श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः

Dinaakrandana Stotram

Sri Dinaakrandana Stotram
(Sri Kashi Visveswara Stotram)
of Sri Loshtadeva


Commentary by
Sri A.S. Nataraja Iyer, B.A., M.L.


Translated by
P. R. Kannan, M.Tech.
(Jagadguru Seva Ratnam, Upanyasa Tilakam)


(in the first Tamil Edition)
श्रीमत्परमहंसपरिव्राजकाचार्यवर्य श्रीमच्छंकरभगवत्पादप्रतिष्ठित-श्रीकाञ्चीकामकोटिपीठाधिप जगद्गुरु श्रीमच्चन्द्रशेखरेन्द्रसरस्वती-श्रीपादैः क्रियते नारायणस्मृतिः
By the merit of noble deeds in past births and the good fortune of good deeds in this birth, virtuous people might come to know of the glory of this great Stotra called Dinaakrandanam authored by poet Sri Loshtadeva. All the facts expressed by the poet in this Stotra are indeed experienced by one and all in their lives.  The spiritual experience of Sri Loshtadeva is observed in this work clearly.
This great personality discarded poetry which he loved throughout his life, wore saffron robes and wails with single-minded dedication, marked by flood of tender devotion in the presence of Sri Visalakshi sametha Sri Viswanatha, the instant bestower of empire of Moksha in the kshetra of Kashi, the great crematorium which burns away sins.
Sri Loshtadeva was completely engaged in mundane life at the beginning and enjoyed pleasures; but he did not get peace of mind. He then switched to wearing of saffron and attained supreme bliss. In line with the experiences he had in life, his Stotra too picks up as it progresses increasing devotion, poetic ability, flow of emotions and significance of reality.
He says: “This body of mine has been nourished through sinful deeds; poor people were not nourished. I rolled at the feet of women involuntarily, but not at the feet of Guru. I had greed for wealth, but not for good deeds. Hence I grieve very much now. Now you are my only refuge.” (verse 48); “I have discarded writing poems; O Iswara, I blabber piteously in your presence.” (verse 50)

He then says: “Abandoning writing of words pleasing to kings, I undertook the tough vow of crying to Pasupati in the kshetra of Kashi on the sands of Ganga.” (verse 51).

“I was born in high lineage. I crossed the ocean of poetry. I then did some charity and enjoyed pleasures in a proper manner. Having realised the Truth, I took Sanyasa too, thus annulling the irrepressible Samsara. I live peacefully and happily in Kashi.” (verse 52). He thus draws attention to his peace of mind.

Further the poet makes an amazing promise, not generally heard of: “My beloved, viz. Poetry, the cause of jealousy of foes, comes and embraces me even after my taking Sanyasa. This does result in a small deviation from brahmacharya. Hence, O Visveswara, I vow in front of you that hereafter I shall not even think of her. Please pardon my fault committed this far.” (verse 53). The glory of this verse cannot be expounded even by Adisesha.

It is only poets who know how difficult is the vow to commit that the person who has been a poet has developed distaste for mundane life and he is also abandoning poetry once and for all.

Mahakavi Kalidasa has expressed the same idea in the last verse of ‘Sakuntalam’ given below:
प्रवर्ततां प्रकृतिहिताय पार्थिवः सरस्वती श्रुतिमहतां महीयताम् ।
ममापि च क्षपयतु नीललोहितः पुनर्भवं परिगतशक्तिरात्मभूः ॥३५॥

(“May the king strive for the welfare of the citizens; may Saraswathi bless increasing glory of the scholars; may Siva (Nilalohita) rid me of rebirth, with Brahma losing his power.”)

The way Loshtadeva characterises his glorious composition, fulfilling all the requirements of a great poem, as ‘blabber’ shows his dispassion. It further points to his dislike of the fame accruing from poetry.

The nature of crying before Iswara, like Loshtadeva does, is present in everyone’s mind. But the delusion of Samsara veils that nature. May all those, who read this book, realise the real state of Loshtadeva; may all those realise that state themselves, cry before Visveswara and attain the rare blessing from Him, as attained by Loshtadeva.

Camp: Mahakaligudi                                                                                                  Narayansmriti
Subhanu year, Jyeshtha Sukla Chaturdashi                                                               
June 1943



(in the first Tamil Edition)
“नमः शिवाय च शिवतराय च”
Following this prayer of Veda, Siva worship, though widespread in our country, shone with many unique features, stemming from differences of principles of Dvaita, Visishtadvaita and Advaita, primarily in Kashmir and the South. In Kashmir where system of Advaita called ‘Pratyabhigna’ flourished, countless rare Siva Stotras came up. (Pratyabhijna is an idealistic, monistic and theistic school of philosophy in Kashmir Shaivism). Of them, the most illustrious is ‘Sivastotravali’ written by Utpaladeva, the Guru of Acharya Abhinavagupta. In Kashmir, where Pratyabhigna was on the rise, when the Advaita doctrine of our Acharya Bhagavatpada entered, one of the writers on that theme was Ramyadeva. In the court of king Jayasimharaja, who ruled Kashmir from 1127 A.D. to 1149 A.D., there were two ministers called Lankaka and Mankaka, who were brothers. In 1140, Mankaka wrote the poem ‘Srikantha Charitam’ on the Tripuradahana story. Towards the end of this book, in chapter 25, Mankaka claims to have inaugurated his poem in a large gathering of scholars, who sat around his elder brother Lankaka. There, while describing the scholars in that assembly one by one, Mankaka praises Ramyadeva in three verses. From this we gather that Ramyadeva was a celebrated Acharya of Advaita Vedanta; he was a Sanyasi; he used to give daily discourses on Vedanta; he wrote explanations for Ghatavallis, forming part of Upanishads, and for the Advaita text ‘Ishtasiddhi’ of Vimuktatma Bhagavan, disciple of Avyayatma Bhagavan.
यस्य व्यनक्ति काषायग्रहमारक्तया रुचा ।
नित्योपन्याससंक्रान्तवेदान्तार्थ इवाधरः ॥
नीत्वा सफलतां वल्लीरिष्टसिद्धिं विवृण्वता ।
श्रुतीनां पथि शिष्येषु येन कल्पद्रुमायितम् ॥
निस्तुषीकृतवैदुष्यं स्मयमात्सर्यसंहृतेः ।
धृतप्रणतिपारम्यं रम्यदेवं तमैक्षत ॥
(श्रीकण्ठचरितम् सर्ग: २५, ३१-३३)

The son of this Ramyadeva was Loshtadeva. Mankaka extols in three verses his mastery of six languages and faultless poetry, and he also refers to many verses of praise of this Loshtadeva by Lankaka. We do not know which are the poems authored by Loshtadeva of such poetry fame.
वाग्देवतालिनीलीलाधुतपक्षतिचातुरीम् ।
वदनाम्बुरुहे यस्य भाषाः षडधिशेरते ॥
खलानां यत्प्रबन्धेषु दृढव्युत्पत्तिवर्मसु ।
प्रोद्यच्चोद्यमया दूरे कुण्ठिता इव पत्रिणः ॥
कतिचिल्लोष्टदेवस्य तस्येति मुखतोऽशृणोत् ।
श्रीलङ्ककं प्रति प्रोतचारुचाटुरसा गिरः ॥
(श्रीकण्ठचरितम् सर्ग: २५, ३८,३६)
In ‘Sadukti Karnamritam’ compiled by Sridharadasa in 1205 A.D. and in ‘Jalhana Suktimuktavali’ compiled prior to that, some verses of a poet called Loshta Sarvagna are found. In one ‘Anushtup’ verse, this poet claims to have surpassed Mahakavi Bana. In another ‘Sardula Vikridita’ verse, he says that the assembly is pervaded by conceit, hatred and stupidity and calls upon the wall in the assembly to listen to his poem and praise it. In yet another ‘Vasantatilaka’ verse, he employs the beautiful metaphor of the beloved shouting in the dark nights of rainy season, holding the lamp of lightning in her hand, ‘Where is my lover, still alive’ and searching for him. It may be said that this Loshta Sarvagna and Loshtadeva, the son of Ramyadeva, praised by Mankaka as Mahakavi are one and the same person.

Loshtadeva reached Kashi, the kshetra of Mukti in his last days perhaps in order to avert the reproach, ‘Father was a Vedanti and wore saffron; the son was always playing with his beloved, viz. poetry’. In that great crematorium where all mundane matters and all miseries are burnt to ashes, in that ‘Anandakanana’, where Ananda, bliss, the real form of Atma expresses itself, he spent his time, worshipping Visveswara, with dispassion in accordance with his name ‘Loshta’ (Loshta means lump of clay) and became a Gnani. As he had been engaged in writing poetry, he mentions in one place that despite his efforts, his longing did not leave him, and now and then poetry comes to him like a secret beloved. Though this old attachment reared its head, he did not use it for petty matters or for making a show of his poetic ability; he atoned by pouring out a Siva Stuti and attained the real purpose of his life. One of his Siva Stotras is this Dinaakrandanam (wretched man’s wail), being published now.

