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dashAvatAra stuti.

dzavtar Stuit>

The author of this work, Sri VAdirAja tIrtha, occupies a very exalted place in the Madhva galaxy of
saints. He is revered as a very great saint with immense spiritual powers in addition to being an
outstanding poet, philosopher, social organizer/reformer, debater and prolific writer.

There are many aspects about him that are truly outstanding. He lived for 120 years, out of which 112
were as an ascetic! No other saint, irrespective of doctrinal affiliations, can claim this distinction. He
saw 5 paryAyas and entered his Brindavana alive in 1600. He went around India twice and captured
his experience in a travelogue. It is obvious that he was a very exalted soul who was especially blessed
by Lord HayagrIva.

He has left his unique imprint on many institutions. The present paryAya system in Udupi, the mini
Udupi in Sode, the ManjunAtha temple in Dharmasthala, the multitude of devaranAmas and stotras
that he has left behind are some aspects that come to mind immediately.

He was also a brilliant poet with exquisite mastery over poetic expression. If he had not been a saint,
he would have still carved a name for himself as a great poet. Some of his works like Yukti Mallika
and RukminIsha Vijaya can be compared to the best in the world and not found wanting.

A brief note about incarnations:

The word ‘avatAra’ actually means descent, advent or manifestation, implying that the form which
manifests itself on earth is basically the same as the original one, with no degradation in power,
capabilities or qualities. Hence, in the strictest sense, this term can be applied only to incarnations of
the Lord and Lakshmi; it can also, with some minor reservations, be applied to incarnations of Vayu

The popular meaning of ‘dasha’ is ‘ten’, hence the term ‘dashAvataras’ is usually interpreted as the
ten incarnations of the Lord. However, ‘dasha’ has several meanings besides ‘ten’; some of the other
interpretations are ‘complete or perfect’ (as in ‘dashapramati’), ‘infinite’ and so on. ‘dasha’ is also the
name of the Lord (‘shamam dadAtIti dashah’ – the giver of infinite bliss).

In this stotra, Shri Vadiraja prays to 14 incarnations of Vishnu – the ten well known incarnations of
Vishnu, plus Hayagriva, Dhanvanthri, Mohini and VedavyAsa. So in this context, the phrase
‘dashAvatara’ really means “perfect incarnations” or incarnations of the perfect entity.

Background of stotra:

This stotra is associated with an event that happened in the life of Sri VAdirAja.

Once VAdirAja went on a tour of India and reached PandharApura. He stayed in a temple and spent a
few weeks serving Lord Vittala. One day, an angry man accosted him and started verbally abusing him
as follows “You are not restraining your horse. Every day I see a white horse coming to my corn field
and grazing on my crop. I have chased it several times but each time it comes up to the temple where
you are staying and disappears. I am convinced that the horse belongs to you. My crop is totally
ruined. You have to compensate me adequately”. VAdirAja told the complainant that he was mistaken
and that the maTha did not have any horse whatsoever. The complainant however was not satisfied
and insisted on doing a full search of the premises. When he did not find any horse, he was totally
surprised. VAdirAja knew what was happening and politely asked the complainant to take him to the
corn field which the horse was supposed to have destroyed. When they arrived at the field and
examined the crop, the owner was flabbergasted to see golden corn at all the places where the horse
had eaten his crop. VAdirAja then explained to him that that the horse was Lord HayagrIva Himself,
and that he was very lucky to have seen Him. The crop owner surrendered at the feet of VAdirAja, and
offered his land to the maTha. The dashAvatAra stuti was composed in this context.

Some comments on the structure of the composition:

The stotra consists of 34 verses – 33 main verses plus one phala-stuti. The distribution of 33 verses
amongst the 14 incarnations is very intriguing. RamAvatAra and KrishnAvatAra have been alloted 11
and 9 verses respectively. Mohini and Vamana get 2 verses each; Matsya, HayagrIva, kUrma,
Dhanvantari, VarAha, nArasimha, ParashurAma, VedavyAsa get one each; Budhdha and Kalki share
one verse. Additional contemplation is needed to understand the thought behind this allocation.

Each verse consists of 4 lines with 22 syllables in each line. This Chhandas or prosody is called
Akruti, but the style is called AshvadhATi (literally ‘horse gait or trot’) and when sung melodiously
sounds like a horse dancing. Within each line, the gaNa order is tagaNa, bhagaNa, yagaNa, jagaNa,
sagaNa, ragaNa, nagaNa and a guru; in addition, the 2nd, 9th and 16th character of every line is
alliterated to enhance the lyrical quality of the composition. In essence, if each line is broken into 3
parts consisting of 7, 7 and 8 characters, the second character in each part is repeated leading to
dvitiya-prAsa (alliteration of the second character) within each part. That is the reason why the stotra
sounds so melodious when recited properly. This order has been preserved throughout the stotra.

There is another interesting aspect to note about the structure. Within each line there are 10 gurus
(long sounds) and 12 laghus (short). One guru has two mAtra-s (Syllabic instants) and one laghu has
one syllabic instant. If you now calculate the number of syllabic instants in each line you will get (2 *
10) + 1 * 12 i.e., in all there are 32 syllabic instants. This has spiritual significance since 32 is a
number associated with Brahma and Vayu. A well-formed body is supposed to have 32 aspects (dva-
trimshat laxana). Amongst regular jIvas, Brahma and vayu are the only ones having such bodies.

Acharya Madhva’s commentary was the 22nd one on the on the brahma-sUtras. Since each line in this
stotra has 22 syllables one can (with a little poetic licence) make the anusandhAna (understanding),
that every line is based on Acharya Madhva’s commentary and is a reiteration of the same concepts!

Verse 1:

OM mathsyAya namaH:

proShThIshavigraha suniShThIvanoddhata vishiShTAmbuchArijaladhe |

koShThAntarAhitavicheShTAgamaugha parameShThIDita tvamavamAm.h |
preShThArkasUnumanucheShThArthamAtmavidatIShTo yugAntasamaye |
stheShThAtmashR^iN^gadhR^ita kAShThAmbuvAhana varAShTApadaprabha tano || 1||

` mTSyay nm>
àaeóIziv¢h suinóIvnaeÏt ivizòa<bucair jlxe ,
kaeóa<traiht ivceòagmaE" prmeóIift Tvmv mam! ,
àeóakRsUnumnu ceòawRmaTmivdtIòae yuga<tsmye ,
SweóaTmz&<gx&t kaóa<buvahn vraòapdà-tnae . 1.

Lº î®±q¯û‡®± w®î®±»
yµ½ä°™Õ°ý®ïS®äœ® š®±x™Õ°î®wµ²u®Üq®
ïþǯԺ…±X¯‹ c©uµ° |
Nµ²°Ç¯Õºq®Š¯Ÿq® ïXµ°Ç¯ÔS®î®¾¹U®
y®Š®îµ±°™Õ°mq® q®æî®±î® î®¾¯î®¾¬ |
Xµ°Ç¯Ôs®Á¯q®âïu®r°Çµ²Ô° ‡®±
±S¯ºq®š®î®±‡µ±° |
šµÚ°Ç¯Õq®âý®³ºS®u®³q® N¯Ç¯Õº…
±î¯œ®w® ¯Ç¯Ôy®u®y®ä„®q®wµ²° || 1 ||

proShThi Isha vigraha suniShThIvana uddhata vishiShTa aMbuchAri jaladhe

koShTha antara Ahita vicheShTa Agama ogha parameShThi IDita tvam ava mAm.h
preShTha arka sUnu manu cheShTha artham Atmavit ati iShTa yugAnta samaye
stheShTha Atma shR^iN^ga dhR^ita kAShTha ambuvAhana vara aShTApada prabha tanuH


(He) proShThi Isha vigraha suniShThIvana uddhata vishiShTa aMbuchAri jaladhe

koShTha antara Ahita vicheShTa Agama ogha parameShTi IDita yugAnta samaye
preShTha arka sUnu manu cheShTha artham stheShTha Atma shR^iN^ga dhR^ita kAShTha ambu
vAhana vara ashTApada prabha tanuH Atmavit ati iShTa tvam mAm ava

Word-by-word meaning:

pro / proShThi = A type of fish; proShThIsha = king of fishes or most supreme among fishes; vigraha
= icon or personification; suniShThI / suniShThIvana = vigorously exhaling or blowing out; uddhata =
elevated, overflowing or swelling; vishiShTa aMubhchAri jaladhe = ocean which is full of large
marine animals like whales, sharks etc (vishiShTa = superior, aMbuchAri = animals that travel in the
ocean i.e., fishes, sharks etc, jaladhe = in the ocean); koShTha = any pouch in the body = heart, lung,
belly, stomach; antara = inside; Ahita = placed or kept; vicheShTa = inactive or inert; Agama = vedas
or scriptures; ogha = collection; parameShThi = an epithet of brahma; IDita = one who is worshipped;
yugAnta samaye = at the time of the end of the Yuga = time of extinction (pralaya), preShThA =
dearest or most beloved; arka sUnu manu = vyvaswatha manu (arka = sun, sUnu = son, manu = chief
person of a manvantara; since the sun is also known as vivaswatha, his son is vyvaswatha); cheShTha
= the act of procreation; artham = for the sake of; stheShTha = holding permanent or firm; Atma =
own; shR^in^ga = horn or tusk; dhR^ita = carrying; kAShTha = wood; ambuvAhana = boat or ship
(ambu = ocean, vAhana = vehicle); vara aShTApada prabha tanuH = one whose body has the special
effulgence or radiance of bright shining gold (vara = special, aShTApada = gold, prabha = effulgence
or radiance, tanuH = body); Atmavit = those who know Self and parabrahma = brahma gnyAni (Atma
= Self, parabrahma); ati = lot or very much; IShTaH = an object of liking; tvam = you; maM = myself;
ava = protect.

Sri Vadiraja starts his stotra by praising the first of the ten incarnations - mathsyavatara (the fish
form). He addresses Lord Vishnu directly as follows:

‘O Lord Hari. You have the appearance of a very superior fish. Your exhaling is so powerful that it
creates huge overflows in the ocean populated by large marine animals like whales, sharks etc. You
keep the vedas tighly packed in your stomach so that they are subject to very little perturbation. You
are worshipped by brahma (and other gods) through the same vedas. At the time of praLaya or the
great flood, Vyvasvatha Manu, the son of the Sun god, needed tools and implements for carrying on
the activity of creation in the next manvantara. You took the wooden ship carrying these implements
(and Manu also) on your golden horn and protected them. Your body has the special radiance of
bright, shining gold. You are very dear to brahma gnyAnis. Please protect me.


Please note that VadirAja says “appearance of a fish” and not “you became a fish”. This is to highlight
that even though this incarnation looks like a fish, it actually is the manifestation of a perfect and
infinitely superior being. Another point that a comparison is being made to gold only to help us relate
it to in everyday. Obviously this aprAkruta body has an effulgence that no prAkruta material can ever

Like other fishes, you exhale water (through your gills) in the course of breathing.

matsyakarUpa layodavihArin.h vedavinetra chaturmukha va.ndya || 3||

prachalitalayajalaviharaNa shAshvatasukhamayamIna he bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 2:
OM hayagrIvAya namaH:

khaMDIbhavadbahula DiMDIrajR^iMbhaNa suchaMDIkR^itodadhimahA |

kAMDAti chitragati shauMDAdya haimarada bhAMDAprameya charita |
chaMDAshvakaMThamada shuMDAla durhR^idaya gaMDA bhikhaMDakarado |
shchaMDAmaresha hayatuMDAkR^ite dR^ishamakhaMDAmalaM pradisha me || 2 ||

` hy¢Ivay nm>
o<fI-vÓ÷l if<fIrj&<-[ suc<fIk«taedixmha ,
ka<fait icÇgit zaE<fa* hEmrd -a<faàmey cirt ,
c<fañk<Qmd zu<fal Êù&Rdy g<fa i-o<fkrdae ,
í<famrez hytu<fak«te †zmo<faml< àidz me . 2.

Lº œ®‡®±Tä°î¯‡®± w®î®±»
Qºm°„®î®u®àœ®±© mºm°Š®c³º„®o
š®±X®ºm°N®³qµ²°u®vÃî®±œ¯ |
N¯ºl¯r Yq®äS®r ý¹ºl¯u®ã œµ¶î®±Š®u®
„¯ºl¯y®äîµ±°‡®± X®‹q® |
X®ºl¯ý®æN®ºj®î®±u® ý®±ºl¯©
u®±œ®Á³u®‡®± S®ºl¯†ÃQºl®N®Š®uµ²° |
ý®Ïºl¯î®±Šµ°ý® œ®‡®±q®±ºl¯N®³qµ°
u®³ý®î®±Qºl¯î®±©º y®ävý® îµ±° || 2 ||

khaMDIbhavat bahula DiMDIra jR^iMbhaNa suchaMDIkR^ita udadhi mahA

kAMDa ati chitragati shauMDa Adya haima radabhAMDA aprameya charita
ChaMDA ashvakaMThamada shuMDAla durhR^idaya gaMDa abhikhaMDakara doH
ChaMDA amaresha hayatuMDAkR^ite dR^isham akhaMDAm alaM pradisha me


(he) hayatuMDAkR^ite, KhaMDIbhavat bahula DiMDIra jR^iMbhaNa suchaMDIkR^ita udadhi

mahA KAMDa ati chitragati shauMDa Adya haima radabhAMDA aprameya charita
ChaMDA ashvakaMThamada shuMDAla durhR^idaya gaMDa abhikhaMDakara doH
ChaMDA amaresha me akhaMDAm alaM dR^isham pradisha

Word-by-word meaning:

hayatuMDAkR^ite = Lord HayagrIva (haya = horse, tuMDa = face, AkR^ite = form), khaMDIbhavat
= getting shattered, bahuLa = copious or abundant, DiMDIra = foam or froth, jR^imbhaNa = swelling,
suchaNDI kR^ita = made ferocious, udadhi = ocean, mahA kAMDa = deep waters, ati chitra gati =
astonishing gait or movement, shauMDa = an expert, Adya = one who is the root cause of this
universe, haima = golden, rada bhAMDA = trapping or harness of a horse (rada = tooth), aprameya
charita = one possessing immeasurable greatness (that cannot be understod fully) chaMDA = vile,
ashva kaMTha= one having the face of a horse (actually, a demon called hayagrIvasura), mada = wild
or untamed, shuMDAla = elephant (shuMDa = trunk of an elephant), durhR^idaya gaNDA = vile
chest and kumbhastala (frontal globe of an elephant's head), abhikhaMDakara = one who breaks, doH
= through his shoulders, chaMDA = ferocious, amara = gods, Isha = lord, akhaMDam = complete
(khaMDam = piece or portion), dR^isham = knowledge, me = to me, alaM = profusely, pradisha =
give me or bless me with.


Sri Vadiraja prays to his upAsya-mUrti (favorite deity) – Lord HayagrIva, the horse-shaped form of
Sri Hari.

O Lord Hayagriva, the deep ocean looks ferocious with many large waves that incessantly follow each
other, creating huge swells and froth when they dash against rocks. In this dark and fearful ocean you
roam about with abandon in an astonishing way. You are the root cause of this universe. You are
adorned with golden bridles (kadivana), filled with many precious stones. Nobody can understand
your greatness fully. You broke the vile chest and kumbhastala of the wild, untamed elephant called
HayagrivAsura. You are the supreme leader of all gods (devataas). You have taken the beautiful form
of a horse. Please bless me with complete knowledge.

Verse 3:
OM kuurmAya namaH:
kuurmAkR^ite tvavatu narmAtma pR^iShThadhR^ita bharmAtmamaMdaragire |
dharmAvalaMbana sudharmA sadAMkalita sharmA sudhAvitaraNAt.h |
durmAnarAhumukha durmAyi dAnava sumarmAbhibhedana paTo |
gharmArkakAMtivaravarmA bhavAn.h bhuvana nirmANa dhUta vikR^itiH || 3 ||

` kªmaRy nm>
kªmaRk«te Tvvtu nmaRTm p&óx&t -maRTmm<drigre ,
xmaRvl<bn suxmaR sda<kilt zmaR suxaivtr[at! ,
ÊmaRnra÷muo ÊmaRiy danv summaRi--edn pqae ,
xmaRrœkka<itvrvmaR -van! -uvn inmaR[ xUt ivk«it> . 3.

Lº N®²î®¾¯Á‡®± w®î®±»
N®²î®¾¯ÁN®³qµ° q®æî®q®± w®î®¾¯Áq®â
„®¯Áq®âî®±ºu®Š®TŠµ° |
u®¯Áº…w® š®±u®¯Á
š®u¯ºN®ªq® ý®î®¾¯Á š®±u¯ïq®Š®n¯q¬ |
u®±î®¾¯Áw®Š¯œ®±î®±±Q u®±î®¾¯Á‰±
u¯w®î® š®±î®±î®¾¯Á†Ã„µ°u®w® y®gµ²° |
U®î®¾¯ÁN®ÁN¯ºr®î®î®¾¯Á „®î¯w¬
„®±î®w® x¯Áo u®²q® ïN®³r» || 3 ||

kUrmAkR^ite tu avatu mAM narmAtma pR^iShTha dhR^ita bharmAtma maMdaragire

dharma avalaMbana sudharmA sadAM kalita sharmA sudha vitaraNAt.h
durmAna rAhumukha durmAyi dAnava sumarma abhibhedana paTo
gharma arka kAMti varavarmA bhavAn.h bhuvana nirmANa dhUta vikR^itiH


(he) kUrmAkR^ite narmAtma pR^iShTha dhR^ita bharmAtma maMdaragire

durmAna rAhumukha durmAyi dAnava sumarma abhibhedana paTo
dharma avalaMbana sudharmA sadAM sudha vitaraNAt.h kalita sharmA
gharma arka kAMti varavarmA bhuvana nirmANa dhUta vikR^itiH
bhavAn.h tu avatu mAM

Word-by-word meaning:

kUrmAkR^ite = having the form of a tortoise = Lord kUrma (kUrma = Tortoise, Akrute = form),
narman = sport or pleasure, Atma = own or self, pR^iShTha = back, dhR^ita = carried, bharman =
support or maintenance, bharmAtma = as a prop or means of support, maMdara gire = the mandara
mountain, durmAna = one having foul or vile arrogance and obstimacy; rAhumukha = rahu and others
demons, durmAyi = deceitful, dAnava = demons, sumarmA = vital or private part of the body,
abhibhedana = completely tearing asunder, paTo = expert or accomplished, dharma = truth and
righteousness, AvalaMbana = to depend on or seek refuge, sudharmA sadAM = gods or devataas who
assemble in the court called ‘Sudharma’ (a court or hall in heaven), sudha = nectar, vitaraNAt.h =
distribution or giving out, kalita sharmA = creation of happiness, gharma = summer, arka = sun,
kAMti = radiance or brilliance, vara = special, varma = armour or protective coat, bhuvana = world or
universe, nirmANa = creation, bhuvana nirmANa = having interest in the creation of this universe and
having created it, dhUta = abandoned or deserted, vikR^itiH = change, defect, sickness, perturbation,
anger, dhUtavikR^itiH = one who is ever constant (and having no defects or blemishes like sickness,
perturbation, anger etc), bhavAn.h = you, tu = specially, avatu = protect me.


Sri Vadiraja next prays to the kUrmAvatAra of Sri Hari (tortoise or turtle form) and addresses Him as

“O Lord kUrma, you have taken the form of a tortoise (turtle). You effortlessly took the gigantic,
golden mandara mountain on your back and supported it (while the churning of the ocean was going
on). You are an accomplished expert in killing demons like rahu, full of foul arrogance and deceit, by
totally tearing asunder their vital organs. You got nectar and distributed it amongst the gods, creating a
lot of happiness in them. These gods reside in the divine assembly called Sudharma and have taken
refuge in truth and righteousness (since you are the personification of all good attributes, they have in
essence, taken refuge in you).Your protective armor (kavacha) is like the blazing summer sun. While
creating this universe, or maintaining it after having created it, you do not have any exhaustion or
change (i.e, the entire cycle of creation, sustenance, management, destruction etc is a pastime for you
and does not require any effort, nor does it produce any change in you). Please specially protect me.


The entire horde of gods and asuras were struggling to lift the huge mandara mountain, Sri Hari
effortlessly lifted it with one hand and put it on Garuda. This was put into the ocean and they started
churning it. But it started sinking due to its enormous weight. Then Sri Hari took on the form of a huge
tortoise and again effortlessly carried it on His back.

The protective armor or kavacha referred to in the stotra is not the one used by the Lord in battle. He
does not need any protective armor because His entire body is aprAkruta and is made of knowledge
and bliss. It cannot be harmed by any prAkruta weapons. So the kavacha or varma referred to is the
‘Narayana varma’. This is a very holy stotra referred to in the bhAgavata and seeks the Lord’s
protection for every part of the body. This was used by Indra as a protective armor during his battle
with vritAsura.

kUrmasvarUpaka ma.ndaradhArin.h lokavidhAraka devavareNya |

suraditijasubalaviruLitama.ndaradhara vara kUrma he bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 4:
OM dhanvantare namaH

dhanvantare.a~Naruchi dhanvantareritaru dhanvanstarIbhava sudhA |

bhAnvantarAvasatha manvantarAdhikR^ita tanvantarauShadhanidhe |
danvantaraMgashugudanvantamAjishu vitanvanmamAbdhitanayA |
sUnvantakAtmahR^idatanvantarAvayava tanvantarArti jaladhau || 4 ||
` xNvNtre nm>
xNvNtre='éic xNvNtreirté xNvNStrI-v suxa ,
-aNvNtravsw mNvNtraixk«t tNvNtraE;xinxe ,
dNvNtr<gzugudNvNtmaijzu ivtNvNmmaiBxtnya ,
sUNvNtkaTmùdtNvNtravyv tNvNtraitR jlxaE . 4.

Lº u®w®æºq®Šµ° w®î®±»
u®w®æºš®Ù‹°„Â®î® š®±u¯ |
q®w®æºq®Š¹Ç®u®xuµ° |
ý®± ïq®w®æî®±â¯†Üq®w®‡®¾¯ |
±î® q®w®æºq®Š¯rÁ c©u¹ || 4 ||

dhanvantare a~Na ruchi dhanvantare ari taru dhanvan tarIbhava sudhA

bhAnu antara avasatha manvantara adhikR^ita tanvantara auShadha nidhe
dhanu antaraMga shugudhanvantam Ajishu vitanvan abdhitanayA
sUnu antaka AtmahR^it atanu antara avayava tanvantara Arti jaladhau


a~Na ruchi dhanvantare ari taru dhanvan

sudhA bhAnu antara avasatha
manvantara adhikR^ita tanvantara auShadha nidhe
Ajishu dhanvantaraMgashugudhanvantam vitanvan
abdhitanayA sUnu antaka AtmahR^it atanu antara avayava tanvantara
(He) dhanvantare, mama Arti jaladhau tarIbhava

Word-by-word meaning:

a~Na = body, ruchi = lustre, dhanvantre = (one who is shining) like the sun, ari = enemies, taru =
trees, dhanvan = desert or totally barren place, sudhAbhAnu = chandra manDala, antara = inside,
avasatha = residing, manvantara = in svAyambhU and other manvantarAs, adhikR^ita tanvantara =
one who takes different bodies (incarnates), auShadha = medicine, nidhe = treasure, Ajishu = in battle,
dhanu = the mother of all dAnavAs, antaraMga = in the mind or heart, shugu dhanvantam = an ocean
of sorrow, vitanvan = one who creates, abdhi = ocean, tanayA = daughter (abdhitanaya = Lakshmi),
sUnu = son (abdhitanayasUnu = manmatha), antaka = destroyer or killer (manmatha’s killer = Lord
Shiva) Atma = mind, hR^it = stealing, (AtmahR^it = manohara = captivating), atanu = well developed
or attractive, antara = internal, avayava = organs or attributes, tanvantara = one taking up alternative
forms, dhanvantare = Oh Sri Hari , Arti = miseries, jaladhau = ocean, mama = my, tarI = ship, bhava =


Sri VAdirAja is praying to Sri Dhanvantari in this verse.

