Sunday, September 29, 2013

Significance of Numbers in Vedic System - 9

In a recent post (goo.gl/Fqz7Ez), I complied the significance of numbers from 1-8, based on Sri Bannanje Govindacharya's book "ankeyalli adhyAtma". Here it the next set.

Significance of 9:

  • navagraha (9 influencing aspects)- soorya, chandra, kuja, budha, guru, shukra, shani, rAhu, kEtu
  • navadwAra (9 windows/holes) - 2 ears, 2 eyes, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, pAyu (anus), upastha (genital)
  • navaprajApatis or navabrahmAs (9 guardians) - mareecha, atri, aMgiras, pulastya, pulaha, kratu, vasiShTa, bhRugu, dakSha
  • navavidhabhakti (9 forms of devotion) - shravaNa (kathAshravaNa), keertana (guNagAna), smaraNa, pAdasEvana, archana, vaMdana, dAsya, sakhya, aatmanivEdana
  • navavidabhAgawataru (9 devotees, based on navavidhabhakti) - pareekshit (shravaNa), shukamaharShi (keertana), prahlAda (smaraNa), Laxmi (pAdasEvana), pRuthu (archana), akroora (vandana), aanjanEya (dAsya), arjuna (sakhya), balichakravarty (aatmanivedana)
  • navashaktis of bhagavan - vimalA, utkarShiNi, jnAnA, kriyA, yOgA, prahvee, satyA, eeshAnA, anugrahA
  • navarAtri navadurgA - kunArikA, tirmoorti, kalyANi, roopiNi, kALi, chaMdikA, shAMbhavi, durgA, subhadrA (names may vary slightly according to the scripture referred to)
  • navamoortis of VishNu - nArayaNa, paraMbrahma, vAsudEva, saMkarShaNa, pradyumna, aniruddha, nArasiMha, varAha, paraMjyoti
  • navaratnAs - mANikya (soorya), mauktika (moon), havaLa (kuja), marataka (budha), puShyarAga (guru), vajra (shukra), nElamaNi (shani), gOmEdaka (rAhu), vaidoorya (kEtu)
    • माणिक्यं तरणेः सुजात्यममलं मुक्ताफलं शीतगोः माहेयस्य च विद्रुमं मरकतं सौम्यस्य गारुत्मतम देवेज्यस्य च पुष्पराजमसुराचार्यस्य वज्रं शनेः नीलं निर्मलमन्ययोश्च गदिते गोमेदवैदूर्यके; (brihat jAtaka)
  • navarasAs - shRungAra, veera, karuNa, hAsya, raudra, bhayAnaka, bibhatsa, adbhuta, shAnta
  • navasEnApaddati (9 ways of military arrangements) - patti, sEnAmukha, gulma, gaNa, vAhini, pRutanA, chamoo, aneekini, akshOhiNi 
    • patti                1 elephant-chariot (E)  3 horses (H)     5 foot soldiers (F)
    • sEnAmuka      3 E                              9 H                  15 F
    • gulma              9 E                              27 H                45 F
    • gaNa              27 E                            81 H                135 F
    • vAhini             81 E                           243 H               405 F
    • pRutana          243 E                         729 H               1,215 F
    • chamu            729 E                          2,187 H            3,645 F
    • aneekini         2,187 E                     6,561 H              10,935 F
    • akShOhiNi     21,870 E                  65,610 H            109,350 F
    • In mahAbhArata there were 18 akshOhiNis, which is 393,660 Elephants and Chariots, 1,180,980 Horses, and 1,968,300 Foot Soldiers
    • If you observe, except for the base unit - patti - the rest are all 3 or multiples of 3. From gulma and after, each number is numerically equal to 9. 
9 has a significant place in Vedic spirituality for a number of reasons.
1) It is "poorNa", the complete, the ultimate in numbers. It is the highest of the units. 
2) 9 always yields itself when multiplied - 9*2=18 => 1+8 => 9; 9*3=27 => 2+7 =9
3) MahAbhArata has 18 parvAs, Bhagawad Gita (the core of mahAbhArata) has 18 Chapters, the mahAbhArata war involved 18 akshohinis, and the war was fought for 18 days

18 is a significant and important numerical figure in Indian history for a number of reasons. 
  • 18 parvAs of mahAbhArata
    • aadiparva, sabhAparva, vanaparva, virATaparva, udyOgaparva, bheeshmaparva, drONaparva, karNaparva, shalyarava, sauptikaparva, streeparva, shaantiparva, anushAsanaparva, ashvamEdhika parva, aashramavAsaparva, mausalaparva, mahAprasthAnaparva, and svargArOhaNaparva
  • 18 mahApurANAs (and the number of shlokAs)
    • brahma purANa (10,000)
    • padma purANa (55,000)
    • vaiShNava purANa (23,000)
    • shaiva purANa (24,000)
    • bhAgawata purANa (18,000)
    • nAradeeya purANa (25,000)
    • maarkaMDEya purANa (9,000)
    • aagnEya purANa (15,400)
    • bhaviShya purANa (14,500) 
    • brahmavaivarta purANa (18,000)
    • liMga purANa (11,000)
    • varAha purANa (24,000)
    • skanda purANa (81,100)
    • vAmana purANa (10,000)
    • koorma purANa (17,000)
    • matsya purANa (14,000)
    • gAruDa purANa (19,000)
    • brahmAMDa purANa (12,000)
    • Totally 4000,000 verses in the purANas
  • 18 upapurANAs 
  • 18 types of vidyAs - 4 vEdas, 4 upavEdAs, 6 aMgAs, mimAmsa, nyAya, dharmashAstra, and purANAs 
  • 18 tatvAs - 16 kshara bandhakAs - (5 panchabhootAs, 5 indriyAs, manas, karma, lOka, mantra, nAma), 16th is jeeva , 17th is prakRuti (akshara tatva), and 18th is bhagawanta (purushottama) 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Significance of numbers in Vedic culture

In a recent conversation, a good friend of mine asked "why chant gAyatri japa in multiples of 12, like 12, 48, 108 etc". I made an attempt to explain the logic and beauty of numbers in the vedic culture. However I realized that there is much more than just this and Sri Bannanje Govindacharya has written an entire book on the significance of numbers in spiritual pursuit. I am recollecting some of those that can mesmerize even the most educated ones. Here is my interpretation and understanding, based on what I have read, heard, contemplated and understood..

