Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dasaka 13 Om Namo Naarayanaya!  

Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"


O grantor of boons!!  At that time, Sage Narada approached Hiranyaaksha and very cleverly praised you, while doubting his strength. (1)

"The mighty Vishnu is carrying away your earth, O Hiranyaaksha!  How can you let this happen?", said Sage Narada.  As you emerged from the water, holding aloft the earth, Hiranyaaksha approached you. (2)

Hiranyaaksha derided you with abusive words, while you set the earth on the water, using your power, and prepared to fight.  (3)

As you both approached each other, armed with clubs, ready to fight, the Gods gathered to watch. Lord Brahma reminded you to destroy him before dusk (because demons become more powerful at night).  (4)

In the duel with clubs, your club was knocked down by Hiranyaaksha.  At this time, you launched the Sudarshana Chakra at him.  (5)

O remover of Maya!  The demon's trident was shattered by the Sudarshana Chakra.  The angry demon struck you with his fists and used magic illusion to deceive and hurt you.  (6)

Lo and behold!  A spark from your discus dispelled all the illusion created by the demon.  At this time, you kicked the demon at the root of his ear while the demon kept striking you with his fists.  (7)

 The demon fell dead and the gathered sages and Gods sang your praises.  (8)

 The Chandas (holy hymns like the Gayatri mantra) are embedded in your skin.  The heap of Dharbha grass is in your hair.    The ghee offered into the fire is in your eyes.  The four officiating priests are in your feet.  The sacrificial vessel is in your face.  Your stomach stores the offering and your tongue extracts the Soma juice.  The Soma juice is stored in your ears and your neck stores the three sacrificial rites.  (9)

 O Lord of Guruvayoor!  Delighted by hearing such songs of praise, you made your way back to your abode, in Vaikunta.  O Lord!  Please cure me of my disease!  (10)

Om Namo Naarayana!! 


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dasaka 12 Om Namo Naarayanaya!  
Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 12
O Lord!  Seeing the earth submerged in the ocean, Manu (son of Swayambhu or Brahma) seeked Lord Brahma's help in Satyaloka.  He was accompanies by the sages Sanaka and others who are your devotees.  (1)
Manu beseeched Brahma:  "O Brahma born of the lotus!  While I was creating new beings, the earth fell into the ocean.  Please save the earth and find a place for the newly created beings."  Brahma then meditated on your Lotus Feet.  (2)
O Lord!  You heard Brahma's cry for help.  You then emerged as a boar from his nostril. (3)
When you first emerged as a boar, you were only the size of a toe, but soon grew as large as an elephant.  Brahma and his sons were wonderstruck, seeing your growth.  (4)
Brahma wondered: "Is this the Maya of the invincible Lord Vishnu?  Who is this mighty boar who has emerged from my nostril?"  At this time, you grew as large as a mountain and gave a fearsome grunt!  (5)
The sages in the worlds of Jana, Tapa and Satya heard your loud grunt and started to sing your praises.  This pleased you and you plunged into the ocean, grunting again.  (6)
O Lord!  With your hair standing, your tail raised, eyes rolling and your snout pointed downwards, you pierced through the clouds as you plunged into the ocean. This delighted all the sages.  (7)
O Lord!  You frightened the dwellers of Rasathala with your grunt, as you searched the ocean (that was filled with crocodiles and whales) for Goddess Earth.  (8)
O Lord Varaaha!  You found the earth at the bottom of Rasathala and easily took the earth in your tusk, disregarding the demons who were pursuing you.  (9)
O Lord in the form of the playful boar, who effortlessly saved the earth, please protect me from my disease!  (10)
Om Namo Bhagavathe Vaasudevaya!!
Source:  Naarayaneeyam by T.N Menon

