उमामहेश्वरस्तोत्रम् - UMAMAHESHVARA STOTRAM
श्री शङ्कराचार्य कृतम् ।

This hymn of praise is devoted to Lord Mahesvara who is the inseparable companion of Umaa who represents his shakti. The nondifference between the shakti and shaktiman is given an anthropomorphic form in the half male female Ardhanaarishvara in temples. These two otherwise called Paarvati and Parameshvara by kaalidaasa in his song of invocation in Raghuvamsha are rightly compared by him to that eternally inseparable pair the word and sense, vaak and artha, a truth which Kaatyaayana, the grammarian states in his first vaarttika, viz. `Siddhe shabdaarthasam bandhe..' (when word, its meaning and their relation are learnt to be eternal...). The beginning of every verse us marked by the Pancaakshara.

नमः शिवाभ्यां नवयौवनाभ्याम्
परस्पराश्लिष्टवपुर्धराभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ १॥

Namah shivaabhyaam navayauvanaabhyaam
Parasparaashlishta - vapurdharaabhyaam
Namo namah shankara paarvatibhyaam(1)

Obeisance to shiva and shiva (Umaa) the eternally young pair who hold each other's body in mutual embrace. I offer again and again my obeisance to shankara and Paarvati, the one with the bull for his banner and the other beloved daughter of the king of mountains (Himavaan).

`Being ever young' indicates that they have no beginning or end. Paarvati, the daughter of Himavaaan even by her hard penance `tapas samaadhi' (vividly described by Kaalidaasa in his Kumaarasambhava), won the heart of shiva and his hand too, nay, one half of his body. The word shiva means the source of auspiciousness.

नमः शिवाभ्यां सरसोत्सवाभ्याम्
नमस्कृताभीष्टवरप्रदाभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ २॥

Namah shivabhyaam sarasotsavaabhyaam
Namo Namah shankarapaavatibhyaam(2)

Obeisance to shiva and shiva to whom gay festivals are performed, who grant the things desired by the suppliants and whose feet are worshipped by Naaraayana. Obeisance to shankara and Paarvati ever and anon.

नमः शिवाभ्यां वृषवाहनाभ्याम्
विरिञ्चिविष्ण्विन्द्रसुपूजिताभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ३॥

Namah shivaabhyaam vrushavaahanaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(3)

Obeisance to shiva and shiva mounted on the sacred bull who are worshipped with devotion by Brahmaa, Vishïu, Indra. More and more of obeisance to shankara and Paarvati who are smeared with the holy ash and saffron.

नमः शिवाभ्यां जगदीश्वराभ्याम्
जगत्पतिभ्यां जयविग्रहाभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ४॥

Namah shivaabhyaam jagadisvaraabhyaam
Jagatpatibhyaam jayavigrahaabhyaam
Jambhaarimukhyair abhivanditaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(4)

Obeisance to shiva and his consort, the God and Goddess of the Universe, the Overlords of the worlds, the embodiment of success. Obeisance for ever to shankara and Paarvati who are saluted by Indra and others.

नमः शिवाभ्यां परमौषधाभ्याम्
पञ्चाक्षरी पञ्जररञ्जिताभ्याम् ।
प्रपञ्चसृष्टिस्थिति संहृताभ्याम्
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ५॥
Namah shivaabhyaam Paramaushadhaabhyaam
Pancaakshari panjararanjitaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(5)

Obeisance to shiva and His consort, that whom there is no other medicine (to cure the ills of the spirit). They delight in the cage of the pentad of holy syllables. They are the authors of the cosmic deeds of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. To them I offer my repeated salutations.

नमः शिवाभ्यामतिसुन्दराभ्याम्
अत्यन्तमासक्तहृदम्बुजाभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ६॥

Namah shivaabhyaam atisundaraabhyaam
Atyantam aasakta-hrudambujaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(6)

Obeisance to shiva and His consort in whom one finds the acme of beauty, and whose lotus-like hearts are closely drawn to each other. I salute ever and anon shankara and Paarvati who ever do good to all the worlds.

नमः शिवाभ्यां कलिनाशनाभ्याम्
कङ्कालकल्याणवपुर्धराभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ७॥

Namah shivaabhyaam kalinaashanaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibyaam(7)

Obeisance to shiva and shivaa who destroy the evils of this dark age. They assume a form marked at once by skeletal frame and auspicious things. I offer repeated salutations to the divine pair, the denizens of Kailaasa.

