Panduranga Ashtakam

By Adi Sankara
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

This great prayer has been written by Adi Sankara extolling the virtues of the Deity of Pandarpur in Maharashtra. It seems there was a merchant named Pundarika in this town. His parents became old and he thought that they were a road block to his prosperity. Because of this he decided to drive them out. Fortunately for them, they could join a group of poor devotees who were going to Varanasi by foot. Later Pundarika himself undertook the pilgrimage to Varanasi but in horse drawn chariots. He crossed on his way, his parents but did not even bother to enquire about them. After some time, while they were resting in the banks of a river, they met Rohit Das a cobbler in his hermitage. Rohit das, though extremely poor was taking care of his parents disregarding his own comforts. Pundarika that night saw three ugly women taking bath in the pond of the hermitage and rising up as divine beings. On enquiry they told him that they were the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari who had to bear the load of sins left by people who took bath in them. They got cleansed by coming to the Hermitage of Rohit Das who was looking after his parents.

A sea of change descended on Pundarika. He returned back, begged for forgiveness from his parents and spent all his time in looking after them. One day Maha Vishnu took the form of a cowherd and went to the house of Pundarika. He was told by Pundarika that he was busy in looking after his parents. Lord Vishnu, informed him, who he was but Pundarika said that he was busy even for the Lord. He gave Lord Vishnu a brick to stand till he finished looking after his parents. Lord Vishnu blessed him and decided to stay there. That place is Pandarpur. He is called Vittala (brick) because he stood on the brick.

Maha Yoga Peete thate Bheema Radhya,
Varam Pundarikay Dathum Muneendrai,
Samagathya thishtanthamanandakandam
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 1

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who is the source of immense happiness,
Who stays in the great seat of yoga, in the banks of Bheema,
Along with great seers to fulfill the boon to Pundarika.

Thatidhwsasam Neelameghavabhasam,
Rama mandiramm sundraram chith prakasam,
Varam thwishtakayam samanyasthapadam,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 2

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who has firmly placed his blessed feet on the bricks,
Who is dressed like a streak of lightning,
Who is of the colour of the blue clouds,
Who is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi,
And who is pretty and is the splendour of the inner mind.

Pramanam bhavabhdhoridam maamakaanaam,
Nithambha karabhyam drutho yena thasmath,
Vidhaurvasathyai drutho nabhi kesa,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 3

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who by keeping his two hands on his waist,
Tells us all that this worldly life is only waist deep,
And who created the holy lotus from his navel,
So that the creator himself can live there.

Sphurath kousthubhalankritham kanda dese,
Sriya jushta keyurakam Srinivasam,
Shivam Shantha meedyam, varam loka palam,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 4

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who decorates his neck by wearing the Kaushthubha gem,
Who has armlets of rarest charm,
Who is the abode of Goddess of wealth,
Who is calm and peaceful,
And who is the protector of the world.

Sarad Chandra bimbananam Charuhasam,
Lasath kundala aakrantha Ganda sthalangam,
Japaraga bimbadharam kanja nethram,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 5

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who is as bright as the moon of autumn,
Who has a very captivating smile,
Whose shining ear studs covers his holy cheeks,
Who has red lips like the hibiscus flower and the Bimba fruit,
And whose eyes are like lotus flowers.

Kireedojwalath sarva dhik prantha bhagam,
Surair architham Divya rathanair anarghyair,
Tribhangakruthim barha malyavathamsam,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam.6

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Whose shine of the crown illuminates all sides,
Who is being worshipped using invaluable gems by the devas,
Who assumes a posture with three bends,
And who wears garlands and peacock feathers.

Vibhum venu nadham charantham durantham,
Swayam leelaa gopa vesham dadanam,
Gavaam brunda kanandadam charu hasam,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 7

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who is all pervasive and sings with his flute,
Who spells the doom for the bad ones,
Who playfully wears the attire of the cowherd,
Who brings great happiness to the herd of cows,
And who has a lotus like smile.

Ajam Rukmani prana sanjeevanam tham,
Param dhama kaivalyamekam thureeyam,
Prasannam prapannarthiham deva devam,
Parabrahma lingam baje pandurangam. 8

I worship that Panduranga, who is the absolute Brahman,
Who was not born to any one,
Who is the panacea for the soul of Rukmani,
Who is supreme light,
Who is the only way to redemption,
Who is the fourth higher state of humans,
Who is forever with satisfaction,
Who is the God of gods,
And who removes problems of those who seek refuge in him.

Sthavam pandurangasya vai punyadham ye,
Padanthyeka chithena bhakthya cha nithyam,
Bhavmbhonidhim they api theerthava anthakale,
Harer alayam saswatham prapnuvanthi. 9

He who reads with devotion and concentration daily,
This holy prayer addressed to Panduranga,
Would cross with ease, this ocean of life,
And at the end attain the world of Vishnu permanently.