Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hymns and Stotras - M S Rajajee - Part I

There are many Stotras on Lord Narasimha. It would not be possible to reproduce all of them and give their meaning. We give hereunder 35 Stotras. We believe that the list is adequately wide-ranging, as many well-known Stotras have been covered, as also the Stotras of well-known scholars/sages like Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, Sri Vedanta Desika and others. There is no special significance about the order in which they have been presented and it is certainly not the intention to indicate that what is presented first is relatively more important than what is presented last. It would be a sacrilege to think like that, as all the hymns are in praise of the Lord and are intended for specific objectives. Generally speaking, the "phalashruti" of most of these Stotras is to ward off dangers, to ensure victory over enemies (in the largest sense of that term, including internal enemies) to ensure that all that is good and great is attained and to ensure liberation.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Pancharatna Stotram – by Sri Adi Sankara
Tvatprabhu jeevapriyam ichhasichennarahari poojaam kuru satatam
Pratibimbaalamkriti dhrutikusalo bimbaalamkriti maatanute
Chetobhringa bhrhamasi vrithaa bhavamarubhoomau virasaayaam
Bhaja bhaja Lakshmi Narasimhaanagha pada sarasija makarandam
O! the carpenter bee called the mind! Why do you wastefully move about in the desert called the essenceless "Samsara"? Please taste, with happiness, the honey which is in the lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. The skilful person who decorates and watches the reflection (jiva) would first decorate the main figure (Isvara), is it not? Similarly, if you desire the love of the ‘jiva’, first do not let go of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. Please worship Him.
Shuktau rajata pratibhaa jaataa katakaadyartha samarthaachet
Duhkhamayee te samsrutireshaa nirvritidaane nipunaa syaat
Cheto bhringa bhramasi vrithaa bhavamarubhoomau virasaayaam
Bhaja bhaja Lakshmi Narasimhaanagha padasarasija Makarandam
If the silver seen in a shell is capable of becoming bracelet etc., then it is possible to derive happiness from this Samsara which is full of sorrow. But such a thing does not happen. Hence, O bee called the mind, why move about wastefully in the desert land called ‘Samsara’? You please partake with reverence the honey in the lotus which is the feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha.
Aakritisaamyaachhalmalikusume sthalanalinatvabhramam akaroh
Gandharasaaviha kimu vidyete viphalam shraamyasi bhoomau virasaayaam
Cheto bhringa bhramasi vrithaa bhavamarubhoomau virasaayam
Bhaja bhaja Lakshmi Narasimhaanagha padasarasija makarandam
Because of the similarity of shape, the flower of the silk cotton tree is mistaken as the ground lotus flower. In the essenceless flower of the silk cotton tree is there fragrance or honey? You are under a delusion. Hence, O! carpenter bee called the mind, why do you wander in the essenceless wasted desert land? You please partake with reverence the honey in the lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha.
Srakchandana vanitaadeen vishayaan sukhadaan matvaa tatra viharase
Gandhaphalee sadrisaa nanu temee bhogaanantara duhkha kritah syuh
Cheto bhringa!bhramasi vrithaa bhavamarubhoomau virasaayaam
Bhaja! Bhaja! Lakshmi Narasimhaanagha padasarasija makarandam
You are thinking that pleasurable items like garlands, sandal paste and women will give you happiness and are enjoying them. But, like the Champaka flower, they will only cause unhappiness after enjoying them. Hence, O! carpenter bee called the mind, why need you wander in the essenceless wasted desert land called the ‘Samsara’? Please reverentially partake the honey in the lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha.