OH Dhanvantari, your body has the lustre of a bright sun. You are a barren desert for the trees called
enemies (i.e, you destroy them totally). You are present in the chandra manDala (helping it shed nectar
like soothing moonlight). In different manvantaras (yugas) like svAyambhuva you incarnated as
Kapila, ajita etc. You are a treasure of all medicines. By killing dAnavas (demons) in wars, you caused
an ocean of sorrow to happen in danu’s heart (danu is the mother of all dAnavas). With your well
developed body, having attractive attributes you stole the heart of the one who killed the son of the
ocean’s daughter (Lakshmi Devi is the daughter of the ocean; her son, Manmatha was killed by Rudra,
but Rudra himself was totally enamoured by the beautiful Mohini form). You took on the Mohini or
Narayani form. Oh Lord Dhanvanthri, please become a ship for the ocean of miseries (i.e., help me
cross this ocean of miseries). [Please note that AuShada, RuchirAngada, jagatasetuh etc are all names
appearing in the VishnusahasranAma (VSN) ]

Verse 5:
OM shrI nArAyaNayai namaH

yA xIravArdhimathanAxINadarpaditijAxobhitAmaragaNA |
pexAptaye.ajani valaxAMshu biMbajidatIxNAlakAvR^itamukhI |
sUxmAvalagnavasanA.a.axepakR^it.h kuchakaTAxAxamIkR^itamano |
dIxAsurAhR^ita sudhA.axANi no.avatu surUxexaNAddharitanuH || 5 ||

` ïI naray[yE nm>
ya ]IrvaixRmwna]I[dpRiditja]aei-tamrg[a ,
pe]aÝye=jin vl]a<zu ib<bijdtIú[alkav&tmuoI ,
sUúmavl¶vsna==]epk«t! k…ckqa]a]mIk«tmnae ,
dI]asuraùt suxa=]ai[ nae=vtu suê]e][aÏirtnu> . 5.

Lº §° w¯Š¯‡®±o‡µ±¶ w®î®±»
Š®S®n¯ |
yµ°£¯y®Ù‡µ±°úcx £¯ºý®± †º…
du®r°£¯ÈØ©N¯î®³q®î®±±R° |
N®±X®N®g¯£¯£®ï±°N®³q®î®±wµ²° |
v°£¯š®±Š¯œ®³q® š®±u¯ú£¯p wµ²°úî®q®±
š®±Š®²£µ°£®n¯u®Ü‹q®w®±» || 5 ||

yA xIra vArdhi mathana axINa darpa ditija Axobhita amaragaNa

apexa Aptaye ajani valaxAMshu biMbajit atIxNa alka AvR^ita mukhI |
sUxmAvalagna vasanA axepakR^it.h kucha kaTAxa axamIkR^ita manaH
dIxa asura AhR^ita sudhA aXANi nah avatu surUxa IxaNa haritanu


yA xIra vArdhi mathana axINa darpa ditija Axobhita amaragaNa

apexa Aptaye valaxAMshu biMbajit atIxNa alka AvR^ita mukhI |
sUxmAvalagna vasanA axepakR^it.h kucha kaTAxa axamIkR^ita
manodIxa asura AhR^ita sudhA haritanu ajani
sA nah aXANi surUxa IxaNa avatu

Word-by-word meaning:

yA = the one who, xIravArdhi = milk ocean, mathana = churning, axINa = no reduction, darpa =
arrogance, ditija = demons (offspring of diti are demons; sons of aditi are gods and are called Adityas),
Axobhita = harrased or made miserable, amaragaNA = group of demi gods or devataas, apexa =
desires, Aptaye = obtaining or acquiring, valaxAMShu = the moon, biMbajit = one who surpasses the
reflection, tIXna = sharp or intense, atIXna = opposite of tIXna = soft or fluffy; alka = curl or lock of
hair; AvR^ita = covered or adorned, mukhI = face, sUxmAvalagnavasana = dressed in alluring clothes
(sUxma = thin or soft textured, Avalagna = clinging or alluring, also means the waist, vasana =
clothes), AxepakR^it = disturbed or distracted, kucha = breasts, kaTAxA = provocative side-glances,
axamIkR^ita = made unfit or ineligible, mano dIxa = decision of mind, asura = demons, AhR^ita =
stolen or seized, sudhA = amrutha (nectar), haritanuH = Sri Hari’s body, ajani = born out of, sA = she,
nah = our, axANi = eyes (but could also mean other sense organs), surUxa IxaNAt = (from) the sins
created by viewing bad or forbidden things (surUxa = bad or harsh things, IxaNAt = viewing), avatu =


In this verse and the next one, Sri Vadiraja is praying to the Mohini form of Sri Hari.

Even after churning the milky ocean the ego (pride) of the asuras did not reduce. They were harassing
the demi-gods (by refusing to share the nectar). Then, in order to fulfil the desires of demi gods you
incarnated as a woman, more beautiful than the full moon. Your face was covered by soft, curly locks
of hair. Dressed in alluring clothes and casting provocative side-glances you defeated the mental
resolve of the asuras and stole the amritha from them. O Mohini, born out of Sri Hari’s body, please
protect us from the sins of seeing bad or forbidden things.

Verse 6:
shixAdiyu~N nigamadIxAsulaxaNa parIxAxamAvidhisatI |
dAxAyaNIxamati sAxAdramApi na yadAxepavIxaNavidhau |
prexAxilobhakaralAxArasoxita padAxepalaxitadharA |
sAxAritAtmatanu bhUxArikAriniTilAxAxamAnavatu naH || 6 ||
iz]aidyu' ingmdI]asul][ prI]a]maivixstI ,
da]ay[I]mit sa]aÔmaip n yda]epvI][ivxaE ,
àe]ai]lae-krla]arsaei]t pda]epli]txra ,
sa]airtaTmtnu -U]airkairiniqla]a]manvtu n> . 6.

þ£¯v‡®±±W¨ xS®î®±v°£¯š®±©£®o
y®‹°£¯£®î®¾¯ïvÚ®r° |
u¯£¯‡®±p°£®î®±r š¯£¯u®ä¯z w®
‡®±u¯£µ°y®ï°£®oïu¹ |
y®u¯£µ°y®©¤q®u®Š¯ |
„®²£¯‹N¯‹xiŒ¯£¯£®î®¾¯w®î®q®± w®» || 6

shixa Adi yu~N nigama dIxA sulaxaNa parIxA xama vidhisatI

dAxAyaNI xamati sAxAt ramApi na yat Axepa vIxaNavidhau
prexa axilobhakara lAxArasa uxita padAxepa laxitadharA
AxArita Atma tanu bhUxa arikAri niTilAxa sA axamAn avatu naH || 6||


shixa Adi yu~N nigama dIxA sulaxaNa parIxA xama

vidhisatI dAxAyaNI sAxAdramApi yat Axepa vIxaNavidhau na xamati
prexa axilobhakara lAxArasa uxita padAxepa laxitadharA
AxArita Atma tanu bhUxa arikAri niTilAxa sA axamAn naH avatu || 6||

Word-by-word meaning:

shixAdiyuk = shiksha and other parts of, nigama = vedas, dIxA = decision or meaning, sulaxaNa =
good characteristics, parIxA = examination, xamA = accomplished, vidhisatI = saraswathi, dAxAyaNI
= sati devi (pArvati), sAxAdramApi = even Sri Lakshmi devi Herself, yat = that (female form that Sri
Hari exhibited), AxepavIxaNavidhau = in the ability to distract people through provocative body
movements (Axepa = distracting or disturbing, vIxaNa vidhau = in the business of viewing), na xamati
= unable to match, prexA = having special and advanced knowledge, axilobhakara = inducing greed in
the eyes (attracting attention), lAxArasa = juice or gum of sealing wax, uxita = sprinkled or moistened
(in the olden days women used to wax their feet to make them soft and smooth, this made their feet
red and attractive), padAxepa = footsteps, laxita = well adorned, dharA = earth, AxArita = to feel
guilty or embarassed, Atmatanu = own son, bhUxArakAri = one who burnt and reduced to ashes,
niTilAxA = one with fiery eyes (Rudra), sa = that woman (the female form of Narayana), axamAn =
inept or incapable (one who is not expert), nah = us, avatu = protect.

Sri VadirAja continues the prayer to the Mohini form of Narayana.

Despite possessing expertise in shiksha (phonetics) and other parts of veda, despite being
accomplished in examining good qualities, Saraswathi, Dakshayani and even Lakshmi Herself could
not match nArayani’s (mohini’s) ability to distract people through provocative body movements. In
addition, you have special and advanced knowledge (i.e., you are the personification of knowledge).
You waxed your feet with gumlac (aragu or sealing-wax) making them so beautiful that they caused
greed in the eyes of viewers (i.e, they wanted to see them again and again). The earth was beautified
by your foot steps. Rudra, the one with fiery eyes, who burnt and reduced your son to ashes, was
initially enamoured by you, and later after realizing the truth, felt embarassed. May that woman
(Mohini) protect us inept people.


The Vedas are supposed to be shadanga (consisting of 6 parts) – Shiksha (proper pronounciation),
Chandas (grammatical or poetic metre), VyAkaraNa (grammar), Nirukta (etmylogy or study of word
origins), Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology), Kalpa (rituals).

It is said that Rudra was not there when Mohini made her appearance. Having heard about Her beauty,
he begged the Lord to show him that form again. Since he had vanquished Manmatha he must have
felt confident that he would be able to withstand the attractive wiles of Mohini. However, when he did
see her, he became totally enamored and lost his self-control. Later when the Lord reassumed His
normal form and Rudra realized his mistake, he was totally embarassed.

Verse 7:
OM shrI varAhAya namaH

nIlAMbudAbha shubhashIlAdridehadhara khelAhR^itodadhidhunI |

shailAdiyukta nikhilelAkaTAdyasura tUlATavIdahana te |
kolAkR^ite jaladhikAlAchalAvayava nIlAbjadaMShTra dharaNI |
lIlAspadorutala mUlAshiyogivara jAlAbhivandita namaH || 7 ||

` ïI vrahay nm>
nIla<buda- zu-zIlaiÔdehxr oelaùtaedixxunI ,
zElaidyu iniolelakqa*sur tUlaqvIdhn te ,
kaelak«te jlixkalaclavyv nIlaâd<ò+ xr[I ,
lIlaSpdaeétl mUlaizyaeigvr jalai-viNdt nm> . 7.

Lº §° ¯œ¯‡®± w®î®±»
x°Œ¯º…±u¯„® ý®±„®þ°Œ¯väuµ°œ®u®Š®
Pµ°Œ¯œ®³qµ²°u®vÃu®±x° |
ýµ¶Œ¯v‡®±±N®Ù xRŒµ°Œ¯N®g¯u®ãš®±Š®
q®²Œ¯hï°u®œ®w® qµ° |
Nµ²°Œ¯N®³qµ° c©vÃN¯Œ¯X®Œ¯î®‡®±î®
x°Œ¯…Ñu®ºý®ó u®Š®p° |
ª°Œ¯š®Þuµ²°Š®±q®© î®±²Œ¯þ‡µ²°T®
b¯Œ¯†Ãvq® w®î®±» || 7 ||

nIla aMbuda abha shubha shIla adri dehadhara khela AhR^ita udadhi dhunI
shaila Adi yukta nikhila ila kaTa Adi-asura tUla aTavI dahana te
kola AkR^ite jaladhi kAla achala avayava nIla abja daMShTra dharaNI
lIlAspada urutala mUla Ashi yogivara jAla abhivandita namaH


nIla aMbuda abha shubha shIla adri dehadhara

khela AhR^ita udadhi dhunI shaila Adi yukta nikhila ila kaTa Adi-asura tUla aTavI dahana
jaladhi kAla achala avayava nIla abja daMShTra
dharaNI lIlAspada urutala
mUla Ashi yogivara jAla abhivandita
kola AkR^ite te namaH

Word-by-word meaning:

nIlAMbudaAbha = one who has the lustre of black (dark) shining clouds (nIla = dark blue, aMbuda =
clouds, abha = lustre), shubha = good or auspicious, shIlA = character or quality, adri = mountain,
dehadhara = personification or embodiment, khela = easily or without great effort, AhR^ita = stolen,
udhadhi = ocean, dhunI = rivers, shaila = mountains, Adi = and other, yukta = comprised of, nikhila =
entire, ilA = earth, kaTa = chApe = floor mat or carpet,, Adi asura = original or initial demon
(Hiranyaksha), tUla = cotton, aTavI = forest, dahana = burning, jaladhi = ocean, kAla = to sport,
achala = solid or unchanging, Avayava = organs, achala Avayava = the earth, nIla = blue, Abja =
lotus, daMShTra = teeth, dhariNI = earth, lIlAspada = providing or evoking sport, urutala = on the
thighs or laps, mUla = roots, Ashi = eating, yogivara = great ascetics, jAla = group, abhivandita =
saluted with reverence by, kola = boar, AkR^ite = shape or form, tE = to you , namaH = salutations


Sri Vadiraja is praying to Sri Varaha (boar form).

You have the lustre of black (dark) shining clouds. You are the embodiment of a mountain of
auspicious qualities. The original demon (Hiranyaksha) effortlessly stole the earth, consisting of
oceans, rivers, mountains etc, wrapping it round him like a small carpet (chape). To this forest of
cotton you were like a wild fire (i.e., you destroyed him without any effort at all). After killing the
demon, you were sporting playfully in the ocean; then, the earth looked like a small blue water-lily in
your mouth. Your lap is the playground for bhUdEvi (i.e., when she is sitting on your lap, she has no
worries and is very happy). You are worshipped with great reverence by groups of great ascetics, who
survive by eating roots. O, the one having the form of the boar (Varaha) my salutations to you.

The term ‘mUla Ashi’ can also be interpreted as one desirous of knowing the root cause for everything
i.e., one who is in search of Para-brahma. Reading sat agAmas like Vedas, Moola-Ramayana,
MahabhArata, PancharAtra and sAtvika purAnas, one would have to come to the inevitable
conclusion that it is Lord VishNu who is the Supreme power responsible the creation, sustenance,
management and destruction of this Universe. Such knowledge who would make one a yogivara.

sUkararUpaka dAnavashatro bhUmividhAraka yaGYavarAN^ga || 4||

sagirivaradharAtaLavaha susUkaraparamavibodha he bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 8:
OM shrI narasiMhAya namaH

daMbholitIxNanakha saMbheditendraripu kuMbhIndra pAhi kR^ipayA |

staMbhArbhakAsahana DiMbhAya dattavara gaMbhIranAda nR^ihare |
aMbhodijAnusaraNAMbhojabhUpavana kuMbhIna sesha khagarAT |
kuMbhIndrakR^ittidhara jambhAriShaNmukhamukhAMbhoru hAbhinuta mAm.h || 8 ||

` ïI nris<hay nm>
d<-aeiltIú[no s<-eidteNÔirpu k…<-INÔ paih k«pya ,
St<-a-Rkashn if<-ay dÄvr g<-Irnad n&hre ,
A<-aeidjanusr[a<-aej-Upvn k…<-In sez ograqœ ,
k…<-INÔk«iÄxr jM-air;{muomuoa<-aeé hai-nut mam! . 8.

Lº §° w®Š®›ºœ¯‡®± w®î®±»
u®º„µ²°ªi°£®ÈØw®Q š®º„µ°vqµ°ºu®ä‹y®¼
N®±º†Ã°ºu®ä y¯Ÿ N®³y®‡®¾¯ |
š®Ùº„¯„®ÁN¯š®œ®w® mº„¯‡®±
u®q®Ù® S®º†Ã°Š®w¯u® w®³œ®Šµ° |
N®±º†Ã°w® šµ°ý® QS®Š¯g¬ |
N®±º†Ã°ºu®äN®³rÙu®Š® cº„¯‹ý®o±âQî®±
±P¯º„µ²°Š®± œ¯†Ãw®±q® ¯º || 8 ||

daMbholi tIxNa nakha saMbhedita indra ripu kuMbhIndra pAhi kR^ipayA

staMbha arbhaka asahana DiMbhAya datta vara gaMbhIra nAda nR^ihare
aMbhodija anusaraNa aMbhojabhU pavana kuMbhIna sesha khagarAT
kuMbhIndra kR^itti dhara jambhAri ShaNmukha mukha aMbhoruha abhinuta mAm.h


daMbholi tIxNa nakha saMbhedita indra ripu kuMbhIndra

staMbha arbhaka asahana DiMbhAya datta vara gaMbhIra nAda
aMbhodija anusaraNa aMbhojabhU pavana kuMbhIna sesha khagarAT
kuMbhIndra kR^itti dhara jambhAri ShaNmukha mukha aMbhoruha abhinuta
nR^ihare kR^ipayA mAm.h pAhi

Word-by-word meaning:

daMbholi = vajrAyudha (thunderbolt) = the main weapon of Indra, tIxNa = sharp, nakha = nails,
saMbhedita = pierced or shredded, indraripu = indra’s enemy, kuMbhIndra = (wild and untamed)
elephant king, staMbha = pillar, arbhaka = a young one, staMbha arbhaka = one who is born from a
pillar, asahana = intolerant (one who will not tolerate or pardon enemies), DiMbhAya = for the sake
of the child (Prahlada, son of HiranyaKashipu), dattavara = one who has given boons, gaMbhIra =
deep or resonant, nAda = tone, aMbhodijA = daughter of the ocean (Lakshmi), AnusaraNa = followed
by, aMbhodija anusaraNa = one who is followed by the daughter of the Ocean, aMbhojabhU = one
born out of a lotus (brahma), pavana = vAyu, kuMbhInasesha = Adisesha (kuMbhInasa = snakes, Isha
= king), khagarAT.h = Garuda (khaga = birds, rAT.h = king), kuMbhIndrakR^ittidhara = one who
wears the skin of the king of elephants = Rudra (kuMbhIndra = king of elephants, kR^itti = skin or
hide, dhara = wearing), jambhAri = enemy of jambhAsura = Indra, shaNmukha = Subramanya,
mukha aMboruha = lotus face, abhinuta = respectfully saluted or worshipped, nR^ihare = Oh
Narasimha , kR^ipayA = with mercy, mAm.h = myself or me, pAhi = protect.


O Lord Narasimha, your sharp nails are like (separate) thunderbolts. They shred the wild, untamed
elephant king called Indra’s enemy. You were born out of a pillar. You do not tolerate enemies (your
enemies, as well as enemies of your devotees). You gave boons to child Prahlada. You have a deep
resonant voice. You are followed by the daughter of the Ocean (Lakshmi). Great people like the one
born from a lotus (Brahma), Pavana, Sesha, the kings of birds (Garuda), the one who wears the skin of
the king of elephants (Rudra), the enemy of jambhAsura (Indra), shaNmukha worship you with
reverence through their lotus-like faces. Take pity on me and protect me.


The first portion of the verse is a reiteration of nakha stuti. Like ShrimadAchArya, Sri VadirAja
compares each nail of Narasimha to a separate thunderbolt. He also uses the same metaphor of the lion
killing elephants by striking their kumba stala.

The term ‘Stambha’ is also an epithet of Vishnu (in the VishnusahasranAma, he is called ‘stambho
bhAvano bharta …’). In addition, it has several meanings, each of which describes one or more
qualities of the Lord. For example, one meaning is ‘motionless’. Since He is omnipresent, He is
motionless. This thought is echoed in several upanishads. So ‘stambhArbhaka’ means that He is born
out of Himself i.e, AtmayOni, swayamjAta (also names in the VSN).

‘Followed by Lakshmi’ goes beyond a wife dutifully following her husband. Here, the implication is
that she follows him in the hierarchy. Also, it must be remembered that she is the abhimAni for
Prakruti, Vedas and the 3 gunas (satva, rajas, tamas) too. Thus, all these entities too follow Him or act
according to His desire.

deva nR^isimha hiraNyakashatro sarva bhayA.ntaka daivataba.ndho |

atibaladitisuta hR^idaya vibhedana jayanR^ihare.amala bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 9:
OM srI vAmanAya namaH

piN^gAxa vikrama turaN^gAdi sainya chaturaN^gAvaliptadanujA

sAN^gAdhvarasthabalisAN^gAvapAtahR^iShitAN^gAmarAlinuta te |
tuN^gAtimaN^galataraN^gAbhibhUtabhajakAN^gAgha vAmana namaH || 9 ||

` ïI vamnay nm>
ip¼a] iv³m tur¼aid sENy ctur¼avilÝdnuja
sa¼aXvrSwbilsa¼avpatùi;ta¼amrailnut te ,
tu¼aitm¼ltr¼ai--Ut-jka¼a" vamn nm> . 9.

Lº §° î¯î®±w¯‡®±» w®î®±»
zºS¯£® ïN®äî®± q®±Š®ºS¯v šµ¶w®ã
ªš¯ºS¯î®y¯q®œ®³™q¯ºS¯î®±Š¯ªw®±q® qµ° |
ý®³ºS¯Š® y¯u®w®Q
¯U® î¯î®±w® w®î®±» || 9 ||

piN^gAxa vikrama turaN^ga Adi sainya chaturaN^ga avalipta danuja

asAN^ga adhavarastha bali sAN^ga avapAta hR^iShitAN^gA amara Ali nuta te
shR^iN^gAra pAdanakha tuN^ga agra bhinna kanakAN^gANDa pAti taTinI
tuN^ga ati maN^gala taraN^ga bhajaka aN^ga agha abhibhUta vAmana namaH


piN^gAxa vikrama turaN^ga Adi sainya chaturaN^ga avalipta danuja

asAN^ga adhavarastha bali sAN^ga avapAta hR^iShitAN^gA amara Ali nuta
shR^iN^gAra pAdanakha tuN^ga agra bhinna kanakAN^gANDa pAti taTinI
tuN^ga ati maN^gala taraN^ga bhajaka aN^ga agha abhibhUta
vAmana tE namaH

Word-by-word meaning

piN^gAxa = Lion (piN^ga = red, axa = eyes), vikrama = brave or valorous, turaN^ga = horses, Adi =
and others, sainya = army, chaturaN^gA = four-fold (in olden times, an army used to have four main
components– horses, elephants, cavalry and infantry), avalipta = made arrogant, danuja = demon
(here, Bali), asAN^ga = incomplete or interrupted, adhavarastha = one who is performing the yAga,
bali = Bali chakravarthy, sAN^ga = sa anga = along with organs (i.e., with his entire body intact),
avapAta = pushed into the pAthAla or nether world (lower region), hR^iShitAN^gA = to be excited or
thrilled, amara = gods, Ali = group, nuta = extolled, shR^iN^gAra = beautiful or attractive, pAdanakha
= foot nails, tuN^ga = auspicious, agra = outermost part or tip, bhinna = ruptured, kanakAN^gANDa =
brahmAnDa (kanakAN^ga = golden, aNDa = egg), pAti = coming down in cascades, taTinI = river =
Ganga, tuN^ga = highest, ati maN^gala = very sacred or auspicious, taraN^ga = waves, abhibhUta =
destroyed, bhajaka = devotees, aN^ga = internal and external organs, agha = sins, vAmana = Vamana
incarnation of Sri Hari, tE namaH = salutations to you.


Sri Vadiraja is praying to Lord Vamana.