Regarding the question "why 12" (or any other number for that matter): the idea is not about 12 or any other number but about "poorNatva" - the "completeness" or "fullness". Vedic culture has provided a perspective as to what makes something complete and that is through sankhya - or logic or numbers. Let us take a look at some significant numbers and what they represent:
  • 1 - ekamEvAdviteeyaM brahma: 1 represents that there is only one Lord above all. He is 1, the starting point of everything that is. The AUM the ekAkshara (aum ityekAksharam brahma (Gita 8.13).
  • 2 - prakriti-purusha: from the 1 comes the 2, which represents the nature of His creation; the duality in nature - brahmANDa-piNDANda, chetana-achetana, nAma-roopa, chara-achara, sthoola-sookshma, kArya-kAraNa, moorta-amoorta, bhAva-abhAva, sukha-dukha, male-female, day-night, cold-dark, old-young etc; krishna-paksha (15 days of the 'waning' moon) and shukla paksha (15 days of the 'growing' moon)
  • 3 - triguNa: The 2 has qualities that are 3, represented in many ways:
    • asti - jada, jeeva, eeshvara
    • guNa - satva (goodness), rajas (passion), tamas (ignorance or darkness)
    • kAla - bhoota (past), vartamAna (present), bhavishyat (future) 
    • shakti - jnAnashakti, icchAshakti, kriyAshakti
    • lOka - bhoo, bhuva, svaH
    • akshara - aum'kAra's 'a', 'u', 'ma'
    • vacahana - eka, dwi, bahu
    • purusha - prathama, madhyama, utthama
    • avastha - sRuShTi, sthiti, laya
    • piNDa-avastha - jAgrat, swapna, sushupti
    • trimurti - brahma vishnu maheshvara
  • 4 chaturmukha 
    • 4 purushArtha (aims of existence) - dharma (duty, righteousness, ethical living), artha (wealth, purpose), kAma (desire, aspirations, progeny), mOksha (liberation, freedom)
    • 4 veda samhitAs (sciences) - rik, yajur, sAma, atharva
    • 4 shriti varNAs - shukla, rakta, peeta, kRushNa 
    • 4 varNa - brAhmaNa, kshatriya, vaishya, shudra
    • 4 aashramAs - brahmacharya, grAhasthya, vAnaprastha, saMnyAsa
    • 4 vRuttis - anveekshikee, trayee, vaartaa, daMDaneeti
    • 4 upavedAs - aayurveda, dharnurveda, gAMdharvaveda, sthApatyaveda
    • 4 approaches - sAma (appeasing, conciliating, mild means), dAna ('giving in', teaching, charity, being liberal), bheda (contrasting, splitting, dividing, seducing, divulging, breach, betraying), danDa (punishing, giving a stick, displaying authority, fining, chastising)
  • 5 represents
    • 5 bhoota - pRuthvi (earth), aapas (water), tEjas (fire), vAyu (air), and aakaasha or kham (space)
    • 5 indriyAs - eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and skin
    • 5 tanmAtra - gandha, rasa, roopa, sparsha, shabda
    • 5 karmendriyAs - vAk, vANi, pAda, pAyu, upastha
    • 5 antahkaraNa - manassu, buddhi, ahaMkAra, chitta, chetana
    • 5 prANAs - vital air or humor within - prANa, apAna, vyAna, udAna, samAna 
    • 5 kOshAs - annamaya, prANamaya, manomaya, vijnAnamaya, aanandamaya
    • 5 rutus - vasanta, greeshma, varsha, sharat, hEmaMta shishira (in the vedic sampradAya hemanta and shishira are considered one) 
    • 5 kanyAs - ahalyA, draupadi, seetA, kunti, tAra, mandodari
  • 6 Represents 
    • 6 bhAvavikAra - bhrooNa (fetal), janana (birth), vRuddhi (growth), vikRuti / parivartana (changes, transformations), kshati (damage), mrutyu (death)
    • 6 upAsanA guNAs - aishwarya, veerya, yashas, shree, jnAna, vairAgya
    • 6 states - shoka, mOha, ashana (hunger), trisha (thirst), jara (old age), rOga (disease)
    • 6 arishadvargAs (enemies) - kAma, krodha, lObha, mOha, mada, mAtsarya
    • 6 bhagavad vritti karmAs - yajana, yAjana, dAna, pratigraha, adhyayana, adhyApana
    • 6 vedAngAs - sheekshA, kalpa, vyAkarNa, nirukta, jyotiSha, chandas
  • 7 Represents
    • 7 saptadhAtus - tvak (outer skin), charma (inner shield), mAmsa (flesh), rakta (blood), peena (fat), asti (bone), majja (marrow) 
    • 7 saptarishis - mareechi, atri, amgiras, pulastya, pulaha, kratu, vasiShTha
    • 7 manvantara saptarishis - kAshyapa, atri, vasiShTha, vishvAmitra, gautama, jamadagni, bharadvAja
    • 7 saptasvarAs - ShaDja, RuShabha, gAMdhAra, madhyama, paMchama, daivata, niShAda (sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, da, ni, sa)
    • 7 saptaChandas - gAyatri for ShaDja, uShNik for RuShabha, anuShTap for gAMdhAra, bRuhati for madhyama, paMkti for paMchama, triShTup for dhaivata, jagatee for niShAda
