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Sri Ranganathashtakam

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By Adi Shankara
Translated by P. R. Ramachander


Sriram (2 km from Tiruchirapalli), is the most important temple for Sri Vaisnavs and one of the largest temple complexes in Inida covering 155 acres. It is surrounded by the rivers Kaveri and Kolladam and built for the Deity, Lord Ranganatha who is reclining on Ananta Sesha. The vimana over the Deity is covered in gold and is known as the Paravasudeva Ranga-Vimana. This Diety of Lord Vishnu was first worshipped by Lord Brahma then later given to Maharaja Iksvaku of the Raghu Dynasty, who brought it to his capital, Ayodhya. This is the same Diety that was worshipped by Lord Ramachandra. When Vibhishana visited Ayodhya he requested Ramachandra to give him the Deity so that he could worship Him at his capital in Lanka. Ramachandra agreed provided Vibhishana did not place the Deity on the ground on his return to Lanka. Lord Rama agreed on the condition that the Murty not be placed on the ground prior to it arriving in Lanka. If the murty was put on the ground, it would get established there forever. Despite Vibishana's best effort to get it to Lanka, he was forced to place the Murty on the ground in its present location-Srirangam. Shri Ranganatha faces South towards Lanka (unlike other Dieties who mostly face east) to bless Vibhishana and his kingdom. It is said that Vibhishana returned every 12 years to perform worship of Lord Ranganatha"

The Alvars (Vaishnav sants) and Sri Ramanuja Acharya and his followers, have sung about this temple and the Lord who presides in it. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya who visited this temple composed this very pretty octet[1].


Mangala Sloka

Written by Sri Parasara Bhattar, a great Vaishnava Sant.

Saptha prakara madhye sarasijamuklothbhasamane vimane,
Kaveri Madhya dese phanipathi sayane, sesha paryanga bhage,
Nidhramudhrabhiramam katinikatasira parswavinyastha hastham,
Padmadhathree karabhyam parichithacharanam  rangarajam Bhajeham., 1

I salute that Lord of Ranga,
Who sleeps in the yogic pose,
On the bed of Adisesha,
Below the tall dome,
Which resembles a lotus bud ,
And is surrounded by seven ramparts,
And which is in between two Kaveri rivers,
With his right hand near his crown,
And his lotus like merciful left hand,
Pointing towards his feet which takes care of us all.

Vimana

Aanandarupe nijabodha rupe,
Brahma swaroope sruthi moorthi rupe,
Sasanka rupe ramaneeya rupe,
Sri ranga rupe ramatham mano mey., 2

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Whose form is the epitome of happiness,
Whose form is the true knowledge,
Whose form is as told in the Vedas,
And who is of the form of the comforting moon and beautiful

Kaveri theree karuna vilole,
Mandhara moole drutha charu khele,
Daithyanha kale  akhila loka leele,
Sri Ranga leele ramatham mano mey., 3

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Who is on the banks of river Kaveri,
And playfully dispenses mercy,
Who is below the Mandhara tree,
Where he speedily and prettily plays,
And who destroys all asuras,
By his play spread over the whole world.

Lakshmi nivase jagatham nivase,
Hrud padma vase ravi bimbha vase,
Krupa nivase Guna brunda vase,
Sri Ranga vase ramatham mano mey., 4

Let my mind revel in Ranga,
As the one who lives in Sri Ranga,
In whom goddess Lakshmi lives,
Who is the abode of the universe
Who lives in the lotus of our heart,
Who lives in the face of the Sun.
Who is the abode of mercy,
And who lives where good conduct lives.

Brahmadi vandye Jagadeka vandhye,
Mukunda vandhye, sura natha vandhye,
Vyasadhi vandhye, Sanakadhi vandhye,
Sri ranga vandhye  ramatham mano mey., 5

In Him let my mind revel
As the one who is saluted in Sri Ranga,
Who is venerated by gods like Brahma,
Who is venerated by the entire universe,
Who is venerated as Mukunda,
Who is venerated by lord of devas,
Who is worshipped by sages like Vyasa,
And who is venerated by sages like Sanaka.

Brahmadhi raje, garudadhi raje,
Vaikunta raje sura raja raje,
Trilokya raje , akhila loka raje,
Sri Ranga raje ramatham mano mey., 6

Let my mind revel in Him
Who is the king of Sri Ranga,
Who is the king of gods like Brahma,
Who is the king of the holy bird , Garuda,
Who is the king of Vaikunta,
Who is the king of the king of devas,
Who is the king of the three worlds,
And who is the king of the entire universe.

Amogha mudhre Paripoorna nidhre,
Sri Yoga nidhre , sasamudhra nidhre,
Srithaika bhadre, jagathaika nidhre,
Sri ranga bhadre  ramatham mano mey., 7

Let my mind revel in Him
As one who protects the city of Sri Ranga,
Who has , whose sign is never failing
Who is in perfect sleep,
Who is in the Yogic sleep,
Who sleeps on the ocean,
Who takes care of goddess Lakshmi,
And in whom the whole world sleeps

Sa chithra sayi, bhujagendra sayi,
Nandanga sayi , kamalanka sayi,
Ksheerabdhi sayi , vata pathra sayi,
Sri Ranga sayi , ramatham mano mey., 8

Let my mind revel in Him
As the one who sleeps in the city of Sri Ranga,
Who sleeps pretty as a picture,
Who sleeps on the king of serpents,
Who sleeps on the lap of Nanda,
Who sleeps on the lap of Lakshmi,
Who sleeps on the ocean of milk,
And who sleeps on the banyan leaf.

Idham hi rangam thyajathamihangam,
Punarnachangam yadhi changamethi,
Panou rathangam charanembhu gangam,
Yane vihangam sayane bhujangam., 9

He who sheds his body in this ranga (ground)
Never gets embodiment again
As Ranga has chakra in His hand,
The Garuda is His vehicle,
The serpent is His bed
And his feet is wetted by river Ganga,

Ranganathashtakam punyam prathruthaya ya padeth,
Sarvaan kamanavapnothirangi sayujyamapnuyath., 10

Any one reading this octet on the lord of Ranga,
As soon as he gets up in the morning,
Will get his wishes fulfilled,
And in the end attain salvation.

References