I wished to introduce certain rare Stotras to the Southern readership, who might not be ordinarily familiar with them; Stotras which had been written in Kashmir and a few other such places. I therefore included in the Stotra compilation released a few years ago, selected verses from Utpaladeva’s Siva Stotravali, Loshtadeva’s Dinaakrandanam etc. Owing to the great interest shown by a devotee in verse 49 of Dinaakrandanam published therein, now that entire Stotra is getting released with Tamil translation, and this is a sign of my wish getting fulfilled. This Dinaakrandana Stotra was printed in 1890 in ‘Kavyamala’ volumes in Part 6 on pages 21-30. This present publication is based on that. Tamil translation and notes have been prepared by Brahmasri A.S. Nataraja Iyer, B.A., M.L.

The lofty devotion of Loshtadeva, the purity of his emotion, and the direct and clear style of his poetry are all to be enjoyed well in this Stotra. Importantly, in verse 43, treating his devotion as love, the way the poet wails in front of Siva with the attitude of Nayika (heroine) is very sweet for one who is infatuated with Iswara. May this infatuation of divine love catch hold of us and shake us!

1.6.1943                                                                                                                    V. Raghavan
(Department of Sanskrit, Madras University)

(in the first Tamil Edition)

घटो वा मृत्पिण्डोऽप्यणुरपि धूमोऽग्निरचलः
पटो वा तन्तुर्वा परिहरति किं घोरशमनम्
वृथा कण्ठक्षोभं वहसि तरसा तर्कवचसा
पदाम्भोजं शम्भोर्भज परमसौख्यं व्रज सुधीः ६॥
Thus has Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada taught in Sivanadalahari. On this, our Acharya has explained the purport of this verse thus: “The pot came from clay; smoke came from fire; the cloth came from thread, so we speak. Will all this prevent the one who drags us in our last moments? What is the use of speaking fast? Will it stop that person? Then what will make him stop when he comes? Talk of the lotus feet of Siva; that will lead to supreme happiness. The purpose of all Sastras is engaging in devotion only.” To those who wish to be devoted to the lotus feet of Paramasiva and wish to take refuge only in them, this Stotra on Sri Visveswara is an effective means.

Medicine for the disease of Samsara
We are all tired of wandering in Samsara (repeated birth and death). The demoness called ‘Avidya’ (ignorance) has caught hold of us. It is only Lord Siva who chases her away and cures us of the disease of Samsara with the medicine of discrimination.
Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada has said: अविद्या सह कार्येण विद्यया हातव्या इति श्रुतिस्मृतिन्यायेभ्यः अवगम्यते (गीताभाष्ये १३.२)  “We come to know from Vedas, Smritis and logic that Avidya and her actions have to be removed through Vidya (discrimination).”

The poet has described in a disgusting manner the wretchedness of how pregnancy happens, the misery of life in womb, the ignorance that the baby picks up on emerging from the womb, the passing of childhood like an animal, the predilections of youth, the cruelty called marriage, the torture of working for wife and children etc. The reason for this is what Sri Adi Acharya says: विरक्तस्य हि संसारात् भगवत्तत्त्वज्ञाने अधिकारः न अन्यस्य (गीताभाष्ये १५.१)  “One who has developed aversion to Samsara is alone entitled to the true knowledge of Bhagavan.”

Fear of Yama and Surrender
Describing our fear of Yama and the torments of Yama’s attendants in hells, the poet explains in verses 17, 19, 29 and 36 that the means of getting rid of this fear is only surrendering to Paramasiva. He ascertains (verse 29) अत्रोचितं हर चर स्वकृपालुतायाः (२९) that there is no anxiety once we surrender. In verses 43 and 44, the poet gives expression to the Nayika-Nayaka attitude, which is the lofty form of devotion to Siva. शास्त्राचार्योपदेशशमदमादिसंस्कृतं मनः आत्मदर्शने कारणम् (गीताभाष्ये २.२१) Mind, purified by control of mind and sense organs is alone the means of experience of Atma. Saying that Gnana or that kind of control of mind and sense organs is not in him, he takes Sanyasa, surrenders to Paramasiva, undertakes the vow of kshetra Sanyasa that he would not leave Sri Kashi kshetra, completes this Dinaakrandana Stotra, then fears that this is also a kind of writing poetry and this also is a fault for a Sanyasi, who has discarded everything, and hence vows that he would not write poetry henceforth, aiming at Moksha alone. As stated by Adi Acharya: तस्मात् विशेषितस्य अविक्रियस्यात्मदर्शिनः विदुषः मुमुक्षोश्च सर्वकर्मसंन्यासे अधिकारः (गीताभाष्ये २.२१); विदुषः त्यक्तैषणस्य स्थितप्रज्ञस्य यतेः एव मोक्षप्राप्तिः (गीताभाष्ये २.७०)  “Gnani, who perceives the changeless Atma (Brahman) and one, who yearns intensely for Moksha, should get rid of all activities (karmas)” and “Moksha is attained by that Gnani alone, who has abandoned all attachments, whose mind is steadily fixed on Brahman and who has controlled fully his mind and sense organs”, the poet lived in Kashi as Sanyasi, discarding all karmas, and, through living in Avimukta Sthala (Kashi), abounding in the grace of Sri Visveswara, he attained Moksha. The glories of this poet can be gauged from the Srimukham blessed by Sri Jagadguru Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipati Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal. My thanks are due to Dr.V. Raghavan, M.A., Ph.D. who has written the Foreword, and to friends who helped in writing and printing the translation and notes.

13,6,1943                                                                                                           A.S. Nataraja Iyer

Sri Dinaakrandana Stotram
(Sri Kashi Visveswara Stotram)

चुण्ठीजलैरिव सुखै: परिणामदु:खै:
आस्वादितैरपि मनागविलुप्ततृष्ण: ।
श्रान्तोऽस्मि हा भवमरौ सुचिरं चरित्वा
तच्छायया चरणयो: शिव मां भजेथा:       ॥१॥
1. O Siva! Though mundane joys are pleasurable during the time of enjoyment, they result in misery and in totally unsatisfied craving at the end, like waters in a small unused pond in hillside. In that condition I have been roaming in the desert called Samsara (repeated birth) and I am very tired. Alas, hence please bless me with the shade of your twin feet.
“‘Siva’ means ultimate auspiciousness. Amarakosa says: श्वःश्रेयसं शिवं भद्रं कल्याणं मङ्गलम् शुभम्. There is something which can destroy sin in just a second. One need not search for it in many places. It is a name of two letters; it is in the middle of all Vedas; it is the Jivaratna (jewel of the soul) of Vedas. What should be done with it? One should chant it with his tongue. Who should chant? One who is born human. Anyone who is not dumb can chant. Tongue is there only for this purpose. If man does not chant, Parameswara will say, ‘this fellow has not done what should be done with tongue; no use giving him tongue;’ and will take it back. Hence everyone should recite that name.” – Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
“Yajurveda is important among Vedas. There the fourth Kanda in the middle is important. There again the fifth Prasna in the middle is important. That is Sri Rudram. There again the Panchakshara phrase “Namah Sivaya” is in the centre. The two-lettered syllable “Siva” is contained in the middle of that phrase. That is called ‘Jivaratnam’ (jewel of the soul).” - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
“Everyone should resolve to meditate on Siva every day in the evening for five minutes at least. Having resolved to do so throughout one’s lifetime, one should contemplate on Siva in the mind and recite his name with the mouth.” - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

Translator’s Note:
Sri Krishna says similarly in Bhagavadgita:
ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते ।
आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ॥ ५ - २२॥
“O son of Kunti, the pleasures born out of sensory contacts are sources of only pain. They have a beginning and an end. The wise person does not indulge in them.”


