KĪRTAN ILLUMINATIONS

ŚRĪ GURVAṢṬKAM

Meditation on the indispensability of Śrī Guru’s grace

By Śrīpād Śaṅkar Āchārya

 

शरीरं सुरूपं तथा वा कलत्रं
यशश्चारुचित्रं धनं मेरुतुल्यम् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥१॥

śarīraṁ surūpaṁ tathā vā kalatraṁ
yaśaś-chāru-chitram dhanam meru-tulyam
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [1]

[My] śarīram–body [may be] surūpam–beautiful,  –and [my] kalatram–wife tathā–as well; [my] yaśaḥ–reputation [may be] chāru–brilliant [and] chitram–exalted, [and my] dhanam–wealth [may be]  tulyam–comparable meru–to Mount Meru, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [1]

My body may be beautiful, and my wife as well;
My reputation may be brilliant and exalted,
And my wealth may be comparable to Mount Meru,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(Whose grace is the only real wealth),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

कलत्रं धनं पुत्रपौत्रादि सर्व्वं
गृहं बान्धवाः सर्व्वमेतद्धि जातम् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥२॥

kalatraṁ dhanaṁ putra-pautrādi-sarvaṁ
gṛhaṁ bāndhavāḥ sarvam etad dhi jātam
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [2]

kalatram–Wife, dhanam–wealth, putra–sons, pautra–grandsons, [and] sarvam–all ādi–the like, gṛham–home, bāndhavāḥ–friends— sarvam–all etad–of this hi–indeed [may] jātam–present, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [2]

Wife, wealth, sons, grandsons, and all the like,
Home, friends—indeed everything—I may have,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(My eternal guardian and friend),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

षडङ्गादिवेदो मुखे शास्त्रविद्या
कवित्वादि-गद्यं सुपद्यं करोति ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥३॥

ṣaḍ-aṅgādi-vedo mukhe śāstra-vidyā
kavitvādi-gadyaṁ supadyaṁ karoti
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [3]

vedaḥ–Knowledge ṣaḍ–of the six aṅga–limbs [of the Vedas] ādi–and so forth, [and] vidyā–expertise [in all other]  śāstra–scriptures [may be present] mukhe–on [my] lips, [and] karoti–I may compose kavitva–insightful ādi–and such gadyam–prose [and] supadyam–fine poetry, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [3]

Knowledge of the six limbs of the Vedas,
And expertise in all other śāstras,
May be present on my lips,
And I may compose insightful prose and fine poetry,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(By whose grace alone the truth is realised),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

विदेशेषु मान्यः स्वदेशेषु धन्यः
सदाचारवृत्तेषु मत्तो न चान्यः ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥४॥

videśeṣu mānyaḥ svadeśeṣu dhanyaḥ
sadāchāra-vṛtteṣu matto na chānyaḥ
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [4]

mānyaḥ–I may be honoured videśeṣu–in foreign countries, [and be] dhanyaḥ–prosperous svadeśeṣu–in [my] homeland, cha–and [in] sadāchāra–proper conduct [and] vṛtteṣu–behaviour [there may be] na anyaḥ–no one mattaḥ–equal to me, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [4]

I may be honoured in foreign countries,
And be prosperous in my homeland,
And in proper conduct and behaviour,
there may be no one equal to me,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(Whose example is perfection),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

क्षमामण्डले भूपभूपालवृन्दैः
सदा सेवितं यस्य पादारविन्दम् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥५॥

kṣamā-maṇḍale bhūpa-bhūpāla-vṛndaiḥ
sadā sevitaṁ yasya pādāravindam
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [5]

[I may be one] yasya–whose aravindam–lotus pāda–feet [are] sadā–continuously sevitam–worshipped vṛndaiḥ–by groups bhūpa–of kings [and] bhūpāla–emperors maṇḍale–across the surface kṣamā–of the earth, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [5]

My lotus feet may be continuously worshipped
By kings and emperors across the earth,
But if my mind is not fixed
on the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(To whom all honour is due),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

यशो मे गतं दिक्षु दानप्रतापा-
ज्जगद्वस्तु सर्व्वं करे यत्प्रसादात् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥६॥

yaśo me gataṁ dikṣu dāna-pratāpāj
jagad-vastu-sarvaṁ kare yat prasādāt
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [6]

prasādāt–By virtue yat–of such dāna–generosity [and] pratāpāt–prowess, me–my yaśaḥ–fame [may] gatam–have gone dikṣu–in [all] directions, [and] sarvam–all  vastu–things jagad–of [this] world [may be] kare–in [my] hand, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [6]

By virtue of my generosity and prowess,
My fame may have travelled in all directions,
And all things of this world
May be in the palm of my hand,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(To whom all my efforts should be dedicated),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

