former all that was to be known about dharma.When the Sun turned North he gave up his mortal body and merged in Brahman, all the time seeing before his very eyes the Your captivating form. You made Yudhishthira perform three moreashwamedha yagas which made the latter happy and fulfilled. O Lord of Grurvayoor! free me from my ailments.
दशकम्-८७ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Kuchela was a brahmin who was a classmate of Krishna at the gurukula of Sandeepani. He was greatly devoted to Krishna and had no desire for material things. He led the life of a householder, at peace with himself and the world. His wife, though equally good at heart, had not as much self control. She once asked her husband why he should not approach Krishna, consort of Lakshmi and a boyhood friend of his for wherewithal of a reasonable living. Thus requested by his wife who was famished with hunger, though detesting wealth which makes one conceited and vain, Kuchela set out on his journey to Dwaraka prompted by a strong desire to see Krishna. He carried with him a fistful of flattened rice given by his wife tied in a piece of cloth as a humble offering to his friend. He reached the wondrous city of Dwaraka and entered the house of Rukmini, consort of Krishna, and felt as if he had come to VaikunTha, the abode of Mahavishnu. He was overwhelmed by the loving care, affection and honour with which he was received by Krishna. Taking Kuchela’s hands in his, Krishna recalled their stay at Sandeepani’s gurukula and how once they were caught in the rain and storm while gathering firewood in the forest and how they spent the whole night there in the forest exposed to biting cold winds and how Sandeepani had himself come in the morning searching for them. Kuchela felt shy of giving such an insignificant thing as a fistful of flattened rice to Krishna but Krishna himself snatched it from him and put a handful of flattened rice into his mouth and greatly enjoyed it. Krishna was about to have another helping of the flattened rice but Rukmini held his hand saying that one handful was enough to make Kuchela more than a millionaire. Next morning Kuchela took leave of Krishna without asking for anything. On the way Kuchela was telling himself that Krishna would have surely given him money if he had asked for it. Now what was he going to tell his wife? He was immersed in thoughts of Krishna, what he had talked, his smile, his sweet words, the hospitality extended by him and so on. Then he came upon a beautiful house with spacious halls with walls studded with precious stones. He thought he had lost his way. When he entered the house he saw his wife decked in fine clothes, wearing ornaments of gold and precious stones, surrounded by well-dressed maids. Kuchela realized that this was a bounty from Krishna for a fistful of flattened rice offered with love and devotion. Battathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
स रत्नशालासु वसन्नपि स्वयंसमुन्नमत्भक्तिभरोऽमृतं ययौ ।त्वमेवमापूरितभक्तवाञ्छितोमरुत्पुराधीश हरस्व मे गदान् ॥८७.१०॥
Though living in a house of large halls studded with precious stones, Kuchela was supremely detached and full of loving devotion to You and he attained immortality merging in you. O Lord of Guruvayoor who fulfils the wishes of your devotees! free me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-८८ श्लोकसंख्या-१२Devaki, who had already heard about Krishna bringing back Sandeepani’s son who was dead, expressed a desire to see her six sons who were killed by Kamsa. Krishna went to Sutala where Mahabali entrusted them to Krishna. They were originally sons of Mareechi who, by the curse of Brahma, were born sons of Hiranya Kashipu and in their next birth they were born as sons of Vasudeva by Devaki and were killed by Kamsa. Devaki was happy to see them who were then returned to Mahabali.
Krishna, assuming two bodies, visited, at the same time, Sruthadeva, a devoted brahmin, and Bahulashwa, a king also devoted to Krishna. Shrutadeva offered him cooked food and fruits obtained by him by bhiksha and Bahulashwa treated him with rich royal food. Both were accepted with equal satisfaction by Krishna who blessed both of them.
In Dwaraka, a brahmin complained bitterly of the death of his sons, eight of them one after the other. Krishna, for some reason, brushed it aside saying it was all fate. There was some talk about this among the people. When Arjuna was in Dwaraka the ninth son also died and hearing the anguished cries of the brahmin, Arjuna vowed that he would immolate himself in fire if he did not get the next son of the brahmin alive. Arjuna, without taking Krishna into confidence, fortified the house of the brahmin with his arrows so that none can enter the house. Still the ninth son also was lost. Arjuna, by his yogic powers, went to the world of Yama, swarga and other worlds but was not successful in getting the child. Arjuna proceeded to immolate himself in fire but Krishna prevented him. He took Arjuna in his chariot to Vaikuntha, where they saw Mahavishnu, clothed in yellow silks, dark as the newly formed cloud, reclining on Adishesha with Lakshmi attending on him. Mahavishnu told them that he had taken away the children in order to see them who were his own manifestations in different bodies. The sons of the brahmin were restored to him by Krishna who had enacted this drama only to make Arjuna realise that he (Krishna) was pure sattwic manifestation of the sachidananda Brahman, one without a second
Thus did Krishna delight every one by his exploits and leelas, took the Vrishni clan to greater heightsconducted many yagnas, delighted doe-eyed women with his playful activities. His incarnation, on the pretext of unburdening the Earth of the wicked, was really for the liberation of all those who were devoted to him. The non-dual infinite Brahman itself manifested in all its resplendence, with its plenary powers, in the captivating of Krishna. Narada, who revelled in the joy of Krishna’s remembrance, stayed in Dwaraka those days. He imparted to Vasudeva the knowledge of the unity of the Atman and the Paramatman, Brahman. Uddhava, the foremost among Krishna’s devotees got this knowledge from Krishna himself.
Bhattatiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
सोऽयं कृष्णावतारो जयति तव विभो! यत्र सौहार्दभीति-स्नेहद्वेषानुरागप्रभृतिभिरतुलैरश्रमैर्योगभेदैः आर्तिं तीर्त्वासमस्ताममृतपदमगुः सर्वतः सर्वलोकाःस त्वं विश्वार्तिशान्त्यै पवनपुरपते भक्तिपूर्त्यै च भूयाः ॥८८.१२॥
O Lord of Guruvayoor! This incarnation of yours as Krishna scores over other incarnations. Only in this incarnation people got rid of their afflictions and were liberated by such effortless means as deep friendship, fear, affection, enmity, love, devotion and such other emotions directed towards you. O Lord of such greatness! May you allay the miseries of the whole world and ripen the devotion in the hearts of people.
दशकम्-८९ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Lord Krishna does not confer affluence on a devotee without first ensuring that he has gained control over his mind and senses. Otherwise, the acquisition of wealth will result in his becoming vain, conceited and arrogant. Once the devotee has achieved control of the mind and senses, the Lord is quick to fulfil his wishes and there is no question of the devotee slipping from this state.
Brahma, Siva and other devas are quickly propitiated and quickly angered. They are propitiated by some according to their innate nature. Such people are short-sighted because of which they slip or deviate from their position, Vritrasura is an example of such people. Once he asked Narada who could be easily propitiated, pleased. Narada suggested that he (Vritrasura) propitiate Siva not Vishnu who does not have a friendly disposition to the bad. Vritra did terrible penance and, after seven days, angered that Siva did not appear before him, he prepared himself to cut off his head. Siva appeared before him and Vritra asked of him a silly boon that any one on whose head he (Vritra) placed his hand should drop dead instantly. Vritrasura wanted to test the boon by placing his hand on Siva’s head. Siva ran in panic, frequently looking behind, with Vritra in hot pursuit. Vishnu saw shiva being pursued by the asura and, taking the form of a Vatu, accosted Vritra saying “Why are you, O Vritra, deluded by the words of this ghost, Siva. If you have doubt in my words, try placing your hand on your own head”. Cajoled by vishnu thus, Vritra placed his hand on his own head and instantly dropped dead.
Bhrigu was sent by the rishis on the banks of Saraswati to find out who is the sattwic one among the Trimurtis (the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva). Brahma could not tolerate the indifference and want of respect from Bhrigu, his son. He became angry and was cooled by Narada. Siva also could not countenance absence of reverence from Bhrigu and he was prevented, by his consort Uma, from hurting Bhrigu. Bhrigu then went to Mahavishnu who was having a nap with his head on the lap of Lakshmi. He kicked Mahavishnu on his chest. Vishnu woke up and profusely apologised to Bhrigu and said that he (Mahvishnu) would ever carry the mark of Bhrigu’s foot on his chest as an ornament. Thus, coming to the conclusion that Mahavishnu is the most sattwic of the Trimurtis, Saraswatha rishis attained liberation by loving devotion to his lotus feet.
Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka: जगत्सृष्ट्यादौ त्वां निगमनिवहैर्वन्दिभिरिवस्तुतं विष्णो! सच्चित्परमरसनिर्द्वैतवपुषम्।परात्मानं भूमन्! पशुपवनिताभाग्यनिवहंपरीतापश्रान्त्यै पवनपुरवासिन् परिभजे ॥८९.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayoor! at the beginning of creation the Vedas sang your praises as the sachidananda swarupa, embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss and One without a second. I worship you, who is the Paramatma, who is of immeasurable greatness and the fortune and joy of the gopis. I pray to you, O Lord, for the alleviation of my miseries.
दशकम्-९० श्लोकसंख्या-१०Srimadbhagavata has established the greatness of Mahavishnu, over and above Brahma, Rudra and other devas, in the episodes, among others, of Vritrasura, bhrigu, Mohini, and Ambarisha. The consciousness which shines through equally in all beings, whether with form or without form, and which is indefinable is Mahavishnu, the manifestation of Sachidananda Brahman in pure sattwic form. In the five-fold aspects of Brahman ( according to Saivas) as the Trimurtis, Ishwara and Sadasiva, Ishwara corresponds to that aspect of Vishnu which abides in vaikuntha and Sadasiva corresponds to Mahavishnu. Of the Trimurtis Brahma is more rajasic and less sattwic; Rudra is predominantly sattwic with a trace of tamas; only Mahavishnu is purely sattwic. Adi Sankara, who is impartial, also considered Mahavishnu as above the other aspects of Brahman. .He wrote a bhashyam only for Vishnu sahasranama, not for the sahasranamas of other deities. Sankara gave up his mortal body praising Krishna, the plenary incarnation of Vishnu. In the beginning of Mantrasastra, Mahavishnu, dark as the kalaya blossom and above the Trimurtis, is mentioned as the Lord of all. It advised meditation on Pranava for the aspect of Brahman beyond name and form and meditation on Mahavishnu for the aspect of Brahman with name and form. In Puranasangraha which is the essence of all puranas, Mahavishnu is eulogised above all. In the Satyaloka, the abode of Trimurtis, the position of Vishnu is mentioned as above those of Brahma and Rudra.The form revealed to Brahma by Mahavishnu during the Braahma Kalpa, as mentioned in the second canto of Srimadbhagavatam, is the one which is called by several names like Hari, Shiva and son. This is stated by sri Madhave, a staunch devotee of Siva. It is evident that he considered Mahavaishnu above all the other manifestation of Brahman. Eulogising Siva and putting him above Vishnu in Skanda and other puranas is for the purpose of not shaking the faith of those who, according to their innate nature, worship Shiva and firmly believe that Siva is the dispenser of the fruits of their actions. This is called ArthavaadaBhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
यत् किञ्चिदप्यविदुषापि विभो मयोक्तंतन्मन्त्रशास्त्रवचनाद्यभिदृष्टमेव ।व्यासोक्तिसारमयभागवतोपगीत!क्लेशान् विधूय कुरु भक्तिभरं परात्मन् ॥९०.११॥
O Lord! Whatever little I, who am utterly ignorant, have said is as per the words of Mantra sastra only. O Lord of Guruvayoor who is eulogised in Bhagavata which is essence of whatever Vaysa has written ! fill me with devotion and remove my sufferings.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -8Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskasmn 71 to 80 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
दशकम्-७१श्लोकसंख्या-१० Keshi, a friend of Kamsa, came in the form of a horse to kill Krishna. He kicked on Krishna’s chest with his hooves but Krishna stepped aside with lightning speed and threw him off with great force. Keshi came charging again towards Krishna who put his hand into his mouth. The hand started growing and the horse fell dead with asphyxia. Once Krishna was playing thief and thief-catchers with the gopas. Vyomasura mingled with the gopas and was in the group of thieves. He put the gopas and the cows in a cave and closed the cave with a large rock. Krishna found out the thief and killed him. This dasaka ends with the following sloka:
In this way Lord of Guruvayur ! you gave the inhabitants of Vraja more and more joy with your ever new exploits and pastimes. O Paramatman! Save me from my maladies.
