Shiva Tandava Stotram
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Shiva Tandava Stotram (शिवताण्डवस्तोत्रम्) is a stotra, hymn of praise in the Hindu tradition that describes Shiva's power and beauty. It was sung by the son of Rishi Vishrawas (aka Vishrava), Ravana. Both the ninth and tenth quatrains of this hymn conclude with lists of Shiva's epithets as destroyer, even the destroyer of death itself. Alliteration and onomatopoeia create roiling waves of resounding beauty in this example of Hindu devotional poetry.
In the final quatrain of the poem, after tiring of rampaging across the Earth, Ravana asks, "When will I be happy?" Because of the intensity of his prayers and ascetic meditation, of which this hymn was an example, Ravana received from Shiva the boon of indestructibility by all powers on heaven and earth.
It is said that when he was tired of rampaging across the earth, Ravana returned to Lord Shiva to request moksha, release from the bondage of endless rebirth. Lord Shiva replied that he had granted Ravana the boon of indestructibility, and that Ravana must instead seek moksha from Lord Vishnu(According to srimadbhagavatam chanto4 chapter6 verses 43 to 50 it is clear that Shiva is ordaining jivas to spiritual world and heavens etc. So Lord Shiva can give liberation to any one. But ravana was jaya who is guarding the entrance of lord vishnu's residence and cursed by four sons of brahma and his destiny lies in the hands of lord vishnu). In this version of Ravana's story, his battle with Rama can be interpreted as a pretext to attain death, and through death, liberation. Ravana's poignant cry in the final quatrain of poetry — "When will I be happy?" is echoed by modern man in his quest for earthly fulfillment and ultimate liberation from its bondage.
A compelling and complex personality, Ravana is for many Hindus a legendary hero, a scholar of immense intelligence and the devoted husband of one of traditional five perfect women, Mandodari.Ravana married Maya's daughter, Mandodari, who was a very beautiful & righteous wife. He had a son by her, named Meghanaada (which means the 'sound of the clouds' or the 'sound of thunder'). Meghanaada defeated Indra, the king of gods, and earned the title of 'Indrajit'. Ravana's great-grandfather was Brahma (God of Ultimate Knowledge). He had advanced knowledge of mathematics, science and Ayurveda.
He was obsessed with his powers and was egoistic, and to display and prove his powers he was about to move Mount Kailash (the abode of Shiva who was his ancestor god). He managed to lift the mountain but Shiva immediately placed it back just by pressing his toe crushing Ravana's fingers in the process. That is when Ravana sings "Tandav Stotra" and he was spared and blessed with chandrahas (moon sword by Lord Shiva) considered one of the most powerful weapons in Hindu Mythology.
The stotra is in the Panchachaamara Chhanda (16 syllables per line of the quatrain, with Laghu and Guru characters alternating).
सार्थशिवताण्डवस्तोत्रम् श्रीगणेशाय नमः
|With his neck, consecrated by the flow of water flowing from the thick forest-like locks of hair, and on the neck, where the lofty snake is hanging garland, and the Damaru drum making the sound of Damat Damat Damat Damat, Lord Shiva did the auspicious dance of Tandava and may He shower prosperity on us all.|
|I have a very deep interest in Lord Shiva, whose head is glorified by the rows of moving waves of the celestial river Ganga, agitating in the deep well of his hair-locks, and who has the brilliant fire flaming on the surface of his forehead, and who has the crescent moon as a jewel on his head.|
|May my mind seek happiness in the Lord Shiva, in whose mind all the living beings of the glorious universe exist, who is the sportive companion of Parvati (daughter of the mountain king), who controls invincible hardships with the flow of his compassionate look, who is all-persuasive (the directions are his clothes).|
लताभुजङ्गपिङ्गलस्फुरत्फणामणिप्रभा कदम्बकुङ्कुमद्रवप्रलिप्तदिग्वधूमुखे | मदान्धसिन्धुरस्फुरत्त्वगुत्तरीयमेदुरे मनो विनोदमद्भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ||४||
Lataa bhujanga pingala sphurat phana mani prabha,
Kadamba kumkuma drava pralipta digwadhuu mukhae,
Madaandha sindhura sphuratwaguttariya medure,
Mano vinodamadhutam bibartu bhoota bhartari. 4
May I seek wonderful pleasure in Lord Shiva, who is supporter
of all life, who with his creeping snake with reddish brown hood and
with the luster of his gem on it spreading out variegated colors on the
beautiful faces of the maidens of directions, who is covered with a
glittering upper garment made of the skin of a huge intoxicated
सहस्रलोचनप्रभृत्यशेषलेखशेखर प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः | भुजङ्गराजमालया निबद्धजाटजूटक श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः ||५||
Sahasra lochana prabhrutyashesha lekha shekhara,
Prasoona dhooli dhoranee vidhuu sarandhri peethabhuhu,
Bhujangaraja Malaya nibaddha jaata jootaka,
Shriyai chiraya jaayatam chakorabandhu shekharaha. 5
May Lord Shiva give us prosperity, who has the moon (relative of the
Cakora bird) as his head-jewel, whose hair is tied by the red snake-
garland, whose foot-stool is grayed by the flow of dust from the
flowers from the rows of heads of all the Gods, Indra/Vishnu and others.