    • 7 jvAlAs - kALee, karALee, manojavA, sulOhitA, sudhoomravarNa, spuliMginee, vishvaruchee
    • 7 vArAs (representing the influential graha) - bhAnu, sOma, maMgaLa, budha, guru, shukra, shani 
    • 7 higher lOkAs - bhooH, bhuvaH, svaH, mahaH, janaH, tapaH, satyam
    • 7 lower lOkAs - ataLa, vitaLa, sutaLa, taLAtaLa, mahAtaLa, rasAtaLa, pAtALa
    • 7 sAgarAs - lavaMa (salty), ikShu (sugarcane, sweet), surA (spirituous, wine) , ghRuta (ghee), dadhi (curd), ksheera (milk), shuddhOdaka (fresh water)
    • 7 adhyAtma chakra or glands - moolAdhAra (gonald), svAdhiShTAna (cells of Leydig), maNipoora (Adrenal), anAhata (Thymus), vishuddhi (Thyroid and Parathyroid), ajnA (Pineal), sahasrAra (Pituitary)
    • 7 mahAparvatAs - himavanta, mEru, hEmakooTa, niShadha, mAlyavaMta, gaMdhamAdana, pAriyAtra 
    • 7 mahAnadi - gaMgA, yamunA, saraswati, gOdAvari, narmadA, sidhu, kAvEri 
    • 7 saptamAtrikAs - brahmaNi, mAheshvari, mAheshvari, kaumAri, vaishNavi, varAhi, indrANi, chAmuNda
  • 8 Represents
    • 8 asthAksharAs in AUM - akAra, ukAra, makAra, nAda, biMdu, kale, shAMta, atishAMta
    • 8 nArAyaNAkshara - "Om namo nArAyaNAya"
    • 8 bhagawanta roopa - vishva, taijas, prAjna, tureeya, aatma, antarAtma, paramAtma, jnAnAtma
    • 8 akshara vargAs (alphabetical categories) - svrAksharAs (16), kavarga, chavarga, Tavarga, tavarga, pavarga, aMtasthAkshara (ya, ra, la, va), antAksharAs (sha, Sha, sa, ha, La, ksha)
    • 8 vidha prakRuti - ahaMkAra, buddhi, manas, aakAsha, vAyi, agni, anila, pruthvi
    • 8 jeevA varga - devatAs, gaMdharvAs, dAnavAs, rAkshasAs, pishAchAs, mAnushAs, tiryagjaMtoos, sthAvarAs
    • 8 vasus - droNa (dhara), prANa, dhruva, arka, agni, dOSha, vastu, vibhAvasu
    • 8 diks (directions with their deities) - poorva (east; mitra or Indra), aagneya (agni), dakshiNa (yama), naiRutya (nirRuti), paschima (varuNa), vAyuvya (vAyu), uttara (chandra, kubEra), aishAnya (eeshAna)
    • 8 diggajAs (great elephants) - airAvata, puMDareeka, vAmana, kumuda, anjana, puShpadaMta, saarvabhauma, suprateeka
    • 8 diggajAs' female consorts -  abhramu, kapilA, piMgaLa, anupamA, tAmrakarNi, shubhradaMti, aMganA, aMjanAvati 
    • 8 ashtAnga yOga - yama, niyama, aasana, prANAyAma, pratyAhAra, dhAraNA, dhyAna, samAdhi
    • 8 aishwaryAs or siddhis through yOgadhAraNa -  aNimA (becoming smaller than an aNu - atom), mahimA (becoming heavier than a hill, larger than a mountain), laghimA (becoming lighter than a grass blade or a cotton ball), prApti (garnering anything through anyone), prAkAshya (sarvajnatva, ability to comprehend everything), eeshitva (multiplying one's abilities to enormous amounts), vashitva (charming others and overcoming any obstacle), prAkAmya (experiencing any desired pleasure); some include garima over prAkAshya, and some include both and make it 9 siddhis.
    • 8 aayurveda ashtAmgAs - shalya chikitse (surgery), shAlAkya chikitse (ENT), kAya chikitse (Physiotherapy), bhoovidye (freeing one from 'bhootabAdhe' or psychological disturbances), kaumArabRutya (gynecology and pediatrics), aagadataMtra (viShavaidyaka; treating poisoning), rasAyana taMtra (deerghAyurArOgya sAdhana; creating mixtures for long life), vAjeekaraNataMtra (veeryavardhana prayOga; increasing fertility and virility)
    • 8 sAshTAnga namaskAra - prostration using 8 aspects of the body - legs, knees, hands, chest, head, respectful sight,  praising words, and revering mind 
    • 8 vivAha vidhAs - brahmavivAha, daivavivAha, aarShavivAha, prAjApatyavivAha, gAMdharvavivAha, aasuravivAha, raakshasavivAha, paishAchavivAha. 
      • First four are by the blessings of the elder and parents, conducting by them
      • gAMdharva - by mutual agreement between bride and groom
      • aasuravivAha - enticed by money, out of greed for money 
      • Last two are forced marriages without consent of the other party  
    • 8 ashtamadAs - roopamada (intoxicated by beauty), yauvanamada (intoxicated by youthfulness), streemada (intoxicated by the opposite sex), dhanamada (intoxicated by wealth), vidyAmada (intoxicated by knowledge), kulamada (intoxicated by family lineage), annamada (intoxicated by overeating), udyOgamada (intoxicated by professional status)
  • MORE TO FOLLOW ....

