Śrī Hayagrīva Stotra 1 | Swami Deśikan

1.

ज्ञानानन्द मयं देवं निर्मलस्फटिकाकृतिम् ।
आधारं सर्व विद्यानां हयग्रीवम् उपास्महे ॥ १ ॥

jñānānanda mayaṁ devaṁ nirmalasphaṭikākṛtim |
ādhāraṁ sarva vidyānāṁ hayagrīvam upāsmahe || 1 ||

MEANING:

We meditate upon that Supreme One, who has the neck and face of a horse and who is the embodiment of Jñāna (divine Knowledge) and Ānanda (Bliss). He has a Thirumeni (body) like a radiant, blemishless Crystal and is the abode of all Vidyās (branches of Learning).

2.

स्वतस्सिद्धं शुद्धस्फटिकमणि भूभृत्प्रतिभटं
सुधा सध्रीचीभिर् धुतिभिर् अवदातत्रिभुवनम् ।
अनन्तैस्त्रय्यन्तैर् अनुविहित हेषा हलहलं
हताशेषावद्यं हयवदन मीडी महि महः ॥ २ ॥

svatassiddhaṁ śuddhasphaṭikamaṇi bhūbhṛtpratibhaṭaṁ
sudhā sadhrīcībhir dhutibhir avadātatribhuvanam |
anantaistrayyantair anuvihita heṣā halahalaṁ
hatāśeṣāvadyaṁ hayavadana mīḍī mahi mahaḥ || 2 ||

MEANING:

We sing the glories of that tejomayaṃ (effulgent Embodiment), who incarnated as Hayagrīva to banish the Samsaric afflictions of His bhaktas.

His divya Maṅgala Vigraha (Divine Auspicious Embodiment) is like a hill made up of śuddha sphaṭikam (gem crystal). He spreads His nectarine lustre on the three worlds and renders them white.

He generates the “Hala Hala” sound appropriate to His form as a Horse and through that neighing sound suggests that it contains the essence of all the Upanishads.

He makes it easy for those, who are blessed to hear that sound, to understand the true meaning of His Vedas.

3.

समाहारस्साम्नां प्रतिपदमृचां धाम यजुषां
लयः प्रत्यूहानां लहरि विततिर्बोधजलधेः ।
कथा दर्पक्षुभ्यत् कथककुल कोलाहलभवं
हरत्वन्तर्ध्वान्तं हयवदन हेषा हलहलः ॥ ३ ॥

samāhārassāmnāṁ pratipadamṛcāṁ dhāma yajuṣāṁ
layaḥ pratyūhānāṁ lahari vitatirbodhajaladheḥ |
kathā darpakṣubhyat kathakakula kolāhalabhavaṁ
haratvantardhvāntaṁ hayavadana heṣā halahalaḥ || 3 ||

MEANING:

The Hala-Hala sounds in the form of neighing emanating from the divine throat of Śrī Hayagrīva, the Horse-faced Lord, are the aggregate of Sāma Veda mantras, the word for word meanings of the Ṛig Veda and the abode of Yajur Veda mantras.

These Hala-Hala sounds are the destroyers of all obstacles to true Jñāna about Chetanā- Achetanā-Īśvara tattvas; these Hala-Hala sounds are like the movement of the waves from the ocean of true knowledge (Jñāna).

May these sounds chase away the inner darkness (ajñāna) arising from the uproar (loud and confusing noise) of debaters whose minds are driven by their own pride, arrogance and confusion.

4.

प्राची सन्ध्या काचिदन्तर् निशायाः
प्रज्ञादृष्टेरञ्जन श्रीरपूर्वा ।
वक्त्री वेदान् भातु मे वाजि वक्त्रा
वागीशाख्या वासुदेवस्य मूर्तिः ॥ ४ ॥

prācī sandhyā kācidantar niśāyāḥ
prajñādṛṣṭerañjana śrīrapūrvā |
vaktrī vedān bhātu me vāji vaktrā
vāgīśākhyā vāsudevasya mūrtiḥ || 4 ||

MEANING:

The Horse-faced Lord worshipped as the Lord of Speech is indeed the Avatāra form of Para Vāsudeva of Śrī Vaikuṇṭha. He instructs Brahma Deva on the Vedas and is like the unique, morning light to drive away our inner darkness. He is the matchless, sacred collyrium for revelation of the divya jñāna. May this Thirumeni of this incarnation of Para Vāsudeva shine within and in front me always!

