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Sri Subrahmanya Bhujangam

Sri Subrahmanya Bhujangam is a hymn is addressed to Lord Subrahmanya, the presiding deity of Tiruchendur, in the south-east coast of India, off the district of Tirunelveli. Adi Sankara composed this hymn of thiry three verses, in the peculiar Bhujanga metre, noted for its sinuous movement like that of a serpent. The hymn is full of piety, spiritual exaltation and ecstasy.

It also reveals the efficacy of praise, prayer and meditation on Subrahmanya. This hymn is considered as an eulogy of extraordi­nary merit.

Sankara calls upon all seekers to share his wondrous experience and joy in adoring the Lord who is the absolute ruler over all cosmic forces. He is the heroic leader of the celestial hordes. He is also the Indweller, Guha.

The poem holds out the hope that those who chant it daily with devotion shall win his grace, bestowing a life of plenitude and final beatitude. Sri Sankara’s purpose is to guide every seeker to God realisation, which is the grand finale of human existence.

In this hymn Sankara reveals the splendour, glory and Infinity of Subrahmanya at two levels. One is external and the other is internal. The sacred shrine at Tiruchendur framed by hills and facing the sea with huge waves lashing its shore, represents the external power. And then there is the Indweller in each one of us, who is the over seer, permitter, Lord, Enjoyer and the Ruler. He represents the internal power who is the nearest and dearest friend of mankind.

Lord Sri Shanmukha
Lord Sri Shanmukha at Tiruchendur

॥श्रीसुब्रह्मण्यभुजङ्गम्॥

सदा बालरूपापि विघ्नाद्रिहन्त्री
महादन्तिवक्त्रापि पञ्चास्यमान्या ।
विधीन्द्रादिमृग्या गणेशाभिधा मे
विधत्तां श्रियं कापि कल्याणमूर्तिः ॥१॥

Though a mere child, he annihilates mountainous obstacles. Though endowed with an elephant’s face, he is most dear to Siva, the Panchasya (which word also means a lion.) He is sought after by gods, such as Brahma and Indra. May the benevolent Lord known by the name Ganesha bless me with wealth.

न जानामि शब्दं न जानामिचार्थं
न जानामि पद्यं न जानामि गद्यम् ।
चिदेका षडास्या हृदि द्योतते मे
मुखान्निःसरन्ते गिरश्चापि चित्रम् ॥२॥

I neither know the sound nor sense. Neither prose nor poetry. Yet when the One Intelligence glows in my heart, with his six shining faces, words cascade from my mouth so effortlessly.

मयूराधिरूढं महावाक्यगूढं
मनोहारिदेहं महच्चित्तगेहम् ।
महीदेवदेवं महावेदभावं
महादेवबालं भजे लोकपालम् ॥३॥

The peacock mounted lord is the secret shrouded in the mystic formula. His body captivates our minds with its beauty. He is resident in the mighty souled men. I serve the guardian of the worlds, the deity of brahmins, object of Vedas and the dear son of Mahadeva.

यदा सन्निधानं गता मानवा मे
भवाम्भोधिपारं गतास्ते तदैव ।
इति व्यञ्जयन्सिन्धुतीरे य आस्ते
तमीडे पवित्रं पराशक्ति पुत्रम् ॥४॥

“When men reach my abode on the shores of this sea, they have already crossed the life’s sea of strife.” Thus the lord seems to proclaim from his coastal shrine. I praise this sacred Son of the Divine Mother.

यथाब्धेस्तरङ्गा लयं यान्ति तुङ्गा-
स्थैवापदः सन्निधौ सेवतां मे ।
इतीवोर्मिपङ्गक्तीर्नृणां दर्शयन्तं
सदा भावये हृत्सरोजे गुहं तम् ॥५॥

‘Tides arise in the sea, glide towards the shore and then break into froth and foam. So too my devotees’ dangers shall vanish.” The Lord seems to say so. May I ever meditate on him in the core of my heart.

गिरौ मन्निवासे नरा येऽधिरूढा-
स्तदा पर्वते राजते तेऽधिरूढाः ।
इतीव ब्रुवन् गन्धशैलाधिरूढः
स देवो मुदे मे सदा षण्मुखोऽस्तु ॥६॥

May the lord of six faces ever bring me joy. Seated on the Gandhamadana mountain, he declares that those who have climbed to his hill shrines, have scaled the silver hills, the Kailas, as well.

