Protective Prayer to Lord Nārāyaṇa
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.8.12-34
आत्मानं परमं ध्यायेद्
ध्येयं षट्-शक्तिभिर् युतम्
इमं मन्त्रम् उदाहरेत्
ātmānaṃ paramaṃ dhyāyed
dhyeyaṃ ṣaṭ-śaktibhir yutam
imaṃ mantram udāharet
After finishing this chanting, one should think himself qualitatively one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full in six opulences and is worthy to be meditated upon. Then one should chant the following protective prayer to Lord Nārāyaṇa, the Nārāyaṇa-kavaca.
- Nārāyaṇa-kavaca -
The mystic armor of Nārāyaṇa
The Protective Shield of Viṣṇu Mantra
ॐ हरिर् विदध्यान् मम सर्व-रक्षां
पाशान् दधानो ’ष्ट-गुणो ’ष्ट-बाहुः
oṃ harir vidadhyān mama sarva-rakṣāṃ
pāśān dadhāno ’ṣṭa-guṇo ’ṣṭa-bāhuḥ
The Supreme Lord, who sits on the back of the bird Garuḍa, touching him with His lotus feet, holds eight weapons—the conchshell, disc, shield, sword, club, arrows, bow and ropes. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead protect me at all times with His eight arms. He is all-powerful because He fully possesses the eight mystic powers [aṇimā, laghimā, etc.].
जलेषु मां रक्षतु मत्स्य-मूर्तिर्
यादो-गणेभ्यो वरुणस्य पाशात्
स्थलेषु मायावटु-वामनो ’व्यात्
त्रिविक्रमः खे ’वतु विश्वरूपः
jaleṣu māṃ rakṣatu matsya-mūrtir
yādo-gaṇebhyo varuṇasya pāśāt
sthaleṣu māyāvaṭu-vāmano ’vyāt
trivikramaḥ khe ’vatu viśvarūpaḥ
May the Lord, who assumes the body of a great fish, protect me in the water from the fierce animals that are associates of the demigod Varuṇa. By expanding His illusory energy, the Lord assumed the form of the dwarf Vāmana. May Vāmana protect me on the land. Since the gigantic form of the Lord, Viśvarūpa, conquers the three worlds, may He protect me in the sky.
दुर्गेष्व् अटव्य्-आजि-मुखादिषु प्रभुः
पायान् नृसिंहो ’सुर-यूथपारिः
विमुञ्चतो यस्य महाट्ट-हासं
दिशो विनेदुर् न्यपतंश् च गर्भाः
durgeṣv aṭavy-āji-mukhādiṣu prabhuḥ
pāyān nṛsiṃho ’sura-yūthapāriḥ
vimuñcato yasya mahāṭṭa-hāsaṃ
diśo vinedur nyapataṃś ca garbhāḥ
May Lord Nṛsiṃhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiraṇyakaśipu, protect me in all directions. His loud laughing vibrated in all directions and caused the pregnant wives of the asuras to have miscarriages. May that Lord be kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and battlefront.
रक्षत्व् असौ माध्वनि यज्ञ-कल्पः
रामो ’द्रि-कूटेष्व् अथ विप्रवासे
सलक्ष्मणो ’व्याद् भरताग्रजो ’स्मान्
rakṣatv asau mādhvani yajña-kalpaḥ
rāmo ’dri-kūṭeṣv atha vipravāse
salakṣmaṇo ’vyād bharatāgrajo ’smān
The Supreme indestructible Lord is ascertained through the performance of ritualistic sacrifices and is therefore known as Yajñeśvara. In His incarnation as Lord Boar, He raised the planet earth from the water at the bottom of the universe and kept it on His pointed tusks. May that Lord protect me from rogues on the street. May Paraśurāma protect me on the tops of mountains, and may the elder brother of Bharata, Lord Rāmacandra, along with His brother Lakṣmaṇa, protect me in foreign countries.
माम् उग्र-धर्माद् अखिलात् प्रमादान्
नारायणः पातु नरश् च हासात्
दत्तस् त्व् अयोगाद् अथ योग-नाथः
पायाद् गुणेशः कपिलः कर्म-बन्धात्
mām ugra-dharmād akhilāt pramādān
nārāyaṇaḥ pātu naraś ca hāsāt
dattas tv ayogād atha yoga-nāthaḥ
pāyād guṇeśaḥ kapilaḥ karma-bandhāt
May Lord Nārāyaṇa protect me from unnecessarily following false religious systems and falling from my duties due to madness. May the Lord in His appearance as Nara protect me from unnecessary pride. May Lord Dattātreya, the master of all mystic power, protect me from falling while performing bhakti-yoga, and may Lord Kapila, the master of all good qualities, protect me from the material bondage of fruitive activities.
