Śrī Hayagrīva Stotra 2 | Swami Deśikan



अव्याकृताद् व्याकृत वानसि त्वं
नामानि रूपाणि च यानि पूर्वम् ।
शंसन्ति तेषां चरमां प्रतिष्टां
वागीश्वर त्वां त्वदुपज्ञ वाचः ॥ १२ ॥

avyākṛtād vyākṛta vānasi tvaṁ
nāmāni rūpāṇi ca yāni pūrvam |
śaṁsanti teṣāṁ caramāṁ pratiṣṭāṁ
vāgīśvara tvāṁ tvadupajña vācaḥ || 12 ||


Oh Hayagrīva, the Lord of all Vidyās! Before creation, this world was a shapeless and nameless mass (mūla Prakriti or avyākṛta). Out of that mūla Prakriti, You created Maha-ahaṁkāra and pañcha bhūtas and gave them names and forms.

Then, You embodied them as well as entered into them as Antaryāmī. Therefore, the worlds that describe them end up with You, who is the indweller of all of them.

You also become their ultimate goal and destination. Hence, the Vedas that originated from You salute You adoringly as the primary source and the ultimate goal of this Prapañcha.

The great ones, who have been specially blessed by You with the powers of Vāk (Brahma Jñāna and Vedic speech) recognize You not only as the “vyākṛtavān” (creator of janthus and achetanās with forms and names) but also as their ultimate destination (caramāṁ pratiṣṭāṁ).


The Maha Nārāyaṇa Upanishad mantra salutes appropriately Lord as the manifold sustainer this way in the spirit of the above śloka:

“The beings born from Prajāpati (Lord Hayagrīva) are not separate from Him. He creates all beings, provides them with the ten senses, the five elements constituting their bodies and the three luminous worlds (fire, Sun and Moon) in which they dwell in and next enters into them as their indwelling supporter and commander (Antaryāmī). Before their creation, nothing whatsoever existed other than Him. He created them, gave them names and forms, entered into them and finally became their ultimate destination. Befitting His nāmam as “Ṣoḍaśī” or the one with 16 Kalās (Prāṇa, Śrāddha, five elements, iṅdriyas, mind, food, vīrya, tapas, mantra, yajña, the worlds and the names), He identifies with all the creatures of the Universes.”

The Upaniṣadic passages from Taittirīya (2.6.1) and Brihadāraṇyaka (1.4.7) are also very relevant to the understanding of the twelfth śloka of Maha Deśikan’s Śrī Hayagriva Stotra:

“Having created it, He entered into it. Having entered it, He became Sat and Tat...He became both consciousness and unconscious, both satya (individual self) and matter. He has remained true to His own nature”.

Āchāryā Rāmānuja states that it is in this way that all distinctions of names and forms are brought about.


In this 13th śloka, Swami Maha Deśikan focuses on how the great ones skilled in Vedic knowledge meditate on the Thirumeni/Mūrti of Lord Hayagrīva:

मुग्धेन्दु निष्यन्द विलोभ नीयां
मूर्तिं तवानन्द सुधा प्रसूतिम् ।
विपश्चितश्चेतसि भावयन्ते
वेला मुदारामिव दुग्ध सिन्धोः ॥ १३ ॥

mugdhendu niṣyanda vilobha nīyāṁ
mūrtiṁ tavānanda sudhā prasūtim |
vipaścitaścetasi bhāvayante
velā mudārāmiva dugdha sindhoḥ || 13 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Your pure crystal-like form reminds one of the comfortingly cool white rays of the Moon and it removes all the tapas (samsāric heat/ afflictions) with their coolness.

This rūpam of Yours raises ānanda (bliss) in the hearts of those, who meditate on You and those who have the darśana of Your spotlessly white Thirumeni (incarnated body).

For them, You appear like the assembly of waves from the Milky Ocean. The Sages meditate always on this auspicious Thirumeni of Yours in their minds and derive great bliss.