By virtue of his four-fold army (consisting of Horses, Elephants, Cavalary and Infantry), comprising
of lion-like warriors, Bali became very arrogant. As he was doing an avaishnava yaga out of arrogance
and ambition, it was improper and incomplete. Therefore, you pushed him down into the nether
regions with all organs intact. Thrilled by this graceful act of yours, the gods extolled you. The
auspicious tip of your beautiful toe-nail pierced the outer shell of brahmANDa, making the divine
Ganga come down. You make the high and extremely auspicious waves of this Ganga purify devotees
internally and externally, by destroying their sins. Oh Lord Vamana, salutations to you.

Common notes to Verses 9 and 10:

Bali was not a bad asura with demonaic qualities. He was after all the grandson of Prahlada. His major
defect was his overarching ambition to acquire Indra’s post. Another defect with the yAga was that it
was not directed towards Lord Vishnu. Hence it was bound to fail.

When Vishnu was about to send Bali down to the nether regions, Prahlada appeared before Him and
prayed for mercy. Vishnu assured him that Bali would come to no harm. On the contrary, he would
preside over the nether regions and Vamana Himself would stand guard, protecting him from all
enemies. He also said that in the next manvantara, Bali would attain the post of Devendra and preside
over the gods too.Thus He ensured that there was no injustice to Bali in the long run.

It is interesting to note that Saint Vadiraja has devoted 2 verses to Vamana incarnation. This is
symbolic because Vamana had 2 forms – Vamana (dwarf) and Trivikrama (pervading all the 3

Lord Vishnu pervaded the three worlds with His Trivikrama form. However, when we interpret this
spiritually, more aspects open up. He pervades everything including
• the three divisions of time – past, present and future,
• the three states of all living beings – awake, dreaming and sleeping,
• the three main acts of the Creator – Creation, Sustenance and Destruction
• the three main worlds – bhU, bhuvah, svah
• the three vEdas – Rig, Yajur, Sama

Verse 10:
dhyAnArha vAmanatanonAtha pAhi yajamAnA sureshavasudhA
dAnAya yAchanika lInArthavAgvashitanAnAsadasyadanuja |
mInAN^kanirmalanishAnAthakoTilasamAnAtma mauJNjiguNa kau
pInAchChasUtrapadayA(gA)nAtapatrakarakAnamyadaNDavarabhR^it.h || 10 ||
XyanahR vamntnaenaw paih yjmana surezvsuxa
danay yacink lInawRvaGviztnanasdSydnuj ,
mIna»inmRlinzanawkaeiqlsmanaTm maEiÃgu[ kaE
pInaCDsUÇpdya(ga)natpÇkrkanMyd{fvr-&t! . 10.

u¯ãw¯œ®Á î¯î®±w®q®wµ²°w¯s® y¯Ÿ

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dhyAnArha vAmana tanuH nAtha pAhi yajamAnA asuresha vasudha

AdAnAya yAchanika lInArthavAk vashita nAnA sadasya danuja
mIna aN^ka nirmala nishA nAtha koTi lasamAna Atma mauJNjiguNa
kaupIna achCha sUtra padayA(gA)na Atapatra karaka AnamyadaNDa vara bhR^it.h


yajamAnA asuresha vasudha AdAnAya yAchanika dhyAnArha nAtha

lInArthavAk nAnA danuja sadasya vashita
koTi mIna aN^ka nirmala nishA nAtha lasamAna
Atma mauJNjiguNa kaupIna achCha sUtra padayA(gA)na
Atapatra karakA AnamyadaNDa vara bhR^it.h vAmana tanuH pAhi

Word-by-word meaning

yajamAnA = the person on whose behalf a yAga is done, asuresha = leader of the asuras, vasudha =
the earth, AdAnAya = to obtain (as a gift), yAchanika = requestor or supplicant, dhyAnArha = one
who deserves to be meditated upon (dhyAna = meditation, arha = worthy), nAtha = leader,
lInArthavAk = through secretive words (lIna = hidden or concealed, artha = objective, vAk = words),
nAnA = various, danuja = asura or demonaic, sadasya = priests officiating in a yagna (RutvijAs),
vashita = captivated, koTi = crore or ten million, mInAN^ka = one whose emblem is a fish =
manmatha or Cupid (mIna = Fish, aN^ka = emblem), nirmala = pure or blemishless, nishAnAtha =
lord of the night = Moon (nishA = the night, nAtha = Lord), lasamAna = one who is shining, Atma =
self, mauJNji = made of maunji grass, guNa = rope, mauJNjiguNa guna = something like an uDudAra
(a small thread worn around the waist), kaupIna = langoTi = loin cloth, achCha sUtra = janivAra =
virtuous yagnopavita, padayana = through walking, padagana = recitation of the vedas, Atapatra =
umbrella (AtapAt = from the blazing heat of the sun + trAyate = protects), karaka = kamandala (small
vessel carried by saints), AnamyadaNDa vara = a great danDa (stick) that is worthy of worship,
bhR^it.h = carrying, vAmana = Lord Vamana (also means a dwarf), tanuH = embodiment, pAhi =

O Lord VAmana, in order to obtain land from Bali, the king of asuras and the yajamAna presiding
over the yAga, you became a supplicant. Through words containing hidden meanings, you captivated
the demonaic priests officiating over the yAga. Your body is more lustrous and attractive than a crore
(ten million) Cupids and pure full moons. You wore a thread or thin rope made out of 'maunji' grass
around your waist (like an uDudAra), kaupina (loin-cloth or langOTi, cloth to cover the vital portion
of the body) and yagnopavita (sacred thread, janivara). You walked to the yAgashAla (the place where
the yagna was taking place), reciting Vedic verses. You held an umbrella, kamandalu (vessel
containing water) and a great stick , worthy of worship, in your hands. Please protect me.

vAmana vAmana mANavaveSha daityavarA.ntaka kAraNarUpa || 5||

balimukhaditisutavijayavinAshana jagadavanAjita bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 11:
OM shrI parashurAmAya namaH

dhairyAmbudhe parashucharyAdhikR^ittakhalavaryAvanIshvara mahA

shauryAbhibhUta kR^itavIryAtmajAtabhujavIryAvalepanikara |
kAryAparAdhamavichAryAryamaughajayivIryAmitA mayi dayA || 11 ||

` ïI przuramay nm>
xEyaRMbuxe przucyaRixk«ÄolvyaRvnIñr mha
zaEyaRi--Ut k«tvIyaRTmjat-ujvIyaRvlepinkr ,
-ayaRpraxk…iptayaR}yagiltnayaRTmsUgltrae ,
kayaRpraxmivcayaRyRmaE"jiyvIyaRimta miy dya . 11.

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‰±ï°‡®¾¯Áï±q¯ î®±‰± u®‡®¾¯ || 11 ||

dhairya ambhudhe parashu charya adhikR^itta khala varya avani Ishvara

mahA shaurya abhibhUta kR^itavIrya AtmajAta bhuja vIryA avalepa nikara
bhAryA aparAdha kupita Arya AGYayA galita nAri AtmasU gala taruH
kArya aparAdham avichArya aryama ogha jayi vIryA amitA mayi dayA


dhairya ambhudhe parashu charya adhikR^itta khala varya avani Ishvara

mahA shaurya kR^itavIrya AtmajAta bhuja vIryA avalepa nikara abhibhUta
bhAryA aparAdha kupita Arya AGYayA aparAdham avichArya
galita nAri AtmasU gala taruH
aryama ogha jayi vIryA
mayi amitA daya kArya

Word-by-word meaning

dhairya = courage, ambhudhe = ocean, parashu = axe, charya = action (swinging), adhikR^itta = cut
off, khala = wicked or vile, varya = chief, avanIshvara = king (avani = Earth, Ishvara = Lord), mahA =
great, shaurya = valor, kR^itavIrya = kR^itavIrya, AtmajAta = son, kR^itavIryAtmajAta =
kR^itavIrya’s son = kArtivIryArjuna, bhuja vIryA = strength and valor of shoulders, avalepam =
pride, nikara = cluster, abhibhUta = defeated or destroyed, bhAryA = wife, aparAdha = mistake,
kupita = enraged, Arya = father (Jamadagni), AGYayA = orders, aparAdham = sin or mistake,
avichArya = not examining or evaluating, galita = deprived of or loosing, nAri = woman, AtmasU =
own mother, gala = neck, taruH = tree, aryama = an epithet of Sun, ogha = cluster or group, jayi =
defeating, vIryA = heroism, mayi = myself, amitA = endless, daya = compassion, kArya = do.


Sri Vadiraja is praying to Lord Parashurama.

You are an ocean of courage. Using your axe, you cut off (the heads) of vile kings (who were
tormenting and harassing the people of the world). KritavIrya’s son KartivIryArjuna had become very
arrogant because of the enormous strength and prowess of his shoulders. You easily defeated him.
Angered by his wife’s sin, your father ordered you to cut off her head. You did so without considering
that she was a woman and your mother. Your courage shines brighter than a group of suns. Please
show me your endless compassion.


The verse refers to in an incident that happened in the course of the ParashurAma incarnation. His
mother Renuka used to bring water from the riverside. The power of her chastity was such that she
could make a pot out of sand and collect water in it! One day she saw a Gandharva couple in a
romantic situation and started daydreaming. As soon as she returned to the Ashrama, her husband
Jamadagni realized what had happened and became furious. He ordered his first son to punish Renuka
by cutting her head off. He refused, and was cursed by his father. The same happened to the second
son too. Finally, Jamadagni turned to his last son ParashurAma and gave him the same command.
ParashurAma immediately obeyed the order and cut off his mother’s head without hesitation. This act
of obedience pleased Jamadagni very much and he directed ParashurAma to ask for whatever he
wanted. ParashurAma immediately seized this chance and asked Jamadagni to restore his mother and
brothers back to life. This was done and the whole incident ended happily without any loss of life.

A haridAsa explains the rationale for the Lord’s action. By fantasizing about the gandharva couple,
Renuka had committed a very grave sin. Death and a subsequent rebirth was the only way she could
have continued to live with Jamadagni. The Lord arranged for this to happen. The other point to note
is that in discharging His duty, He did not let emotion cloud His judgement. He carried out his father’s
orders with detachment, thus practicing what he would later preach (as Krishna).

In practical terms, the word ‘dhairyAmbhudhe’ is very appropriate. It took a lot of courage for an
individual, that too a brahmin, to take on mighty kings and emperors. Yes, other ascetics had humbled
kings and emperors, but it was through their spiritual powers (through shApas or curses) and not
through physical acts. ParashurAma was different. He took them on in the battlefield and defeated
them, fair and square, at their own game. He did this 21 times.

In the language of the upanishads, the word ‘dhairyAmbhudhe’ takes on a totally different meaning.
Here the Lord is an ocean of ‘dhi’ (pure sentience) and ‘ra’ (unsullied bliss). In short, the Lord is an
ocean of sadguNAs (good qualities), devoid of all blemishes and defects. Another point is that an
ocean has a beginning and an end, whereas the sadguNAs in the Lord are infinite in number and
magnitude. Incidentally, in common parlance ‘dhIra’ means courageous, whereas in Upanishads and
other classical texts it is used to denote wise and judicious thinkers.

One unique aspect about the ParashurAma incarnation is that the Lord did not conclude it like He did
the Rama, Krishna and other incarnations,. In the MBTN, Acharya Madhva says that ParashurAma
still has a lot to do in the coming manvantaras.

Most people do not realize the contribution of ParashurAma to the kurukshetra war. He was the guru
of Bhishma, Drona and Karna; in turn, Drona was the guru for the Pandavas, Kauravas and quite a few
other princes. So, in effect, ParashurAma was the source for all the martial skills and knowhow used in
the war. Thus, in a manner of speaking, the Krishna and Parashurama incarnations acted in tandem to
annihilate the 18 Akoshinis.

The phrase ‘avichArya’ also points to a lakshaNa (unique trait) of the Lord. He is the only entity in all
of creation whose knowledge is complete, constant and comprehensive even without any specific
contemplation. Even Lakshmi, who matches Him in terms of spread over time and space, is supposed
to be constantly ruminating about Him and discovering new traits (“bagebageya nUtanava kANuta”
Hari-kathAmruta-sAra 1.2). In the PramaNa lakshana while describing the knowledge of Riju Yogis,
Acharya Madhava says “Alochane sarvviShayam …” (meaning that Riju Yogis like Brahma & Vayu
have knowledge of all objects other than the Lord and Lakshmi by merely contemplating on them).
Thus the Lord is the only one whose actions can be described as “avichArya”. This is true for all His
actions in all incarnations, and in the mUla rupa.

In many ways, VadirAja echoes the sentiments expressed by Acharya Madhva in the dvAdasha stotra.
The Acharya calls the Lord “sUrjitadIpte”, Vadiraja translates this as “aryama ogha jayi”. The
Acharya’s “avijitakunR^ipatisamitivikhanDana” becomes “adhikR^itta khala varya avanIshvara”.
Please note that both phrases clearly identify the type of Kshatriyas the Lord killed as evil or vile. In
fact, the Acharya adds the word “vIrapa” to make it very clear that the Lord protected good heroic
persons like BhIshma (in spite of the fact that they were Kshathriyas). He also adds another epithet
‘shambhu-vareNya’ to dispel all notions that ParashurAma worshipped Shiva.

The plea for ‘amita daya’ is also very well justified. We have to remember the incident in the
mahabhArata when the Lord enacted the charade of staging a battle with BhIshma and appeared to
lose, only so that BhIshmA’s oath of bachelorhood remained intact. Isn’t this true compassion towards
a devotee? Which other god would set aside His ego and publicly accept defeat from his devotee? This
underscores the appropriateness of the epithet ‘vIrapa’ used by the Acharya. Yet, the wonder is that
ParashurAma did not default on His promise unite amba with BhIshma, because in their moola-roopas,
amba and Bhishma were indeed husband and wife!

rAma bhR^igUdvaha sUrjitadIpte xatrakulA.ntaka shaMbhuvareNya |

avijitakunR^ipatisamitivikhaNDana ramAvara vIrapa bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 12:
OM shrI rAmAya namaH

shrIrAmalaxmaNashukArAmabhUravatu gaurAmalAmitamaho
hArAmarastuta yashorAmakAntisutano rAmalabdhakalaha |
svArAmavaryaripuvIrAmayardhikara chIrAmalAvR^itakaTe
svArAmadarshanaja mArAmayAgatasughorAmanorathahara || 12 ||

` ïI ramay nm>
ïIramlúm[zukaram-Urvtu gaEramlaimtmhae
haramrStut yzaeramkaiNtsutnae ramlBxklh ,
SvaramvyRirpuvIramyixRkr cIramlav&tkqe
SvaramdzRnj maramyagtsu"aeramnaerwhr . 12.

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shrIrama lakshmaNa shuka ArAma bhUH avatu gaura amala amita mahaH
hAra amara stuta yashah rAma kAnti sutanaH rAma labda kalaha
svArAmavarya ripu vIra Amayardhi kara chIra amala AvR^ita kaTe
svArAma darshanaja mAra Amaya Agata sughorA manoratha hara


gaura amala amita mahaH hAra

lakshmaNa shuka ArAma bhUH
amara stuta yashah
rAma kAnti sutanaH
rAma kalaha labda
svArAmavarya ripu vIra Amayardhi kara
chIra amala AvR^ita kaTe
svArAma darshanaja mAra Amaya Agata sughorA manoratha hara
shrIrama avatu.

Word-by-word meaning

gaura = white, amala = blemishless, amita = endless, mahaH = pearl, hAra = necklace, lakshmaNa =
LakshmaNa, shuka = Parrot, ArAmabhU = a pleasure garden (ArAma = garden, bhUH = land or
ground), amara = devatas or celestial beings, stuta = worshipped, yashah = fame, rAma = Pleasing or
captivating, kAnti = lustre, sutanaH = good body, rAma = Parasurama, labda = obtained, kalaha =
(minor) fight or skirmish, svArAmavarya = Indra (svah = swarga = heaven, ArAma = happiness or
pleasure, svArAma = gods, varya = leader), ripu = enemy, vIra = warrior, Amayardhi = increase of
diseases (Amaya = disease, R^dhi = vR^iddhi = increase), kara = doer, chIra = bark of a tree, amala =
pure, AvR^ita = enclosed or enveloped, kaTe = waist, svArAma = sva + ArAma = one’s own garden,
darshanaja = arising out of sight or vision, mAra = Cupid, Amaya = disease, Agata = arrival, sughorA
= hideous or horrible (looking) woman, manoratha = desire, hara = destroy, shrIrama = Sri Rama
Chandra, avatu = protect me.


Sri Vadiraja begins his prayer to Lord Ramachandra. It is interesting to note that while he has used one
or two verses for other incarnations, he has devoted 11 to Rama, and 9 to Krishna.

Lord Ramachandra, you are wearing a shining necklace consisting of pure, white pearls with unlimited
lustre. You are like a pleasure garden for the parrot called Lakshmana (meaning that Lakshmana’s
happiness is tied to you). The celestials sing your praises continuously. Your body is captivating and
well-proportioned, i.e., your appearance is extremely pleasing to behold. You were involved in a
minor skirmish with ParashurAma. You enhance the diseases of enemies of Indra. Your waist is
enveloped in the bark of a tree (a dress made from it). The vision of your lovely face in the
(ChitrakUTa) garden created Cupid’s disease in Ravan’s hideous sister ShUrpaNaka. You destroyed
those vile desires (through stern action). O Lord Ramachandra, please protect me.


As Rama was returning from Mithila after marrying Sita, ParashurAma confronted the wedding party
and challenged them. He asked Rama to lift the VaishNava bow and string it. Rama did that without
any effort and with a loaded bow in hand asked ParashurAma for a target to aim at. ParashurAma
asked Rama to discharge the bow at his (ParashurAma’s) stomach. Rama did that and everything
ended happily.

In the MBTN (Chapter 4, Verses 42 to 62), ShrimadAchArya explains this incident and brings out the
hidden aspects. ParashurAma had 2 reasons for staging this mock fight – to show the whole world that
Rama was indeed Vishnu Himself, and to get rid of the asura who was hiding in His stomach. This
asura had obtained a boon from Brahma that he would be able to hide in ParashurAma’s stomach until
Vishnu was defeated. The asura thought that since Vishnu was supreme, He would never get defeated,
thus ensuring long life for the asura! However, he had not accounted for the fact one incarnation of
Vishnu could sport with another and defeat it in a mock battle.

When we hear the word ‘Rama’ the first thing that comes to mind is the Lord of Sita and the
upAsanA-murthy of Hanuman. Besides this, there are other roopas or forms of the Lord called
‘Rama’. There is one associated with the character ‘ra’ (‘Repha’). Incidentally, Rama is the form
associated with the ‘ukAra’ of the Omkara. It is also one of the names in VishNusahasranAma. When
one sees the meaning of the word it becomes obvious that every form of the Lord (and all His
incarnations) can be called ‘Rama’.

svArAmavarya (leader of the gods) has been interpreted as Indra. This raises some questions – isn’t
this going against tAratamya? Aren’t there other devatas greater than Indra, who are more worthy of
being called svArAmavarya? Yes, these doubts are valid. Normally svArAmavarya would mean Lord
Hari Himself, and after Him, the next choice would be Brahma / Vayu and other superior gods.
However, in the context of this verse, because of the qualifier “ripu vIra Amayardhi kara”, Indra
seems more appropriate. Hari does not need any help when fighting His opponents. Nor is there any
instance in the scriptures where Vayu could not handle an opponent himself and needed active
intervention from the Lord (apart from the usual caveats like Hari being the only true and independent
doer). One does find instances where Rudra needed help (like when slaying the demons of tripura etc),
but these are also few and far inbetween. However, there are plenty of instances where Indra got into
serious trouble and needed the Lord’s help. Hence, in the context of this verse, it is more appropriate
to interpret ‘svArAmavarya’ as Indra. However, one can go a step further and expand the meaning to
include all sAtvika souls whose only source of pleasure is performing actions worthy of their
Ashrama, varNa and intrinsic nature, as puja towards the Lord.

Verse 13:
shrIkeshava pradisha nAkeshajAtakapilokesha bhagnaravibhU
stoketarArtiharaNAkevalArtasukhadhI kekikAlajalada |
sAketanAtha varapAkeramukhyasuta kokena bhaktimatulAm.h
rAkendubimbamukha kAkexaNApaha hR^ishIkesha te.aN^ghrikamale || 13 ||

ïIkezv àidz nakezjatkiplaekez -¶riv-U

StaeketraitRhr[akevlatRsuoxI keikkaljld ,
saketnaw vrpakermuOysut kaeken -imtulam!
rakeNÊibMbmuo kake][aph ùzIkez te='œiºkmle . 13.

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shrIkeshava pradisha nAkesha jAta kapilokesha bhagna ravibhU

stoketara Arti haraNa akevalArtasukhadhi keki kAla jalada
sAketanAtha vara pAka Iramukhya suta koka ina bhaktiM atulAM
rAka indu biMba mukha kAka Ixana apaha hR^ishIkesha te aN^ghrikamale


nAkesha jAta kapilokesha bhagna

ravibhU stoketara Arti haraNa
akevalArtasukhadhi keki kAla jalada
sAketanAtha vara pAka
Iramukhya suta koka ina
rAka indu biMba mukha
kAka Ixana apaha
hR^ishIkesha shrIkeshava
te aN^ghrikamale atulaM bhaktiM pradisha

Word-by-word meaning

nAkesha = Indra (nAka = heaven, nAkesha = lord of heaven = Indra), jAta = offspring, kapilokesha =
Vali (kapi = monkey, lokesha = emperor), bhagna = frustrated or shattered, ravibhU = son of Ravi =
Sugriva, stoketara = many or profuse (stoka = short or few, stoketara = opposite of stoka = long or
many), Arti = miseries, haraNa = destruction; AkevalArtasukha = spiritual happiness (kevala
arthasukha = material happiness, AkevalArtasukha = opposite of material happiness);
akevalArtasukhadhi = those who have their minds set on akevalArtasukha = Brahmagyanis, keki =
peacock (keka = the cry of a peacock), kAla = dark or black, jalada = clouds, sAketa = Ayodhya,
sAketanAtha = Dasharatha, vara = worthy, pAka = son, Iramukhya = mukhya prana (IraNah = Wind),
suta = son, koka = chakravaka bird (ruddy goose), ina = sun, rAka = full moon day (pUrNima), indu =
moon, biMba = reflection, mukha = face, kAka = crow, Ixana = one eye, apaha = stolen, hR^ishIkesha
= an epithet of Vishnu, here it means Sri Rama (hR^ishIkaM = sensory organ, hR^ishIkesha = one
who controls and directs all sensory organs), shrI keshava = another epithet of Vishnu (also means one
who controls Brahma and Rudra), te = your, aN^ghrikamale = lotus feet, atulAM = amalaM =
incomparable or matchless, can also mean blemishless or pure, bhaktiM = devotion, pradisha =


You destroyed Vali, the son of Indra and the king of the monkeys. You removed all the profuse
difficulties of Sugreeva, the son of Ravi. For the peacocks who are not interested in material happiness
(BrahmagyAnis), you are dark rain-bearing clouds. You are the greatest son of Dasharatha. For the
chakravAka bird called mukhya prAna, you are the sun. Your face is the reflection of the moon on a
full-moon day. You removed the eyesight of crows. O HrishIkEsha, Keshava, please give me pure
devotion towards your lotus feet.