दुर्वारसंसृतिरुजा भृशकांदिशीकः
त्वामोषधीपतिभृतं सुकृतैरवाप्य ।
आवेदयामि यदहं तव तन्निदानम्
तत्रावधेहि मृड मा कुरु मय्यवज्ञाम्  ॥२॥
2. O Mruda (Siva)! I am terrified by the irrepressible disease called Samsara (cycle of birth and death) and running hither and thither. By some good luck resulting from past good deeds, I have come to you, Siva, who hold Chandra, the lord of medicinal herbs on the head. I shall tell you the nature of my disease. Do not be indifferent to me.
The reference to ‘Mruda’ and ‘Oshadhipati’ here is noteworthy. The term मृडः ‘Mruda’ has been used significantly in Veda to describe Siva. Sri Rudram says:  या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूः शिवा विश्वाहभेषजी ।
शिवा रुद्रस्य भेषजी तया नो मृड जीवसे ॥  ‘Mruda’ means comforter. The root means मृड सुखने. A sick person would certainly approach a doctor to get rid of his disease. The poet, feeling miserable from the disease called ‘Samsara’ seeks out Siva, who is Mruda, the comforter; this is but appropriate. The above mantra says that his very form is medicine for the world.
The meanings of words like ‘Mruda’ can be found in Sri Rudra commentary and in ‘Sivatatva Rahasya’, explanation of Siva Ashtottara Stotram by Nilakantha Dikshita. The names of Siva occurring in this book are all found in Siva Ashtottara Stotram.

Translator’s Note:
Chandra being Oshadhipati comes for mention in Bhagavadgita:
गामाविश्य च भूतानि धारयाम्यहमोजसा ।
पुष्णामि चौषधीः सर्वाः सोमो भूत्वा रसात्मकः ॥ १५ - १३॥
 “Permeating the earth, I nourish all living beings with my energy. Becoming the moon, I nourish all plants with the juice of life.”


या मे हठात्कृतवती मनसि प्रवेशम् ।
मां राक्षसीव बहु नाथ तुदत्यविद्या  ॥३॥
3. O lord! Perceiving the impurity in me arising from hundreds of evil tendencies, Avidya (ignorance) enters my mind forcefully like a demoness. She torments me a lot by pushing me into innumerable ditches of births and deaths.
Like a demoness, Avidya catches me and tortures me. Rakshasi, ghost etc. catch one after seeing his impure conduct. Innumerable are the evil tendencies residing in my mind. Avidya enters my mind on seeing that impurity. Just as demoness does torture by acts like pushing people into ditch etc., this Avidya does push me into the ditches of birth and death. It torments me by forcing me into countless births.
It is but appropriate that the poet calls Siva as नाथ ‘Natha’. Siva is indeed the master of hordes of Rakshasas, ghosts etc. Hence the poet takes refuge in the master for getting rid of Avidya.

Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Durvasana Pratikara Dasakam:
अज्ञानं त्यज हे मनोऽपि च सदा ब्रह्मात्मसंभावनात्
सङ्कल्पान्सकलानपि त्यज जगन्मिथ्यात्वसंभावनात् ।
कामान् साधनसाध्यदुःखनिवहध्यानाद् अजस्रं त्यज
क्रोधं तु क्षमया सदा जहि बलात् लोभं तु संतोषतः ॥ 2

“Oh! My mind! Give up ignorance by proper understanding of Brahman, the Absolute  Principle and Jivatman, the Individual Entity Principle. For ever, get rid of fancies and actions (to satisfy desires) also by the realization of the untruth of this created world (that all the efforts put in, had after all not satisfied all desires but only paved the way for the next desire, the list of which has no end). By considering the fact that procuring worldly objects is a difficult and endless effort, get rid of desire always. Indeed overcome always anger through forgiving and greed by conscious effort through adopting an attitude of contentment in life.”


घोरे क्षणं विनिपतन्नरके क्षणं च
पुण्यं पदं दिविषदां सहसाऽधिरोहन् ।
मोहेन कन्दुकदशामिव नीयमान:
स्वामिन् सहे किमवधीनि  गतागतानि       ॥ ४ ॥
4. O Lord! Owing to ignorance I am tossed in one moment down into terrible hell and, in another moment, up into the meritorious realm of the Devas, Swarga, suddenly like a ball during sport; till how long should I bear this to and fro tossing?
“In the word  स्वामिन्  ‘Swami’, ‘Swam’ means property, or, grammatically speaking, possession. Swami is one who possesses Swam, i.e. property. Which is the property here? We alone. When we say ‘my Swami’, it means ‘one who holds me as his property.” - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
“We have our limitation. Swami is limitless. Hence he is ocean of Gnana, ocean of compassion, ocean of power, omniscient. We are his property; He is Swami, our master.” - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

Translator’s Note:
Appayya Dikshita says in his Atmarpana Stuti:
त्वामेवैकं हतजनिपथे पान्थमस्मिन्प्रपञ्चे
मत्वा जन्मप्रचयजलधेः बिभ्यतः पारशून्यात् ।
यत्ते धन्याः सुरवर मुखं दक्षिणं संश्रयन्ति
क्लिष्टं घोरे चिरमिह भवे तेन मां पाहि नित्यम् ॥ २३॥
 “O greatest of Devas! Frightened by this shoreless ocean of births, I am suffering intensely since long. Knowing that you are the only companion in this world, which is a haven of terrible suffering due to repeated births and deaths, I beseech you to protect me always with that face of yours turned towards South (Dakshinamurthy), whom the fortunate sages take refuge in.”


का मे गतिर्विशति  नैव मनो विवेक:
स्वप्नेऽपि पक्कणमिव प्रवरो द्विजानाम्  ।
रुद्धेऽपि तत्र न स रोढुमलं मुहूर्तम्
विश्वेश मौक्तिकमिवोपरि दर्पणस्य  ॥५॥
5. O Lord of the universe! What is my refuge? Just as the best brahmana would not enter the area of the outcaste (sinner), discrimination never enters my mind. Even if discrimination is somehow forced to remain in the mind, it is unable to stay there even for a muhurta (fortyeight minutes), like a pearl placed on a mirror.
My mind is very impure like the quarters of the outcaste. Gnana (of discrimination) is very pure and great. How can it enter my mind even in dream? Even if forced to enter and remain in my mind, discrimination flies away from my mind like the pearl rolling away from the smooth mirror. How would that Gnana (discrimination) take root and grow in my mind?
For the dispassion to strengthen, the poet describes in the next verse in a manner designed to cause disgust how the jiva takes human birth as explained in Garbhopanishad.

Translator’s Note:
In Devi Bhagavatham, we find king Suratha expressing his similar helplessness to Rishi Medhas, after reaching the forest, having been deserted by his ministers and even his own family:
जानामीदं जगन्मिथ्या स्वप्नवत्सर्वमेव हि ।
जानतोऽपि मनो भ्रान्तं न स्थिरं भवति प्रभो ॥
“O Lord, I know for sure that all this world is false appearance lke a dream, but even after knowing so, the mind is deluded and remains unsteady.” Thereafter, the Rishi guides him into Devi worship with controlled mind.


पित्रोर्जघन्यरसबिन्दुयुगं गृहीत्वा
हन्तासकृत्पतितवानधिगर्भवासम् ।
तद्दुःखमन्वभवमीश गभीरकुम्भी-
पाको वराक इति यस्य पुरो गृणन्ति  ॥६॥                    
6. O Iswara! I fell repeatedly into wombs, holding the twin globules of semen and blood born in loins (despicable parts of body) of parents. Compared to life in womb, the agonising hell called Kumbhipaka is insignificant, so say the wise; I have gone through that misery.

The reference to the parents’ semen and blood as the cause of birth is for indicating the detestability of birth. The appropriateness of choice of Kumbhipaka among hells in comparison with life in womb is noteworthy.

Sutasamhita also says:
इत्थं परिणतो गर्भः पूर्वकर्मवशान्मुने ।
महद्दुःखमवाप्नोति रौरवे नरके यथा ॥ (सूतसंहिता २.१०.२१-२२)


तत्र स्थितस्तदुनु तत्तदनेकपूर्व-
जन्मान्तरस्मरणविस्मयदु:खितात्मा ।
अस्मान्निसृत्य पुनरुद्भवभङ्गहेतोः
चेतो विधास्य इति चाकरवं प्रतिज्ञाम्  ॥७॥
7. While in the womb, feeling surprise and grief from memories of many past lives, I vowed that once I come out of the womb, I shall direct my mind in finding the means of averting rebirth.
The idea is that I vowed to devote myself to the lotus feet of the Lord.