The experience of the Sages, who visualize Śrī Hayagrīva Bhagavān in their heart lotuses, is described in the 14th Śloka:

मनोगतं पश्यति यः सदा त्वां
मनीषिणां मानस राज हंसम् ।
स्वयं पुरोभाव विवादभाजः
किंकुर्वते तस्य गिरो यथार्हम् ॥ १४ ॥

manogataṁ paśyati yaḥ sadā tvāṁ
manīṣiṇāṁ mānasa rāja haṁsam |
svayaṁ purobhāva vivādabhājaḥ
kiṁkurvate tasya giro yathārham || 14 ||

The thoughts on the fruits of meditating upon the sacred form of Lord Hayagrīva, described in the previous śloka, is taken up in this śloka.


Oh Lord Haya-Vadhana Maha Deśika! The Rāja Haṁsa (King Swans) take their abode in the divine lake known as Mānasarovara.

You, who are the emperor of all these Rāja Haṁsa (“Kingly Swans” or sannyāsīs and realized) choose as Your permanent abode, the mind  of Your upāsakas.

Thus You facilitate their efforts in meditation of You. For such people blessed by You, all the Vidyās compete with one other to serve them. They thus become thus the celebrated experts/exponents of all para and aparā Vidyās due to Your benevolent grace (anugraha).


Swami Deśikan says that those Yogis, who have the power to visualize the Rāja Haṁsa (Lord Hayagrīva) seated on a white lotus in their heart lotuses are blessed with the siddhi (fruits) of full command of Vāk or divine speech.

The various Vidyās in the form of words rush to them saying. “Please Make use of me, Please Make use of me” in a competitive manner. They argue as it were with one another to serve the devotees, who visualize the Rāja Haṁsa seated in their heart cavities.

These blessed Ones are the objects of service for all Vidyās and as a result, they become the exponents of great vidyās.

This effect is somewhat similar to the falling of the merciful glances of Maha Lakṣmī on a being. When those auspicious glances fall on one, then the various categories of wealth chase each other to be in the front row to bless the being. They compete with each other to bless the being.

Swami Deśikan is a prime example of such a blessed One, whom the Vidyās served competing with one other due to Bhagavān Hayagrīva’s supreme grace.


The fifteenth śloka salutes the effulgent white lustre of Śrī Hayagrīva and states that even half a second dhyāna on this form yields the greatest of Vāk siddhis:

अपि क्षणार्धं कलयन्ति ये त्वां
आप्लावयन्तं विशदैर् मयूखैः ।
वाचां प्रवाहैर् अनिवारितैस्ते
मन्दाकिनीं मन्दयितुं क्षमन्ते ॥ १५ ॥

api kṣaṇārdhaṁ kalayanti ye tvāṁ
āplāvayantaṁ viśadair mayūkhaiḥ |
vācāṁ pravāhair anivāritaiste
mandākinīṁ mandayituṁ kṣamante || 15 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Those fortunate ones, who contemplate on Thee for even half-a-moment, receive the benefit of being drenched by the spotlessly white rays emanating from You. That cause has the effect of the creation of the torrent of Veda Vāk in them, whose speed and flow exceeds that of Ākāśa Gaṅgā (Mandākinī) leaving the Himalayan heights.


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Your upāsakas do not need to meditate on You for more than ardha- Kṣaṇa. Kṣaṇa is a time measure of 4/5th of a second. Hence ardha- Kṣaṇa is 2/5th of a second. That is all it takes to receive the immense and incomparable benefits of uninterrupted Sārasvata -Prayoga for Your devotees.

During that half-a-second, the devotees are drenched in the rays of nectar emanating from Your mantra-maya emanation. The power of that drenching, gifts them with the speed and clarity of divine speech that far exceeds the velocity and force of Ākāśa Gaṅgā descending on the plains.

Indeed the speed of Ākāśa Gaṅgā pales into insignificance compared to the speed of speech of those blessed by Lord Hayagrīva in their debates with contestants. Their Vāk is uninterrupted.

The cause behind that blessing is the drenching of the devotees by the crystal clear white rays emanating from the Lord.


