Narasimha Sthuthi [Prahlada]

Narasimha Sthuthi of Prahladha
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[Hiranya Kasipu, the tyrant, tortured his son Prahladha for praying to Lord Vishnu. When in spite of several painful tortures he did not change, Hiranya Kasipu wanted to know where Lord Vishnu lives. When Prahladha replied that he is everywhere, Hiranya Kasipu broke a pillar before him to see, whether Lord Vishnu is there inside the pillar. Lord Vishnu emerged in the form of a man lion and killed Hiranya Kasipu. After this Prahlada offered a prayer to Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha. This prayer occurs in seventh Skanda, ninth chapter in slokas 8-50. I have consulted the translation of this prayer by Smt. Sudha Devi Ramkumar in her Tamil book called Sri Krishna Sthuthi Malai and the translation by Sri C. l. Goswami in his English translation of Bhagawatham published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur. I have also consulted the great translation and commentary of this great work available at: Earlier I have translated this same work from a Malayalam translation by Thunjathu ezhthachan and this is available at:]

1. Brahmadaya sura gana munayotha sidhaa,
Sathvaika thana mathayo vachasam pravahai,
Naaradhithum puru gunairadhunaapi pipru,
Kim thoshtumarhathi samay hari rugra jathe.

How can I, who was born in a ferocious asura clan,
Expect to please you, when you were not pleased,
By Brahma, other devas, sages and Sidhas,
Who were all steeped in Sathwa qualities,
Using the torrential flow of words,
Which describes your great qualities.

2. Manye dhanabhi jana roopa thapa sruthoujastheja,
Prabhava bala pourusha budhi yoga,
Naaraadhanaaya hi bhavanthi parasya pumso,
Bhakthya thuthosha bhagwan gaja yoodha paaya.

In spite of it, I know that wealth, pedigree, form, penance,
Vedic learning, power, strength, manliness, wisdom and yoga,
Are not sufficient to please you, Oh divine and supreme god,
And that only the devotion of the elephant king succeeded in pleaseing you.

3. Vipradh dwi shad gunayutha dhath aravinda nabha,
Padaravinda vimukhascha vapacham varishtam,
Manye thad arpitha mano vachane hithartha,
Pranam punathi sa kulam na thu bhoorimana.

Oh God with lotus on the navel, compared to a Brahmin,
Blessed with the twelve desirable qualities, but,
Not having devotion to your lotus like feet,
The person born in a lowly caste, who worships you,
Surrendering his mind, word and soul to you,
Redeems his race, besides making himself pure.

4. Naivathmana prabhurayam nija labha poorno,
Maanam janaadha vidhusha karuno vruneethe,
Yad yajjano bhagwathe vidha dheetha maanam,
Thacchtmane prathi mukhasya yadha mukhasree.

The devotee and not you Oh lord, receive profits,
Of your worship by the ignorant one, Oh merciful one,
For whatever honour the devotee offers to the Lord,
Rebounds to him, like a mirror reflecting his own image.

5. Thasmad aham vigatha viklava iswarasya,
Sarvathmana mahi gunaami yadhamanisham,
Neecho ajayaa guna visarga manu pravishta,
Pooyetha yena hi pumaan anuvarnithena.

Therefore with all my fear gone, in spite of my being unworthy,
I am starting to pray to the best of my ability, the greatness,
Of the almighty lord, by doing which even an ordinary debased one,
Who has been caught, in the net of mundane life, gets purified.

6. Sarve hyaami vidhi karaa sthava Sathwa dhaamne,
Brahmadhayo vayamivesa na choddhi jantha,
Kshemaya bhoothaya uthathma sukhaaya chasya,
Vikhreeditham bhagawatho ruchiravatharai.

Lord Brahma and others who are your devotees,
Are standing here with fear towards you,
Who normally have a soft form drenched with truth,
Though they know that you are taking these incarnations,
For the welfare and complete happiness of all beings.

7. Thadyachaa manyu masurascha hathas thva yaadhyaa,
Modhetha sadhurapi vruschika sarpa hathyaa,
Lokaascha nirvruthi mithaa prathiyanthi sarve,
Roopam nrusimha vibhayaaya janaa smaranthi.

Please hold your anger in control as the asura(Hiranya Kasipu) has been killed,
For even sages are happy, when scorpion and snakes are killed
And now the entire world is relieved and waiting for you to become peaceful,
So that they would continue, to recall this man lion always.

8. Naaham vibhemya jitha they athi bhayanakaasya jihwa,
Arka nethra brukuti rabhaso ugra damshtrath,
Anthra sruja kshathaja kesara sanku karnnirhradha,
Bheetha dhigibhada ribhinna khagrath.