महाम्भोधितीरे महापापचोरे
मुनीन्द्रानुकूले सुगन्धाख्यशैले ।
गुहायां वसन्तं स्वभासा लसन्तं
जनार्तिं हरन्तं श्रयामो गुहं तम् ॥७॥

I seek Guha the lndweller, abiding on Mount Sugandha, nestled on the shores of the mighty sea–the favourite of seers, the absolver of ills, shining in peerless splendour.

लसत्वर्णगेहे नृणां कामदोहे
सुमस्तोमसंछन्नमाणिक्यमञ्चे ।
समुद्यत्सहस्रार्कतुल्यप्रकाशं
सदा भावये कार्तिकेयं सुरेशम् ॥८॥

From his golden home, seated on the cot of emerald, sprinkled with fragrant flowers, outshining the splendour of a thousand suns, he doles out to the beseeching mortals all they desire. I contemplate on this Karttikeya, the lord of the celestials.

रणद्धंसके मञ्जुलेऽत्यन्तशोणे
मनोहारिलावण्यपीयूषपूर्णे ।
मनःषट्पदो मे भवत्क्लेशतप्तः
सदा मोदतां स्कन्द ते पादपद्मे ॥९॥

May my mind like a tired wandering bee settle down and revel on Thy roseate lotus feet, soft, captivating and dripping with nectar.

सुवर्णाभदिव्याम्बरैर्भासमानां
क्वणत्किङ्किणीमेखलाशोभमानाम् ।
लसद्धेमपट्टेन विद्योतमानां
कटिं भावये स्कन्द ते दीप्यमानाम् ॥१०॥

I meditate on your waist clad in golden apparel, girdled with jingling bells, and a golden belt.

पुलिन्देशकन्याघनाभोगतुङ्ग्-
स्तनालिङ्गनासक्तकाशमीररागम् ।
नमस्यामहं तारकरे तवोरः
स्वभक्तावने सर्वदा सानुरागम् ॥११॥

Embraced by the hunter lass, your chest is glowing with saffron, You are ever intent on the welfare of your devotees. Here is my obeisance.

विधौकॢप्तदण्डान्स्वलीलाधृताण्डा-
न्निरस्तेभशुण्डान्द्विषत्कालदण्डान् ।
हतेन्द्रारिषण्डाञ्जगत्राणशौण्डान्
सदा ते प्रचण्डाञ्श्रये बाहुदण्डान् ॥१२॥

I trust your mighty arms strong like the elephant’s trunk. They subdue enemies, take care of the worlds, and chastise arrogant Brahma.

सदा शारदाः षण्मृगाङ्का यदि स्युः
समुद्यन्त एव स्थिताश्चेत्समन्तात् ।
सदा पूर्णबिम्बाः कलङ्कैश्च हीना-
स्तदा त्वन्मुखानां ब्रुवे स्कन्द साम्यम् ॥१३॥

If only the wintry moons are ever full without waxing and waning, and never setting, and without the dark spots marring the beauty, I would then fain compare them to your six lovely faces.

स्फुरन्मन्दहासैः सहंसानि चञ्च-
त्कटाक्षावलीभृङ्गसंघोज्ज्वलानि ।
सुधास्यान्दिबिम्बाधराणीशसूनो
तवालोकये षण्मुखाम्भोरुहाणि ॥१४॥

I would low to gaze at your six lotus faces amidst the swan-like smiles shedding dark glances like a string of bees, with their ruddy nectarine lips.

विशालेषु कर्णान्तदीर्घेष्वजस्त्रं
दयास्यन्दिषु द्वादशस्वीक्षणेषु ।
मयीषत्कटाक्षः सकृत्पातितश्चे-
द्भवेते दयाशील का नाम हानिः ॥१५॥

Your 12 expansive eyes with elongated lashes shed rays of benevolent grace. Even if a particle of that glance falls on me, I am blessed. And pray tell me, what do you lose?