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dasaka 11 Om Namo Naarayanaya!  
Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 11
O Lord Guruvayoorappa!  As creation continued to occur, the Sages approached Vaikunta, your divine abode, to meet you.  (1)  
The sages arrived at the seventh gate of your divine abode, after crossing the six gates and the Naisreyasa garden.  (2)
The gate keepers, Jaya and Vijaya stopped the sages from entering Vaikunta.  This angered the sages. This happened only because you willed it.  (3)
The angry sages cursed Jaya and Vijaya to take on the form of demons, as per their behavior.  They begged you to bless them, O Lord, to yet be chanting and remembering your name, even in their demonic forms.  (4)
O Lord Vishnu!  You then appeared in your charming form along with Goddess Lakshmi, riding on Garuda (the eagle), and delighted the sages.  (5)
Out of compassion for your attendants, you blessed them that they may attain you through three births of enmity towards you.  (6)
Jaya and Vijaya were born to Sage Kashyapa and Diti as the twin demons, Hiranyaaksha and Hiranyakashipu.  They were conceived at an inauspicious time of day (dusk), and so were cruel by nature and deeds. (7)
The twins shook the world with their merciless exploits, blinded by their natural tendencies.  (8)
Of the two, Hiranyaaksha, could not find a match for his might and so captured the Earth Goddess and immersed her in the ocean.  (9)
O Lord!  Hearing about your glory, Hiranyaaksha set out in search of you, so as to fight and subdue you!  O Lord of Guruvayoor!  You are the seat of mercy!  Please cure me of my disease!  (10)

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!
Sources:  Narayaneeyam by P.N.Menon; Narayaneeyam by Gita Press
Please pardon any mistakes or misinterpretations!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dasaka 10 Om Namo Naarayanaya!  Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 10
O Lord of Vaikunta!  With powers endowed by you, Brahma created the world, that included living things, such as:  trees, birds, animals, human beings and various Gods.  (1)
Brahma also created five orders of ignorance:  false knowledge, egoism, attachment, anger and fear.  Having created these impure objects, he then purified himself by meditating on your lotus feet.  (2)
Brahma then created from his mind the four Rishis:  Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanatkumara.  They lay immersed in devotion to you O Lord, while Brahma unsuccessfully tried to get the Rishis to continue with the creation process.  (3)
Out of Brahma's mid-brow arose (as a result of his anger):  "Mrida", who cried out in uncontrolled anger:  "O Brahma!  Name me and create a space for me!"  So he became known as Rudra.  (4)
Brahma divided Rudra into eleven different forms with eleven names and eleven wives and spaces and requested them to procreate.  (5)
When the various forms of Rudra multiplied, the Universe was filled with scary beings and this created fear in Brahma's mind.  Brahma then asked Rudra to stop procreating and immerse himself in meditating for the welfare of this world.  (6)
Out of Brahma's various limbs arose Mareechi, Atri, Angiras, sage Krathu, Pulaha, Pulastya, Bhrigu, Vasishta, Dakhsa and your devotee, Narada.  (7)
Brahma then created Dharma, Kardama and Goddess Saraswati.  He became excited by the God of Love at the sight of Saraswati, but controlled himself with the help of reminders from Sanaka, Daksha and others.  (8)
The four faced Brahma created from himself, the Vedas, the Puranas and other branches of study.  Brahma however could not figure out how to let his creations multiply on their own.  So he sought your help and meditated on your lotus feet.  (9)
Blessed by the knowledge of creation, Brahma split his body into two and assumed the male and female forms.  O Govinda!  O Lord of Guruvayoor!  Please protect me from my maladies!  (10)
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!
Sources:  Narayaneeyam by P.N.Menon; Narayaneeyam by Gita Press
Please pardon any mistakes or misinterpretations!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dasaka 9 Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 9
O Lord!  Brahma was curious about the source of the lotus.  So, he turned his face in every direction and lo and behold, four faces sprang up in the four directions!  (1)
Lord Brahma was unable to discern where the lotus was attached and wondered who he was and why he was all alone.  (2)
Knowing that there must be a source for the lotus, Lord Brahma descended into the lotus stalk using his Yogic powers.  Yet, he was unable to see your attractive form!  (3)
Lord Brahma looked for you for a hundred divine years in vain!  Brahma then sat on the lotus absorbed in deep meditation.  (4)
After another hundred divine years of deep contemplation, Brahma was blessed by a vision of your delightfully divine form, resting on the snake (Naga Sesha).  (5)
O Lord!  I meditate on your divine form that Lord Brahma envisioned:  adorned with a bejeweled crown, bangles, necklaces, shoulder ornaments, waist belts, the Kaustubha gem on your chest, wearing yellow silk garments, and looking as fresh and gentle as a Kalaya flower!  (6)
O Lord who stole Godess Lakshmi's heart!  You are the destroyer of all miseries and you are glorified in all the scriptures and by Brahma.  I am indeed blessed to have a vision of your form.  Please grant me the sharpness of intellect and protect me!  (7)
O Lord!  You blessed God Brahma with the knowledge and skill to create the three worlds and the courage to overcome anything supported by his devotion to you.  (8)
After that, Lord Brahma meditated for another hundred divine years and gained in intelligence and in power.  (9)
Blessed by you, Lord Brahma created the three worlds and everything in it from the lotus. O Guruvayoorappa!  You are epitome of compassion, please look upon me with kindness and bless me!  (10)

Om Namo Bhagavathe Vaasudevaya!