Oh invincible lord, I am not at all afraid of your this form,
Which has fearful toungue, with sun like eyes, horrifying looks,
Fierce teeth, with blood drenched flying red manes,
Erect ears and claws that tear the enemies,
Along with the intestine garland that you are wearing,
All of which even makes the elephants guarding the directions scared.

9. Thrasthomyaham krupana vathsala dussahograa,
Samsara chakra gadjhanaad grasathaam praneeth,
Badha swakarma bhirusatham they angry moolam,
Preetho apa varga saranam hvayase kadhh nu.

But I am definitely afraid, Oh lover of the oppressed,
Of the terrible suffering involved in this cycle of births and deaths,
Since I am tied by my own acts and thrown amidst blood thirsty demons,
And oh shining one, be pleased with me and when are you,
Going to call me near your feet, which would grant me salvation.

10. Yasmath priyaa Priya viyoga sayoga janma,
Sokaa agninaa sakala yonishu dahyamaanaa,
Dukha oushadham thadapi dukha matha dwiyaaham,
Bhooman bramaami vadha may thava dasya yogam.

So having taken several births which involved,
Separation from things I liked and those I hated,
And burning in the fire of sorrow in several wombs,
And realizing that the cure for a sorrow involves more sorrow,
I would like to know from you, Oh Lord,
The method of being, in eternal service to you.

11. Soham priyasya suhrudha para devasthaaya,
Leela kadahsthava nrusimha virincha geethaa,
Agnja sthitharmya anugranan guna vipramuktho.
Durgaani thay pada yugalaaya hamsa sanghaa.

And after serving you, enjoying the friendship,
Of enlightened souls and hearing your story,
And the prayer of Lord Brahma addressed to you,
I would by your blessing cross the unknown obstacles,
By constant worship of the pair of your feet.

12. Baalasya neha saranam pitharo nrusinha,
Naarthasya chaagadha mudhanwanthi majjatho nau,
THapthasya thath preethi vidhirua ihaajnaa sesthaa,
Sthaavath vibho thanu bhruthaam thwad upekshithaanaam.

Oh Narasimha,in case you decide to completely neglect us,
Fathers would not be able to protect their sons,
No medicine would be able to cure any diseases,
No shipping vessel would be able to save one from drowning,
And without your grace one would not be able,
To get out or even destroy a very small sorrow,
And how can I get cured of this sorrow,
Of domestic life without your help?

13. Yasmin yatho yarhi yena cha yasya yasmaadh,
Yasmai yadhaa yadhutha yasthvaparas paro vaa,
Bhava karothi vikarothi prudhak swabhava,
Sanchodhithastha d akhilam bhavathas swaroopam.

All beings which are high or low and possessing,
A nature of its own produces or transforms some things,
Whatever way it has to be done, whatever cause, whatever time,
Using which, from which, using whichever method,
Which job, with whom and to what purpose,
But all of them would be your form and nothing else.

14. Maayaa mana srujathi karma mayam baleeya,
Kalena chodhitha gunanu mathena pumsa,
Chandho mayam yadha jayaarpitha soda saaram samsara chakram,
Aja ko athi thareth thwadhanya.

The innate nature with its differing characters,
Created by time which represents the will of God,
Evolves in to a subtle body, which is a product of Karma,
Which is very strong and is within the wheel,
With its sixteen spokes*,and this cannot,
Be crossed by those who do not surrender to you.
*Mind, ten sense organs and five subtle elements.

15. Sa thwam hi nithya vijitha athma guna swadhamna,
Kalo vaseekrutha visrujya visarga Shakthi,
Chakre visrushta majayeswara shodasare,
Nish pedayaamaana mupakarsha vibho prapannam.

You are forever victorious over the innate nature using your greatness
And You as time, have exercised control over both effects and causes,
And Oh Lord, who is everywhere, draw me who is suffering as I having been,
Caught and being crushed in the wheel with the sixteen spokes.

16. Dashtraa mayaa dhivi vibho akhila dhisshnya pana mayu,
Sriyo vibhava icchaathi yagna noyam,
Ye asmathpithu kupitha hasa vijrumbhitha,
Broovisphurjithena lulithaa sa thu they nirastha.

Oh Lord, I have seen that the long life, riches, glory of the devas,
Which ordinary people crave for in this world, of my father,
Were easily destroyed by your angry laughter,
And the frown of the eye brow very easily,
And I also have seen, that valorous one being killed by you.