Tava hitam ekam vachanam vakshye shrunu! Sukhakaamoyadi satatam
Svapne dhrishtam sakalam hi mrishaa jaagrata cha smara tadvaditi
Cheto bhringa!bhramasi vrithaa bhava marubhoomau virasaayaam
Bhaja! Bhaja! Lakshmi Narasimhaanagha padasarasija makarandam
If you really desire happiness, I will give you some good advice. Please listen. Just as whatever we see in the ‘dream’ state is not real, please remember that whatever you see in the state of wakefulness is also not real. Hence, O! carpenter bee called the mind, why do you wastefully wander in the essenceless wasted desert land called the ‘Samsara’? You please partake with reverence the honey in the lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamba Stotra
This Stotra is by Sri Adi Sankara. There is a popular story behind the writing of this Stotra – we do not know how true it is. Adi Sankara was on a triumphal tour of the country, defeating all the religious disputants he came across. When he reached Benares, he came across Mandana Misra, a greatly learned debater. Sankar was about to defeat Mandana Misra, in the religious and philosophical debate, when Ubhaya Bharati, the wife of Mandana Misra, joined the debate and said that success would be complete, only if she were also defeated. The debate went on for a few days. She realized that it would not be ordinarily possible to defeat him. Since Sri Sankara was a Brahmachari, she turned the debate into matters pertaining to Kaama Saastra. She realized that if Sankara replied, he would face public humiliation, as they would wonder how a brahmachari was able to reply authoritatively on such matters. Sri Sankara sought some time to reply. He came across the body of a king. All his wives were bemoaning his death. He told his disciples to hide his own body at some distance. He told them that he would be silently entering the body of the king. Much to the amazement of the wives and the counselors, the "dead" king sat up. The "king" enjoyed himself. The Queen Empress, however, had doubts and shared her misgivings with the counselors. The ministers also told her that unlike the earlier king, this one was very learned in all branches. The Empress Queen then ordered that it would be best to retain whosoever it was, in this body itself and that all the dead bodies in the kingdom should be burnt and destroyed. When the attendants started doing this, the disciples, as they had already been ordered to do so, recited "tattvamasi tattvamasi tattvamasi raajan". As soon as Sri Sankara heard this, he abandoned the king’s body and re-entered his own body. Since by that time, the body had been set fire to a very small extent at one end, Sri Sankara hymned the Lord, with the refrain, "Lakshmi Nrsimha! Mama dehi Karaavalambam". The body retained its usual luster. This Stotra has great power and since then has been recited by all those who wish to ward off any dangers. It has become the "aapadaudhaaraka stotra" supreme.
We give below the Stotra and the meaning. There are some variations in the readings of the Stotra and what we have given hereunder is what is generally found in most of the texts.
Sreematpayonidhi niketana chakrapaane
Bhogeendra bhoga maniranjita punyamoorthe
Yogeesa saasvata saranya bhavaabdhipota
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O! You who always reside along with Goddess Mahalakshmi in the middle of the milk ocean! You who are adorned by the Discus in Your hand. You who have a Form which confers good and You who are shining due to the effulgence of the precious stones in the hoods of Adisesha, on whom You are resting, You who are Isvara to the supreme yogis, You who have no beginning or middle or end, You who provide refuge, You who are the raft to enable us to cross the ocean consisting of birth and death, O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please give me a helping hand.
Brahmendra rudra marudarka kireetakoti
Samghattitaanghrikamalaamala kaantikaanta
Lakshmi lasatkucha saroruha raajahamsa
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
You who have feet which throws out flashes of lightning due to the contact with the crowns of the four-headed Brahma, Indra, the king of the gods, the Rudraas, the seven Maruts and the twelve ‘Sooryas’ who are always ceremonially washing Your feet, You who move about freely like a "raaja hamsa" (king among swans) amidst the shining breasts of Goddess Lakshmi. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please give me a helping hand.
Samsaara ghoragahane charato muraare
Maarogra bheekara mriga pravaraarditasya
Aartasya matsara nidaagha nipeeditasya
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O Lord! You who killed the asura called Mura, I am struggling and wandering, having been trapped and lost my way in the frightening forest called "Samsara". I am distressed, since I am chased by the frightening animal called "lust". I am shrinking, being affected by the scorching Sun called "envy" in this forest called "Samsara".
Samsaara saagara visaala karaala kaala
Nakragraha grasana nigraha vigrahasya
Vyagrasya raaga rasonormi nipeeditasya
Lakshminrsimha Mama dehi karaavalambam
I am struggling in the great ocean called "Samsara" which has spread extensively and the limits of which cannot be seen in any direction. An alligator called ‘lust’ which has sharp canine teeth has caught hold of me. However, much I try to control myself I am unable to do so. Minute by minute, this alligator is biting my body. As if these troubles are not enough, worldly troubles like anger, jealousy, arrogance malice etc. are striking me like big waves and are not allowing me to be stable. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaarakoopam atighoram agaadhamoolam
sampraapya duhkhasata-sarpasamaakulasya
Deenasya deva! Kripayaa saranaagatasya
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O Lord! I have fallen into a well which is full of grief, is frightening, pitch dark and the depth of which cannot be measured. The sorrows I am suffering here are each like a horrifying serpent and there are hundreds of them which are surrounding me. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaara bheekara kareendra karaabhighaata
Nishpeedyamaana vapushah sakalaarditasya
Praana prayaana bhavabheeti samaakulasya
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
However much I try to control this elephant called ‘Samsara’, this elephant which has power and speed, beats me with its trunk. My body has been reduced due to these blows. The limbs are losing their strength and are becoming decrepit. I am still sorrowing that this life will leave me. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaara sarpa ghanavaktra bhayograteevra
Damshtraakaraala vishadagdha vinashtamoorteh
Naagaarivaahana sudhaabdhinivaasa saure!