Kamsa heard from Narada that Krishna was in Vraja. He sent Akrura to Vraja to bring Krishna to Mathura on the pretext of Dhanuryagna. Akrura was a devotee of Krishna but was prevented from seeing him for fear of Kamsa. Now that Kamsa himself was sending him to Krishna he was quite excited and overjoyed about it. All through his journey to Vraja he was thinking of Krishna only, whether he would see Krishna, touch him, embrace him and what Krishna would talk to him and so on, with the result he was fully immersed in Krishna consciousness. At those places where Krishna had played and where he had left the marks of his feet, Akrura fell down and covered himself with that dust. While he reached Nanda’s home he saw Krishna watching the cows being milked. It seemed that he was waiting, along with Balarama, for the arrival of his devotee Akrura. Krishna and Balarma had bathed in the evening and were in their yellow and blue clothes respectively. Both were wearing not little and not too many adornments. Akrura got down from his chariot at a little distance and bowed to Krishna and Balaram. Krishna lifted him up, embraced him and, taking his hand, led him inside the house. They spent the whole night talking about various matters. The following sloka concludes this dasaka:
चन्द्रागृहेकिमुतचन्द्रभगागृहे नुराधागृहेनुभवनेकिमुमैत्रविन्दे।धूर्तोविलंबतइतिप्रमदाभिरुच्चै-राशङ्कितोनिशिमरुत्पुरनाथ! पायाः॥७२.१२॥
(The gopis did not get your company that night and) they thought that you, a cheat, were probably spending the night in the house of Chandra or that of Radha or of Maitravinda. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me (from my afflictions)दशकम्-७३ श्लोकसंख्या-१०
Hearing that Krishna was going to Mathura with Akrura, the gopis felt very sad and, in groups, complained ‘What is this?, How did this come about? How can the kind-hearted Krishna abandon us who have no other refuge?” While leaving for Mathura in the early hours of the morning Krishna sent a messenger to the gopis that he (Krishna) would be back very soon and would be with all of them and would submerge them in the ocean of nectar (bliss). Krishna and Balaram set out to Mathura by the chariot of Akrura, followed by the sad and beseeching glances of gopis. Krishna also cast his soft glances towards the gopis as if to reassure them. When they reached the banks of Yamuna Akrura got down from the chariot for performing his morning ablutions. When he dipped into the river he saw Krishna under the water. When he lifted his head from the water he saw Krishna also in the chariot. Wondering, Akrura dipped again into the water and there he saw Mahavishnu reclining on Adishesha with discus, conch, mace and the lotus in his four hands. Akrura was submerged an an ocean of bliss and he sang the praises of the Lord. The vision of the Lord was lost but the experience of bliss continued and his hairs stood on end. Akrura went back to the chariot enriched by this experience. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
किमुशीतलिमामहान्जलेयत्पुलकोऽसावितिचोदितेनतेन।अतिहर्षनिरुत्तरेण सार्द्धंरथवासीपवनेश! पाहिमांत्वम्॥७३.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! you asked Akrura “Was it very cold in the Yamuna? Your hairs are bristling. What is the matter?”. Akrura, with abundance of Joy in him, did not reply and was silent. Please save me from my diseases
Krishna and others reached Mathura in the afternoon and they had food in a park in the outskirts of the town. Then Krishna set out on a sight-seeing trip of Mathura. While he was passing through the Rajpath ( the main road) the women of Mathura assembled in the balconies of the houses raring to see Krishna about whom they had heard so much. They were excited at the prospect and considered themselves fortunate to have Krishna’s darshan. Krishna, for his part, filled their hearts with joy by the glances from the corners of his eyes. On the way Krishna saw a washer man and asked for a few clothes to wear but he refused asking “Who would give you the clothes of the King?”. Krishna severed his head from his body and he attained mukti. Krishna also met a beautiful young woman with a stoop who was carrying perfumes like sandal paste for Kamsa. She gave some sandal paste to Krishna who, holding her by his hands and lifting her up by the chin removed her stoop and she became a world beauty. She was straight in her mind and Krishna made her straight in body also to reflect that mind. He promised her that he would come again to see her. Mathura was in celebration mood. Krishna entered the place where the bow was kept and, struck by his beauty and majesty, the guards kept a respectable distance. The bow had been worshipped and adorned with flowers and ornaments. Krishna lifted the bow, stringed it and broke it in the twinkling of an eye, before any one could say anything. The sound of the bow breaking put fear into the heart of Kamsa and portended his death the next day. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
शिष्टैर्दुष्टजनैश्च दृष्टमहिमा प्रीत्या चभीत्याततःसंपश्यन्पुरसंपदंप्रविचरन्सायंगतोवाटिकाम्।श्रीदाम्नासहराधिकाविरहजंखेदंवदन्प्रस्वप-न्नानन्दन्नवतारकार्यघटनाद्वातेश! संरक्ष माम् ॥७४.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You are seen by the good with love and by the wicked with fear. After seeing the affluence of the city of Mathura and wandering through its streets you went back to the park in the evening. You spoke to Sridama about your sorrow because of separation from Radha and you went to sleep happy that the purpose of taking this incarnation was about to be achieved.
Next day morning every one assembled at their appointed places for seeing the wrestling competition. When Krishna and Balarama came to see the competition the entrance was blocked by the elephant Kuvalayapeeda. Prompted by the mahout, the elephant caught Krishna in its trunk but Krishna slipped out of it, hit the elephant hard on the front portion of its head and playfully hid himself between its legs. Emerging again Krishna playfully felled the elephant on the ground and wrenched out both its tusks. Krishna and Balaram, each carrying a tusk on his shoulder, entered the theatre. Struck by their handsomeness some people said that Nanda was fortunate, others said the gopis were fortunate, still others said Yashoda was fortunate. Some said that we are the fortunate ones in the three worlds as we are able to feast our eyes on Krishna and Balaram. Chanura approached Krishna and Mushtika took on Balaram and started raining blows on them with their fists. People commented on the cruelty of setting the hardened wrestlers on these soft and tender boys. But Krishna and Balaram made mincemeat of the wrestlers and despatched them to the city of Yama. Krishna then dragged Kamsa from his throne, pushed him to the ground and fell on him, finishing him off. Kamsa, who was always thinking of Krishna fearing death from him, attained Sayujya;his soul merged with Krishna. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
तद्भ्रातॄनष्ट पिष्ट्वा द्रुतमथ पितरौसन्नमन्नुग्रसेनंकृत्वाराजानमुच्चैर्यदुकुलमखिलं मोदयन् कामदानैः ।भक्तानामुत्तमं चोद्धवममरगुरोराप्तनीतिं सखायम् लब्ध्वातुष्टोनगर्यांपवनपुरपते! रुन्द्धिमेसर्वरोगान्॥७५.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You killed also the eight brothers of kamsa, bowed to your parents, crowned Ugrasena as the King, made Yadavas happy by fulfilling their desires, got Uddhava, who had learned Niti sastra from Brihaspati, as friend and lived happily in Mathura. May you relieve me from all my ailments.
Krishna and Balarama went to Sandeepani’s ashram and learnt all that was to be learnt in sixty four days. As gurudakshnia Krishna brought back the guru’s son who had died young. The gopis were suffering from the pangs of separation from Krishna all these days when Krishna was in Mathura. They were spending their days in unbroken remembrance of Krishna who, overcome by compassion, sent Uddhava to offer them solace. He also wanted Uddhava to see for himself the intensity of gopis’ love for him (Krishna). Reaching Vraja in the evening, Uddhava gladdened the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda by describing the exploits of Krishna. Seeing the chariot in the morning, the gopis assembled near it leaving all their household chores. They saw Uddhava decked out in exactly the same way as Krishna. Remembering Krishna’s playful actions and his exploits the gopis were unable to utter anything, their throat choking with emotions. Then, with difficulty, they asked Uddhava whether he had been sent by Krishna to meet with his parents, Nanda and Yashoda. Where is Krishna who is the apple of the eyes of the beauties of Mathura? How can any woman forget his loving embraces, kisses, playfulness and the sweet nothings he used to utter? Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka: एवंभक्तिःसकलभुवनेनेक्षितानश्रुतावाकिंशास्त्रौघैःकिमिहतपसागोपिकाभ्योनमोऽस्तु।इत्यानन्दाकुलमुपगतं गोकुलादुद्धवं तं दृष्ट्वाहृष्टोगुरुपुरपते! पाहिमामामयौघात्॥ ७६.११॥
Uddhava returned from Vraja overcome by the intensity of gopis’ loving devotion to Krishna the like of which is neither seen nor heard in the whole world. He mentally offers his salutations to the gopis and was brimming with joy. O Lord of Guruvayoor! You were extremely glad to see Uddhava in that state of mind. Please save me from all my ailments.
Sairandhri, whose stoop had been straightened by Krishna, was pining in love for him and was eagerly awaiting his arrival daily as promised. Krishna kept his promise and spent a few days with her and a son, Upasloka, wasborn out of their union. Krishna visited Akrura at his residence along with Balarama and Uddhava. Akrura was beside himself with joy and offered loving worship to Krishna and the others. Krishna then gathered information about the Pandavas who had returned from their exile and the activities of Dhritarashtra. He decimated the army of Jarasandha, son-in-law of Kamsa , who invaded Mathura several times. Each time his army was routed but he was allowed to return only to come back again with a fresh army. When he was coming prepared for the eighteenth attack, Krishna saw Kalayavana coming with three crores of yavana soldiers. Immediately he commissioned Viswakarma to build the capital city Dwaraka in the midst of the sea and shifted his subjects to the new city. Feigning fear from Kalayavana, Krishna ran ahead and disappeared in a mountain. Kalayavana, in hot pursuit, entered a cave in the mountain in which Muchukunda was in deep sleep. Kicked by Kalayavana, Muchukunda reduced him to ashes by the power of his tapas. Krishna revealed his captivating form to Muchukunda, a staunch devotee. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
तदनु मथुरां गत्वा हत्वा चमूंयवनाहृतांमगधपतिनामार्गेसैन्यैःपुरेवनिवारितः।चरमविजयंदर्पायास्मैप्रदायपलायितोजलधिनगरींयातोवातालयेश्वर! पाहिमाम्॥७७.१२॥
You then went to Mathura and decimated the army of Kalayavana. Prevented on the way by the army of Jarasandha, You allowed him to win this last time. You then returned to Dwaraka, the city in the middle of the sea. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me (from my afflictions).
Rukmini, daughter of the King of Vidarbha, was in love with Krishna about whose qualities of head and heart she had heard from his devotees. Her brother Rukmi, however, was bent upon giving her in marriage to the wicked Shishupala, king of Chedi and a friend of his. Rukmini, for long deeply in love with Krishna, sent a faithful brahmin as a messenger to Krishna. Received by Krishna with honours in his palace, the brahmin communicated to Krishna the depth of Rukmini’s love for him, her predicament because of Rukmi’s intentions and her determination to give up her life if Krishna did not turn up for her rescue. Rukmini had also suggested that Krishna should abduct her, snatching her from the hands of Shishupala and his friends, and marry her in the Rakshasa type of marriage ceremony. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
प्रमुदितेनचतेनसमंतदा रथगतोलघुकुण्डिनमेयिवान्।गुरुमरुत्पुरनायक मे भवान् वितनुतांतनुतांनिखिलापदाम्॥७८.१०॥
You, along with the brahmin who was very happy, hastened to Kundina by chariot. O Lord of Guruvayoor! Kindly attenuate all my difficulties.
दशकम्-७९ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Krishna, along with Balarama and the Yadava army, entered the city of Kundina welcomed by Bhishmaka, father of Rukmini. Informed of the arrival of Krishna by the brahmin, Rukmini was relieved and happy and she heartily saluted the brahmin for the good turn he had done. The people of Kundina, seeing the captivating form of Krishna and seeing how perfect a match he would be for their princess, despised the activities of Rukmi in trying to give Rukmini in marriage to Sisupala. As was the custom, Rukmini along with her maids, visited the temple of Goddess Uma and prayed that Krishna be her husband. While returning from the worship, Krishna, with lightning speed, lifted her and, putting her in his chariot, drove away. The princes waiting for the hand of Rukmini stood stunned by the rapidity with which things had happened. Rukmi followed the chariot and offered battlle but his attempt was foiled by the Yadava soldiers. Rukmi was allowed to escape with his life but with his head shavenBhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:.
