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Short Vedic hymns: the learner, the teacher and the lesson of life
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Hymn 1, Ganesh stuti: english transliteration and translation from cd jacket:
vakratunda mahakaaya suryakotisamaprabha
nirvighnam kuru me deva sarvakaryeshu sarvadaa
O Lord Ganesha of the curved trunk and massive body, the one whose splendour is equal to millions of suns, please bless me so that i do not face any obstacles in my endeavours.
Hymn 2, Saraswati stuti: english transliteration and translation from cd jacket:
yaa kundendutusharahaaradhavala yaa shubravastraavrtaa
yaa veenaavaradandamanditakaraa yaa shvetapadmaasanaa
(yaa brahmaachyutashankaraprabhrtibhir devaissadaa poojita
saa maam paatu sarasvatee bhagavatee nishsheshajaadyaapahaa
- part of the prayer, not sung in this recording)
May that Goddess - Bhagavati - the blessed Saraswati, presiding deity of learning and remover of our lethargy, laziness and ignorance, kindly protect us.
Se is pure and white like the jasmine, the full moon and the garland-like formation of dewdrops. She is dressed in a spotless robe. She has in her hand the auspicious instrument, veena. She is seated on a white lotus. (She is the one who is always respected by Brahma, the creater; Vishnu, the preserver; Shankara, the annihilator and other gods.)
Hymn 3, Guru stuti: english transliteration and translation from the cd jacket:
gururbrahma gururvishnu gururdevo mahesvarah
gurusaakshaat param brahma tasmai shri guruve namah
The Guru is none other the creator, Lord Brahma; he verily is Lord Vishnu, the preserver, and he truly is Maheshswara, the destroyer. He is the supreme Brahman himself. To such a Guru, i offer my salutations.
Hymn 4, Srimad Bhagavad Gita shloka: english transliteration and translation from cd jacket:
karmanyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana
maa karmaphalaheturbhooh maate sangostvakarmani
You have the right to perform action; you have no hold on the results thereof. May you not seek the rewards of action and may you never engage in wrong action (this is not an excuse for inaction).
All four hymns are from two audio tracks of the cd Mantram - Chants of India, made by Pandit Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, one of the four Beatles. This video is the fourth and last of my videos using tracks from this cd.
The first two hymns are traditional 'stutis', to Ganesh and Saraswati, respectively. The third hymn is a verse (third) from the Guru stotram composed by Adi Shankaracharya. The complete hymn (Guru stotram) in devnaagri script, english transliteration and translation is available at:
The fourth hymn is the 47th shloka (verse) of the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita and contains one of its central messages.
Adi Shankaracharya identified the 700 verses of the Bhagavad Gita from the vast ocean of verses of the Mahabharata. He declared them to be equal to an Upanishad and wrote its dhyana (meditation) and mahima (glory) stutis. Most importantly, he wrote the first extant commentary on it. Therefore, all other commentaries must necessarily use his commentary as a reference point. For a download of the Bhagavad Gita with the Shankara Bhashya (as his commentary is popularly known), visit:
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To know more about Adi Shankaracharya, start with clicking on:
He wrote commentaries on three parts of the Mahabharata of Ved Vyas: Sri Sanat Sujatiya, Srimad Bhagvad Gita and Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. The Vishnu Sahasranama is an answer to 7 questions, like the Srimad Bhagvatam also composed by Ved Vyas. The complete works of Adi Shankaracharya (in Sanskrit) as a set is available at:
The pictures/photos are random downloads from the web. The first photo is of a sunrise on the Ganga at Kashi (Varanasi/Benaras). The second one is of the sun at Kanyakumari, where the Indian Ocean meets the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Even if we wish to be on the Ganga, life often brings us to Kanyakumari with questions, figuratively speaking. At such times, guidance from a Guru is vital. The Guru appears by the grace of Ganesh and Saraswati. When the Guru appears, the scripture is immediately available, both externally and internally. The path and the destination, both become clear and possible.
For the very practical commentary of Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Swami Chinmayananda, download from:
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