shreekara nArAyaNa mantra

Kannada script for this song is included at the bottom.

guNavArinidhi anagha uttama mahAprabhuve

ninage namO shreekara nArAyaNane namO

This is a devaranama by Prasanna Shreenivasa Dasaru where He describes the form of the Lord Hari which is the propitated diety of the Brihati Sahasra mantra. It is a special mantra which bestows all the earnest dharmic desires of the bhakta. The contemplation is on the Lord Narayana who has Lakshmi on His lap and is seated on Garuda. He holds the Sun,Moon ,kambu(conch), Chakra, shankha nidhi, padmanidhi in his arms. He is also showering his devotees with wealth in the form of riches,gold, diamonds and gems. The form to be meditated on as well as the auspicious attributes to be contemplated are described very well in this mantra. The word “mantra” itself means that one who engages in contemplation on it would become free of  troubles and tribulations and be blessed with wealth and prosperity. Here the word Shree has many meanings which is an exposition of the bounties that He bestows on His devotees.It is well described in the second charanam.

However much one contemplates, one cannot exhaust His gunas, rather even one guna of the Lord cannot be known completely.Such are His limitless capabilities. He is an ocean of auspicious attributes , each one of them infinite in nature. He is thus flawless as His gunas are not bound by space, time or dependence on any factors for their expression. His elevation is boundless in all aspects and causes the upliftment of beings. He is hence “mahAprabhuh” the master who bestows “elevation/upliftment” in all aspects of life as well as more subtler aspects for the soul. I bow down to You O shreekara Narayana! I am a non-entity but for Your wonderful grace as You cause the auspicious attributes in each soul to flower, You cause the stores of papa in the inner mind(antahkaraNa) to be destroyed, You are most Superior and the highest authority in granting upward,positive movement for the soul.

uttamottamaguttamottamottamodheeta

chetAnachetanarige uttamaashrayanu

uttama umEshaDi bhAratiguttama vAyu

Ataguttame sirige uttamOttishTa

He is the highest of the highest of the highest. He is the Supreme being and the most eminent shelter of all sentient and insentient sustaining their very existence. There is no one else who can confer such bountiful grace by being the designer ,creator and sustainer of the universe. He is reffered to as  “sarvAdhara, sarvAshraya” by Jagannatha Dasaru in Harikathamruthasaara. He is also called as “aadhara” as well as “adheya”,”bhArabrit” which describe His comprehensive powers of sustainence. A thing which requires the support is adheya and which supports is “AdhAra”. But the Lord is both! What does this mean? The soul is unble to even seek such support. It is the Lord who resides in the soul and enables the contact with the body which then becomes the support for the jiva to exist in samsara. The body may appear to be the shelter for us, but to seek the shelter of the body or to remain in that shelter is not within our forte. He being adheyA enables us to take shelter in the body. Such is His enormous and wonderful grace. These are some of the reasons that Dasaru refers to this Lord as the “uttama Ashraya” for both sentient and insentient beings. Not just that , He has no benefits from being such a shelter, neither is He bound to offer such shelter, Yet He does so out of His compassion for the souls.

 He is sole resort of even Lakshmi and His station is the highest, much much above Lakshmi, who is above Vayu and Vayu is above Bharathi, Bharati is above Umesha. Such is His sway on all superior beings too as He remains Superior to all being the very cause of their very existence too. Here also one can see that these superior dieties who are our shelter in various aspects are also sheltered by Hari and hence He is most Superior shelter for all, not having such dependence for existence, knowledge and action. The ancients describe Him as the Sarvothama because of Him having “swataMtra satta, pramiti ,pravriti” .

shree eMDare jnAna sukhapUrNa lakhsmistha

ka eMdare AnaMda shata sukhAMtastha

ra eMdare swarata sukhaprada sukhAshrayanu

iMdirEshane emage soubhAgya veeyO

In this verse Dasaru explains the meaning of the word “shreekara” in detail. The word “Shree” means one who is complete in knowledge and bliss. Such is the elevated position of Lakshmi and He resides in her, giving her bliss,making her bestow knowledge and bliss on the deserving. He is completely full of bliss and His bliss is of the highest kind and that too boundless at that. The syllable “ra” declares that this kind of unique bliss is found only in Him as He is swarata, means He is enjoys on His own without any need for another entity. It is also true that there is none who can be the cause of His bliss. He is not only the sole enjoyer but also the provider of bliss to other eligible entities. How so  ? It is because He is the source of all bliss. If anyone is to experience any bliss then He has to be the enjoyer inside them and cause them to enjoy . Enjoyment of all others is the effect of Paramatma being the inner controller and making them  enjoy.