Valmiki Ramayana very fleetingly mentions an incident where a crow attacked Sita. When Rama and
Sita were in the ChitrakUTa forest, a crow attacked Sita and bit her. Enraged by this, Rama took a
blade of grass, and with special mantras converted it into a weapon and hurled it at the crow. The crow
fled in terror, approaching several gods for shelter. When nobody came to his rescue, the crow finally
sought refuge at Sri Rama's feet. The kind hearted Lord spared the crow, but destroyed one of its eyes.
He also destroyed one eye of all crows and decreed that in the future, crows would be born with just
one eye. This raises several intriguing questions: of all the organs present in the crow’s body why did
the Lord destroy an eye? Why did he destroy one eye of all other crows, when they had not committed
any crime? And what crime did the as yet unborn crows commit, that they should lose one eye for no
fault of theirs? Acharya Madhva raises these questions and answers them in MBTN (Chapter 5, Verses
10 to 16). If anything, this underscores the importance of reading the MBTN in order to understand the
events of Mahabharata and Ramayana properly.

Indra’s son Jayantha was cursed to be a crow. A demon named Kuranga had a boon from Rudra that
he would be invincible as long as he lived in the eyes of crows and crows had 2 eyes. Kuranaga had
taken refuge in Jayantha’s eye (and the eyes of other crows). Jayantha had agreed to this since he was
under demonaic influence (tAmasa AvEsha) and thought that having an asura in his eye would make
him invincible. When the crow surrendered to Rama, He spared the crow, but destroyed the eye that
was harbouring Kuranga. In order to prevent Kuranga from reappearing elsewhere, He also had to
destroy one eye of all existing as well as future crows.

In order to show constant devotion of devotees towards the Lord and the hatred of demonaic forces
towards Him, poets use a variety of examples from real life. Some of the popular comparisons are:

Metaphor for the Lord Metaphor for devotees Metaphor for asuras
Sun ChakravAka bird, Sunflower, Lotus Darkness, Cold, Mist, Snow
Moon Night lily, Ocean, Chakora bird, Darkness, Heat
Lotus or any flower Bee
Rain-bearing clouds ChAtaka bird, Peacock, Plants and trees. Desert

One of the many wrong beliefs about Lord Rama is that He installed the icon of Rameshwara (Rudra)
in order to atone for the sin of killing a brAhmana (Ravana). One of the many meanings of the word
‘Keshava’ is “Controller of Brahma and Rudra”. By using this word here, Sri VadirAja is forcefully
dispelling the above wrong belief. Incidentally, one finds this theme in other works of Sri VadirAja

The word “akevalArtasukhadhi” can be split in another way to yield the same meaning, using the first
‘a’ to mean the Lord (‘aH iti brahma’ - Aitareya upanishad). Incidentally, one finds many instances in
the Ramayana that validate this epithet; vishvAmitra, ahalya, shabhari, guha, the ascetics of
chitrakUTa, jaTAyu, vibhIshaNa etc are some of the examples that come to mind immediately (after
the more obvious ones like Sita, Hanuman, Lakshmana, Bharata etc).

When this verse is read along with the previous one, an interesting contrast appears. There, the Lord
takes care of Indra (by increasing the diseases of his enemies), here He destroys him! The principle
that emerges from this is that the Lord has no favorites or enemies; everyone is judged on the basis of
his/her actions. As long as Indra sticks to the path of righteousness and truth, he has the Lord’s
backing; if he strays from it, he gets punished like everybody else!

Verse 14:
rAme nR^iNAM hR^idabhirAmenarAshikulabhIme mano.adyaramatAm.h |
gomedinIjayitapo.ameyagAdhisutakAmeniviShTa manasi |
shyAme sadA tvayi jitAmeyatApasajarAme gatAdhikasame |
bhImeshachApadalanAmeyashauryajitavAmexaNe vijayini || 14 ||

rame n&[a< ùdi-ramenraizk…l-Ime mnae=*rmtam! ,

gaemeidnIjiytpae=meygaixsutkameinivò mnis ,
Zyame sda Tviy ijtameytapsjrame gtaixksme ,
-ImezcapdlnameyzaEyRijtvame][e ivjiyin . 14.
Š¯îµ±° w®³n¯º
î®±wµ²°úu®ãŠ®î®±q¯º |
Sµ²°îµ±°vx°c‰± q®yµ½°úîµ±°‡®±
S¯vÚ®±q® N¯îµ±° xïÇ®Ô î®±w®› |
ý¯ãîµ±° š®u¯ q®æ‰±
dq¯îµ±°‡®±q¯y®š®cŠ¯îµ±° S®q¯vÃN®š®îµ±°
dq®î¯îµ±°£®nµ° ïc‰±x || 14 ||

rAme nR^iNAM hR^id abhirAme nara Ashi kula bhIme manah.adya ramatAm.h
go medinI jayi tapaH ameya gAdhisuta kAme niviShTa manasi
shyAme sadA tvayi jita ameya tApasaja rAme gat adhika same
bhIma Isha chApa dalana ameya shaurya jita vAmexaNe vijayini


nR^INAM hR^idabhirAme narAshikula bhIme

go medinI jayi tapaH ameya gAdhisuta kAme niviShTa manasi
shyAme jita ameya tApasaja rAme
gata adhika same
bhIma Isha chApa dalana ameya shaurya jita vAmexaNe
sadA vijayini rAme
mama manaH Adhya ramataM

Word-by-word meaning

(all the adjectives and nouns are in the saptami vibhakti or Locative case)

nR^INAM = (for) people, hR^id abhirAme = one who has a captivating form (hR^it = heart,
abhirAme = pleasing or captivating), narAshikula = demons or ogres (nara = humans, Ashi = eating,
kula = race or sect), bhIme = formidable or ferocious, go = heaven, medinI = earth, jayi = winning,
tapaH = by penance, ameya = immeasurable or countless, gAdhisuta = the son of gAdhi =
Vishwamitra, kAme = desires (one who fulfils the desires), niviShTa = settled (or applied), manasi =
mind, shyAme = pleasant dark-blue colored, jita = won or defeated, ameya = immeasurable or
countless, tApasaja = born to an ascetic (tApasa = one performing tapas = ascetic), rAme = Bhargava
Rama, gata = departed, adhika = superior, same = equal, bhIma = ferocious, Isha = Shiva, chApa =
bow, dalana = breaking, ameya shaurya = immeasurable or unlimited courage, jita = acquired or
captivated, vAmexaNe = one with beautiful eyes = Sita, sadA = always, vijayini = victorious, rAme =
Sri Ramachandra, mama = my, manaH = mind, Adhya = now, ramataM = may it enjoy.

May my mind for now (and forever) frolic and find happiness in Lord Rama
- who has a very captivating form for humans, but is fearsome to the race of man-eating ogres
- who applied his mind to fulfil the desires of Vishwamitra, the son of gAdhi, who won over heaven
and earth through his great penance
- who has got a pleasant (beautiful) dark-coloured body
- who defeated Parashurama, the son of an ascetic (called Jamadagni)
- who is bereft of equals and superiors
- who through His limitless capability broke the fearsome bow of Shiva and acquired the fair-eyed
- who is forever victorious


The reference to VishwAmitra is very interesting. He is the great saint who gave us the Gayatri
mantra. Such was his capability that he created a separate world for Trishanku (which is why Vadiraja
says that he conquered heaven and earth). So it was not impossible for him to have killed the demons
that were impeding his penance. Yet he approached King Dasharatha to lend him the services of Lord
Rama, so that other events like the marriage of Sita could happen.

Note the usage of the words ‘niviShTa manasi’. There is an important but subtle aspect point hidden in
this usage. For any action to take place 3 things are needed – there must be a doer who has knowledge
of what needs to be done, the doer must have the desire to do the action, and the doer must actually do
the action. This is true for everybody except the Lord. In His case, His will is His knowledge and
nature; He makes things happen by just willing it to happen, without having to expend any effort.

VadirAja uses contrasts to make a key point. The Lord is captivating to some but fearsome to others.
He helped one ascetic (VishwAmitra), but (apparently) fought with another (ParashurAma). He broke
the fearsome shiva dhanus, but captivated the fair-eyed Sita. In the previous verse too, He was
described as Hriskesha (the Lord of the sensory organs), but He destroyed the eyesight of crows.
These contrasts remind us of the all encompassing nature of the Lord’s control over the universe – He
is the Creator and the Sustainer, but He is also the Controller and the Destroyer. He gives ignorance
and bondage, but also grants knowledge and liberation. Our worship or Upasane should incorporate
both aspects. The IshavAsya upanishad (aka yAgneya mantropanishad) gives out this point very
emphatically. See the translation for mantras 12 to 14 for more details.

Verse 15:
kAntAragehakhalakAntAraTadvadana kAntAlakAntakasharam.h |
kAntArayAmbujanikAntAnvavAyavidhukAntAshmabhAdhipahare |
kAntAliloladalakAntAbhishobhitilakAntAbhavantamanusA |
kAntAnuyAnajita kAntAradurgakaTakAntA ramAtvavatu mAm.h || 15 ||

kaNtargeholkaNtarqÖdn kaNtalkaNtkzrm! ,
kaNtaryaMbujinkaNtaNvvayivxukaNtaZm-aixphre ,
kaNtaillaeldlkaNtai-zaei-itlkaNta-vNtmnusa ,
kaNtanuyanijt kaNtarÊgRkqkaNta rmaTvvtu mam! . 15.
N¯ºq¯©N¯ºq®N®ý®Š®º |
®Šµ° |
q®î®±w®±š¯ |
Š®î®¾¯q®æî®q®± ¯î®¾¬ || 15 ||

kAntAra geha khala kAnta raTadvadana kAnta alak antaka sharam.h kAntAra yA ambujani kAntA
anvavAya vidhukAntAshma bhAdhipa hare
kAnta ali lolad alakAnta abhishobhi tilakAntA bhavantam anusA
kAnta anuyAna jita kAntAra durga kaTakAntA rama Atv avatu mAm.h || 15 ||


ambujanikAnta anvavAya vidhukAntAshma bhAdhipa hare

kAnta ali lolat alaka anta abhishobhi tilakanta
kAnta anuyAna jita kAntAra durga kaTikAnta
kAnta ya ramA kAntArageha khala kAntA raTadvadana
kAnta alaka antaka sharam bhavantam anu Ara
sA mAm avatu

Word-by-word meaning

ambujanikAnta = the relative of the lotus = Sun God [ambujani = (belonging to) Lotus, kAnta =
relative], anvavAya = dynasty, vidhukAntAshma = chandrAkAnta shila or moon-stone, a precious
gem (vidhu = Chandra, kAnta = rays, Ashma = stone), bhAdhipa = the king of stars = the Moon (bhaH
= star, adhipa = king), hare = Sri Narayana (here, Sri Rama), kAnta = charming, ali = bees, lolat =
loitering, alaka = curls, anta = border or edges, abhishobhi = splendid or very beautiful, tilakanta = one
having the tilaka (ornamental mark made on the forehead with coloured earth) = Sita, kAnta =
husband, anuyAna = following, jita = acquired or crossed, kAntAra = forests, durga = hills or
mountains, kaTikAnta = borders, kAnta = wife, ya ramA = the Sri Lakshmi (who incarnated as Sita),
kAntArageha = living in forests (kAntAra = in the forest, gEha = home), khala = vile or wicked
people, kAntA = wives, raTadvadana = crying faces (vadana = face, raTana = crying), kAnta =
charming, alaka = curly hairs, antaka = destroyer, sharam = (having) bows, bhavantamanu =
following in your footsteps (bhavantam = your, anu = following), Ara = walked, sA = She (Sri
Lakshmi), mAm = myself, avatu = protect.


Sri Vadiraja is praying to Lord Rama and Sri Sita Devi to protect him.
Sri Ramachandra, you are like the moon to the moonstone called the Sun Dynasty. The face of your
wife Sita, the incarnation of Lakshmi, is adorned with bee-like charming curls, at the edge of which is
a beautiful tilaka. She easily accompanied you through inaccessible forests and mountains. Your bows
cut curls from the weeping faces of the wives of the demons, living in the forest, killed by you. May
she, who followed you, protect me.


Saint VadirAja is showing us the correct way of praying to Lakshmi. She will never accept a prayer
made to Her alone. She has to be always worshipped along with Her Lord.

In this verse, we get a fleeting glimpse into Vadiraja’s amazing poetic genius and his ability to make
words dance with meaning. If you listen carefully, you will hear ‘kanta’ 13 times in this verse – 4
times in the first line, and three times each in the other 3 lines. He uses very vivid poetic images to
convey his meaning. Since a couple of these images are complex, they may need some explanation.

When Rama was travelling in the forest he encountered a lot of vile rAkshAsAs who were harassing
ascetics. He killed him through his powerful arrows, thus making their wives weep profusely. Also,
since it was customary for widows to remove all objects of beautification, they had to cut off the
lovely locks of hair that adorned their face. So, in effect, Rama’s arrows did two things – they made
the wives weep and cut-off the locks of hair on their faces.

The moon makes the moonstone come alive with vibrant color and sparkle. So, in effect, the
moonstone is dead without the moon. In a similar manner, the Surya-vamsha (the dynasty of kings
originating from the Sun) becomes drab and lifeless without Lord Rama since He was the greatest
emperor in that dynasty. Hence, comparing the dynasty to the moonstone and Lord Rama to the moon
is very appropriate.

As stated earlier (in the notes on Verse 8), the “ramA anu Ara” goes beyond a wife dutifully following
her husband. The implication is that she follows him in the hierarchy, as do the entities for which she
is the patron deity – primarily, mUla Prakruti (primordial nature), Vedas and the 3 gunas (satva, rajas,

Verse 16:
dAntaM dashAnanasutAntaM dharAmadhivasantaM prachaNDatapasA |
klAntaM sametya vipinAntaM tvavApa yamanantaM tapasvipaTalam.h |
yAntaM bhavAratibhayAntaM mamAshu bhagavantaM bhareNa bhajatAt.h |
svAntaM savAridanujAntaM dharAdharanishAntaM sa tApasavaram.h || 16 ||

daNt< dzannsutaNt< xramixvsNt< àc{ftpsa ,

¬aNt<< smeTy ivipnaNt< Tvvap ymnNt< tpiSvpqlm! ,
yaNt< -varit-yaNt< mmazu -gvNt< -re[ -jtat! ,
SvaNt< svairdnujaNt< xraxrinzaNt< s tapsvrm! . 16.

u¯ºq®º u®ý¯w®w®š®±q¯ºq®º
u®Š¯î®±vÃ®ºq®º y®äX®ºl®q®y®š¯ |
N¯åºq®º š®îµ±°q®ã ïzw¯ºq®º q®æî¯y®
‡®±î®±w®ºq®º q®y®›æy®h©î®¾¬ |
‡®¾¯ºq®º „®®r„®‡®¾¯ºq®º
¯ý®± „®S®î®ºq®º „®Šµ°o
„®cq¯q¬ |
š¯æºq®º š®î¯‹u®w®±b¯ºq®º
u®Š¯u®Š®xý¯ºq®º š® q¯y®š®î®Š®î®¾¬
|| 16 ||

dAntaM dashAnana sutAntaM dharAm adhivasantaM prachaNDa tapasA

klAntaM sametya vipinAntaM tvav Apa yam anantaM tapasvi paTalam.h
yAntaM bhavAratibhayAntaM mamAshu bhagavantaM bhareNa bhajatAt.h |
svAntaM savAri danujAntaM dharAdhara nishAntaM sa tApasa varam.h || 16 ||


dAntaM dashAnana su tAntaM prachaNDa tapasA klAntaM tapasvi paTalaM

dharAM adhivasantaM vipinAntaM yAntaM yaM anantaM sametya
bhava arati bhaya antaM tu Apa
taM savAri danujAntaM dharAdhara nishAntaM sa tApasa varaM bhagavantaM
mama svAntaM AShu bhareNa bhajatAt.h.

Word-by-word meaning

dAntaM = those who controlled their sensory organs (dAnta = suppressed, dama = indriya nigraha),
dashAnana = Ravana, su tAntaM = to be tormented badly (su = thoroughly, tAntaM = to be harassed),
prachaNDa = vigorous, tapasA = (through) penance, klAntaM = weakened, tapasvi = ascetic, paTalaM
= group, dharAM = (on this) earth , adhivasantaM = living or subsisting on, vipinAntaM = (towards)
the forest (vipinaM = forest), yAntaM = to be going, yaM anantaM = that Sri Narayana (who is the
form of Sri Rama), sametya = coming close to, bhava = sansAra, arati = unhappiness, bhaya = fear,
antaM = ending or destroying, tu Apa = to achieve, taM = like that, savAri = sava ari = enemies of
yAgas, danujAntaM = destroyer of danujas (demons), dharAdhara = mountains, nishAntaM =
residing, sa tApasa varaM = along with venerable ascetics (sa = along with, tApasa = ascetics, varam
= venerable), bhagavantaM = Supreme God = Sri Rama, mama = my, svAntaM = mind, AShu =
quickly (without wasting time), bhareNa = with utmost devotion, bhajatAt.h = may it be devoted or
may it serve with devotion.


Lord Ramachandra, the group of ascetics who were controlling their sensory organs had become frail
through austere penance. They were being thoroughly tormented by Ravana. When they heard that
you, Lord Anantha (you) were coming to the forest inhabited by them they approached you and got rid
of the sorrows and fears of sansara. You killed the demons opposing the yagas and resided in a
hermitage in the mountains, along with great ascetics. May my mind worship you, the Supreme Lord,
with utmost devotion, without wasting any time.

In colloquial usage the word ‘Bhagavan’ is used in conjunction with any holy or venerable person, but
in its purest sense, it means only the Lord; after Him, it can be applied with some qualifications to
Brahma/Vayu also.

Verse 17:
shampAbhachApalavakaMpAstashatrubalasaMpAditAmitayashAH |
shaM pAdatAmarasasaMpAtino.alamanukampArasena disha me |
sampAtipaxisahajaM pAparAvaNahataM pAvanaM yadakR^ithAH |
tvaM pApakUpapatitaM pAhi mAM tadapi pampAsarastaTachara || 17 ||

zMpa-caplvk<paStzÇubls<paidtaimtyza> ,
z< padtamrss<paitnae=lmnukMparsen idz me ,
sMpaitpi]shj< paprav[ht< pavn< ydk«wa> ,
Tv< pap kªppitt< paih ma< tdip pMpasrStqcr . 17.

š®ºy¯vq¯ï±q®‡®±ý¯» |
Š®šµ°w® vý® îµ±° |
š®ºy¯ry®¤š®œ®cº y¯y®Š¯î®oœ®q®º
y¯î®w®º ‡®±u®N®³s¯» |
q®æº y¯y®N®²y®y®rq®º y¯Ÿ ¯º q®u®z
y®ºy¯š®Š®š®ÙhX®Š® || 17 ||

shampa abha chApa lavakaMpa asta shatrubala saMpAdita amita yashAH

shaM pAdatAmarasa saMpAtinah alam anukampA rasena disha me
sampAti paxi sahajaM pApa rAvaNa hataM pAvanaM yat akR^ithAH
tvaM pApa kUpa patitaM pAhi mAM tat api pampA saras taTachara


shampa abha chApa lavakaMpa asta shatrubala saMpAdita amita yashAH

pAdatAmarasa saMpAtinah me anukampA rasena alam shaM disha
pampA saras taTachara tvaM pApa rAvaNa hataM sampAti paxi sahajaM yat pAvanaM akR^ithAH
tat pApa kUpa patitaM mAM api pAhi

Word-by-word meaning
shaMpAbha = shining like 'lightning' (shampA = lightning, abha = lustre), chApa = bow, lavakaMpA
= little shaking = with very little effort, asta = down or defeat, shatrubala = enemies, saMpAdita =
earned, amita yashAh = endless fame (tvaM=yourself), pAda tAmarasa = pAda kamala = lotus like
feet, saM = nicely or thoroughly, pAtinah = one who falls, me = to me, anukaMpA rasena = with the
emotion of kindness, alam = adequate or ample, shaM = happiness, disha = give, he paMpA saras
taTachara = one who walks near or dwells on the banks of the Pampa Sarovara = Sri Ramachandra,
tvAM = you, pApa = sinner, rAvaNa = Ravana, hataM = killed (by), saMpAti paxi = the bird
SampAti, sahajaM = brother (= Jatayu, the younger brother of bird Sampathi), yat = what reasons,
pAvanaM = sanctified or made sacred, akR^ithAH = done, tat = for the same reason, pApa = sins,
kUpa = well or pit, patitaM = one who has fallen, mAMapi = including me, pAhi = protect.


O Lord Ramachandra with the slightest movement of your bow, that has the lustre of lightning, you
defeat your enemies; this is the endless fame you have earned. I am throroughly prostrating to your
lotus feet. With kindness and mercy, please bless me with ample happiness. O dweller on the banks of
the Pampa sarovara, you sanctified with your own hands Jatayu, the brother of SampAti, who was
killed by sinner Ravana. Likewise, please protect me, who has fallen into the pit of sins.


VadirAja is using the words “pApa kUpa patitaM mAM” in a poetic sense; they do not apply to him in
any form or manner. However, when we recite this stotra, we should have no reservations in applying
it to ourselves!

‘Thoroughly prostrating’ refers to ‘sAshTAnga namaskAra’. The ‘ashTa’ or eight aspects of this are:
• eyes should be watching with reverence the object of worship
• forehead, chest, hands, legs and knees should be touching the ground
• mind should be contemplating with reverence the object of worship
• mouth should be extolling the object of worship

Verse 18:
lolAxyapexitasulIlAkuraN^gavadhakhelAkutUhalagate |
svAlApabhUmijanibAlApahAryanujapAlAdya bho jayajaya |
bAlAgnidagdhapurashAlAnilAtmajaniphAlAttapattalarajo |
nIlAN^gadAdikapimAlAkR^itAlipathamUlAbhyatItajaladhe || 18 ||

laelaúypei]tsulIlak…r¼vxoelak…tUhlgte ,
Svalap-UimjinbalaphayRnujpala* -ae jyjy ,
balai¶dGxpurzalainlaTmjin)alaÄpÄlrjae ,
nIla¼daidkipmalak«tailpwmUla_ytItjlxe . 18.

Pµ°Œ¯N®±q®²œ®©S®qµ° |
u®ã „µ²° c‡®±c‡®± |
Ùy®q®Ù©Š®bµ²° |
®ãr°q®c©uµ° || 18 ||


lolAxi apexita sulIlA kuraN^ga vadha khelA kutUhala gate

su AlApa bhUmijani bAlA apahAri anuja pAlA Adya bho jaya jaya
bAlAgni dagdha pura shAlA anilAtmajani phAla atta pat tala rajah
nIlA AN^gada Adi kapimAlA kR^ita Alipatha mUlA abhyatIta jaladhe


lolAxi apexita sulIlA kuraN^ga vadha khelA kutUhala gate

su AlApa bhUmijani bAlA apahAri anuja pAlA Adya
bAlAgni dagdha pura shAlA anilAtmajani phAla atta pat tala rajah
nIlA AN^gada Adi kapimAlA kR^ita Alipatha mUlA abhyatIta jaladhe bho jaya jaya

Word-by-word meaning

lolAxi = one who has fickle eyes = a beautiful woman (Sita), apexita = desired, sulIlA = clever or
deceitful, kuraN^ga = deer (antelope) = Maricha, vadha = to destroy, khelA = to sport, kutUhala =
curious, gate = gait, su AlApa = one who speaks softly and pleasingly, bhUmijani = the daughter of
earth = Sita, bAlA = young woman, apahAri = abductor (= Ravan), anuja = brother = Vibhishana,
pAla = protector, Adya = one who is the foremost or sarvOttama, bAlAgni = bAla agni = fire on tail,
dagdha = burnt, pura = city of Lanka, shAlA = houses, anilAtmajani = anila Atmajani = son of Wind
God = Hanumantha, phAla = (on the) forehead, atta = received, pat tala rajah = dust from the feet,
nIlAN^gada = Nila, Angada and others, kapi = monkey, mAlA = group or cluster, kR^ita = created
(made), Ali = bridge, patha = way, mUla = through, abhyatIta = crossed, jaladhe = ocean, bho = O
(Sri Ramachandra), jaya jaya = Victory to you, Victory to you..