Garbhopanishad and Sutasamhita convey similar idea:
तां पीडां च विजानाति तदा जातिस्मरो भवेत् ।
नानायोनिसहस्राणि पुरा प्राप्तानि वै मया ॥
अहो दुःखोदधौ मग्नो न पश्यामि प्रतिक्रियाम् ।
यदि योन्याः प्रमुञ्चामि तं प्रपद्ये महेश्वरम् ॥
संसारसागरं घोरं लङ्घयाम्यहमात्मनः ।
इत्थं गर्भगतः स्मृत्वा योनियन्त्रप्रपीडनात् ॥ (सूतसंहिता २.१०. २२,२३,२४,३०)


तेनाध्वनाथ निसृतोऽस्मि तत: स्मृतेऽपि
यस्मिन्निकाममभिमानघनास्त्रपन्ते ।
संस्पर्शतस्तु शतश:शितिकर्मवायो:
प्रायो निगूढदृढमूढदशामवापम्                                  ॥८॥
8. The path through which I came out of the womb is such that on recalling it, honourable persons would feel highly bashful. I then attained a very deeply stupid state owing to contact with the wind (Vaishnava) of countless sinful deeds (of the past).

Owing to compulsive contact with the Vaishnava wind, I lost all memories of past lives and also the vow of striving to avert rebirth.

Sutasamhita and Garbhopanishad convey similar idea:
जायते वायुना याति विस्मृतिं वैष्णवेन च ।
अज्ञाने सति रागाद्याः धर्माधर्मौ च तद्वशात् । (सूतसंहिता २.१०.३१)
जातमात्रस्तु वैष्णवेन वायुना संस्पृश्यते तदा न स्मरति । (गर्भोपनिषद्)


तिर्यग्दशामिव शनैरविवेकसेकात्                               
वर्षाण्यवाप्य परमेश्वर पञ्चषाणि                                 ।
तत्तत्कृतं पतदपि स्मृतिसीम्नि यद्यत्
सद्यो ह्रियं जडधियोऽपि हृदि प्रसूते  ॥९॥
9. O Parameswara! Wallowing in ignorance (non-discrimination), I gradually attained five-six years of age like an animal (passing urine, stools etc. in bed). Whatever would cause shame immediately even to a dull-headed fellow in his mind, when recalled, was all done by me during those years (of childhood).


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Siva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotra:
बाल्ये दुःखातिरेको मललुलितवपुः स्तन्यपाने पिपासा
नो शक्तश्चेन्द्रियेभ्यो भवगुणजनिताः जन्तवो मां तुदन्ति
नानारोगादिदुःखाद्रुदनपरवशः शङ्करं स्मरामि
क्षन्तव्यो मेऽपराधः शिव शिव शिव भो श्रीमहादेव शम्भो २॥
In boyhood, there is (cause for) excessive grief; the body (of the child) rolls in filth; there is the desire to drink the mother's milk; but there is no power over the organs (to use them); creatures which are naturally associated with worldly life (insects like mosquitoes, ants, etc.) torment (me, as a child). Owing to many kinds of diseases and pains I seek relief in crying and have no time to think about Sankara. O Siva! Siva! Siva! Sri Mahadeva! Sambho! Kindly forgive my faults. (2)


आसाद्य यौवनमथो बहुभि: प्रकारै:
शृङ्गारभङ्ग्यनुगुणैर्गुणिताविवेक: ।
जातोऽस्मि घोरनरकावहकर्मयोगाद् 
भोगाशया प्रशमितोभयलोकशुद्धि :  ।।१०॥
10. I then attained youth and, with non-discrimination accentuated by many amorous means, I lost the purity required in this world and the next, by associating with acts leading to terrible hell through sensuous enjoyment.

Purity leads to bliss in this world and the next. I lost the purity and the resuting bliss.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Siva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotra:
प्रौढोऽहं यौवनस्थो विषयविषधरैः पञ्चभिर्मर्मसन्धौ
दष्टो नष्टोऽविवेकः सुतधनयुवतिस्वादुसौख्ये निषण्णः ।
शैवीचिन्ताविहीनं मम हृदयमहो मानगर्वाधिरूढं
क्षन्तव्यो मेऽपराधः शिव शिव शिव भो श्रीमहादेव शम्भो ॥ ३॥

Having grown up, in the state of youthfulness, I am bitten at the vital joints by the five venomous serpents in the form of the objects of sense (Vishaya); then all discrimination is lost; I am engrossed in (enjoying) the pleasure of tasting the happiness associated with sons, wealth and young women; Alas! My heart, puffed up with self-conceit and arrogance, is bereft of any thought pertaining to Siva. O Siva! Siva! Siva! Sri Mahadeva! Sambho! Kindly forgive my faults. (3)


मोहात्कृत: परिणयोऽप्यनयो महीयान्
मूलं समस्तभवबन्धनदुर्गतीनाम्                                 ।
यस्मादुदेत्य दुरपत्यजनेन सृष्ट –
स्नेहोऽस्मि वेष्टित इवोत्कटनागपाशै:  ॥११॥
11. Marriage, which is at the root of all bondages and ills of Samsara and which is a very erroneous thing, was entered into by me owing to delusion born of ignorance. As a result of marriage, I developed great attachment to evil children and was bound to them with massive ropes of snakes, as it were.


Translator’s Note:
In Devi Bhagavatham,  Suka tells his father, Veda Vyasa:
गृह्णाति पुरुषं यस्मात् गृहं तेन प्रकीर्तितम् ।
क्व सुखं बन्धनागरे तेन भीतोऽस्म्यहं पितः ॥
“Griha (home) is so called because it holds fast to the men who occupy. What pleasure is there in a prison; O father, I am therefore afraid.”


तत्पोषणाय विदुषाऽपि मया समस्तम्
औचित्यमुज्झितवताऽऽत्तवता कुकृत्यम् ।
द्वारि श्ववल्लडितमेव कदीश्वराणां
सोढावमानशतविक्लव मानसेन                                 ॥ १२॥
12. For protecting my family, though I knew righteousness, I cast aside all propriety and did evil deeds. Tolerating countless occasions of disgrace and consequent misery, I stood piteously at the doors of mean lords of wealth.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Sivanadalahari:
नित्यं स्वोदरपूरणाय सकलानुद्दिश्य वित्ताशया
व्यर्थं पर्यटनं करोमि भवतः सेवां न जाने विभो ।
मज्जन्मान्तरपुण्यपाकबलतस्त्वं शर्व सर्वान्तर-
स्तिष्ठस्येव हि तेन वा पशुपते ते रक्षणीयोऽस्म्यहम् ।।५७।।

“I wander always purposelessly, for filling my belly, approaching all with a view to fulfilling my desire for wealth. O Vibho (all pervasive Siva)! I do not know how to serve you. On the strength of the result of meritorious deeds from my past births, I know, O Sarva (Annihilator), that you are indeed present within all. Hence O Pasupati, I am worthy of being protected by you.” (57)


प्राणाधिकैरथ वियोगमवाप्य तैस्तै:
इष्टैररुंतुदविषादवशंवदेन        ।
स्त्रीवन्मया विलपितं विहितं न किंचित्
कृत्यं सतां समुचितं हहहा हतोऽस्मि  ॥१३ ॥
13. I then was subjected to very painful grief on being separated from my loved ones, who were dearer to me than my own life; I wailed like a woman. I did not perform any act suited to the virtuous. Alas, I am destroyed.



सांसारिकेषु विषयेषु निपत्य राग-
द्वेषैकनिष्ठहृदयो भगवन्नभूवम् ।
किंचिन्मया न रचितं विदितं न वापि ॥ १४॥
14. O Bhagavan! Immersed in mundane matters, my mind was constantly engaged in desire and hate. Nothing was accomplished by me to counter the fear from the approaching Yama; I did not even know what to do to counter.



इत्थं न किं व्यवहृतं न किमुक्तमात्तम्
किं वा  न किं न कलितं ललितं न वापि ।
सर्वत्र तत्र शरणं कृपणस्य मे त्वम्
एह्येहि देहि चरणं शिरसीन्दुमौले                                ॥ १५  ॥
15. O wearer of moon on head! In this manner, what was not done by me? What was not said? What was not secured? What was not made? What was not played? Against all these, you are my refuge, I am piteous. Come, come, please place your foot on my head.



या: प्रोत्कटा भ्रुकुटयो यमकिंकराणाम्
पीडाश्च या नवनवा नरकावनीषु ।
ताश्चिन्तिता अपि मयाय ममाधुनैव
सोढास्मि ता: कथमहो विषमो विषाद:  ॥१६॥
16. The wrathful knitting of eyebrows of the attendants of Yama and the ever new tortures in the regions of hells drive a chill in me even now, when thought of. How am I going to bear them? Alas, my misery is indeed distressing.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Sivasankara Stotra:
शतकोटिषु नरकादिषु हतपातकविवशम् ।
मृड मामव सुकृतीभव शिवया सह कृपया
शिवशङ्कर शिवशङ्कर हर मे हर दुरितम् ॥ ९॥
“With my mind afflicted in many ways, my evil actions led to great fear and, as a result of terrible sins, I was helplessly thrown into hundreds of crores of hells. O Mruda! Kindly protect me, help me. O Sivasankara! Sivasankara! Hara! With Parvati, please remove my misery compassionately.” (9)


भीतोऽस्मि दुर्गततमोऽस्मि कदर्थितोऽस्मि
पापोऽस्मि विस्मृतसदध्वपरिग्रहोऽस्मि ।
तत्केन केन न पथास्मि कृपास्पदं ते
मत्वेति शंकर यथोचितमाचरेथा:                                ॥१७॥
17.  O Sankara! (On thinking of all this) I am frightened; I am unfortunate; I am disgraced; I am sinner; I have forgotten how to follow good path. Hence in which way am I unfit to receive your grace? Thinking this way, please act as suitable.

