by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Eulogy of Ramanatha which is chapter 49 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the forty-ninth chapter of the Setu-mahatmya of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Note: Although the author takes every opportunity to eulogize Rāmeśvara, this is a special chapter in which prominent ancient personalities are shown to have praised that god. Most of the epithets here are taken from Rudrādhyāyu.
Śrī Sūta said:
2-4. When the Liṅga was installed, Rāma eulogized Parameśvara. So also did Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā, the daughter of Janaka, Sugrīva and other prominent monkeys, Brahmā and other Devas, and the great sages including the Pot-born Sage Agastya. All of them eulogized Rāghaveśvara severally with great devotion.
I shall recount the same in the proper order. Listen with great respect. O Brāhmaṇas, merely by listening to this, a man shall become liberated.
Śrī Rāma said:
5. Obeisance to you, to the noble-souled one, to the Trident-bearing Lord of great Māyā; to the dispeller of the distress of the devotee; unto the lotus-like pair of his feet; to the lord with serpents for his necklace.
7. Bow to Lord Śaṃbhu, to the lord of the universe, eternally filled with bliss. Obeisance to the lord, the dust particles of whose lotus-like feet cause destruction of the fear of devotees.
8. Obeisance to you, the lord of all. Obeisance to the Supreme Ātman himself. Hail to you of wonderful power; to the destroyer of great sins.
14. Obeisance to the lord with matted hair, with the Sun-god, the Moon-god, and the Fire-god, for the three eyes. Obeisance to Śiva accompanied by Umā, Obeisance to the destroyer of the fear of Mārkaṇḍeya.
16. Obeisance to the omniscient one, to the most excellent one, to the bestower of boons, to the most excellent one. Obeisance to you, to Śrīkaṇṭha, to the destroyer of the five sins.
17. Obeisance to you, to the embodiment of the supreme bliss, truth and perfect knowledge. Obeisance to you, O destroyer of the ailment called worldly existence. Obeisance to the lord of sin-ews(?).
19. O Śaṃbhu, let me be devoted to your pair of feet wherever I may be born on being induced by my Karma.
20. Let me not be attached to or interested in improper path; with your compassion, let me be drawn to the conduct of life in accordance with the Vedas. Obeisance to you.
21b. May my mind be always (absorbed in or devoted to) my husband and never to another man.
22. O Gangādhara of hideous eyes, O blue-red-complexioned Śaṅkara, O Rāmanātha, obeisance to you; protect me, O compassionate one.
23. Obeisance to you, O lord of the chiefs of Devas. Bow to you, O abode of mercy. Obeisance to you, O lord, the destroyer of the fear of worldly existence of those who are afraid of Saṃsāra.
24. O lord, O Śaṃbhu, by meditating upon your lotus-like feet, the son of Mṛkaṇḍu got rid of the fear of the god of Death and he attained eternity (eternal life). O great lord, what cannot be achieved by resorting to you (i.e. everything can be)?
25. O great lord, O supreme bliss, O protector of those who seek refuge in you, Grant me perpetual chastity. Repeated obeisance to you.
26-27. O lord of Devas, O lord of the universe, O Rāmanātha, O storehouse of compassion, let my devotion to the lotus-like feet of yours be steady.
Salute to Rāmanātha, to Śaṃbhu without whom there will not be existence of the world, nay not even its appearance. Obeisance to him whose form is the manifestation of Reality.
28. Obeisance to that Rāmanātha, to Śaṃbhu, due to whose refulgence the universe becomes perceptible. The universe does not manifest itself without his brilliance.
29. Obeisance to this Rameśvara who is the embodiment of the supreme bliss, whose bliss is the bliss of all and shines forth in reality.
30. Obeisance to that Rameśvara whose form is non-different, which is always non-dual, which is not differentiated by the difference of land, space, time, etc.
33. The states of wakefulness, dream and deep slumber are the results of the ignorance of his real nature. Obeisance to him devoid of wakefulness, etc., to the lord in the form of knowledge.
34. It is due to the ignorance of his form that atoms are wrongly regarded as the cause of effects by wretched Tārkikas (Logicians).
35. I perpetually worship that supreme bliss Rāmanātha, the great lord in the form of Ātman. He is the witness unto all.
37. I salute Rāmanātha Śiva, who is the support of the frightened universe, who is the lord of Umā, has the moon for his crest and who is the antidote for the ailment of worldly existence.
38. I bow down to Rāmanātha, the Ātman. People deluded and ignorant of this Ātman say that the Antaḥkaraṇa (internal sense, the mind) is the Ātman.
39. For the sake of the purification of all sins, I worship Rāmanātha, the lord of Umā, the lord of the Gaṇas, the three-eyed lord, the lord of the universe.
