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 97th dasaka in which
Bhattatiri requests the Lord to bless him with devotion of the highest order.
The story of Markandeya, who wanted to see the Maya of the Lord, is also
described in this dasaka.
this world Knowledge, belief (faith), doer, residence, wellbeing, action, food
etc. are all made up of the three modes of prakriti (nature, maya)
namely sattwa, rajas and tamas and therefore these are all of
different forms and can be graded as uttama (the best), madhyama (medium)
and adhama (the worst) respectively. However, it is said that visiting
Your places of worship, worshiping or serving You, meditating on Your form are
unaffected by the three modes of nature. They are नैर्गुण्यनिष्ठं
(not rooted in the three modes of nature). Therfore let me attain mukti or
liberation by following this path of bharkti (devotion)
Lord! I shall lead my life happy and carefree with my mind firmly fixed on You,
doing everything to please You only, visiting those holy places which are
visited by your devotees, seeing with an equal mind, devoid of differentiation
a brahmin, a thief or an animal, devoid of the feelings of honour, dishonour,
competition, jealousy etc. and worshipping You as the indwelling spirit of all
in all these beings I will continue on the path of Bhakti until I become One
with you, identify myself with you, realise you within me. This
bhagavata dharma, once started, there is no loss. Therefore, in all circumstances, O Lord!
bless me with this beautiful path of Bhakti.
order to strengthen this bhakti yoga I have to achieve good health and
longevity and, fortunately, for this
also I have to take refuge at your lotus feet which is like drinking milk for
curing the disease. Markandeya, who was
told by astrologers that his life was only for twelve years, sincerely worshipped
you for one year and Your soldiers drove away Yama (saved Markandeya from
thus became a chiranjeevi. Again,
wanting to experience supreme bliss, he spent six manwantaras doing
penance on the banks of Pushpabhadra river, fixing his mind on Your captivating
form. The seventh Indra sent celestial
damsels, cool breeze and Kamadeva (Cupid) to delude and entice him away
from his tapas but they were scorched by the heat of the tapas
(penance) of Markandeya and abandoned their mission. Who can conquer your staunch devotees?
You appeared before him as Narayana accompanied by Nara and Marakandeya,
immensely pleased and singing hymns in your praise, was indifferent to any
boon though he was tempted by You by the offer of several boons. But he asked
for the boon of seeing Your Maya. Certainly, one who has not experienced Maya, may seek to know the effect of Maya
just for the wonder of experiencing it.
after You left Markandeya there was heavy downpour from dark clouds driven by a
hurricane and the world was submerged in the
tumultous seven seas flled to the brim.
Markandeya was tossed about in the sea for millions of years and was in
a pathetic condition when he saw You in the distance as a wonderful child of
dark blue complexion lying on a banyan leaf with a toe in his mouth.
hairs of his body bristling. He, foremost
went near the child eager to touch it. But he was sucked inside when the child breathed
Then he was thrown out with the outgoing breath.
glances on him. Full of joy, he wanted
to embrace the child, but you vanished and
his hermitage as before.
Siva with his consort Gauri manifested before Markandeya in order to see him, a
devotee dear to Your heart. He gave him
boons of non-aging(ajara) and not-dying(amrityutaa) of which
Markandeya was already in possession.
Thus, by devotion to You, Lord
Siva is also pleased. From this it is very clear that You are the very Atma of
the Trinity (murtitraya) of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and the Ultimate
Authority over everything.
Satyaloka, having three positions for Brahma, Vishnu and Siva
respectively, each above the other in the same order. Above these three shines
Vaikuntha where Maya does not operate. There in Vaikuntha, in the primordial waters and in Nandagokula You shine in Your pure sattwa aspect
undifferentiated from the sachchidananda Brahman. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from all