In order to destroy the deceitful antelope desired by the beautiful Sita, you moved with a curiously
easy gait. You are the protector of Vibishana, the brother of the abductor of the soft spoken daughter
of the earth (Sita). You are Sarvottama or the most supreme Lord. Hanumanta, the son of the Vayu,
who burnt down the houses of Lanka, with the fire on his tail, received dust from your feet and applied
on his forehead. Through the bridge built by Neela , Angada and groups of other monkeys you crossed
the ocean. Victory to you. Victory to you.


The literal translation of lolAxi is ‘fickle eyes’, but in poetic usage it means a beautiful woman since
fickle eyes are considered a laxana or one of the signs of beauty.

Rama does not need wishes of victory from us. He is forever victorious in everything. So, “Jaya jaya”
primarily means “You prevail over everybody”. It can also be a prayer to bless us with victory and
In this verse, VadirAja refutes several popular misconceptions about the golden deer incident. The first
one is that Sita was fooled by Marichi masquerading as the golden deer and sent Rama in pursuit. This
is wrong because Sita is the incarnation of Lakshmi and Her knowledge is complete and total (except
when it pertains to the Lord). So, Her request to Rama was not done out of ignorance, but with full
knowledge of future events, and in conjunction with the Divine plan associated with the Lord’s
incarnation. This is hinted through the usage of the word ‘lolAxi’. Another misconception is that the
Lord had a tough time chasing the golden deer and keeping up with it. This is refuted through the
words ‘khela, kutUhala gate’. The next misconception is that Sita used harsh words to goad
Lakshmana into going after Rama. The words may have been harsh-sounding, but they were ‘su
AlApa’ – uttered for the sake of the benefit of humanity, in getting rid of the evil Ravana.

Another reason for using the term ‘lolAxi’ is to indicate that Sita is the incarnation of Lakshmi, the
Goddess of wealth. Since wealth is supposed to be fickle - here today and gone tomorrow, Lakshmi is
wrongly perceived to be ‘chanchale’ or fickle.

There is a nice allegorical interpretation of the incident that is worth pondering over. Sita represents
the mind (or heart), and Rama the body/life (or intellect) that God has provided us with. The golden
deer represents mundane attractions of the world. The ten-headed Ravana represents the dasha indriyas
or the ten sensory organs. When leading a life as prescribed by the shAstras, one encounters a lot of
powerful attractions that try to lead one astray. The fickle mind hankers after these, but the intellect or
body resists fights it (this is called ‘indriya jaya’ or victory over the sensory organs). But if the mind
prevails and sends the body or intellect in pursuit of these attractions, then disaster results. The mind
becomes a total prisoner of the indriyas.

Verse 19:
tUNIrakArmuka kR^ipANIkiNAN^kabhujapANIravipratimabhAH |
xoNidharAlinibhaghoNImukhAdighanaveNIsuraxaNakaraH |
shoNibhavannayana koNIjitAmbunidhipANIritArhaNamaNi
shreNIvR^itAN^ghririha vANIshasUnuvaravANIstuto vijayate || 19 ||

tU[IrkamuRk k«pa[Iik[a»-ujpa[Irivàitm-a> ,
]aei[xrailin-"ae[Imuoaid"nve[Isur][kr> ,
zaei[-vÚyn kae[IijtaMbuinixpa[IirtahR[mi[-
ïe[Iv&ta'œiºirh va[IzsUnuvrva[IStutae ivjyte . 19.

N®³y¯p°On¯ºN®„®±cy¯p°Š®ïy®ärî®±„¯» |
±P¯vU®w®îµ°p°š®±Š®£®oN®Š®» |
ýµ²°p„®î®w®Ý‡®±w® Nµ²°p°dq¯º…
î¯p°ý®š®²w®±î®Š®î¯p°š®±Ùqµ²° ïc‡®±qµ° ||
19 ||

tUNIra kArmuka kR^ipANI kiNAN^ka bhujapANI ravi pratima bhAH

xoNidhara Ali nibha ghoNI mukhAdi ghana veNI suraxaNa karaH
shoNi bhavat nayana koNI jita ambunidhi pANI Irita arhaNa maNi
shreNI vR^ita aN^ghriH iha vANIsha sUnu varavANI stutah vijayate


tUNIra kArmuka kR^ipANI kiNAN^ka bhuja pANI ravi pratima bhAH

xoNidhara Ali nibha ghoNI mukhAdi ghana veNI suraxaNa karaH
shoNi bhavat nayana koNI jita ambunidhi pANI Irita arhaNa maNi
shreNI vR^ita aN^ghriH iha vANIsha sUnu varavANI stutah vijayate

Word-by-word meaning

tUNIra = quiver, kArmuka = bow, kR^ipANI = small sword or dagger, kiNAN^ka = scars left behind
by weapons (kiNa = scar or mole), bhuja pANI = shoulders and hands, ravi = Sun, pratima = icon,
bhAH = radiance or splendour, xoNidara = dharAdhara = mountains, Ali = range, nibha = like or
similar, ghoNimukhAdi = monkeys and others (ghoNa = snout), ghana veNI = huge army, suraxaNa
karaH = the Protector, shoNi = red, bhavat = become, nayana = eyes, koNI = edges (koNah = corner),
jita = won (feared), ambunidhi = King of the ocean = Varuna, pANI = hands, Irita = submitted, arhaNa
= very valuable, maNI = gems or precious stones, shreNI = lines or collection, vR^ita = covered,
aN^ghriH = feet, vANIsha = husband of vANi (or Bharathi) = Mukhya Prana, sUnu = son; vANIsha
sUnu = Hanumantha and Jambuvanta (since Jambuvanta had the Avesha of brahma), vara vANI =
worthy speech, stutah = extolled, iha = in this earth, vijayate = excellent.


Sri Ramachandra, your shoulders and hands bear the scars of bearing a bow, arrows in a quiver and a
short dagger. You radiate with brilliance like an image of the sun. Or, the Sun is a good icon for your
worship. You were responsible for the protection of the Vanara sainya (army of monkeys) made up of
large monkeys that looked like a range of mountains. When you looked at the ocean with red eyes
(i.e., with anger), the king of the ocean, rushed to appease you and covered your feet with rare and
priceless gems. great devotees like Hanumanta and Jambuvanta extol you with worthy oration. Your
glory on this earth is endless.


If Lord Ramachandra had looked at the Ocean with real anger, then it would have obliterated the
ocean completely. As the nakhastuti says (“yadroshotkara daksha netra ….”) brahmas, rudras and
other gods are burnt to a cinder from the sparks of the flames arising out of the Lord’s eye. Hence, we
have to infer that the Lord only pretended to get angry. In any case, anger is a defect that He does not

At the time of the churning of the ocean, Varuna had offered his daugher Lakshmi to Narayana. So,
this was not the first time that the king of the ocean had offered a rare and priceless gem to the Lord!
In the previous verse it was said that the Lord crossed over to Lanka using the bridge built by the
vAnaras. Does this mean that He was dependent on this bridge and needed it to cross the ocean?
VadirAja answers that question in this verse. The bridge was basically the Lord providing the vAnaras
a way of serving Him; the actual passage across the ocean was created by the Lord’s fake anger. This
is line with what the taittarIya upanishad says “bhIShA.asmAdvAtaH pavate | bhIShodeti sUryaH |
bhIShA.asmAdagniShchendraShcha | mR^ityurdhAvati paJNchama iti|” (a loose translation would be
“from fear of It the wind blows, the sun rises, Agni, Indra and Death run”).

After meeting Hanumanta for the first time, Rama tells Lakshmana the fine qualities he observed in
Hanumanta’s speech and says that to talk like that one needs to be well versed in the Vedas and
Puranas. In the madhvanAma, SripAdarAja says “mukhadalli kinchid apa shabda evagillavendu ….”.
Vadiraja echoes this thought by using the phrase ‘vara vANi” to describe Hanumanta’s speech.

Interpreting “ravi pratima bhAH” as “brilliant like an image of the sun” is not very satisfactory
because the radiance of the sun is no match to that of the Lord. In the Gita His radiance has been
compared to a thousand suns. So, it makes sense to turn the words around and interpret this as “that
radiance for which the sun is a good pratima or icon”. This is more in line with our shastras because
there are several injunctions that ask us to use the sun as an icon for the Lord. This is what we do in
the gAyatri jApa; this is what the BhridAraNyaka, ChhAndogya and other upanishads prescribe.

Verse 20:
huN^kArapUrvamatha TaN^kAranAdamatipaN^kAvadhAryachalitA |
laN^kAshilochchayavishaN^kApatadbhidura shaN^kAsa yasya dhanuShaH |
laN^kAdhipo.amanuta yaM kAlarAtrimiva shaN^kAshatAkuladhiyA |
taM kAladaNDashatasaN^kAshakArmukasharAN^kAnvitaM bhaja harim.h || 20 ||

÷»arpUvRmw q»arnadmitp»avxayRcilta ,
l»aizlae½yivz»aptiÑÊr z»as ySy xnu;> ,
l»aixpae=mnut y< kalraiÇimv z»aztak…lixya ,
t< kald{fzts»azkamuRkzra»aiNvt< -j hirm! . 20.

q®ºN¯Š®w¯u®î®±ry®ºN¯î®u¯‡®±ÁX®ªq¯ |
ý®ºN¯š® ‡®±š®ã u®w®±Ç®» |
©ºN¯vÃyµ½°úî®±w®±q® ‡®±º N¯©Š¯räï±î®
ý®ºN¯ý®q¯N®±©vÇ®¾¯ |
q®º N¯©u®ºl®ý®q®š®ºN¯ý®N¯î®±
±ÁN®ý®Š¯ºN¯xæq®º „®c œ®‹º || 20 ||


huN^kAra pUrvam atha TaN^kAra nAdam ati paN^ka avadhArya chalitA

laN^kA shilochchaya vishaN^ka Apatat bhidura shaN^ka Asa yasya dhanuShaH
laN^ka adhipah amanuta yaM kAla rAtrimiva shaN^ka shata Akula dhiyA
taM kAla daNDa shata saN^kAsha kArmuka shara aN^ka anvitaM bhaja harim


atha yasya dhanuShaH huN^kAra pUrvam TaN^kAra nAdam avadhArya ati paN^ka laN^kA
shilochchaya vishaN^ka Apatat bhidura shaN^ka chalitA Asa
laN^ka adhipah shaN^ka shata Akula dhiyA yaM kAla rAtrimiva amanuta
taM kAla daNDa shata saN^kAsha kArmuka shara aN^ka anvitaM harim (he manaH) bhaja

Word-by-word meaning

atha = later (after that), yasya = whose, dhanuShah = bows, huN^kAra pUrvam = along with the
hunkAra (a sort of ferocious roar), TaN^kAra nAda = the sound ‘Tan’ (the ‘twang’ of a bow),
avadhArya = after listening, ati = excessively, paN^ka = sinful, laN^kA = city of lanka (and its patron
devata - laNkiNi), shilochchaya = on mountains (shila = rock, uchcha = tall), vishaN^ka = without any
doubt, Apatat = falling heavily, bhidura = Vajrayudha = thunderbolt (Indra's weapon), shaN^ka =
confusion or doubt, chalita = fearing or trembling, Asa = happened, laN^kAdhipah = king of Lanka =
Ravana, shan^kAshatAkuladhiyA = a mind afflicted by hundreds of doubts (shan^kA = doubt, shata =
infinite (normally, it would mean ‘hundred’, but in this context ‘infinite’ is more appropriate), Akula =
filled with or afflicted by, dhiyA = mind), yam = which, kAla rAtram = the Lord of Death, iva = as if,
amanuta = having thought, tam = that, kAla daNDa = yama’s sceptre, shata = hundred, saN^kAsha =
equal, kArmuka = bow, shara = arrows, aN^ka = marks, anvitaM = along with, harim.h = Sri Hari, (he
manaH = O Mind), bhaja = pray.


Hearing the ferocious HumkAra (roar) of Sri Rama, along with the twang of His bow, the citizens of
very sinful Lanka (and its patron deity Lankini) trembled with fear thinking that this was without
doubt the VajrAyudha which had fallen on the mountains. The mind of the king of Lanka (Ravana)
was afflicted and agitated with hundreds of doubts and worries. He thought Rama was the God of
Death himself. O mind, worship and pray to this incarnation of Hari who has bow and arrows equal to
an infinite number of Yama’s sceptres


It is interesting that Ravana got scared thinking that Rama was Yama, the Lord of Death, but Yama
himself thinks says that at the time of destruction, he is like a pickle or condiment to the Lord!
(“mR^ityuryasyopasechanaM ka itthA veda yatra saH” - death itself a condiment to Him.Who, then,
knows where He is?).

Verse 21:
dhImAnameyatanudhAmArtamaN^gaLadanAmA ramAkamalabhU
kAmAripannagapakAmAhivairigurusomAdivandyamahimA |
rAmAbhido harirabhaumAkR^itiH pratanasAmAdivedaviShayaH || 21 ||

xImanmeytnuxamatRm¼¦dnama rmakml-U
kamairpÚgpkamaihvEirguésaemaidvN*mihma ,
ramai-dae hirr-aEmak«it> àtnsamaidvediv;y> . 21.

S®¡®u®w¯î®¾¯ Š®î®¾¯N®î®±©„®²
°î®¾¯vu®ãî®±Ÿî®¾¯ |
¾¯cŠ¯î®o‹y®½ |
Š¯î®¾¯†Ãuµ²° œ®‹Š®„¹¯N®³r»
y®äq®w®š¯î®¾¯vîµ°u®ïÇ®‡®±» || 21 ||

dhImAn ameya tanudhAma Arta maN^gaLada nAmA ramA kamalabhU

kAmAri pannagapa kAmA ahivairi guru soma Adi vandya mahimA
sthema Adina apagata sIma avatAt sa khala sAmAja rAvaNa ripU
rAmAbhidah hariH abhauma AkR^itiH pratana sAma Adi veda viShayaH


dhImAn ameya tanu dhAma Arta maN^gaLada nAmA

ramA kamalabhU kAmAri pannagapa kAmA ahivairi guru soma Adi vandya mahimA
sthema Adina apagata sIma
sa khala sAmAja rAvaNa ripU
abhauma AkR^itiH pratana sAma Adi veda viShayaH
rAmAbhidah hariH avatAt

Word-by-word meaning

dhImAn = knowledgeable or wise (in the current context it means ‘Omniscient’ or All knowing),
ameya = immeasureable, tanu = beauty, dhAma = home (one having a charming body), Arta = those
who are in trouble, mangalada = provider of auspiciousness, nAmA = name, ramA = Laksmi,
kamalabhU = one born from lotus = Brahma, kAmAri = enemy of Cupid = Shiva, pannagapa = king of
snakes = Sesha, kAma = Manmatha, ahi = snake, also means VratAsura, vairi = enemy, ahi vairi =
Garuda (enemy of serpents) or Indra (enemy of VratAsura), guru = Brihaspathi, soma = Moon, Adi =
and others, vandya = saluted, mahima = greatness, sthema = stability, AdinA = and others, (here,
‘sthema AdinA’ means the activity of creation, sustenance, destruction etc), apagata = departed, sIma
= border (here ‘apagata sIma’ means ‘apAra’ or limitless), sa khala = along with or surrounded by vile
people, sAmAja = assembly, rAvaNa = Ravana, ripU = enemy, abhauma = aprAkruta = not made of
natural material, AkR^itiH = form, pratana = ancient, sAmAdi = sAma and others, veda = veda,
viShyaH = topic or objective, rAmAbhidah = having the name Sri Ramachandra, hariH = Sri Hari,
avatAt = (may He) protect.


Sri Ramachandra is omniscient (all knowing). He has a charming body with immeasureable beauty.
His name blesses troubled devotees with auspiciousness. Sri Lakshmi Devi, Brahma, Rudra, Shesha,
Kama (manmatha), Indra, Guru, Chandra and other gods worship Him incessantly. He is responsible
for Sustenance and other activities, and is infinite and beyond our grasp. He is limitless (i.e., there is
no limit to His capabilities). He killed the evil Ravana along with his vile assembly. He has an
aprAkruta form. He is the objective or topic of Sama and other ancient vedas. May this Sri Hari,
bearing the name of Rama, protect all of us.


Until the advent of Sri MadhvachArya, the Vedas had not been properly understood. Some people had
divided it into Karma kAnDa and gyAna kAnDa. Some attached more importance to Upanishads and
ignored the other parts. There was improper understanding of the PurANas too. Sri MadhvachArya
was the first AchArya to point out that every word and every sound occuring in this world is actually a
name of the Lord. He gave references to prove that Vishnu pervades throughout all Agamas. He also
showed that the only route to understanding Him is sat-shastras like Vedas (and brahmasUtras), MUla-
rAmAyaNa, bhArata, pancharAtra and sAtvik purANas like bhAgavata (“sadAgamaika vij~neyaM
samtItaksharAxaram” Vishnutattva Vinirnayana). VadirAja echoes this sentiment with ‘sAma Adi
veda viShayaH’.

‘Arta mangaLada’ is a reference to the many acts of mercy and kindness that Lord Ramachandra
performed throughout His glorious life. Vadiraja cites the saving of Ahalya, the granting of liberation
to Shabari and jatAyu, the emancipation of VibhIshana as examples.

Vadiraja reminds us that even the name of Lord Ramachandra is auspicious (‘mangaLada nAma’).
The powerful potency of rAma nAma is attested to by our sacred literature (for example “shrI rAma
rAma rAmeti …” ). This is also called the ‘tAraka mantra’ and is constantly recited by Lord Shiva.
There are hundreds of haridAsa songs which extol the glory of rAma nAma.

This verse is very fascinating because it uses epithets that can be interchangeably used, leading to new
and absorbing combinations. Let us take ‘pratana’ as an example. It was applied to ‘sAmAdi’ in the
translation, but some of the other combinations possible are:
- (he) pratana : similar to ‘Adya’ that VadirAja has used before
- pratana dhImAn: like the ‘Adi kavaye’ in the mangalAcharana shloka of the bhAgavata
- veda pratana viShayah : the topic of vedas and all scriptures from times immemorial.
- rAvaNa pratana ripu: the timeless foe of vile and wicked people (the generic meaning of Ravana is
anybody who makes others cry)

We can do similar combinations with other words like ‘dhImAn’, ‘abhauma’, ‘ameya’, ‘vandya’ etc.
For example ‘ dhImAn viShayah’ means that He is the topic worthy of contemplation by the wise i.e.,
He is the object of enquiry in Brahma mImAmsa. But He is also ‘ameya viShayah’ i.e, somebody who
cannot be understood completely. He is ‘veda vandya’ and ‘dhIman vandya’ as well. On similar lines,
‘rama kamalabhU …soma Adi’ was used with ‘vandya’ to illustrate the supremacy of the Lord, but if
you attach it with ‘mangalada nAma’ then you get an entirely new meaning i.e., ‘Rama’, ‘kamalabhu’
etc are not merely the names of those deities, they are all His names and each of them is equally
auspicious. This is an illustration of ‘sarva-shabdha vAchatva’.

The above examples have been provided as an illustration but readers are welcome to expand on this
and derive their own combinations.

Verse 22:
This is the last verse on the RAmAvatAra.
doShAtmabhUvashaturAShADatikramajaroShAtmabhartR^ivachasA |
pAShANabhUtamuniyoShAvarAtmatanuveShAdidAyicharaNaH |
naiShAdayoShidashubheShAkR^idaNDajanidoShAcharAdishubhado |
doShAgrajanmamR^itishoShApaho.avatu sudoShAN^ghrijAtahananAt.h || 22 ||

dae;aTm-Uvztura;afit³mjrae;aTm-t&Rvcsa ,
pa;a[-Utmuinyae;avraTmtnuve;aiddaiycr[> ,
nE;adyaei;dzu-e;ak«d{fjindae;acraidzu-dae ,
dae;a¢jNmm&itzae;aphae=vtu sudae;a'œiºjathnnat! . 22.

ǯq®â„®q®Á³î®X®š¯ |
„µ°Ç¯N®³u®oÛcxuµ²°Ç¯X®Š¯vý®±„®uµ²° |
š®±uµ²°Ç¯ºVäb¯q®œ®w®w¯q¬ || 22 ||

doShA AtmabhU vasha turAShAT atikramaja roSha Atma bhartR^i vachasA

pAShANa bhUta muniyoShA vara Atma tanuveShAdi dAyi charaNaH
naiShAda yoShit ashubheShAkR^it aNDajani doShAcharA Adi shubhadah
doShA agrajanma mR^iti shoSha apahah avatu sudoShA aN^ghri jAta hananAt.h


doShA AtmabhU vasha turAShAT atikramaja roSha Atma bhartR^i vachasA

pAShANa bhUta muniyoShA vara Atma tanuveShAdi dAyi charaNaH
naiShAda yoShit ashubheShAkR^it aNDajani doShAcharA Adi shubhadah
doShA sudoShA aN^ghri jAta hananAt.h agrajanma mR^iti shoSha apahah (mAm) avatu

Word-by-word meaning

doShA = (during) night time, AtmabhUvasha = under the influence of Cupid or lust (AtmabhU =
Manmatha or Cupid, vasha = under the influence), turAShAT = Indra (turA = yagna, shata = hundred),
atikrama = violation, ja = arising from, rosha = anger, Atma BhartR^i = her husband (Gautama),
vachasa = (through) words or curse, pAShANabhUta = becoming a rock, muni yoSha = wife of ascetic
= ahalya, vara = worthy or venerable, Atma tanu = previous body (birth), veshAdi = clothing,
ornaments and other things, dAyi = giver, charaNaH = feet, naiShAdha yoShit = tribal woman =
Shabari, ashubheShakR^it = eating foul and inauspicious things (ashubha = four or inauspicious,
ashaNa = feeding), aNDajani = born from an egg = bird = Jatayu, doShAchara = nishAchara = one
travelling in the night = a demon or goblin, (here the reference is to VibhIshaNa, who was a rAkshAsa
by birth like Ravana), Adi = and others, shubhadah = granter of auspiciousness, doShA = through his
own hands (tritIya vibhakti or instrumental case of doh - shoulders or hands), sudoShA = being full of
many defects, aN^ghri jAta = one born from the feet = shUdra (here, the reference is to the shUdra
ascetic Shambuka), hananAt.h = by killing, agra janma = one born first (from God) = Brahmin, mR^iti
= (sorrow due to) death, shoSha = drying up, apahah = one who stole (here, ‘one who destroyed’ may
be more appropriate), (rAmaH = Sri Ramachandra maM = myself), avatu = protect.


Under the influence of Manmatha, Indra violated Ahalya in the night. Angered by this, her husband
saint Gautama, cursed her to become a rock. Rama’s feet restored her back to her original form, along
with clothing, ornaments and other things. He granted all good and auspicious things to the tribal
woman Shabari, the bird doing impure acts (like eating corpses) Jatayu and the rAkshAsa VibhIshana.
However, with His own hands He punished the ShUdra who was full of many defects. He removed the
sorrow generated due to the death of the Brahmana's son. May this Rama protect me.