ललाटचत्वरज्वलद्धनञ्जयस्फुलिङ्गभा निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् | सुधामयूखलेखया विराजमानशेखरं महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ||६||
Lalaata chatwara jwaladdhananjaya sphulingabhaa,
Nipeeta pancha sayakam namannilimpa nayakam,
Sudhaa mayookha lekhayaa virajamana shekharam,
Mahaa kapali sampade, shiro jtdalamastu naha. 6
May we get the wealth of Siddhis from Shiva's locks of hair, which
devoured the God of Love with the sparks of the fire flaming in His
forehead, who is bowed by all the celestial leaders, who is beautiful
with a crescent moon
करालभालपट्टिकाधगद्धगद्धगज्ज्वल द्धनञ्जयाहुतीकृतप्रचण्डपञ्चसायके | धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीकुचाग्रचित्रपत्रक प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम |||७||
Karaala bhaala pattikaa dhagadhagaj jwala-
Ddhananjayaa hutee kruta prachanda pancha sayakae,
Dharadharendra nandinee kuchagra chitrapatraka-
-Prakalpanaika shilpini, trilochane ratir mama. 7
My interest is in Lord Shiva, who has three eyes, who has offered the
powerful God of Love into the fire, flaming Dhagad Dhagad on the
flat surface of his forehead who is the sole expert artist of drawing
decorative lines on the tips of breasts of Parvati, the daughter of
the mountain king.
नवीनमेघमण्डली निरुद्धदुर्धरस्फुरत् कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः | निलिम्पनिर्झरीधरस्तनोतु कृत्तिसिन्धुरः कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः ||८||
Naveena megha mandalee nirudha durdhara sphurat,
Kahoo nisheethi neetamaha prabandha bandha kandharaha,
Nilimpa nirzaree dharstanotu krutti sindhuraha,
Kalaa nidhaana bandhuraha shriyam jagat durandharaha. 8
May Lord Shiva give us prosperity, who bears the burden of this
universe, who is lovely with the moon, who is red wearing the skin,
who has the celestial river Ganga, whose neck is dark as midnight
of new moon night covered by many layers of clouds.
प्रफुल्लनीलपङ्कजप्रपञ्चकालिमप्रभा वलम्बिकण्ठकन्दलीरुचिप्रबद्धकन्धरम् | स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं गजच्छिदांधकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे ||९||
Prafulla neela pankaja prapancha kalima prabha-
-Valambi kanttha kandalee ruchi prabaddha kandharam,
Smarschidam puraschidham bhavaschidham makhachidham,
Gajacchidaam dhakacchidaam tamantakacchidam bhaje. 9
I pray to Lord Shiva, whose neck is tied with the luster of the temples
hanging on the neck with the glory of the fully bloomed blue lotuses
which looked like the blackness (sins) of the universe, who is the
killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the
bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the
demon Andhaka, the destroyer of the elephants, and who controlled
the God of death, Yama.