Here the poet places the entire burden on Siva and thus shows the pinnacle of surrender.


नो यत्र बन्धुरथ नैव पिता न माता
नो वा सुहृद्धृतिमुपेत्य विधातुमीष्टे ।
तास्वेत्य नाथ मम नारकभूषु कुर्या:
त्राणं त्वमेव हि जगत्सु दयार्द्रचेता:   ॥१८ ॥
18.  O Lord! In the regions of hell, no relative of mine would be able to come near and build courage in me; no father, no mother, no well-wishing friend would be able. There you please come and protect me, for, in all the worlds, you alone have a heart, wet with compassion.



भ्रष्टोऽस्मि यद्यपि  सतां चरितात्तथापि
मां त्रातुमर्हसि कृतान्तभिया श्रयन्तम् ।
प्रह्वेषु विह्वलतया शरणागतेषु
नो साधवो विदधते सदसद्विवेकम्                               ॥१९॥
19.  Though I have swerved from the path of the virtuous, you ought to protect me, as I have taken refuge in you owing to fear of Yama. In the case of those who worship with anxiety and those who have surrendered,  noble persons do not discriminate between the virtuous and the evil.

In Srimad Ramayanam, this truth has been expressed by Sri Rama while granting respite from fear to Vibhishana.
मित्रभावेन संप्राप्तं न त्यजेयं कथंचन ।
दोषो यद्यपि तस्य स्यात्सतामेतदगर्हितम् ॥ ६.१८.३
“I shall not forsake under any circumstances one who has approached me with the attitude of a friend, even if he were at fault; this act of the virtuous is beyond reproach.”

Kalidasa too says in Kumara Sambhavam:
क्षुद्रेऽपि नूनं शरणं प्रपन्ने ममत्वमुच्चैःशिरसां सतीव॥१.१२॥
“Even when a vile person takes refuge, the attitude of kinship of the high-minded persons arises as if they were approached by noble persons.” 


Translator’s Note:
The first line of the above verse in Kumara Sambhavam is very interesting:
दिवाकराद्रक्षति यो गुहासु लीनं दिवाभीतमिवान्धकारम्।
The poet gives a telling example: “Just as the Himalayan mountain protects in its caves the darkness, which has taken refuge there for fear of Sunlight.”



येष्वन्धकारनिकरेण करालिता भू:
यत्र ज्वलन्ति नरकेष्वनिशं हुताशा: ।
धामत्रयीनयन निर्जरसिन्धुमूर्धन्
तत्रेतरस्त्वमिव क: शरणं नराणाम्  ॥२०॥
20.  In the hells dense darkness prevails in some areas; in some others fires kep burning all the time. O Siva with three eyes of Sun, Moon and Fire! O Siva with the celestial Ganga on the head! In those hellish regions, who else will be the refuge like you?

For protection from the terrifying darkness and unbearable heat in the hells, in whom other than you should I take refuge? For driving away darkness, you have three eyes of Sun, Moon and Fire. For putting out the fires, you have the celestial Ganga on the head. Hence I surrender to you. The addressing of Siva by the poet as the Three-eyed and Gangadhara in this verse is hence appropriate.



प्राग्यावदिन्द्रियगण: पटुशक्तिरासीत्
स्वामिन् स तावदगमद्विषयेषु निष्ठाम् ।
शक्तिक्षयेऽद्य स कथं भजते भवन्तं
जन्मेति मे विफलमीश किमा: करोमि  ॥ २१॥
21. O Lord! When my group of sense organs was strong earlier, they were engaged in sensuous attractions. Now when those organs have become weak, how will they worship you? This way my life has been spoiled. O Master! Alas, what can I do?

The idea is that when the sense organs are still powerful, one should engage in adoration of Bhagavan.

नादायि दानमथ नैव तपो व्यधायि
नासेवि तीर्थदिगसाध्यतर: समाधि: ।
तत्काऽपरत्र गतिरस्त्यनवाप्तपुण्य-
ज्ञानस्य मे भव भवत्स्मृतिमन्तरेण                                 ॥ २२॥
22.  No religious charity was given by me; austerity was also not practised; even the directions of locations of holy places (Ganga, Ramasethu etc.) were not looked at by me; Samadhi (of Yoga, profound concentration on Bhagavan) is even more unattainable (than charity, austerity, pilgrimage). Hence O Bhava! for me, who has not got merit or knowledge, what  means is there other than your remembrance?

I have not followed the path of Karma or Gnana. In this last period there is no refuge for me other than contemplating on you.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Siva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotra:
ध्यात्वा चित्ते शिवाख्यं प्रचुरतरधनं नैव दत्तं द्विजेभ्यो
हव्यं ते लक्षसङ्ख्यैर्हुतवहवदने नार्पितं बीजमन्त्रैः ।
नो तप्तं गाङ्गातीरे व्रतजपनियमैः रुद्रजाप्यैर्न वेदैः
क्षन्तव्यो मेऽपराधः शिव शिव शिव भो श्रीमहादेव शम्भो ॥ ८॥

Contemplating Siva in mind, immense wealth was not given (as daan) to the twice-born (brahmanas); oblations in lakhs along with the utterance of the mystical syllables of mantras meant for you were not offered in the mouth of Agni (the oblation-bearer); austerities consisting of vows,  japa (repetition of sacred mantras) and discipline along with the chanting of the Rudra-mantras and of the Vedas were not done (sitting) on the bank of the Ganga. O Siva! Siva! Siva! Sri Mahadeva! Sambho! Kindly forgive my faults. (8)”



कालान्न मे भयमथो कनके न लिप्सा
नैवास्मि शैशववशेन पय: पिपासु:
त्वद्दर्शनाय तु शिव स्पृहयामि लोभात्
तत्रापि किं तव न वा सुकर: प्रकार:  ॥ २३॥
23. O Siva! I have no fear of Yama; I have no avarice for gold (wealth). I am not thirsty for milk as in childhood. I am greedy for your Darshan. Can you not make an easy way for me there?

Sveta, a Rajarishi, was liberated of fear of Yama by Parameswara. King Marut pleased Siva through austerity and was blessed with shower of gold in his city for seven days by Siva’s grace. Upamanyu, the child of a sage, prayed for milk and Siva brought the ocean of milk at his door. Similarly Siva’s protecting Markandeya by kicking Yama, bestowing gold on Sundaramurthy Nayanar whenever required, and blessing child Tirugnanasambandar in Sirkazhi with Ambika’s milk are well known.



यज्जन्म दुर्लभमुशन्ति मनुष्यलोके
तत्प्राप्तमप्यतनुपुर्वशुभप्रभावात् ।
जातं वृथैव मम यत्र मुहु: कदाऽपि
नैवान्वभावि भवदर्चनभक्तिसौख्यम्  ॥२४॥                       
24. The human birth, which is hailed as rare in this world, was attained by me owing to the effect of massive religious merit of my past lives. Even then, the bliss of worship and devotion of you was not enjoyed by me in this human birth, attained by me many times; hence this birth has indeed gone waste.



जातिर्महेश्वर भुजंगमपुंगवानाम्
स्तुत्या वरं भवदलंकृतिवाहकृत्यैः ।
मानुष्यकं तु मम धिक्कलया कयापि
यन्नोपयोगमगमत्त्वयि मच्छरीरम्                                ॥२५॥
25.  O Maheswara! The species of snakes and bulls is indeed deserving of high praise owing to their service to you in the form of ornaments and vehicle. As even a speck of my body has not been of any use to you, fie unto my being a human!

Having got the rare human birth, though I did not show devotion to you, did my body engage in service of Siva in any manner? No.


शश्वद्भृशव्यसनितामपि मेऽवधार्य
धत्से कथं  परमकारुणिकोऽप्यवज्ञाम्
किं नाथ पश्यसि न यत्परिहृत्य शङ्काम्
लग्नोऽनिशं शिव शिवेति मम प्रलाप:     ॥२६॥
26.  Though aware of my constant misery, how do you show indifference in spite of your being extremely compassionate? O Lord! do you not perceive my unhesitating, constant and unbroken wailing of ‘Siva, Siva’?


