Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -2
Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly
summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034
sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit.
The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end
of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was
completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala
. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions
and restore his health. .
below is the collection of last slokas from Daskas 11 to 20 of this
great devotional work with a prosaic translation in English. A brief note on the contents of each dasaka
is also given, where possible, to put the slokas in context.
and Vijaya, dwarapalas at Vaikunta,
the abode of Mahavishnu, were born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu in the
asura clan by the curse of sages Sanaka,
Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara who were denied access to the Lord
by them. Hiranyaksha was raring to fight
and was not able to find an enemy who could match his strength. Then he submerged the Earth in water and
wandered roaring carrying a mace. The poet ends this dasaka with the following
prayer to the Lord:
hearing from Varuna about You as one of equal strength, Hiranyaksha went around
in search of You seen only by your devotees. O Lord of Guruvayur! Repository of Compassion! Please put an end to my ailments.
Dasaka describes the incarnation of the Lord as varaha (Boar) which emerged
from the nostrils of Brahma with a tiny body. In seconds it assumed a gigantic
form, plunged into the waters and, warding
off the attacks of the asuras, found the Earth hidden in Rasatala ( one of the nether worlds)
up the Earth which was comparatively of the size of a sprouting musta (the tiny root of a type of a
grass) stuck to the huge tusk of your gargantuan body, you came out of the
turbulent waters of the ocean. O Lord with the playfully assumed body of a
Boar! Save me from my ailments.
in his incarnation as Varaha (Boar) kills Hiranyaksha in a tough fight
and the Rishis sing his praise with vedic hymns. In the last sloka of this dasaka Bhattathiri
entreats the Lord to free him of all his afflictions.
च विलसन् ।
by the hymns of the Munis you shone in that glorious varaha form with unblemished reputation
and went back to your own abode of Vaikunta revelling in your Bliss. O Slayer
of Madhu! Lord of Guruvayoor! kindly put an end to all my afflictions.
dasaka describes the incarnation of the Lord as Kapila. Kardama, one of the prajapatis born out of the shadow of Brahma married Devahuti, daughter of Manu and Shatarupa. To them was born Kapila, the proponent of the Samkhya
philosophy. When Kardama retires to the forests, Kapila imparts to his mother
Devahuti the essence of the Samkhya philosophy.
Bhattathiri ends this dasaka with the following prayer to the Lord:
Kardama went to the forests (for tapas)
You, as Bhagavan Kapila, imparted to your mother (Devahuti) the
knowledge of the whole of samkhya philosophy.
O Lord of Guruvayur incarnated as Kapila! save me from all my ailments
contains a summary of the instructions by Kapila to his mother Devahuti
emphasising devotion to the Lord.
Lord! What is the use of a volley of words. You have emphatically declared that
devotion to your lotus-feet will free one from all fears and bring all that is
desirable. Therefore O Lord of Guruvayur! destroy my afflictions and engender
in me unwavering devotion to you.
daska describes the tapas of
Narayana and Nara at Badarikashram. Indra, afraid that he may lose his position
by the power of their tapas, sent
Kama along with his retinue to disturb them in their tapas. But they could not be
seduced by the apsara beauties sent
by Indra aided by Kama. On the other hand Narayana created Urvashi who was more
than a match to the apsaras in her beauty.
dasaka also describes the yagna performed by Daksha to which Lord Siva
was not invited. Sati, Daksha’s daughter
and the consort of Siva went to the Yagna where she burnt herself in the fire
of yoga, unable to bear the insult to her husband. Bhattathiri’s prayer to the
Lord in this dasaka is contained in this last sloka:
yagna was devastated by (the bhutaganas
of) an angry Siva and Daksha was
beheaded. Propitiated by the Devas,
Lord Siva revived him. Then you got the yagna completed (as per vedic
injunctions) and Daksha met with peace again.
O Lord of Guruvaur! Harbinger of
Peace! please save me (from my ailments).
story of Dhruva is narrated in this dasaka. Dhruva, a boy of five,
was prevented from sitting on the lap of his father by Sruruchi, his
father’s second wife. Dhruwa, in tears, goes to his mother Suniti, the first
wife of the king, who advises Dhruva to
propitiate Mahavishnu by tapas to get
back his rights. Determined to achieve his goal Dhruva, guided by Narada,
undertakes intense tapas. Propitiated by the boy’s tapas Mahavishnu reveals himself and grants his
wish. Dhruva’s father had a change of
heart in the meanwhile and he installed Dhruwa as the king, retiring to the
forests himself. Bhattathiri’s prayer to
the Lord is contained in this last sloka:
end Dhruva, along with his mother Suniti,
was led by your attendants in a vimana
(air plane), to the abode called dhruvapada where he lives happily with his mother. O
Lord of Guruvayur! please cure all my ailments.
story of Pruthu, an incarnation of Vishnu, is given in this daska. Pruthu
emerged from the body of his father Vena, a wicked king who died cursed by
rishis who could not tolerate his atrocities.
Pruthu made mother Earth yield her fruits which she had withheld during
the reign of Vena. In the following
sloka at the end of this dasaka Bhattathiri prays to the Lord to wipe
out all his diseases:
Pruthu obtained spiritual knowledge instructed by the rishis
led by Sanaka and realised the Self by self living in the forest. O Lord of Guruvayur in the body of Pruthu!
please destroy my afflictions.
Daska narrates the story of prachetasah, the
ten sons of Pracheenabarhi, the great
grand son Pruthu. All of them performed
tapas on the banks of the ocean in the West.
Lord Siva gave them a Stotra praising Vishnu. Chanting this stotra, they spent a hundred years under water. Lord Vishnu revealed Himself to them and gave
them boons though they did not want any.
Prompted by Brahma they married the daughter of trees. Given below is the last verse of this dasaka
in which the poet prays to the Lord thus:
they attained supreme bliss. O Lord of Guruvayoor! Please save me (from my
Dasaka narrates the story of Rishabha Yogeeshwara. Rishabha was a realised soul
and was an incarnation of Vishnu. In the last sloka of this dasaka given below Bhattathiri entreats the Lord to
remove all his sufferings.
like the python, the cow, the deer and the crow for a long time and having
attained the highest Self your body was burnt in a forest fire in Kutakachala.
O Lord of Guruvayoor! Please drive away my sufferings.