स्वामिन् भवद्ध्यान सुधाभिषेकात्
वहन्ति धन्याः पुलकानुबन्धम् ।
अलक्षिते क्वापि निरूढ मूलं
अङ्गेष्विवानन्दथुम् अङ्कुरन्तम् ॥ १६ ॥

svāmin bhavaddhyāna sudhābhiṣekāt
vahanti dhanyāḥ pulakānubandham |
alakṣite kvāpi nirūḍha mūlaṁ
aṅgeṣvivānandathum aṅkurantam || 16 ||


Oh Swami Hayagrīva! A few seekers for merit meditate on You without let. For them, such dhyāna is like being immersed in a flood of nectar. Thrilled by that delightful grace, they experience horripilation.

One wonders whether this great joy of experiencing You in their hearts inner space itself has led to the effect of their hairs standing on end. It appears that their blissful experience of contemplation on You has developed first roots in their hearts which later sprouts externally on their limbs as hair standing on end.


स्वामिन् प्रतीचा हृदयेन धन्याः
त्वद्ध्यान चन्द्रोदय वर्धमानम् ।
अमान्त मानन्द पयोधिमन्तः
पयोभिरक्ष्णां परिवाहयन्ति ॥ १७ ॥

svāmin pratīcā hṛdayena dhanyāḥ
tvaddhyāna candrodaya vardhamānam |
amānta mānanda payodhimantaḥ
payobhirakṣṇāṁ parivāhayanti || 17 ||


Oh My Master! Oh Lord Hayagrīva! The minds of few seekers for bliss pull their attention from external objects, just as a tortoise pulls its neck inwards. Their mind turns inward instead of outwards. In that state of deep dhyāna, they visualize Your auspicious form. At that time, the joy experienced by their minds lifts up just as the Ocean rises on seeing the rise of the Moon. That immense wave of ānanda (bliss) could not be contained inside anymore and it spills over like a dam that is broken. The eyes serve as an outlet for that supreme bliss and a flood of tears of bliss flows.


The indescribable bliss that arises out of the Hayagrīva Darśana (vision) of the form of Lord Hayagrīva in their hearts by the yogis, results in uncontrollable flood of tears of Joy associated with that bliss of grace. These are the experiences or the blessed ones.

Their focus is inward through control of senses. They are engaged in dhyāna of the form of their Upāsanā Mūrti. Their mental state filled with bliss is like the state of the Ocean of Bliss that rises uncontrollably, when it witnesses the rise of the Moon. The Bhakta’s eyes are flooded with tears of Joy that flow out without interruption.


स्वैरानुभावास् त्वदधीन भावाः
समृद्ध वीर्यास् त्वदनुग्रहेण ।
विपश्चितो नाथ तरन्ति मायां
वैहारिकीं मोहन पिञ्छिकां ते ॥ १८ ॥

svairānubhāvās tvadadhīna bhāvāḥ
samṛddha vīryās tvadanugraheṇa |
vipaścito nātha taranti māyāṁ
vaihārikīṁ mohana piñchikāṁ te || 18 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Those Jñānis place their minds at Your disposal and become great ones with inherent glory. They become dispassionate ones.

Their minds are rooted firmly at Your feet leading to immense strength and they cross then Your Māyā, which hypnotizes the humans like the bunch of peacock feathers used by magicians to perform their hypnotizing act.

Your grace permits these Jñānis to cross this difficult-to-transcend Māyā of Yours effortlessly.


The Māyā referred to in this śloka has nothing to do with the Māyā, as Advaitins understand that term. To them, Māyā is illusion or hallucination.

The Viśiṣṭādvaita concept of Māyā is Prakriti or matter that is enchantingly seductive. Our Lord Himself has decreed Prakriti to be this way.

Āchārya Rāmānuja has explained the term Māyā as the marvellous power of the Lord (Āchāryā śakti). This Māyā has an unshakable grip and no one can escape from that grip without the grace of the Lord Himself. The observance of Bhakti or Prapatti Yogam melts the heart of the Lord and that helps the liberated Jīvas to cross His Māyā.