तदधिकैरथलालनकौशलैःप्रणयिनीमधिकं सुखयन्निमां ।अयिमुकुन्दभवच्चरितानिनःप्रगदतांगदतान्तिमपाकुरु ॥७९.१२॥
You made your consort Rukmini happy and joyful by your adoration and by being a doting husband. O Mukunda! we always talk and think about your exploits and leelas. Kindly remove all our maladies.
Satrajit obtained from Sun god a jewel known as syamantaka. Krishna asked for the jewel from him but Satrajit refused to part with it. Satraji’s brother Prasena went on a hunt in the forest wearing the syamantaka jewel around his neck. A lion killed Prasena and grabbed the jewel mistaking it for a piece of meat. Jambavan killed the lion and gave the jewel to his child for playing. Since Krishna had wanted the jewel Satrajit presumed Krishna must have killed his brother for the jewel. This started a gossip among people about Krishna. To clear himself, Krishna went into the forest and zeroed in on Jambavan who put up a stiff fight. After a protracted struggle Jambavan, a devotee of Lord Rama, realised that Krishna with whom he was fighting was none other than another incarnation of Rama. He gave the jewel to Krishna along with his daughter Jambavathi. Krishna restored the jewel to Satrajit who, ashamed of his behaviour, atoned his mistake by giving his daughter Satyabhama’s hand to Krishna along with the jewel. But Krishna returned the jewel to Satrajit himself. Heeding the words of Akrura and Kritavarma, Satadhanwa killed Satrajit and appropriated the syamantaka jewel. A grieving Satyabhama went to Hastinapura where Krishna consoled her and killed Satadhanwa. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
यातंभयेनकृतवर्मयुतंपुनस्त-माहूयतद्विनिहितंचमणिंप्रकाश्य|तत्रैवसुव्रतधरेविनिधायतुष्यन्भामाकुचान्तशयनः पवनेश पायाः ॥८०.११॥
O Lord of Guruvayur who takes rest on Satyabham’s bosom! You called Kritavarma and Akrura who had gone away afraid of you and brought to light the jewel ( which had been left with Akrura by Satadhanwa). You were then happy to leave the jewel with Akrura as his conduct and character were good. May you save me (from my afflictions)© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -7Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskasmn 61 to 70 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
दशकम्-६१ श्लोकसंख्या-१०One day Krishna took the cowboys far away from Vrindvan with idea of blessing the wives of the brahmins. BY the time they reached the place it was midday and every one was hungry and thirsty. Krishna told the cowboys to go and ask food from the brahmins who were conducting a yagna. The Brahmins pretended that they did not hear anything and kept mum. The gopas went back and reported to Krishna. Krishna told the gopas to go and tell the wives of the brahmins that Krishna had come and was asking food for him and his friends. As soon as they heard Krishna’s name, the wives were excited and immediately went with the gopas with a variety of food preparations and liquids to drink. They saw Krishna with the peacock feather on his hair, Kundalas shining on his cheeks, compassion in his eyes with one hand on the shoulder of a gopa. Krishna accepted the food brought with pleasure and persuaded them to go back to their husbands and complete the yagna though they were reluctant to leave the company of Krishna. One brahmani was prevented by her husband from going and she gave up her life then and there with her heart filled with the thought of Krishna.निरूप्य दोषं निजमंगनाजनेविलोक्य भक्तिं च पुनर्विचारिभिःप्रबुद्धतत्त्वैस्त्वमभिष्टुतो द्विजै-र्मरुत्पुराधीश्! निरुन्धि मे गदान् ॥६१.१०॥
The Brahmins realised their mistake and appreciated the devotion of their wives. Realising that you are the incarnation of Mahavishnu, the pure sattwic aspect of Brahman, they sang your praises. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my maladies.
दशकम्-६२ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Once Krishna saw the gopas collecting material for a yagna to propitiate Indra. Though he knew this very well he pretended ignorance and enquired for what purpose these arrangements were being made. Nanda explained that Indra blesses them with rains every year. Without rains their cows will not have grass to eat and there won’t be any water for agriculture. That is why every year they perform this yagna to please Indra. Krishna argued: “Rains are created by the punya (good deeds) of beings, not by the whim of Indra. Do the trees in the dense forests offer worship to Indra? Our cows need grazing grounds with grass for which we should offer worship to the Govardhana mountain. Brahmins are at a higher pedestal than the devas. Let us also worship them.” Gopas accepted Krishna’s arguments and arranged to worship the Govardhana Mountain. Krishna himself accepted the offerings made to the mountain and told the people that the mountain is accepting the offerings and it can protect all of them if at all Indra got angry. This daska concludes with the following sloka:
सुरेन्द्रः क्रुद्धश्चेत् द्विजकरुणया शैलकृपया-प्यनातङ्कोऽस्माकं नियत इति विश्वास्य पशुपान् ।अहो किं नायातोगिरिभिदिति सञ्चित्य निवसन्मरुद्गेहाधीश! प्रणुद मुरवैरिन्! मम गदान् ॥६२.१०॥
O Lord! You convinced the gopas that If Indra becomes angry they will have no problems by the grace of the brahmins and the mountain. You then wondered why Indra had not come so long (after his yagna was thwarted). O Lord of Guruvayur! slayer of Mura! Please free me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-६३ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Dark clouds matching the complexion of Krishna, accompanied by thunder reverberating in all directions, gathered over the sky of Vraja. The gopas, threatened by the continuous downpour accompanied by hailstones, cried out to Krishna for protection from an angry Indra. Krishna told them not to be afraid, the Govardhana mountain was capable of warding off the attack of Indra, they should not doubt this. Saying thus Krishna, a smile playing on his face, lifted up the Govardhana mountain from its roots and held it aloft with one hand asking every one to come and occupy the expanse of fine sand under it, away from the downpour. He playfully carried on a banter with the girls and those of his age and scratched the bodies of cows that nestled up to him with one hand. Indra maintained the downpour continuously for seven days thinking that Krishna would put down the mountain when his hand started aching. But nothing of that sort happened. Krishna was unmoved even after the lapse of seven days. But the clouds had exhausted themselves and the rain stopped automatically. Krishna asked every one to move out and put the mountain back on its base. This dasaka concludes with the following sloka:
’धरणिमेव पुरा धृतवानसिक्षितिधरोद्धरणे तव कः श्रमः’ ।इति नुतस्त्रिदशैः कमलापते!गुरुपुरालय पालय मां गदात्॥६३.१०॥
“O consort of Lakshmi! You had held aloft the whole of this earth before (in your Varaha incarnation); what to talk of lifting this mountain, it is child’s play for you”, thus praised by the celestials, O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my ailments
दशकम्-६४ श्लोकसंख्या-१०The gopas, seeing the superhuman exploits of Krishna, like lifting up the mountain with one hand, asked Nanda about the predictions in his horoscope. Nanda narrated to them what Garga Muni had told him about the greatness of Krishna. After hearing that their love and respect for Krishna increased many times. Indra, mortified in his attempt to put down Krishna and his conceit deflated, came down from heaven with Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, and bowed at the feet of Krishna begging his pardon. Kamadhenu, moved by love for Krishna, drenched him with milk from her udders, calling him “Govinda’. Indra also bathed Krishna by the waters of the celestial Ganga brought by his elephant airavata and, taking leave of Krishna, went back to his world.
Once, when Nanda was bathing in Yamuna, the aides of Varuna took him away. Krishna went to the abode of Varuna who, excited on Krishna’s arrival, received him with honour and sent back with him Nanda who narrated the incident to the gopas. They were convinced by now that Krishna was none other than the Lord of the worlds. They were raring to see his abode and Krishna revealed to them his sachidananda swarupa, (ocean of Consciousness and Bliss) in which they were submerged for long until Krishna brought them back to their mundane existence. , करबदरवदेवं देव! कुत्रावतारेपरपदमनवाप्यं दर्शितं भक्तिभाजाम् ।तदिह पशुपरूपी त्वं हि साक्षात् परात्मापवनपुरनिवासिन् पाहि मामामयेभ्यः ॥६४.१०॥
O Lord! In which other incarnation have you shown your devotees your real nature as clearly as a ‘badara fruit on the plam’? O the Lord of Guruvayur! seen here in the form of a cowboy, you are certainly the sachidanada brahman, save me from my maladies.
दशकम्-६५ श्लोकसंख्या-९Krishna, to redeem his promise to the gopis, chose a moonlit night to repair to the forests on the banks of the Yamuna and played his flute. The melodies from the flute created a commotion in the hearts of the gopis and they left whatever they were doing ‘ as is where is’ and hastened to meet their sweetheart Krishna. Some came half-adorned, some wore the ornaments in the wrong places, some forgot to cover their breasts, some left their children half-fed Some, unable to come out of the house, identifying themselves with Krishna in their heart of hearts left their mortal bodies and became one with the sachidananda brahman. These were the real fortunate ones.
अभ्यागताभिरभितो व्रजसुन्दरीभि-र्मुग्धस्मितार्द्रवदनः करुणावलोकी ।निस्सीमकान्तिजलधिस्त्वमवेक्ष्यमाणोविश्वैकहृद्य हर मे परमेश रोगान् ॥६५.९॥
The beauties of Vraja who had come there saw you as a sea of limitless brilliance, with face lit up by a captivating smile and glances tinged with compassion. O Beloved to the heart of all !, please take away my ailments.
दशकम्-६६ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Though Krishna wanted to satisfy the gopis who were stricken by the arrows of Cupid, he told them virtues of observing their dharma as wives to their husbands, as mothers to their children as daughers-in-law to the parents of the husband, daughters to their parents and so on and asked them to go back to their homes. The gopis, however, were not in a state of mind to heed this advice of Krishna. They beseeched Krishna not to be so unkind and abandon them. Moved by their tears, Krishna started to play with them on the moonlit banks of the Yamuna with sweet talks, hand-holdings, kisses, embraces and so on. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following verse::
राधातुंगपयोधर साधुपरीरंभलोलुपात्मानम्।आराधये भवन्तंपवनपुराधीश! शमय सकलगदान् ॥६६.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! fond of embracing the raised breasts of Radha! I worship you. Please cure me of my diseases.
दशकम्-६७ श्लोकसंख्या-१०The gopis, thus pleased by Krishna, became conceited and each one thought that Krishna loved her more than the others. Sensing this conceit of the gopis, Krishna vanished from the scene of their activities, taking with him only Radha. Now it was the turn of gopis to lament the disappearance of Krishna. They started searching for Krishna in groups and unable to stand the pangs of separation they asked every tree, creeper or plant whether they had seen Krishna who had stolen their hearts. Gopis completely identified themselves with Krishna and enacted Krishna’s leelas. Again they started searching and found Radha also abandoned. Then all of them searched in the forest until darkness set in. Seeing the gopis steeped in sorrow Krishna, his heart full of compassion for them, appeared before them again, his form enthralling all the three worlds. This dasaka concludes with the following verse:सन्दिग्धसन्दर्शनमात्मकान्तंत्वां वीक्ष्य तन्व्यः सहसा तदानीम् ।किं किं न चक्रुः प्रमदातिभारात्?स त्वं गदात् पालय मारुतेश! ॥६७.१०॥
Gopis who were doubtful about your darshan ever again, were pleasantly surprised when you appeared before them and were mad with joy. What did they not do because of their abundance of love for you? O Lord of Guruvayur ! save me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-६८ श्लोकसंख्या-१०The joy of the gopis knew no bounds when they got the company of Krishna again. They stood still before Krishna as if they had been bathed in a stream of nectar. One of gopis took Krishna’s hand and put it to her breasts and stood still with her hairs bristling. Another gopi took Krishna’s soft hands and put it around her neck as if trying to prevent the exit of oxygen from her throat. Another one received in her mouth chewed areca nuts from Krishna’s mouth. Another one, with eyes brimming with tears, looked at Krishna and she would not touch Krishna who had left her alone mercilessly in the forest. Krishna consoled them all saying that they should not think that he was heard-hearted, he was deep in love with them and what he had one was only to further strengthen their love for him. In the last verse of the dasakam given below Bhattathiri entreats the Lord to relieve him of his maladies:
इति गिराधिकं मोदमेदुरै-र्व्रजवधूजनैः साकमारमन् ।कलितकौतुको रासखेलनेगुरुपुरीपते! पाहि मां गदात् ॥६८.१०॥
Thus by soft and sweet words you revelled in the company of the gopis and became interested in the rasa dance with them. .O Lord of Gruruvayur ! save me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-६९ श्लोकसंख्या-१०Krishna had peacock feathers stuck into his locks. His ear globes were oscillating, he was wearing gold-diamond necklaces and the vanamala. The sandal paste applied on his body gave out a soothing fragrance. He was donning a bright yellow silk garment on his waist and anklets of gold and diamond. Decked out in all this Krishna stole the hearts of the gopis. The gopis were also decked out in fine garments and gold-diamond jewellery. Krishna, by his yogic powers, took many forms so that between each pair of gopis there was Krishna and in the centre of the circle so formed was also Krishna. When the rasa dance started the celestials came crowding and from above they were watching the leela of Krishna. The damsels of heaven envied the gopis who were fortunate enough to get Krishna for company. Krishna played on the flute and all of them danced to the music of the flute with the tinkling of bangles and anklets. The gopis merged themselves in Krishna consciousness and forgot the external world. In the last verse of this dasaka given below Bhattathiri entreats the Lord to save him from his ailments:
कामिनीरिति हि यामिनीषु खलु कामनीयकनिधे भवान्पूर्णसम्मदरसार्णवं कमपि योगिगम्यमनुभावयन् ।ब्रह्मशंकरमुखानपीह पशुपांगनासु बहुमानयन् भक्तलोकगमनीयरूप! कमनीय! कृष्ण! परिपाहि माम् ॥६९.११॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! Thus did you give to the gopis of Vraja the experience of being immersed in the ocean of pure bliss, available only to the yogis, so that they earned the respect of even Brhama and Sankara. Only your devotees can understand your form, O embodiment of beauty! save me from my ailments. .