रक्तार्द्रचर्मवसनाय महाश्मशान –
धाम्नेऽस्थिभूषणवते फणिकङ्कणाय
रक्ष:पिशाचसचिवाय  बलिं प्रयाम:
रूपाय ते हर युगान्तनिशाचराय     ॥२७॥
27. O Hara (engaged in destruction)! You are clothed in the blood soaked skin (of elephant); your abode is in the great crematorium; you wear ornaments of bones and bracelet of snakes; you are surrounded by Rakshasas and goblins; you move about in the deadly night of Pralaya (Great Dissolution) at the close of Yugas. We offer ourselves to such a form of yours.


दिव्योत्तरीयभृति कौस्तुभरत्नभाजि
देवेऽपरे दधतु लुब्धधियोऽनुबन्धम्
रूपं दिगम्बरमखण्डनृमुण्डचूडम्
भावत्कमेव तु बतेश मम स्पृहायै    ॥२८॥
28. May those, who are covetous of the other Deva (Vishnu), who wears divine upper garment and radiant Kousthubha gem, keep contact with him. O Iswara! but my longing is for your form which has directions as clothing and whole human skull as crest jewel.


जीवामि चेदथ पृथुप्रियविप्रयोग –
रोगादयो नरकदु:खभियोऽन्यथाऽपि
घ्नन्त्येव मामुभयथाऽप्यसुखोऽहमित्थम्
अत्रोचितं हर चर स्वकृपालुताया:      ॥२९॥
29. If I were to live, separation from very loved ones, diseases etc. do keep tormenting me. Otherwise, if I were to die, the fear of misery in hells does torment me. Both ways, I am in deep trouble. O Hara! do act appropriate to your own compassionate nature in this matter.



यत्रेन्द्रियाणि विरमन्ति निजक्रियाभ्य: 
यात्यान्तरोऽपि करणप्रसरोऽवसादम्
प्राणास्त्रुटन्ति च समस्तनिराशभूतम्
मामेत्य शंकर कुतोऽपि तदा दयेथा:   ॥३०॥
30. In my last hour (while dying), my sense organs stop functioning; the inner equipment (mind, intellect etc.) is also exhausted; life-breath withers away. At that time, O Sankara! when I have lost hope in everything, you must come from anywhere and show compassion.


यत्रासमं भयमसुप्रशमप्रसङ्गे
क: कान्दिशीकमनस: शरणं तदा मे
स्वामिंस्तवैव समय: स कृपालुताया:  ॥३१॥
31. When my life-breath sinks, incomparable fear grips me owing to memory of all my previously committed evils. Who is the refuge for me at that time, when my mind is disoriented? O Lord! that is the appropriate time for showing your compassionate nature.


Translator’s Note:
Another poet from Kashmir, Pandit Shiva Kaul says in his Aakrandana Shivastuti:
दग्धुं कुकर्मपवनेन दीप्यमानः
कालानलोऽयमभितो ह्यचिरात्प्रयाति
भस्मीकरोत्यहह मां झटिति पिनाकिन् !
शान्तिं नयस्व सुकृपामृतवर्षणेन ॥ ६॥
“This Fire of Mahakala kindled by the Wind of my evil karmas is spreading fast on all sides. Alas, this will reduce me to ashes in no time. O Pinaki! Kindly quell this fire by shower of nectar of pleasing compassion.”


अद्यैव यामि शरणं परमेश्वर त्वां 
शक्ष्यामि किं ननु  तदाऽऽहतसर्वशक्ति:
मृत्युर्यदा मम भयाय पतत्यकस्माद् 
अन्धस्य वक्त्र  इव हस्ततलप्रहार:      ॥३२॥

32. When Mrityu (Yama) suddenly comes frightening me, as if slapping on the face of a blind person,  surely what can I do, with all my powers destroyed? Hence O Parameswara! I take refuge in you now itself.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Subrahmanya Bhujangam:
कृतान्तस्य दूतेषु चण्डेषु कोपाद्
दहच्छिन्द्धि भिन्द्धीति मां तर्जयत्सु ।
मयूरं समारुह्य मा भैरिति त्वं
पुरः शक्तिपाणिर्ममायाहि शीघ्रम् ॥२१॥
“O Lord! hasten to my presence, riding on the peacock and armed with Shakti (Vel-lance), giving the assurance "Don't be afraid", when the cruel messengers of Yama come to torture me shouting angrily, ‘Burn him, kill him, cut him.’”(21)

आर्तिक्षणे सपदि विस्मर तात मात: 
इत्यादिकं च विफलं कृपणप्रलापम्  
शर्वेश शंकर शिवेति नुतिं भजस्व 
जिह्वे यतो विघटतेऽखिलदु:खभार: ॥३३॥
33. O tongue! during the time of misery (of death), forget piteous and useless wailing of ‘O father, O mother’ etc. Chant the names of praise of Siva like ‘O Sarva, O Isa, O Sankara, O Siva’ etc., by which all load of misery is destroyed.

Such teaching is found in Devaram, Tiruvachakam (Tamil religious texts) etc. Like the tongue, all organs of action should be dedicated to Bhagavan.


स्वास्थ्ये मदात्कति न दुश्चरितानि नाम 
नाथ व्यधां गतविवेकतया विशङ्क: 
संस्मृत्य मृत्युभयमद्य तु विह्वलोऽस्मि 
श्रीकण्ठ भोक्तुमपि येन न पारयामि    ॥३४॥ 
34. O Lord! During times of good health, which evil acts were not done by me owing to insanity with no fear and discrimination? O Srikantha (poison-necked)! I am now trembling due to the fearful thought of Yama, which renders me incapable of even eating.


पूर्वं न चेद्विरचिता तव देव सेवा 
तेनैव नैव दयसे श्रयतो ममार्तिम्  
किं प्रागसंस्तुत इति प्रतिपन्नमूल –
च्छायं गतश्रमरुजं न तरु: करोति  ॥३५॥ 
35.  O Lord! Are you not showing compassion now to me, who is experiencing the misery of death, for the only reason that your service has not been rendered by me earlier? Does not a tree relieve a wayfarer of exhaustion, when he partakes of the shade at the foot of the tree, even when he is not known to it earlier?

The poet explains in this verse that compassion is natural to Bhagavan.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Sivanadalahari:
प्रभुस्त्वं दीनानां खलु परमबन्धुः पशुपते
प्रमुख्योऽहं तेषामपि किमुत बन्धुत्वमनयोः ।
त्वयैव क्षन्तव्याः शिवमदपराधाश्च सकलाः
प्रयत्नात्कर्तव्यं मदवनं इयं बन्धुसरणिः ॥१४

“O Pasupati! you are indeed the best relative of the poor, of whom I am the most important. What more needs to be said of the relationship between these two states? O Siva! All my faults are to be pardoned only by you. You must make efforts to protect me; this is the mode of behaviour among relatives. (14)


ज्ञानप्रकाशसुलभं शिव दर्शनं ते 
जात्यन्धतैव च परं मम तद्वियोगात्
तत्तां त्वमेव किल कामपि देहि युक्तिम् 
व्यक्तिं ययैष्यसि मम श्रममन्तरेण       ॥३६॥
36.  O Siva! Your darshan is easy with the light of Gnana (true knowledge). As I do not have that light of Gnana, I suffer from blindness from birth. Hence please adopt some means by which you become pleased without difficulty for me.

The poet puts all responsibilty on Iswara in this verse as in verses 17 and 29 before.


प्राप्येदृशीमपि मनुष्यदशां न पुण्ये 
ज्ञानेऽथवा विधिहतोऽप्यगमं प्रतिष्ठाम्
सामग्र्यसावथ कुत: पुनरप्यतो मां
स्वामिन्नधन्यमनुकम्पितुमर्हसि त्वम्     ॥३७॥
37. Though I attained such human birth, I was not established in the meritorious path (of Karma) or of Gnana (knowledge), struck by destiny. From where will I get such opportunity again? Hence O Lord! please show compassion on this unfortunate me.


लीनेन भूरि विषयाध्वनि सौख्यलोभात् 
नामापि मोहितधिया कलितं न मृत्यो:
आसीदत: सपदि तद्भयतो मया किं 
शक्यं विधातुमहहा महदाकुलोऽस्मि     ॥३८॥
38. Owing to avarice of enjoying pleasures, I was much attached to the path of sensuous joys, and, deluded as my intellect was, even the name of Yama was not considered by me. Now, to avert the fear of that fast approaching Yama, what can I do? Alas, I am very dismayed.