सुताङ्गोद्भवो मेऽसि जीवेति षड्धा
जपन्मन्त्रमीशो मुदा चिघ्रते यान् ।
जगद्भारभृद्भ्यो जगन्नाथ तेभ्यः
किरीटोज्ज्वलेभ्यो नमो मस्तकेभ्यः ॥१६॥

“My Child! You have sprung out of me. May you live long.” So saying, Thy father chants the mantra six times in your ears and lovingly caresses your heads. O Lord of the Universe! Your crowned heads bear the burden of the worlds. Obeisance to you!

स्फुरद्रत्नकेयूरहाराभिराम-
श्चलत्कुण्डलश्रीलसद्गण्डभागः ।
कटौ पीतवासाः करे चारु शक्तिः
पुरस्तान्ममास्तां पुरारेस्तनूजः ॥१७॥

May the son of the destroyer of triple cities stand before me. A necklace of emerald and gold adorns his neck. His cheeks glitter with the dazzling ear rings. Apparelled in yellow silken cloth, He stands holding a shining spear.

इहायाहि वत्सेति हस्तान्प्रसार्या-
ह्वयत्यादराच्छंकरे मातुरङ्कात् ।
समुत्पत्य तातं श्रयन्तं कुमारं
हराश्लिष्टगात्रं भजे बालमूर्तिम् ॥१८॥

When Siva beckons him saying, “Come here, my son!” endearingly, the child Kumara at once jumps from the mother’s lap and tightly embraces his father. My obeisance to that loving babe.

कुमारेशसूनो गुह स्कन्द सेना-
पते शक्तिपाणे मयूराधिरूढ ।
पुलिन्दात्मजाकान्त भक्तार्तिहारिन्
प्रभो तारकरे सदा रक्ष मां त्वम् ॥१९॥

O Kumara! Son of Lord Siva! O Indweller! Commander of celestial hordes! O wielder of lance and mounted on peacock! Lover of hunter’s daughter and remover of the ills of devotees. O Foe of the Titan Taraka! Be Thou my solace.

प्रशान्तेन्द्रिये नष्टसंज्ञे विचेष्टे
कफोद्गारिवक्त्रे भयोत्कम्पिगात्रे ।
प्रयाणोन्मुखे मय्यनाथे तदानीं
द्रुतं मे दयालो भवाग्रे गुहं त्वम् ॥२०॥

When all my senses leave, when I am bereft of movement and lose my power of cognition, when my voice is choked due to phlegmatic throat, when fear grips me, when I prepare myself for the final journey, forsake me not, O Lord! Stand fast by me.

कृतान्तस्य दूतेषु चण्डेषु कोपा-
द्दह च्छिन्द्धि भिन्द्धीति मां तर्जयत्सु ।
मयूरं समारुह्य मा भैरिति त्वं
पुरः शक्तिपाणिर्ममायाहि शीघ्रम् ॥२१॥

When the dire servitors of Death, threaten me saying, “Burn him, break him, smite him, “please mount your peacock and rush to me in a trice, and bid me, “Fear not”, comfortingly.

प्रणम्यासकृतपादयोस्ते पतित्वा
प्रसाद्य प्रभो पार्थयेऽनेकवारम् ।
न वक्तुं क्षमोहं तदानीं कृपाब्धे
न कार्यान्तकाले मनागप्युपेक्षा ॥२२॥

I fall at your feet constantly and supplicate for your protection at the time of my death. I will not be able to vocalise my plight then. Do not tarry even a second.

सहस्राण्डभोक्ता त्वया शूरनामा
हतस्तारकः सिंहवक्त्रश्च दैत्यः ।
ममान्तर्हृदिस्थं मनःक्लेशमेकं
न हंसि प्रभो किं करोमि क्व यामि ॥२३॥

You have killed Surapadma, the enjoyer of a thousand worlds. You destroyed Taraka and Simhavaktra. Can’t you cure me of a single affliction of mine? What can I do and where can 1 go?

अहं सर्वदा दुःखभारावसन्नो
भवान् दीनबन्धुस्त्वदन्यं न याचे ।
भवद्भक्तिरोधं सदा क्लृप्तबाधं
ममाधिं दुतं नाशयोमासुत त्वम् ॥२४॥

I am always grief-stricken. You are the saviour of the afflicted. I ask none else. My grief comes in the way of my devotion. O Son of Uma! Dispel this gloom that gnaws at my heart.