दशकम्-७० श्लोकसंख्या-१०Krishna went with the gopis to Ambikavana to offer worship at the Siva temple there and spent the night there. During the night a python devoured Nanda and in spite of the best efforts of the gopas it would not leave him. Then Krishna came and touched him with is foot. Immediately the python was transformed into a vidyadhara. He bowed to Krishna and told him that he had become the python because of the curse of a Muni. Once when Krishna and Balarama were playing with the gopis shankhachuda, a follower of Kubera, abducted the gopis. Krishna chased him and recovered the gopis and confiscated the precious stone on his head. The gopis pined in separation when Krishna was away and spent their time recalling his exploits and the rasa dance with him. Arishtaka, sent by Kamsa, came in the form of a bull to Kill Krishna. Krishna caught hold of him with lightning quickness and despatched him to the abode of Yama.Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
औक्षकाणि परिधावत दूरं वीक्ष्यतामयमिहोक्षविभेदी ।इत्थमात्तहसितैः सह गोपै-र्गेहगस्त्वमव वातपुरेश! ॥७०.१०॥
“O bulls ! run from here. Here is Krishna the killer of bulls” saying this the gopas laughed. You returned home along with them. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my diseases.”
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -6
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala . In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskas 51 to 60 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
दशकम्-५१ श्लोकसंख्या-१०In this dasakam is narrated the story of Aghasura whom Krishna killed and the picnicking of Krishna with the cowboys. One day Krishna decided on picnicking in the forest along with the cowboys. They packed their eatables and set out early morning to the forest. Grazing the calves, the cowboys came across a huge cave-like structure right in the middle of their path. It looked like a huge python with its mouth wide open. Actually it was aghasura who had taken this form to kill Krishna, who was a little distance away. The cowboys entered what they thought was a cave and the asura waited for the entry of Krishna without closing his mouth. The heat within the body of the python was unbearable. Krishna instantly knew that this was a trap laid by the asura in which the cowboys had been caught. To save them Krishna entered the mouth of the python. At its neck his body started growing until all the passages for inhaling air had been closed. The asura died unable to breathe and Krishna ripped open his neck and came out extricating the cowboys. The moment Krishna came out a lustrous form emerged from the body of the asura and merged in Krishna. It was now midday and Krishna and the cowboys assembled in a comfortable place for picnicking. Krishna, seated in the middle of a circle formed by the cowboys, with his horn and flute stuck at his waist and the eatables arranged on the palms of his hands, was making the cowboys laugh with his jokes. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
’सुखाशनं त्विह तव गोपमण्डलेमखाशनात्प्रियमिव गोपमण्डले ।’इति स्तुतस्त्रिदशवरैर्जगत्पते!मरुत्पुरीनिलय! गदात् प्रपाहि मां ॥५१.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur ! the celestials wondered that you seemed to enjoy the picnic with the cowboys than the offerings made in sacrifices and praised you. O Lord of the worlds! Lord of Guruvayoor! save me from my afflictions.
The story of this dasaka is described below:Brahma was amazed by Krishna’s divine powers not evident in other incarnations and also by the merging of the soul of aghasura in him. To test Krishna he made the calves disappear by his maya. When Krishna went in search of the calves Brahma hid the cowboys also. Krishna understood that this was the handiwork of Brahma. Then he himself became all the cowboys, the calves, the horns, the bugles, the canes, the pouches and everything else, and sporting, as before, in the forest he came back and went into the respective houses as calves, cowboys etc. Now that Krishna, who is the very soul of everyone, had come as their sons, unknowingly, the gopis felt more love for them. Similarly the cows loved their calves more. This play continued for a year by the reckoning of the time on the earth. For Brahma this was like a second. Seeing two sets of calves and cowboys, one set hidden by him and the other set created by Krishna, Brahma was confounded. As he was contemplating what had happened, all the calves and cowboys appeared to him as so many Mahavishnus reclining on Adisesha, decked out in resplendent jewellery and tended by Lakshmi. He saw himself at the service of so many forms of Narayana. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
नश्यन्मदे तदनु विश्वपतिं मुहुस्त्वांनत्वा च नूतवति धातरि धाम याते ।पोतैः समं प्रमुदितैः प्रविशन् निकेतंवाताल्याधिप! विभॊ ! परिपाहि रोगात् ॥५२.१०॥
His conceit shattered, Brahma showered encomiums on you, the Lord of all the worlds, again and again, and went back to his abode. Lord of Guruvayur! you also returned home along with the happy cowboys. Please save me from my ailments.
Krishna by now had left behind his childhood and was in the age group of five to ten years. Now, instead of tending calves he switched to tending cows. One day when Krishna, along with Balaram, was enjoying the beauty of the forest, they visited the Dhenuka forest full of high Palmyra trees at the suggestion of a friend Sridama. Balarama shook the trees with his strong hands and the ground was spread with fruits which fell from the trees. Hearing the sound of falling fruits, the demon Dhenuka came running in the form of a donkey. At the instance of Krishna Balarama killed him. His followers in the form of foxes were killed by Krishna and Balarama together by throwing them against the tall palm trees. Then they enjoyed the soft and sweet jellylike substance at the core of the fruits along with the cowboys.
’हतो हतो धेनुक’ इत्युपेत्यफलान्यदद्भिर्मधुराणि लोकैः ।जयेति जीवेति नुतो विभो! त्वंमरुत्पुराधीश्वर पाहि रोगात् ॥५३.१०॥
Saying ‘Dhenuka was killed’ every one ate those fruits and showered praises on you saying ‘Victory to Krishna’ and ‘Long Live Krishna’. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my diseases.
Maharshi Saubhari did tapas for twelve years submerged in the waters of Kalindi (Yamuna). Garuda who was eating the fish in the Kalindi was cursed by Saubhari saying that he would die if he fed on the fish in Kalindi. Around that time, Kaliya the serpent, on he strength of his powerful venom, dared to appropriate for himself Garuda’s share of food. Garuda struck Kaliya with his powerful wings. For fear of Garuda, Kaliya took refuge in the Kalindi river where Garuda was forbidden by Saubhari’s curse. The waters of Yamuna were poisoned and the trees on the bank were scorched by the intensity of the poison. Birds flying over Kalindi fell dead. Krishna was moved by compassion. Then one day, when Balarama did not accompany Krishna, the cowboys, driven by intense thirst because of the hot summer, drank the poisoned Yamuna water. Seeing them falling to the ground dead, one after another, Krishna revived them by the glances from the corners of his eyes showering nectar (amrit). The cowboys, who got up as if from sleep, were experiencing a wonderful sense of rejuvenation. Seeing Krishna before them they embraced him knowing that this miracle was wrought by him.This dasaka concludes with the following sloka:एवं भक्तान् मुक्तजीवानपि त्वंमुग्धापाङ्गैरस्तरोगांस्तनोषि ।तादृग्भूतस्फीतकरुण्यभूमारोगात् पाया वायुगेहधिवास ॥ ५४.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You revive, by the glances from the corners of your eyes, even those devotees of yours who have given up their lives. You are the repository of such compassion. Kindly save me from my diseases.
Krishna, determined to drive away Kaliya from Kalindi, climbed on to the branch of a Kadamba tree on the bank and plunged into the deep waters of the Kalindi river, turbulent with billowing waves. Kaliya, disturbed by the turbulence, rose to the surface with blood-shot eyes and his thousand hoods radiating poison. He coiled around Krishna and injected his poison into many places in his body. Seeing Krishna’s condition, the cowboys and cows fell in deep sorrow. There were omens in Vraja portending evil because of which every one assembled on the banks of Kalindi. When all had lost hope to the extent of being prepared to giveup their own lives, Krishna extricated himself from the coilss of the snake and, jumping on to the top of Kaliya’s hoods, started a beautiful dance. Bhattathiri concludes to narrative of this dasaka with the following sloka: जहृषुः पशुपास्तुतुषुर्मुनयोववृषुः कुसुमानि सुरेन्द्रगणाःत्वयि नृत्यति मारुतगेहपते!परिपाहि स मां त्वमदान्तगदात् ॥५५.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur ! when you were dancing, gopas were overjoyed, the sages sang your praises and the celestials showered flowers on You. Save me, O Lord!, from this intractable disease.
Krishna danced on the hoods of Kaliya, with his sparkling Kundalas oscillating, for quite sometime, to the beating of drums by the celestials and the dancing of the damsels of heaven. Leaving those hoods which had bowed down, Krishna danced on Kalia’s hoods which were raised, beating time with the clapping of his hands. With all his hoods pounded to pulp by Krishna, Kaliya was in real bad shape, vomiting blood which turned the water purple. Kalia’s wives, seeing the pitiable condition of their husband requested Krishna to pardon him and sang his praises eulogising his exploits. Seeing the devotional fervour of the wives of Kalia, Krishna was moved by compassion and granted life to Kalia who, surrendering himself, bowed to Krishna. At the instance of Krishna, Kalia left Kalindi and moved to a place called Ramanakam in the midst of the sea where Garuda would not harm him. Since it was already late evening every one spent the night sleeping on the banks of the river. All of a sudden they were surrounded by a forest fire and, finding themselves trapped in the middle, they cried to Krishna for help. Krishna swallowed the fire; this is no wonder as Agni is the Lord’s mouth, in his cosmic form. This dasaka concludes with the following sloka:’शिखिनि वर्णत एव हि पीततापरिलसत्यधुना क्रिययाप्यसौ” ।इति नुतः पशुपैर्मुदितैर्विभो!हर हरे! दुरितैः सह मे गदान् ॥५६.१०॥
The happy gopas praised Krishna saying “Agni (Fire) is yellow (peetataa) by colour ; now it has attained peetata ( the state of having been drunk) by action also” ,O the Lord of Guruvayur! Please take away my sins as well as my diseasesदशकम्-५७ श्लोकसंख्या-१०One day Krishna and Balaram, along with the other cowboys, went to a banyan tree, known as bhandeeraka, in Vrindavan. There Krishna found that an asura had sneaked into their group in the guise of a cowboy. He, however, did not give an inkling of this to the asura, with a plan in his mind. He picked cowboys who could do hand-to-hand fighting and divided them into two groups. Two members, one from each group, would engage in fighting. The vanquished would carry the victor on his shoulders. The asura in the guise of a gopa, who was afraid of Krishna’s strength, was accommodated in Krishna’s group so that he would not be called upon to fight Krishna. Sridama defeated Krishna in the fight and Krishna carried him on his shoulders. The asura fought with Balaram and was defeated. He carried Balaram on his shoulders for a long distance away from Krishna assuming his original form seeing which Balaram was taken aback. Balaram looked back on Krishna’s face and his confidence and courage returned. He killed the asura striking with his iron-strong fists. Krishna embraced Balaram when he returned to Bhandiraka after killing pralamba which was the name of the asura.The concluding sloka of this dasaka is this:
आलंबो भुवनानांप्रालंबं निधनमेवमारचयन् ।कालं विहाय सद्योलोलंबरुचे हरे! हरेः क्लेशान् ॥५७.११॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You, the aalamba (support) of all the worlds, thus managed to kill pralamba, the asura. O Lolambaruche ( dark as the honey-bee)! O Lord Hari! take away my afflictions.दशकम्-५८ श्लोकसंख्या-१०
While Krishna was engaged in playing with the children and killing the pralambasura, the cows strayed far away grazing and reached a forest called Aisheeka. They had strayed far away from Vrindavan where they did not experience the summer heat. But here the heat was unbearable and on top of it they were thirsty and separated from Krishna. Krishna, with a few other gopas, went in search of the cows and found that they had lost their way and were wandering, directionless, in a munja forest. When Krishna approached the herd of cows, a forest fire started raging from all sides. Caught in the forest fire and almost half-burnt they cried out in pain for help and took refuge in Krishna, the only one who could save them. Krishna asked them not to be afraid and to close their eyes. They obeyed him and Lo! there was no forest fire and no munja forest when they opened their eyes. All of them were in the vicinity of bhandeera. Krishna and others spent the summer time on the banks of the Yamuna. During the rainy season they spent time in the caves of mountains. The Govardhan Mountain sang the praises of Krishna by the coo of peacocks and worshipped him with a variety of flowers.The concluding sloka of this dasaka is this:
अथ शरदमुपेतां तां भवद्भक्तचेतो-विमलसलिलपूरां मानयन् काननेषु ।तृणममलवनांते चारु सञ्चारयन् गाःपवनपुरपते! त्वं देहि मे देहसौख्यम् ॥५८.१०॥
In the season after the rains (sharat), when water was pure as the hearts of your devotees, you took the cows for grazing into the forest. O Lord of Guruvayur! Give me bodily comfort and health.