The ‘ahalya’ incident has to be understood properly. Indra is the leader of the devatas and an aparoxa-
gyAni. He is an indriyAbhimani devata with a fairly high position in the hierarchy and is in fact at the
same level as Manmatha. He to shatakratuh i.e., one who performed a hundred yAgas to attain the
position of Devendra. He is very dear to the Lord, and has been rescued by Him a zillion times. He is
the subject of secondary praise from many vedic verses and sUktas (the term ‘secondary’ is used
because even though the verses say Indra directly, the primary 'Indra’ is Lord VishNu Himself). He is
even extolled in the Vedas as ‘ahalya jAra’. His actions have to be viewed in this light. AchArya
Madhva has made it very clear in the bhAgavata tAtparya nirNaya that humans owe a lot to devatas
for the help they render in our spiritual progress and that this debt can never be repaid even in moksha.

It is part of the Lord’s system of checks and balances that when a jIva accumulates punya or merit in
excess of its intrinsic worth, He arranges for this merit to be reduced. The usual method of effecting
this is by having the jIva commit an injustice towards a higher jIva (like slighting or cursing). This
was exactly what happened with Gautama. He ended up losing his excess merit by cursing Indra. So
what Indra did was in accordance with Divine will and not under the influence of lust. VadirAja hints
at this by using the word ‘AtmabhU vasha’. ‘AtmabhU’ like ‘svayambhU’ is primarily the Lord’s
name. After ahalya’s prArabda karma was over, the Lord’s feet touched her and brought her back to
her original status. In addition, she became one of the 5 maha pativratas whose recollection can reduce
our sins. Such is the merit that the Lord’s feet can bestow!

Jatayu was a hawk that used to feed on other birds, corpses, vermin and other inauspicious stuff. Yet,
because of its bravery in trying to stop Ravana from kidnapping Sita, the Lord performed its last rites
and granted it salvation. Shabhari was an illiterate tribal woman. Yet her steadfastness in wanting to
feed the Lord only the choicest of fruits earned her His grace. Ravana, VibhIshana, Kumbhakarna
were considered to be RakshasAs even though their father was a brahmin ascetic. Rama ignored
VibhIshana’s background and rewarded him for his steadfast commitment to truth and justice.

AchArya Madhva has provided more details of the incident involving the Shudra sanyAsi in the
MBTN (9th AdhyAya, verses 19 to 21). When Rama was ruling Ayodhya, an asura (janghA) got a
boon of invincibility from Parvathi. He was born as a ShUdra. He did penance with the intention of
getting the post of Rudra, and then using this power to destroy the world. Since this was against
dharma, a Brahmin’s died. Rama killed the shUdra sanyAsi and brought the child back to life.

This ends the dashAvatara stuti portion on Lord Ramachandra.

rAghava rAghava rAxasa shatro mArutivallabha jAnakikA.nta |

kharataranishicharadahana parAmR^ita raghuvara mAnada bhava mama sharaNam.h ||

Verse 23:
vR^indAvanasthapashuvR^indAvanaM vinutavR^indArakaikasharaNam.h |
nandAtmajaM nihatanindAkR^idAsurajanaM dAmabaddhajaTharam.h |
vandAmahe vayamamandAvadAtaruchimandAxakArivadanam.h |
kundAlidantamuta kandAsitaprabhatanuM dAvarAxasaharam.h || 23 ||

v&NdavnSwpzuv&Ndavn< ivnutv&NdarkEkzr[m! ,
nNdaTmj< inhtinNdak«dasurjn< dambÏjQrm! ,
vNdamhe vymmNdavdatéicmNda]kairvdnm! ,
k…NdaildNtmut kNdaistà-tnu< davra]shrm! . 23.

ïw®±q®î®³ºu¯Š®Nµ¶N®ý®Š®oº |
w®ºu¯q®âcº xœ®q®xºu¯N®³u¯š®±Š®cw®º
u¯î®±…u®Ücj®Š®º |
u®w®º |
u¯î®Š¯£®š®œ®Š®º || 23 ||

vR^indAvanastha pashuvR^inda avanaM vinuta vR^indAraka ekasharaNam.h |

nandAtmajaM nihata nindAkR^it AsurajanaM dAma baddha jaTharam.h |
vandAmahe vayam amanda avadAta ruchi mandAxakAri vadanam.h |
kunda ali dantam uta kanda asita prabha tanuM dAva rAxasaharam.h || 23||


vR^indAvanastha pashu vR^indAvanaM vinuta vR^indAraka ekasharaNam.h

nihata nindAkR^it AsurajanaM dAma baddha jaTharam.h
amanda avadAta ruchi mandAxakAri vadanam.h
kunda ali dantam
kanda asita prabha tanuM
dAva rAxasaharam.h, nandAtmajaM uta vayam vandAmahe

Word-by-word meaning

vR^indAvanastha = the one living in Vrindavana, pashu = animals (here, the reference is to cows),
vR^inda = groups, avanaM = protector, vinuta = revered, vR^indAraka = gods or deities, eka
sharaNam.h = chief shelter, nihata = killed, ninda akR^it = those who criticise, AsurajanaM = demons,
dAma = rope, baddha = tied, jaTharam.h = stomach, amanda = profuse or excessive, avadAta =
beautiful, pure or spotless, ruchi = lustre, the resplendent moon shining with pure and unlimited lustre,
mandAxakAri = putting to shame, vadanam.h = face, kunda = jasmine, ali = groups, dantam = teeth,
kanda = clouds (kam = water, da = to give), asita = dark colored, prabha = lustrous, tanuM = body,
dAva = living in the forest, rAxasa haram = killer of demons, nandAtmajaM = the son of Nanda =
Krishna, uta = again, vayam = we, vandAmahe = salute or pray.


Sri Vadiraja starts his prayer to Lord Krishna with this verse, and continues for 8 more verses.

Sri Krishna was the protector of groups of cows living in Vrindavana. He is also the chief shelter for
even revered gods. He destroyed demons (asuras) who were verbally abusing Him, devatas and other
sAtvik souls. His stomach is bound by a rope (that is one of the reasons why He has been called
'dAmodara'). His face puts to shame even a fully resplendent moon shining with pure and unlimited
lustre. His teeth are more beautiful than rows of jasmine flowers. He has a lustrous blue body that is
more charming than black clouds filled with water. He killed all the demons living in the forest. Let us
all salute again with devotion this son of Nanda Gopa.


The word ‘ekasharaNam’ needs some elaboration. To begin with, ‘eka’ is used in the sense of ‘Chief’,
or ‘Primary’. This is because there are other protectors that a jIva needs to pay obeisance to,
depending on its position in the hierarchy. The higher the position the lower the number of protectors.
The following verse from MBTN (2.162) sums it up nicely for the senior gods:

balamindrasya girisho girishasya balam marut balam tasya harissAkshAt naharerbalam anyatah
[The strength of Indra is girisha (rudra), girishA's strength is marut (vAyu). vAyu's strength is hari
Himself. hari derives His strength from nobody.]

For ordinary human beings, the chain begins at a much lower level, with the tattvAbhimAni devatas
and ending with Lord Hari. The word ‘eka’ also needs to be understood as ‘Independent’; while there
may be other intermediate protectors, the Lord is the sole Independent protector.

Another implication of ‘ekasharaNam’ is that He is the sole source for everything (what we would call
as a ‘one-stop shop’ in common parlance). This includes the 8-fold activities associated with the
Universe - Creation, Sustenance, Management, Destruction, Providing ignorance, bondage, knowledge
and liberation. In addition, He is the source for even ordinary acts like remembering, forgetting,
getting inspiration etc.

When Krishna was growing up in the forests of Vrindavana and Gokula, Kamsa sent a lot of rakshasas
and demons to kill him. Krishna and Balarama killed all of them. ‘dAva rAxasaharam.h’ is a reference
to this. More details can be obtained from the BhAgavata (or the Sri Krishna ashThottara stotra).

Verse 24:
gopAlakotsavakR^itApArabhaxyarasasUpAnnalopakupitA |
shApAlayApitalayApAmbudAlisalilApAyadhAritagire |
svApAN^gadarshanaja tApAN^garAgayutagopAN^ganAMshukahR^iti
vyApArashauNDa vividhApAyatastvamava gopArijAtaharaNa || 24 ||
gaepalkaeTsvk«tapar-úyrssUpaÚlaepk…ipta ,
zapalyaiptlyapaMbudailsillapayxairtigre ,
Svapa¼dzRnj tapa¼ragyutgaepa¼na<zukùit-
VyaparzaE{f ivivxapaytSTvmv gaepairjathr[ . 24.

®²y¯w®ÝŒµ²°y®N®±zq¯ |
±u¯ªš®ªŒ¯y¯‡®±u¯‹q®TŠµ° |
š¯æy¯ºS®u®ý®Áw®c q¯y¯ºS®Š¯S®‡®±
î¯ãy¯Š®ý¹ºl® ïïu¯y¯‡®±q®š®ÙÉæî®±î®
Sµ²°y¯‹b¯q®œ®Š®o || 24 ||

gopAlaka utsava kR^ita apAra bhaxya, rasa sUpa anna lopa kupita
AshApAla yApita layApa aMbuda ali salila apAya dhAritagire
sva apAN^ga darshanaja tApa aN^garAgayuta gopAN^gana aMshuka hR^iti
vyApAra shauNDa vividha apAyataH
tvam (mam), ava gopArijAta haraNa [gopa ari jAta harana]


gopAlaka utsava kR^ita apAra bhaxya rasa sUpa anna lopa kupita AshApAla yApita laya Apa
aMbuda ali salila apAya dhAritagire
sva apAN^ga darshanaja tApa rAga yuta aN^ga gopAN^gana aMshuka hR^iti vyApAra shauNDa
gopArijAta haraNa [gopa arijAta harana]
tvam (maM) vividha apAyataH ava.

Word-by-word meaning:

gopAlaka = cowherds, utsava = festival (Indra's yaga), kR^ita = done, apAra = large amounts, bhaxya
= special sweets, rasa = pAyasa (‘kheer’ in Hindi), sUpa = tovve (dish made out of tUr dAl), anna =
cooked rice, lopa = loss, kupita = angered, AshApAla = digpAla = a deity guarding one of the eight
cardinal directions = Indra, yApita = sent, layApa = excessive water (like the amount of water present
during the extinction of the world), aMbuda = clouds, ali = group, salila = water, apAya = to ward off,
dhArita gire = lifted mountain, sva apAN^ga = a side-glance from one’s eyes (apAN^ga = crooked
glance from the corner of the eye), darshanaja = generated by mere sight, tApa = torment, rAga yuta
aN^ga = perfumed body, gopAN^gana = gopikas (female cowherds), aMshuka hR^iti = stealing of
clothes (aMshuka = garment), vyApAra = activity, shauNDa = expert,
gopArijAta haraNa can be interpreted in 2 ways, depending on the split:
- stealer of heavenly pArijAta (go = heaven, pArijAta = pArijAta flower, haraNa = stealing)
- destroyer of clans enemical to cowherds (gopa = cowherds, ari = enemy, jAta = clan, harana =
tvam = you, (maM = myself), vividha = various, apAyataH = from dangers, ava = protect.

O Lord Krishna, you lifted the GovardhAna mountain to ward off the excessive water generated by the
groups of clouds sent by Indra, angered by the loss of large amounts of special sweets, pAyasa, tovve
and cooked rice, prepared by the cowherds for Indra's yaga. You are an expert in the activity of
stealing clothes of the gopikAs, with perfumed bodies, who were tormented by the heat of love by
merely looking at you through sidelong glances. You destroyed the clan of enemies of the cowherds.
You “stole” the heavenly pArijAta flower. Please protect me from various dangers.


Nanda and his band of cowherds depended on cows for their livelihood. These cows grazed on grass,
which was dependent on rain. The cowherds used to perform an annual puja to Indra so that he would
send lot of rain. Krishna suggested that they perform the same worship to the Govardhana mountain.
When the cowherds did this, Krishna received their offerings from within the mountain. Indra was
angry that his puja had been stopped, and deluged the cowherds with huge amounts of rains. It looked
as if the whole world was coming to an end. Normally, the gods never go against the Lord or His
devotees. But in this particular instance, Indra came under an evil influence (asurAvesha) and acted
contrary to his sAtvik nature. Krishna was not perturbed by the rain at all. He lifted the Govardhana
mountain with His little finger and held it up like an umbrella. The cowherds and the cows sought
refuge under it and protected themselves from the deluge. This continued for seven days and nights.
Then Indra realized the enormity of his sin and repented sincerely. He came down and begged Krishna
to forgive him.

NarakAsura had stolen the earrings of aditi, the mother of Indra and other Adityas (including
Vamana). After killing NarakAsura, Krishna went to heaven along with SatyabhAma and returned the
earrings to aditi. There, SatyabhAma was enamored by the heavenly pArijAta tree and wanted to have
it in her palace on earth. Accordingly, Krishna took the tree back with Him to earth. Indra and other
gods came under asurAvesha and opposed this. They forgot that the Lord was the real owner of
everything and that He had given them their positions and their wealth. They attacked Krishna,
accusing Him of having stolen the tree. Krishna sported with them for a while and then defeated them
thoroughly. Once the asurAvesha was over, they realized their mistake and sought Krishna’s pardon.

Verse 25:
kaMsAdikAsadavataMsAvanIpativihiMsAkR^itAtmajanuSham.h |
saMsArabhUtamiha saMsArabaddhamanasaM sArachitsukhatanum.h |
saMsAdhayantamanishaM sAttvikavrajamahaM sAdaraM bata bhaje |
haMsAditApasariraMsAspadaM paramahaMsAdivandyacharaNam.h || 25 ||

k<saidkasdvt<savnIpitivih<sak«taTmjnu;m! ,
s<sar-Utimh s<sarbÏmns< saricTsuotnum! ,
s<saxyNtminz< saiÅvkìjmh< sadr< bt -je ,
h<saidtapsirr<saSpd< prmh<saidvN*cr[m! . 25.
cw®±Ç®º |
š®ºš¯Š®„®²q®ï±œ® š®ºš¯Š®…
u®Üî®±w®š®º š¯Š®Yq®±éQq®w®±î®¾¬ |
š¯ræN®î®äcî®±œ®º š¯u®Š®º …q® „®bµ° |
y®Š®î®±œ®ºš¯vu®ãX®Š®o¬ || 25 ||

kaMsa Adika asat avataMsa avanIpati vihiMsA kR^ita Atma januSham.h

saM sArabhUtam iha saMsAra baddhamanasaM sAra chit sukha tanum.h
saM sAdhayantam anishaM sAttvika vrajam ahaM sAdaraM bata bhaje
haMsa Adi tApasa riraMsa AspadaM paramahaMsa Adi vandya charaNam.h


iha kaMsAdika asat avataMsA avanIpati vihiMsa kR^ita Atma januSham.h

saM sAra bhUtam
saMsAra baddha manasaM
sAttvika vrjaM sAra chit sukha tanum.h saM sAdhayantam
haMsa Adi tApasa riraMsAspadaM
paramahaMsa Adi vandya charaNaM
ahaM anishaM sa AdaraM bata bhaje

Word-by-word meaning:

iha = here (in this world), kaMsAdika = kamsA and others like him, asat avataMsA = dushTa
shikhAmaNi = leaders in vile qualities (vatasMsa = avataMsa = crest or crown-jewel), avanIpati =
kings, vihiMsa = for troubling or destroying, kR^ita = done, Atma januSham.h = incarnation, saM
sAra bhUtam = one who is the quintessence of good qualities = Sarvottama, saMsAra = householders
(great devotees), baddha = bound or installed, manasaM = in the mind,

saMsArabaddhamanasaM can be interpreted in two ways:

- one who is installed in the minds of His devotees or
- one whose mind is bound with goodwill for His devotees,

sAttvika vrjaM = groups of good people, sAra chit sukha tanum.h = having a body made up of bliss
and knowledge, saM sAdhayantam = making possible, haMsa Adi tApasa = for great saints like
Hamsa (and others like paramahamsa, kuTichaka, bahUdaka etc), riraMsa = raMtuM ichCha = desire
to play, AspadaM = ground, riraMsAspadaM = pleasure ground, paramahaMsa Adi = great saints like
Sanaka, Sanandana and others, (paramahamsa also means brahma and vAyu), vandya charaNaM =
One whose feet is worshipped with devotion, anishaM = without interuption, sa AdaraM = with
devotion, ahaM = myself, bata = Aha (an expression of happiness or pleasure), bhaje = extol and

Krishna incarnated to destroy leaders in vile qualities like kamsA and other evil kings. He is
Sarvottama, the quintessence of good qualities. He is installed in the minds of His devotees and His
mind is full of goodwill for His devotees. To groups of good people, He grants bodies made up of bliss
and knowledge i.e., He grants liberation. He is the object of contemplation and pleasure for great
hermits like hamsa and others. His divine feet are worshipped by very noble saints like Sanaka,
Sanandana and others. With great devotion and happiness, and without interruption, I worship and
extol Him.


There are 4 gradations in asceticism – bahUdaka, kuTichaka, hamsa and paramahamsa. The last one is
the highest and used only in conjunction with very great saints.

The words “saM sAra bhUtam” and “saMsAra baddha manasaM” were interpreted independently and
applied to the Lord. They can also be taken as adjectives that qualify “sAttvika vrjaM” and applied to
devotees. In which case, the translation would become “The Lord grants bodies made up of bliss and
knowledge to good devotees, who have instilled in their mind devotion towards the supreme Lord”.

Verse 26:
rAjIvanetra vidurAjIva mAmavatu rAjIvaketanavasham.h |
vAjIbhapattinR^iparAjIrathAnvitajarAjIvagarvashamana |
vAjIshavAha sitavAjIsha daityatanuvAjIshabhedakaradoH |
jAjIkadambanavarAjIvamukhyasumarAjIsuvAsitashiraH || 26 ||

rajIvneÇ ivÊrajIv mamvtu rajIvketnvzm! ,

vajI-piÄn&prajIrwaiNvtjrajIvgvRzmn ,
vajIzvah istvajIz dETytnuvajIz-edkrdae> ,
jajIkdMbnvrajIvmuOysumrajIsuvaistizr> . 26.

Š¯d°î®wµ°q®ä ïu®±Š¯d°î® ¯î®±î®q®±

Š¯d°î®Nµ°q®w®î®ý®º |
®Áý®î®±w® |
î¯d°ý®î¯œ® ›q®î¯d°ý®
uµ¶q®ãq®w®±î¯d°ý®„µ°u®N®Š®uµ²°» |
±Qãš®±î®±Š¯d°š®±î¯›q®þŠ®» || 26 ||

rAjIva netra vidura (or viduH) AjIva mAM avatu rAjIva ketana vasham.h
vAji ibha patti nR^ipa rAjI ratha anvita jarAjIva garvashamana
vAjIsha vAha sitavAjIsha daitya tanu vAjIsha bheda kara doH
jAjI kadamba navarAjIva mukhya suma rAjI suvAsita shiraH


rAjIva netra
vidura (or viduH) AjIva
vAji ibha patti nR^ipa rAjI ratha anvita jara AjIva garvashmana
vAjIsha vAha
sita vAji Isha
daitya tanu vAjIsha bheda kara doH
jAjI kadaMba navarAjIva mukhya suma rAjI suvAsitah shiraH
rAjIva ketana vasham.h maM avatu.

Word-by-word meaning:

rAjIva netra = lotus eyed, vidura = Vidura (uncle of Pandavas), viduH = learned, AjIva = the
protector, vAjI = horses, ibha = elephants, patti = foot soldiers, nR^ipa rAjI = armies of groups of
kings, ratha = chariots, anvita = along with, jara AjIva = the one protected by jara = jarAsanda,
garvashamana = quelling the arrogance, vAjIsha vAha = Narayana [vAja = wing or feather, vAji =
one having vAja = bird, vAjIsha = Garuda, vAha = carried by], sita vAji = Arjuna (sita = white, vAji =
horse), Isha = Lord; sitavAjIsha = Krishna = Lord of one who has white horses, daitya tanu vAjIsha =
Keshi = a demon who took on the body of a giant horse, bheda kara doH = shoulders that destroyed
[doH = shoulders], jAjI = jasmine, kadaMba = flower Kadamba, navarAjIva = a freshly blossomed
lotus, mukhya = and so on, suma rAjI = other fragrant flowers, suvAsitah shiraH = head that has been
made fragrant, rAjIva ketana = one who has the Moon as his emblem = Cupid, vasham.h = captivated
or immersed in, maM = myself, avatu = protect.


O lotus-eyed Krishna, you are the protector of Vidura (and other gyAnis). You quelled the arrogance
of jarAsandha who had the backing of groups of other kings and their armies consisting of horses,
elephants and foot soldiers. Garuda, the king of birds, is your vehicle. You are the lord of Arjuna, who
has a chariot of white horses. You destroyed the demon Keshi, who took on the body of a giant horse.
Your hair is fragrant with the perfume of freshly blossomed lotus, jasmine and other fragrant flowers.
Please rescue me, who is in the clutches of Cupid.


kamsa was Jarasanda’s son-in-law. When kamsa was killed by Krishna, Jarasanda was furious and
wanted retribution. He attacked the capital of the Yadavas (Mathura, and later, Dwarka) many times,
each time with a powerful army. He lost every single time and had to return burning with anger and
humiliation. Krishna did not kill him, because He wanted that honor to go to His favorite devotee

Arjuna’s chariot had white horses, symbolizing purity and righteousness. That is why he is known as
'Shwetha Vahana' . Since Hanuman was present in Arjuna’s emblem on the chariot, Arjuna is also
called “kapi dhwaja”.

Krishna destroyed the demon called 'Keshi' who came in the form of horse by putting His hand inside
the horse’s mouth and blocking its breathing.

“rAjIva ketana vasham.h” needs some elaboration. Of course, the initial explanation would be that
Vadiraja has included this only for the sake of ordinary humans and not for himself. But, is that all?
Stopping at this explanation would deprive us of some complex concepts, so let us go beyond that. To
begin with, one needs understand who this manmatha is, and the role played by him in our lives.
ManmAtha is very unique because he is the only jIva who has the great honor of being the son of the
Lord, Chaturmukha Brahma and Rudra! His three different forms – manmatha, sanatkumAra,
subrahmanya – are considered to be the sons of the Lord, Brahma and Rudra respectively.
Incidentally, the Lord took an incarnation called sanatkumara just to teach the correct meaning of the
scriptures to this sanatkumAra. In the Chhandogya-upanishad there is an entire chapter devoted to the
conversation between Narada and SanatkumAra. So, all said and done, manmatha/sanatkumAra/
subrahmanya is a very senior celestial being. He occupies the eighth position in the hierarchy and
regulates our desires and wishes.

Desires and wishes can be classified as good and bad. Wanting to serve the Lord and His devotees,
desiring to learn shAstra, wanting to chant His name etc, are all examples of sat-kAmane (good
desires). Aspiring for somebody else’s possessions, or wanting to do things that are forbidden etc. are
examples of dush-kAmane or bad desires. Manmatha and other higher gods are the abhimAni devatas
(patron deities) for sat-kAmanes, whereas kAlanemi and other asuras are the instigators for our dush-
kAmanes. Good desires are to be cultivated and enhanced. They aid in the spiritual progress of the
jIva. Bad desires have to be severely regulated and nipped in the bud. When viewed in this light, being
under the influence of manmatha isn’t such a bad thing after all!

One final question remains – how could such a great ascetic and an inherently superior soul like
VadirAja be in the clutches of ‘rAjIva ketana’? This is answered if we understand the true and yogic
meaning of these words. Without great difficulty it can be shown that rAjIva (Lotus) ketana (abode) is
one who is the abode of the Lotus called brahmAnDa i.e., the one who is known as PadmanAbha. We
can also show that rAjIva (Elephant) ketana (summon) is one who was summoned by the elephant (in
its distress) i.e., the one who did Gajendra moksha. If ‘rAjIva ketana’ is defined in this manner, then
everybody including Lakshmi, Brahma, Vayu would be in His grip!