Rudraprasna - Part 2

अवतत्य धनुस्त्वग्ं सहस्राक्ष शतेषुधे । निशीर्य शल्यानां मुखा शिवो नः सुमना भव ।
avatatya dhanustvagaM sahasrAksha shateShudhe | nisheerya shalyAnAM mukA shivO naH sumanA bhava ||

avatatya – after unbending (covering), dhanu – the bow, tu – certainly, agaM – winds zig-zag (inconceivable nature; transcending the untranscended), sahasrAksha – all perceiving (thousand eyed), shata – hundred, iShudhe – quivers [that hold the arrows; iShudhyati means to request, to implore, to desire oblations], niShIrya – the indestructible (sheerya – perishable), shalyAnAm – of the arrows (sins, crimes, distress), mukhA – the directions (chief, head, face, source, logical viewpoint), shivaH – auspicious, naH – ours, sumanA – charming, bhava – obtain

Oh the all perceiving one, the wielder of hundreds of quivers (which are filled with requests from devotees), the bow upon bending, winds inconceivably. By the indestructible arrows let all directions be auspicious and may our minds attain charm. 


विज्यं धनुः कपर्दिनो विशल्यो बाणवाग्ं उत । अनिशन्नस्येषव आभुरस्य निषंगथिः ।
vijyaM dhanuH kapardino vishalyo bANavAgM uta | anishannasyEShava aabhurasya niShaMgathiH |

विज्यं the stringless (or the one who cannot be overpowered),  धनुः bow, कपर्दिनो – one with braided and knotted hair, विशल्यो – free from arrow heads (one who is free from trouble or anxiety, trouble or pain), बाणवाग्ं उत – also, the one with the arrows [the quiver], अनिशन् – having no arrows, न – not अस्य – his,  इषवः – arrows,  आभुः – empty (void, meager, one who’s hands are empty), अस्य – his, निषंगथिः – quiver, charioteer, shoulder, bowman, embracing

Oh the one with the knotted hair [Rudra], with a stringless bow (or the one who cannot be overpowered) and free from arrow heads (one who is free from trouble or anxiety, trouble or pain), may his quiver never be rendered arrowless, may this bowman never be empty handed.


या ते हेतिर्मीढुष्टम हस्ते बभूव ते धनुः । तयाऽस्मान्, विश्वतस्त्वमयक्ष्मया परिब्भुज ।
yA te hetirmeeDhuShTama haste babhoova te dhanuH | tayA-asmAn, vishvatastvamayakshmayA paribbhuja |

yA – which, te – your, hEti – instrument (weapon, flame, impact, ray of Sun), मीढुष्टम one who pours impact in life (one who fulfills desires of devotees), हस्ते – in the hand, बभूव – became, ते – your, धनुः – bow, तया – by that, अस्मान् (dwitiya vibhakti) – us, विश्वतः – in all directions, त्व्म् - you, अयक्ष्मया – not sick (causing health, healthy), परिब्भुज – to stenghten (to fortify, to increase, to encircle, surround)

Oh Lord, who fullfills the desires of His devotees with that weapon which is in your hands, with your bow you protect us in all directions endowing us with health and strength.

नमस्ते अस्त्वायुधायानातताय धृष्णवे । उभाभ्यामुत ते नमो बाहुभ्यां तव धन्वने ।
namaste astvAyudhAyAnAtatAya dhRuShNave | ubhAbhYamuta te namo bAhubhyAm tava dhanvane |

नमस्ते – salutations to you, अस्तु let it be so, आयुधाय – by the weapon, अनातताय – by that which does is not stretched or strung (not very long), ध्रुष्णवे – to the fierce one (strong, courageous), उभाभ्याम् – by (to, through) both of them, उत – also/and, ते – to you, नमः - salutations बाहुभ्याम् – arms, तव – your, धन्वने – for your bow

May salutations be to you oh the fierce one, by the weapon that which is not strung, also salutations to you and to your bow by both my [folded] arms. 


परि ते धन्वनो हेतिरस्मान्वृणक्तु विश्वतः अथो इषुधिस्तवारे अस्मिन्निधेहि तम्
pari te dhanvano hetirasmAnvRuNaktu vishvataH | atho ya iShudhistavAre asminnidhehi tam | 

परि – outside of (around, from, except, beyond, more than), तेyour, धन्वनोbow or the bow weilder, हेतिः – shot (weapon, impact, wound, sprout, light, splendor), अस्मान् – us (dviteeya vibhakti), वृणक्तु – give pleasure (gratify, consume, remove, avert), विश्वतः – in all directions, अथो – then (now, afterwards; this words is often indicative of auspiciousness), य – that which, इषुधिः – the quiver, तव – your, अरे – of the enemies, अस्मिन् this, निधॆहि – remove (relinquish), तम् – that

By your bow and splendor, may pleasures come to us from all directions, and then by your quiver [of arrows] may the enemies be removed. 


परि ते धन्वनो हेतिरस्मान्वृणक्तु विश्वतःअथो इषुधिस्तवारे अस्मिन्निधेहि तम्
परि – outside of (around, from, except, beyond, more than) ते – your, धन्वनो – bow or the bow wielder, हेतिः – shot (weapon, impact, wound, sprout, light, splendor), अस्मान् – us (dviteeye vibhakti), वृणक्तु – give pleasure (gratify, consume, remove, avert), विश्वतः – in all directions, अथो – then (now, afterwards; this words is often indicative of auspiciousness), – that which, इषुधिः – the quiver, तव – your, अरे – of the enemies, अस्मिन् – this, निधॆहि – remove (relinquish), तम् – that

By your bow and splendor, may pleasures come to us from all directions, and then by your quiver [of arrows] may the enemies be removed.

शंभवे नमः । नमस्ते अस्तु भगवन्विश्वेश्वराय महादेवाय त्र्यम्बकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकाग्निकालाय कालाग्निरुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय मृत्युञ्जयाय सर्वेश्वराय सदाशिवाय श्रीमन्महादेवाय नमः ||
namaste astu bhagavan viśveśvarāya mahādevāya tryambakāya tripurāntakāya trikāgnikā̱lāya̍ kālāgniru̱drāya̍ nīlaka̱ṇṭhāya̍ mṛtyuñja̱yāya̍ sarveśva̱rāya̍ sadāśi̱vāya̍ śrīmanmahāde̱vāya̱ nama̍ḥ

शंभवे नमः – Salutations to Shambu (the benevolent, one who creates happiness, grants prosperity, Lord Shiva), नमस्ते अतु – May salutations be to, भगवन् विश्वेश्वराय – To bhagawan, the Lord of the entire universe, महादेवाय – to the greatest among the devatAs, त्र्यम्बकाय – to the three eyed rudra (one beyond the three worlds), त्रिपुरान्तकाय – to the one who killed demon Tripura, त्रिकाग्निकालाय – to the one who is the kAla fate or destiny of the three fires (fire, lightning and Sun), कालाग्नि रुद्राय – to the one who is the fire of time, Rudra, नीलकण्ठाय – to the one with the blue neck (one who consumed the hAlahala poison), मृत्युञ्जयाय – to the one who overcomes diseases (one who protects from untimely death), सर्वेश्वराय – to the one who is the Lord of everything, सदाशिवाय – to the one who is always happy, kind and prosperous, श्रीमन्महादेवाय – to the one endowed with all foruntes and riches, the greatest among devAs, नमः - Salutations