अखर्व(अगर्व) सर्वमङ्गलाकलाकदम्बमञ्जरी रसप्रवाहमाधुरी विजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् | स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ||१०||
Akharva (Agara) sarva mangalaa kalaa kadamba manjaree,
Rasa pravaha madhuri vijrumbhanaa madhu vratam,
Suraantakam, puraantakam, bhavaantakam, makhaantakam,
Gajaantakandhakaantakam tamantakaantakam bhaje. 10
I pray to Lord Shiva, who has bees flying all over because of the sweet
honey from the beautiful bunch of auspicious Kadamba flowers, who
is the killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the
bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the
demon Andhaka, the killer of the elephants, and who controlled the
God of death, Yama.
जयत्वदभ्रविभ्रमभ्रमद्भुजङ्गमश्वस द्विनिर्गमत्क्रमस्फुरत्करालभालहव्यवाट् | धिमिद्धिमिद्धिमिध्वनन्मृदङ्गतुङ्गमङ्गल ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तित प्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः ||११||
Jayatvadabhra vibhrama bhrama dbujanga masrhvasa-
-dvinirgamatkramasphurat karaala bhala havya vaat,
Dhimid dhimid dhimi dhvananmrudanga tunga mangala,
Dhwani krama pravartita prachanda tandavaha shivaha. 11
Lord Shiva, whose dance of Tandava is in tune with the series of loud
sounds of drum making Dhimid Dhimid sounds, who has the fire
on the great forehead, the fire that is spreading out because of the
breath of the snake wandering in whirling motion in the glorious sky.
स्पृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजङ्गमौक्तिकस्रजोर् गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः | तृणारविन्दचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः समं प्रवर्तयन्मनः कदा सदाशिवं भजे ||१२||
Sprushad wichitra talpayorbhujanga mouktika srajor-,
Garishtha ratna loshthayoho suhrudwi paksha pakshayoho,
Trunaara vinda chakshushoho prajaamahee mahendrayoho,
Samam pravartyanmanaha kada sadaashivam bhajae. 12
When will I worship Lord Sadasiva (eternally auspicious) God, with
equal vision towards the people and an emperor, and a blade of grass
and lotus-like eye, towards both friends and enemies, towards the
valuable gem and some lump of dirt, towards a snake and a garland
and towards varied ways of the world
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन् विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरः स्थमञ्जलिं वहन् | विलोललोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकः शिवेति मंत्रमुच्चरन् कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ||१३||
Kada nilimpa nirjari nikunja kotarae vasan,
Vimukta durmateehi sada siraha sthamanjalim vahan,
Vilola lochano lalaama bhaala lagnakaha,
Shiveti mantramuccharan kada sukhee bhavamyaham. 13
When will I be happy, living in the hollow place near the celestial
river, Ganga, carrying the folded hands on my head all the time, with
my bad thinking washed away, and uttering the mantra of Lord Shiva
and devoted in the God with glorious forehead with vibrating eyes.
इदम् हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् | हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिंतनम् ||१४||
Idam hi nityameva mukta muttamottamam stavam,
Pathan smaran bruvan naro vishuddhimeti santatam,
Hare Gurau subhaktimashu yati naanyatha gatim,
Vimohanam hi dehinaam sushakarasya chintanam. 14
Whoever reads, remembers and says this best stotra as it is said here,
gets purified for ever, and obtains devotion in the great Guru Shiva.
For this devotion, there is no other way. Just the mere thought of
Lord Shiva indeed removes the delusion.
पूजावसानसमये दशवक्त्रगीतं यः शम्भुपूजनपरं पठति प्रदोषे | तस्य स्थिरां रथगजेन्द्रतुरङ्गयुक्तां लक्ष्मीं सदैव सुमुखिं प्रददाति शम्भुः ||१५||
Yaha shambhupoojanaparam pathati pradoshe,
Tasya sthiraam radha gajendra turanga yuktam,
Lakshmeem sadaiva sumukhim pradadaati shambhuhu. 15
In the evening, after sunset, at the end of Puja, whoever utters this
stotra dedicated to the worship of Shiva, Lord Shiva blessed him with very
stable LakShmi (prosperity) with all the richness of chariots, elephants
इति श्रीरावण-कृतम् शिव-ताण्डव-स्तोत्रम् सम्पूर्णम्
Thus ends the Shiva-Tandava Stotra written by Lord Ravana.
Shiv Tandav Stotra at Wikisource (Sanskrit in Latin alphabet)