An interpretation By Swami Muni Narayana Prasad

MANNAMTALA DEVI STAVAM

Guru, in 1889, installed a new idol of Devi in the renovated temple at Mannantala in the outskirts of Trivandrum. This hymn in Malayalam was written on the occasion of the installation.

1

With the pearl –umbrella unfolded,
Flowers rained, and their fragrance
Offered in worship to the sun (that you are),
And transformed into pure effulgence,
And with all the apparent
Model qualities gone,
And with the qualified also gone,
Let me, gracefully cross
This ocean of qualities, O mother!

2

Wearing the moon
And the heavenly Ganga
In your sacred tresses
You do shine
O mother, of face
As beautiful as the moon.
O the auspicious-bodied
Mother sharing her own body
With that of Siva, the sky-clad one,
Please grant me the boons
Of preserving your lotus-feet
With my holding power for ever,
So that wisdom is not clouded
And rendered useless by ego.

3

Radiance in essence,
Your manifest forms,
When meditated upon
In everyone’s case
Owing to self-satisfaction
All heaviness ceases to be.
All then with your grace
Feel fully contented
And all the difficulties run far away.

4

Nothing is impossible because
You, always, as pure Consciousness,
Exist in the mind, giving out
Constantly what is proper
To all the worlds, O mother!
As rivers entering and becoming
Merge in the ocean,
So too what is given to knowledge
Enters your feet, and Lo!
Get transformed into that!

5

O Daughter of Daksa
O The killer of Demons,
In order that I may not
Grieve immersed in the waters
That behave as you will,
Let me live with all senses
Fully restrained, O supreme Deity!
The distress of hunger
Is serious and hard indeed to overcome
If I place myself
Totally within you and
Spend my days there,
No doubt at all, I can overcome it.

6

Vying a with a spinning top
Is the way the mind works;
With it as a means
I feel myself incapable
Of reaching the pure space
(You are residing in),
Please the mindful.
This refuge less one
Standing before you
Begs for your holy feet;
To me please grant the boon
Of merging with those feet,
O the Auspicious one!

7

Even an expert one
May get trapped in the device
Set by the sense of organs;
You certainly have
No concern for him.
If he happens to be
Depending wholly one your ideas,
They very moment, for him
Everything favorable happens
And he lives in ceaseless happiness.
For are you not Supreme Deity,
Well aware of all this?

8

Is not this physical body,
Food for vultures and the like,
The cause of all sufferings
O the great aggregate whole
Of all the small parts?
Please bestow on me
Full contentment of mind.
O my Dear, existing eternally
In close contact, caressingly,
With the sacred body
Of the one moon-wearing crown,
Please give me the boon that
All sufferings are far removed.

9

The very Goddess residing at
Mannamtala in this mannu
Remains assuming a name
Aptly true to the sense,
Within this Devi mannu is
The being of everything.
Are you not the single Deity
That organizes
Everything totally and properly?

Notes
1. The word Mannamtala means ‘the head of the world’.
2. The word mannu means both ‘the world’ and ‘Devi temple’.
3. Mannamtala Devi.
4. Mannu here means ‘Devi temple’ or the ‘domain of Devi’.
DEVI STAVAM (Hymn on Devi)

Another Malayalam works of the earlier years written possibily between 1887 and 97 at Aruvippuram. This is in the meter Pathya

1

O Mother, O The tender-leaf-like
Ever-new-bodied one,
Even the great silent could
Speak of your limbs only
Until the old-leaf-like body falls
In my case, therefore, Lo!
Your word having reached me
Resounds within and re-echoes
In its neutral fullness of Silence
2
For this reason, O Golden Fruit,
In everything that seems visible
What is real is you alone;
To prevent myself from straying away
From roaming around aimlessly
I firmly take my stand
Near your feet-flowers.
3
From gold to damsel,
Worthy of seeing as auspicious
First sights of the day,
Are all but the earth become manifests?
They are sung about as mirage-like.
You constantly protect me
By remaining close by
And the heat of my afflictions
Gets cooled down;
To enable attaining such a
Gem-like body as yours
Please blow into me
(The secret of the silent sound).
4
To the River-carrying Holy Father,
You decide always to be a helpmate-part
And you also royally arrive at the crown
Of the head of silent recluses
And below the same into me
Constantly along with
The understanding that,
From the tiniest creatures living in
Snow and partaking of it,
All the beings are nothing but
Your imagination materialized.
5
O Golden Mother,
This dust-filled body of mine
That blocks my union with you
Has no real being of its own;
O Ruby, therefore, I see
No real obstruction as such;
Please let me own your body
And again below into me
The secret of the silent sound).
6
To the ears unwilling to listen (to you)
And also to the eyes
And to that which enjoys touching,
You remain the one crown of the head;
And more, you row (the boat
Of worldly life) at its stern,
And lets us get out of it
To become merged in you;
Please grace me with that again,
And again below into me
(The secret of the silent sound).
7
Now, to the flowery moon-sheen
Emerging at the crown of your head,
To the ashes emerging the there from,
To the fire, to the water,
To the smell, and to everything
That appears here as
A specific from of yours,
I salute with hands folded.
8
Please call me, who salutes you
Back to your abode there
From here where, rowing in the ocean
I feel hapless without you;
My mind is not wax put in fire;
It is just clarified butter;
Now this mind is in a mess;
Below your bugle, O Dark Cloud!
9
The Ocean, with waves arising
From which gush forth
Foam, in rows,
Exists here in a swaying motion;
You indeed are the she-horse
That can wrestle with it.
Please withstand its depth
And chop down (the waves and foams)
And have a regal bath
In the water that doesn’t
Sway back and forth;
And with the awareness that
This alone is the safe shelter,
Again below into me
(The secret of the silent sound.)
10
Those who sing this hymn
Written in the meter Pathya
(As a theme good for all),
Never suffer afflictions;
In order to gain that,
Please offer your feet to me!