This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

  Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!!  Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare!

The Magic Mantra*!

The mantra above is magical! If you happen to chant it once loudly, then it repeats itself in your mind all day.  Just try it and see.

"Hare" in Sanskrit means thief from the verb root "har" or "to steal".  "Rama" comes from the verb root "ram" or "to delight" - Rama is the God who fills us with joy.  Krishna comes from the verb root "karsh" or "to draw" - the one who attracts our minds towards him, constantly.  There is certainly excitement in calling the Lord someone who delights and attracts, but a thief?!!  Maybe someone who steals and takes over your heart, mind and soul?

Simply put, we chant to keep the mind occupied. If not, a million thoughts rush in and ceaselessly disturb the mind. The mind is like the ocean, waves are constantly formed and carry it away with strong force.  The mind likes sensationalism, and to keep it focused, it requires bold imagery like this.

So keep chanting this magic mantra and may it bring you joy and peace!

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare!  Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!!

*  "man-tira" or what helps you to cross over the ocean of the mind
Source:  "Meditation" by Eknath Easwaran

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dasaka 8  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  Namaskarams to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 8
The Deluge and the Miracle of Creation
O Lord!  The great deluge wiped out everything and on the day after, Brahma received the Vedas from you and began the work of creation.  (1)
Lord Brahma spent a thousand four-stage yugas (Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali) immersed in your contemplation.  Brahma's night is called Naimittka Pralaya (temporary deluge).  (2)
O Lord, when Brahma wakes up, he performs his duty of creation.  For liberated souls (who live across many Yugas), the act of creation is like waking up to work after a night's sleep.  (3)
Lord Brahma has now completed one Parardha or half of his age.  Let me now describe what happened during the deluge and on the day after.  (4)
1000x4 yugas=1 day for Brahma
1000x4yugas=1 night for Brahma
2000x4 yugas=1 day+1 night for Brahma
360 days for Brahma=1 year for Brahma
100 years for Brahma = Brahma's full age
O Lord!  When at the end of the day, Brahma closed his eyes and lay merged in you, the worlds entered your stomach and the universe became a single body of water.  (5)
O Bliss Absolute!  When there was nothing but water in the universe, you lay down on Naga Sesha immersed in Yoga Nidra (contemplating on yourself)!  (6)
Lord!  At this time, with everything merged in you, you commanded Time to wake you up at the end of the deluge, and slept!  (7)
O Lord!  When you had slept thus for four thousand yugas, at the end of the deluge, Time awakened you.  (8)
What a sight it must have been to see you resting on the snake in the ocean!  You opened your eyes and rested it on the worlds that were merged in you!!  (9)
What a wonder!  A divine lotus emerged from your navel containing the essence of everything that was merged in you!  (10)
The lotus (that emerged from you) was so brilliant that it dispelled all the darkness in the universe!  (11)
In that lotus that was fully bloomed, Brahma appeared with all the knowledge of the Vedas intact in his memory.  (12)
O Supreme soul!  You are all pervading and dwell in Guruvayoor!  You awakened Brahma!  Please free me from my sorrows!!  (13)
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dasaka 7  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  Obeisances to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 7
O Lord!  After you took the form of the fourteen worlds, you then took on the form of the creator, Brahma, who is also known as Hiranyagraba, the combined power behind everything in the Universe.  The increase in Rajasic power created a desire in Brahma to manifest in millions of forms in the Universe.  (1)
O Lord of the Universe!  Brahma, however lacked the knowledge to create these various forms.  While Brahma was contemplating this question, you urged him to meditate, by putting the thought in his mind.  (2)
Brahma looked around to see who had spoken to him, and not seeing anyone, he meditated on the word "meditate".  He meditated for a thousand years and was blessed by the sight of your divine abode, Vaikunta.  (3)
O Lord!  Vaikunta is a place where Maya cannot enter and so it is totally devoid of the emotions of anger, sadness, fear, ignorance.  You revealed to Brahma, O Lord, this place of absolute bliss!  (4)
Vaikunta is the place where the devotees who were devoted to you have attained a space; these purified souls are luminous like dark sapphires, are four-armed, and are riding flying vehicles.  Victory to Vaikunta!  (5)
In Vaikunta, Goddess Lakshmi is seated at your tender, lotus feet.  She is as bright as lightning, slender as a creeper and is sitting in the midst of heavenly damsels.  O Lord!  Please find me a space in your divine abode!  (6)
O Lord who is the cause behind everything!  Brahma experienced the bliss of seeing your divine form seated on a bejeweled seat, decked with ornaments like the Kaustuba, and lustrous with the brightness of a million suns.  O Lord!  Please bless me with a vision of this form!  (7)
O Lord!  Cure me of my disease by blessing me with the vision of your form that is charming as a rain laden cloud, as attractive as a Kalaya flower, your face that is decorated with a gentle, sweet smile, and your arms that bearing the shanku, chakra, gadha and padma.  (8)
O Lord!  I worship you, seeing whom Brahma became ecstatic, fell at your feet and begged you to grant him the knowledge of the true self.  (9)
O Lord!  I pray to you to restore my health!  You are the one who granted the knowledge of the self to Brahma, the one who filled him with blissful joy and the one who stimulated him to create the Universe.  (10)

