pyanaasaktaM chittaM bhavati bata viShNO kuru dayaam |
gaayaM gaayaM kuhachana vivatsyaami vijane ||
க₃த₃க்லிஷ்டம் கஷ்டம் தவ சரணஸேவாரஸப₄ரே(அ)-
ப்யநாஸக்தம் சித்தம் ப₄வதி ப₃த விஷ்ணோ குரு த₃யாம் |
நஹம் கா₃யம் கா₃யம் குஹசந விவத்ஸ்யாமி விஜநே || 2||
Meaning in English
O Lord Vishnu! tormented by this painful disease, what a pity, my mind is not inclined to revel in the joy of worshipping at Thy lotus feet. Be merciful to me, so that I may retire to a secluded beautiful place and enjoy the bliss of meditating on Thy lotus feet immersed in chanting Thy innumerable names.
I meditate (bhAvayEham) on Lord Sadachaleshvara, He who has his abode (geham) in Chamatkarapura, and is the beloved (moham) of Girija.
Like a Kalpa tree (vrksha), He is always (sadA) a refuge (Ashrita) for everyone(samUham=group), including the celestials (dEvatA samUham) who seek sanctuary(sharanAgata = literally, they who come to His feet), he who is known (nAmadhEya, literally titled) as the one who turned water (uda) to ghee (Ajya), he is like a flow (pravAham) of nectar (amrtam) of bliss (chidAnanda).
He is Mahalinga (shiva) who causes (karaNa) the well-being (prasAda) of king (bhUpAla) Chamatkara etc (Adi).
His shadow-less (chAyA rahita) sanctum (garbhagRha madhya rangam=the inner room in the middle of the house) is lit by a lamp (dIpa prakAsha).
He removes (hetu bhoota, literally causes to be past) all sorrows (dukha) etc (Adi) and removes fear (bhaya bhanga) of this ocean (sAgaram) like life (samsAra).
Like a bee (bhRnga) which hovers (implied) over a lotus (sarasija), He hovers over the hearts (hrdaya) of good people (sAdu jana) who are tranquil (shama) and self-controlled (dama), senses etc (unsure: cannot findpavrti in dictionary) in unison (samyukta).
His lotus-like (kamala) victory-giving (vijaya kara) hands (implied) holds (vidhRta) a deer (kurangam),
he is like a nectar-filled (sudha maya) wave (taranga) of compassion (karuna rasa).
He is worshipped (vinuta) by Vishnu (kamalesha), he is mounted (turangam) on a bull (vRshabha), he is dear to the lotus-faced (kamala vadana) Guruguha (subrahmanya).
Meaning of the Sanskrit Words
सदा – always
अचल- mountain (that which doesn’t move)
ईश्वरं – lord
अहं – i
चमत्कार पुर – According to the Skanda Purana, Tiruvarur is also called Chamatkara-pura, after a king who ruled the place
गेहं – resides
गिरिजा – மலைமகள், Goddess Parvati
मोहम्. – loves
आश्रित – to the surrendered
कल्प वृक्ष समूहं – grove of wish fulfilling trees
शरण आगत देवता समूहं – (the one in whom) the legions of Devas seek refuge,
उद-आज्य कृत नामधेय वाहं – the one bearing the name and fame of converting water to ghee,
चित्-आनन्द-अमृत प्रवाहम् – the flood of bliss of consciousness
चमत्कार भू-पाल-आदि प्रसाद -करण निपुण महा-लिङ्गं – the one in the form of a great Linga, adept at bestowing grace to the King Chamatkara,
छाया रहित दीप प्रकाश -गर्भ गृह मध्य रङ्गम् – the one at the centre of the sanctum lit by a lamp that casts no shadow,
समस्त दुःख-आदि हेतु भूत -संसार सागर भय भङ्गं
शम दम-उपवृत्ति-आदि संयुक्त -the one who removes the fear of the ocean of Samsara (worldly existence) which is the root cause of all misery,
साधु जन हृदय सरसिज भृङ्गम् – the honey bee that hovers in the heart-lotus of saints endowed with tranquility, self-restraint, endeavour etc.