सनत्-कुमारो ’वतु कामदेवाद्
धयशीर्षा मां पथि देव-हेलनात्
कूर्मो हरिर् मां निरयाद् अशेषात्
sanat-kumāro ’vatu kāmadevād
dhayaśīrṣā māṃ pathi deva-helanāt
kūrmo harir māṃ nirayād aśeṣāt
May Sanat-kumāra protect me from lusty desires. As I begin some auspicious activity, may Lord Hayagrīva protect me from being an offender by neglecting to offer respectful obeisances to the Supreme Lord. May Devarṣi Nārada protect me from committing offenses in worshiping the Deity, and may Lord Kūrma, the tortoise, protect me from falling to the unlimited hellish planets.
Lusty desires are very strong in everyone, and they are the greatest impediment to the discharge of devotional service. Therefore those who are very much influenced by lusty desires are advised to take shelter of Sanat-kumāra, the great brahmacārī devotee. Nārada Muni, who is the guide for arcana, is the author of the Nārada-pañcarātra, which prescribes the regulative principles for worshiping the Deity. Everyone engaged in Deity worship, whether at home or in the temple, should always seek the mercy of Devarṣi Nārada in order to avoid the thirty-two offenses while worshiping the Deity. These offenses in Deity worship are mentioned in The Nectar of Devotion.
धन्वन्तरिर् भगवान् पात्व् अपथ्याद्
द्वन्द्वाद् भयाद् ऋषभो निर्जितात्मा
यज्ञश् च लोकाद् अवताज् जनान्ताद्
बलो गणात् क्रोध-वशाद् अहीन्द्रः
dhanvantarir bhagavān pātv apathyād
dvandvād bhayād ṛṣabho nirjitātmā
yajñaś ca lokād avatāj janāntād
balo gaṇāt krodha-vaśād ahīndraḥ
May the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Dhanvantari relieve me from undesirable eatables and protect me from physical illness. May Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, who conquered His inner and outer senses, protect me from fear produced by the duality of heat and cold. May Yajña protect me from defamation and harm from the populace, and may Lord Balarāma as Śeṣa protect me from envious serpents.
द्वैपायनो भगवान् अप्रबोधाद्
बुद्धस् तु पाषण्ड-गण-प्रमादात्
कल्किः कलेः काल-मलात् प्रपातु
dvaipāyano bhagavān aprabodhād
buddhas tu pāṣaṇḍa-gaṇa-pramādāt
kalkiḥ kaleḥ kāla-malāt prapātu
May the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva protect me from all kinds of ignorance resulting from the absence of Vedic knowledge. May Lord Buddhadeva protect me from activities opposed to Vedic principles and from laziness that causes one to madly forget the Vedic principles of knowledge and ritualistic action. May Kalkideva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as an incarnation to protect religious principles, protect me from the dirt of the age of Kali.
मां केशवो गदया प्रातर् अव्याद्
गोविन्द आसङ्गवम् आत्त-वेणुः
नारायणः प्राह्ण उदात्त-शक्तिर्
मध्यन्-दिने विष्णुर् अरीन्द्र-पाणिः
māṃ keśavo gadayā prātar avyād
govinda āsaṅgavam ātta-veṇuḥ
nārāyaṇaḥ prāhṇa udātta-śaktir
madhyan-dine viṣṇur arīndra-pāṇiḥ
May Lord Keśava protect me with His club in the first portion of the day, and may Govinda, who is always engaged in playing His flute, protect me in the second portion of the day. May Lord Nārāyaṇa, who is equipped with all potencies, protect me in the third part of the day, and may Lord Viṣṇu, who carries a disc to kill His enemies, protect me in the fourth part of the day.