नमः शिवाभ्यामशुभापहाभ्याम्
अशेषलोकैकविशेषिताभ्याम् ।
अकुण्ठिताभ्याम् स्मृतिसंभृताभ्याम्
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ८॥

Namah shivaabhyaam ashubhaapahaabhyaam
Akunthitaabhyaam smrutisambhrutaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(8)

Obeisance to shiva and His consort who dispel all evils, who constitute the Supreme Being of all the worlds, whose power is unimpeded and who are reached by following the Smrutis. I offer my salutations to shankara and Paarvati.

Sri Jnaanasambandha assures the people that those who worship the Lord of the `Karavira kshetra' will not be afflicted by sorrows of mundane existence (I.58-6), The Devi Maahaatmyam similarly affirms: "Those who meditate on the Candikaa persistently will be free from all fear and illness, reap everlasting glory and ultimatelly liberation' - Devidhyaanam 29 - 30.

नमः शिवाभ्यां रथवाहनाभ्याम्
रवीन्दुवैश्वानरलोचनाभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ९॥

Namah shivaabhyaam rathavaahanaabhyaam
Namo namah shankara-paarvatibhyaam(9)

Obeisance to shiva and his spouse mounted on the chariot; they have the sun, moon and fire for their eyes; their lotus-like face resembles the full moon. Let me offer my stream of salutations to shankara and Paarvati.

That the Sun, moon and fire are the three eyes of shiva indicates that He is the source of all lights - jyotishaam jyotih; and that He is the witness of every thing in the world at all times and that He is the illuminer of Jnaana by dispelling the darkness of ignorance or avidyaa.

नमः शिवाभ्यां जटिलन्धरभ्याम्
जरामृतिभ्यां च विवर्जिताभ्याम् ।
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ १०॥

Namah shivaabhyaam jatilandharaabhyaam
Jaraamrutibhyaam cha vivarjitaabhyaam
Janaardanaabjodbhava pujitaabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(10)

Obeisance to shiva and His Consort with matted locks of hair. They are free from old age and mortality. I salute incessantly shankara and Paarvati who are worshipped by Janaardana and Lotus-born Creator.

नमः शिवाभ्यां विषमेक्षणाभ्याम्
बिल्वच्छदामल्लिकदामभृद्भ्याम् ।
शोभावती शान्तवतीश्वराभ्याम्
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ ११॥

Namah shivaabhyaam Vishmekshanaabhyaam
shobhaavati-shaantavati shvaraabhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam(11)

Obeisance to shiva and His spouse with three eyes and who were a garland wreathed with `bilva' and jasmine. I offer again and again salutation to shankara and Paarvati, the Divine pair marked by beauty and serenity.

It was the third eye of Lord shiva that burnt to ashes Cupid, the egoistic God of love who used flowers as weapons against the Yogi shiva. He is extremely pleased with the flowers offered in garlands with devotion and humility.

नमः शिवाभ्यां पशुपालकाभ्याम्
जगत्रयीरक्षण बद्धहृद्भ्याम् ।
समस्त देवासुरपूजिताभ्याम्
नमो नमः शङ्करपार्वतीभ्याम् ॥ १२॥

Namah shivaabhyaam pashupaalakaabhyaam
Jagattrayirakshana baddahrdbhyaam
Namo namah shankarapaarvatibhyaam.(12)

Obeisance to shiva and His Consort who protect the souls. Their heart is ever set in protecting all the three worlds. My obeisance goes to them for ever, shankara and Paarvati who are adored by all the gods and demons like.

`Pashupati' is the appellation of shiva that occurs in the famous shri Rudram. It proclaims the fostering carte that shiva bestows on the souls in redeeming them from the shackles of `samsaara' by extending His Grace which in other words is called Arul shakti' and shiva, the Devi is that shakti inseparable from him.

स्तोत्रं त्रिसन्ध्यं शिवपार्वतीभ्याम् भक्त्या पठेद्द्वादशकं नरो यः । स सर्वसौभाग्य फलानि भुङ्क्ते शतायुरान्ते शिवलोकमेति ॥ १३॥

Stotrsam trisandhyam shivapaarvatibhyaam
Bhaktyaa pathed dvaadashakam naro yah
Sa sarvasaubhaagyaphalaani bhunkte
shatayur ante shivalokam eti.(13)

One who recites with devotion this hymn of praise of twelve verses on shiva and Paarvati in the morning, noon and evening, shall enjoy the fruits of prosperity in full, live for one hundred years and finally reach shivaloka.

This verse in the form of `phalashruti' stresses the effect of `shamkirtana', a mean of liberation far simpler than others like the method of yoga and jnaana. We may recall what Sridhara Venkatesha popularly known as Ayyaavaal says in aabhyaashashti, `Hundreds of vedic shaakhaas, puraanas and aagamas are not capable of removing the ills of worldly existence which however can be removed only by ``shivanaamabhajanqa' (V.7). This hymn of shankara demonstrates this truth.