Āchārya Rāmānuja in his work Saranagathi Gadhyam has said regarding Bhagavān’s Māyā:

“Oh Lord! I am Thy servant. I have surrendered myself unto Thee. Help me, Thy servant, to cross over Your Mūla Prakriti (Māyā) of three Guṇas, which flows like a swift current of beginningless and endless karma, which hides from my vision Thy natural form and produces in me perverted knowledge about Thee and a sense of (false) satisfaction in me regarding the enjoyment of material things existing (in the world) in all manner of forms, subtle and gross –in body, senses and objects of enjoyment.”

One who performs Saranagathi to Lord Hayagrīva in the above fashion crosses His own Māyā and the Lord blesses them with Para Bhakti, Para Jñāna and Parama Bhakti and qualifies them to perform eternal service to Him at His Supreme Abode, Śrī Vaikuṇṭha.

Such is the result of crossing the Lord’s Māyā, which is realized only thru the practise of either Bhakti or yoga of complete surrender.

Swami Deśikan uses the next śloka to elaborate further on how to secure the Lord’s grace to enable the living beings to cross His Māyā.


प्राङ् निर्मितानां तपसां विपाकाः
प्रत्यग्र निश्श्रेयस संपदो मे ।
समेधिषीरंस्तव पाद पद्मे
संकल्प चिन्तामणयः प्रणामाः ॥ १९ ॥

prāṅ nirmitānāṁ tapasāṁ vipākāḥ
pratyagra niśśreyasa saṁpado me |
samedhiṣīraṁstava pāda padme
saṁkalpa cintāmaṇayaḥ praṇāmāḥ || 19 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! It is not an easy task to be blessed with the worship of Your sacred feet. One should have done austere tapas (penance) in previous births.

When One worships Your sacred feet, One obtains the rarest of rare wealth (i.e.)., blessing of Moksha. Beyond that supreme puruṣārthaṁ, one can also be blessed with other worldly boons. Your sacred feet in this regard are like the Chintāmaṇi jewel, which is said to confer all the blessings that one seeks from it.

Oh Lord Hayagrīva! Please bless me to have uninterrupted meditation of Your holy sacred feet.


Swami Deśikan points out that the realization of Moksha siddhi is a result of the fruit of austere tapas performed in previous births. This Moksha Siddhi is described by Swami Deśikan as a wealth that was not attained hitherto and which is obtained from prapatti (surrender) at the lotus feet of the Lord.

In the previous śloka, Swami Deśikan referred to Māyā, which hides of the Lord’s own form. Swami mentioned that to overcome the Māyā, one needs the blessing of the Lord.

The question comes next: Is it Lord’s Command that makes it possible or do we have to do something?

Yes, we have to take some initiative:

We as erring beings have to offer salutations, Prapatti, surrender at His sacred feet and He will bless us thereafter.

Those salutations have to grow further and further. Even those Praṇāms that we do is due to the merit accumulated in former births. The ardour to cross the Māyā and the deep loyalty in the Lord as the Saviour will bless us with the desired fruit faster.


विलुप्त मूर्धन्य लिपिक्र माणां
सुरेन्द्र चूडापद लालितानाम् ।
त्वदंघ्रि राजीव रजः कणानां
भूयान् प्रसादो मयि नाथ भूयात् ॥ २० ॥

vilupta mūrdhanya lipikra māṇāṁ
surendra cūḍāpada lālitānām |
tvadaṁghri rājīva rajaḥ kaṇānāṁ
bhūyān prasādo mayi nātha bhūyāt || 20 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! It is said that Brahma Deva encodes the lot in one’s life on the skull at the time of birth (Brahma Lipi or Brahma signs). The being’s life is laid out in those instructions.

Those akṣaras (syllables) written on the skull interfere with the pursuit of Moksha bliss and the performance of Tapas that would qualify one to realize such a Supreme Bliss.

