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Adi Sankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari

Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Introduction

Soundarya Lahari meaning waves of beauty consists of two parts viz. Ananda Lahari meaning waves of happiness (first 41 stanzas) and Soundarya Lahari(the next 59 stanzas). It is believed that Lord Ganesha himself has etched the Ananda Lahari on Mount Meru(Some people believe that Sage Pushpa Dhantha did the etching).It was read from there by Sage Gouda Pada who taught it to Adhi Sankara. Adhi Sankara himself added the rest of the 59 stanzas and completed it. 


These 100 stanzas are supposed to be the foremost among Manthra literature. It is also believed that by Making suitable Yanthras and reciting particular stanzas and worshipping the yantras almost anything can be obtained in the world .There are more thn 36 commentries to Soundarya Lahari written in Sanskrit itself.Of them the most famous is that written by Lakshmi Dhara alias Lalla,His commentary is used to understand the meaning of the different verses.Though there are large number of translations and commentaries of Soundraya Lahari available this is perhaps the first time an attempt is made by a mere novice to translate them in to English verse. The aim is to bring to the notice of the devotes who know English better than other languages , the majesty of the medium of worship called Soundarya Lahari.A transliteration in roman script is also given. May all those who read this be drenched forever by this “Wave of happiness”

Part I – Ananda Lahari (The waves of happiness)*

1
Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi;
Atas tvam aradhyam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhir api
Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhavati

Lord Shiva, only becomes able.
To do creation in this world.
along with Shakthi
Without her,
Even an inch he cannot move,
And so how can, one who does not do good deeds,
Or one who does not sing your praise,
Become adequate to worship you
Oh , goddess mine,
Who is worshipped by the trinity.

2
(Attracting all the world)&
Taniyamsam pamsum tava carana-pankeruha-bhavam
Virincih sanchinvan virachayati lokan avikalam;
Vahaty evam Shaurih katham api sahasrena shirasaam
Harah samksudy’ainam bhajati bhajati bhasito’ddhalama-vidhim.
Lord Brahma ,the creator of yore,
Selects a dust from your feet,
And creates he this world,
The great Adisesha* with his thousand heads,
Some how carries a dust of your feet,
With effort great,
And the great Lord Rudra,
Takes it and powders it nice,
And uses it as the holy ash.

3
(Attainment of all knowledge)
Avidyanam antas-timira-mihira-dweeppa-nagari
Jadanam chaitanya-stabaka-makaranda-sruti jhari
Daridranam cinta-mani-gunanika janma-jaladhau
Nimadhanam damshtra mura-ripu-varahasya bhavati.

The dust under your feet, Oh Goddess great,
Is like the city of the rising sun,
That removes all darkness , unfortunate,
From the mind of the poor ignorant one,
Is like the honey that flows ,
From the flower bunch of vital action,
To the slow witted one,
Is like the heap of wish giving gems,
To the poorest of men,
And is like the teeth of Lord Vishnu
In the form of Varaha,
Who brought to surface,
The mother earth,
To those drowned in this sea of birth.

4
(Removal of all fears, Curing of diseases)
Tvad anyah paanibhyam abhaya-varado daivataganah
Tvam eka n’aivasi prakatita-var’abhityabhinaya;
Bhayat tratum datum phalam api cha vancha samadhikam
Saranye lokanam tava hi charanaveva nipunav..

Oh, She who is refuge to all this world,
All gods except you mother,
Give refuge and grants wishes,
Only by their hand.
But only you mother
Never show the world in detail,
The boons and refuge that you can give,
For even your holy feet will suffice,
To remove fear for ever,
And grant boons much more than asked.

5
(Attracting of sexes to each other)
Haris tvam aradhya pranata-jana-saubhagya-jananim
Pura nari bhutva Pura-ripum api ksobham anayat;
Smaro’pi tvam natva rati-nayana-lehyena vapusha
Muninam apyantah prabhavati hi mohaya mahatam.

You who grant all the good things,
To those who bow at your feet,
Was worshipped by the Lord Vishnu,
Who took the pretty lovable feminine form,
And could move the mind of he who burnt the cities,
And make him fall in love with him.
And the God of love , Manmatha,
Took the form which is like nectar,
Drunk by the eyes by Rathi his wife,
After venerating you,
Was able to create passion ,
Even in the mind of Sages the great.

6
(Getting sons as progeny)
Dhanun paushpam maurvi madhu-kara-mayi pancha visikha
Vasantaha samanto Malaya-marud ayodhana-rathah;
Tatha’py ekah sarvam Himagiri-suthe kam api kripaam
Apangat te labdhva jagadidam Anango vijayate

Oh ,daughter of the mountain of ice,
With a bow made of flowers,
Bow string made of honey bees,
Five arrows made of only tender flowers,
With spring as his minister,
And riding on the chariot of breeze from Malaya mountains
The god of love who does not have a body,
Gets the sideways glance of your holy eyes,
And is able to win all the world alone.

7
(Seeing the Goddess in person, Winning over enemies)
Kvanat-kanchi-dama kari-kalabha-kumbha-stana-nata
Pariksheena madhye parinata-sarachandra-vadana;
Dhanur banan pasam srinim api dadhana karatalaii
Purastad astam noh Pura-mathitur aho-purushika.

With a golden belt,
Adorned by tiny tingling bells,
Slightly bent by breasts like the two frontal globes
Of an elephant fine,
With a thin pretty form,
And with a face like the autumn moon,
Holding in her hands,
A bow of sugar cane , arrows made of flowers,
And the noose and goad,
She who has the wonderful form,
Of the ego of the God who burnt the three cities,
Should please come and appear before us.

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