Ganga Ashtakam [Sankara]
Shankaracharya Krutha Gangashtakam
[The octet on Ganga composed by Adi Sankara]
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
Bhagawathi thava theere neeramathrasanoham,
Vigatha vishaya thurshna krishnamaradhayami,
Sakala kalusha bhange swarga sopana sange,
Tharala thara tharange Devi gange praseedha. 1
Goddess, I cam to your shore,
And sat there praying on Krishna,
And taking nothing else but water.
So Oh Ganga, who removes all dirt.
Who is the ladder for the heaven,
And who is full of spreading waves,
Be pleased with me.
Bhgwathi bhava leela mouli male thavambha,
Kana manu parimaanam pranino yeesprusanthi,
Amara nagara naari chamara grahineenaam,
Vigatha kali kalamkatham kam anke lutanthi. 2
Oh, Goddess who is the garland on the head of Shiva,
And meant for his happiness,
Those beings, who are lucky,
To touch drops of your water,
Get relieved of all black sins,
And would enjoy the fondling,
In the laps of those maidens of heaven,
Who hold fans in their hands.
Brahmandam ghandayanthi hara sirasi jata valli mullasayanthi,
Swarlokadha pathanthi kanaka giri guha ganda shailal skhalanthi,
Kshoni prushte lutanthi duritha chaya chamoo nirbharam bhathsayanthi,
Padhadheem poorayanthi sura nagara sarith pavani na punathu. 3
Let the pure waters of the Ganga of heaven,
Originating from the breaking the universe in to two,
Watering the hair curls of Lord Shiva’s head,
Falling from the heights of heaven,
Coming out of the sandal wood trees of the caves of Meru,
Falling torrentially on the earth,
Washing away the crowds of sins,
And making full the waters of the sea,
Take care of all of us.
Majja mathanga kumbhachyuthamadhira moda mathali jaalam,
Snanai sidhangananaam kucha yuga vigalath kanku masangapingam,
Sayam prathar muneenaam kusa kusuma chayai channatheerasthaneeram,
Payanno gangamamba karikalabhakaraakrantharamhastharagam,4
Let this waters of Ganga,
Which is full of several crowds of bees rushing to drink,
The water coming out of the bathing elephants,
Which is fully red because of the saffron coloured water,
Flowing from the head through the busts of holy ladies,
Which is full of different types floating grasses and flowers,
After the dawn and dusk salutations done by saints in the morn and evening,
And which is full of waves created by the playful elephants and calves,
Because of their beating the water by their trunks,
Save all of us.
Aadhaavaadhi pithamahasya niyama vyapara pathrejalam,
Paschath pannaga sayino bhagwatha padhodhakam pavanam,
Bhooya shambhu jata vibhooshana mani jjahnor maharsheriyam,
Kanya kalmasha nasini bhagwathi bhagiradhi drusyathe.5
This Goddess brought down by King Bhageerath,
Was initially seen as the water of worship from the pot of Brahma,
Later it became the purest holy waters washing the feet of Vishnu,
And then became an ornamental gem on the head of Lord Shiva,
And then later was born as the daughter of sage Jahnu.
Shailendra deva tharini nijjale majja jjanotharinee,
Paaravaara viharinee bhava bhaya sreni samuthsarini,
Kasi prantha viharini, vijayathe ganga manoharini. 6
Victory to that pretty Ganga, who took birth from king of mountains,
Who makes people who dip in her waters cross the ocean of life,
Who reaches and plays in the ocean,
Who completely uproots sorrows from life,
Who imitates Adhisesha and bends and flows,
Who appears like leaves on the hairs of Lord Shiva,
And who flows very near the city of Kasi.
Kutho veechir veechisthava yadhi gatha lochanapadham,
Thwamaapeethaa peethambarapuranivasam vitharasi,
Twaduthsange gange pathathi yadhi kayasthanubrutham,
Thadha maatha shathakratha vapadhalaabhopyathi laghu. 7
Hey river Ganga, Where are the pains of hell to him,
Whose eyes see at least one of your waves?
Hey Ganga, You give to anyone taking a sip of your water,
Permanent residence in Vaikunta,
And Oh, mother, to any being whose body falls on you,
Even the post of Indra become worthless
Gange trilokya sare sakala sura vadhoodhowtha vistheerna thoye,
Poorna brahma swaroope haricharanajoharini swarga margay,
Prayachitham yadhi syathava jala kanika brahma hathyadhi pape,
Kasthwam sthothum samartha trijagadagahare devi gange praseedha. 8
Hey Ganga, who is most important in all the three worlds,
Who is so wide and big that all women of heaven dip and bathe in you,
Who is having the full form of the eternal truth,
Who flows carrying the dust of the feet of Lord Vishnu,
Who flows in the paths of heaven,
And whose one drop is the only cure for sins like killing of Brahmana,
Hey Ganga, who can be capable of praying you adequately?
And who is more capable of washing any sin in the three worlds,
Be pleased with me.
Matha Jahnavi shambhu sanga valithe moulou nidhayanjaleem,
Thwathere vapushavasana samaye na rayanangri dhwayam,
Saa anandam smaratha bhavishyathi may prana prayanathsavo,
Bhooyath bhakthi ravichutha hari haradwaithathmika saswathi. 9
Hey mother Jahnavi, at the end of my wanderings devoted for search
For the company of lord Shiva, the end celebration of my travel of the soul,
Would happen in your bank, while I would be meditating,
Holding my two hands in salute over my head,
With happiness, on the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.
Let my devotion to Vishnu and Shiva be permanent, Oh Goddess.
Gangashtakamidhampunyam ya padeth prayatho nara,
Sarva papavinirmuktho Vishnu lokam sa gachathi. 10
That holy devotee who reads this holy octet on Ganga,
Would become free of all sins and reach the world of Vishnu.