या विक्रिया यमभटभ्रुकुटिच्छटानां 
पीडाश्च या नवनवा नरकावनीषु
ता निर्विशन् भव कथं भवितास्म्यमुत्र 
कुत्र व्रजामि शरणं कतरं प्रपद्ये         ॥३९॥

39.  O Bhava (Siva)! How will I keep suffering the agitation of knitted eyebrows of rows of Yama’s attendants and the ever-new tortures in the regions of hells after I leave this body? Where will I go? Whom will I take refuge in?


स्मृत्वाऽप्यहो रविजकिंकृतहुंकृतीनां 
मुह्यामि यामि विलयं भयविह्वलात्मा
आसन्नमेवमहहा विषमं पुरस्तात् 
तत्का गतिर्मम कुकर्मनिमग्नवृत्ते:          ॥४०॥ 

40. By just thinking of the terrifying taunts of Yama’s (Surya’s son’s) attendants, I verily swoon. With mind agitating with fear, I am destroyed. Alas, thus the misery (called Yama’s attendants) has come near me. Hence what refuge is there for me, possessed of the nature of getting immersed in evil deeds?


तस्मात्कथं न दयसे त्वरितं कुतश्चित् 
आगत्य विश्वमय सान्त्वय मां वराकम् ॥४१॥ 
41. Afflicted with terrible miseries from hundreds of sins, I cry in front of you, as I have no other refuge. Hence how is it that you do not show compassion? O Siva, embodied in the universe (Omnipresent)! Coming quickly from somewhere, please comfort this poor me.

As Siva is everywhere, the poet pleads with him to come from anywhere and comfort him. There is no place where Siva is not present. Thus the term ‘Visvamaya’ for Siva used by the poet to address him is thus appropriate.


पश्यन् समानवयसोऽपि यवीयसोऽपि 
नक्तंदिवं यमभटैरपि नीयमानान्
यद्विप्लवादकरवं न शुभं कदाचित्   ॥४२॥
42. Though I kept witnessing people of my age and even younger ones being dragged by the attendants of Yama night and day, I was conceited that I was free from old age and death. Because of this delusion, I never did anything good.

In Mahabharata, in Yakshaprasna (Vanaparva 314.118), Yudhishthira says:
अहन्यहनि भूतानि प्रविशन्ति यमालयम् ।
शेषाः स्थावरमिच्छन्ति किमाश्चर्यमतः परम् ॥ (महाभारते वनपर्व: ३१४ .११८)
“Every day, living beings enter the abode of Yama (from the earth). But the rest desire to stay here permanently; what can be greater wonder than this?”


द्वारे लुठामि करुणं प्रलपामि शंभो 
वाञ्छामि चुम्बितुमथो परिरभ्य च त्वाम्
वातूलतामुपगतोऽस्मि तवानुरागात् 
हा दु:सहस्त्वयि ममैष दृढोऽनुराग:           ॥४३॥
43.  O Sambhu (Lord bestowing auspiciousness)! I roll at your door; I prattle piteously. I desire to embrace you and kiss. Owing to my love of you, I have gone mad. Alas, this attachment I have for you is unbearable.

This verse depicts the attitude of Nayaka and Nayika (hero and heroine). In Devaram and Tiruvachakam, we find such depiction of the devotee as Nayika. Saint Manickavachakar, in his book titled ‘Tirukkovaiyar’ devoted to such expressions of love, has extensively referred to the adoration he has for Bhagavan.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Sivanadalahari:
त्वमेको लोकानां परमफलदो दिव्यपदवीं
वहन्तस्त्वन्मूलां पुनरपि भजन्ते हरिमुखाः।
कियद्वा दाक्षिण्यं तव शिव मदाशा च कियती
कदा वा मद्रक्षां वहसि करुणापूरितदृशा    ।।१८।।

“You alone are the bestower of the supreme goal (Liberation) to all the worlds. Those who occupy divine positions because of you, like Vishnu, worship you again and again. O Siva! how great is your kindness and how intense is my desire; when will you carry out my protection, by a look full of compassion? (18)


कण्ठेऽर्पयत्युरगपाशमसूयया मे 
यामिन्यधीशशिख यत्समये कृतान्त:
नूनं तदा मुहुरुपैमि फणीन्द्रहार 
त्वत्तुल्यतामिति भजे मरणेऽपि हर्षम्  ॥४४॥
44. O Siva wearing on the head Moon, the master of night! When Yama flips the Naga rope on my neck indignantly,  O Siva with garland of Naga! I feel bouts of happiness that I equal you in death at least.

I think that I attain Sarupya, form same as Siva, (form of Mukti, Liberation) when the rope of Naga is thrown around my neck. Dying with the rope of Naga thus makes me happy.
This verse, like the last one, is in the Nayaka-Nayika mould. Poets describe how Nayaki feels happy by wearing the appearance of Nayaka and performing actions of Nayaka. This is explained as ‘Lila’ by Bharatamuni in his Natyasastra.

वागङ्गालङ्कारै: श्लिष्टै: प्रीतिप्रयोजितैर्मधुरै:
इष्टजनस्यानुकृतिर्लीला ज्ञेया प्रयोगज्ञै:   (भरतनाट्यशास्त्रम् २४-१४)
“Lila is sportive mimicry, imitating the behaviour of a lover by means of relevant words, gestures and makeup (ornaments etc.) which are delightful and inspired by affection.” (24.14)


चित्तं न पारदमिव क्षणमुज्झतीदं 
चाञ्चल्यविप्लवमयुक्तिविद: प्रभो मे  
तस्मात् कथं भवति भक्तिरसस्य सिद्धि: 
कस्तां विना च भवघोरविपद्विनाश:    ॥४५॥
45. O Lord! My mind, unaware of proper means, never leaves even for a second its natural unsteadiness like mercury. Hence how will I attain the essence of Bhakti (devotion)? Without that bhakti essence, how will the terrible danger of Samsara be destroyed?

The poet uses the term ‘Rasa’ very cleverly here. ‘Parada’, i.e. mercury is a Rasa, which does not stay in one place even for a second. Sastras say that Yogis attain Yogasiddhi using this Rasa, mercury. But the poet bemoans that he has the unsteadiness of  mercury (Rasa), but no bhakti rasa. Further by binding Rasa, i.e. Rasasiddhi, it can be used as medicine for a mishap; that is not possible for him!


तिर्यग्वदेव दिवसानतिवाहयामि
नेता क्षणाच्च वशमन्तकसौनिको माम् 
आशैव तन्मम कुत: सुगतिप्रसक्त्यै     ॥४६॥
46. O Lord! I am pushing my days with no trace of discrimination rising in me and with no control over my mind, much like animals. Yama, the butcher, will take me away in a second. Hence from where will I even get a ray of hope for attaining secure refuge?

The poet compares himself to ‘Tiryak’, animals. Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada, while referring to those without Atmagnana (Knowledge of Atma) in the introduction to his commentary on Brahmasutras, states पश्वादिभिश्च अविशेषात् that there is no difference between those without Atmagnana and animals.


Translator’s Note:
Bhartruhari says in Nitisatakam:
येषां न विद्या न तपो न दानं ज्ञानं न शीलं न गुणो न धर्मः ।
ते मृत्युलोके भुवि भारभूता मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्चरन्ति ॥१३॥
“Those with no learning, no austerity, no charity, no knowledge, no good conduct, no good attribute and no dharma are indeed burden on this earth and, being animals, move about in the garb of humans (13).”


दु:स्वप्न एष विषमो भवदु:खनामा 
स्वामिन् कथं त्यजति मां विगतप्रबोधम्
यस्मान्ममानवरतश्रुतभूरिशास्त्र –
तूर्यस्वनैरपि न शाम्यति मोहनिद्रा        ॥४७॥
47. My slumber of delusion does not end despite the unbroken hearing of loud symphony of musical instruments of many Sastras. O Lord! How will this wicked evil dream called the misery of Samsara (repeated birth and death) leave me, when I am sleeping without being able to wake up?
The poet says that his delusion is like the sleep of Kumbhakarna.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says:
 जन्म  दुःखं जरा दुःखं  जाया दुःखं  पुनः पुनः।
संसारसागरं दुःखं तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥
“Taking birth is misery; old age is misery; wife is misery;  the ocean of Samsara is misery again and again; hence awake, awake.”


कृत्वा पापमसावपोष्यत निज: कायो न दीनो जन: 
वैवश्याल्लुठितं चिरं चरणयो: स्त्रीणां गुरूणां न तु
लोभोऽकारि मया धने न सुकृते तेनानुतप्ये महत् 
किं शक्यं मम तत्र कर्तुमधुना नाथ त्वमेका गति:  ॥४८॥ 
48. This body of mine has been nourished through sinful deeds; poor people were not nourished. I rolled at the feet of women involuntarily, but not at the feet of Guru. I had greed for wealth, but not for good deeds. Hence I grieve very much now. What can I do in this matter now? O Lord! Now you are my only (unmatched) refuge.