अपस्मारकुष्टक्षयार्शःप्रमेह-
ज्वरन्मादिगुल्मादिरोगा महान्तः ।
पिशाचाश्च सर्वे भवत्पत्रभूतिं
विलोक्यक्षणात्तरकारे द्रवन्ते ॥२५॥

Epilepsy, leprosy, consumption, diabetes, piles, fever, psychosis, colic, all these dire diseases take to heels, the moment they come across Thy sacred ashes.

दृशि स्कन्दमूर्तिः श्रुतौ स्कन्दकीर्ति-
र्मुखे मे पवित्रं सदा तच्चरित्रम् ।
करे तस्य कृत्यं वपुस्तस्य भृत्यं
गुहे सन्तु लीना ममाशेषभावाः ॥२६॥

May my eyes see your benign form. May my ears hear your fabled fame. May my tongue ever utter your purifying names. May my hands do your deeds, and may my body be engaged in your service. Thus dedicated, may all my thoughts ever merge in Thee.

मुनीनामुतहो नृणां भक्तिभाजा-
मभीष्टप्रदाः सन्ति सर्वत्र देवाः ।
नृणामन्त्यजानामपि स्वार्थदाने
गुहाद्देवमन्यं न जाने न जाने ॥२७॥

We find Devas everywhere ready to give favours to sages and devotees. But I know of no other deity who blesses even the lowliest outcaste.

कलत्रं सुता बन्धुवर्गः पशुर्वा
नरो वाथ नारी गृहे ये मदीयाः ।
यजन्तो नमन्तः स्तुवन्तो भवन्तं
स्मरन्तश्च ते सन्तु सर्वे कुमार ॥२८॥

O Lord! My wife, my children, kinsmen, chattel, servitors, my household, whatever is mine, let them endear themselves to you. May they hold Thee ever in remembrance.

मृगाः पक्षिणो दंशका ये च दुष्टा-
स्तथा व्याधयो बाधका ये मदङ्गे ।
भवच्छक्तितीक्ष्णाग्रभिन्नाः सुदूरे
विनश्यन्तु ते चूर्णितक्रौञ्चशैले ॥२९॥

O Lord,you who pierced the Krauncha Mount, would you destroy, by your sharp spear, the birds, beasts, wild insects, and bodily ailments that afflict my limbs?

जनित्री पिता च स्वपुत्रापराधं
सहेते च किं देवसेनाधिनाथ ।
अहं चातिबालो भवान् लोकतातः
क्षमस्वापराधं समस्तं महेश ॥३०॥

O Commander of the heavenly hordes! Do not parents forgive their erring sons? You are the father of the universe, lama mere child. Forgive all trespasses.

नमः केकिने शक्तये चापि तुभ्यं
नमश्चाग तुभ्यं नमः कुक्कुटाय ।
नमः सिन्धवे सिन्धुदेशाय तुभ्यं
पुनः स्कन्दमूर्ते नमस्ते नमोऽस्तु ॥३१॥

Obeisance to your mount, the peacock, to the ram, to your spear, to your banner bearing the cock, to the sea you are facing and to the seashore. Adoration to Thee. O Lord Skandal, again and again.

जयानन्दभूमञ्जयापारधाम-
ञ्जयामोघकीर्ते जयानन्दमूर्ते ।
जयानन्द सिन्धो जयाशेषबन्धो
जय त्वं पिता मुक्तिदानेशसूनो ॥३२॥

O Bliss Absolute! Hail O Shoreless Beyond! O Lord of undented fame! Hail O Form of Delight! Victory to Thee, O Ocean ofjoy! O Kinsman of all! May you be ever victorious, O Saviour and Son of Siva!

भुजङ्गाख्यवृत्तेन क्लृप्तं स्तवं यः
पठेत्भक्तियुक्तो गुहं संप्रणम्य ।
स पुत्रान्कलत्रं धनं दीर्घमायु-
र्लभेत्स्कन्दसायुज्यमन्ते नरः सः ॥३३॥

Whoever chants this hymn composed in the Bhujanga metre, with due devotion and prostrations to Guha, thelndweller, to him will be Vouchsafed, a good mate, progeny, wealth and longevity. In the end he will be united with Skanda.

॥ श्रीसुब्रह्मण्यभुजङ्गं सम्पूर्णम् ॥


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