26 to 50)
devotional composition by Muka Kavi dedicated to Kamakshi. The real name of the
poet is not known. Legend has it that he was born dumb but regained not only
his voice by the grace of Goddess Kamakshi but also became
a poet of considerable merit. Mooka Panchashati
consists of five satakams, each Satakam containing 100 verses. The
Satakams are Arya Satakam,
Padaravinda Satakam, Stuti Satakam, Kataksha Satakam and Mandasmita Satakam.
the presiding deity of Kancheepuram. Her
consort is Ekamreshwara, an aspect of Lord Shiva. Kanchi is the Central Peetham established by
Aadi Shankaracharya who installed and consecrated the idol of Kamakshi and established the system
of worship there. The other Peethams are
at Badrinath in the North, Dwarka in theWest,
Puri in the East and Sringeri (Sringa giri) in the South.
English of a hymn of this nature is a delicate task and readers may kindly
pardon the shortcomings, though every attempt has been made to make the
translation as close as possible to the intended or perceived meaning.
with the brightness of the nails (नखररुचि) even as
the mind of the poets is in contact with the taste of the nails(नखररुचि)
thought or imagination]. They are full
of sound of the tinkling of the anklets (हंसकरवैः) just as the heavenly Ganga is full of sound of the
They are also beautiful with a bright crimson tinge as the morning
sunrise. May Those lotus feet of Kamakshi shine in my heart.
the naturally hard crowns of the celestials (when they bow down at your feet). They also come in contact with the valleys of
Himavan (as your the daughter of Himavan
covered with snow) and the minds of yogis which are very subtle,
very minute. Is it because of this that
they destroy delusion (because of their contact with hard objects) and cools
the hearts of devotees (because of their contact with snow-covered valleys) and
reveals things which are not visible to the naked eye (because of their contact
with the minds of yogis)?
of Shiva! tender leaves and lotuses are
threatened and frightened by your purifying and naturally soft lotus feet. They therefore always start vanavasavrata
(vow to stay in the forest) initiated by different kinds of birds. (It also could
mean they observed vanavasa guided by brahmins because द्विज
means birds as well as brahmins)
or yogis (हंसैः) after a long time but the lotus is easily
obtained by swans (हंससुलभं). The former drives away
dullness (जाड्यं) but the latter’s refuge is in the centre
of water (जडमध्यैकशरणम्).
The former does not attach to anything bad but the latter is in contact
with muddy water.
moon. Like the moon they enhance the joy
of the celestials as they bow to them.
Like the moon, the rays from their toes dispel the darkness (of
ignorance). Again like the moon, they
make the lotus unhappy because they
compete with it in beauty, softness and colour.
down at your feet, their locks get, as it were,
a garland made of white mandara and red hibiscus flowers from the
bright whiteness emanating from your toe nails and the bright redness from your
rays from your toe nails create the impression of white blossoms and the red
rays from your feet resemble the tender leaves.
I think that your lotus feet is
the wish-yielding tree of heaven which fulfils all wishes and which is sought after by the good.
which shine from the bright white rays of the toe nails resembling the waters
of the milky ocean, which have fine lines
depicting the lotus, the disc and the conch, which have taken the form of
fish and which have matchless
feet is the performer of sacrifice (यज्वा). The mind of the wise is the platform where the
sacrifice is performed. The tinkling
sound of your anklets is the Vashatkriya. The waves of karma is the havis
which flares up and burns up all ignorance.
like chanting of mantras. The rays of
pure white emanating from your toe nails is like the blowing of ashes by the mantrika. Like the mantrika, your lotus feet,
naturally efficient, drives away the ghost from the mind. The ghost in this case is egotism (the sense
of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’) or attachment to
the darkness of ignorance is dispelled, the damsel of your lotus feet,
manifesting love, covers herself with the white cloth of the bright rays of the
nails and secretly seeks out and enters the heart.
remembering your lotus feet is that it makes the devotee a great poet like the
cuckoo in the spring season when the beginning of the day ( sunrise, earlier
life) is marked by the fresh blossoming of forests of lotuses ( the bright
crimson of your lotus feet) and the evening (sunset, later life) is marked by
the appearance of the moon of Ultimate
Knowledge (the bright white rays from your toe nails).
Sun by providing shade (to devotees), by being friendly to the lotus, by being
the repository of all things bright, by imparting knowledge to all the worlds,
by showing the path to those who want to attain liberation.
which is samsara and are desirous of ascending the mansion of kaivalya
(the highest state) get your feet as the ladder by devotional service at your
ensues torrential rains causing a flood of knowledge annihilating the greed and
anger of those who prostrate before you.
I, on my part, would like to have the prasada (grace, blessing)
of your lotus feet, the lamp which would dispel the darkness of samsara
but the latter is without movement; the
former is always bright red but the latter loses it shine as it ages and the
former has the good good quality of generating the sweet tinkling of its
anklets while the latter is good at creating only harsh sound.
protecting all the worlds. They are
skilled in teaching good conduct. The celestials bow down before it and they
are beautiful. They are always
approachable by the wise (sages). The Vedas and Upanishads are their play
fields and they are the boundary for the crowns Indra and others wear on their
your lotus feet which are far removed from words, which destroy dullness and
darkness of ignorance, which protect the worlds, which are good at playing in
the hearts of sages, which appear smiling from the brightness of the toe nails,
which are the essence of the Upanishads and which stop the madness of the
गिरिवरसुते लङ्घयति ते
being dirtied (smeared) with the liquid lac dye
they remove all the dirt from the mind of those who prostrate before
them. Though they wear two anklets (तुलाकोटि)
they are without comparison (अतुलता).
O Daughter of Himavan! your lotus feet transcend the path of words.
still more red or make the brightness of evening twilight useless. May the waves of redness in the feet of
Kamakshi increase my auspiciousness.
wears the crescent moon on his head! your lotus feet radiates moonlight by the white brightness of your toe
nails and please the hearts of saints.
They are of the red colour of freshly blooming lotuses. Thus the
brightness of your pretty feet creates the season of sharat (the season
after the rainy season)
your toe nails which is like a bright smile resemble the sparkling waters of
Ganga in which mind takes a pleasant bath and having drunk to the heart’s fill
the nectar of Knowledge, may that mind of mine play at Kamakshi’s lotus feet
which are pretty and are lighted by the sparkling gems in the anklets
for crossing the ocean of this samsara.
They are like fire in the forest of dullness. They are the head ornament of Indra and other
celestials who bow down at them. They
are like the moonlight for the heat (misery) of the worlds. They are like the
female parrot in the cage which is not closed.
reflecting the effulgence of the Paratman (Higher Self) for those who prostrate before you. It seems as if the naturally soft hair on the heads of celestial damsels tries to wipe this mirror clean, as they bow down at Your feet.