देवो ’पराह्णे मधु-होग्रधन्वा
सायं त्रि-धामावतु माधवो माम्
दोषे हृषीकेश उतार्ध-रात्रे
निशीथ एको ’वतु पद्मनाभः
devo ’parāhṇe madhu-hogradhanvā
sāyaṃ tri-dhāmāvatu mādhavo mām
doṣe hṛṣīkeśa utārdha-rātre
niśītha eko ’vatu padmanābhaḥ
May Lord Madhusūdana, who carries a bow very fearful for the demons, protect me during the fifth part of the day. In the evening, may Lord Mādhava, appearing as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara, protect me, and in the beginning of night may Lord Hṛṣīkeśa protect me. At the dead of night [in the second and third parts of night] may Lord Padmanābha alone protect me.
प्रत्यूष ईशो ’सि-धरो जनार्दनः
दामोदरो ’व्याद् अनुसन्ध्यं प्रभाते
विश्वेश्वरो भगवान् काल-मूर्तिः
pratyūṣa īśo ’si-dharo janārdanaḥ
dāmodaro ’vyād anusandhyaṃ prabhāte
viśveśvaro bhagavān kāla-mūrtiḥ
May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who bears the Śrīvatsa on His chest, protect me after midnight until the sky becomes pinkish. May Lord Janārdana, who carries a sword in His hand, protect me at the end of night [during the last four ghaṭikās of night]. May Lord Dāmodara protect me in the early morning, and may Lord Viśveśvara protect me during the junctions of day and night.
भ्रमत् समन्ताद् भगवत्-प्रयुक्तम्
दन्दग्धि दन्दग्ध्य् अरि-सैन्यम् आशु
कक्षं यथा वात-सखो हुताशः
bhramat samantād bhagavat-prayuktam
dandagdhi dandagdhy ari-sainyam āśu
kakṣaṃ yathā vāta-sakho hutāśaḥ
Set into motion by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and wandering in all the four directions, the disc of the Supreme Lord has sharp edges as destructive as the fire of devastation at the end of the millennium. As a blazing fire burns dry grass to ashes with the assistance of the breeze, may that Sudarśana cakra burn our enemies to ashes.
निष्पिण्ढि निष्पिण्ढ्य् अजित-प्रियासि
भूत-ग्रहांश् चूर्णय चूर्णयारीन्
niṣpiṇḍhi niṣpiṇḍhy ajita-priyāsi
bhūta-grahāṃś cūrṇaya cūrṇayārīn
O club in the hand of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you produce sparks of fire as powerful as thunderbolts, and you are extremely dear to the Lord. I am also His servant. Therefore kindly help me pound to pieces the evil living beings known as Kuṣmāṇḍas, Vaināyakas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Bhūtas and Grahas. Please pulverize them.
दरेन्द्र विद्रावय कृष्ण-पूरितो
भीम-स्वनो ’रेर् हृदयानि कम्पयन्
darendra vidrāvaya kṛṣṇa-pūrito
bhīma-svano ’rer hṛdayāni kampayan
O best of conchshells, O Pāñcajanya in the hands of the Lord, you are always filled with the breath of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore you create a fearful sound vibration that causes trembling in the hearts of enemies like the Rākṣasas, pramatha ghosts, Pretas, Mātās, Piśācas and brāhmaṇa ghosts with fearful eyes.
ईश-प्रयुक्तो मम छिन्धि छिन्धि
चक्षूंषि चर्मञ् छत-चन्द्र छादय
द्विषाम् अघोनां हर पाप-चक्षुषाम्
īśa-prayukto mama chindhi chindhi
cakṣūṃṣi carmañ chata-candra chādaya
dviṣām aghonāṃ hara pāpa-cakṣuṣām
O king of sharp-edged swords, you are engaged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Please cut the soldiers of my enemies to pieces. Please cut them to pieces! O shield marked with a hundred brilliant moonlike circles, please cover the eyes of the sinful enemies. Pluck out their sinful eyes.
यन् नो भयं ग्रहेभ्यो ’भूत्
केतुभ्यो नृभ्य एव च
भूतेभ्यो ’ंहोभ्य एव च
सर्वाण्य् एतानि भगवन्-
प्रयान्तु सङ्क्षयं सद्यो
ये नः श्रेयः-प्रतीपकाः
yan no bhayaṃ grahebhyo ’bhūt
ketubhyo nṛbhya eva ca
bhūtebhyo ’ṃhobhya eva ca
sarvāṇy etāni bhagavan-
prayāntu saṅkṣayaṃ sadyo
ye naḥ śreyaḥ-pratīpakāḥ
May the glorification of the transcendental name, form, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us from the influence of bad planets, meteors, envious human beings, serpents, scorpions, and animals like tigers and wolves. May it protect us from ghosts and the material elements like earth, water, fire and air, and may it also protect us from lightning and our past sins. We are always afraid of these hindrances to our auspicious life. Therefore, may they all be completely destroyed by the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
गरुडो भगवान् स्तोत्र-
स्तोभश् छन्दोमयः प्रभुः
garuḍo bhagavān stotra-
stobhaś chandomayaḥ prabhuḥ
Lord Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, is the most worshipable lord, for he is as powerful as the Supreme Lord Himself. He is the personified Vedas and is worshiped by selected verses. May he protect us from all dangerous conditions, and may Lord Viṣvaksena, the Personality of Godhead, also protect us from all dangers by His holy names.
