Sankata Devi Namashtakam

Sankata Devi Namashtakam
[The Eight Names of Sankata Devi]
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Sankata Devi is known in Kashi as one of the most powerful deities in the entire city. Sankata Ji as she is called, is located high above the Sankata Ghat in the labyrinthine lanes of the city. Sankata Devi means Goddess of Dangers, for she is the one who vanquishes dangers for her devotees. Sankata Devi was originally a Matrika, one of the mothers. In Puranic Stories she is called Vikat Matrika, the Fierce Mother. Sankata Devi is a self-manifested goddess and has ten hands. She is believed to have the power to protect far away husbands and to ensure their safe return and so her temple in Banaras became an important pilgrimage site during the peak period of colonial migration. This great stotra is occurs in Padma Purana.

NARADA UVAACHA :
Jaigishavya Munisreshta sarvagna sukhadaayan
Aakhyaatani supunyaani Shruthaani twath prasadatha
Na trupthi madhigachchami tava vaagamrutenacha
Vada Swaikam Mahabhaaga Sankataakhyana muthamam

The great saint called Jagishavya who gave happiness to people
Being never getting satisfied with nectar like words of yours, requested you,
To tell him, oh great soul, the names of Sankata which are purifying
Authoritative, which gives good results, hearing of which would result in your grace

Ithi thasya vacha sruthwa Jaigeeshavyo bravee thathaha
Sankashta Nasanam Stotram Srunu Devarshi Saththama

Hearing these words of Jagadishavya, he told him.
The prayer which will destroy sorrow, please hear oh great sage,

Dwaaparetu Pura Vruththe Bhrashta Rajyo Yudhistiraha
Bhaatrubhi ssahitho rajya nirvedam paramam gataha
Tadaaneem tu thatha Kasee Pureem Yaatho Mahaa Munihee
Markandeya Ithi Khyaatha Saha Sishyair Maha Yasaaha

In the Dwapara age Yudhishtra lost his kingdom,
Left his country along with his brothers dejected,
And all of them came to the city of Benares and met the great sage,
Well known as Markandeya who was very famous along with his disciples.

Yudhishtra Uvacha:
Yudhishtra said:

Sankashtam Me MahatPraptha methaDrukgVadanam thathaha
Etan nivaranopayam Kinchith Broohi mune mama

The great fate has made me attain sorrow
But has made me to meet you,
And so kindly tell me some method of getting over it.
.
Markandeya Uvacha:
Markandeya said:

Ananda kanane devi, Sankata nama vishrutha,
Veereswothare bhage poorvam chandreswarasya cha. 1

To the north of Veereswara and to the east of Chandreswara,
In the forest of joy*, exists the very famous Goddess Sankata
* The city of Benares
Srunu namashtakam thasya sarva sidhikaram nrunam,
Sankata prathamam namam, dwitheeyam vijayasthadha,
Thritheeyam Kamada proktham, chahurtham Dukha harini,
Sarvani panchamam nama shashtam karthyayani thadha,
Sapthamam Bheema nayana Sarva rogaharshtamam,
Nama ashtakamidham punyam trisandhyam sradhayanvitha,
Ya padethpadeyedwapi naro muchyathe sankatath. 2-4

Hear those eight names of her, who fulfills all desires,
Remover of dangers is her first name,
Victorious Goddess is her second name,
Fulfiller of all desires is her third name,
Destroyer of sorrows is her fourth name,
She who is everything is her fifth name,
Daughter of Kathyayana is her sixth name,
Goddess with very large eyes is her seventh name,
She who cures all diseases is her eighth name.

He who reads these holy names with faith,
At the times of dawn. Noon and dusk,
Or he who gets them read would never suffer dangers.

Phala Sruthi or Uthara Peetika
Narration of results /afterword

Yaha Padeth Paatdayithvaapi
Naro muchyetha Sankataath

If this is read and be made to be read by them,
Men will get rid of all sorrow

Ithyukvaathu Dvija Sreshta Mrushir varanasim yayou

Saying this the great Brahmin sage left for the city of Varanasi

Ithi thasya vacha sruthwa Narado hasrha nirbharaha
Thatha sampoojitaam devim veersewara samanvithaha
Bhujaisthu DasaBhiryuktaam Lochana traya Bhooshitaam
Maala Kamandalu Yuthaam Padma Sankha Gada Yutham
Trisoola Damaru Dharaam Khadga Charma Vibhooshitaam
Varadaabhya Hastam Tam Pranamya vidhi Nandanaha
Vaara Trayam Gruhee twatu thatho Vishnu Puram Yayou

Hearing these words Narada with a mind ful of joy,
Worshipped the Devi along with Lord Shiva,
Who had ten hands and three eyes.
Having a garland, pot, lotus conch and mace in her hands,
Having Trident drum sword and skin in her hands,
One hand showing blessing was saluted by the son of Brahma,
He stayed for three weeks and went back to the abode of Hari.

Ethath Stotrasya Patanam Putra Poutra Vivardhasam
Sankashta Nasanam Chaiva Trishu Lokeshu Visrutham
Gopaneeyam Prayathnena Maha Vandhya Prasoothi Kruth.

Reading of this stotra leads to increase of sons and grand sons,
Would destroy all sorrow, make you famous in the three worlds,
And this is to be kept as secret and would lead to great blessings.

Ithi Sankata Hara Devi Namashtakam.
Thus ends The octet on Sankata.

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