40-42. I have fallen into the ocean of worldly existence which causes fear, which has birth and death for its waters. It (Saṃsāra) has the surging waves in the form of sons, wives, wealth and fields. It is the ocean (or Saṃsāra) in which the entire Cosmic Egg is immersed. I have not reached the other shore. I am helpless. I am lamenting. I am wretched. I am frightened of the tiger of sensuous objects. I am afflicted by the crocodiles of diseases. I am agonized by the fishes in the form of the three Tāpas (afflictions of three types). Protect me, O Lord of the Daughter of the Mountain. Obeisance to you, O Rāmanātha.
43-45. I am in distress in the middle of the forest of worldly existence where I have lost my path which (i.e. this wrong path) has thieves in the form of ailments; where anger is like a lion; birth is like a tiger; death is like serpents; childhood, youth and old age are dreadful deep wells; anger, covetousness and malice are like fires; where the sensual objects are the cruel mountains. It is full of thorns causing terror. Take me now to the splendid path, O Śaṃbhu, O Rāmeśvara.
All the monkeys said:
46-48. We were born in many wombs (species) censurable or otherwise, in all places. We had fallen in Kuṃbhīpāka and other Narakas. We are born again in many indecent wombs due to the remnants of Karmas. We are now in the ocean of worldly existence. We are helpless and wretched. We cry, O Śaṅkara, O storehouse of mercy, O Rāmanātha; save us. Obeisance to you, O Rāmanātha, O ocean of mercy, O great lord.
49. Obeisance to you, to the lord of the worlds, to Rāmanātha, to Śaṃbhu. Be pleased with me, O lord of all. Destroy my ignorance.
50. I salute Śaṅkara, lord of Umā, Rāmanātha whose Śakti is Goddess Umā, identical with the three Vedas, the mother of the universe.
51. For the sake of dispelling all ignorance I serve Rāmeśvara whose sons are Gaṇeśa and Skanda and whose vehicle is the bull.
52. I worship with my heart Rāmanātha, the conqueror of the god of Death. Due to the power of the worship of this lord the son of Mṛkaṇḍu conquered death.
53. Obeisance to Rāmeśvara, to the lord whose ears shine with (the ornaments of) ear-rings, and whose body is pink-coloured like lac.
54. Obeisance to you, O great lord, O three-eyed Rāmanātha. Salute to you, the destroyer of Dakṣa’s sacrifice. O Śiva, do protect me.
55. Obeisance to you, to the trident-bearing lord who is smeared with ash, to the lord having serpents for garlands, O Rāmanātha, O ocean of mercy. Obeisance to the lord with the cremation-ground as your abode.
56. O lord whose lotus-like feet are served by all the Guardians of the Quarters including Indra; perpetual obeisance to the pure one, to Rāmanātha having the quarters for garments (i.e. naked).
58. O Rāmanātha, obeisance to you, the perpetual witness unto the Ego; to the non-dual inner being; destroy my ignorance quickly.
59. Obeisance to one who is difficult of access to those who deceive; to the lord whose form constitutes the meaning of the great Mantras. Obeisance to one free from duals, to Rāmanātha, to Śaṃbhu.
60. Obeisance to you, O Rāghaveśvara who shine in the hearts of Yogins perpetually in the form of Ātman; to the lord who cannot be comprehended through any other means of manifestation.
61. O primordial lord, O great god, O lord of the universe, O immutable Śiva, O Rāmanātha, lord of Aṃbikā, O bull-emblemed lord, be pleased (with me).
62. Forgive a thousand faults of mine, O Moon-crested lord. Relieve me of my sense of possession in sons and others as “This is mine”, etc.
63. Neither fields, nor jewels, neither riches nor wives, neither friends, nor garments nor cows, horses and sons can be of any help indeed, O Rāmanātha. Hence grant me detachment.
64. If a man has no devotion to you, O Lord Śrī Rāmanātha, O Śiva, certainly his learning of scriptures is futile, even the Vedas learned by him are fruitless.
65. It is definite that if men do not bow down to you, O Rāmeśvara, their charitable gifts, their performance of Yajñas, their observances of restraints, their austerities and their plunges in Gaṅgā and other Tīrthas are useless.
66. People may commit all the sins but, O Rāmeśvara, if they devoutly approach you and bow down to you, they (sins) will be certainly dissolved like the darkness which is clearly dispelled by the brilliance of the Sun.
67. After visiting you, O Rāmeśvara, once, after touching and bowing down to you the lord, a man does not attain any womb (birth) further, but becomes non-different from you.
68. If any man approaches you, O Rāmanātha, and bowing to you remembers his kinsmen, he redeems even them from all the sins. There is no wonder in his being contented.
69. O Lord Śrīrāmanātha, this is a great secret. It dispels grief. Those who serve the men who worship the soles of your feet are also blessed.
70. This should be understood by persons desirous of salvation, who are conversant with the secret of the perfect Vedāntic knowledge. Discarding all the scriptural texts, O Raghuvīra-Nātha, (they should) serve you.
