Adi Shankaracharya, the intellectual giant of India,an Advaitin by conviction,a staunch advocate of Gnana Yoga ,never belittled other modes of worship or other systems of worship like Raja Yoga,Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
Though considered an Avatar of Siva he composed hymns on Devi,Subrahmanya,Ganesha,Vishnu.
He had a special place for Lord Vishnu.
His commentary on Vishnu Sahasranama,carrying his signature in it,Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevayas,the Dwadasanama of Lord Vishnu,is, according to me,the best.
A scholar and a Guru advocating Gnana Yoga, has given us the essence of Bhakti Yoga,Saranagadhi complete surrender to God Vishnu in His Bhaja Govindam.
I am reproducing the text and meaning of Vishnu Shadpadi Stotra by Shankaracharya below.
Shadpadi is a Sanskrit meter that has six parts.
This is found in Kannada literature.
‘Shatpadi ( Shatpadi) is a native meter inKannada prosody that has been used extensively in Kannada poetry. It meter can usually have six padas of syllables, divided into groups of various fixed number of matra(beats) in each line. It was most efficiently employed by the great medieval Kannada poets such as Raghavanka, Kumaravyasa and Lakshmisha.There are six types of Shatpadi verses found in numerous Kannada language inscriptions and poems. However, only three of these meters were used to compose the Kannada epics (mahakavya).
Yet another masterpiece on Bhakti Marga.
avinayamapanaya viṣṇo damaya manaḥ śamaya viṣayamṛgatṛṣṇām |
bhūtadayāṃ vistāraya tāraya saṃsārasāgarataḥ || 1 ||
divyadhunīmakarande parimaḷaparibhogasaccidānande |
śrīpatipadāravinde bhavabhayakhedacchide vande || 2 ||
satyapi bhedāpagame nātha tavāஉhaṃ na māmakīnastvam |
sāmudro hi taraṅgaḥ kvacana samudro na tāraṅgaḥ || 3 ||
uddhṛtanaga nagabhidanuja danujakulāmitra mitraśaśidṛṣṭe |
dṛṣṭe bhavati prabhavati na bhavati kiṃ bhavatiraskāraḥ || 4 ||
matsyādibhiravatārairavatāravatāஉvatā sadā vasudhām |
parameśvara paripālyo bhavatā bhavatāpabhītoஉham || 5 ||
dāmodara guṇamandira sundaravadanāravinda govinda |
bhavajaladhimathanamandara paramaṃ daramapanaya tvaṃ me || 6 ||
nārāyaṇa karuṇāmaya śaraṇaṃ karavāṇi tāvakau caraṇau |
iti ṣaṭpadī madīye vadanasaroje sadā vasatu ||
Vishnu Shadpadi Stotra in Devanagari.
रचन: आदि शङ्कराचार्य
अविनयमपनय विष्णो दमय मनः शमय विषयमृगतृष्णाम् ।
भूतदयां विस्तारय तारय संसारसागरतः ॥ 1 ॥
दिव्यधुनीमकरन्दे परिमलपरिभोगसच्चिदानन्दे ।
श्रीपतिपदारविन्दे भवभयखेदच्छिदे वन्दे ॥ 2 ॥
सत्यपि भेदापगमे नाथ तवाஉहं न मामकीनस्त्वम् ।
सामुद्रो हि तरङ्गः क्वचन समुद्रो न तारङ्गः ॥ 3 ॥
उद्धृतनग नगभिदनुज दनुजकुलामित्र मित्रशशिदृष्टे ।
दृष्टे भवति प्रभवति न भवति किं भवतिरस्कारः ॥ 4 ॥
मत्स्यादिभिरवतारैरवतारवताஉवता सदा वसुधाम् ।
परमेश्वर परिपाल्यो भवता भवतापभीतोஉहम् ॥ 5 ॥
दामोदर गुणमन्दिर सुन्दरवदनारविन्द गोविन्द ।
भवजलधिमथनमन्दर परमं दरमपनय त्वं मे ॥ 6 ॥
नारायण करुणामय शरणं करवाणि तावकौ चरणौ ।
इति षट्पदी मदीये वदनसरोजे सदा वसतु ॥
Meaning of Shadpadi Stotra.
O Vishnu! Leading away from arrogance, tranquilise my mind, and destroy the enduring greed for desires. Scatter away the mercy for living-beings, and take me across the cycle of rebirth.||1||
I sing praises of the lotus-feet of Lord of Lakshmi, Which has juice like the river Ganga, Which is fragrant and full of pleasures eternally, and Which breaks the shackles of the cycle of rebirth.||2||
O Lord! Even though there is no difference between us (I am a part of You), I belong to You and not vice-versa. Just like the ocean is made of waves but the waves are not made up of ocean.||3||
O Krishna, Who lifted the Govardhan¹! O Upendra, Who is the younger brother of Indra², Who is the enemy of demons, Who has sun and moon as two eyes! After seeing you, isn’t it true that we get dispassionate about the whole mortal world? (Or it says that indeed Your appearance to someone destroys his (her) passion for the mortal world).||4||
O Supreme Lord, Who protects this earth by various incarnations like Matsya (fish)! I am feared by the cycle of life and death and therefore I am worthy of being saved by You.||5||
O Damodar! O Govind, Who is the temple of qualities, Who has a lotus-like body, Who is like the Mandarachal mountain for Ksheersagar like ocean of rebirth! You drive away the immense fear from my life.||6||
O Narayan, Who is full of compassion! I am taking the refuge of Your lotus-feet. May this above-said sextet (six pada) which is like a bumble-bee resides in my lotus-like mouth.||7||
During Lord’s appearance as Krishna, He stopped Nand and others to do sacrifices to Indra for clouds. He instead asked for devotion towards Narayan. Indra thought Krishna as a simple boy and got annoyed by His teachings. He sent clouds as a precursor to an attack on Vraj and started preparing his army. Krishna lifted Govardhan as a large umbrella to save everyone. Later Indra asked for forgiveness.
Indra’s father and mother, Kashyap and Aditi, had a boon of getting Lord as a child for three times. During second time, Lord was born from Kashyap and Aditi as Upendra; more popularly He is known as Vaman.
Poet: Adi Shankaracharya
Source: Stotra Ratnavali — Gitapress
© Stutimandal 2006, Mar 24.