Daiva Dasakam Malayalam: ദൈവ ദശകം or Ten Verses To God is a prayer penned by Narayana Guru circa 1914. In 2009 the Kerala state government recommended that it should become the national prayer of India.
Daiva Dashakam in Malayalam
നാവികന് നീ ഭവാബ്ധിക്കോ-
തന്നു രക്ഷിച്ചു ഞങ്ങളെ
തന്നെ ഞങ്ങള്ക്കു തമ്പുരാന്.
ആഴിയും തിരയും കാറ്റും-
ആഴവും പോലെ ഞങ്ങളും
മായയും നിന് മഹിമയും
നീയല്ലോ സൃഷ്ടിയും സൃഷ്ടാ-
നീയല്ലോ മായയും മായാ-
നീയല്ലോ മായയെനീക്കി -
നീ സത്യം ജ്ഞാനമാനന്ദം
നീ തന്നെ വര്ത്തമാനവും
ഭൂതവും ഭാവിയും വേറ-
ല്ലോതും മൊഴിയുമോര്ക്കില് നീ.
അകവും പുറവും തിങ്ങും
മഹിമാവാര്ന്ന നിന് പദം
ആഴമേറും നിന് മഹസ്സാ-
ആഴണം വാഴണം നിത്യം
വാഴണം വാഴണം സുഖം.
Word by word translation in English
Daiva Dasakam - Ten Verses about God
Oh! God!, please take care of us Always, as a captain of the ship, Called “ Gita” of yours , in the sea, The universe, which is manifested by you.
Our mind should not divert, from you, The sight, what we can see, after
one by one is vanished from this visible world or if the "porul" or "Chaithanyam" sucked each and every thing visible to us towards it or from it.
You only God! The one, Who make us satisfied, By giving food, cloth etc. To fulfill all our needs.
How is an ocean, along with wind, wave And depth, Let me understand, Like that, You are along with us, illusion And your greatness.
You only creation, creator, And creature You only God!, The material for creation.
You only illusion, magician And who is enjoying the illusion You only the king, who remove Illusion and give feeling of joy.
You are truth, knowledge and joy, You only the present, past and future There is nothing different from you, If we remember your words.
Our inside and outside are Filled with the great knowledge, Which is given by you. We praise you, God! …Win!
Win…. “Mahadeva!” Who cure our all diseases Win…. .”Chidhaanandha!” Who is river of mercy!…win!
As we are in the deepest ocean Of your eternal knowledge, God! Let us stay submerged always! Let us live, entire life good!
- Vinod Machingal (From Shree Narayana Guru’s Dhaiva Dhasakam)
In depth meaning in English
"Daiva Dasakam” (Ten versus on God) This ten versus on God was composed by Sree Narayana Guru for the inmates of the Sivagiri Mutt, predominantly children. [According to some, Guru composed this decade for the students and teachers of Sanskrit School run by Guru in Alwaye Advaita Asramam, Kerala, India] In this prayer Guru has summarized the exact nature of his vision of God.
This is quite different from our usual prayer, motivated, by and large by transient selfish interests. Being the best model of prayer it shows us how one should pray. It is acceptable to all people, is in conformity with the tenets of all religions and is capable of leading the devotee to the peak of knowledge (gnaan). It is remarkable for its clarity and the originality of Guru’s vision of Truth. May the meditation of this ten versus enable us to understand the greatness of God and Guru as well as the life on earth and to attain genuine fulfillment.
Prayer is the highest form of supplication. The relevance of prayer is assessed in the heart of the individual. All the same, it should not be used as a means of seeking personal benefits but only for getting all those things needed for all living things alike. It is only then that individual interests get identified with universal welfare. At this level, ‘my” prayer is elevated to ‘our’ prayer. In this sense, this ten versus is applicable also to animals and plants, should they possess the ability to pray.
This prayer is a composition of Sree Narayana Guru, an exponent of ‘Advaitha. An ‘advaithee’ has no need to pray. But one who longs to achieve that state by persistent effort, needs prayer. The ten versus will immensely help such a devotee. Those who take pains to go through it will be convinced of its true worth.
Verse – 1
God, from over there, take good care of us here Don’t let us slip out of your hands. You are captain, your words a wind-ship to save us, Who struggle in the sea of life.
(O God, who dwells there on the high far off, take care of us who stand here. Don’t let go our hands, you are the captain who comes with your ship to save us who struggle in the sea of terrestrial life. That big wind-ship is ‘Gita’ the words which is advised by you. In other words, that big ship is your holy Gita advise)
The prayer begins with the salutation ‘God’ and ends in the word ‘comfort’ (happiness). If you put the two words together, you get the quintessence of the prayer. Everybody longs for happiness. This prayer is meant to get your wish fulfilled.