5.

विशुद्ध विज्ञान घन स्वरूपं
विज्ञान विश्राणन बद्ध दीक्षम् ।
दयानिधिं देहभृतां शरण्यं
देवं हयग्रीवम् अहं प्रपद्ये ॥ ५ ॥

viśuddha vijñāna ghana svarūpaṁ
vijñāna viśrāṇana baddha dīkṣam |
dayānidhiṁ dehabhṛtāṁ śaraṇyaṁ
devaṁ hayagrīvam ahaṁ prapadye || 5 ||

MEANING:

Adiyēn seeks refuge in Lord Hayagrīva, whose divine Ātma, Śuddha Sattva Svarūpam is the embodiment of pure and unalloyed divine wisdom.

As the overflowing treasure house of mercy, He has taken the sankalpam to bless the sentient beings with His rejuvenating blessings of divine wisdom that will liberate them from the cycles of births and deaths.

To fulfil His vow to liberate them from the darkness of ignorance, He stands as their beacon light, their sole and final refuge to bless them with divine wisdom. Adiyēn also desiring that divine and redeeming divine wisdom takes refuge at His lotus feet.

6.

अपौरुषेयैर् अपि वाक्प्रपञ्चैः
अद्यापि ते भूति मदृष्ट पाराम् ।
स्तुवन्नहं मुग्ध इति त्वयैव
कारुण्यतो नाथ कटाक्षणीयः ॥ ६ ॥

apauruṣeyair api vākprapañcaiḥ
adyāpi te bhūti madṛṣṭa pārām |
stuvannahaṁ mugdha iti tvayaiva
kāruṇyato nātha kaṭākṣaṇīyaḥ || 6 ||

MEANING:

Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Veda-Vedāntas are not composed by anyone. They are authorless and vast. They struggle even today in their efforts to describe adequately Your Svarūpam, Thirumeni and Your Anantha kalyāṇa guṇas; they cannot see the limits (shores) to the ocean of Your glories.

Such is their magnitude of Your countless glories! In spite of it, adiyēn has come forward boldly to sing about those limitless glories. It is indeed sheer foolishness on my part to engage in this impossible endeavour. Please consider me as one of Your children with limited intellect and shower on me Your mercy-laden glances in spite of my boldness. I am a fit object for Your auspicious and merciful glances.

7.

दाक्षिण्य रम्या गिरिशस्य मूर्तिः
देवी सरोजासन धर्मपत्नी ।
व्यासादयोऽपि व्यपदेश्य वाचः
स्फुरन्ति सर्वे तव शक्ति लेशैः ॥ ७ ॥

dākṣiṇya ramyā giriśasya mūrtiḥ
devī sarojāsana dharmapatnī |
vyāsādayo'pi vyapadeśya vācaḥ
sphuranti sarve tava śakti leśaiḥ || 7 ||

MEANING:

The handsome form of sage from Kailāśa Mountain, known as Dakṣiṇāmūrti (i.e. Lord Shiva as a Guru), the “Goddess of Learning” and the wife of Brahma Deva with the name of Sarasvatī having the white lotus as Her abode and even Sage Vyāsa and others famous for their powers of divine Vāk --all of them derive their Sārasvata (power of divine speech) from a mere fragment of the power of the Ādi Vidyā Mūrti (Supreme Embodiment of Wisdom), Lord Hayagrīva.

8.

Here in this śloka, Swāmi Deśikan salutes the limitless mercy of the Lord, who saved Brahma Deva from the fate of being a stupid one through His benevolent instruction on the Vedas.