O Indiresha, the Lord of Indira, please grant us fortune.One may wonder why Dasaru is seeking fortune? What kind of fortune is it that he is seeking on behalf of the good people? The answer has already been explained by giving the meaning of “Shree” as bliss and knowledge. And He is the cause for it,yet does not need interaction with anyone to enjoy and is the original source and origin of blss. The fortune Dasaru seeks is the wealth of knowledge and bliss which is a natural outcome of chanting this mantra and contemplating on the form and gunas of Shreekara Narayana who is completely flawless and replete with  auspicious attributes.

swAha Atmanu swavasha sarvavashi shreepanu

hari hamsa nirdosha brahma nArAyana

aharnishi ee reeti ninna smarisuva janake

ihaparadi nikhia sukha aishwaryaveeve

He is the inner controller who removes distress, who has each and every being under His supreme control. He is the master of Shree too. He is “Hamsa” – the pure one, nirdosha- the flawless one, Brahma- the most elevated being, Narayana- who has limitless auspicious attributes which are unbounded by time and space. Dasaru declares that whoever seeks to surrender to such a Supreme Lord shall surely be bestowed with all the happiness ,bliss and command  of all types of wealth in the here and now as well in the here-after. This is the greatest of assurances. It is the dearest advice to a sincere seeker as He clearly says that whatsoever may be sought shall be bestowed in the present and future by this benevolent Lord, the condition being contemplation as per  on His infinite gunas. The lead for such contemplation is very aptly indicated in the first two line of this charanam.

“swaha” – who is the owner of all energies,strengths and who has the power to demolish all negative energies. And this same Lord resides inside everyone-Atma as well as pervades everywhere-Atma. Such a Lord is not bound by anyone or anything. He does and makes other do because of His own innate nature of compassion and the infinite abilities to effect the sentients and lead them to a state of flawlessness which is the most sought after state. He is the owner and and controller of all wealth and is the consort of Shree. He is “Hari” who removes the distress of his devotees This is His exclusive privilege.Why so?  He is “hamsa” who is innately flawless and is the treasure house of auspicious attributes How so? Is there not any other entity named Hamsa? None can have this name independently as He is the only one who is “swavasha” and being so ,He is “Nirdosha” . He neither is dependent on anyone, nor does His internal state of bliss ever change, nor does He have any loss of body or spirit. It is no wonder that the scriptures refer to Him as “Brahma”. Brahma means the highest or the best of the best. He is the Supreme in all the auspicious attributes. Why so? It is because His auspiciousness is not dependent. It is changeless and under His control . He controls all other and they depend on Him for their very existence? So how can anyone be greater than Him? Summing up all these gunas Dasaru arrives at the name of the Lord which is truly only His and never anyone else’s. It is”nArAyaNa”.

ravi sOma kambu ari shaMka nidhi padmanidhi

divya hastagaLalli shObitavAguMtu

dravya hATaka ratna dhana koDuva karagalu

dEvi shree hree saha garuDaMsasaMstha

His form to be contemplated on is described here. Dasaru says “He holds the sun and moon in His hands.” This implies that He has the time under his control. He has the knowledge under His control. He has the ability of perception of every sentient under His control. He is the destroyer of foes and the bestower of knowledge. He is the storehouse of peace , bliss and detachment. He is the storehouse of all wealth. His arms are well decorated and He has hands which bestow all the things, gold, jewels and wealth. He is to be visualised along with Lakshmi on His lap and seated on Garuda.

“garuda gamana bandanO nOdiro bega garuDa gamana bandanO

garuda gamana dharaNiyind opputa karadu baarennuta varagaLa beeruta….”

is a part of a composition of Shri Purandara dasaru where Dasaru speaks of Narayana along with Lakshmi going to the aid of the devotee and bestowing grace.

meenAdi roopa tvad mastakAdyaMgadi

inagamita  deepta aabharaNa jvalisutive

vanaruhAsana tAta shreekara prasanna

shreenivasane svarNavarNa naMo sharaNu

He is the same Lord who has taken ten avatars and ,much more. His from from head to toe is extremely brilliant and outshines and sun. His form is decorated with matchless jewels and His effulgence is radiant. He who is the cause for the prosperity of beings is the father of Brahma and is the same as my loving master Prasanna Shreenivasa. He has a golden hue which signifies His limitless purity and brilliance. I surrender to Him in all humility .