कमल विजय कर विधृत कुरङ्गं – the one who holds a deer in his hand that surpasses a lotus (in beauty)
करुणा रस सुधा-अर्णव तरङ्गं – the wave from the ambrosial ocean of compassion,
कमला-ईश विनुत – the one worshipped by Vishnu (lord of Lakshmi),
वृषभ तुरङ्गं – the one who rides a bull,
कमल वदन गुरु गुह-अन्तरङ्गम् – the one dear to the lotus-faced Guruguha.
• The phrase ‘camatkAra bhU-pAla-Adi prasAda’ contains the Raga Mudra
• According to the Skanda Purana, Tiruvarur is also called Chamatkara-pura, after a king who ruled the place
• The reference to converting water to ghee is connected to the Saivite saint Nami Nandi aDigaL (one of the 63 Nayanmars), who took up a challenge from the Jains who were occupying the place to light a lamp with water.
• The reference to the lamp not casting a shadow is again from the Skanda Purana. Shiva appeared before King Camatkara and told him that the lamp would not cast a shadow in the sanctum sanctorum.
ஆயிரம் கோடி உதயசூரியனின் ஒளிக்கு ஈடான ஒளியை உடையவளும்; வளையல்கள், மாலைகள் போன்ற அணிகளால் ஒளிவீசுபவளும்; கோவைப்பழங்கள் போன்ற இதழ்களை உடையவளும் புன்னகை புரியும் பல்வரிசைகள் உடையவளும்; பொன் பட்டாடைகளால் அழகு பெற்றவளும் திருமால், பிரமன், தேவர் தலைவன் போன்றவர்களால் வணங்கப்பட்ட திருவடிகளை உடையவளும் உண்மைப் பொருளானவளும் மங்கள வடிவானவளும் கருணைக்கடல் ஆனவளும் பெரும் செல்வம் ஆனவளும் ஆன மீனாட்சியை அடியேன் எப்பொழுதும் வணங்குகிறேன்.
Meaning in English
1.1: I meditate on Devi Meenakshi Who is rising (in my mental vision) with the splendour of Thousand Million Suns, shining with Bracelets and Garlands (matching the splendour of the rising Suns),
1.2: She is rising with a Smiling Face, (appearing beautiful) with Lips Red like Bimba Fruits, and having beautiful Rows of Teeth; She is adorned with shining Yellow Garments (which are again matching the splendour of the rising Suns),
1.3: Vishnu, Brahma and the king of Suras (i.e. Indra Deva) are serving Her Lotus Feet; And Her Auspicious Form is of the essence of Eternal Consciousness (Tattva),
1.4: (Seeing that vision) I Bow down again and again to Devi Meenakshi, Who is an Ocean of Compassion.
Around the Christmas period in the month Marghazhi (December 26th to be precise), we were travelling by road from Dindigul to Coimbatore via the holy place of Palani. We saw a continuous stream of people walking on barefoot all along the stretch of the highway that led to Palani. It was clearly an indication that the bhakti filled festival of Thaipoosam is not far away.
“Thaipoosam is an important festival observed by the Hindus of southern India during the Tamil month of Thai (January – February). Outside of India, it is celebrated mainly by the Tamil speaking community settled in Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and elsewhere around the world. Thaipusam is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Murugan is also known as Karttikeya, Subrahmanya, Sanmukha, Shadanana, Skanda and Guha. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati presented a lance to Lord Murugan to vanquish the demon army of Tarakasura and combat their evil deeds. Therefore, Thaipusam is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Thaipusam is celebrated during the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai and commemorates the birthday of the Hindu deity Murugan.”
