Thursday, June 27, 2019

Ganesha Ashtakam: Lyrics With Meanings

Ganesha Ashtakam is rendered in the worship of Lord Ganesha, the Elephant-Headed God. He is the Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Lord.

Lord Ganesha is the lord of all Ganas. Gana means a group. So, Ganesha is the head or chief of all the different groups of living beings all over the universe. He is in control of all those Ganas and thereby he is able to execute various tasks through them.

Ganesha is believed to be capable of removing all the obstacles in your path if you worship Him with sincere faith and belief.

That is why people pray to Ganesha before starting any work or project. Even for the worship of Lord Shiva or Lord Narayan, you need to first worship Ganesha and then start your puja or worship. Thereby Ganesha helps you in seeking their blessings.

Ashtakam is a composition of eight verses in the praise of God describing his beauty and other superb qualities.

The eight verses or slokas in the praise of Lord Ganesha are provided here with their meanings in English.

Ganesha Ashtakam

Gaja vakthram, sura srEshtam, karNa chAmara bhooshitam |
pAsAngusha dharam devam, vandEham GaNa nAyakam ||     ( 1 )

Meaning: Oh, elephant-headed (or necked), superior among angels, and adorned with fan-like ears, oh God that holds the rope and goad in Thy hands, my salutations to You the leader of Ganas.

Eka dantam, mahAkAyam, taptha kAnchana sannibham |
lambOdaram, vishAlAksham, vandEham GaNa nAyakam ||  ( 2 )

Meaning: Oh God, possessing a single tusk, large body, and resembling (glowing like) a molten Gold, whose stomach is long (big), and eyes are wide; my salutations to Thee, the leader of Ganas.

MounjiikrishnAjina dharam, nAga yajnOpaviitinam |
bAlEndu vilAsa mouLiim, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 3 )

Meaning: One who wears moonja grass & deerskin on his waist, and a serpent as the sacred thread, who has the infant moon in his lock of hair over the head; my salutations to Thee, Oh leader of GaNas.

AmbikAhridayAnandam, matrubhih paripAlitam |
Bhaktapriyam, madOnmattam, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 4 )

Meaning: One who makes Mother Ambika's (Parvati's) heart happy, who is looked after by his mother, one who loves his devotees, and gets excited by his vigor, my salutations to Thee, the leader of Ganas.

Chitra ratna chitrAnga, chitramAlA vibhooshitam |
chitra roopa dharam dEvam, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 5 )

Meaning: Oh Lord, who has unique features decorated with colorful gems and garlands, and who bears a unique form; my salutations to Thee, oh leader of GaNas.

Mooshakottama mAroohya, dEvAsura mahAhavE |
yOdhukAmam mahAviiryam, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 6 )

Meaning: One who rides on the superior mouse, who is worshiped by devas (angels) and asuras (demons) alike, and greatest among all warriors, my salutations to Thee, oh leader of GaNas.

Yaksha kinnara ghandarva siddha vidyAdharai sadA |
sthuyamAnam mahAbAhum, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 7 )

Meaning: The Yakshas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, and Vidyadharas always keep offering prayers to Thee, oh valorous-shouldered, my salutations to Thee, oh leader of GaNas.

Sarva vighna haram dEvam, sarva vighna vivarjitam |
sarva siddhi pradAtaram, vandEham GaNa nAyakam || ( 8 )

Meaning: One who removes all obstacles, and relieves you from the hurdles in your path, one who provides you with all divine powers (or your desires); my salutations to Thee, oh leader (or Lord) of GaNas.

Ending sloka:
GaNAshtakamidam puNyam bhaktitho ya padhEnnarah |
vimuktA sarva pApEbhyO rudra lOkam sa gachhati ||

Meaning: Whoever recites this pious and virtuous octane (eight verses) of Ganesha with utter devotion, he will get relieved from all his worldly sins and goes to the Rudra Loka which is the abode of Lord Shiva.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dear Newspapers! Stop Hijacking Those Front Pages

I am much worried about seeing that these publishers of NewsPapers have forgotten the definition and the meaning of a newspaper.
I hope that a newspaper is for providing the news. Not for presenting those advertisements as the
main content of it. 

We subscribe to newspapers to get the news that happens around the world. We would like to know at a first glance the main events that took place all around there during the last 24 hours. That's why we buy these newspapers. Is it right?

But, if we are prevented from seeing that frontpage news, what is the benefit in procuring the paper?

Most of these publishers are blocking the subscribers from their privileged news by big banners of frontpage advertisements. It is simply the hijacking of the privilege of their customers. Isn't it?

You should know that people who are interested in those advertising banners of posh villas and apartments, or jewelry and other luxury items are simply a minority and, even then, they too might want to know the big news around the world at first instant than look at those advertisements. Am I right? 

