Ranganatha Ashtakam

[Octet on Ranganatha]
By Adi Sankara
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
[with assistance in editing the translation by Dr. Saroja Ramanujam]

[Sri Rangam for a Vaishnavite is the holy of the holies to all Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and is similar to Benares for a shaivite. "2 km from Tiruchirapalli, Srirangam is the most important temple in Sri Vaisnavism. The Deity here is Lord Ranganatha reclining on Ananta Sesha. It is also the biggest temple in India covering 155 acres and is surrounded by the Rivers Kaveri and Kolladam. The dome (vimana) over the Deity is covered in gold and is known as the Paravasudeva Ranga-Vimana. The Deity of Ranganatha was first worshipped by Lord Brahma, then later given to Maharaja Iksvaku of the Raghu Dynasty, who brought the Deity to his capital of Ayodhya. Later, the Deity was worshipped by Lord Ramachandra. When Vibhishana visited Ayodhya he requested Ramachandra to give him the Deity so that he could worship Him at his capital in Lanka. Ramachandra agreed provided Vibhishana did not place the Deity on the ground on his return to Lanka - if he did so, the Deity would stay in that spot. Somehow or other, Vibhishana placed Lord Ranganatha down at Srirangam and that is where he has stayed ever since. However, unlike most Deities which face east, Ranganatha faces south towards Lanka to bless Vibhishana and his kingdom. It is said that Vibhishana returns every 12 years to perform worship of Lord Ranganatha". All the Vaishnavite saints called Azhwars, Saint Ramanuja and his followers especially Sri Vedantha Desikan, have sung about this temple and the Lord who rules in it. It is believed that Adhi Sankara who visited this temple composed this very pretty octet. It is the will and grace of the Lord that, we both should translate this great stotra together.]

Saptha prakara madhye sarasijamuklothbhasamane vimane,
Kaveri Madhya dese phanipathi sayane, sesha paryanga bhage,
Nidhramudhrabhiramam katinikatasira parswavinyastha hastham,
Padmadhathree karabhyam parichithacharanam rangarajam Bhajeham. 1
[This Mangala sloka is written by a Sri Parashara Bhatta, a great Vaishnavite Saint.]

I salute that Lord of Ranga,
Who sleeps in the yogic pose,
On the bed of Adhisesha,
Below the tall dome,**
Which resembles a lotus bud,
And is surrounded by seven ramparts,
And which is in between two Kaveri rivers,
With his right hand near his crown,
And his lotus like merciful left hand,
Pointing towards his feet which takes care of us all.
** Vimana

Aanandarupe nijabodha rupe,
Brahma swaroope sruthi moorthi rupe,
Sasanka rupe ramaneeya rupe,
Sri ranga rupe ramatham mano mey. 2

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Whose form is the epitome of happiness,
Whose form is the true knowledge,
Whose form is as told in the Vedas,
And who is of the form of the comforting moon and beautiful

Kaveri theree karuna vilole,
Mandhara moole drutha charu khele,
Daithyanha kale akhila loka leele,
Sri Ranga leele ramatham mano mey. 3

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Who is on the banks of river Kaveri,
And playfully dispenses mercy,
Who is below the Mandhara tree,
Where he speedily and prettily plays,
And who destroys all asuras,
By his play spread over the whole world.

Lakshmi nivase jagatham nivase,
Hrud padma vase ravi bimbha vase,
Krupa nivase Guna brunda vase,
Sri Ranga vase ramatham mano mey. 4

Let my mind revel in Ranga,
As the one who lives in Sri Ranga,
In whom goddess Lakshmi lives,
Who is the abode of the universe
Who lives in the lotus of our heart,
Who lives in the face of the Sun.
Who is the abode of mercy,
And who lives where good conduct lives.

Brahmadi vandye Jagadeka vandhye,
Mukunda vandhye, sura natha vandhye,
Vyasadhi vandhye, Sanakadhi vandhye,
Sri ranga vandhye ramatham mano mey. 5

In Him let my mind revel
As the one who is saluted in Sri Ranga,
Who is venerated by gods like Brahma,
Who is venerated by the entire universe,
Who is venerated as Mukunda,
Who is venerated by lord of devas,
Who is worshipped by sages like Vyasa,
And who is venerated by sages like Sanaka.

Brahmadhi raje, garudadhi raje,
Vaikunta raje sura raja raje,
Trilokya raje, akhila loka raje,
Sri Ranga raje ramatham mano mey. 6

Let my mind revel in Him
Who is the king of Sri Ranga,
Who is the king of gods like Brahma,
Who is the king of the holy bird, Garuda,
Who is the king of Vaikunta,
Who is the king of the king of devas,
Who is the king of the three worlds,
And who is the king of the entire universe.

Amogha mudhre Paripoorna nidhre,
Sri Yoga nidhre, sasamudhra nidhre,
Srithaika bhadre, jagathaika nidhre,
Sri ranga bhadre ramatham mano mey. 7

Let my mind revel in Him
As one who protects the city of Sri Ranga,
Who has, whose sign is never failing
Who is in perfect sleep,
Who is in the Yogic sleep,
Who sleeps on the ocean,
Who takes care of goddess Lakshmi,
And in whom the whole world sleeps

Sa chithra sayi, bhujagendra sayi,
Nandanga sayi, kamalanka sayi,
Ksheerabdhi sayi, vata pathra sayi,
Sri Ranga sayi, ramatham mano mey. 8

Let my mind revel in Him
As the one who sleeps in the city of Sri Ranga,
Who sleeps pretty as a picture,
Who sleeps on the king of serpents,
Who sleeps on the lap of Nanda,
Who sleeps on the lap of Lakshmi,
Who sleeps on the ocean of milk,
And who sleeps on the banyan leaf.

Idham hi rangam thyajathamihangam,
Punarnachangam yadhi changamethi,
Panou rathangam charanembhu gangam,
Yane vihangam sayane bhujangam. 9

He who sheds his body in this ranga (ground)
Never gets embodiment again
As Ranga has chakra in His hand,
The Garuda is His vehicle,
The serpent is His bed
And his feet is wetted by river Ganga,

Ranganathashtakam punyam prathruthaya ya padeth,
Sarvaan kamanavapnothirangi sayujyamapnuyath. 10

Any one reading this octet on the lord of Ranga,
As soon as he gets up in the morning,
Will get his wishes fulfilled,
And in the end attain salvation.