This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dasaka 6  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  A thousand Namaskars to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 6
O Lord in the awe inspiring form of Virat! O Lord who has assumed the form of fourteen worlds!  The learned people say that the soles of your feet is Patala, the upper part of your feet is Rasatala and your ankles is Mahatala.  (1)
O Lord who wields the discus (Chakra)!  Your shins is Talatala, your knees are the the worlds of Vithala and Athala.  The front of your hip is the earth, your navel is the sky and your chest is Indraloka.  (2)
O Lord who has the assumed the form of everything in this Universe!  Your neck is Mahar, your face is Jnanaloka, your head is Satyaloka.  I bow down to your form that is the cause of everything in the universe!  (3)
O Lord who is the prime cause of this Universe!  The upper end of your Sushumna nerve is the Vedas, your beautiful curly locks of hair are the clouds, your luminous brows is Brahmaloka, your eyelashes create day and night (with their movement) and your eyes are the Sun.  (4)  
O Lord!  Your glance created the whole Universe!  Your ears became the directions, your nostrils became the Ashwin Gods, your lower lip became greed and the upper lip became shame.  Your teeth became the stars and your grinding teeth became the God of Death.  (5)
O Lord Virat!  Your entrancing smile became Maya, your breath became air and your tongue became water.  Your speech became a flock of birds, your melody became the learned people, your arms became the Gods and your chest became the Lord of Righeousness.  (6)
O lotus eyed Lord!  Your back became wrong thought and action and your mind became the moon.  Your soft heart is indistinct as it is plagued by moods.  Your stomach became the oceans, twillight clothed you, and your lower parts became Brahma and Mitra.  (7)
O Compassionate Lord!  Your hips became herds of animals, your nails became the elephant, camel and the horse.  Your gait became the passing of time.  And the castes were created out of your face, arms, thighs and feet. (8)
O Lord who wields a discus!  Your actions are the cycle of life, your valor is like that of the mighty demons, your bones are the mountains, your nerves are the rivers, and your hair forms the trees.  Long live to this exquisite form of yours!  (9)
To those who follow Karma Yoga, your form in the form of Virat is to be meditated on, at the end of every good action.  O Lord Guruvayurappa!!  I bow to you who pervades this entire Universe and beseech you to save me from this illness.  (10)

This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why does he steal butter?

Yashoda was very upset.  Another Gopika had come to complain that Krishna had come to her house and stolen butter and had also broken all her pots.  It had taken all of Yashoda's good charm to pacify that angry Gopika.  Yashoda had had to give the Gopika some of her own butter pots to make up for the ones that Krishna had broken, so that the Gopika had enough butter to sell the next day.

Yashoda called out to Krishna, playing outside with the other boys to come to her at once.  Krishna came running and put his arms around her waist.  As Yashoda looked at Krishna's beautiful face looking up at her lovingly, her heart melted and she had the urge to pick him up and cuddle him.