न भोगे न योगे न वा वाजिराजौ
न कान्तामुखे नैव वित्तेषु चित्तम् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥७॥

na bhoge na yoge na vā vājirājau
na kāntā-mukhe naiva vitteṣu chittam
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [7]

na–Neither bhoge–in enjoyment na–nor yoge–in yoga, na vā–nor vājirājau–in horses and other possessions, na–nor mukhe–in the face kāntā–of a beautiful woman, na–nor eva–indeed vitteṣu–in [any] wealth, [may my] chittam–mind [be found, but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [7]

Neither in enjoyment nor in yoga,
Nor in horses and other possessions,
Nor in the face of a beautiful woman,
Nor indeed in any wealth,
May my mind be found,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(Who is the ultimate object of meditation),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

अरण्ये न वा स्वस्य गेहे न कार्ये
न देहे मनो वर्तते मे त्वनर्घ्ये ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥८॥

araṇye na vā svasya gehe na kārye
na dehe mano vartate me tvan arghye
manaś chen na lagnaṁ guror aṅghri-padme
tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ tataḥ kiṁ [8]

na vā–Neither araṇye–in the forest na–nor [in my] svasya–own gehe–home, [nor] kārye–in [my] duties, na–nor dehe–in [my] body, [nor in] tvat–anything arghye–of value [does] me–my manaḥ–mind vartate–dwell, [but] chet–if [my] manaḥ–mind [is] na–not lagnam–fixed [on] aṅghri–the lotus padme–feet guroḥ–of Guru, tataḥ–then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] tataḥ–Then kim–what [of it?] [8]

Neither in the forest nor in my own home,
Nor in my duties, nor in my body,
Nor in anything of value
does my mind dwell,
But if my mind is not fixed
On the lotus feet of Śrī Guru
(Who is the ultimate object of meditation),
Then what of it? Then what of it?
Then what of it? Then what of it?

गुरोरष्टकं यः पठेत्पुण्यदेही
यतिर्भूपतिर्ब्रह्मचारी च गेही ।
लभेद्वाञ्छितार्थं पदं ब्रह्मसञ्ज्ञं
गुरोरुक्तवाक्ये मनो यस्य लग्नम् ॥९॥

guror aṣṭakaṁ yaḥ paṭhet puṇya-dehī
yatir bhūpatir brahmachārī cha gehī
labhed vāñchhitārthaṁ padaṁ brahma-sañjñaṁ
guror ukta-vākye mano yasya lagnam [9]

dehī–An embodied soul puṇya–of virtue yaḥ–who paṭhet–recites  aṣṭakam–this poem of eight verses guroḥ–about Śrī Guru, [be they] yatiḥ–a renunciant, bhūpatiḥ–a king, brahmachārī–a student, cha–or gehī–a householder, yasya–whose manaḥ–mind [is] lagnam–fixed [on the] ukta–spoken vākye–words guroḥ–of Śrī Guru, labhet–attains vāñchhita–the desired artham–end, padam–the plane sañjñam–known  brahma–as Brahma. [9]

A person of virtue of who recites this poem of eight verses about Śrī Guru (Gurvaṣṭakam), be they a sannyāsī, a king, a brahmachārī, or a householder, with their mind fixed on the spoken words of Śrī Guru, attains the desire end, the plane known as Brahma.

Notes

This poem was written by Śrīpād Śaṅkar Āchārya.

Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu has explained the meaning of Brahma as follows:

‘brahma’ śabdera artha—tattva sarva-bṛhattama
svarūpa aiśvarya kari’ nāhi yā̐ra sama
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 24.71)

“The meaning of the word ‘Brahma’ is ‘the entity greater than all’, that is, He who has no equal by virtue His nature and divine power.”

bṛhattvād bṛṁhaṇatvāch cha tad brahma paramaṁ viduḥ
tasmai namas te sarvātman yogi-chintyāvikāravat
(Viṣṇu-purāṇa: 1.12.57)

“Because of His greatness and being the nourisher of all, He is known as Parama Brahma. O Soul of all, meditated upon by yogīs and unchanging, I offer my obeisance unto You.”

brahma-śabde kahe pūrṇa svayaṁ bhagavān
svayaṁ bhagavān kṛṣṇa—śāstrera pramāṇa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 6.147)

“The word ‘Brahma’ means the Supreme Lord Himself, and the scriptures confirm that the Supreme Lord Himself is Kṛṣṇa.”

aho bhāgyam aho bhāgyaṁ nanda-gopa-vrajaukasām
yan-mitraṁ paramānandaṁ pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.14.32)

“How fortunate! How fortunate are Nanda Mahārāj, the cowherd men, and the other residents of Vraja, whose friend is the embodiment of the ultimate joy (Kṛṣṇa), the eternal Supreme Brahma!”

2018-05-31T11:02:29+00:00Tags: |
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