सर्वापद्भ्यो हरेर् नाम-
sarvāpadbhyo harer nāma-
May the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s holy names, His transcendental forms, His carriers and all the weapons decorating Him as personal associates protect our intelligence, senses, mind and life air from all dangers.
यथा हि भगवान् एव
वस्तुतः सद् असच् च यत्
सत्येनानेन नः सर्वे
यान्तु नाशम् उपद्रवाः
yathā hi bhagavān eva
vastutaḥ sad asac ca yat
satyenānena naḥ sarve
yāntu nāśam upadravāḥ
The subtle and gross cosmic manifestation is material, but nevertheless it is nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He is ultimately the cause of all causes. Cause and effect are factually one because the cause is present in the effect. Therefore the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can destroy all our dangers by any of His potent parts.
धत्ते शक्तीः स्व-मायया
सर्व-ज्ञो भगवान् हरिः
पातु सर्वैः स्वरूपैर् नः
सदा सर्वत्र सर्व-गः
dhatte śaktīḥ sva-māyayā
sarva-jño bhagavān hariḥ
pātu sarvaiḥ svarūpair naḥ
sadā sarvatra sarva-gaḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entities, the material energy, the spiritual energy and the entire creation are all individual substances. In the ultimate analysis, however, together they constitute the supreme one, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge see unity in diversity. For such advanced persons, the Lord’s bodily decorations, His name, His fame, His attributes and forms and the weapons in His hand are manifestations of the strength of His potency. According to their elevated spiritual understanding, the omniscient Lord, who manifests various forms, is present everywhere. May He always protect us everywhere from all calamities.
विदिक्षु दिक्षूर्ध्वम् अधः समन्ताद्
अन्तर् बहिर् भगवान् नारसिंहः
प्रहापयॡ लोक-भयं स्वनेन
vidikṣu dikṣūrdhvam adhaḥ samantād
antar bahir bhagavān nārasiṃhaḥ
prahāpayaḹ loka-bhayaṃ svanena
Prahlāda Mahārāja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nṛsiṃhadeva. May Lord Nṛsiṃhadeva, roaring for His devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja, protect us from all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through poison, weapons, water, fire, air and so on. May the Lord cover their influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nṛsiṃhadeva protect us in all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and without.
फल-श्रुति - Phala-śruti
The Results of hearing/ chanting these prayers
मघवन्न् इदम् आख्यातं
विजेष्यसे ’ञ्जसा येन
maghavann idam ākhyātaṃ
vijeṣyase ’ñjasā yena
- Viśvarūpa continued: O Indra, this mystic armor related to Lord Nārāyaṇa has been described by me to you. By putting on this protective covering, you will certainly be able to conquer the leaders of the demons. (SB 6.8.35)
- If one employs this armor, whomever he sees with his eyes or touches with his feet is immediately freed from all the above-mentioned dangers. (SB 6.8.36)
- This prayer, Nārāyaṇa-kavaca, constitutes subtle knowledge transcendentally connected with Nārāyaṇa. One who employs this prayer is never disturbed or put in danger by the government, by plunderers, by evil demons or by any type of disease. (SB 6.8.37)
- O King of heaven, a brāhmaṇa named Kauśika formerly used this armor when he purposely gave up his body in the desert by mystic power. (SB 6.8.38)
- Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear Mahārāja Parīkṣit, one who employs this armor or hears about it with faith and veneration when afraid because of any conditions in the material world is immediately freed from all dangers and is worshiped by all living entities. (SB 6.8.41)
- King Indra, who performed one hundred sacrifices, received this prayer of protection from Viśvarūpa. After conquering the demons, he enjoyed all the opulence’s of the three worlds. (SB 6.8.42)