Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalambam

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Adi Shankaracharya Bhagawat Pada
Translated by P.R.Ramachander
Introduction By R. Srinivasan

Adi Shankaracharya had once given his consent to a cruel Kapalika to take his head and offer it as a sacrifice to Goddess Kali in order to win favours from her. Kapalikas were followers of a particular Saiva sect who always carried human skulls, wore them as garlands around their necks and even ate and drank from these macabre vessels. Lord Siva himself is hailed as Kapali. The Lord of the famous temple in Mylapore in Chennai is worshipped as Kapaliswara.

This Kapalika had been nursing a grievance against Adi Shankaracharya whom he viewed as a potential threat to his faith and sect. He took the Acharya to a nearby cave, made necessary arrangements for the sacrifice-ritual and prepared himself to behead Adi Shankaracharya. The Acharya was all along in a trance.

However, when the Kapalika lifted his sword and readied himself to chop off his head Sankara's disciple Padmapada (also known as Sanandana) envisioned this murderous scheme in his mind. He rushed to the cave. In an avesa of Lord Narasimha he, verily, became the man-lion Lord himself temporarily. He had attained Narasimha mantra siddhi, and caught hold of the villainous Kapalika and tore him to pieces.

Sankara Vijaya, published by the Ramakrishna Math in Chennai, describes how Padmapada leapt into the sky, scattering away the clouds with a slash of his mane, and literally flew into the cave, stunning all beholders. It was a re-enactment of the Narasimha incarnation once again when the demon Hiranyakasipu was disembowelled by the Lord with his leonine claws.

Adi Shankaracharya, hearing the thunderous roars of a lion, awoke from his trance and witnessed the gory scene. Padmapada's body was smeared with the blood of the vile Kapalika while his face glowed with divine splendour like a galaxy of suns. The Acharya saw before him the awesome Lord Narasimha himself and pacified him with soothing and overflowing devotion.

On another occasion, Adi Shankaracharya's hands got burnt (the Amaruka episode) but he was cured by extolling Lord Narasimha through the famous hyms, the 17-verse Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamba Stotram (also known as Lakshmi Narasimha Karunarasa Stotram'). These hymns are so titled because each of these verses ends with the same refrain 'Lakshmi Narasimha, mama dehi karavalambam' (O Lord Narasimha, please lend me your helping hand).

It is believed that fervent recitation of these hymns on Lord Narasimha will always help one smoothly get over difficulties with the Lord's helping hand.

Saligrama, the sacred stone found only in the Kandaki river in Nepal, and worshipped by Vaishnavites in their homes, is used in the puja of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. This is said to be specially sacred to Lord Narasimha and is believed to have been given to Adi Shankaracharya by Lord Narasimha himself.

Stotra

Srimat payonidhi nikethana chakra pane,
Bhogeendra Bhoga mani rajitha punya moorthe,
Yogeesa saswatha saranya Bhabdhi potha,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 1

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Who lives in the ocean of milk,
Who holds the holy wheel as weapon,
Who wears the gems of the head,
Of Adhisesha as ornaments,
Who has the form of good and holy deeds,
Who is the permanent protection of sages,
And who is the boat which helps us cross,
This ocean of misery called life,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Brahmendra, Rudra  Arka kireeta koti,
Sangattithangri kamala mala kanthi kantha,
Lakshmi lasath kucha saroruha raja hamsa,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 2

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Whose feet is touched by the crowns ,
Of Brahma, Indra, Shiva and Sun,
Whose shining feet adds to his effulgence,
And who is the royal swan playing,
Near the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara gora gahane charathe murare,
Marogra bheekara Mruga pravardhithasya,
Aarthasya mathsara nidha chain peedithasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 3

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Oh Lord who killed the Asura called Mura,
I have been traveling in the dark forests of day to day life,
Where I have been terrified by the lion called desire,
And scorched by the heat called competition , and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara koopam adhi ghora  Magadha moolam,
Samprapya  dukha satha  sarpa samakulasya,
Dheenasya Deva krupana padamagadasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 4

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have reached the very dangerous and deep,
Bottom of the well of day to day life,
And also being troubled by hundreds,
Of miseries which are like serpents,
And am really miserable and have,
Reached the state of wretchedness and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara Sagara vishala karala kala,
Nakra graham grasana nigraha  vigrahasya,
Vyagrasya  raga rasanormini peedithasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 5

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have reached this wide unfathomable ocean of day to day life,
And I have been caught by black deadly,
Crocodiles called time which are killing me
And I am also afflicted by waves of passion,
And attachments to pleasures like taste and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samasra Vrukshamagha bheeja manantha karma,
Sakha satham karana  pathramananga pushpam,
Aroohasya dukha phalitham  pathatho dayalo,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 6

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have climbed the tree of worldly life,
Which grew from the seed of great sin,
Which has hundreds of branches of past karmas,
Which has leaves which are parts of my body,
Which has flowers which are the result of Venus,
And which has fruits called sorrow,
But I am falling down from it fast and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara sarpa Ghana vakthra  bhyogra theevra,
Damshtra karala  visha daghdha  vinashta murthe,
Naagari vahana  sudhabhdhi nivasa soure,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 7

