Totakacharya

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Note the misspelling of the title

Trotakacharya (IAST Troṭakācārya) (c. 8th century CE) was a disciple of Ādi Śaṅkara, the Advaita philosopher. He was made the first Jagadguru (head) of the Jyotirmaṭha Pīthaṃ, the northern maṭha founded by Ādi Śaṅkara near Badrinath. He founded a maṭha by name Vadakke Matham in Thrissur, Kerala.

Meeting Ādi Śaṅkara[edit]

The Mādhavīya Śaṅkaravijayam states that when Ādi Śaṅkara was at Śṛṅgeri, he met a boy named Giri. Ādi Śaṅkara accepted the boy as his disciple. Giri was a hard-working and loyal servant of his Guru, Ādi Śaṅkara, though he did not appear bright to the other disciples. One day, Giri was washing his Guru's clothes, when Ādi Śaṅkara sat down to begin a lesson on Advaita Vedānta. He however did not start the lesson saying he was waiting for Giri to come back from his chores and singing lessons. At this, Padmapada pointed to a wall and said that it would be the same if Ādi Śaṅkara taught to this dumb object as he taught to Giri. Now, Ādi Śaṅkara wanted to reward Giri for his loyalty and devotion. Thus he mentally granted Giri the complete knowledge of all the śāstras (sciences). The enlightened Giri composed extempore the Toṭākāṣṭakam, a Sanskrit poem in the toṭaka metre, in praise of the Guru Ādi Śaṅkara. Thus the dumb disciple Giri became Toṭākācārya.

Works[edit]

  • Śrutisārasamuddharaņa — Published edition: Edited with a commentary titled Girisambhutaratna, by Swami Vidyananda Giri, Sri Kailash Ashrama, Rishikesh, 1972
  • Toṭākāṣṭakam

Toṭākāṣṭakam[edit]

The Toṭākāṣṭakam was composed by Giri in praise of his Guru Ādiśaṅkara. Literally, it means a rhyme of eight (Sanskrit: aṣṭa) verses (ślokas) composed by Toṭaka.

Transliterated Lyrics of Toṭākāṣṭakam[edit]

Toṭākāṣṭakam
By Ananda Giri (Thodagacārya),
Disciple of Ādiśaṅkarācārya

Pada Devanāgarī IAST Translation of P.R. Ramachander Translation of Animesh Kumar [1] Stutimaṇḍala
1 विदिताखिलसास्त्रसुधाजलधे महितोपनिषत्कथितार्थनिधे ।

हृदये कलये विमलं चरणं भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ १॥

viditākhilasāstrasudhājaladhe mahitopaniṣatkathitārthanidhe ।

hṛdaye kalaye vimalaṃ caraṇaṃ bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 1॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara, Who is the ocean of nectar of our great holy books, And who is like the Treasure Of the essence of the great Upaniṣads

And I meditate on his clear holy feet in my heart.

O Śaṅkara, Who is learned in nectar-ocean like pile of treatises, and Who is the repository of explained philosophy in the honored Upaniṣat! I throw myself before Your faultless feet in my heart. O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
2 करुणावरुणालय पालय माम् भवसागर दुःख विदूनहृदम् ।

रचयाखिलदर्सनतत्त्वविदम् भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ २॥

karuṇāvaruṇālaya pālaya mām bhavasāgara duḥkha vidūnahṛdam ।

racayākhiladarsanatattvavidam bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 2॥

I praise and seek the protection of Sankara,Who is the great ocean of mercy,

And seek protection for me, who has suffered deep sorrow,In the ocean of day to day life; And also request to make me,Know all the schools of our philosophy.

O You, Whose heart is an ocean of compassion! Protect me, Whose heart is afflicted by the miseries of metempsychosis. Convert me into one, Who is learned in the object of all the philosophies. O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
3 भवता जनता सुहिता भविता निजबोधविचारण चारुमते ।

कलयेश्वर जीवविवेकविदम् भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ ३॥

bhavatā janatā suhitā bhavitā nijabodhavicāraṇa cārumate ।

kalayeśvara jīvavivekavidam bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 3॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara,

Who is the great ocean of mercy, And seek protection for me , who has suffered deep sorrow, In the ocean of day to day life, And also request to make me, Know all the schools of our philosophy.