The word ‘God’ has derived from the root ‘Div’. ‘Div’ means to shine. So ‘God’ should mean: ‘that which shines in toto’. From this we understand that the nature of God is to shine and give light. The image of God resides in one’s knowledge. Vedanta asserts that the existence of God and of all things is rooted in knowledge. Sree Narayana Guru subscribes to this view. This fact can be clearly observed if you go through his famous works such as ‘Athmopadesa sathakam’, ‘Arivu’ and ‘Advaitha deepika’. In all these, the Brahmasatya of the Advaitha Philosophy is reckoned as God. Here ‘the ultimate light’ ie knowledge is viewed as the final refuge. That is why the devotee pleads: “O God who dwells at the source on the high which is knowledge, take care of us, who live here in the darkness of ignorance. God, who dwells on the high and we who stand here longing to reach out to the supreme heights are the two poles on the axis of prayer. Prayer becomes meaningless in the absence of these poles.
If you want not to be deserted by the God of knowledge, you should not desert the God of knowledge either. If we learn to recognize the benevolence of God in everything and everywhere it will turn a divine grace which will bring blessings incessantly in all our efforts.
Most people consider life as an unending flow of misery or an ocean of sorrow – ‘Samsarasagara’. The universe is subject to continuous changes. So is human life too. That is why life is a mixture of joys and sorrows. The prayer is to receive the grace that will enable us to cross this formidable sea of life and reach the other shore that presents a world where we can bathe joyfully in a deeper but salubrious sea forever and ever.
There is only one hope of escape left for a person who is threatened to be drowned in the ocean of worldly misery. A ship should come that way and the Captain of the vessel should spot him. The captain is in absolute control of all the activities on board but he does it silently without being noticed by the passengers. Likewise, God controls the huge ship of human life, keeping himself invisible and yet filling the whole vessel with his indomitable presence. Since the only way to cross the perilous ocean of life is to get well informed of the true nature of life, God, who plays the role of the savior, becomes a teacher, too.
Any ship can save a person struggling for survival in the mid ocean but there is only one ship capable of succoring one who is struggling hard to find a safe haven in the perilous sea of worldly life. That is God, to be more precise, Guru. It is that God or Guru who should lead such a destitute to a place of safety. Which is that God? It is nothing but ‘your’ holy ‘Padam’ (the words of God, which is only "Gita".). If one start reading Gita regularly in his known language, he The God will lead us as a captain of ship, by giving knowledge in our intellect, to solve our problems of life come across.
The word ‘Padam’ has two semantic versions. They advise and Word. (not foot, foot is paadam not padam) Both these meanings are relevant in the context. The devotees bow down at the feet of the deity while offering hymns of praise. It is the foot that keeps the body straight and steady. If a person wants to escape from being drowned in the sea of ‘Bhava’ he/she should discover the ‘truth’ on which his/her life is founded and then see that it is firmly moored to the basement. That ultimate truth is itself God.
Guru is one who has grasped the truth. He is ‘Brahmagnani’. That ‘Brahmagnani’ is ‘Brahma’ itself is a living truth, not just a matter of principle. Here the feet of God and the feet of the Guru are one and the same. To follow the feet of the Guru is not merely an act of devotion; it is a contract or commitment. The Guru, stamps his feet in the direction of the ultimate truth and the disciple out of his/her own free will agrees to follow the same path. Those who bow down at the feet of the Guru should be well aware of this fact. If we all follow feets of a Guru, we all have ot become a sannyaasi. But we have to follow Guru's advise and words, not foot. We have to touch Guru's feet, it shows our submission to a Guru for getting his blessing in the form of Knowledge from Guru.- Vinod Machingal, Mumbai.
The purpose of taking refuge at the feet of the Guru is to gain knowledge. Not ordinary knowledge. Knowledge of the ultimate truth: Knowledge that transcends Knowledge. That is the objective. The knowledge as a whole can be condensed in AUM – so says the Katopanishad. What is aimed at by all the Vedas, what is dealt with in all the ‘Tapas’, what reward is expected from practicing celibacy - that could be expressed in one aphorism. It is AUM. This AUM or Pranava secret is the ‘steamship’, the only means of escape from the sea of terrestrial life or in other words the only way to attain salvation.
- Sadasivan, S. N. (2000). A social history of India. APH Publishing. pp. 583–584. ISBN 978-81-7648-170-0.
- Sreenivasan, Kochukannan (1989). Sree Narayana Guru: saint, philosopher, humanist. Jayasree Publications. p. 138. OCLC 21969559.
- Rāmacandra Kshīrasāgara, Dalit movement in India and its leaders, 1857-1956
- "Kerala recommends national prayer song to Centre". The Hindu. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2010.