And, you must also know this one more important point.

Most of us (or maybe some ample percentage of your subscribers) do not have time to read the news at the instant of the paperboy throwing the paper at our doorsteps.

We have our daily routine more important work than reading the news that early. We simply want to look at the headlines in that fraction of a minute while we take the paper from our doorstep and put it inside. I could afford only those few seconds to glance at the top news of the day and I feel much embarrassed to find that big banner staring at me on the front page. So, I am prevented from looking at the news. And, keep it aside only to find time after my lunch. This is my case. And, I hope many subscribers of these newspapers might be facing some similar problems due to these advertisements blocking their view.

As all of us know, there is certainly no need to subscribe to these newspapers as we are getting everything readymade on the internet. So, why should we subscribe to these things paying an ample amount of money?

Because I am very fond of those editorials and the wonderful columns in the center page of the newspaper. I am very much interested and enjoy reading those views and articles of popular writers and feel some pleasure as if I am interacting with them and enjoying their presence in my room. This is the main purpose of my buying these hard copies of newspapers and for the frontpage news and the almanac, weather report, etc. also. And, a bit of those sports news and getting acquainted with financial matters.

And I hope that many of you also must be having your own choices of buying these newspapers. But, definitely not for those marketing advertisements like that which frustrate you.

I am not against the media people making their business. I simply want to remind them that there should be some norms and limits for their indulgences. Don't play with your subscribers in any way.

Kindly don't block our front page with that unwanted advertisement.

You can put it at the back of the front page or the next page. Already you are having so many pages allocated for advertisements, especially in the weekend days, that cover half of the total number of pages. So, not on the main page of your news, please!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lakshmi Ashtothram - 108 Names of Lakshmi for Lakshmi Puja

Lakshmi Ashtottara Stotram is the lyrical form of 108 names composed for the worship of Goddess Lakshmi.

It is believed that Lord Shiva mentioned these lyrics to Parvati Devi on her own request. She requested Shiva to let her know the greatness of Goddess Lakshmi and the lyrics that can be recited to appease her so that people can get Her blessings.

This post is divided into these sub-sections or headings:

  • Prelude (it is about the talk between Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva that mentions the greatness of Lakshmi Ashtothram)
  • Salutations or prayer to Lakshmi before starting the ashtothram
  • The hymns containing 108 names of Lakshmi (hymns numbered 1 to 14)
  • Submission or dedication of yourself to Goddess Lakshmi (hymns 15 and 16)
  • Benefits of reciting these hymns (hymns 17 to 21

Prelude to the Lakshmi Stotram

DEvyuvAcha: (Goddess Parvati said)

Deva, Deva, Mahadeva trikaalajna maheswara
karunaakara devesha bhaktaanugraha kaaraka
ashtottara shatam lakshmyaa srOtumiccchaami tattvata:

(O Lord, Lord of all Lords, who is well aware of all the three phases of time -the past, present, and the future, who is an abode of kindness, I want to hear the 108 names of Lakshmi with their full essence for the sake of our devotees.)

IshwaruvAcha: (Lord Shiva told)

Before reciting the ashtottara stotram, Lord Shiva narrates the significance and greatness of Lakshmi Ashtottara Stotram to Parvati in these following verses.

Devi, saadhu, mahAbhAgE! mahAbhAgya pradAyakam|
sarvaishwara karam puNyam sarva pApa praNAshanam||

(O Devi, very good, I feel lucky to do so! It provides great fortune and prosperity, does good to all beings, and  destroys all evils.)

sarva dAridrya shamanam, sravaNAt, bhukti muktidam|
rAjavashya karam divyam guhyAtguhyatamam param||

(It removes all poverty, provides material gifts and liberation only by hearing at it. Provides majestic look, precious life that is both imaginable and unimaginable.)

durlabham sarvadEvAnAm chatushshashti kaLAshpadam|
padmAdeenAm varAmtAnAm nidheenAm nityadAyakam||

(It is inaccessible even to the angels and the masters of 64 arts. Greater than all lotuses, bountiful than all bounties, a more valuable treasure of all the treasures.)

samasta dEva samsEvya maNimAdyasta siddhidam|
kimatra bahunOktEna dEviipratyaksha dAyakam|

(who is served by all the angels, the possessor of all treasures and the supernatural powers known as eight siddhis, by the utterance of which that Goddess reveals herself to you.)

tavapriityAdya vakshyAmi samAhitamanAshruNuh:|
ashtOttara shatasyAsya mahAlakshmiistu dEvatA||

(for your pleasure, kindly listen with your full heart this composition of the 108 names of Mahalakshmi Goddess.)

kliim beezapada mityuktam shaktistu bhuvanEswarii
anganyAsah: karanyAsa: sah: ityAdi prakiirtitah:||

(The Goddes who is the Queen of all universes, who is the Almighty energy that is embodied and referred to in the four seed mantras or sounds of aum- aim, hreem, shreem, kliim- and she is worshipped through body signs, hand signs, and through many ways.)

