Dasavatara Stotram [Jayadeva]

Dasavatara Stotra [Jayadeva]
[Prayer about Ten Incarnations]
Composed by Jayadeva
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[Jayadeva was a poet who lived in the 12th century in Orissa. He is a well known mystic, who drowned himself in the ocean of devotion to Lord Krishna. His only work Gita Govinda (The song of our Lord), starts with this prayer to ten incarnations of Vishnu. Since it is written in verses of eight lines each, it is also called Ashta Padi. This is one of the earliest works in Sanskrit to be translated in to English verse. This great Stotra mentions, Buddha as an incarnation but nothing has been mentioned about the incarnation as Lord Krishna. This was possibly due to the fact that the poet was writing about ten incarnations of Krishna and not about ten incarnations of Vishnu.]

Pralaya-payodhi-jale dhruta vanasi vedam
Keshava dhruta-meena-sarira jaya jagadisa hare 1

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of a fish,
And gave protection like a boat to Vedas,
Which were immersed in the turbulent sea of deluge.

Kshitirathi vipulatare tisthtati tava prushte
Keshava dhruta-kachapa-sarira jaya jagadisa hare 2

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of a tortoise,
And made the great mountain rest on his back,
And allowed it to churn the ocean like a wheel.

Vasati dasana-sikhare dharani thava lagna
Sasini kalanka-kaleva nimagna
Keshava dhruta-sukara-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 3

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of a boar,
On whose tusks rested the earth,
Which was drowned and appeared.
Like the shadow on the moon.

Thava kara-kamala-vare nakha madbhuta-srngam
Keshava dhruta-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 4

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of a man lion,
Whose nails of his lotus like hand,
Were made wonderful weapons,
And Crushed Hiranyakasipu like a wasp.

Chalayasi vikramane balimadbhuta-vamana
Keshava dhruta-vamana-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 5

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of a dwarf Brahmin,
Who by his massive steps deceived Mahabali,
And the water* emanating from the nail of whose feet,
Made all living beings holy and divine.
* River Ganga is believed to have originated from Vishnu’s feet.

Kshatriya-rudhira-maye jagad-apagata-papam
Snapayasi payasi samita-bhava-tapam
Keshava dhruta-bhrgupati-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 6

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of Parasurama,
Who bathed the earth with blood of Kshatriyas,
Who washed away the sins of the world,
And who calmed down the pains of existence.

Vitarasi dikshu rane dik-pati-kamaniyam
Dasa-mukha-mauli-balim ramaniyam
Keshava dhruta-rama-sarira jaya jagadisa hare 7

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of Lord Rama,
Who presented the lords of ten pretty directions,
The delightful offering of ten heads of Ravana.

Vahasi vapusi visade vasanam jaladabham
Keshava dhruta-haladhara-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 8

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of Balarama,
Who wore cloths of colour of the River,
Yamuna over his white body and made,
The river fear his weapon of the plough.

Nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha shruti-jatam
Sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatham
Keshava dhruta-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare 9

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed the form of Buddha,
Who found fault with fire sacrifices,
In which poor animals were sacrificed,
As prescribed in the Vedas due to his compassionate heart.

Mleccha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavalam
Dhumaketum iva kim api karalam
Keshava dhruta-kalki-sarira jaya jagadisa hare 10

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who would assume the form of Lord Kalki,
Who would appear like a blazing comet,
Holding a terrifying sword and kill,
All barbarians at the end of Kali age.

Sri-jayadeva-kaver idam uditam udaaram
Srunu sukha-dam subha-dam bhava-saram
Keshava dhruta-dasa-vidha-rupa jaya jagadisa hare 11

Victory to Keshava, the lord of Universe,
Who assumed ten different forms,
With a humble request to hear,
This pleasant, holy and divine,
Poem composed by Jayadeva.

Vedan uddharate jaganni vahate bhu-golam udbibhrate
Daityam darayate balim chalayate ksatra-ksayam kurvate
Paulastyam jayate halam kalayate karunyam aathanvate
Mlecchan murchayate dasakruti-krute krushnaya tubhyam namah 12

Salutations to Lord Krishna who assumed ten different forms,
And saved the Vedas, bore a mountain, lifted the earth,
Killed Asuras, tricked Mahabali, exterminated Kshatriyas,
Won over Rakshasas, drew Yamuna towards him and showered mercy,
And would benumb the barbarians, in his ten different incarnations.

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