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O! You who have Garuda as the vehicle, You who are resting on the milk ocean, O! valourous person, my body has been destroyed by the horrible poison released by the frightening, cruel and sharp fangs of the serpent called ‘Samsara’. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaarajaala patitasya jagannivaasa
Sarvendriyaartha badisa agra-jhashopamasya
Prottambhita prachura taalukamastyakasya
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O! You who pervade all the worlds, I am ensnared and caught in the net called ‘Samsara’, I am enslaved by all the matters pertaining to the senses (taste, smell etc.) I am struggling, as a fish struggles in a net. My head has become bent and my cheeks and lips have opened out (due to the struggle). O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaravriksham aghabeejam anantakarma-
Saakhaayutam karanapatram anangapushpam
Aaruhya duhkhajaladhau patato dayaalo
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
I have fallen into an ocean of sorrow, since I have climbed a tree called bad ‘Samsara’ which is born and bred in sin, has got branches called evil deeds, has got the senses as the leaves and has Manmatha as the flower. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaaradaavadahaanaakula bheekarogra
Jvaalaavaleebhir-abhidagdhatanooruhasya
Tvatpaadayugma saraseeruha mastakasya
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
All the hair on my limbs have got scorched due to the fierce and cruel flames, coming at me from all directions due to the raging forest fire. I am placing my head on Your feet and am meditating. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaara saagara nimajjanamuhyamaanam
Deenam vilokaya vibho karunaanidhe maam
Prahlaada kheda parihaara paraavataara
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
You who are like a treasure chest for compassion, You who rid Prahlada of his sorrows. You who have manifested in many excellent forms, I am sinking and going to faint, having fallen into the ocean called ‘Samsaara’. I do not know what to do. Please look at me. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaarayoothagajasamhati-simhadamshtraa
roopena dushtamatidaitya bhayankarena
Praana prayaana bhavabheeti nivaaranena
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
I am frightened by ‘Samsara’ which is like the evil group of elephants. Please show me that auspicious Form of Yours, which creates fear in the minds of the cruel rakshasas and gets rid of the fear entertained by people when life is about to leave them. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
Samsaara yogisakalepsita nityakarma
Sampraapya duhkhasakalendriya-mrityunaasa
Sankalpa sindhutanayaakucha kunkumaanka
Lakshminrsimha! Mama dehi karaavalambam
O! You who have the divine Will (Sankalpa) to grant all the desires which arise out of the contact due to ‘Samsara’ and can also rid one of the sorrows which are occasioned in the senses due to their eternal actions as also rid one of death. You are adorned by the ‘Kumkum’ on the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the King of Oceans. O! Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, please extend a helping hand and save me.
(This can also be given the meaning as follows: - O! Lakshmi Narasimha, You who are adorned by the ‘Kumkum’ on the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the Ocean King, who can rid one of all the difficulties arising in this ‘Samsara’, please lend a helping hand and save me.)

1 comment:

Kerala Brahmin said...

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I happened to stumble on the great work , you doing. May God bless you.
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1. For reading translations of 521 stotras: http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/
2. For reading about meanings of 345 Carnatic music krithis : http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/gi.htm
3. For reading about rules and rituals of Brahmins: http://brahminrituals.blogspot.com/
4. For reading Raja Thatha’s 77 Blogs : http://rajathathablog.blogspot.com/
5. For reading about 59 Kerala temples: http://rajathathaskeralatemples.blogspot.com/
6. For reading about, 65 village gods of Tamil Nadu : http://villagegods.blogspot.com/
7. For reading stories and rhymes for children: http://rajathathacorner.awardspace.com
8. For reading poems by Ramachander : http://poetrypoem.com/cgi-bin/index.pl?sitename=ramya475&;item=all
9. For stories illustrating Malayalam Proverbs : http://keralam.kairaly.net
10. My translation of Narayaneeyam: http://narayaneeyamtrans.blogspot.com/