Verse 27:
kAlIhR^idAvasathakAlIyakuNDalipakAlIsthapAdanakharA |
vyAlInavAMshukaravAlIgaNAruNitakAlIruche jaya jaya |
chUlIkagopamahilAlItanUghusR^iNadhUlIkaNAN^kahR^idaya || 27 ||

kalIùdavswkalIyk…{filpkalISwpadnora ,
VyalInva<zukrvalIg[aéi[tkalIéce jy jy ,
cUlIkgaepmihlalItnU"us&[xUlIk[a»ùdy . 27.

Úy¯u®w®QŠ¯ |
Xµ° c‡®± c‡®± |
²ª°N®n¯ºN®œ®³u®‡®± || 27 ||

kAlI hR^ida avasatha kAlIya kuNDalipa kAlIstha pAdanakhara

avi AlI navAMshu karavAlI gaNa aruNita kAlIruche jaya jaya
kelIlava apahR^ita kAlIsha datta vara nAlIka dR^ipta diti bhU
chUlIka gopa mahilAlI tanU ghusR^iNa dhUlIkaNAN^ka hR^idaya


kAlI hR^ida avasatha kAlIya kuNDalipa kAlI stha pAda nakhara

avi AlI navAmshu karavAli gaNa aruNita kAlI Yamuna ruche
kelIlava apahR^ita kAlisha datta vara nAlIka dR^ipta diti bhu chUlIka
gopa mahila AlI tanU ghusR^iNa dhUlI kaNAN^ka hR^idaya jaya jaya

Word-by-word meaning:

kAlI = Yamuna river, hR^ida = in the middle (or depths), avasatha = living, kAlIya kuNDalipa =
Serpent king called Kaliya [kuNDali = serpent], ka = head (or in this case, hood), AlI = group, stha =
established, pAda nakhara = toe nails, avi = Sun, AlI = groups, navAmshu = new sparkles, karavAli
= swords, gaNa = groups, aruNita = reddened, kAlI = river Yamuna, ruche = lustre, kelIlava = with
little mischief or sport [keli = mischief or sport, lava = tiny fragment], apahR^ita = stolen, kAlisha =
the husband of Parvathi = Rudra (kAli = pArvati), datta = given, vara = boon, nAlIka = na alIka =
lovable or desirable (alIka = dislike), dR^ipta = swollen, diti bhu = sons of diti = demons, chUlIka =
heads or crests, gopa mahila AlI = groups of Gopika ladies, tanU = body, ghusR^iNa = fragrance or
perfume, dhUlI = dust, kaNAN^ka = small particles, hR^idaya = chest, jaya jaya = victory to Him
(i.e., His exploits captivate the entire world).


The serpent king kAliya lived in the deep waters of the Yamuna river. When Krishna danced on his
hoods His red foot nails, which looked like groups of suns, emitted sharp and fresh sparkle which
pierced the waters of the Yamuna like groups of swords, and added a red lustre to them. With very
little effort, Krishna beheaded the demons, who had become arrogant by Shiva’s sought-after boons
(of invincibility). His chest was fragrant from the particles of perfume that the Gopikas had applied to
their bodies. His great exploits captivated the entire world.


Many evil demons had obtained boons from Rudra. These boons were highly desirable since they
conferred invincibility, protection from death etc. Since the demons were protected by these boons,
nobody could defeat them, making them very arrogant and cocky. But these boons could not protect
them against Krishna, the Supreme Lord, and so He was able to kill them with very little effort.

As we all know, Krishna had eight prime queens – Rukmini, SatyabhAma, nIla, Mitravinda, kALindi,
bhadra, jAmbuvati and laxaNa. Rukmini and SatyabhAma are incarnations of Lakshmi, so they are
considered separately. The remaining six queens are collectively called ‘Shhan mahishi’. They occupy
the sixth position in tAratamya (hierarchy of gods)
‘kAli’ was interpreted as the Yamuna river even though it is a tributary and not the main river itself.
Given that ‘kALindi’ is one of the Shhan-mahishis, we can intrepret ‘kAlI hR^ida avasatha’ as the one
who was (and is) enshrined in the heart of kAlindi (and other Shhan-mahishis). This is much more
meaningful because you now get to associate ‘kAlI hR^ida avasatha’ with the Lord instead of some
snake, and as an added bonus get to do smaraNe of the Shhan-mahishis.

Verse 28:
kR^iShNAdipANDusutakR^iShNAmanaHprachuratR^iShNAsutR^iptikaravAk.h |
kR^iShNAN^kapAlirata kR^iShNAbhidhAghahara kR^iShNAdiShaNmahiLa bhoH |
puShNAtu mAmajita niShNAtavArdhimudanuShNAMshumaNDala hare |
jiShNo girIndradhara viShNo vR^iShAvaraja dhR^iShNo bhavAnkaruNayA || 28 ||

k«:[aidpa{fusutk«:[amn>àcurt&:[asut&iÝkrvakœ ,
k«:[a»pailrt k«:[ai-xa"hr k«:[aid;{mih¦ -ae> ,
pu:[atu mamijt in:[atvaixRmudnu:[a<zum{fl hre ,
ij:[ae igrINÔxr iv:[ae v&;avrj x&:[ae -vaNké[ya . 28.

±Š®q®³Ç¯Øš®±q®³zÙN®Š®î¯N¬ |
N®³Ç¯ØºN®y¯ªŠ®q® N®³Ç¯Ø†Ãu¯U®œ®Š®
N®³Ç¯ØvÇ®o⟡® „µ²°» |
y®¼Ç¯Øq®± ¯î®±dq® xǯØq®î¯vÃÁî®±
±u®w®±Ç¯Øºý®±î®±ºl®© œ®Šµ° |
dǵ²Ø° T‹°ºu®äu®Š® ïǵ²Ø° ǯ®c
u®³Çµ²Ø° „®î¯w¬ N®Š®±o‡®¾¯ || 28 ||

kR^iShNa Adi pANDusuta kR^iShNA manaH prachura tR^iShNA sutR^iptikara vAk.h

kR^iShNa aN^ka pAli rata kR^iShNa abhidha aghahara kR^iShNA Adi ShaNmahiLa bhoH
puShNAtu mAmajita niShNAta vArdhimud anuShNAMshumaNDala hare
jiShNo girIndradhara viShNo vR^iSha avaraja dhR^iShNo bhavAn karuNayA


kR^iShNa Adi pANDusuta kR^iShNA manaH prachura tR^iShNA sutruptikara vAk.h

kR^iShNa aN^ka pAli rata or kR^iShNa aN^kapAli rata
aghahara, kR^iShNa AdI ShaNmahiLa
ajitha, niShNAda vArdhim ud anuShNAMshu maNDala
jiShNo, girIndradhara, viShNo, vR^iShAvaraja, dR^iShNo, kR^iShNa abhida
bhO hare bhavan karuNayA maM puShNAtu.

Word-by-word meaning:
kR^iShNAdi pANDussuta = arjuna (or bhIma) and other sons of Pandu; kR^iShNA = draupadi,
manaH = minds, prachura = intense, tR^iShNA = thirst (desires), sutruptikara = satisfier, vAk.h =
speech, kR^iShNa aN^ka = (those who carry) VaishNava symbols like Shankha (conch-shell), chakra
(discus), gada (mace) and so on, pAli rata = interested in protecting, kR^iShNa = Kalindi (or Neela)
and other Shhan-mahishis, aN^kapAli = embrace, rata = captivated, aghahara = one who destroys sins,
kR^iShNa AdI ShaNmahiLa = having Kalindi (or Neela) and others as His six Shhanmahishis or main
queens (excluding Rukmini and SatyabhAma), ajitha = undefeated, niShNAda = ardent devoteesi.e.,
those who are especially devoted to Krishna, vArdhim ud = the ocean of happiness, an uShNAMshu
maNDala = chandra manDala = collection of moons (uShNa = hot or torrid, aMshu = lustre,
uShNAMshu = Sun, anuShNa = not hot = soothing, anuShNAMshu = Moon), jiShNo = victorious,
girIndradhara = one who carried the king of mountains (Govardhana), viShNo = Lord Vishnu, also
means omni-present, vR^iShAvaraja = Indra's younger brother who is in the form of Vamana
(vR^iSha = Indra, avara ja = younger brother), dR^iShNo = one who is victorious, kR^ishNa abhida =
one named Krishna, bhO hare = O Sri Hari, bhavan = you, karuNayA = with kindness, maM =
myself, puShNAtu = keep growing me (puSh : to nourish, nurture, foster, or bring up).


O Lord Krishna, your speech satisfied the intense desires in the minds of arjuna and other Pandavas, as
well as Draupadi. You protect devotees who display your symbols on their bodies. The embrace of
Kalindi, Neela and other Shhan-mahishis captivates you. You destroy the sins of your devotees. You
have Kalindi, Neela and others as your six prime queens. You are undefeated. You are the full moon
that causes happiness to overflow in the ocean called ardent devotees. You are ever victorious. You
carried Govardhana, the king of mountains. You are Vishnu, the omnipresent. You are vAmana, the
younger brother of Indra. With kindness, please continue to nurture and foster me.


When Krishna embarked on his mission to establish peace between the Pandavas and the Kauravas,
Draupadi expressed her frustration and anger and demanded justice. Krishna promised her that the
injustice done to her would be punished appropriately. When Arjuna was overcome with sorrow at the
beginning of the Kurukshetra war, the Lord brought him back on track by enlightening him through
the Gita. “sutruptikara vAk.h” refers to these, as well as all other instances where the Lord cleared the
confusion of the Pandavas and showed them the correct way.

“kR^iShNAN^ka pAli rata” can also be interpreted in a slightly different way. “kR^iShNAN^ka”
refers to all VaishNava symbols and practices like displaying ‘shanka’, ‘chakra’ etc on one’s body,
observing ekAdashi, janmAshTami, chAturmAsya, getting tapta-mudra-dhArana etc. The ones
practicing this or doing ‘pAlane’ of such practices are vaishnavas. The Lord is ‘rata’ or affectionate
towards vaishnavas. If one goes a little deeper, it is really the devatas headed by Brahma and Vayu
who are helping ordinary human beings adhere to all vaishnava practices. Hence they are the real
“kR^iShNAN^ka pAli”s. The Lord is ‘rata’ in them.

“kR^iShNAbhidha” and “aghahara” were interpreted as two separate words. If they are taken together,
they yield a totally new meaning. They extol the Lord as the one who destroyed the agha (sorrows) of
the ones called Krishna i.e., Draupadi, Arjuna etc. This is how Acharya Madhva addresses the Lord in
the dvAdasha stotra 9.12 (“yaduvara pArthapa”). The MahabhArata is replete with instances where the
Lord personally intervened to help Draupadi, Arjuna and the other pAndavas. The ones that come to
mind immediately are – saving the Pandavas from the fire in the house of lac (aragina mane), saving
Draupadi’s chastity during the vastrApaharaNa, saving the Pandavas from the wrath of dUrvAsa when
he visited them in the forest, helping Arjuna kill jayadratha (and thus preventing him from having to
commit suicide), saving Arjuna when Karna released the sarpAstra to kill him etc.
By using the word “girIndradhara” VadirAja is hinting at several concepts. The Lord held up
Govardhana mountain up to protect the cowherds and make Indra realize his mistake. The Puranas
give us hundreds of instances where the Lord helped Indra. Vadiraja provides an example by calling
the Lord vR^iShAvaraja (i.e., the Lord incarnated as Indra’s younger brother Vamana and saved his
kingdom by banishing Bali to the nether world). So in a manner of speaking, he is both giri-dhara and

‘Giri’ also means ‘words’ or ‘shabda’. ‘girIndra’ is the greatest and most powerful collection of words
i.e., the Vedas. The Lord does ‘dhAraNa’ of the vedas and other eternal entities. Hence He is
girIndradhara. As humans, we have many dhArakas who protect us, but the greatest of them (“Indra”),
according to the Vedas (“giri”) is the Lord. The Bhagavata sums all of this up very nicely as follows
“dravyam karma cha kAlashcha svabhAvo jIva eva cha, yadanugrahatah santi na santi yadupekshaya”
(“all jada or non-sentient entities, actions, time, inherent nature, jIvas, all exist due to His grace and
will cease to exist once He discards them”).

Verse 29:
rAmAshiromaNidharAmAsameta balarAmAnujAbhidha ratim.h |
vyomAsurAntakara te mAratAta disha me mAdhavAN^ghrikamale |
kAmArtabhaumapurarAmAvalIpraNayavAmAxipItatanubhA |
bhImAhinAthamukhavaimAnikAbhinuta bhImAbhivandyacharaNa || 29 ||

ramaizraemi[xramasmet blramanujai-x ritm! ,

VyaemasuraNtkr te martat idz me maxva'œiºkmle ,
kamatR-aEmpurramavlIà[yvamai]pIttnu-a ,
-ImaihnawmuovEmainkai-nut -Imai-vN*cr[ . 29.

Š¯î®¾¯þŠµ²°î®±pu®Š¯î®¾¯š®îµ±°q® …
©Š¯î®¾¯w®±b¯†Ãu® Š®rº |
îµ½ã°î®¾¯š®±Š¯ºq®N®Š® qµ° ¯Š®q¯q®
vý® îµ±° ¯u®VäN®î®±Œµ° |
±î¯î®¾¯¤z°q®q®w®±„¯ |
†Ã°î®¾¯†Ãu®ãX®Š®o || 29||

rAmA shiromaNi dharA mA sameta balarAma anuja abhidha ratim.h

vyomAsura antakara te mAra tAta disha me mAdhava aN^ghrikamale
kAmArta bhauma pura rAmAvalI praNaya vAmAxi pIta tanubhA
bhIma ahinAtha mukha vaimAnika abhinuta bhIma abhivandya charaNa


rAmA shiromaNi dharA mA sameta

balarAmA anujA abhidha
vyomAsurA antakara
mAra tAta
kAmArta bhauma pura rAmAvalI praNaya vAmAxi pIta tanu bhA
bhIma ahinAtha mukha vaimAnika abhinuta
bhima abhivandaya charana
mAdhava te aN^ghri kamale me ratim.h diSha

Word-by-word meaning:

rAmA = beautiful women, shiromaNi = crest jewel, dharA mA sameta = one who is with BhUdevi and
Sridevi, balarAmA anujA abhidha = one who is known as Balarama's younger brother, vyomAsurA
antakara = one who destroyed the demon named VyomAsura, mAra tAta = the father of Manmatha
(Cupid), kAmArta = tormented by lust, bhauma pura = the city of narakAsura (bhauma = son of
bhUmi), rAmAvalI = multitude of beautiful women (actually 16,100), praNaya = loving, vAmAxi =
beautiful eyes, pIta = drinking or sipping, tanu bhA = body lustre, bhIma = Shiva, ahi nAtha = Sesha
(ahi = serpent), mukha = and others, vaimAnika = celestials, abhinuta = extolled or worshipped, bhima
= Bhimasena, abhivandaya = prostrated with devotion, charana = feet, mAdhava = Lakshmi’s husband
= Sri Krishna, te = yours, aN^ghri kamale = lotus feet, me = myself, ratim.h = interest, desire
(devotion), diSha = give.


O Lord Krishna, you are always with bhUdevI and shrIdevI, the crest jewels amongst all beautiful
women. You are known as Balarama's younger brother. You destroyed the demon named VyomAsura.
You are the father of Cupid. Just looking at you caused torments of lust in the 16,100 beautiful women
who were prisoners in the city of narakAsura. From their beautiful eyes they drank deeply the nectar
called your handsome face and figure. Rudra, Sesha and other celestials extol you. Your divine feet
are prostrated to with devotion by Bhimasena. O Lord of Lakshmi, please bless me with deep devotion
to your lotus feet.


Lakshmi has 3 forms – shrI, bhU, durga – to manage the three primordial components - satva, rajas
and tamas. When Narayana incarnated as Krishna, ShrI and bhU incarnated as Rukmini and
SatyabhAma respectively. Durga incarnated as the baby that Vasudeva spirited away from Yashoda
and exchanged with Krishna. Kamsa tried to kill Her, but She escaped from him and warned him
about Krishna’s birth. There is another goddess called Pruthvi, dharaNi or bhudevi, who is the patron
diety for Earth. She too is Narayana’s wife. In this verse, when Vadiraja says ‘dhara’ he is referring to
Pruthvi devi.

One of the unique aspects about the Krishna incarnation is that a lot of celestials came down to Earth
to serve Him. For example, in no other incarnation do we find the 3 forms of Lakshmi incarnating, nor
do we see the Shhan-mahishis. Nor do we see the 8 vasus, a majority of the 11 rudras, Indra, Yama,
brihaspati etc. For more details of the celestials who incarnated during the KrishNAvatAra, please
refer to the MBTN or Narayana PanditAchArya’s work called amshAvatAra.

It is not well known that Narakasura was actually Narayana’s son. After Lord Varaha rescued bhUdevI
from the clutches of demons and was carrying her in His lap, a drop of sweat from His body fell on
bhUdevI, giving rise to NarakAsura. That is why Vadiraja calls him ‘bhoumya’ i.e, the son of
bhUdevI. He had his capital in Pragjyothipur (modern day Assam). He had captured 16,100 princesses
and had imprisoned them with ulterior motives. Krishna killed Narakasura and liberated the maidens.
He wanted them to return to their respective cities. However, they refused to do so saying that staying
in NarakAsura’s captivity had permanently tarnished their reputation. They were afraid that like Sita,
they too would be the target of wagging tongues. Their future was bleak as even their own kith and kin
would spurn them. Krishna took pity on them and married them so that they would be the object of
respect and adoration as Krishna’s queens, instead of scorn and ridicule. Hence, His act of marrying
16,100 beautiful maidens was an act of mercy and kindness, rather than lust or love. VadirAja reminds
us of this by using the words ‘mAra tAta’.

Verses 30, 31:

These two verses need to be combined and handled together. This is called a 'yugma'.

saxveLabhaxyabhayadAxishravogaNajalAxepapAshayamanam.h |
lAxAgR^ihajvalanaraxohiDimbabakabhaixAnnapUrvavipadaH |
axAnubandhabhavarUxAxarashravaNasAxAnmahiShyavamatI |
kaxAnuyAnamadhamaxmApasevanamabhIxNApahAsamasatAm.h || 30 ||

súve¦-úy-ydai]ïvaeg[jla]eppazymnm! ,
la]ag&hJvlnr]aeihifMbbk-E]aÚpUvRivpd> ,
A]anubNx-vê]a]rïv[sa]aNmih:yvmtI ,
k]anuyanmxmúmapsevnm-Iú[aphasmstam! . 30.

Œ¯£µ°y®y¯ý®‡®±î®±w®º |
N®„µ¶£¯w®Ýy®½î®Áïy®u®» |
®î®±r° |
®¾¬ || 30 ||
chaxANa eva nijapaxAgrabhUdashashatAxAtmajAdisuhR^idA\-
mAxepakArikunR^ipAxauhiNIshatabalAxobhadIxitamanAH |
tArxyAsichApasharatIxNAripUrvanijalaxmANi chApyagaNayan.h |
vR^ixAlayadhvajariraxAkaro jayati laxmIpatiryadupatiH || 31 ||

c]a[ @v injp]a¢-Udzzta]aTmjaidsuùda
ma]epkairk…n&pa]aEih[Iztbla]ae-dIi]tmna> ,
taúyaRiscapzrtIú[airpUvRinjlúmai[ caPyg[yn! ,
v&]alyXvjirr]akrae jyit lúmIpityRÊpit> . 31.
X®£¯o Iî®
Œ¯£µ²°„®v°¤q®î®±w¯» |
X¯y®ãS®o‡®±w¬ |
£¯©‡®±u®æc‹Š®£¯N®Šµ²° c‡®±r
©¤Èâ°y®r‡®±Áu®±y®r» || 31 ||


sa xveLa bhaxya bhayada axishravogaNa jalAxepa pAshayamanam.h

lAxA gR^iha jvalana raxo hiDimba baka bhaixAnna pUrvavipadaH
axAnubandha bhava rUxa axara shravaNa sAxAn mahiShi avamatI
kaxA anuyAnam adhama xmApa sevanam abhIxNa apahAsam asatAm.h

chaxANa eva nija paxa agrabhU dashashatAxAtmaja Adi suhR^idAm

AxepakAri kunR^ipa axauhiNI shatabala Axobha dIxita manAH
tArxya asi chApa shara tIxNa aripUrva nijalaxmANi cha api agaNayan.h
vR^ixAlaya dhvaja riraxAkaro jayati laxmIpatiH yadupatiH


sa xveLa bhaxya, bhayada axishravo gaNa, jalAxepa pAsha yamanam.h, lAxA gR^iha jvalana,
raxo hiDiMba baka, bhaixAnna, pUrva vipadaH, axAnubandha bhava rUxa axara shravaNa, sAxAn
mahiShi avamatI, kaxAnuyanam, adhama xmApa sevanam asatAm.h abhIxNApahAsam chaxANa
yeva nija agrabhuU dashashata axAtmaja Adi suhR^idam.h AxepakAri ku nR^ipa axauhiNI shatabala
Axobha dixIta manAH tArxyA asi chApa shara tIkxNa arI pUrva nIja laxmANi cha api agaNayan.h
vR^ikShAlaya dhvaja rIraxAkaraH lakshmIpatiH yadupatiH jayati.

Word-by-word meaning:

sa xveLa bhaxya = poisonous sweets (xvELa = poison), bhayada = fearsome, axishravo gaNa = groups
of serpents (chaxushravas = animal listening with eye = snake), jalAxepa = tossing into the deep
waters of river Ganga (xepa = throwing), pAsha yamanam.h = binding with ropes (pAsha = rope,
yamanam = to restrain), lAxA gR^iha jvalana = the burning of the lAxa gR^iha (house of wax), raxo
hiDiMba baka = demons named HidimbAsura and bakAsura, bhaixAnna = begging or seeking alms
[in the city of ekachakranagara], pUrva vipadaH = and other prior turmoils, axAnubandha bhava =
linked to the game of dice (axa = dice), rUxa axara shravaNa = having to listen to harsh and heinous
words (rUxa = rough or harsh, axara = words), sAxAn mahiShi avamatI = having own wife (draupadi)
being humiliated (mahiShi = wife, avamatI = to be insulted or humiliated), kaxa anu yanam = going
towards the forest (kaxa = forest), adhama = inferior, xmApa = king (xmA = earth, xmApa = king),
sevanam = serving, asatAm.h = wicked or vile people, abhIxNa apahAsam = being ridiculed or
insulted again and again, chaxANa eva = after witnessing with own eyes, nija = his own (Bhimasena),
agrabhU = elder brother (dharmarAja), dasha shata axa Atmaja = Arjuna [dashashata = thousand,
dashashata axa = Indra, Atmaja = son), Adi = and others, suhR^idam.h = friends, AxepakAri = people
finding fault (enemies), ku nR^ipa = wicked kings, axauhiNI shatabala= large army, more than several
Akshouhini in numbers, Axobha = tormenting or troubling, dixIta manAH = mind made up, tArxyA =
Garuda (king of birds), asi = sword (called Nandaka), chApa = bow (called ShaR^nga), Shara = bows,
tIkxNa arI = sharp chakra (Sudarshana), pUrva = and other, nIja laxmANi cha api = and his own
symbols and weapons too, agaNayan.h = ignoring, vR^ikShAlaya = animal living in trees = monkey,
dhvaja = emblem or flag (kapidhvaja = Arjuna), rIraxA karaH = one having desire to protect,
lakshmIpatiH = husband of Lakshmi = Narayana (Krishna), jayati = always prevails (i.e. He is


Krishna witnessed the following incidents with His own eyes:

- (the kouravas) feeding poisoned sweets to bhIma
- (the kouravas) setting fearsome, poisonous snakes on bhIma
- (the kouravas) tying bhIma with ropes and throwing him into the Ganga
- (the kouravas) getting the Pandavas into the wax house and setting it on fire
- bhIma fighting with demons like baka, Hidimba
- the pandAvas surviving on alms in Ekachakranagara, and other prior incidents (happening before
the dice game)
- the Pandavas listening to heinous insults from the kouravas, after losing the dice game
- the Pandavas having to witness their wife Draupadi being publicly dishonoured
- the Pandavas having to go to the forest
- the Pandavas having to serve inferior kings like Virata
- the vile Kauravas led by Duryodhana, humiliating the Pandavas at each and every step

Later He saw wicked kings people finding fault with His beloved bhIma, dharmarAja, arjuna and
friends, and assembling a huge army, more than several Akshouhini in numbers. Having made up His
mind to torment this army, He ignored (His vehicle) Garuda, His sword (nandaka), His bow
(ShaR^nga), bows, His sharp chakra (Sudarshana) and other weapons, and decided to protect Arjuna,
who had Hanuman on his flag. This husband of Lakshmi, Yadupati (Krishna) always prevails (He is
the Sarvottama).


In these two verses, VadirAja outlines some of the major difficulties and outrages that the Pandavas
had to endure, in what is probably one of the best summations of the Pandavas’ life-history. By
outlining these events and the tremendous odds that the Pandavas overcame, VadirAja is reminding us
that they were able to do so only because they had Krishna’s blessings and support at every stage in
their life.

This ends the dashAvatara stuti portion on Lord Krishna

devakina.ndana su.ndararUpa rukmiNivallabha pANDavaba.ndho |

sulalitatanuvara varada mahAbala yaduvara pArthapa bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 32:
OM srI buddhAya namaH, OM srI kalkIne namaH

buddhAvatAra kavibaddhAnukampa kuru baddhAJNjalau mayi dayAm.h |

shauddhodanipramukhasaiddhAntikAsugamabauddhAgamapraNayana |
kruddhAhitAsuhR^itisiddhAsikheTadhara shuddhAshvayAna kamalA |
shuddhAnta mAM ruchipinaddhAkhilAN^ga nijamaddhAva kalkyabhidha bhoH || 32 ||

` ïI buÏay nm> ` ïI kiLkne nm>

buÏavtar kivbÏanukMp k…é bÏaÃlaE miy dyam! ,
zaEÏaedinàmuosEÏaiNtkasugmbaEÏagmà[yn ,
³…ÏaihtasuùitisÏaisoeqxr zuÏañyan kmla ,
zuÏaNt ma< éicipnÏaiola¼ injmÏav kLKyi-x -ae> . 32.

Lº §° …±u¯Ü‡®± w®î®±», Lº §° N®ªÊwµ

…±u¯Üî®q¯Š® N®ï…u¯Üw®±N®ºy® N®±Š®±
…u¯ܺcŒ¹ î®±‰± u®‡®¾¯º |
„¹u¯ÜS®î®±y®äo‡®±w® |
ý®±u¯Üý®æ‡®¾¯w® N®î®±Œ¯ |
ý®±u¯Üºq® ¯º Š®±Yzw®u¯ÜRŒ¯ºS®
xcî®±u¯Üî® N®©ÊÉã†Ãu® „µ²°» || 32 ||

buddha avatAra kavi baddha anukampa kuru baddha aMjalau mayi dayAm.h
shauddhodani pramukha saiddhAntika asugama bauddha Agama praNayana
kruddha ahita asuhR^iti siddha asi kheTa dhara shuddha ashva yAna kamalA
shuddhAnta mAM ruchi pinaddha akhilAN^ga nijam addha ava kalki abhidha bhoH || 32 ||


shauddhodani pramukha saiddhAntika asugama bauddhAgama praNayana

kavi baddha anukaMpa buddhAvatAra baddhAJNjalou mayi dayAm.h kuru
kruddhA ahita asu hR^iti siddha asi kheTa shuddha ashva yAna
kamalA shuddhAnta ruchi pinaddha akhilAN^ga
kalki abhidha bhoH nijam mAm addhA ava

Word-by-word meaning:

shauddhodani = the son of Shuddhodhana = Gautama Buddha, pramukha = chiefly (and his
followers), saiddhAntika = the propogators of philosophy, asugama = obtruse or difficult to
understand, bauddhAgama = the spread of Buddhist philosophy, praNayana = one who skilfully led,
kavi = in gyAnis = wise men, baddha anukaMpa = being kindly disposed, buddhAvatAra = the
Buddha incarnation of Sri Hari, baddhAJNjalou = with folded hands, mayi = in me, dayAm.h = mercy,
kuru = do, kruddhA = enraged, ahita = enemies, asu hR^iti = stealing of life, siddha = prepared or
ready, asi kheTa dhara = one carrying sword and shield (guraNi), shuddha ashva yAna = riding a
pure, blemishless horse, kamalA = Lakshmi, shuddhAnta = antahpura = harem,

kamalA shuddhAnta can be interpreted in two ways:

- one who has Lakshmi in His antahpura (i.e. one who has Lakshmi as His queen),
- one who resides in Lakshmi’s antahpura (innermost recess of Her heart)

ruchi pinaddha akhilAN^ga = one whose entire body is engulfed in brilliant radiance (pinaddha =
covered or engulged), kalki abhidha = known as Kalki, bhoH = (form of salutation), nijam = your own
(devotee), mAm = myself, addhA = thoroughly, ava = protect.


O Lord Hari who incarnated as Buddha, you used the son of Shuddhodhana and his followers to
spread the obtruse and misleading Buddhist philosophy. You are always kindly disposed towards
gyanis (the wise). I am praying to you with folded hands, please show mercy on me.

O Lord kalki, in order to destroy angry enemies, you are ready with a sword (nandaki) and shield. You
ride a white blemishless horse. Lakshmi is in your antahpura. You reside in the innermost recess of
Lakshmi’s heart Your entire body is engulfed in brilliant radiance. I am yours, please protect me


There is a lot of misconception and confusion about the Buddha incarnation. Acharya Madhva
provides us the correct factual picture in the MBTN (Chapter 32, verses 130 – 148).

The budhdhAvatAra happened twice. Not much is known about the first time except that He aided the
gods in their battle with evil forces in a very special way. The demons of Tripura were invincible
because their wives were very chaste; victory over them was possible only by disturbing the chastity
of their wives. The Lord did this by posing nude in front of them and swaying their minds by His
extraordinary beauty. Once the power of chastity was broken, the gods lead by Lord Shiva could easily
defeat the demons.

In the early stages of kaliyuga, just after Krishna avatAra had completed, the whole world was full of
correct knowledge thanks to the efforts of Krishna and Vedavyasa. However, many of the demons
(asuras) slain by Shiva in Tripura also took their births and started learning and practising this
knowledge. Just as a good person will not tolerate a dog eating prasada from a yagna, the celestials
could not bear to see correct knowledge falling into the hands of the wicked. Hence they approached
Lord Vishnu for a solution to this problem.

The king of Shakya was Shuddhodhana. He was also known as ‘jina’ since he was a follower of
Jainism. He had a baby son. The Lord entered this baby and started spouting concepts that were
(seemingly) opposed to vedas. In order to prove the divinity of the baby and engender confidence in
Shuddhodhana and his followers, He ordered all the devatas to attack the baby. He even appeared as
Vishnu and threw the Sudarshana chakra at the baby. Since the baby was Vishnu Himself, none of the
attacks made any dent on it. This convinced the king and his followers that the baby was superior to all
Hindu gods and, by inference, that the new philosophy preached by the baby was superior to vedic
concepts. After a while the Lord withdrew from the baby’s body and went to heaven. There, He
explained the true import of the words uttered by him to the celestials. Acharya Madhva chooses
‘shUnya’, ‘kshanika’ as examples to illustrate how words which preach non-reality and illusion take
on a totally vedic hue when viewed properly.
After the Lord’s departure, Shuddhodhana’s son appeared again. He grew up as SiddhArtha / Buddha
and propogated the philosophy uttered during his childhood, but based on a total misinterpretation of
the words.

The Kalki avatAra is yet to happen. There is no point in saying anything more about this than what has
been said in the bhAgavata and other purANAs. Suffice to know that He is “duShTakulA.ntaka” and
will do “dharma vivardhana”. Hence VadirAja devotes just half-a-verse to this incarnation too.
Incidentally, he uses the word "kruddhA" to describe the demons destroyed by Lord Kalki, because
Acharya Madhva says that these are basically the 'krodha-vashAdi daityas' that Bhima had killed while
obtaining the sougnadika.

daityavimohaka nityasukhAde devasubodhaka buddhasvarUpa || 7||

ditisutavimohana vimalavibodhana paraguNabuddha he bhava mama sharaNam.h |

duShTakulA.ntaka kalkisvarUpa dharmavivardhana mUlayugAde |

kalimalahutavaha subhaga mahotsava sharaNada kalkIsha he bhava mama sharaNam.h |

Verse 33:
OM srI bAdarAyaNAya namaH

sAraN^gakR^ittidharasAraN^gavAridhara sAraN^garAjavaradA\-
sAraM gadAritarasAraM gatAtmamadasAraM gatauShadhabalam.h |
sAraN^gavatkusumasAraM gataM cha tava sAraN^gamAN^ghriyugalam.h |
sAraN^gavarNamapasAraN^gatAbjamadasAraM gadiMstvamava mAm.h || 33 ||

` ïI badray[ay nm>
sar¼k«iÄxrsar¼vairxr sar¼rajvrda
sar< gdairtrsar< gtaTmmdsar< gtaE;xblm! ,
sar¼vTk…sumsar< gt< c tv sar¼ma'œiºyuglm! ,
sar¼v[Rmpsar¼taâmdsar< gid<STvmv mam! . 33.

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|| 33 ||

sAraN^ga kR^itti dhara sAraN^ga vAridhara sAraN^ga rAja varadA

sAraM gadAritarasA araM gata Atmamada sAraM gata auShadhabalam.h
sAraN^gavat kusumasAraM gataM cha tava sAraN^gama aN^ghriyugalam.h
sAraN^gavarNaM apasAraN^gata abjamadasAraM gadin tvam ava mAm.h


sAraN^ga kR^itti dhara sAraN^ga vAridhara

sAraN^ga rAja varadA, gadin
gadAritarasA asAraM araM gata Atmamada sAraM gata auShadha balam.h (mAM)
kusumasAraM (prati) sAraN^ga vat
apasAraN^gata abja mada sAraM sAraN^gama sAraN^ga varNam tava aN^ghriyugalam.h gathaM
maM tvaM ava.

Word-by-word meaning:

sAraN^ga kR^itti dhara = those wearing deer skins (ascetics), sAraN^ga = chAta pakshi (a legendary
bird that eagerly awaits rainfall), vAridhara = rain-bearing clouds, sAraN^ga rAja = the king of
elephants (Gajendra), varadA = one who granted a boon, gadin = one carrying a mace (this is an
epithet of Sri Hari), gadaH = disease (bhava-roga or earthly bondage), ari = enemy, taras = strength,
vigor or intensity, gadAritarasA = by the vigor of a disease-like enemy, asAraM = weakened by, araM
= alam = totally or entirely, gata Atmamada sAraM = totally rid of egoism, gata auShadha balam.h =
gone beyond the strength of medicine (i.e., no medicine can cure this disease), kusuma sAraM (prati)
= towards the nectar of flowers, sAraN^ga vat = like bees, apasAraN^gata = to reduce or drain, abja
mada sAraM = the arrogance of lotus flowers, apasAraN^gata abja mada sAraM = to make lotus
flowers lose their pride (i.e., putting them to shame), sAraN^gam = taking one towards Vaikunta,
sAraN^ga varNam = colourful, tava = your, aN^ghriyugalam.h = pair of feet, gathaM = taking refuge,
maM = myself, tvaM = you, ava = protect.


O Lord bAdarAyaNa (vedavyAsa muni), for the chAtaka pakshi called ascetics (those wearing deer-
skin) you are like rain-bearing clouds. You blessed Gajendra. You carry the mace (kaumodaki). The
vigor of the disease-like enemy called bhava roga (earthly bondage) has made me weak. I do not see
any medicine for this disease. I am rid of egoism (that I can cure this disease). Just as a bee goes
towards nectar, I am going towards your lotus feet, which are colorful and take us to Vaikunta and put
any lotus to shame. Please protect me.


The 'chAtaka' is a mythical bird which is supposed to live on rain drops, It eagerly waits for rain and
when it sees clouds it feels very happy. The analogy of the jAtaka and rain-bearing clouds is very
popular with poets, and Vadiraja uses this analogy to illustrate the deep attachment that true ascetics
have for the Lord. Another point to note is Vadiraja’s poetic brilliance in being able to bring out all the
different shades of meaning of the word ‘sAranga’.

Additional Notes about Lord VedavyAsa:

Some additional clarification is needed about the VedavyAsa avatAra and the classification of vedas.
Classification happens in every dvApara yuga of every manvantara but it is usually done by some
other ascetic. The 28th dvApara of this manvantara happens to be special because the classification
was done by the Lord Himself. AchArya Madhva has quoted valid references to prove that the Lord
has incarnated as VedavyAsa 5 times in this (vyvaswata) manvantara - in the 3rd, 7th, 16th, 25th and
28th dvApara yugas. That is why when listing the incarnations of the Lord, the bhAgavata correctly
lists VedavyAsa ahead of Rama. The interesting thing is that in all the five incarnations His mother
was satyavati! In the first four instances, He guided the person doing the classification and did not do
it Himself. He was then known merely as VyAsAchArya or the preceptor of VyAsa (i.e., the person
who did the actual classification). Incidentally, the ‘vyAsa’ in the next yuga is going to be none other
than AshwatthAma, son of Drona (he will called ‘drouNi vyAsa’).

VedavyAsa is also known as dvaipAyana since he was born on a dvIpa (island) on the Yamuna, and as
VyAsa Krishna and bAdarAyaNa. His contribution to philosophy and religion is mammoth. Each one
of the accomplishments listed below would take a full lifetime and entitle an individual to be called a
devata purusha:
- classifying the Vedas
- composing the Brahma-sUtras, which contain the essence of the Vedas
- authoring the MahAbhArata, the greatest of all shAstra works and the birth-place of the Bhagavat
Gita and the Vishnu-sahasranAma.
- authoring the 18 great purANAs, including the BhAgavata
- authoring two other works that are extant today - Brahma tarka and Vyasa nirukta

The mahAbhArata is without doubt the greatest pourusheya grantha (authored work) in all humanity.
As they say, everything that you find in other works can be found in the MahAbhArata, whereas there
is nothing that you will find somewhere which is not there in the MahAbhArata. It contains the known
essence of the Vedas and in addition it also encompasses certain aspects that are visible only to the
Lord. That is why they call the MahAbhArata as the panchama or fifth veda. Which is why they ask
“Who else other than the Lord could have composed such a magnificient work?” One of its numerous
highlights is the fact that it incorporates the Bhagavadgeetha and Vishnu SahasranAma within its fold.
It would be no exaggeration to say that it is impossible to understand the brahma-sUtras or the vedas
without developing a proper understanding of MahAbhArata. That is why Acharya Madhva composed
the MBTN and made it his magnum-opus!

The bedrock of Vedanta is the prasthAna traya comprising of the Gita, Upanishads and BrahmsUtras.
No AchArya can propogate a darshana or doctrine without interpreting or commenting on the
prasthAna-traya. This prasthAna-traya is VedavyAsa’s gift to humanity.

Impressive as the above facts are, there is still more! He also played a major role in the MahAbhArata
as the father of DhrutarAshtra, Pandu and Vidura. In effect, the 5 Pandavas and the Kauravas
originated from Him. In addition, he appears at vital junctures in the narrrative to influence the course
of events (like when gAndhAri aborts her foetus out of jealousy, when bhIma refuses to marry
hiDamba because Yuddhishtira is still a bachelor, when sanjaya gets divine vision to “see” events on
the battlefield and narrate them to DhritarAshtra and so on). He demonstrated his divinity by having a
worm rule a kingdom.

It is strange and sad that the other two AchAryas do not accept VedavyAsa as an incarnation of
Narayana. One of them is said to have engaged Him in a debate and tried to defeat Him. Another one
calls him an ordinary Rushi, and has said that He came under tAmasika and rAjasika influences and
composed the so called tAmasa and rAjasa purANas. Contrast this with how AchArya Madhva
prepared for his meeting with VedavyAsa. According to the Madhva Vijaya, he did rigorous penance
for several weeks ahead of the meeting, observing silence, bathing in the cold waters of the Ganga in
the wee hours and fasting, so that he could meet the Lord in a heightened state of purity! Please note
that this preparation was not really needed because as a member of the para-shukla-traya he is free
from sins and blemishes. He probably did this to show us how one should prepare for a meeting with a
great soul. In the MBTN, he has devoted an entire chapter to the vyAsa incarnation, so that we
understand the greatness of this incarnation and the circumstances leading to it.

Verse 34:
phala stutiH

grIvAsyavAhatanudevANDajAdidashabhAvAbhirAmacharitam.h |
bhAvAtibhavyashubhadhIvAdirAjayatibhUvAgvilAsanilayam.h |
shrIvAgadhIshamukhadevAbhinamyaharisevArchaneShu paThatA\-
mAvAsa eva bhavitAvAgbhavetarasurAvAsalokanikare || 34 ||

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ïIvagxIzmuodevai-nMyhirsevacRne;u pQta
mavas @v -ivtavaG-vetrsuravaslaekinkre . 34.

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grIva Asya vAha tanu deva aNDaja Adi dasha bhAvA abhirAmacharitam.h
bhAva atibhavya shubhadhI vAdirAja yati bhU vAk vilAsa nilayam.h
shrI vAgadhIsha mukha deva abhinamya hari sevArchaneShu paThatAM
AvAsa eva bhavita avAgbhava itara sura AvAsa loka nikare


bhAva ati bhavya shubha dhI vAdirAja yati bhU vAk vilAsa nilayam.h
grIva Asya vAha tanu deva aNDajAdi dasha bhAva abhirAma charitam.h
shrI vAgadhIsha mukha devA abhinamya hari sevA archaneShu paThatAm
avAgbhava itara sura AvAsa loka nikare eva AvAsaH bhavitA

Word-by-word meaning:

bhAva = with full and pure devotion, ati bhavya = very auspicious, shubha dhI = a mind full of pious
thoughts, vAdirAja yati = the saint Vadiraja, bhU = composed, vAk vilAsa nilayam.h = the abode of
glorious speech, grIva = neck, Asya = face, vAha = horse, tanu = body, deva = God (Hayagriva),
aNDaja Adi = Fish (Matsya) and others, dasha = ten, or perfect, bhAva = incarnations, abhirAma =
pleasing or captivating, charitam.h = history or exploits, shrI = Lakshmi, vAgadhIsha = Brahma (and
vAyu), mukha devA = and other gods, abhinamya = extolled, hari = Sri Hari, sevA archaneShu =
during pooja (during seva or archana), paThatAm = those who recite, avAgbhava itara = other than the
Southern direction (avAk = South, bhava = direction), sura AvAsa loka nikare eva = in the collection
of worlds that the celestials reside in (sura = devatAs or celestials; Avasa loka = the worlds they reside
in, nikara = collection or group), AvAsaH = residence, bhavitA = will happen.


This stotra describes the pleasing and captivating exploits of Lord Hayagriva (who has the face and
neck of a horse) and his perfect incarnations comprising of matsyA and other forms. It was composed
by saint Vadiraja, the abode of glorious speech, with full and pure devotion, and having an auspicious
mind full of pious thoughts. Those who recite this stotra during the pUja of Hari, who is extolled by
Lakshmi, Brahma, Vayu and other gods, will avoid Yama loka and gain residence in the collection of
worlds that the celestials reside in.


Normally, people associate the dashAvatAras with ViShNu or nArayaNa. Vadiraja describes this as
the incarnation and exploits of Lord Hayagriva. Why? There are two reasons for this. One, to show
that there is no difference between Lord VishNu/nArAyaNa and any of His incarnations including
Hayagriva. And two, because the stuti was triggered by the leela or sport of Lord Hayagriva in grazing
in a farmer’s corn field (see the first posting for the background behind the stotra).

‘dasha bhAva’ underscores an important point that we need to understand about incarnations. Some
people attempt to create a gradation or hierarchy amongst the incarnations, calling some as pUrNa and
some as partial or apUrNa. This is very foolhardy and can lead to eternal damnation since it is one of
the nava-vidha dveshas (nine-forms of hatred towards the Lord). There is absolutely no difference in
capabilities between the Lord or any of His incarnations; this point is emphasized in the Vedas very
clearly ( “pUrnamadah, pUrNamidam”, “neha nAnAsti kinchana” etc.). It does not matter whether He
incarnates as a swan (hams-nAmaka paramAtma), fish, scorpion (shimshumAra swamy), horse, lion or
human, or whatever; each form is equally capable and has the same characteristics (omnipotence,
omniscience etc.). If at all there is any distinction between the incarnations it is only a matter of
vishesha and nothing more.

"doshaH vishhNornahi kvachit.h | aj~natvaM pAravashyaM vA chhedabhedAdikaM tathA |

anIshatvaM cha duHkhitvaM sAmyamanyaishcha hInanatAM | pradarshayati mohAya
daityAdInAM hariH svayaM | sarvadehastharUpeshhu prAdurbhAveshhu cheshvaraH"

"Lord Vishnu does not have any flaw at any time. Ignorance, being under someone else's control,
being injured, being shown as two different forms, lacking Lordship, having sorrow, equality with
others, worshipping lower ones – all these Lord Hari does only to delude the demonic natured ones.
In everybody, in every form and in every incarnation, Hari is the Lord".
‘abhirAma charitam’ should not be taken as being being merely captivating or engrossing, like a
gripping story or novel. As AchArya Madhva says, the Lord’s ‘charitam’ is ‘vara-pradam’ – it can
fetch very great material and spiritual rewards. It is also ‘ati bhavya’ and can be the stepping stone to
liberation, which can come only from the Lord’s prasAda (grace and benevolence).

“vAk vilAsa nilayam.h” was treated as an adjective describing VadirAja. It can also be associated with
HaygrIva, since VadirAja spent his entire life time singing His glories. Thus HayagrIva is the ‘nilaya’
or target of VadirAja’s vAgvilAsa.

Chhandogya and other upanishads describe in detail the route taken by a liberated soul. Contrary to
popular belief, a liberated soul does not go directly to satya-loka (Chaturmukha Brahma’s world),
vaikunta, shweta-dvIpa or anantAsana. He/she goes through a series of stages, visiting different worlds
that the celestials reside in (‘indra-loka’, ‘agni-loka’, ‘chandra-loka’ etc). This is what ‘sura AvAsa
loka nikare’ is a referring to.

“sevA archaneShu paThatAm” gave rise to the common and popular tradition of singing this stuti,
either during or after the completion of the puja in most mAdhva temples and maThas.

This completes the series of postings on the dashAvatAra stuti.

iti shrImadvAdirAjapUjyacharaNa virachitaM shrIdashAvatArastutiH saMpUrNam.h

bhAratIramaNamukhyaprANA.ntargata shrIkR^iShNArpaNamastu

#it ïImÖaidrajpUJycr[ ivrict< ïIdzavtarStuit> s<pU[Rm!

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nAham kartA hariH kartA tatpUjA karmachAkhilam

tathApi matkR^itA pUja tatprasAdena nAnyathA|
tadbhakti tadphalam mahyam tatprasAdAt punaH punaH |
karmanyAso harAvevam vishNosthR^iptikaraH sadhA ||