But then she remembered and toughened herself.  Krishna's behaviour had to be corrected.  What need did he have to go and take butter from the poor Gopikas?  She fed him very well, so there was no need for him to ask for food from other homes. She felt sad and hurt and angry.

Yashoda knelt down to Krishna's eye level and put on an angry expression.

She said, "Krishna, are you hungry?"  Krishna rubbed his bulging stomach and said, "No."

Yashoda said, "When you are hungry, do I ever not give you food or butter?"  Krishna gave her a kiss on her cheek and said, "No."

Yashoda said, "Why do you steal butter from the Gopika's homes?  And why do you break their pots?  You know that they sell the butter to make the money to live, don't you?"

Krishna said, "Mother, some of the Gopikas have hearts like fresh butter.  Their hearts are white, pure and melt easily. They wait for me to come to their homes and steal their butter (and their hearts).  If I did not go to their homes, they would be very, very disappointed.  There are some other Gopikas whose hearts are like spoilt, smelly butter.  I go to their homes and break their pots (and their hearts) to teach them a lesson.  But I love all of them and they all adore me."

Krishna then laughed and ran away to play.  Yashoda stood speechless at her little boy's wisdom.


Source:  Inspired from talks by Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal

Dasaka 5  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  A thousand Namaskars to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 5
O Lord Hari!!  During the time of the great deluge, there was no physical body, nor were there the three gunas (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas), nor Maya, or Death or Moksha.  Even day and night did not exist.  There was nothing other than you - Sat-Chit-Ananda (Truth-Knowledge-Bliss).  (1)

O Lord!  At the time of the deluge, time, forms, action, souls, etc were merged in you and were enjoying the bliss of oneness.  The Vedas do not talk about these (time, forms, action, souls) as non existent or Asat.  Or is it that these (not merged in you and) are non-existent or Asat and will be apparent again (like flowers in the sky) at the end of the deluge?  (It cannot be so.)  (2)

When two Prardhas (lifetimes of Brahma) had passed, you cast a glance that desired creation and this set Maya going with the creation of the three worlds, the creation of time, the three moods or gunas, and the tracking of action.  (3)
O Lord!  You are the power behind Maya, yet the creation is not in you!  In Vedanta, you are said to be the eternal "witness".  You have become the "many" reflected in Maya's creation.  Next, Maya, bound by time, action, forms, created the great "intelligence".  (4) 
O Lord Vishnu!  Intelligence is pure Sattwa, in spite of being of the three gunas (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas).  This intelligence gives the knowledge of "I am that formless Absolute".  This intelligence also created the sense of "I" and the identification with an individual physical form (when dominated by the mood of Tamas).  (5)
This sense of "I" or the ego divided into three types of moods:  Vaikarika, Rajas and Tamas.  Of these the Vaikarika or Sattwic mood produced the Gods of the senses:  the Directions, Air, the Sun, Varuna, Ashwins, Fire, Vishnu, Mitra, Prajapati, the Moon, Brahma, Rudra and Kshetrajna.  (6)
O Guruvayurappa!! The same Sattwic mood also produced the internal organs called the Chitta, that is "Mind-Intellect-Egoism" combined.  The ten senses were also born out of the Rajasic portion of the ego and the primal sound (Om) was born out of the Tamasic portion of the ego.  (7)

From that primal sound arose the sky, the touch, air, form, fire, taste, water, smell, earth (in sequence).  O Madhava!  In this way, all the elements were created in sequence, and containing characteristics of the previously created element.  (8)
O Vishnu Bhagavan!!  These groups of elements, Gods or senses do not have the ability to create this Universe on their own.  It was only when you entered them and powered them with your energy, that they combined with one other to create the golden egg (the Universe).  (9)
O Lord Guruvayurappa!!  That egg remained in water for a thousand years until it broke and created a form called "Virat" that took the form of fourteen worlds.  This form of Virat was a collection of souls and was brilliant with thousands of feet and heads.  I pray that your form of Virat may protect me from all my problems!  (10)

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!

This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The greatness of his flute

With her eyes closed, Radha was immersed in the mesmerizing music emanating from Krishna's flute.  When he had finished his song, she opened her eyes and then asked him if she could have his flute. Krishna handed it to her.  Radha looked at it closely; it looked like any ordinary flute.  Nothing special about it.  Could it be magical, maybe?