Salutations to you Oh Shambhu. Salutations may be to the Lord of this universe, the greatest among devAs, the three eyed Rudra, one who is killed the demon Tripura, one who is the fate of the three fires (fire, lightening, and Sun), one who is the burning fire of time, Rudra, one with the blue neck, one who protects from untimely death, the Lord of everything, one who is always happy, one who is endowed with all fortunes and riches, the greatest among all the devAs. Salutations to him.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rudraprasna Translation - Part 1

People have chanted Rudraprasna for ages. Even I have. We have been told that it is powerful. It indeed is. However, not many people really understand the meaning (superficial or inner) meaning of Rudraprasna. That includes me. Here is an attempt to translate Rudraprasna for the benefit of all.

I am not a Sanskrit scholar but have interest in understanding the inner meaning of vedic mantras. So, it is an attempt to help myself and if it helps others then that is a bonus, my offering to the Lord. Sarvam Sri KrishNarpaNam.

I thought, before I start let me see if there are any translations already. And I found this really good site where I have taken the translation from (http://jigyaasaa.wordpress.com/). I have not looked into the accuracy of the translation but after going through the site I can say with complete confidence that this looks like an authentic translation.

॥श्रीरुद्रप्रश्नः॥
śrīrudrapraśnaH


नमो भगवते॑ रुद्रा॒य
om namo bhagavate̍ rudrā̱ya

Aum! Salutations to Lord Rudra*

* Rudra – dreadful, terrific, frightful, formidable; Great; Driving away Evil; Praiseworthy; one of the 11 deities or manifestations of Shiva, of Shankara (rudrANAm shankarachAsmi), Siva; fire;

नम॑स्ते रुद्र म॒न्यव॑ उ॒तोत॒ इष॑वे॒ नमः | नम॑स्ते अस्तु॒ धन्व॑ने बा॒हुभ्या॑मु॒त ते॒ नमः।
om nama̍ste rudra ma̱nyava̍ u̱tota̱ iṣa̍ve̱ nama̍ḥ  | nama̍ste astu̱ dhanva̍ne bā̱hubhyā̍mu̱ta te̱ nama̍H

namah – obescience, te – to you, rudra – O Rudra*, manyave (related to manyu - sacrifice, rage, wrath, fury, high spirit, mind) – ferocious or anger, uta* – and, te – to your, iṣave (ish - speedy; going quickly; wishing; desirous; strength; power; comfort; refreshing waters of the sky; animated; one possessed of sap or strength;)  - arrows, namaḥ – my obesciences, bāhubhyām – shoulders/arms, uta – and, te – to your, namaḥ – my obesciences

* uta – used for the sake of emphasis especially at the end of a line after iti or verb

O Rudra, my prostrations to your anger (wrath), moreover prostrations to your arrows*, to your bow, and prostrations to your mighty arms / shoulders. Salutations to you.

* The arrow is symbolic to that which pierces the heart. His third eye is the bow and arrow is His sight that sets even kAma on fire, and cleanses on of impurities;

या त॒ इषुः शि॒वत॑मा शि॒वं ब॒भूव॑ ते॒ धनुः।  शि॒वा शर॒व्या॑ या तव॒ तया॑ नो रुद्र मृडय।
yā ta̱ iṣu̍ḥ śi̱vata̍mā śi̱vaṁ ba̱bhūva̍ te̱ dhanu̍ḥ śi̱vā śa̍ra̱vyā̍ yā tava̱ tayā̍ no rudra mṛḍaya

 – he who, ta – that, rudra – O Rudra, śivātamA – supremely auspicious / beneficial, shivam babhoova became auspicious, te dhanuH – by your bow,  shivA – auspicious sharavyA – shower of arrows / target / mark yA – he, tava – by your, tayA – by her or protection; naH – our, rudra mRuDaya - to be gracious, to be pleased; to pardon; to delight; to gladden; Epithet of Lord Shiva

Oh Valiant one (Lord Rudra), may we be the blessed target of that arrow (which pierces one’s heart), your your bow which is supremely auspicious [to the devout], and your quiver of blessedness.

या ते॑ रुद्र शि॒वा त॒नूरघो॒राऽपापकाशिनी। तया॑ नस्त॒नुवा॒ शन्त॑मया॒ गिरिशंता॒भिचा॑कशीहि
yā te̍ rudra śi̱vā ta̱nūragho̱rā'pā̍pakāśinī  | tayā̍ nasta̱nuvā̱ śanta̍mayā̱ giri̍śaṁtā̱bhicā̍kaśīhi

 – he, te – Your, rudra – O Rudra, śivā – peaceful/auspicious/beneficial, tanúh – forms (the body (tan – to cover; to stretch; extend; diffuse), aghorā – calming, apāpakāśinī – (apApa + kAshin -  apApa – sinless, pure; kAshin – shining; apApakAshin - one who shines sinlessly ) the preventer of sinful activity and bestower of spiritual fruits, tayā – that, nah – to us, tanvā – by your form, śaṃtamayā – the producer of happiness, giriśanta – the one who abides in the himalayas, abhicākaśīhi – look at us with your grace.

O Rudra, your blessed form which is peaceful, auspicious, beneficial, calming, which obliterates traces of all sinful actions, through this form which impregnates happiness, O Lord, may you look at us with your grace from the Mount of KailAsa.

यामिषुं॑ गिरिशन्त॒ हस्ते॑ बि॒भर्ष्यस्त॑वे शि॒वां गि॑रित्र॒ तां कु॑रु॒ मा हिँ॑सीः॒ पुरु॑षं॒ जग॑त् ।।
yām iṣuṃ giriśanta haste bibharṣy astave | śivāṃ giritra tāṃ kuru mā him̐sīḥ puruṣaṃ jagat ||

yām – who, iṣuṃ – arrows, giriśanta – transfixed in the words of the Vedas,  haste – in hand, bibharṣi – who holds, astave – to release, śivāṃ – your auspiciousness, giritra – the protector abiding in the Himalayas, tāṃ – to him, kuru – do, – don’t, him̐sīḥ – destruction, puruṣaṃ – to humamity, jagat – material creation.