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Oh , Lord who rides on the enemy of snakes,
Oh, Lord who lives in the ocean of nectar,
The serpent of family life has opened,
Its fearful mouth with very dangerous,
Fangs filled with terrible venom,
Which has destroyed me and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara dava dahanathura Bheekaroru,
Jwala valee birathi dhighdha nooruhasya,
Thwat pada  padma sarasi saranagathasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 8

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have been scarred badly by the fire of daily life,
And even every single hair of my body,
Has been singed by its fearful flames,
And I have taken refuge in the lake of your lotus feet, and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara Jala pathithasya Jagan nivasa,
Sarvendriyartha  badisartha jashopamasya,
Proth Ganditha  prachoora  thaluka masthakasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 9

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have been caught in this net of daily life,
And all my organs are caught in that web,
And the five senses which is the hook,
Tears apart my head from me, and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsara bheekara  kareeendra  karabhigatha,
Nishpishta marmma vapusha sakalarthi nasa,
Prana prayana  bhava bhhethi samakulasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 10

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have been struck by the fearful king of elephants,
Which is the worldly illusion, and my vital parts,
Have been completely crushed,and I suffer,
From thoughts of life and death , and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Andhasya me viveka maha danasya,
Chorai prabho bhalibhi rindriya nama deyai,
Mohanda koopa kuhare vinipathathasya,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 11

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have become blind because , the sense of discrimination,
Has been stolen from me by the thieves of 'senses',
And I who am blind , have fallen in to the deep well of passion., and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Baddhvaa gale yamabhataa bahutarjayantah,
Karshhanti yatra bhavapaashashatairyutam maam.
Ekaakinam paravasham chakitam dayaalo
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 12

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I have been tied by the soldiers of the God of death,
By numerous ropes of worldly attachments,
And they are dragging me along by the noose around the neck,
And I am alone, tired and afraid, and so Oh merciful one,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Lakshmi pathe Kamala nabha suresa vishno,
Vaikunta Krishna Madhu soodhana  pushkarksha,
Brahmanya kesava janardhana  vasudeva,
Devesa dehi krupanasya karavalambam., 13

Oh king of devas,
Who is the Lord of Lakshmi, who has a lotus on his belly,
Who is Vishnu, the lord of all heavenly beings, who is Vaikunta,
Who is Krishna , who is the slayer of Madhu,
Who is one with lotus eyes, Who is the knower of Brahman,
Who is Kesava, Janardhana, Vasudeva,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Ekena chakramaparena karena shamkha-
Manyena sindhutanyaaamavalambya tishhthan,
Vaame karena varadaabhayapadmachihnam,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 14

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Who holds Sudarshana, the holy wheel in one hand,
Who holds the conch in the other hand,
Who embraces the daughter of ocean by one hand,
And the fourth hand signifies protection and boons, and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Samsaara saagara nimajjana muhyamaanam
diinam vilokaya vibho karunaanidhe maam,
prahlaada kheda parihaara paraavataara
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 15

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
I am drowned in the ocean of day to day life,
Please protect this poor one, oh, Lord, Oh treasure of compassion,
Just as you took a form to remove the sorrows of Prahlada, and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Prahlaada naarada paraashara pundariika-
vyaasaadi bhaagavata pungavah rinnivaasa ,
Bhaktaanurakta paripaalana paarijaata,
Lakshmi Nrsimha Mama Dehi Karavalambam., 16

Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Who dwells in the hearts of great sages like Prahlada,
Narada, Parashara, Pundarika and Vyasa,
Who loves his devotees and is the wish giving tree,
That protects them, and so,
Please give me the protection of your hands.

Lakshhminrisimha charana abja madhuvratena
Stotram kritam shubhakaram bhuvi shankarena ,
Ye tatpathanti manujaa haribhakti yuktaa-
Ste yaanti tatpada saroja makhandaruupam., 17

This prayer which blesses earth with good things,
Is composed by Sankara who is a bee,
Drinking deeply the honey from the lotus feet of Lakshmi Nrsimha,
And those humans who are blessed with devotion to Hari,
Will attain the lotus feet of the Brahman.

Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Padarpanamasthu

Dedicated to the feet of Lord Lakshmi Nrsimha

Yan mayorjitha  vapu prachura pravaha,
Magnathra mathra nivahoru karavalambham,
Lakshhminrisimha charana abja madhuvratena
Stotram kritam shubhakaram bhuvi shankarena., 13

This prayer which provides helping hand to those in need,
Is composed by Sankara who is a bee,
Drinking deeply the honey from the lotus feet of Lakshmi Nrsimha,
And removes the veil of illusion and the tides of births.

Notes

There are two more versions of this great stotra. In the one printed by Giri Traders, Madras, Stanzas 14 and 15 do not appear. In the compilation by R.S.Vadhyar and sons Palakkad, the stanza 11 is followed by stanza 13 and is followed by the following stanza as 13th stanza.