All along the drive I was thinking if I could relate this bhakti oriented activity with the Advaita Vedantic mindset that I have been focusing on over the last couple of years and come out with some learning that will be immensely satisfying. In other words, I need to link Guha (Bhakti) with Sankara (Advaita); the Manifest with the Unmanifest; the Son with the Father. Looks simple; but impossible without a Guru.
That thinking took me to another Guruguha, one of the trinity in Carnatic music world. Yes, Muthuswamy Dikshithar provided me, the link for relating Bhakti with Vedanta.
Oh mind, worship the form of Guruguhan. Give up the agony of the heart caused by illusion.When human birth has been obtained, attain the perfect unsurpassed bliss of the Supreme Being ( don’t waste the opportunity) He is SADASIVA, full of SATVAGUNA;All living beings are born out of Him as the result of the impact of AVIDYA. The universe with its TAMASIC qualities is again a manifestation of His greatness; He is TARAKESVARA and ANANDA BHAIRAVA. Prostrate on His feet ; Mediate on His name; Conquer the veil of illusion and Think of Him as your sole refuge.
Meaning in Tamil
அகஇருள் விளை உயிரின உருவகமூலம் அவன்
Understanding the Kriti
Right at the beginning of the Kriti (Pallavi), Muthuswamy Dikshithar relates Jiva, Jagat and Isvara through their manifestations Mind, Maya and Guha. He “straight away instructs the mind to strive for higher goals – “Oh mind!!(“rE mAnasa”) meditate on (“bhajarE”) guha, the form of guru and abandon (“tyajarE”) the delusionary (“mAya-maya”) sorrows and afflictions of the heart/mind (“hRttApam”). He straightaway equates a guru as a form of the Lord Himself and commands the mind to worship him and meditate on him.”
Continuing, Dikshithar in the anupallavi, says “Having obtained the human birth form, go,take the path and try to attain the unsurpassed bliss associated with the supreme consciousness” – a reference to the Isavasya Upanishad Slokas which outline the paths that one can pursue for understanding the “Atma Svaroopam”.
In the caraNam, dIkshitar describes the Lord as ” The form of everlasting consciousness (“sadASivaM”), the one endowed with (“sahita”) with qualities of (“guNOpAdhi”) satva. The one from whom all the living beings (“jIva”) are born (“udbhavam”) as a result of their own ignorance (“sva avidya”). His greatness (“vaibhavaM”) symbolises the truth (“tatvam”) that lies beyond this world (“viSva”) filled with tamasic qualities (“tAmasa yuta”). He is tArakEswara, the Lord who helps cross this ocean of samsara. He is the form of Anandabhairava, radiating ever-lasting bliss”. Again I am reminded of the Shanthi Sloka and the first Sloka of Isavasya Upanishad – Isavasyam idham sarvam.
In the madhyamakAla sAhityam, Dikshithar says “Worship (“natvA”) the feet (“caraNam”) of the auspicious preceptor (“shrI guru”). Chant and meditate on his name (“nAmasmaraNam”). Conquer (“jitvA”) the sheath/veil (“AvaraNam”) of delusion/desire (“mOha”). Surrender to him as the sole (“twadEka”) refuge (“SaraNam”).” Pray, meditate, get mind control, come out of ignorance, surrender and reach Sat Cit Ananda – the very process that takes you to your SELF and reveals that “Tat Tvam Asi” which is the essence of Vedanta.
Today is Thai Pongal. They say தை பிறந்தால் வழி பிறக்கும். The dawn of the Tamil Month of Thai is expected to bring in solutions to all our issues. Happy Pongal to all.
The day is also called Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti (also known in Bangladesh as Poush Sankranti), It is a harvest festival day in the Hindu Calendar, dedicated to the nourisher Aditya or Surya (Sun). It is observed each year the day Sun enters the Capricorn zodiac which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregoriyan Calendar. It marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara rashi (Capricorn). A very special day indeed for us.
On this auspicious day, here is my photographic Pranaam to Aditya.