O Lord, transfixed in the words of the Vedas, who is holding in hand the arrows, may you release them to which is most auspicious. O Protector of the sacred mount, harm not the humanity and the other creations

शि॒वेन॒ वच॑सा त्वा गिरि॒शाच्छा॑ वदामसि यथा॑ नः॒ सर्व॒मिज्जग॑दय॒क्ष्मँ सु॒मना॒ अस॑त् ।।
śivéna vacasā tvā giriśācchā vadāmasi | yathā naḥ sarvam ij jagad ayakṣmam̐ sumanā asat ||

śivén – benefical form, vacasā – through words, tvā – to you, giriśa – Lord of the Himalayas, accha – to obtain, vadāmasi -  we pray, yathā – for which, naḥ – we/our,  sarvam – all , it – only,  jagad – material creation, ayakṣmam̐ – free from disease, sumanāh – of sound mind, asat – be.

O Lord of the Himalayas, through our auspicious words we pray to obtain you, through which our creation becomes free from disease and obtain a sound mind.

अध्य॑वोचदधिव॒क्ता प्र॑थ॒मो दै॑व्यो भि॒षक् अहीँ॑श्च॒ सर्वा॑न्ज॒म्भय॒न्त्सर्वा॑श्च यातुधा॒न्यो॑ ध॒राचीः॒ परा॑ सुव ।।
adhyavocad adhivaktā prathamó daivyo bhiṣak |ahīm̐ś ca sarvān jambhayant sarvāś ca yātudhānyò dharācīḥ parā suva ||

adhyavocat – do/say that which is the great, adhivaktā – the exponent of the Vedas, prathamah – the first, daivyah - divinity, bhiṣak  – the  destroyer, ahīm̐ś  – reptiles, ca – and, sarvān – all, jambhayan – to destroy, sarvāh – all beings, ca – and, yātudhānyah – evil spirits, adharācīḥ – suppressor, parā suva – remove from us.

O Lord, exponent of the Vedas, the first, the benefactor of the devas, the destroyer of the cycle of birth, death and disease, bless us that we may be the greatest. O destroyer, suppress the reptiles and the evil spirits downwards, far away from us

असौ॒ यस्ता॒म्रो अ॑रु॒ण उ॒त ब॒भ्रुः सु॑म॒ङ्गलः॑ ये चै॑नँ रु॒द्रा अ॒भितो॑ दि॒क्षु श्रि॒ताः स॑हस्र॒शो वै॑षाँ॒ हेड॑ ईमहे ।।
asau yas tāmró aruṇa uta babhruḥ sumaṅgalaḥ |yé cainam̐ rudrā abhito dikṣu śritāḥ sahasraśó vaiṣām̐ héḍa īmahe ||

asaa – this sun, the direct manifestation of Rudra, yah – who, tāmroh – looking coppery, aruṇa – red, uta – and,  babhruḥ – yellow, sumaṅgalaḥ – very auspicious, – that, ca – and, enam̐  – his, rudrāh – sun raise, abhitah – in all, dikṣu – directions, śritāḥ – dependent, sahasraśah – thousands, eṣām̐  – his, héḍa – anger/wrath,  ava īmahe – detract/against

This Sun, the direct manifestation of Rudra, looking coppery, red and yellow, which is very auspicious, in whose close proximity there are thousands of sun raises in all directions, we pray against their wrath.

असौ॒ यो॑ व॒सर्प॑ति॒ नील॑ग्रीवो॒ विलो॑हितः उतैनं गो॒पा अ॑दृश्र॒न्नदृ॑श्रन्नुदहा॒र्यः॒ दृ॒ष्तो मृ॑डयाति नः ।।
asau yò vasarpati nī́lagrīvo vilohitaḥ |utainaṃ gopā adr̥śrann adr̥śrann udahāryàḥ sa dr̥ṣtó mr̥ḍayāti naḥ ||

asaa – This Sun, the direct manifestation of Rudra, yah – who,  vasarpati – who during sunset is constantly roaming, nī́lagrīvah – adorning a blue neck, vilohitaḥ  – bloody/red, uta – and, enaṃ – his, gopā – cow herders, adr̥śrann – perceive, adr̥śrann – perceive, udahāryàḥ – girls carrying water, sa – they, dr̥ṣtah – whilst witnessing, mr̥ḍayāti – experience deep happiness, naḥ – they.

This Sun, the direct manifestation of Rudra, who during sunset looks reddish and then blue. He who the cow herders, and the girls carrying water perceive, who whilst witnessing him experience deep happiness.

नमो॑ स्तु॒ नील॑ग्रीवाय सहस्रा॒क्षाय॑ मी॒ढुषे॑ अथो॒ ये अ॑स्य॒ सत्वा॑नो॒ हं तेभ्यो॑ करं॒ नमः॑ ।।
namo stu nī́lagrīvāya sahasrākṣāya mīḍhuṣe |atho yé asya satvāno haṃ tébhyo karaṃ namaḥ ||

namah – Obesciences, astu – to, nī́lagrīvāya  – the blue necked one, sahasrākṣāya – a thousand eyes, mīḍhuṣe – provider of rain, atho – and, – that, asya – to him, satvānah – devotees/servants, ahaṃ – I,  tébhyo – to them, akaraṃ – I do, namaḥ – Obesciences

Obesciences to the blue necked one, adorning a thousand eyes, provider of rain and to all his devotees/servants I offer my obesciences.
  