Prayer To Goddess Lakshmi

Now, Lord Shiva tells about the prayer slokas that are being recited before proceeding to Ashtottara Stotram so as to please the Goddess.

vandE padmakarAm prasanna vadanAm soubhAgyadAm bhAgyadAm|
hastAbhyAm abhayapradAm maNigaNair nAnAvidhair bhooshitAm||

(I pray to Thee, who is lotus-handed, possesses a smiling face, bestows wellness and prosperity, who gestures the protection sign with her hands, and who is adorned with different kinds of jewels.)

bhaktAbhiista phalapradAm harihara brahmAdibhih: sEvitAm|
pArsvE pankaja shankha padma nidibhiryuktAm sadA shaktibhi:||

(you are the bestower of devotees' wishes, yourself being served by Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma, etc.; holding on your sides the weapon of the Wheel, Conch, Lotus, and other precious things. You are the ever-powerful Goddess.)

sarasija nayanE sarOja hastE dhavaLatarAmshuka gandhamAlya sObhE|
bhagavathi harivallabhE manOgjnE tribhuvana bhoota kari praseeda mahyam||

(O lotus-eyed Goddess! lotus-handed and adorned with the garlands of fragrant white flowers; O Supreme Goddess, consort of Vishnu (Hari), who is handsome and pleasant, please bless all the beings of the three worlds forever.)

Now, let us come to the actual slokas of Lakshmi Ashtothram.

Lakshmi Ashtottara Stotram Lyrics

prakritim vikritim vidhyAm sarvabhoota hita pradAm
shraddhAm vibhootim surabhim namAmi paramAtmikAm|| 1

(I pray to Thee who is the embodiment of Natural force, unnatural force, knowledge, protection for all beings, care, incarnation power, fragrance, the supreme soul.)

vAcham padmAlayAm padmAm suchim svAhAm svadhAm sudhAm
dhanyAm hiraNmayiim lakshmiim nityapushtAm vibhAvariim|| 2

(pleasantly talkative, having the lotus as the abode, lotus-resembling, pure, ultimate, self-powered, herself the nectar, blessed one, gold-studded, ever healthy, wealthy)

aditim cha ditim deeptAm vasudhAm vasudhAriNiim
namAmi kamalAm kAntAm kAmAkshiim krodhasambhavAm|| 3

(the limitless One and at the same a limited One, the ever-shining light, she is the Earth and at the same time the One who holds the earth, I bow to thee, O Lotus-Like Beautiful One, one with lovely eyes, one who is born again out of anger)

anugraha pradAm buddhi managhAm harivallabhAm
ashOkAm amrutAm deeptAm lOkashOka vinAshiniim|| 4

(bestower of grace, the abode of wisdom, virtuous, possessing Hari as her consort, griefless one, deathless, the abode of light, destructor of worldly sorrows)

namAmi dharma nilayAm karuNAm lOkamAtaram
padmapriyAm padma hastAm padmAkshiim padmasundariim|| 5

(Salutations! O Abode of Righteousness and Kindness, Mother of Universe, One who loves Lotuses, Holds lotus in hand, Lotus-Resembling Eyed, Beautiful like the Lotus)

padmOdbhavAm padmamukhiim padmanAbhapriyAm ramAm
padmamAlAdharAm dEviim padminiim padmagandhiniim|| 6

(One who rose from Padma or Lotus, Lotus-faced, Beloved of Vishnu, O RamAdEvi, One who wears the lotus garland, O Goddess Padmini, Who is Lotus-Scented)

puNyagandhAm suprasannAm prasAdAbhimukhiim prabhAm
namAmi chandravadanAm chandrAm chandrasahOdariim|| 7

(One who emits purity, pleasingly generous, one who loves offerings, O Light, I bow to Thee O Moon-Like-Faced, O Moon-Resembled, Sister of the Moon)

chaturbhujAm chandraroopA mindirA mindushiitalAm
aahlaadajananiim pushtiim shivAm shivakariim satiim|| 8

(O Four-Handed, Moon-Like-Figured, beautiful like blue lotus, pleasingly cool, provider of happiness, well-built, blissful, provider of bliss, virtuous)

vimalAm vishvajananiim pushtim dAridrya nAsiniim
priitipushkariNiim shAntAm shuklamalyAmbarAm shriyam|| 9