Seeing the captivating form of Krishna daily the gopis became more and more in love with him. Struck as they were by the arrows of Cupid, they could not bear his separation evening during the day time when he went into the forest with his cows. .When Krishna set out to the forest in the mornings they cast their glances on him, their hearts thinking only of him. They heard the melodies emanating from Krishna’s flute from a distance and spent their time talking about Krishna’s exploits. Hearing the melodies from Krishna’s flute, the damsels of heaven were stricken by the arrows of Cupid, birds and animals stood still as if in intense concentration and even the rocks of the mountain melted. The Gopis thought that the celestial damsels, the birds, the animals, the cows and the forest who could look at Krishna without inhibitions had indeed achieved the purpose of their lives. Every day the gopis, struck by love for Krishna, and helpless in that love, did not know what to do.Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following verse:रागस्तावज्जायते हि स्वभावा-न्मोक्षोपायो यत्नतः स्यान्न वा स्यात् ।तासां त्वेकं तत् द्वयं लब्धमासीत्भाग्यं भाग्यं ! पाहि मां मारुतेश ॥५९.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayoor! Love arises naturally in the heart, the path to mukti (liberation) my open or not open with human effort. For the Gopis both the above things were at hand. Love for Krishna is also a path to liberation. They were indeed most fortunate. Please save me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-६० श्लोकसंख्या-१०Gopis of Vrindavan in their teens, deeply in love with Krishna, observed during the first month of winter, a month-long vrata wherein they bathed in the Yamuna early morning and offered worship to the sand idol of Girija, consort of siva, praying to her that they get the son of Nanda as their husband. When the vrata was about to conclude Krishna, moved by their love, went to Yamuna where they were bathing leaving their clothes on the banks of the river. Gathering their clothes in his hands, Krishna climbed up a tree on the bank and told the gopis to come to him one by one to receive their clothes. Moved by the conflicting emotions of love and shyness, they requested Krishna not to embarrass them but Krishna’s reply was only a sweet smile. Finally the gopis came up to the tree and, joining their palms in salutation, received their clothes and got an assurance from Krishna that he was aware of what was in their mind and he would give a fitting reply to them. Hearing these sweet words from Krishna the gopis, glancing at his face again and again with passionate love, went back to their homes. Bhattathiri ends this dasaka with the following verse:इति नन्वनुगृह्य वल्लवी-र्यमुनान्तेषु पुरेव सञ्चरन् ।करुणाशिशिरो हरे! हरत्वरया मे सकलामयावलिम् ॥।६०.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! after blessing the gopis with your assurance you continued your daily routine of grazing the cows in the vicinity of Yamuna in the forests. O Lord, full of compassion! please free me of my afflictions quickly.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -5
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskas 41 to 50 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasakais also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
During the Putana incident Nanda had been away at Mathura to pay taxes as a subordinate chieftain. There he met with Vasudeva who cautioned him about something untoward happening in GoKul. Nanda hastened to Gokul and found the terrifying body of Putana. He heaved a sigh of relief when he heard that Krishna was fine. The gopas cut Putana’s body into pieces and burnt them when fragrance of sandalwood emanated from the burning body. Putana had suckled Krishna though with the intention of killing him; that was the reason for the fragrance. The whole of Nandagokul doted on Krishna and was captivated by his childish activities and pranks. It was celebration time for all the gopas whose happiness knew no bounds.
Bhattathiri concludes this daska with the following sloka:
निपाययन्ती स्तनमङ्गगं त्वां विलोकयन्तीवदनंहसन्ती।दशाम्यशोदाकतमांनभेजेसतादृशःपाहिहरे! गदान्माम्॥४१.१०॥
What supreme bliss Yasoda must have experienced while suckling You, looking at your face and smiling. O Lord who had such childhood! Save me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-४२ श्लोकसंख्या-११This dasaka describes the shattering of Sakatasura by child Krishna. It was one of those birthdays of Krishna. Yasoda had invited all relatives, friends and brahmins for the celebration. Krishna was lying near a cart loaded with many things. Yasoda was busy in the kitchen. Suddenly there was great sound of breaking wood. Everyone ran to the place from where the sound was coming and they were surprised to see the cart shattered to pieces. All were surprised that Krishna was not at all hurt. Some of the boys guarding Krishna reported that the cart was broken to pieces when the child Krishna kicked with his legs. No one could believe this though it was a fact. Nanda picked up Krishna who, he thought, had been miraculously saved by the Lord and covered him with kisses, his hairs bristling with emotion. The dasaka concludes with the following sloka:
प्रपूजितैस्तत्र ततो द्विजातिभि-र्विशेषतोलंभितमंगलाशिषः।व्रजंनिजैर्बाल्यरसैर्विमोहयन्मरुत्पुराधीश! रुजांजहीहिमे॥४२.११॥
It was on this occasion that brahmins specially worshipped for your welfare, showered their blessings on you and you captivated the hearts of Vraja by your endearing traits and actions of childhood. O Lord of Guruvayur of such childhood! Knidly free me from my afflictions.
दशकम्-४३ श्लोकसंख्या-१०This dasaka describes the Trinavarta episode. One of those days Yasoda found it difficult to carry child Krishna. Wondering how the child could gain so much weight in so short a time, she put him to bed and went about doing her household chores. Suddenly there arose the sound of a hurricane raising a dust-storm which enveloped the whole atmosphere making it impossible for anyone to see what was happening. This was the handiwork of an asura called trinavarta who gathered up Krishna and carried him away in the storm. Yasoda, not finding Krishna, started crying out her heart. By this time the speed of the asura was curtailed because he could not carry the weight of Krishna. He wanted to drop Krishna but the latter had a vice-like grip on him. The asura fell down on rocky terrain with such force that his body was shattered and he met his death. Krishna was playing happily on his dead body. Nanda and Yasoda thanked the Lord for saving their child again. They prayed to Krishna (God incarnate) for the protection of child Krishna who, they thought by the Lord’s Maya, was just an ordinary child. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
वातात्मकंदनुजमेवमयिप्रधून्वन्वातोद्भवान्ममगदान्किमुनोधुनोषि।किंवाकरोमिपुनरप्यनिलालयेशनिश्शेषरोगशमनं मुहुरर्थये त्वाम् ॥४३.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! You killed trinavaratawhose power lay in air (vata). Why don’t you put an end to my afflictions arising out of imbalance of vata in my body? What shall I do my Lord! I once again entreat you to cure me of my afflictions.
Thisdasaka describes the naming ceremony of Nanda’s children. Sage Garga, master of the science of astronomy and astrology, visited Nanda’s abode at the instance of Vasudeva in order to perform, in secret, the naming ceremony of the child of Yasoda and of Rohini. The first was named Krishna to indicate that he was the embodiment of satchit and ananda ( i.e. Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss). The name also meant that he destroyed the sins of people (who took refuge in him). The second child (born to Rohini) was named Rama meaning he gave joy to people and also Bala because of his superior strength. Garga told Nanda that whoever loved his son will never be deluded by the sorrows of samsara and whoever hurts him will perish. He will vanquish many asuras, lead his people to a state of pure happiness and help them cross all difficulties. Garga told everything about Krishna short of telling Nanda that his son was the very incarnation of Hari. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
गर्गेऽथनिर्गतेऽस्मिन् नन्दितनन्दादिनन्द्यमानस्त्वम् ।मत्गदमुद्गतकरुणोनिर्गमयश्रीमरुत्पुराधीश! ॥४४.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur!, after the departure of Sage Garga, with Nanda pleased and doting on you, may you have overflowing compassion on me and may you put an end to my afflictions.
This dasaka describes the childhoods of Krishna and Balarama. They had started moving around the house on all fours, with their knees and hands. They shook their tiny legs to hear the fascinating sound of their anklets. With their hair falling on their faces, they sported sweet smiles and displayed their milk teeth, stealing the heart of all who saw them. In due course, they started walking with unsteady feet, falling, getting up and walking again. Their mothers watched over them and picked them up, embraced and kissed them when they fell and got smeared with mud all over their bodies. The mothers, Yasoda and Rohini, suckled their children looking with fascination at their smiling faces and display of their budding teeth. They thought that the purpose of their life had been fulfilled by giving birth to these children. In course of time the children started walking normally and playing with the other children of their age in the nearby houses. They chased domestic animals and birds like cats, calves and parrots. The Gopis were enthralled by their childish pranks and, leaving their household chores, they watched them playing. Gradually, Krishna along with his friends, started stealing butter. The poet says here that the Lord probably thought to himself ‘ I begged (three feet of land) from Mahabali but I won’t beg before these milkmaids, rather I would steal’.
Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
तव दधिघृतमोषे घोषयोषिज्जनाना-मभजत हृदि रोषो नावकाशंनशोकः।हृदयमपि मुषित्वा हर्षसिन्धौ न्यधास्त्वंस मम शमय रोगान्वातगेहाधिनाथ!॥४५.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! when you stole curd and ghee the milkmaids felt neither anger nor sorrow in their hearts, You had already stolen their hearts and submerged them in an ocean of bliss. O Lord of such kindness! Put an end to my diseases.
This dasaka describes how Yasoda saw the whole of this cosmos in the open mouth of her child Krishna. One day children complained to Yasoda that Krishna had eaten mud while playing with them. Yasoda asked Krishna whether that was true but Krishna .repeatedly denied it. Yasoda, with a tinge of annoyance in her voice, asked Krishna to open his mouth. Krishna opened his mouth as if a lotus blooming. Yasoda expected to see a lump of mud in his mouth but what she actually saw was something unbelievable. She saw not only the whole of this earth but also the other worlds with forests, oceans, clouds, the nether worlds, humans, demons, celestial beings, Mahavishnu reclining on Adishesha and Krishna himself standing with open mouth before Yasoda. Bhattathiri ends this dasaka with the following sloka:
धृततत्त्वधियं तदा क्षणंजननींतांप्रणयेनमोहयन्।’स्तनमंब दिशे’ त्युपासृजन्भगवन्नद्भुतबाल! पाहि माम् ॥४६.१०॥
For a moment your mother realised the Truth (that you were not her child but the Supreme Lord Himself in whom all these created worlds subsist). Next moment you clung to her saying ‘Mother! suckle me at your breast’, deluding her into believing that you really were her child. O Lord of Guruvayur!, the wonder child ! save me from my ailments.