मन्दोऽभविष्यन् नियतं विरिञ्चो
वाचां निधे वञ्चित भाग धेयः ।
दैत्यापनीतान् दययैव भूयोऽपि
अध्यापयिष्यो निगमान् न चेत् त्वम् ॥ ८ ॥

mando'bhaviṣyan niyataṁ viriñco
vācāṁ nidhe vañcita bhāga dheyaḥ |
daityāpanītān dayayaiva bhūyo'pi
adhyāpayiṣyo nigamān na cet tvam || 8 ||

MEANING:

Oh vācāṁ nidhe (the ocean of wisdom)! Oh Hayagrīva Bhagavān! You performed instruction on the Vedas and their esoteric meanings for Your son, Brahma.

The two Āsuras by the name of Madhu and Kaiṭabha stole those Vedas from Your son, when he was temporarily distracted. Brahma was totally incapable of performing his dharmic duties as a result of the loss of the Vedas. He was dumbfounded and actionless.

Commentary:

Out of Your Karuṇā (Mercy) for Brahma, You recovered the Vedas for him and reinstructed Brahma on those Vedas and their meanings once again. If You had not performed the instruction for the second time, what would have been the lot of Brahma? He would have stayed dumb and remained incapable of performing his assigned duties.

Swami Deśikan says to Lord Hayagrīva in this śloka: “Oh Lord! Had You not restored the Vedas from the two Asuras and instructed Brahma once again, then Brahma would forever be a dim witted and lost his bliss and status as the creator of the living beings as ordained by You. It certainly would have been so.

Brahmā’s prayer was of the form that we come across in Taittirīya Āraṇyaka III.15.1:

“Like loyal servants, Devas follow Hari, who is the Lord of the Universe, who leads all thoughts as the Supreme leader and who absorbs into Himself the Universe at the time of Pralaya.

May this path to liberation be taught in the Vedas open itself to me! Oh Lord, deprive me not of that bliss! Please strive to secure that blessing for me!”

Brahma Deva prayed to the Lord invoking His intervention to restore his intellect and intuitive wisdom to resume his assigned duties:

“May the Supreme Brahman reach me! May the blissful one reach me! May the Supreme One (Paramātmā) that is blissful and complete reach me!

Oh Lord being one among Thy creatures, I am Thy child.. Destroy my sorrow! I offer myself as an oblation unto Thee!”

The Lord answered Brahma back and revealed the warp and woof of the world to be created as Dharma through instruction on the profound mantras like the ones below:

Some consider that performance of dharma (scriptural duties here) is the means of liberation. By the performance of dharma, the entire world is held together. There is nothing more difficult to practise than dharma ordained by the scriptures.

There are many obstructions that present themselves while one goes about doing his ordained dharmas to eliminate selfish feelings and destructive passions which interfere with the development of a life of harmony with his fellow beings.

//-- Śrī Mahā Nārāyaṇa Upanishad: 78

Dharma is the support of all the Universe. Every one draws near a person, who is fully devoted to the practise of Dharma. Through the observance of his dharma, a person banishes all the sins. All are supported by Dharma. Hence, they say that Dharma is the supreme means of liberation.

//-- Śrī Mahā Nārāyaṇa Upanishad: 79

Brahmā’s confusion was removed. He was blessed with divya Jñāna by Lord Hayagrīva to resume his dharma. In the next śloka, Swami Deśikan describes the blessing of Lord Hayagrīva to the deva guru, Brihaspati, when his mind was full of doubts.

9.

वितर्क डोलां व्यवधूय सत्वे
बृहस्पतिं वर्तयसे यतस्त्वम् ।
तेनैव देव त्रिदशेश्वराणाम्
अस्पृष्ट डोलायित माधिराज्यम् ॥ ९ ॥

vitarka ḍolāṁ vyavadhūya satve
bṛhaspatiṁ vartayase yatastvam |
tenaiva deva tridaśeśvarāṇām
aspṛṣṭa ḍolāyita mādhirājyam || 9 ||

MEANING:

Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Thou corrected the faulty ways of thought of Brihaspati (which make him waver and falter with regard to what is the highest of truth) and establish him in the Sāttvic (righteous) path. It is because of that the chiefs among Devas enjoy their high posts and positions without oscillations (i.e) permanently.

Commentary:

Brihaspati - (Sanskrit: बृहस्पति, "lord of prayer or devotion") – according to Vedic scriptures the Guru Devas, personification of teaching and knowledge, also identified as planet Jupiter (or Lord of Jupiter). Jupiter in astrology is a planet responding for teaching, education, social life. It is probably due to great theoretical knowledges he was stopped by doubts.