The Jīva suffers from the cycles of births and deaths (Samsāra). Moksha bliss recedes farther and farther. The incomparable power of the sacred dust from Your lotus feet changes however the fate of the liberated soul.

Brahma and other Devas adorn the sacred dust from Your holy feet to overcome their misfortunes. May the power of that dust from Your sacred feet settle permanently on my head, erase the Brahma signs and bless me with Moksha.


The Brahma Lipi in general and the inauspicious letters on the skull interfere with one’s worship of the holy feet of the Lord.

We can read in Swami Nammāḷvār’s  Periya Thiruvandhadhi  (verse 84) in this context:

“Adiyēn’s miserable fate will not permit me to praise Him, place with love flowers at His sacred feet, bend my head before Him and allow me to have folding of palms in a mood of supplication.”


“O’my Mind! You do not praise the divine feet of that Lord, offering flowers, with bent head and with your hands in worshipful clasp even when asked to do so.  You  do  not  lovingly  glorify  Him  asking  Him  where  He  had  gone. Stay put if you can still bear this. Oh! Terrible indeed is the burden of the effects of karma.”


परिस्फुरन् नूपुर चित्रभानु
प्रकाश निर्धूत तमोनुषङ्गाम् ।
पदद्वयीं ते परिचिन् महेऽन्तः
प्रबोध राजीव विभात सन्ध्याम् ॥ २१ ॥

parisphuran nūpura citrabhānu -
prakāśa nirdhūta tamonuṣaṅgām |
padadvayīṁ te paricin mahe'ntaḥ
prabodha rājīva vibhāta sandhyām || 21 ||


We (Hayagrīva devotees) incessantly meditate on Thy pair of sacred feet adorning the anklets inlaid with the most radiant gems.

The lustre arising from those gems equals the effulgence of the multi-rayed Sun and serves as the morning Sandhyā (dawn) that drives away the darkness of nescience.

We pray for the banishment of the last trace of our ignorance through the scintillating lustre arising from Your sacred feet. Just as the morning Sun has the power to make the lotus blossom, we pray for the awakening and growth of our Bhakti to You.

We stay focused on the dhyāna of Your sacred feet.


In the previous śloka, Swami Deśikan saluted the Lord’s lotus feet. He pointed out that they have the power to erase the Brahma Lipi.

The effect of the removal of the inauspicious letters written by Brahma on our skulls at the time of our birth is described in this śloka.

Those pair of lotus feet of the Lord removes through its radiance the last trace of confusion similar to the way the morning Sun wakes up the sleepy (closed) lotus and make it blossom into a state of splendour.

Just as the waters of Ganga washes away the confusion of Bhaktas worshipping the Lord of Tirumāliruñcōlai, the radiance of the gems from the anklets adorning the sacred feet of Lord Hayagrīva banishes the darkness of nescience once and for all. After that cleansing, the lotus of eternal wisdom blossoms and grows into a state of splendour.


त्वत् किङ्करा लंकरणो चितानां
त्वयैव कल्पान्तर पालितानाम् ।
मञ्जुप्रणादं मणिनूपुरं ते
मञ्जूषिकां वेद गिरां प्रतीमः ॥ २२ ॥

tvat kiṅkarā laṁkaraṇo citānāṁ
tvayaiva kalpāntara pālitānām |
mañjupraṇādaṁ maṇinūpuraṁ te
mañjūṣikāṁ veda girāṁ pratīmaḥ || 22 ||


Oh Lord Hayagrīva! It is common custom for the citizens of the world to protect their precious jewellery in safe boxes.

The Veda mantras are the precious Jewellery worn on the head for Your bhaktas. You protect them (Veda mantras) and keep them eternal by instructing Brahma Deva during every Kalpa.

Your anklet houses matchless precious gems. They raise sweet and sacred sounds, when You move about. Those sounds are delectable to Your Bhakta’s ears.

Those sounds instruct them on the deeper meanings of Vedic passages. Therefore, adiyēn equates Your anklets to a safe box that protects the precious veda Vāk inside it.