This dasaka describes the episode in which Yashoda ties child Krishna to a mortar. One day while Yashoda was churning curd, Krishna nestled up to her and wanted to be breast-fed. Half way through breast-feeding, Yasoda disengaged herself to attend to milk which was boiling over in the kitchen. Krishna, annoyed at the abrupt termination of his feeding, broke the pot containing curd with the churning rod. The curd in the pot spilt and spread all over the place. When Yasoda came back she saw the muddle created by Krishna who was no where nearby. Finally she saw him somewhere in a corner feeding a cat fresh better. Annoyed, she wanted to tie him to a mortar and brought a piece of rope. But it was two inches short. She joined another piece to the first one but that also fell short by two inches. This process went on for some time until Yasoda, tired and perspiring, wondered what was happening. Finally Krishna, moved by compassion, allowed himself to be tied to the mortar. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:’यद्यपाशसुगमो विभो! भवान्संयतःकिमुसपाशयानया।एवमादिदिविजैरभिष्टुतोवातनाथपरिपाहिमांगदात्॥४७.१०॥
(The celestials were seeing this play of the Lord and they said) ‘O Lord you are approachable by those who have cut all their bondages (apashah); how were you controlled by this Yasoda with a rope (sapasha)? O Lord of Guruvayur! thus praised by the devas! save me from my afflictions.
This dasaka describes how child Krishna released the sons of Kubera from the curse of Narada. Krishna, dragging the mortar to which he was tied by his mother, came near a pair of tall arjunatrees. The mortar stuck across their trunks. While Krishna pulled at the mortar, the trees broke with a thundering sound and fell to the ground. Krishna was unhurt. From the tree trunk arose the forms of two yakshas, Nalakubara and Manigreeva, sons of Kubera who had been turned into the trees by the curse of Narada. They were drunk and sporting in the Ganga with young women, all without clothes on their bodies. When Narada passed that way the women covered themselves with clothes but the sons of Kubera carried on with their nudity. For disciplining them for their own welfare Narada cursed them to be trees until they had the darshan of Hari in his incarnation as Krishna. Now released from the curse, the sons of Kubera prostrated before Krishna, sang his praises and went back to their world. Hearing the sound of trees breaking, Nanda and other gopas came running and saw the huge trees which had fallen with Krishna tied to the mortar standing near them unhurt. Nanda untied the rope which bound Krishna to the mortar and thanked the Lord for saving the child. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
’महीरुहोर्मध्यगतो बतार्भकोहरेःप्रभावादपरिक्षतोऽधुना’ ।इतिब्रुवाणैर्गमितो गृहं भवान्मरुत्पुराधीश्वर! पाहि मां गदात्॥४८.१०॥
“ The child caught in the middle of two falling trees was saved unhurt by the power of the Lord “ so saying, you were taken home by Nanda and the other gopas. O Lord of Guruvayur! Save me from my vataroga.
This dasaka describes the episode of Nanda and others shifting their abode from Gokula to Vrindavan. Nanda and other gopas, seeing unexplained and unforeseen calamities, like falling of trees, happening in Gokula thought of moving out to another place. Upananda, one of the gopas, suggested moving to Vrindeavan, a beautiful forest area to the west of Gokula. The suggestion was accepted by everyone and the inhabitants of Gokula packed their belongings, put them in bullock carts and set out on the journey to Vrindavan along with their cows and calves, led by a well-furnished cart occupied by Krishna and Yasoda. They did not experience the distance traversed lulled by the sound from the carts and the hooves of the cattle and the jokes and comments by Krishna. Reaching Vrindavan, they built new shelters for accommodating all the families and for the cattle. Krishna, with his friends, enjoyed the natural setting of the place with the Yamuna flowing nearby with her clearer waters, coo of swans and blossoming lotuses, velvety green pastures for the cows, flowering creepers like jasmine, trees laden with their fruits, flocks of peacocks and peahens and the Govardhana mountain kissing the skies. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
तथाविधेऽस्मिन् विपिने पशव्येसमुत्सुकोवत्सगणप्रचारे ।चरन्सरामोऽथकुमारकैस्त्वंसमीरगेहाधिप! पाहिरोगात्॥४९.१०॥
O Lord of Guruvayur! you, along with Rama and other cowboys, were raring to graze the calves in the green pastures of Vrindavan. May you Lord of Guruvayoor, of such enthusiasm, protect me from my afflictions.
This dasaka describes the killing, by Krishna, of two demons. Krishna, equipped with a cane, a horn and a flute, with his dark blue complexion, grazing the calves with Rama and other children was a feast to the eyes of every one. Grazing the cattle in the pastures within the forest, on the banks of the Yamuna and the plateaus of Govardhana, Krishna one day espied an asura who had taken the form of a calf. Krishna recognised him by his vigorous shaking of the tail, frequent turning of his neck with eyes seeming to wait for a chance to strike. Immediately he caught hold of his hind legs and whirling him vigorously a few times, threw him up against a tall tree when he was dead. Another day, when the cowboys were quenching their thirst with the water from Yamuna, an asura in the form of a huge crane caught Krishna in his beak. Immediately the crane dropped him like a hot potato unable to withstand the heat emanating from Krishna’s body as if he were Agni (the god of Fire) himself. Krishna caught hold of his upper and lower beaks and split him into two, killing him instantly. Bhattatiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
ललितमुरलीनादं दूरान्निशम्य वधूजनै-स्त्वरितमुपगम्यारादारूढमोदमुदीक्षितः।जनितजननीनन्दानन्दः समीरणमन्दिर-प्रथितवसते! शौरे! दूरीकुरुष्वममामयान्॥५०.१०॥
Hearing the sweet melody from your flute from a distance, the milkmaids hastened to come close and see you with joyous eyes. You were the source of joy to your mother and Nanda. O Lord of Guruvayur! drive away my maladies.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -4
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskas 31 to 40 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
In this Dasaka Mahabali tells Vamana to ask for anything he wants and it would be granted. Vamana wants three feet of land measured by his foot. Mahabali laughs and says ‘I am the Lord of the three worlds. Asking me to give you three feet of land is preposterous. Ask for the whole of the Earth and I shall give it to you”. Vamana replies that one who is not satisfied by three feet will not be satisfied even with the three worlds and insists on getting three feet of land. Mahabali agrees with reluctance but Sukracharya warns him that it is Mahavaishnu who has come and He is going to cheat Mahabali of the three worlds by his three feet. But Mahabali replies that if the Lord himself has come to him begging there is nothing else which he can wish for. Vindhyavali, Mahabali’s wife, was ready with the Kamandalu for solemnising the gift by pouring water. But Sukracharya taking on a miniature form stuck himself in the neck of the Kamandalu. Vamana poked with a bundle of darbha grass to allow the water to flow. Sukracharya lost an eye because of the poking. The Lord measured everything in two feet taking the form of trivikrama spanning the three worlds. There was no place for the third foot of land. Mahabali’s pride was broken and he said in all humility “ O Lord! kindly put your foot on my head to complete three feet.” Indra got back his world and Mahabali was despatched to Patala, nether world. Bhattatiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
दर्पोच्छित्यै विहितमखिलं दैत्य सिद्धोऽसि पुण्यै-र्लोकस्तेऽस्तु त्रिदिवविजयी वासवत्वं च पश्चात् ।मत्सायुज्यं भज च पुनरित्यन्वगृह्णा बलिं तंविप्रैः सन्तानितमखवरः पाहि वातालयेश् ॥३१.१०॥
“ All this was done to remove your conceit (pride). (You have done meritorious deeds) and earned punya because of which you have acquired all the siddhis (psychic powers). You will have a world which excels Heaven and later you yourself will become Indra. Finally you will merge in me attainingsayujya.” Thus blessing Mahabali, you had Mahabali’s yagna (sacrifice) completed. Such is your leela O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my afflictions.
In this dasaka is described the incarnation of the Lord as fish (matsyavatara). The asura Hayagreeva stole the Vedas from the mouth of Brahma who was sleeping. The Lord incarnated as a fish to reclaim the Vedas. While the King Satyavrata was offering tarpan in the waters of a river, the Lord appeared as a tiny fish in his cupped hands filled with water. The king put the fish in his Kamandalu and took him home where he put it in a well. The fish started growing bigger and bigger. So it was put in a lake then in a river and finally in the great ocean. The Rishis and the king were happy to see the huge form of the Lord . They were desirous of seeing the deluge and, as instructed by the Lord, tied Earth to the huge horn of the fish. Dragging the Earth-boat, the Lord (in the form of the fish) coursed through the flood waters, showing the occupants the different parts of the world. Finally the Lord killed the asura and restored the Vedas to Brahma
स्वतुंगशृङ्गक्षतवक्षसं तंनिपात्य दैत्यं निगमान् गृहीत्वा ।विरिञ्चये प्रीतहृदे ददानःप्रभञ्जनागारपते! प्रपायाः॥३२.१०॥
You did strike the demon on his chest with your horn and kill him. You then recovered the Vedas and restored them to Brahma who was extremely happy to get them back. (There is no end to your leelavataras) O Lord of Guruvayur!, kindly save me (from the torments of my afflictions)
The story of Ambarisha is told in this Dasaka. King Ambarisha was the great grand son of Vaivaswata Manu. Though he ruled over the whole Earth his mind was always absorbed in the Lord and he revelled in the company of His devotees. He was observing Dwadashi Vrata for a year. On the day on which the fast was to be broken ceremonially, Durvasa came with his disciples. The King invited them for lunch. Durvasa accepted the invitation and went with his disciples to Yamuna for midday ablutions, japa etc. By the time the fast was to be broken, the maharshi had not returned. Ambarisha broke the fast by taking water only. When Durvasa came back he found out that Ambarisha had broken the fast without waiting for him. He got angry and, plucking a few matted hairs and muttering a few mantras, created a monster which menacingly advanced towards Ambarisha. Ambarisha, however, was calmness personified; he didn’t move an inch from where he was standing. The chakra of the Lord guarding Ambarisha burnt the monster to ashes and started chasing Durvasa who ran for his life. First he went to Brahma and then to Siva, both of them expressed their inability to do anything. Finally, Durvasa approached Mahavishnu who said that he was bounden to his devotees and could not do anything in this matter. Durvasa should go back and take refuge in Ambarisha himself. Maharshi came back and caught hold of the feet of Abarisha who withdrew his feet in embarrassment and requested the Lord’s chakra to be at peace. The Maharshi profusely thanked Ambarisha and blessed him. Bhattathiri concludes this Dasaka with the following sloka:
राजा प्रतीक्ष्य मुनिमेकसमामनाश्वान्संभोज्य साधु तमृषिं विसृजन् प्रसन्नं ।भुक्त्वा स्वयं त्वयि ततोऽपि दृढं रतोऽभूत्सायुज्यमाप च स मां पवनेश! पायाः ॥३३.१०॥
The King had spent one whole year without eating anything waiting for the Maharshi to return. Now he fed the maharshi who went back to his Ashram very pleased. The King himself partook of the food and, with his devotion to the Lord becoming much more intense, finally merged his identity with the Lord. Such is your commitment to your devotees O Lord of Guruvayur, please save me (from my afflictions)
This dasaka contains the story of Rama until he meets with Hanuman on the banks of the Pampa river. Mahavishnu was born as Rama, son of Dasaratha, along with brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna, at the request of the Devas, in order to kill Ravana. Rama and Lakshmana were sent with Viswamitra to protect from the Rakshasas the yagna being performed by the Rishi. On the way, at the instance of Viswamitra, Rama killed Tataka, the demoness. After saving the yagna they set out, with Viswamitra, to Mithila where Rama broke the bow of Siva. As per the condition laid down by Janaka, his daughter Sita, was given in marriage to Rama. The brothers also got married to the other daughters of Janaka and his brother.
Ram’s coronation as the King was stopped by Kaikeyi, the youngest wife of Dasaratha, who wanted from Dasaratha the two boons he had promised in their early life. By the first boon she wanted her son Bharata to be made King and by the second boon Rama was to be sent to live in the forest for 14 years. Dasaratha was heartbroken at the prospect of being separated from his dearest son Rama. Rama, however, with supreme composure accepted the condition imposed by Kaikeyi to keep his father’s promise to Kaikeyi.
Lakshmana and Sita accompanied Rama to the forest. They crossed the Ganga and happily lived for some time in the Chitrakoota mountains where from Bharata they got the news of their father’s death. Rama performed the after-death rites for his father and gave his Padukas to Bharata at his request. Bharata kept Rama’s Padukas on the throne and looked after the affairs of the state on behalf of Rama represented by his Padukas.
Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, moved to Panchavati on the banks of the Godavari and started living there. One of those days, the sister of Ravana named Surpanakha, approached Rama and, captivated by his handsomeness, wanted him to marry her. Rama sent her to Lakshmana who cut off her nose. In retaliation, her brother Khara came with his army and Rama, singled-handed, finished off the whole army with lightning-quick launch of arrows from his bow. Surpanakha then went to Ravana and described the beauty of Sita to him. Ravana decided to abduct Sita and sent Maricha to lure away Rama from Sita. Maricha took the form of a golden deer seeing which Sita wanted Rama to get it for her. Rama pursued the deer which led him away far from the Ashram. Finally Rama hit him by an arrow and Maricha, before dying, cried in Rama’s voice “O Lakshmana, save me”. Hearing this Sita panicked and compelled Lakshmana to go to the help of Rama. During this interval Ravana came in the guise of a monk (sanyasi) and, on the pretext of asking for alms, lured Sita outside the parnashala and abducted her.
When Rama and Lakshmana came back to the hut it was empty. Sita was not seen anywhere in the vicinity. With a heavy heart they set out on a search for Sita. Bhattathiri concludes this dasakam with the following sloka:
भूयस्तन्वीं विचिन्वन्नहृत दशमुखस्त्वद्वधूं मद्वधेने-त्युक्त्वा याते जटायौ दिवमथ सुहृदः प्रातनोः प्रेतकार्यं|गृह्णानं तं कबन्धं जघनिथ शबरीं प्रेक्ष्य पंपातटे त्वंसंप्राप्तो वातसूनुं भृशमुदितमनाः पाहि वातालयेश ॥३४.१०॥
While searching for Sita You met Jatayu who told you that Ravana had abducted Sita after slaying him (Jatayu). Jatayu breathed his last and You performed his after-death rites. You killed Kabandha who was trying to grab you and visited Sabari (who had been waiting for Rama all these years). On the banks of Pampa, having met with Hanuman, You felt extremely happy. O Lord of Guruayoor! save me (from my afflictions).
This Dasaka continues with the story of Rama from the previous Dasaka. The meeting with Hanuman leads to friendship with Sugreeva who promises to help Rama in finding Sita. Rama, in return, kills by deceit Vali who had abducted the wife of Sugreeva who sent his monkeys in search of Sita. Rama left his ring and a message with Hanuman, to be given to Sita when the latter found her. The monkeys were sent in all directions. Hanuman, along with a few other monkeys, went to the South where they met Sampati, the brother of Jatayu, who told them that Sita was in Lanka. Hanuman, taking on a huge from, landed in Lanka crossing the ocean with one jump from the top of the Mahendra Mountain, overcoming all the obstacles on the way. He finds Sita in the Asokavana of Lanka, gives the ring of Rama and delivers the message. Sita, who had been despondent about being rescued, was assured by Hanuman that Rama would liberate her from captivity after killing Ravana and those who supported him. Sita gave Hanuman her Chudamani and a message to be delivered to Rama. Hanuman met with Ravana and warned him of the consequences if he did not return Sita with honour to Rama. Ravana ordered Hanuman’s tail to be set on fire after being wrapped in clothes dipped in oil. Hanuman, however. did not at all feel the heat because of Sita’s prayer to Agni and also because Agni is friend of Vayu, father or Hanuman. Hanuman leaps back to the other shore and delivers the message and chudamani to Rama who, overjoyed, embraced Hanuman. Rama and Lakshmana, along with the army of monkeys, built a barrage in the sea to cross over to Lanka. At this point Vibhishana, younger brother of Ravana, took refuge in Rama leaving Ravana. Then Rama, Lakshamana, Sugreeva, Hanuman and Vibheeshana, along with the army of monkeys crossed over to Lanka. There ensued a terrible war between the two armies in which, finally, Ravana, along with his kith and kin and ministers, was killed. Rama along with Sita and others returned to Ayodhya by the Pushpaka vimana of Ravana. Rama was crowned as the King. Rama sent away Sita into the forest as one of his subjects in his kingdom cast doubts on her fidelity to Rama, though, in his heart of hearts, Rama knew that she was without blemish. There in the forest Sita, who was under the care of Valmiki, was delivered of twin boys. They grew up in the ashram of Valmiki who taught them to sing Ramayana authored by him. The boys sang the Ramayana in the Yagnasala of Rama. Sita vanished into mother Earth from where she was born. Rama left his mortal body in the Sarayu river and returned to his abode of Vaikuntha. This dasaka concludes with the following sloka: . . . सोऽयं मर्त्यावतारस्तव खलु नियतं मर्त्यशिक्षार्थमेवंविश्लेषार्तिर्निरागस्त्यजनमपि भवेत् कामधर्मातिसक्त्या ।नो चेत् स्वात्मानुभूतेः क्वनु तव मनसो विक्रिया चक्रपाणेस त्वं सत्त्वैकमूर्ते! पवनपुरपते! व्याधुनु व्याधितापान् ॥३५.१०॥
O Lord! Your incarnation in the human form is for educating human beings by setting an example. It also shows that too much of attachment to kama and Dharma will lead to sorrow of separation and abandonment of someone who is innocent. Otherwise, for you, rooted in the experience of the Self, how can there be negative reactions in the mind? O Lord of Guruvayur! the embodiment of pure sattwa! please remove the suffering from my afflictions.
This dasaka contains the story of Parasurama, born of Jamadagni Maharshi and his wife Renuka Devi. By the age of fourteen he learned all the Vedas. Once when Renuka was collecting water from a pond she saw reflected in the water the handsome form of a gandharva, and for a moment, she lost her heart to him. Jamadagni divined this and got angry. He asked his eldest son to chop off her head but he refused. The other sons also refused. Finally Parasurama cut off the heads of his mother and brothers as ordered by the father. The father’s rage was cooled and at the request of Parasurama he brought back to life his wife and the other sons by the power of his tapas. By his tapasParasurama propitiated Siva and got from him divine weapons. He fought with Kartaveeryaarjuna who had got the calf of Kamadhenu abducted by force as he could not do anything to Kamadhenu who could defend herself. Kartaveeryaarjuna was killed in the battle along with his followers. Parasurama ruthlessly axed the aggressive kshatriyas who had turned against the brahmins Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
न्यस्यास्त्राणिमहेन्द्रभूभृति तपस्तन्वन् पुनर्मज्जितांगोकर्णावधि सागरेण धरणीं दृष्ट्वार्थितस्तापसैः।ध्यातेष्वासधृतानलास्त्रचकितं सिन्धुं स्रुवक्षेपणा-दुत्सार्योद्धृतकेरलो भृगुपते! वातेश संरक्ष माम् ॥३६.१०॥
O Lord! You deposited your weapons in the Mahendra Mountain and did intense tapas to expiate your killings. Requested by sages who wanted to reclaim the land up to gokarna ( on the west coast) submerged in the sea, You got your bow and the agneyastra by the power of your meditation. The Lord of the sea was terrified and receded to the point where the sruva you had thrown had fallen, bringing into existence the land mass known as Kerala. O Lord of Guruvayur of such power! Please save me (from my paralysis) .
From this Dasaka to Dasaka 88 is the story of Krishnavatara. The Asuras, killed by the Lord during the battles between the devas and asuras but still had Karmasto work out, were born on the Earth and became ruthless kings. Mother Earth, unable to bear the weight of these wicked kings, approached Brahma and cried her heart out. The devas, who knew the plight of Earth, were already there. Brahma went to Mahavishnu along with Bhumi and the devas. He heard Mahavsihnu’s words in his heart and verbally transmitted them to Bhumi and the devas “ I know the condition of Bhumi. To remedy the situation I shall incarnate with my plenary powers in the dynasty of Yadus. Devas and devis should take birth, with their partial powers, on Earth, to serve me.“ Hearing these words every one felt happy and reassured.
About this time the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki was solemnised at Mathura and, at the conclusion of the marriage, Devaki’s brother (cousin) Kamsa drove the couple’s chariot towards Vasudeva’s palace. On the way an invisible voice from the sky predicted that the eighth child of Devaki would kill him. Immediately Kamsa, sword in hand, caught hold of Devaki’s locks to kill her but Vasudeva entreated him to spare her and promised that he would deliver to him the children born to Devaki soon after their birth. Kamsa relented and when the first child was brought to him he did not kill the child as still there was a streak of love in his heart. But Narada told Kamsa that he and others of his ilk were asuras and Yadus were devas. Hari was a Mayavi and, if counted backward, the first child may well be the eighth. Kamsa was confused and he killed the first six children as they were born. This dasaka concludes with the following sloka:
प्राप्ते सप्तमगर्भतामहिपतौ त्वत्प्रेरणान्माययानीते माधव! रोहिणीं त्वमपि भॊः सच्चित्सुखैकात्मकः।देवक्या जठरं विवेशिथ विभो ! संस्तूयमानः सुरैःस त्वं विधूय रोगपट्लीं भक्तिं परां देहि मे ॥३७.१०॥
The eighth pregnancy of Devaki was the incarnation of Adishesha. Prompted by you, your yogamaya transferred the foetus to the womb of Rohini and you O Lord!, the very essence of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss! entered the womb of Devaki, your praises sung by the devas. O Lord of such Maya destroy all my ailments and bless me with the highest form of devotion
The birth of Krishna is described in this dasaka. The atmosphere was cool with clouds raining water. The minds of good people were calm and content. The Lord was born at midnight when the moon was rising. Though in the form of a child, he revealed himself in all his splendour with his crown and other ornaments, with the discus, conch, mace and lotus in his four hands and with a beautiful dark complexion. On his chest was Lakshmi glancing around and dispelling the negative vibrations in the cell in which Devaki and Vasudeva were incarcerated. They were beside themselves with joy and sang His praises. The Lord reminded them of their previous births. Then, requested by Devaki, He became the normal child and asked Vasudeva to take him to Nandagokula and exchange him for the girl child born there to Yasoda. This dasaka concludes with the following sloka:
शेषेण भूरिफणवारितवारिणाथ स्वैरं प्रदर्शितपथो मणिदीपितेन ।त्वां धारयन् स खलु धन्यतमः प्रतस्थेसोऽयं त्वमीश ! मम नाशय रोगवेगान् ॥३८.१०॥
(When Vasudeva set out with child Krishna) it was raining heavily. Adishesha with his hoods gave protection from the rain. The manikya ( a precious stone) in his hood provided light in the dark night. Carrying you Vasudeva, the most fortunate, set out on his journey. O Lord of Guruvayoor! kindly put an end to the tempo of my ailments.
While Vasudeva was carrying the child Krishna to Gpkul, Yamuna was in turbulence with its waters rising as if trying to touch the sky. But as Vasudeva reached the river the depth of the water was not more than ankle-deep. At Gokulam every one was spellbound in sleep. Vasudeva quietly laid Krishna by the side of Yasoda and carried the girl (who was yogamaya herself) born to Yasoda to his place. All the gates opened and closed automatically. When Kamsa heard of the birth of the child he hastened to the cell of Devaki and found a girl child in her hands. He thought this must be some trick of that juggler Vishnu. Ignoring the pleadings of Devaki he caught hold of the girl by her two tiny legs and was about to dash her against a rock when, with lightning speed, she escaped from his clutches and, hovering above the earth, revealed her resplendent form with eight hands carrying different weapons. She sternly warned Kamsa that the one who is destined to kill him is already born somewhere, it was no use killing her. Kamsa sent his asuras to kill all newly born babies in the neighbourhood. In the meanwhile there was great celebration in Nandagokula on the birth of Yasoda‘s child which, with its dark complexion and beautiful form, captivated the heart of everyone. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
भवत्कुशलकाम्यया खलु नन्दगोपस्तदाप्रमोदभरसङ्कुलो द्विजकुलाय किं नाददात् ।तथैव पशुपालकाः किमु न मङ्गलं तेनिरेजगत्त्रितयमंगल! त्वमिह पाहि मामामयात् ॥३९.१०॥
For the sake of your welfare Nandagopa, beside himself with joy, generously distributed gifts to brahmins. The other gopas performed many auspicious rites for the well-being of the boy. O Lord of Guruvayur who does good to all the three worlds! save me from my afflictions.