अहं पापी पापक्षपणनिपुण: शंकर भवान् 
अहं भीतो भीताभयवितरणे ते व्यसनिता
अहं दीनो दीनोद्धरणविधिसज्जस्त्वमितरत् 
न जानेऽहं वक्तुं कुरु सकलशोच्ये मयि दयाम् ॥४९॥
49. O Sankara! I am sinner; you are master in removing sins. I am stricken with fear; you are engaged in granting fearlessness to those who are afraid. I am piteous; you are busy with raising the piteous. I do not know how to say anything else. Please show compassion to me, who is to be pitied by all in all ways.


Translator’s Note:
Adi Sankaracharya says in Sivanandalahari:
असारे संसारे निजभजनदूरे जडधिया
भ्रमन्तं मामन्धं परमकृपया पातुमुचितम्
मदन्यः को दीनस्तव कृपणरक्षातिनिपुण-
स्त्वदन्यः को वा मे त्रिजगति शरण्यः पशुपते ॥ १३॥
“In this worthless Samsara, I, the blind one, have been wandering with dull intellect without contemplating on Atma; I am worthy of protection by your supreme compassion. Who other than me is more pitiable to you, a great master in protecting the poor? O Pasupati, in all the three worlds who can be my protector other than you?”


इति परिहृतवान् स्वकाव्यशिल्प –
प्रकटनमाकुलितो भवव्यथाभि: 
व्यधित गिरिश रम्यदेवजन्मा 
तव पुरतो हठदैन्यत: प्रलापान्    ॥५०॥ 
50. O Girisa! Loshtadeva, son of Ramyadeva, thus tormented by the miseries of Samsara, having abandoned the publicity of  his art of poetry, has authored this Stotra of wails in front of you with inevitable wretchedness.

I, Loshtadeva, have compensated for the error of having authored other poems by writing this Dinaakrandana Stotra full of my wails.

From verses 50, 51, 52 and 53, it is explicit that this Dinaakrandana Stotra was written in Kashi in front of Sri Visveswara and dedicated directly to the Lord.



एतत्तीव्रं व्रतमुपचितं सैकते सिद्धसिन्धो: 
वाराणस्यां शमदमदृशोरेष गाढोऽनुबन्ध:
दीनाक्रन्दं प्रति पशुपतेरुद्यमश्चाटुकानि 
त्यक्त्वा राज्ञां बत मम शुभैस्तन्यते धन्यतेयम् ॥५१॥
51. This intense vow was practised in Kashi on the sands of Ganga, the river sought by Siddhas. This steady and firm enterprise was undertaken for attaining the twin visions of control of mind (Sama) and control of sense organs (Dama). Leaving aside the words pleasing to kings, this effort at creating Dinaakrandana Stotra to Sri Pasupati (Siva, lord of beings) was made. This expression of auspiciousness is done.

‘Sama’ and ‘Dama’ are two eyes of Gnana. For attaining them, I undertook the vow of ‘Kshetra Sanyasa’ in Kashi, meaning that I shall not leave the banks of Ganga for life. I abandoned writing of verses pleasing to the kings. I wrote this Dinaakrandana Stotra addressed to Sri Pasupati, Visveswara. I therefore became fortunate.

Ganga: There was a Siddha named Idaikkattu Siddha, who gave a pithy saying in Tamil. What it meant was: “Perform Sandhyavandanam three times a day at the right time. Bathe in Ganga. Have darshan of (Rama) Sethu. See, by bathing in Ganga and darshan of Sethu, our sins run away.” - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
Kashi: Kashi is reckoned to be the greatest among all holy places in the world. While referring to other kshetras, they say that they are equal to Kashi. That shows the greatness of Kashi. By citing Kashi for reference, they add to the glory of Kashi. A hundred years ago, a poet said that in Kashi, which is cited for comparison of other kshetras, one can purchase Mukti by giving the cash of bhakti; the market where Mukti is available for purchase is only in Kashi. - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
Kashi is a great kshetra. Visveswara grants Mukti to every living being who dies there. Apart from this, there is another special feature of Kashi. There are many religious doctrines in our country. The exponents of all those doctrines would be there in Kashi. In earlier times, Kashi used to be the abode of great scholars. Many would come and stay there during pilgrimage. One can see all castes, all religions and all languages of our country there. Hence our Adi Sankaracharya thought that by propagating there, his doctrine would stand propagated all over the world. Scholars of Veda from many countries were there. That is why Adi Sankaracharya wrote Brahma Sutra Bhashyam while in Kashi. That enabled the propagation of the Bhashya throughout the world. There he vanquished the doctrines of proponents of many religions and established the doctrine of Upanishads. - Sayings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal.


अभ्रंशे जन्म वंशे सुमहति विहितो वाङ्मयाब्धौ हनूमत् –
संरम्भो दानभोगौ तदनु च रचितौ किंचिदौचित्यरीत्या
ज्ञात्वा तत्वं यतित्वं श्रितमथ मथिता संसृतिर्दुर्निवारा 
वाराणस्यां प्रसन्ना स्थितिरिति कृतिन: किं न मे नाम सिद्धम् ॥५२॥
52. I was born in irreproachable high lineage. I crossed the ocean of poetry like Hanuman (I wrote many poems). I then did some charity and enjoyed pleasures in a proper manner. Having realised the Truth, I took Sanyasa too, thus annulling the irrepressible Samsara. I undertook kshetravasa in Kashi. Having accomplished all this, what have I not achieved?
Kshetra Sanyasa: Taking a vow to never leave the boundaries of Kashi under any circumstances and living there accordingly is called Kshetra Sanyasa. This is what the poet indicates. Kshetra Sanyasa can be undertaken not just by Sanyasis, but also by Grihastas (householders) and women. This dharma is being practised even today.


ईर्ष्यायै परवादिनां कविकलाकान्ता यतिं मामियं 
यच्चुम्बत्यधुनापि तन्मयि भवत्यब्रह्मचर्यं न किम्
एतावत्स्खलितं क्षमस्व भगवन् भूयोऽपि तुभ्यं शपे 
श्रीविश्वेश्वर देव नैव भवितास्म्यस्या रहस्यातिथि: ॥५३॥
53. Raising jealousy in rivals, this mistress called poesy kisses me, a Sanyasi, even now. Does it not become deviation from chastity for me? Please forgive this transgression alone. O Bhagavan! O Lord! O Visveswara! I promise again to you that hereafter I shall not become even a secret guest of this poesy.
Writing poetry is usually described as the woman called poetry embracing the poet. Thus writing this Dinaakrandana Stotra after becoming Sanyasi amounts to the insinuation of the woman called poetry having kissed the poet in secret. But Sanyasi is not expected to deviate from chastity. Hence O Visveswara! I promise to you that I shall not write any poem hereafter. Please forgive my writing this Dinaakrandana Stotra only, so says the poet.
As per the Sruti passage   तस्मात् पाण्डित्य निर्विद्य बाल्येन तिष्ठासेत्, the poet renounces even his familiarity with poetry.


नासत्यव्यतिरेकतोऽक्षरमपि प्रायुङ्क्त यद्भारती 
नैवान्यत्परबाधतो यदसकृत्संचिन्तितं चेतसा
नाकृत्यादितरत्र गात्रमतनोच्चेष्टां यथेष्टं च यत् 
सर्वत्रापि मया त्वमेव शरणं तत्राश्रितो धूर्जटे   ॥५४॥ 
54. My speech has not expressed a single syllable without the influence of untruth. My mind has thought frequently of nothing but harming others. My body has willingly not done anything other than prohibited action. In all these matters, O Dhurjata (Siva with mighty matted locks), I have taken refuge in you alone.

Translator’s Note:
The poet says he has committed sins with all the three ‘karanas’, instruments of action, viz. thought, word and deed and begs for mercy.
Adi Sankaracharya says in Siva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotra:
करचरण कृतं वाक्कायजं कर्मजं वा 
श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वापराधं ।
विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत्क्षमस्व 
जय जय करुणाब्धे श्रीमहादेव शम्भो ॥

“Oh Sambhu, victory to you, the greatest of all Devas and who is the ocean of kindness. Kindly forgive all the faults committed by me through my hands, feet, speech, ears, eyes or mind (thoughts), by way of acts ordained (in Sastras) not done, or acts prohibited, done.” 
ॐ तत् सत्


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