71. O Rāmanātha, a person who has got rid of all his sins by meditating upon the pair of your lotus-like feet, fearlessly attains the refulgent non-dual reality and happiness that is solid consciousness which is never futile.
72. O Rāmanātha, service unto your feet bestows always the boon of worldly pleasures and salvation on men. It is destructive of Raurava and other Narakas. Which man, desirous of grasping (getting) pleasure, would not worship it?
73. In regard to the persons who serve your feet, O Rāmanātha, of what avail are observance of holy rites, austerities and sacrifices? Of what avail is the thought of Japas and discussion of Vedas and scriptures? Of what avail is the water of the Celestial River?
74. At the time when my soul departs from my body, O Śrīrāmanātha, you do come quickly along with Bhavānī and enable me to attain your lotus-like feet devoid of grief and delusion, having the form of Cit (consciousness) and happiness.
75. O Rāmanātha, you alone are the goal unto us who worship you. In the ocean of worldly existence which is boundless and which has waves in the form of miseries, we do not have any other goal except you.
76. O Rāmanātha, in the wild forest of worldly existence, dreadful on account of the tigers in the forms of ailments, there is no one to guide us excepting you.
77. O Rāmanātha, the oppression of our enemies (in the form of) the sense-organs is always unbearable to us. O Dhūrjaṭi, assist us in subduing them.
78. O Rāmanātha, you are one of unimaginable glory and we are of inferior intellect. O lord of Aṃbikā, how shall we be competent to eulogize you adequately?
79. Obeisance to you, O Rāmanātha. Do destroy our frequent deaths and births in different wombs (species). Destroy our ignorance as well.
80. Obeisance to you, to the lord of Aṃbikā, to the noble-souled, to you, to Rāmanātha. O bull-emblemed one, be pleased.
81. Obeisance to you, to the lord of the Gaṇas, to Rāmanātha, to the lord whose feet are worshipped by the multitudes of Gaṇas; obeisance to Gaṅgādhara, to the Guhya (ṃe mysterious one); obeisance to you. Always protect us.
82. Obeisance to Rāmanātha accompanied by Aṃbā; to you, the noble-souled, the unattached one. Bow to you, the bestower of salvation on excellent Yogins strictly adhering to Jñapti (knowledge) alone. O Śaṅkara, protect us.
83. Obeisance to you, to Rāmanātha, the supreme principle, to the genuine essence of all the principles. Obeisance to Śaṃbhu, the self-luminious one.
84. Obeisance to Lord Rāmeśvara, to the lord who has none apart from himself (i.e. the all-pervading lord), to the lord, the assigner of existence to the universe; salute to the destroyer of Avidyā.
All the Devas said:
85-91. All of us always think in our minds of Rāmanātha for the purification of our sins—Rāmanātha who is full of existence, knowledge and bliss; who is devoid of a dual; who is of the nature of Brahman; who is self-manifest; and has neither beginning nor middle nor end. He has no aberration or deterioration, no attachment, is pure and eternal, is the witness unto Ether and other evolutes, is the greatest immortal one.
He is beyond knowledge. He is the giver of enlightenment even to the means of right knowledge. He is always bereft of appearance, disappearance, shrinkage, etc. He is the witness unto this world superimposed on himself. He is unaffected. He is supreme bliss. He has given up all activities. He is great bliss, the supreme soul; he is of the form of consciousness and is bereft of sensual enjoyment. We are desirous of knowing our own Ātman and bliss. O Rāmanātha, protect us; O ocean of mercy, obeisance to you.
Obeisance to Rāmanātha, to Rudra. Obeisance to the dispeller of worldly existence, to the lord who has differentiated himself in the forms of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, etc. through his own Māyā.
The Ministers of Vibhīṣaṇa said:
92. Obeisance to you, to Rāmanātha, to the bestower of boons, to the excellent one, to the three-eyed lord, to the trident-bearing one. Obeisance to the eternal lord worthy of being meditated upon by Yogins.
93-96. On being eulogized by Rāma and others, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, Śiva, Rāmeśvara called Rāma and all the others and said to them: “O Rāma, O Rāma of great fortune, O lord, O lover of Jānakī, O Lakṣmaṇa, O splendid Jānakī, O Sugrīva and others, O Brahmā and others, listen with great concentration.
The man who listens to or reads or imparts to others this meritorious Stotrādhyāya (‘Chapter on Prayers’) composed by you, with great reverence, shall have the merit of worshipping me. There is no doubt about it.
97-100. They will have the merit of taking the holy bath in Rāmacandradhanuṣkoṭi. They will derive the merit of residing on Rāmasetu for a full year. They will have the merit of taking the holy baths in all the Tīrthas on Gandhamādana. There is nothing to doubt in this.”
After saying this, Rāmanātha vanished in his Liṅga. The man who recites this meritorious chapter of prayer always shall be rid of death and old age. He shall be free from the miseries of (frequent) births. There is no doubt about this that he will attain the salvation of Sāyujya (type) with Rāmanātha.