Everyday during my walks in the early morning and in the evening, I was always under the impression that I had the best views of our nourisher “Aditya” the Sun and receive his Golden Blessings.
Somedays I get young guests joining me to share the gallery.
But never did I realize that there are always some “special beings” who had the vantage view, negating my “superior view” about myself. Here are these special ones.
No wonder we say “आदित्यहृदयंपुण्यं”. The Sun has a noble heart indeed.
Have a great day. God Bless. இறை அருள் பெருக. வளமுடன் வாழ்க !
O Bestower of Boons! I consider those devotees of Thine most fortunate, who always chant Thy sacred names, and so revel in the ocean of Bliss. Contemplating on Thy divine form they are engaged in narrating Thy divine stories. Moving about freely, they are immersed in the joy of Thy thoughts. They, indeed, have fulfilled all their desires in life.
Meaning in Tamil
உன் மகிமைமிகு திருவிளையாடல்களை, உலகோனே!
கட்டின்றி நகரும் அப்பக்தர்குழாம் எந்நேரமும்,
மட்டின்றி திளைத்தனரே உன் பேரின்பக் கடலிலே, கண்ணா!
கடந்தனரே வாழ்வதனின் தம் ஆசைக் கடல் அனைத்துமே
கண்டனரே தமை உலகில் புண்ணியரென, குருவாயூரப்பனே! 3.1
Adi Sankaracharya’s Sivananda Lahari and Dakshinamurthy Stothram – All the Sanskrit Verses with Transliteration, translation and meaning in English and Tamil is available at Amzon Kindle and will be available at
speciallydiscounted price of 0.99 USD (From USD 2.99) each
from Jan 10th to Jan 16 for Mahara Sankaranthi & Pongal.
The greatness of The Supreme Reality-The Brahma Tatwa is of the nature of the Pure Consciousness, is without parallel or comparison, is totally free of time and space limitations, and is always free of Maya. This was brought out in Daskam 1. That Brahma Tatwa which is not easy to grasp in the beginning, but the realisation of which, is the highest purusharth (i.e. liberation), that very Reality shines right in front in concrete form in the Guruvaayur temple as Lord Krishna. Through this first Daskam, the transcendent and immanent (Nirguna and Saguna) nature of the Brahman is brought out.
The reality of the Brahman is not a question to be solved by dialectic which the vast majority of the human race will be unable to understand. Dialectic in itself and without reference to personal experience cannot give us conviction. Only spiritual experiences can provide us with proof. Narayana Bhattathri has brought out his spiritual experience at the Guruvayur Temple for the benefit of ordinary humans like us. In Dasakam 2, the sweetness of the form and the devotion to that form was brought out clearly.
Now in Daskam 3, Bhattathri brings out his personal health issues and earnestly appeals to the Lord to help him. In that process he amplifies the various aspects of Bhakti and the significant gains that devotees acquire through Bhakti Marga.
We will commence our study of the Slokas. Each Sloka will be covered in a blog.
The first Sloka of Dasakam 3 will appear on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day of 13th January 2022.
The subsequent blogs will appear on every Ekadasi day at 0400 Hrs (IST) and will contain a link to the Chanting Audio .
Each blog will cover the Sloka, transliterations in English and Tamil and the meaning of the Sloka in English and Tamil.
An important message here: Except for the translation in Tamil which is an expression of my limited understanding of the Sloka, everything else is what is available in the public domain.
The Year 2021 is coming to an end shortly. The threat of Covid-19 and its variants continues and as we find ways and means to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic, we should continue our vigil and care.
On a personal note, God has been extremely kind. With His Grace and blessings from elders, I could continue my journey of learning. Whatever I could assimilate, I could bring them out through my blogs and books and they have been well received.
From a modest beginning in 2019, prabhusponder.com now has over 250 followers, 18000 visitors from around the world (over 35 countries) and 36000 views. This only reinforces that I need to learn more and share more.
So, here is a big THANK YOU and a sincere prayer for the New Year 2022.