(O Blemishless, mother of Universe, abundance, destroyer of poverty, the abode of love, peaceful One, white-garlanded, Goddess of wealth)

bhAskariim bilvanilayAm varArOhAm yashasviniim
vasundharA mudArAngAm hariNiim hEmamAliniim || 10

(O Brilliance, the native of the spiritual Bilva trees, accessible by boons, famous One, holder of the earth, soft-hearted, deer-like bodied, garlanded with gold)

dhanadhAnyakariim siddhim sthraiNasoumya subhapradAm
nripavEshmagatAnandAm varalakshmiim vasupradAm|| 11 

(provider of wealth and food, supernal powers, steadfastness, softness, and welfare provider, One who rejoices in palaces, bestower of gifts, and brilliance provider)

subhAm hiraNyaprAkArAm samudratanayAm jayAm
namAmi mangaLAm dEviim vishnu vakshasthala stithAm|| 12

(auspicious one, dweller amidst golden surroundings, daughter of Ocean, goddess of victory, salutations to auspicious one, Goddess of angels, one who resides in the heart of Vishnu)

vishnupatniim prasannAkshiim nArAyaNa samAshritAm
dAridrya dhvansiniim dEviim sarvOpadrava vAriNiim|| 13

(O Consort of Vishnu, merciful-eyed, dedicated to Narayana, the destructor of poverty, O Devi, remover of all problems)

navadurgAm mahAkALiim brahmavishNu sivAtmikAm
trikAlajnAna sampannAm namAmi bhuvanEswariim|| 14

(O Nine-Formed One; Goddess Mahakali; beloved by Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; possessor of the knowledge of past, present, and future; Salutations to Thee, O Goddess of Worlds)

The above 14 hymns are composed of the 108 names of Goddess Lakshmi. Each name qualifies a special power or feature of Her.

Submission to Goddess Lakshmi

The following two hymns of four lines are recited to express your devotion and thereby confirm your submission to her refuge.

Lakshmiim kshiirasamudrarAja tanayAm sriiranga dhAmEswariim
dAsiibhootasamastadEvavanitAm lOkaika deepAmkurAm
sriimanmandakatAkshalabdavibhavat brahmEndragangAdharAm
tvAm trailOkyakutumbiniim sarasijAm vandE mukundapriyAm|| 15 

(O Goddess Lakshmi, daughter of the milky ocean, dweller of Vaikunt (sriranga dhama refers to Vishnu's abode), served by all servants and spirits, thou art the only eternal light for all worlds; who attracts the grace of even Brahma, Indra, and Shiva; I bow to you, O dweller of all three worlds, born from lotus, and beloved by Mukunda, the Vishnu)

mAtarnamAmi kamalE kamalAyatAkshi 
sri vishnu hrutkamalavAsini visvamAta:
kshiirOdajE kamalakOmalagarbha gauri
lakshmii prasiidasatatam namatAm sharaNyE|| 16

(O Mother I bow to Thee, O Lotus-bodied, Lotus-eyed, resides in the heart of Vishnu, mother of the universe, took birth from the milky ocean, in the midst of a soft lotus, O Gouri, Lakshmi! always protect me, I bow to you and submit before you)

Now, we come to the fruits of reciting these hymns or 108 names of Lakshmi.

Benefits of Lakshmi Ashtothram 

trikAlam yO japE dvidvAn shaNmAsam vigitEndriya:
dAridryadhvansanam kritvA sarvamApnOtyayatnata:|| 17

(if wise people recite it three times daily for six months, they will become conquerors of all their senses; others will get rid of poverty and all their sins including those wise people)

dEviinAma sahasrEsu puNya mashtOttaram shatam
yEna shriyamavApnOti kOtijanma daridrata:|| 18

(Out of all those 1000 names of Goddess, these 108 names are the great ones; due to this they become prosperous and get rid of even one crore lives of poverty)

bhriguvArE shatam dhiimAn pathe: vatsaramAtrakam
ashtaiswarya mavApnOti kubEra iva bhootalE|| 19

(chanting the entire hundred names steadfastly for one year can bless you with all the eight treasures of Kubera in this world itself)

daridryamOchanam nAmastothra mambAparam shatam
yEna shriyamavApnOti kotijanma daridrata:|| 20

(you will get rid of poverty by reciting the entire hundred names of Goddess; even those who were poor for the last one crore lives will become rich immediately)

bhuktvAtu vipulAnbhOgA nasyA ssAyujyamApnuyAt
prAta:kAlE pathEnnityam sarvadukhOpashAntayE|| 21

(offering plenteous naivedyams or dishes that are prepared from multiple ingredients and chanting these hymns will provide you relief from all types of worries)

pathanstu chintayE dEviim sarVabharaNabhooshitAm||

While reciting all the above lines concentrate on Goddess adorned with all kinds of jewelry.