Absolute Surrender to Sankara – TOTAKAASHTAKAM – ॥ तोटकाष्टकं ॥

In the process of my spiritual journey, I have been trying to understand the works of Adi Sankaracharya. The child in me ventured and tried to understand the following works of Adi Sankara so far.

Sivananda Lahari, Siva Panchaksharam, Subramanya Bhujangam, Nirvana Shatakam, Bhaja Govindam and Ganesha Pancharathnam. The current venture is into Dakshinamurthy Sthothram.

Last week during one of my Whatsapp messaging with my eldest brother (whose name is incidentally Gurumoorthy), I got the link of the MS Subbulakshmi’s song on Totakaashtakam. That was the trigger.

How childish I am and how immature I have been! True to the nature of a child (as would be described by Adi Sankara himself in one of the Slokas of Dakshinamurthy Stothram), it didn’t even occur to me that I should offer my prayers to Adi Sankara himself first, before venturing. How can anyone commence a journey without offering prayers to the காவல் தெய்வம் ? (The Protector) Sankara.

To me it became clear that The Guru, appeared as an innocuous message from my brother Gurumoorthy and triggered me to dive into Totakaashtakam and ensure that I don’t carry on the journey without offering my prayers to Adi Sankara – the Akhila Guru’s (Lord Sankara’s) avatar.

So, here is my humble understanding of the Ashtakam and my prayers to Adi Sankaracharya.

I dedicate this translation to the lotus feet of Maha Periavaa Sri Paramacharya of Kanchi. Here is a rare video clip of Maha Periavaa explaining Totakaashtakam.

I will resume Dakshinamurthy Stothram now in the next blog on 07th May 2021.

Guru Purnima & Dedication to the Guru

Last year in 2019, it was July 19th. July is normally the month of Guru purnima. This year it is on 5th July 2020.

Last year being the first year of my blogging, I dedicated the blog to my Guru, my father. This year I was contemplating as to what to do. What better way to dedicate & observe this month than to try and understand the unique composition by the greatest legend who lived in the 20th century – Kanchi Maha Swami fondly known as Paramacharya, Kanchi Periavaa, Shri. Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi.

In this month starting July 3, on every Friday, over 5 blogs I will try and understand His Durga Pancharathnamala. The available information in the world wide web was of immense help to me in this process.

It is also a strange coincidence that the first Carnatic Music Composition that came to me for my Tamil translation work in July is on Goddess Kamakshi, the principal deity on whom Paramacharya Kanchi Maha Swami composed Durga Pancharathnamala. This is scheduled on July 5th.