Putana moksha is described in this dasaka. Putana, the demoness, was one of those assigned by Kamsa the task of killing new born babies. She transformed herself into a beautiful woman captivating the heart of every one. She entered Nanad’a house and, while other gopis were simply watching struck by her beauty, took the child Krishna and put him to her breast to suckle. She had poisoned her breasts with the idea of killing Krishna. But the child sucked her life along with the milk and the demoness fell dead regaining her huge, frightening form. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
भुवनमंगल! नामभिरेव तेयुवतिभिर्बहुधा कृतरक्षणः ।त्वमयि वातनिकेतनाथ! मा-मगदयन् कुरु तावकसेवकम् ॥४०.१०॥
Gopis prayed for your protection by warding off evils by your own auspicious names which bring good to the whole world. O Lord of Guruvayur! free me from my bodily ailments and make me your humble servant and devotee.
© P R Ramamurthy.
Prayers to the Lord of Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -3
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a Magnum Opus of Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit. The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions and restore his health. . Given below is the collection of last slokas from Daskas 21 to 30 of this great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasakais also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
दशकम्-२१श्लोकसंख्या-१२This dasaka describes the nine varashas (Ilavruta, Bhadrashwa, Harivarsha, Ketumala, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kuru, Kimpurusha and Bharata) and the form of the Lord in each Varsha and the devotees who worship those forms of the Lord. Bhattathiri prays thus in the last sloka of this dasaka:
पातालमूलभुविशेषतनुंभवन्तंलोलैककुण्डलविराजिसहस्रशीर्षं ।नीलांबरंधृतहलंभुजगाङ्गनाभिःजुष्टंभजेहरगदान्गुरुगेहनाथ! ॥२१.१२॥
I meditate on your form as the thousand-headed Adisesha with a single Kundala which is always oscillating, wearing deep blue robes, using the plough as the weapon and attended by women of the serpent family and with your abode in Patala. O Lord of Guruvayur remove my afflictions.
The story of Ajamila is narrated in this Dasaka. Ajamila was a brahmana but he was seduced by a prostitute and lived with her and begot children. He abandoned all his karmas as a brahmana and earned a living by improper means. He doted on his last child by name Narayana. When he was on his death bed the Yama’s servants, with their terrible forms, came to take Ajamila’s life. Overcome by fear he called his son ‘Narayana’. Immediately the attendants of Vishnu appeared before him and told the attendants of Yama that Ajamila had been redeemed from his sins because at the hour of death he had uttered the name ‘Narayana’. Not only that, his old vasanas had also been destroyed. Yama’s servants went back and reported to their master. In the last sloka of this daska Bhattathiri prays thus:
स्वकिङ्करावेदनशंकितोयम-स्त्वदंघ्रिभक्तेषु न गम्यतामिति ।स्वकीयभृत्यानशिशिक्षदुच्चकैः सदेव! वातालयनाथ! पाहिमाम्॥२२.११॥
After hearing the report of his servants Yama issued instructions to all his servants that they should not approach your devotees. O Lord of Guruvayur! such is the greatness of your name; save me from my ailments.
This Daska has the story of King Chitraketu who begot a son by the blessings of Angiras maharshi. The son was killed by the other wives of the King because of which the king was drowned in sorrow. Maharshi Angiras came to him with Narada and, by their yogic powers, called the Jiva of the dead son and asked it to dwell in the same body to make its parents happy. The jiva asked them “Who are my parents? I have had many parents in many births’. Hearing this Chitraketu got rid of his delusion. Narada gave him a stotra and a mantra chanting and meditating on which he had the vision of the Lord in the form of Adisesha who instructed him in the knowledge of the Self. Once Chitraketu was cursed by Uma who was angered when the former criticised Siva for sitting Uma on his thigh.. He was born as Vritrasura and fought with Indra whom he surprised by giving him the knowledge of the Atman. The poet ends this dasaka with the following prayer to the Lord:
त्वत्सेवनेनदितिरिन्द्रवधोद्यतापितान्प्रत्युतेन्द्रसुहृदो मरुतोऽभिलेभे ।दुष्टाशयेऽपिशुभदैवभवन्निषेवातत्तादृशस्त्वमव मां पवनालयेश्! ॥२३.११॥
Diti (mother of asuras) wanted a son to kill Indra and for this she worshipped you. But she actually gave birth to the maruts who turned out to be friends of Indra. Even if the intention is evil, one who worships you gets only auspicious results. O Lord of Guruvayur! such is your greatness; save me from my illness.
This dasakam contains the first part of Prahlada’s story where Hiranya kashipu tries to mend the ways of Prahlada who is always immersed in the loving devotion and remembrance of the Lord. But Prahlada does not waver from the path he he has chosen for Himself. Hiranya Kashipu tries to kill him by various means but he is not able to hurt even a hair on his son’s body. His anger knows no bounds. He asks Prahlada who his power is. Prahlada replies that Hari is his own power and also the power of the whole world including Hiranyakashipu. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following prayer of his.
अरेक्वासौक्वासौसकलजगदात्माहरिरितिप्रभिन्तेस्मस्तंभंचलितकरवालोदितिसुतः।अतःपश्चाद्विष्णो न हि वदितुमीशोऽस्मि सहसाकृपात्मन्! विश्वात्मन्! पवनपुरवासिन्! मृडयमाम्॥२४.१०॥
“Where is this Hari who is the atma of all beings in the world?”- thus saying Hiranyakasipu struck the pillar with his sword. What happened just after that is not in my power to narrate instantly. O Lord of Guruvayur! you are full of compassion and you are the atman of the whole world. Please save me and protect me“
This contains the second part of Prahlada’s story. The Lord emerges from the pillar (struck by Hiranyakashipu) with the terrible form of half-lion, half-man and a terrible roar reverberates throughout the three worlds. The Lord, with his nails, rips open the stomach of Hiranyakashipu and drinks his blood. No one has the courage to approach any where near him. Finally Brahma sends Prahlada to Narasimha. The Lord’s anger cooled as soon as Prahlada fell at His feet. He picked up the boy and sitting him on his lap put his hand on his head and blessed him. Bhattathiri ends this dasaka with the following prayer:
एवंनाटितरौद्रचेष्टित! विभो! श्रीतापनीयाभिध-श्रुत्यन्तस्फुटगीतसर्वमहिमन्न्त्यन्तशुद्धाकृते! ।तत्तादृङ्निखिलोत्तरं पुनरहो! कस्त्वां परो लङ्घयेत्प्रह्लादप्रिय! हेमरुत्पुरपते! सर्वामयात्पाहिमां॥२५.१०||
O Lord! You did only act out this terrible drama (how can you be moved by such emotions as anger?) Your greatness is extolled in the Sritaapaneeya Upanishad. Your form is of pure sattwaguna. You are above all. Who can transgress you? O Lord of Guruvayur! Prahlada is dear to You and You are dear to him. Please save me from all my diseases.
दशकम्-२६श्लोकसंख्या-१०The story of Gajendra moksha is narrated in this Dasaka. King Indradyumna of Pandya Khanda was a devotee of the Lord. Once when he was engaged in worship, sage Agastya visited him. Since the king’s attention was in the worship, he did not notice Agastya’s presence. The sage therefore cursed him as a result of which he became an elephant. However, he was the king among elephants and ruled the forest. Once while bathing, an alligator caught him in the leg and the elephant, trying with all his strength, could not extricate himself even with the help of his family members. The tug of war continued for years. Finally the elephant was on the point of giving up when he remembered a stotra he used to recite in his previous birth. Reciting this stotra, surrendering himself mentally to the Lord, the elephant picked up a lotus in his trunk and offered it to the Lord. Mahavishnu heard the call and hastened on his Garuda to rescue him. With his discus he killed the alligator and released the elephant. The alligator also was released from the curse he was under and became a gandharva as before.
एतद्वृत्तंत्वांचमांचप्रगेयोगायेत्सोऽयंश्रेयसेभूयसेस्यात्।इत्युक्त्वैनं तेन सार्धं गतस्त्वंधिष्ण्यंविष्णो! पाहिवातालयेश॥२६.१०॥
“Whosoever sings about this event, about you and about me early morning, will be blessed with health, wealth and happiness”, saying thus You went along with Gajendra to Your abode (Vaikuntha). O Vishnu! Lord of Guruvayoor! please save me (from my afflictions).
The churning of the milky ocean by the devas and asuras is described in this Dasaka. Sage Durvasa gifted a divine garland to Indra which his elephant crushed under its feet because of the Indra’s negligence. Cursed by Durvasa, Indra and other devas, lost their youth and their wealth and were vanquished by the asuras. Mahavishnu advised the devas to conclude a peace treaty with the asuras and do the churning of the milky ocean jointly with them to obtain amrit. Mandara mountain was to be the churning rod and Vasuki was to be the rope. The Lord himself put these things in place. When the churning started Mandara started sinking into the ocean. Then Mahavishnu took the form of a giant tortoise, and lifted up the Mandara and supported it on his expansive back. Bhattathiri concludes this dasaka with the following prayer:
Frightened by the intense churning, whales, crocodiles and other creatures of the ocean were swimming like mad in panic but there was no change in the ocean, no sign of its yielding amrit. Then O Lord! You yourself, alone, started churning the ocean holding Vasuki, the serpent, by both your hands. It was a sight to see O Lord of Guruvayur! Save me from my afflictions.
This dasaka describes the emergence of Lakshmi from the milky ocean and her garlanding of Mahavishnu as a mark of her acceptance of Him as her consort. The appearance of Dhanwantari with amrita is described in the last verse of this Dasaka is given below:
तरुणांबुदसुन्दरस्तदा त्वंननुधन्वन्तरिरुत्थितोंऽबुराशेः ।अमृतंकलशेवहन्कराभ्या-मखिलार्तिंहरमारुतालयेश॥२८.१०॥
Beautiful as the water-charged dark cloud, You yourself emerged as Dhanwantari from the milky ocean holding the pot of amrita in Your hands. O Lord of Guruvayur! kindly cure me of all my ailments.
दशकम्-२९श्लोकसंख्या-१०This Dasaka describes how amrita was distributed by Mahavishnu, in the form of Mohini, to the devas, seducing and hoodwinking the asuras. Lord Siva wanted to see the captivating form of Mohini and Vishnu obliged and appeared in a most enthralling form of a teenage girl whom Siva embraced passionately. भूयोऽपिविद्रुतवतीमुपधाव्य देवोवीर्यप्रमोक्षणविकसत्परमार्थबोधः ।त्वन्मानितस्तव महत्त्वमुवाच देव्यैतत्तादृशस्त्वमव वातनिकेतनाथ ॥२९.१०॥
(Mohini extricated herself from Siva’s embrace) and started running, with Siva following her in hot pursuit.. Ejaculation brought Siva back to terra firma. Honoured by You, Lord Shiva narrated Your greatness to his consort Uma. O Lord of Guruvayur of such greatness, save me (from my illness). .
दशकम्-३०श्लोकसंख्या-१०This dasaka describes the incarnation of Mahavishnu as Vamana. Mahabali, who was killed after the churning of the milky ocean, was brought to life by Sukracharya and he performed many sacrifices and by his might brought the three worlds under his control. The Devas lived incognito for fear of Mahabali. Aditi, mother of the Devas, was worried about the abject condition of the devas and took refuge in her husband Kashyapa. As advised by her husband she worshipped Mahavishnu with great devotion observing payovrata, as instructed by her husband, for twelve days, At the end of the twelve days Mahavishnu revealed himself to her and told her that He would take birth as her son, she should not reveal seeing Him to any one. The Lord entered Aditi’s womb and took birth as Vamana, of short stature, and immediately took the form of a young brahmachari. Equipped with all the paraphernalia of a brahmachari, he reached the yagnashala of Mahabali on the banks of the Narmada. Mahabali, impressed by his appearance, welcomed him with great respect and humility and washed his feet. Bhattatiri concludes this Dasaka with the following sloka.
प्रहादवंशतयाक्रतुभिर्द्विजेषुविश्वासतोनुतदिदंदितिजोऽपिलेभे।यत्तेपदांबुगिरिशस्यशिरोभिलाल्यंसत्वंविभो! गुरुपुरालय! पालयेथाः॥३०.१०॥
Mahabali was fortunate enough to wash the Lord’s feet the water from which even Lord Shiva reverentially puts on his head. This was because Mahabali was born in the lineage of Prahlada, the great devotee of the Lord and he had great faith in brahmins and in Yagnas. O Lord of Guruvayoor! kindly save me ( from all my physical discomforts)
© P R Ramamurthy.