By You, the common people have become satisfied. O You, Who can meditate upon the Self, and Who has a beautiful mind! Incite me to learn the knowledge of God and living-beings. O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
4 भव एव भवा निति मे नितरां समजायत चेतसि कौतुकिता ।

मम वारय मोहमहाजलधिंभवशङ्कर देशिक मे सरनम् ॥ ४॥

bhava eva bhavā niti me nitarāṃ samajāyata cetasi kautukitā ।

mama vāraya mohamahājaladhiṃbhavaśaṅkara deśika me saranam ॥ 4॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara,

Because of whom the world has a pleasant life, Oh great soul who can teach the great knowledge, Make me understand the knowledge of the soul.

You are Bhava (Śiva) — thus is my conclusion. It has set-forth curiosity in my consciousness (cetas). Absolve my ocean of immense delusion.# O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
5 सुक्रिते’धिक्रिते बहुधा भवतो भविता समदर्शनलालसता ।

अतिदीनमिमं परिपालय मां भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ ५॥

sukrite’dhikrite bahudhā bhavato bhavitā samadarśanalālasatā ।

atidīnamimaṃ paripālaya māṃ bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 5॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara,

When I understood it is him, I became ecstasic with happiness, And requested, please dry the ocean of passion in me.

When numerous virtues have been accomplished, then by You, a desire to achieve indifference emerges. Protect me, who is very weak, thoroughly. O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
6 जगतीमवितुं कलिताकृतयो विचरन्ति महामहसश्छलत: ।

अहिमांशुरिवात्र विभासि गुरो भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ ६॥

jagatīmavituṃ kalitākṛtayo vicaranti mahāmahasaśchalata: ।

ahimāṃśurivātra vibhāsi guro bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 6॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara,Those who are born to protect this world,And who are like a burning flame,Roam everywhere without any one’s knowledge; But you shine before me like the Sun God To satiate this incomplete world, the great knowledge exponents roam in disguise [of a human]. Among them, you shine like the rays of sun. O Preceptor, O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
7 गुरुपुङ्गव पुङ्गव केतन ते समतामयताम् नहि को’पि सुधी: ।

सरणागतवत्सल तत्त्वनिधे भवशङ्कर देशिकमे शरणं ॥ ७॥

gurupuṅgava puṅgava ketana te samatāmayatām nahi ko’pi sudhī: ।

saraṇāgatavatsala tattvanidhe bhavaśaṅkara deśikame śaraṇaṃ ॥ 7॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara, Who is the teacher among teachers Who does not have any equal, Who is the treasure house of Philosophy And who is merciful to those who seek his blessings. O You, Who is the best among preceptors, and Who has a bull on His flag! Indeed there is no wise expounder like you right now. O Śaṅkara, Who cares for those seeking refuge, Who is the repository of truth, and Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.
8 विदिता न मया विसदैककला न च किञ्चन कान्चन मस्ति गुरो ।

द्रुतमेव विधेहि क्रुपां सहजां भवशङ्कर देशिक मे शरणं ॥ ८॥

viditā na mayā visadaikakalā na ca kiñcana kāncana masti guro ।

drutameva vidhehi krupāṃ sahajāṃ bhavaśaṅkara deśika me śaraṇaṃ ॥ 8॥

I praise and seek the protection of Śaṅkara, And request him to shower his natural grace fast on me, Who does not possess expertise in any branch, And who does not even a small piece of wealth(gold?) By me, not even one quality (kalā) has been understood. I don’t even have any amount of gold (wealth), O Preceptor! Very quickly bestow compassion, which is Your second nature. O Śaṅkara, Who is the realized master! Be my refuge.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The delusion here refers to Avidyā. According to Advaitavedānta the whole world is a figment of imagination and perceived as real due to delusion. The poet is asking for removal of this delusion from his preceptor. The poet has no confusion about Śiva being Śaṅkara.

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References[edit]