17. Thasmadhamoo sthanu bruthaa maha maasisho jnaya
Aayu sriyam vibhava maindriya maavirichaath,
Nechami they vilulithaan uru vikramena,
Kalathma nopanaya maamnija bruthya parswam.

So my lord I am not interested in those great pleasures,
Like long life, wealth and sensory gratification which even Brahma enjoys
And I also do not desire of getting mystic powers that are crushed by you as time,
But I request you to place me among your servant s.

18. Kuthrasisha sruthi sukhaa mruga thrushni roopaa,
Kwedham kalevaram asesharujaam viroha,
Nirvidhathe na thu jano yadha peethi vidhwaan,
Kaamaanalam madhulavai samayandhuraapai.

These desires are sweet to hear but have the form of mirages,
And this body being subject to diseases also cannot enjoy them,
And in spite of knowing all this people do not hate them,
Being engaged in quenching the fire of their pleasures,
By the drops of honey which are difficult to get.

19. Kwaaham raja prabhabava yeesa namo adhikesmin,
Jatha surethara kule kwa thavanukampaa,
Na Brahmano na thu bhavasya na vai ramaaya,
Yanme arpitha sirasi padmakara prasada.

Oh God, How come your pity on me, who was born,
In a non deva race dominated by regal qualities,
For you have blessed me by keeping your hand on my head
Which you have not done either to Brahma or Shiva or Lakshmi,

20. Naishaa pravaramathir bhavatho nanu syaath,
Janthor yadhaa aathma suhrudho jagadastha dhapi,
Sam sevayaa suratha roriva they Prasada,
Sevaanu roopam udayo na paraa varathwam.

Unlike the people who think others as low and high,
You being the friend of the soul and lord of the world,
Only by doing service one can get your grace,
Which is like the wish giving tree of devas,
And your grace to others depend on how they serve you,,
But definitely not based on who they are?

21. Yevam janam nipathiotham prabhavaahi koope,
Kaamabhi kama manu ya prapathan prasangaath,
Kruthwaa aathmasaath surarshinaa bhagwan graheetha,
Soham kadham nu visruje thava bruthya sevaam.

When due to desires I was about to join those men,
Who were suffering, after falling in to the snake infested well,
The celestial sage Narada made me his friend and blessed me,
And so how can I ever think of leaving your service as a servant.

22. Math prana rakshanam anantha pithur vadhascha manye,
Swa bruthya rishi vakhya amrutham vidhathum,
Khadgan pragruhya yada vocha dasa dwithith sus thwaa,
Meeswaro mada paro aavathu kam haraami.

Oh endless one, You saved me as well as killed my father,
When my father came to kill me with an unsheathed sword,
Saying "If there is a God above, let him save you as I am cutting your head."
So that the immortal words of Sanaka sages would come true,

23. Yekasthwa meva jagadethamushya yath thwam,
Aadhyanthayo prutha gavasyasi madh yadascha,
Srushtwaa guna vyathikaram nija mayayedham,
Naaneva thairava sithastha dhanu pravishta.

You are same as the universe that you are showing,
For in the past, during and after its birth, you only are there,
As after creating a modification of the three fold characters,
You immediately entered in to it and due to the real illusion,
You appear varied and many, though you are one.

24. Thwam vaa idham sada sadheesa bhavaam sthadho anye,
Maayaa yada athma para budhiriyam hyaparthaa,
Yadhyasya janma nidhanam sthithireekshanam,
Cha thadwaithadeva vasu kalavadha shti dharvo.

You yourself are this world consisting,
Of movable and immovable things,
Yet you are something different from it,
The notions of God is self and God is others,
Are notions without any import,
For that from which something,
Originates cannot be different from it,
Similar to the relation between,
Seed and tree, the later being only a temporal change.

25. Nyasyedha mathmani jagaadwi layaabhu madhye,
Sesha aathmanaa nija suka anubhavo niroha,
Yogena militha drugathmani peetha nidhra,
Sthitho na thu thamo na gunamscha yungshai.

You merge all that exists in to yourself,
By your own free will and repose in the,
Water of deluge enjoying the real divine pleasure,
Without any activity whatsoever,
But by yoga though you appear asleep,
You are not in the state of sleep,
For you are beyond the state of thamas by sleep or wakefulness,
And you are the one who shines by your own power.

26. Thasyaiva they vapuridhamnija kala shakthyaa,
Samjnchodhitha prakruthi dharmana aathma goodam,
Ambasyanaantha sayanaad viramath samaadhe,
Nabherabhooth swa kamikaa vatavan mahaabjam.