So, she asked Krishna who was looking at her with a very amused expression, "O Govinda!  How do you produce such melodious music from this flute?  It looks very ordinary to me.  What is the secret?"

Krishna said, "Dearest, the secret is in what the flute is filled with.  Look carefully."

Radha turned the flute over and looked at it from all directions.  Was this a trick?  She knew what a trickster he was.  After a while, she said in a quiet voice, "Your flute is not filled with anything but air?!"

Krishna laughed and said, "Yes, that is indeed the secret! If it were filled with anything but air, I would not be able to produce any music."

Radha understood.  When people are full of themselves, Krishna is unable to help them.  They are like a flute that is bocked.  But the moment they surrender to his glory, he produces beautiful music through them.

Jai Sree Krishna!!  Om Namo Narayanaya!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dasaka 4  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  I bow down to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 4
O Lord Guruvayyorapa!  Bestow on me the health to serve you.  I can assure you that I will quickly please you by practising the Yamas and Niyamas prescribed by Ashtanga Yoga.  (1)
8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga:  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). 
Yama:  Ahimsa (non violence), Satya (Truthfulness), Asteya (non stealing), Brahmacharya (non excess), Aparigraha (non possessiveness).
Niyama:  Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (self discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender).
O Lord Guruvayoorapa!  The practice of Yama and Niyama will purify my mind and the practice of Asana will provide flexibility to my body to sit in the lotus pose.   (2)
By constantly chanting the Pranava Mantra (Om), by controlling the breath, and by disengaging ourselves from worldly sensual pleasures, we will become purified and will only seek the pleasure of your name and form.  (Pranayama and Pratyahara) or (3)
We will concentrate our intellect on your indistinct form and attain the softness of the mind and the bliss of devotion.  (Dharana) (4)  
After repeatedly concentrating on your form, it will be easy for us to visualize your charming form within our inner eye.  (5)
Our mind will be captivated when we focus all our attention on your entrancing form.  Your form will gradually become clearer (Dhyana) and we will climax with enlightenment and bliss  (Samadhi).  (6)  
O Lord of the Universe!  Having experienced the bliss of Samadhi in which the pure Brahman is realized, we may falter, but we will keep repeating the process of Dharana.  (7)  
O Lord!  Enjoying the rapturous experience of Self-realization through the repeated practice of Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi, we will become free from all attachments and wander around the world like Suka, Narada and others.  (8)
O Lord!  After mastering this process of Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi, we can attain deliverance by bringing the life breath under control (using the techniques of yoga) along the six centers (chakras) and letting it slowly go out from the Sushumna nerve end.  (9)
O Supreme Lord!  Then, we can discard the subtle body and merge with you through the Sushumna nadi. (10)
Your devotees are led to the realm of the Sun by the deities who lord over the fire, the day, and the Uttarayana, from where they pass unto the land of Dhruva.  (11)
Your devotees are then led to the land of Brahma (in Satyaloka) when they cannot bear the heat of the fire that emanates from the mighty snake (Sesha).  (12)  
Those devotees live in Brahmaloka or in Vishnuloka (both are part of Satyaloka) until they are merged with the Supreme at the time of the great deluge, or earlier with the power of their Yoga.  (13)
O Lord!  Entering the macrocosm and passing through it's seven sheaths (earth, water, fire, ether, air, intelligence, illusion), they finally attain your lotus feet.  (14)
Such devotees who merge with you, do not take birth again.  O Lord Guruvayoorappa!! You are the embodiment of Truth-Awareness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda).  Please protect me, who is singing your praises!  (15)  