प्रमु॑ञ्च॒ धन्व॑न॒स्त्वमु॒भयो॒रार्त्न्यो॒र्ज्याम् याश्च॑ ते॒ हस्त॒ इष॑वः॒ परा॒ ता भ॑गवो वप ।।
pramuñca dhanvanas tvam ubhayor ārtnyor jyām | yāś ca te hasta iṣavaḥ parā tā bhagavo vapa ||

pramuñca – release, dhanvanah – bow, tvam – you, ubhayoh – both, ārtnyor – ends, jyām – string, yāh – that, ca – and, te – your, hasta – hands, iṣavaḥ – arrows, tāh – them,  bhagavah – O Lord, parāvapa – cast afar

O Lord, release both sides your string attached to your bow and cast afar the arrows that are in your hands

विज्यं॒ धनुः॑ कप॒र्दिनो॒ विश॑ल्यो॒ वाण॑वाँ उ॒त अने॑शन्नस्य॒ या इष॑व आ॒भुर॑स्य निषङ्ग॒धिः ।।
 vijyaṃ dhanuḥ kapardino viśalyo vāṇavām̐ uta | aneśann asya yā iṣava ābhur asya niṣaṅgadhiḥ ||

vijyaṃ – string less, dhanuḥ – bow, kapardinah – the one with matted locks, viśalyah – without arrows, vāṇavāna – hatchet, uta – and, aneśann – destroy, asya  – his, yāh – that, iṣava – arrows, ābhuh – empty, asya – his, niṣaṅgadhiḥ – scabbard.

May the matted Locked ones bow be string less and his hatchet without arrows, and any existing arrows be destroyed and let his scabbard be empty.

या ते॑ हे॒तिर्मी॑ढुष्टम॒ हस्ते॑ ब॒भूव॑ ते॒ धनुः॑ तया॒स्मान्वि॒श्वत॒स्त्वम॑य॒क्ष्मया॒ परि॑ भुज  
yā te hetir mīḍhuṣṭama haste babhúva te dhanuḥ | tayāsmān viśvatas tvam ayakṣmayā pari bhuja ||

– that, te – your, hetih – weapon, mīḍhuṣṭama – that which showers the knowledge of immortality, haste – in hand,  babhúva – exists, te – that, dhanuḥ  - bow, tayā - with that,  asmān - do, viśvatas – on all sides, tvam  - your, ayakṣmayā  - without harm, paribhuja – protect us.

O Showerer of the knowledge of immortality, that weaponry bow which exists in hand, without harming, protect us on all sides.
  

References: 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love of God

Once Sage Narada approached Sri Vishnu and said  "I have been singing your holy names all day, all my life. Oh Lord, can there be a greater devotee than I am?"

Mahavishnu replied: Yes, Naarada, there is a farmer on Earth, who according to me is a greater devotee than you are.

Utterly shocked Narada wants to find it out himself and goes to Earth. He watches the farmer for hours and days to see if he remembered or thought of Narayana. He finds that the simple farmer is simply chanting "hari hari" "nArAyaNa" "govinda" once in a while, while tying his cow, taking his food, sitting down, standing up. He thanks Lord when he goes to sleep and when he wakes up. All that he prays was "may i always have devotion to you I want nothing else. He keeps saying "all glories to the sweet Lord for everything He has provided". "Govinda".

Narada is infact impressed. He praises the farmer "you are a great devotee of the Lord. How many times do you chant his names? how often do you?"

The farmer replied "I do not know how many times I take his name, because I know nothing but His name. I take his name when I get up, when I brush, when I take bath, when I eat, when I walk, when I sleep, when I feed, when I am tired, when I am happy. But I do not know much"

Narada goes back to Sri Vishnu says "He is a great devotee, but he thinks of you only between tasks, once in the morning, once in the evening, once in a while at work. How can he be your greatest devotee, while I chant your names all the time. I worship you all the time. You did not agree that I was your greatest devotee. I am surprised".

Sri Vishnu replied: I understand. Will you do me a favor. Take this pot filled to its brim with oil. You have to walk with this pot on your head around this hill once without spilling even a drop of water. 

Even though it makes no sense to Narada why Sri Vishnu is asking him to do this, he obliges. He says to himself "Lord did not care to answer me but want me to carry this pot. Let me". While carrying the pot he reminded himself that he cannot spill a drop. He focused all his mind and body in balancing the pot on his head, making sure that the oil did not spill. He kept reminding him "I must be careful". After one complete round he was relieved that he did not spill a drop and exclaimed "Om Namo nArAyaNAya. nArAyaNa. nArAyaNa." "Lord I completed the task successfully". 

Sri Vishnu asked "Good. I am glad that you did, nArada". Now tell me how many times did you remember me? how many times did you chant my name? when you were carrying that pot"

Narada replied "How could I? I was so busy balancing the pot, executing your task, that all my attention was fixed on the pot and the oil"

Sri Vishnu replied: "now think of the farmer who has his tasks to complete. Despite his hardwork he ensures that he remembers by name whenever he can, even in the middle of the task. However, you were so engrossed in your task that you could not remember me even once". 

Sri Vishnu continued "In this world, everyone has a task to perform. Your task is to remember me all the time and spread my message across the world. Never compare one performer, one devotee, with another".

The humbled Narada replied "Please forgive me my Lord for my arrogance and ignorance. I have realized that those who can remember you in the midst of their daily chores, those who think of your glories at every stage in life, are also performing your worship only, they are your devotees too"

I leave the moral of the story to the reader. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Medha Suktam

One of the most beautiful suktams in Sanskrit is the medha suktam. This can be chanted at anytime and is a way to invite the deity of intellect - medha devi, to enhance the intellectual capacity of anybody, ideally of students. Goddess "medha devi" guides and guards the intellectual faculty in living entities.

Some think that this is a "religious" piece. It is or it is not depending on how one wants to see it. One can see this as a glorification of the intellect or the glorification of the personified deity (abhimAni devata) of the intellect - medhA devi. Without intellect no learning is possible, so this is the glorification of that intellectual faculty in us all. I am in awe of how one is using the intellect to pay tribute and reverence to itself. Beautiful.