You had assumed your form due to the power of time,
Which ignite the three fold characters and
When your trance on the bed of Adhi sesha ended
From your navel, a huge lotus sprang up,
From the seed that was hidden there.

27. Thath sambhava kavi ratho anyadha pasya maanasthwam,
Bheejamathmani thatham swabahir vichinthaya,
Naavindha dhabdha sathamapsu nimmajjamaano jaathe,
Angure kadha maho pala bhedha bheejam.

That Brahma who rose from that lotus, not seeing,
Any other thing other than that flower, started,
Searching for the cause of that flower, though,
You were spread inside and outside him,
And he was inside the water for one hundred years,
For how can anyone who is on the sprout see the seed?

28. Sa thwathmayo nirathi vismitha aasthitho abhjam,
Kaalena theevra thapasaa parishuddha bhavaa,
Thwamathamanisa bhuvi gandha mivathi sookshmam,
Bhoothendriyysayamaye vithatham dadarsa.

Not able to find out the reason, with great sense of wonder,
Brahma returned to the flower and started doing,
Hard Penance and became one with a very pure mind and,
After realizing that the scent of the earth cannot be separated from it.
Saw you who were spread within him and his senses completely.

29. Yevam sahasra vadhanaangri sira karoru,
Nasaasya karna nayanaabharayudhaadyam,
Maaya mayam sad upalakshitha samnivesam,
Drushtwaa maha Purusha maapa mudham virincha.

Brahma became extremely happy on seeing you, the Lord,
Who was the supreme manifestation in himself, hidden by illusion
With thousands of faces, feet, heads, hands, thighs,
Noses, mouths, ears, eyes, ornaments and weapons.

30. Thasmai bhavaan haya sira sthanuvacha bhibradha,
Veda druhathi balou Madhu kaidabhakyai,
Hathwwa aanachruthi ganaamsthu rajasthamascha,
Sathwam thava Priya thamaam thanu maamnanthi.

Then you, after assuming the form of Hayagreeva,
With the head of a horse, killed Madhu and Kaidabha,
Who were the personification of base qualities of rajas and thamas,
You recovered the Vedas,which were dear to you,
And which were personification of Sathwa quality
And gave them to Lord Brahma.

31. Itham nruthiryagrushidhe vajashava tharai lokaan,
Vibhavayasi hamsee jagath prathipaan,
Dharma mahapurusha paasi yuganuvrutham channa,
Kalou yadhabha vastri yugodha sa thwam.

Like this you are protecting the world taking the forms,
Of Man, beast, sage deva as well as that of fish,
And destroying the enemies of the this world,
And you also establish the dharma relevant to that yuga,
But since in this, age of Kali you remain unseen you are called Triyuga.

32. Naithan manasthava kadhaasu vikundanatha,
Sampriyathe duritha dushta masaadhu theevram,
Kaamathuram harsha soka bhayai shanaartham thasmin,
Kadham thava gathim vimrusaami dheena.

Oh Lord of Vaikunta, the mind of mine does not,
Get interested in the great stories of yours,
As it is more interested in suffering, bad people,
Those who are bad souls due to extreme passion,
And is affected by sorrow, joy, fear and wants for a progeny,
And with this how can this oppressed one like me,
Get interested in your stories and attain your path.

33. Jihwe katho Achyutha vikarshathi maavi thrupthaa,
Susno anya thasthwagudharam sravanam kuthaaschith,
Graano anyathascha pala druk kwa cha karma Shakthi,
Bahavya sapalyayiva gehapathim lunanthi.

Oh Achyutha, my toungue pulls me to one direction,
The unsatisfied sex organ to yet another direction,
The sense of hearing, smell to its own directions,
As also the eyes and each of organs of action in their own path,
Like a polygamous husband being pulled by co wives to differing places.

34. Yevam swakarma pathitham bhava vaitharanyam,
Anyonya janma maranaasana bheetha bheetham,
Pasyan angnanam swa para vigraha vaira mithram,
Hathaithi paaracharapeepruhi moodamadhya.

Thus falling in to their own karma they fall,
In to the Vaitharani *river of domestic life,
Getting severely scared by birth, death and suffering,
Which are inter connected and proceed from one another,
And due to ignorance they see one as enemy and the other as friend,
And so Oh God, from the other bank of Vaitharani protect them.
*river in the border of the land of departed souls.

35. Konvathra they akhila guro bhagwan prayasa,
Utharane asya bhava sambhava lopa hetho,
Moodeshu vai mahadanugraha aartha bandho.
Kim thena they Priya jananu sevathaam na.

