What are your favourite shlokas?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

Ah! Time to share some of my all time favorites 🙂 I haven’t studied Sanskrit, and so my knowledge of shlokas is limited to the prayers, chants that I have grown up listening to, reciting and loving. Sources to the shlokas can be seen the footnotes below.

Here are my favorites…


यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य
ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य
तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्‌ ॥[1]

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

Meaning:

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself.


परित्राणाय साधूनां
विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्‌ ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय
सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥[2]

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

Meaning:

In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.


त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव ।
त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव ।
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव ।
त्वमेव सर्वम् मम देव देव ॥[3]

Tvam-Eva Maataa Ca Pitaa Tvam-Eva |
Tvam-Eva Bandhush-Ca Sakhaa Tvam-Eva |
Tvam-Eva Viidyaa Dravinnam Tvam-Eva |
Tvam-Eva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva ||

Meaning:

1: You Truly are my Mother And You Truly are my Father .
2: You Truly are my Relative And You Truly are my Friend.
3: You Truly are my Knowledge and You Truly are my Wealth.
4: You Truly are my All, My God of Gods.


ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे
सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्
मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥[4]

Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe
Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan
Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||

Meaning:

1: Om, We Worship the Three-Eyed One (Lord Shiva),
2: Who is Fragrant (Spiritual Essence) and Who Nourishes all beings.
3: May He severe our Bondage of Samsara (Worldly Life), like a Cucumber (severed from the bondage of its Creeper), …
4: … and thus Liberate us from the Fear of Death, by making us realize that we are never separated from our Immortal Nature.


ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥[5]

Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Meaning:

1: Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in the Unreality (of the bondage of the Phenomenal World), but lead me towards the Reality (of the Eternal Self),
2: (O Lord) Keep me not in the Darkness (of Ignorance), but lead me towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: (O Lord) Keep me not in the (Fear of) Death (due to the bondage of the Mortal World), but lead me towards the Immortality (gained by the Knowledge of the Immortal Self beyond Death),
4: Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace (at the the three levels – Adidaivika, Adibhautika and Adhyatmika).


कायेन वाचा मनसेन्द्रियैर्वा ।
बुद्ध्यात्मना वा प्रकृतिस्वभावात् ।
करोमि यद्यत्सकलं परस्मै ।
नारायणयेति समर्पयामि ॥[6]

Kaayena Vaacaa Manase[a-I]ndriyair-Vaa
Buddhy[i]-Aatmanaa Vaa Prakrteh Svabhaavaat |
Karomi Yad-Yat-Sakalam Parasmai
Naaraayannayeti Samarpayaami ||

Meaning:

1: (Whatever I do) with my Body, Speech, Mind or Sense Organs,
2: (Whatever I do) using my Intellect, Feelings of Heart or (unconsciously) through the natural tendencies of my Mind,
3: Whatever I do, I do all for others (i.e. without the sense of attachment to the results),
4: (And) I Surrender them all at the Lotus Feet of Sri Narayana.

|| OM NAMO NARAYANA ||

Footnotes

[1] yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata

[2] paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam

[3] Tvameva Mata Ca Pita Tvameva – in sanskrit with meaning – sloka on God

[4] mantra on Sri Shiva: Tryambakam Yajamahe

[5] Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya – in sanskrit with meaning – mantra from Upanishad

[6] sloka on Sri Vishnu

 

What are your favourite shlokas?

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