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. Dasakas 91-99 contain the essence of the Eleventh Canto
the sadhanas for Self-realisation or mukti, liberation from the
cycle of births and deaths. As in the previous dasakas, Bhattathiri directly addresses the Lord of
Guruvayoor in these dasakas also.
of the 94th dasaka which
describes the rise of the knowledge of the Self in the seeker on the spiritual
निष्कामधर्मैः प्रवरगुरुगिरा तत्स्वरूपं परं ते
तु गुणजवपुस्सङ्गतोऽध्यासितं ते
by selfless action offered to the Lord, one gets from a competent spiritual
teacher knowledge of the nature of Brahman, pure, devoid of body and senses, omnipresent
and immanent in all beings. Multiplicity, fatness, leanness and other
attributes are superimposed on Brahman because of association with the modes of
prakruti or Maya just like bigness or smallness as well as
brightness and dimness attributable to the wood which is burnt are superimposed
on fire itself which burns wood
lower part of the arani (two blocks of wood used for creating fire by
friction for vedic rites) is the Teacher, the upper part is the student. The friction or churning of the two generates
the flame of knowledge which burns the forest of delusion of the body and the
world. And when there is nothing to burn
the fire of knowledge also dies down and what remains is the state of sachchidananda
which is Your nature or swarupa O Lord!
त्वत्प्राप्तितोऽन्यो नहि खलु निखिलक्लेशहानेरुपायो
पतने यान्त्यनन्तान् विषादान् ॥३॥
there is no other means of wiping out all the sufferings except by attaining You,
O Lord!. Other systems do not completely
remove sufferings and, once removed, do not ensure that they do not recur
again. The path of karma enjoined in the Vedas cannot be effective as there are
bound to be unavoidable shortcomings in practising them. Even if it yields results those treading this
path become conceited and, forgetting You O Lord!, fall to the abyss followed
by endless suffering.
कृपणबन्धो कृपापूरसुन्धो ॥४॥
of Vaikuntha which other loka is free from fear? Even Brahma, the creator, lives in fear of
your kaalaswarupa, as his life ends after the lapse of two parardhas.
Such being the case, what shall we talk about those who, by their deeds not
conforming to dharma, have sinned beyond measure. Therefore Giver of boons!
Friend of those in misery! Ocean of compassion! Cut asunder my attachments.
हि मम न विभो!
गतवति च भिदा तावती तावदेको
that there is no fundamental difference between You as Paramatma and me
as the jiva and there is no
bondage or liberation for me in reality. The apparent difference is caused by
your bodies of avidya (ignorance) and vidya (knowledge) which
correspond to dream state and waking state respectively. That is the only difference between the bound
and liberated one. The bound one sits
on the tree which is the body and enjoys the fruits of sense objects. The liberated one whose nature is Sacchidananda
(Truth, Consciousness and Bliss) does not enjoy the fruits of sense objects,
therefore is not bound.
वचसा किंफलं दूरदूरे
about jeevanmukti by mere words.
It is far removed from those who are not pure in mind and there is
nothing which can purify the mind more easily than bhakti. Therefore O Vishnu! Bless me with
unwavering devotion surrendering everything to You so that I, with some help from a guru, gain
knowledge of Your True nature and completely merge my identity in You.
न जानन्ति केचित्
गां बिभ्रते निष्प्रसूतिं।
तां न वाचं भ्रियासम्॥७॥
interested in the Vedas also do not know You and their efforts are
fruitless. They carry this vedic lore
for long without it bearing fruits. Let
me not carry the load of words which do not describe your divine incarnations,
your leelas which captivate the hearts of all and purify all and your sachchidananda swarupa (embodiment
of Absolute Truth, Consciousness and
त्वमिति किमपि नैवावगच्छामि भूम-
about Your swarupa (form), Your attributes or Your activities. O Enemy
of Sisupala! Even then let me worship
you alone, without being distracted by anything else. Let me see, touch etc. your images or symbols
and all those devotees for whom your lotus feet are very dear. Let me also develop reverence for your worship, obeisance
and sankirtan (singing about your qualities, exploits and leelas).
समुपहृतं देव दासोऽस्मि तेऽहं
servant. Whatever comes to my hand, let
me offer it to you. Let me have the chance to clean and wipe your temples frequently
without being indifferent. Let me
worship you, shining with four hands, in the Sun, Fire,
Brahmin or the Self. Let devotion, marked by the complete dissolution of my heart
in You, constantly flow in me, O Lord!
बहुमनुषे भक्तिमेव त्वमासां
कृष्ण वातालयेश ॥१०॥
such means as daana (giving alms, making gifts etc), homa (worship
by offerings made into the fire), vrata (keeping vows), niyama
(control of mind and senses), tapas (observing austerities), Sankhya,
yoga etc. But gopis, the
most fortunate ones, attained this Oneness (Union) marked by absolute bliss simply by your company. Though there are many
devotees of Yours, you have given the devotion of gopis a much higher
place. Therefore O Lord of Guruvayur!
make my bhakti more firm and
unwavering and take away all my afflictions.