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dasaka 3  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  I bow down to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 3
You are the benevolent giver of wishes, O Varada!  Blessed are those people who recite your names, meditate on your form, who discuss your greatness and your life stories. (1)
I am distracted by my physical and mental problems and so am unable to serve at your lotus feet.  Please shower your compassion on me (O Guruvayoorappa!)  and resolve these maladies, so that I can sit in a secluded spot and keep repeating your holy names.  (2)
Nothing is impossible to a person who has your grace!  And the cure of my disease is such an insignificant thing!  How many of your devotees lead unattached, happy lives, because you have blessed them and removed all of their sorrows!  (3)
Well known sages like Narada and others, whose ways are mysterious and who are free from misery because of their constant contemplation of your lotus feet, wander around freely as they have already achieved absolute blissful consciousness.  (4)
May my devotion to you increase and may that alone take away all my afflictions.  I have complete faith in you, in the words of Sage Vyasa and in the scriptures.  (5)
I have been filled with the experience of utter sweetness because I have been reciting your name and your merits.  If this sweetness were to increase a little more, it would destroy all my sufferings and take me to the plane of ultimate bliss.  What more can I ask for?  (6)
Please remove all my pain and make my feet eager to enter your shrine, my hands eager to pray to you, my eyes eager to see your form, my nose anxious to smell the basil leaves and my ears eager to hear your stories.  (7)
May my mind be completely filled with your entrancing form, so that I forget my mental and physical anguish, and instead experience ecstasy and thrill.  (8)
O Guruvayoorappa!  It seems as though even those who are against you, are happy, whereas, I who am so devoted to you is suffering so much.  How can this be fair, O Varada?  Will this not tarnish your reputation?  O slayer of Kamsa, relieve me of my suffering and make me a jewel among your devotees.  (9)
Should I keep praying to you over and over again?  O compassionate one!  I will keep worshipping at your feet with full dedication until you hear my cries and save me.  (10)

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dasaka 2    Om Namoh Narayanaya!!  Obeisances to Sri Narayana Bhattadiri, who has composed this "Song of Solace"!

Dasaka 2
I pray to you, O Lord Guruvayoorappa, who has a brilliant crown (like the sun) and whose forehead is embellished with the sandalwood Tilak.  Your eyes reflect compassion, your smile is radiant, your nostrils are elegant and your ear ornaments of makara (fish) reflect on your glowing cheeks.  Your neck is adorned with the Koustubha jewel and your body is fragrant and decorated with a garland of wild flowers, clusters of pearl necklaces and the Srivatsa mark (on your chest).  (1)
I forget all my sorrows and cling to your beautiful form:  your four arms, wrists and fingers are adorned with amulets, bracelets, bangles, rings (studded with the most precious gems) and they wield the Shangu, Chakra, Gadha and Pushpa.  You are dressed in a lustrous yellow silk garment, a shining waist belt and your feet are as delicate and lovely as lotus flowers.  (2)
Why would your form not create a eagerness and curiosity in this world, O Lord Vishnu, when it is superior to the most superior form in the three worlds, when it is more infatuating than the most infatuating object in the world, more brilliant than the most brilliant beings, and sweeter and lovelier than the sweetest and loveliest forms in the world?   (3)
O Lord Vishnu (Achyutha)!  Your beautiful form has captured the heart of Goddess Lakshmi so much so that she does not stay long with any of her devotees, but remains close to you (in your heart) and is loyal and steadfast in her devotion to you.  (4)
Here is one more fact to prove Goddess's Lakshmi's fickleness to everyone except to you (O Lord Vishnu). Captivated as she is by your beauty, Goddess Lakshmi takes good care of all of the people who are devoted to you and are engrossed in your glory.  (5)
Listening to a description of your form (Lord Vishnu's form), is like being showered with exquisite nectar and like being bestowed with immense intelligence; it fills the hearts and minds of the listeners with ecstasy and bliss (in the form of being bathed in cold tear drops).  (6)
It is no wonder that great sages have declared that the path of devotion (Bhakti) is far superior to the path of knowledge (Jnana) or the path of action (Karma).  Moreover, having intense love for you, (the embodiment of beauty), is effortless and hence very easily attainable by anyone.  (7)
What is known as the path of action (karma yoga or action without attachment to the result) is only partially attainable; What is known as the path of knowledge (Jnana yoga or knowledge of the Upanishads), is difficult to comprehend; So, the path of devotion (or Bhakti to Lord Vishnu) is enjoyable and praiseworthy (shreyasi).  (8)
Many struggle to perform tiresome actions with a pure heart on the path of Karma Yoga.  Many others are engrossed in resolving philosophical conundrums and in meditating (with a pure mind) on your formless form (Brahman), on the path of Jnana Yoga.  They all do eventually attain Salvation (Moksha), after numerous births of such pursuits.  (9)
O Lord Guruvayyorappa!  Listening to the sweet stories of your exploits, is like plunging into a river of endless pleasure.  It spontaneously brings forth knowledge and effortlessly take you to Salvation (Moksha).  May such devotion (Bhakti) and love rise in me towards your Lotus feet, may my heart melt in ecstasy when I listen to your stories and see your form.  (10)
Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon