Introduction, transliteration, and translation by Devendraray V. Bhatt and S. The legend about the circumstances leading to the composition of this Stotra is as follows. A king named Chitraratha had constructed a nice garden.

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If no one can be blamed when they praise You according to their intellectual powers, then my attempt to compose a hymn cannot be reproached. How many qualities does He possess? By whom can He be perceived?

Yet whose mind and speech do not turn to the form later taken by Him saguna 2 O Brahman! Some stupid people produce arguments—pleasing to the ignorant but in fact hateful— to refute Your Divinity, which creates, preserves and destroys the world, which is divided into three bodies Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva according to the three gunas, and which is described in the three Vedas. This kind of futile argumentation about You whose divine nature is beyond the reach of intellect, makes the perverted vociferous, and brings delusion to men.

Can the worlds be without origin, though they have bodies? Who else but God can initiate the creation of the worlds? Because they are fools they raise doubts about Your existence. People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate—and reach You alone just as rivers enter the ocean.

A great bull, a wooden hand rest, an axe, a tiger skin, ashes, serpents, a human skull and other such things—these are all You own, though simply by casting Your eyes on gods You gave them great treasures which they enjoy.

Indeed one whose delight is in the Self cannot be deluded by the mirage of sense objects. Others still, hold that it is eternal and non-eternal — having different characteristics. Bewildered by all this, I do not feel ashamed to praise You; indeed my loquacity is an indication of my boldness. Afterwards, when they praised You with great faith and devotion, You revealed yourself to them of Your own accord; does not surrender to You bear fruit?

Truly, when affluent the wicked become deluded. What prosperity does not come from bowing down the head to You? Even deformity is to be admired in one who is given to freeing the world of fear. An insult to the self-controlled is not conducive to good. Indeed it is Your very mightiness which is the cause of the trouble. That same river has turned the world into islands surrounded by waters. From this can be judged vastness of Your divine body. Why all this paraphernalia?

The Lord is not dependent on others. He was only playing with things at His command. How can any action bear fruit if not accompanied by worship of You, 0 Lord? Therefore, knowing You to be the Giver of fruits of sacrifices and putting faith in the Vedas, people become resolute about the performance of sacrificial acts.

Surely sacrifices cause injury to the sacrificers in the absence of faith and devotion. Ah, surely all women are under delusion.

You have completely conquered Your senses. But You promote the greatest good of those who remember You. But we do not know the things which You are not. By its subtle sound the word Om collectively denotes You — Your absolute transcendental state which is free from change.

To You, most beloved Lord Shankara, of resplendent form, I offer salutations. My salutations to You again and again who are all and also transcending all. Salutations to You as Rudra in whom tamas prevails for its destruction.

Salutations to You as Vishnu in whom sattva prevails for giving happiness to the people. Salutations to You, 0 Shiva, who are effulgent and beyond the three attributes.

Though terror—stricken because of this, I am inspired by my devotion to offer this hymnal garland at Your feet. Fallen from his glory due to the wrath of the Lord, he composed this very beautiful uplifting hymn on the greatness of Shiva to regain His favor. May the ever beneficent Lord of gods be pleased with me at this!


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