तैत्तिरीयारण्यकम् – ४ प्रपाठकः – १० अनुवाकः ४१-४४

ॐ यश्छन्दसामृषभो विश्वरूपः । छन्दोभ्योऽध्यमृताथ्सम्बभूव । स मेन्द्रो मेधया स्पृणोतु । अमृतस्य देवधारणो भूयासम् । शरीरं मे विचर्षणम् । जिह्वा मे मधुमत्तमा । कर्णाभ्यां भूरिविश्रुवम् । ब्रह्मणः कोशोऽसि मेधया पिहितः । श्रुतं मे गोपाय । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Oum yashChandasAmRuShabho vishvaroopaH | Chandobhyo adhyamRutAth- sambabhoova | sa mendro medhayA spRuNotu | amRutasya devadhAraNo bhooyAsam | shareeraM me vicharShaNam | jihvA me madhumattamA | karNAbyAM bhoorivishruvam | brahmaNaH kOshOsi medhayA pihitaH | shrutaM me gopAya | Oum shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH ||


Om, the universal rhythm, that which is the most exalted in all the sacred texts (brahma, sciences) [the superior most pleasure, wish]. For the sake of the vedAs it [the Om] emerged simultaneously from the eternal one (brahma). May that superior one deliver (gratify, protect, bestow) me. Oh Lord, may I become the possessor of the eternal nectar (of divine wisdom). 

May my body become active (performing, practicing). May my tongue become the sweetest [may it speak pleasant words]. May I hear [wisdom and shAstrAs] abundantly with my ears. You [Om] are the treasure of the brahman, filled (covered, one who knows the deep secrets) with the divine intellect. May the shAstrAs (sacred knowledge) be preserved (protected) in me [or may sacred knowledge be my protection]. May there be peace, peace, peace [within, outside, everywhere]. 

ॐ मेधा देवी जुषमाणा न आगाद्विश्वाची भद्रा सुमनस्यमाना ।
त्वया जुष्टा जुषमाणा दुरुक्तान् बृहद्वदेम विदथे सुवीराः ॥

Oum mEdhA dEvee juShamANA na aagAdviShvAchee bhadrA sumanasyamAnA |
tvyA juShTA juShamANA duruktAn bruhadvadema vidathe suveerAH ||

OUM! Oh medha (one who facilitates the power of ‘grasping’, intelligence, wisdom, prudence) dEvi (deity, Her majesty), one who is all pervading (universal), all auspicious, one who takes delight in all minds, may you not back away from us. We have [previously] taken pleasure in harsh words (spoken that which is not worthy of; wrongly pronounced), but by your grace we, endowed with virtues, will speak that which is valuable (significant). 

त्वया जुष्ट ऋषिर्भवति देवि त्वया ब्रह्माऽऽगतश्रीरुत त्वया ।
त्वया जुष्ट-श्चित्रं विन्दते वसु सानो जुषस्व द्रविणो न मेधे ॥

tvayA juShTa rishir bhavathi devi tvayA brahma Agatasreeruta tvayA |
tvayA juShTaschitram vindate vasu sAno juShasva draviNona medhe ||

Blessed by you (by your grace) one becomes a seer (sage, a ray of light, knowledgeable of brahman), by your favor one becomes brahman, one becomes wealthy. Blessed by you one discovers (produces, accomplishes) clarity (distinction, excellence, curiosity, brilliance, variegatedness) and radiance (prosperity). Please bless us with that essence (wealth, strength, substance, power) Oh medha (power of intellect personified or the deity).


मेधां म इन्द्रो ददातु मेधां देवी सरस्वती। मेधां मे अश्विनावुभावाधत्ताम् पुष्करस्रजा । अप्सरासु च या मेधा गन्धर्वेषु च यन्मनः। दैवीं मेधा सरस्वती सा मां मेधा सुरभिर्जुषताँ स्वाहा॥
medhAM ma indro dadAtu medhAM dEvee Saraswati | medhAM me ashvinAv ubhAvAdattAm puShkarasrajA | apsarAsu cha yA medhA gandharveShu cha yanmanaH | dEvee medhA sarasvatee sA mAM medhA surabhirjuShatAM svAhA || 

May Lord Indra (my own purified senses) grant me the nourishment (mental vigor, stamina), may Goddess Saraswati (deity associated with eloquence, wisdom, power of speech, education / knowledge/ learning) grant me the intellect [academic excellence]. May the twin Ashvinis (deities of nostrils, the divine physicians), garlanded with lotuses, infuse the power of intellect [the smart looks]. May she grant me the intellect that which is in the apsarAs (wives of the gandarvAs known for beauty and grace) and creative intelligence of the gandarvAs (celestial musicians). May Sarasvati, manifested as Surabhi (the fulfiller of all wishes, celebrated, divine cow, charming), endow me with divine intelligence [ability to see beyond the limitations of the ordinary senses].



आमां मेधा सुरभिर्विश्वरूपा हिरण्य़वर्णा जगती जगम्या। ऊर्जस्वती पयसा पिन्वमाना सामां मेधा सुप्रतीका जुषन्ताम्॥
aamAM medhA surabhirvishvaroopA hiraNyavarNA jagatee jagamyA | oorjasvatee payasA pinvamAnA sAmAM medhA suprateekA juShantAm ||
May She, the one with the golden complexion (the imperishable), who is universal, by who the entire manifestation - all variegatedness (all life forms) - attains excellence, by who the earth (heavens and lower planets, the mankind) becomes intelligible (suitable, accessible, passable), approach me (come near to me). The one who is powerful, swelled with milk (the free-flowing, pure / sAtvika knowledge), the one with the lovely form, may she – medhA (the intellect) – be pleased.


मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मय्यग्निस्तेजो दधातु मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मयीन्द्र इन्द्रियं दधातु मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मयि सूर्यो भ्राजो दधातु॥mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayyagnistejo dadhAtu | mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayeendra indriyaM dadhAtu | mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayi sooryO bhrAjo dadhAtu ||

May He infuse in me prudence, virility (progeny, people, society), and the brilliance of the fire (the charm, the splendour, the passion). May He infuse in me prudence, progeny, and the best of the senses (vigour). May He infuse in me prudence, progeny, and sun (one who enables one to see and to sustain) give me his radiance (the ability to see within; enlightenment). 



[ऊँ हंस हंसाय विद्महे परमहंसाय धीमहि। तन्नो हंसः प्रचोदयात्॥]