The play that Swāmi Deśikan has on the word “ḍolāṁ”(Swing) is very amusing and enjoyable. Brihaspati’s mind was moving like a swing from here to there without steadiness and the Lord intervened and put an end to those perilous movements and stabilized (anchored) Brihaspati’s mind in the Sattva mārga.

What is the consequence of stabilizing Brihaspati’s mind through the Lord’s teachings? The Lord’s merciful intervention prevented the kingdoms of Devas from swinging wildly and falling under the sway of Dānavas (Āsuras). Swāmi Deśikan suggests playfully that Lord Hayagrīva put an end to the oscillations (doubts) of the mind of Brihaspati, which in turn

put an end to the oscillations of his śiṣya’s kingdom.

Ḍolāyita means swinging back and forth. Aspṛṣṭa means incapable of. Thus the straightening out of the vagaries of mind of the Āchārya of the Devas saved the kingdom of Devas from undergoing any swings in prosperity and stability.

10.

अग्नोउ समिद्धार्चिषि सप्ततन्तोः
आतस्थिवान् मन्त्रमयं शरीरम् ।
अखण्ड सारैर् हविषां प्रदानैः
आप्यायनं व्योम सदां विधत्से ॥ १० ॥

agnou samiddhārciṣi saptatantoḥ
ātasthivān mantramayaṁ śarīram |
akhaṇḍa sārair haviṣāṁ pradānaiḥ
āpyāyanaṁ vyoma sadāṁ vidhatse || 10 ||

MEANING:

Oh Lord Hayagrīva! When the Yajamānas (the performers of Yajña) conduct Yajñas, they offer consecrated oblations in the bright and towering flames emanating from the agṇi pit.

At that time, You present Yourself in the form of the mantras that they recite and receive their Havis (Oblations such as parched rice, pressed Somā juice et al) directly.

Afterwards, You pass on those tasty oblations to the Devas and make them fully contented.

Commentary:

Lord Hayagrīva with His mantra maya śarīra (body of mantra-power) stands in the middle of the seven-tongued agṇi of Yajña Kuṇdam

All the Vedic names given to Agni stand in for the Svāyambhu (self-manifest) and Parameṣṭhī (the Supreme ruler):

A. All-possessor
B. The Purifier
C. Burning as seven tongued
D. Rich in radiance
E. Multi-coloured
F. Resplendent
G. Flaming
H. Vaiśvānara (All-Pervader /Viṣṇu)
J. The giver of wealth.

That Lord with “Mantra maya Śarīra” accepts oblations offered by devotees during the Fire Ritual and distributes them to the Devas and makes them happy and contented.

11.

यन्मूलमीदृक् प्रतिभाति तत्वं
या मूलमाम्नाय महाद्रुमाणाम् ।
तत्वेन जानन्ति विशुद्ध सत्वाः
त्वाम् अक्षराम् अक्षर मातृकां ते ॥ ११ ॥

yanmūlamīdṛk pratibhāti tatvaṁ
yā mūlamāmnāya mahādrumāṇām |
tatvena jānanti viśuddha satvāḥ
tvām akṣarām akṣara mātṛkāṁ te || 11 ||

MEANING:

Oh Lord Hayagrīva! This universe is made up of devas, humans, animals, plants et al and divides in the form of Agni, Ākāśa, Vāyu, Jala and Bhūmi Tattvas (elements).

They have to be created with the help of the Vedas, which in turn have many Śākhās (branches or recensions). These Vedas are like big trees with many branches.

The principal root for all these Vedas is the mantra celebrated as Prāṇava (Oṁ). This Prāṇava, which is recognized as indestructible akṣaram and is the foremost among letters (akṣara Matrikā).

The righteous ones correctly comprehend through Tattva Jñāna (knowledge of elements) that You are the Prāṇavā Svarūpa. They also understand You as the collection or assembly of all the akṣaras as well. They thus recognize that Prāṇava (Yourself) is the source or origin of all letters and Vidyās (wisdoms).