Oh teacher of the universe, is the job of saving,
These souls from the birth and death cycle difficult for you?
Please offer your blessing and grace towards these ignorant ones,
For your own dear people, would do service to you and get out of there.

36. Naivo dwije para durathyaya Vaithranyaas,
Thwad veerya gayana maha mrutha magna chitha,
Soche thatho vimukha chethasa indrriyartha,
Maaya sukhaaya bhara mudhwahatho vimoodaan.

I am not at all afraid of the sufferings to cross Vaitharani.
As my mind is immersed in the nectar like songs of the valour of yours,
But I am worried about the ignorant ones who are not interested in you
Who for their sensual satisfaction carry on with illusory pleasures,
Of the carrying and looking after their families.

37. Praayena deva munaya swa vimukthi kaamaa,
Mounam charanthi vijane na prartha nishtaa,
Naithaan vihaaya krupanaan vimumuksha yeko,
Naa anyam thwadasya saranam bramatho anupasye.

Devas and the sages for the sake of their own salvation,
Go to a lonely place, observe silence and meditate,
Not being ever bothered about the ignorant ones,
But I am not interested in getting to your presence,
Without them, who never seem to be able to surrender to you.

38. Yan maidhunadhi gruham yedhi sukham hi thucham,
Kandooyanena kara yoriva dukha dukham,
Thrupyanthi neha krupanaa bahu dukha bhaajaa,
Khandoothi van manasijam visha hetha dheeraa.

Oh Lord the pleasure in love making and that from a house is insignificant,
For these result in sorrow after sorrow, like the scratching of one hand by the other,
But some wretched ones do not feel sated in spite of lots and lots of sorrow,
But the wise man is able to boldly curb these wrong cravings like scratching of hand.

39. Mouna Vrutha srutha thapo adhyayana swadharma,
Vyakhyaraho japa samaadhaya apa vargyaa,
Praya param Purusha they thawa jithendriyaanaam,
Varthaa bhavanthyutha na vathraa thu dhambeekaanaam.

Penance of silence, fasting, meditation, hearing of scriptures,
Study of sacred books, doing one's allotted duty, teaching scriptures,
Living in seclusion, muttering prayers, and concentration of mind,
Are paths that lead to salvation but, Oh divine God,
But they generally happen to be only a means of livelihood,
For those persons who have failed to conquer their senses.
And is of no use at all to the advertising hypocrite.

40. Roope yime sadasathi thava Veda srushte,
Bheeejangura viva na cha anya adha roopakasya,
Yuktha samksha mubha yathra vichinvathe thwaam,
Yogena vahnimiva dharushu nanyatha syath.

Similar to the sprout coming from seed and later the seed coming from the sprout,
The real Brahman and the visible form follow each other says the Vedas,
And this truth is only realized by people who have controlled their mind,
Similar to the fact that fire is inside a piece of wood is known only to the Yogis.

41. Thwam vayur agni avanir viya dhambhu mathraa,
Pranenryaani Hrudayam chidanugrahascha,
Sarvam thwameva saguno vigunascha bhooman,
Nanyath thwadasthyapi mano vachasaa niruktham.

You are wind, fire, earth, sky and water,
You are the five sense objects*, five vital airs **and ten sense organs***,
You are the mind, intellect, ego, qualified and unqualified objects,
And lastly everything is you and you alone, oh divine one,
Whatever is revealed by mind or speech is you alone.
*sound, touch, sight, taste and smell
** Prana, apapana, vyana, udana and samana
***five senses of action and five of perception.

42. Naithe gunaa na gunino mahadhaadayo ye,
Sarve manna prabhoothaya saha deva marthyaa,
Aadhyanthavamtha uroogaaya vidanthi hi thwaam,
Yevam vimrusyas sudhiyo viramanthi sabhdaath.

Neither the three gunas and three gods presiding over them,
Nor the principles starting from the great principle of cosmic intelligence,
Nor the five subtle and gross elements, nor the mind, nor living beings,
Including gods and human beings, who have beginning and end,
Are capable of knowing the truth behind your unending principle,
And knowing this, the good people leave out Vedic rituals and only meditate on you.

43. Thath thear mhathama namasthuthi karma pooja,
Karma smruthiscaranayo sravanamkadhaayaama,
Samsevayaa thwayi vinethi shadangaya kim,
Bhakthim jana parama hamsa gathou labhetha.

Oh great one, saluting you, singing your praise,
Worshipping you, serving your feet,
Meditating on you and hearing your stories,
Are the six methods used by the devotees,
And are even used by realized souls to attain you.