Dasaru indicates that all the Lord’s roopas are indifferent from each other and remain flawless and complete always. He is original source of this universe and is the granter of wealth (described in detail in verse2). The word “namo” – ma has become mo givng a persistent weightage to the syllable “ma” which is an abbreviation of “mama”. When one says “na” and “mo” it means “Not me, Not mine…” acknowledging the surrender of the ego which is deeply rooted . This a pre-requisite for a sadhaka’s efforts to be fruitful in securing the grace of the Lord. Then after that “He says -Surrender”  I am not even capable of saying “I surrender”. It is You who are the inspirer and the doer. So I seek shelter in You.”

ಶ್ರೀಕರ ನ್ನಾರಯಣ ಮಂತ್ರ
ಗುಣವಾರಿನಿಧಿ ಅನಘ ಉತ್ತಮ ಮಹಾಪ್ರಭುವೆ
ಶ್ರೀಕರ ನಾರಾಯಣನೆ ಶರಣು
ಉತ್ತಮೊತ್ತಮ್ಗುತ್ತಮೊತ್ತಮೊದೇತಾ
ಚೇತನಾಚೆನರಿಗುತ್ತಮ ಆಶ್ರಯನು
ಉತ್ತಮ ಉಮೇಶಾದಿ ಭಾರತಿಗುತ್ತಮ ವಾಯು ಆಟಗುತ್ತಮ
ಆತಗುತ್ತಮ ಸಿರಿಗೆ ಉತ್ತಮೊತಿಷ್ಠ
ಶ್ರೀ ಎಂದರೆ  ಜ್ಞಾನ ಸುಖ ಪೂರ್ಣ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿಸ್ಥ
ಕ ಎಂದರೆ ಆನಂದ ಶತ ಸುಖಾಂತಸ್ಥ
ರ ಎಂದರೆ ಸ್ವರತ ಸುಖಮಯ ಸುಖಪ್ರದನು
ಇಂದಿರೆಶನೆ  ಎನಗೆ ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯವೀಯೊ
ಸ್ವಾಹಾ ಆತ್ಮನು  ಸ್ವವಶ ಸರ್ವವಶಿ  ಶ್ರೀಪನು
ಹರಿ ಹಂಸ ನಿರ್ದೋಷ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ನಾರಾಯಣ
ಅಹರ್ನಿಶಿ ಈ ರೀತಿ ನಿನ್ನ ಸ್ಮರಿಸುವ ಜನಕೆ
ಇಹಪರದಿ ನಿಖಿಲ ಸುಖ ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯವೀವೆ
ರವಿ ಸೋಮ ಕಂಬು ಅರಿ ಶಂಖನಿಧಿ  ಪದ್ಮನಿಧಿ
ದಿವ್ಯ ಹಸ್ತಗಳಲಿ ಶೋಬಿತವಾಗುಂಟು
ದ್ರವ್ಯ, ಹಾಟಕ ರತ್ನ ಧನ ಕೊಡುವ ಕರಗಳು
ದೇವಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಹ್ರೀ ಸಹ ಗರುಡಾಂಸಂಸ್ಥ
ಮೇನಾದಿ ರೂಪ ತ್ವದ್ ಮಸ್ತಕಾದ್ಯಂಗದಿ
ಇನಗಮಿತ ದೀಪ್ತ ಆಭರಣ ಜ್ವಲಿಸುತಿವೆ
ವನರುಹಾಸನ ತಾತ ಶ್ರೀಕರ ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ
ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸನೆ ಸ್ವರ್ಣ ವರ್ಣ ನಮೋ ಶರಣು

Author: Parimala R

I am a student of Madhwa's philosophy and a listener of the expositions of Shri Madhwa's works through my gurugalu Shri Bannanje Govindacharya .This blog is an attempt to express the jewels contained in those along with the verses of a Haridasaru, Shri Prasanna Shreenivasa dasaru . I speak on the verses of the Harikathamruthasaara to students at my place and in the nearby Turahalli Rayar mutt and also on skype. I am also into studying the Bhagavad gita closely with a small group, since the past year, the source of study being the expositions of Shri Bannanje .

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