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Hymns to the Goddess, by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), [1913], at

p. 212




O DEVĪ NARMADĀ! 1 I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Beauteous with the breakers of the heaving waves of ocean,
With which the drops of Thy waters mingle. 2
O giver of prosperity! I salute Thy feet bathed in water,
Which destroys rebirth, the cause of which is sin, 3
As also all fear at the coming of the messenger of death. 4
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé5


O Devī Narmadā! I salute Thy lotus feet
Giver of celestial (blessing) to the lowly fish in Thy waters,
Foremost of all sacred rivers. 6

p. 213

Destructress of the heavy weight of sin of the Kaliyuga, 1
Giver of welfare to multitude of fine fish, tortoise, alligators, and ruddy geese. 2
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī Narmadā! I salute Thy lotus-like feet.
The overflow from Thy depths washes away the sins of the world.
Thou destroyest all great sins and the mountain 3 of calamities.
O giver of happiness to the son of Mṛkaṇḍu, 4
At the fearful moment of the world's dissolution.
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī Narmadā! I salute Thy lotus-like feet,
And Thy waters worshipped by the son of Mṛkaṇḍu, Śaunaka, and other enemies of the Asuras.

p. 214

Destructress of rebirth in the ocean of the world, 1
Protectress from all worldly pains, 2
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī Narmadā! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Worshipped by countless lakhs 3 of immortals, 4
Asuras, 5 Kinnaras, 6 and others,
Whose banks resound with the fearless song of many lakhs of birds. 7
Giver of happiness to Vaśiṣṭha, Pipala, Karddama, 8 and other sages, 9
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī Narmadā! I salute Thy lotus-like feet,
Held in the minds of the bees, 10 Sanatkumāra, Nacīketa, 11 Kaśyapa,

p. 215

And by the bees, Atri, Nārada and other sages.
Thou who blesseth the work of sun, moon, Rantideva, and Devarāja, 1
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī Narmadā; I salute Thy lotus-like feet,
Weapon against lakhs of sins known and unknown,
The Giver of enjoyment and liberation to all beings and animals, 2
And of happiness to the abode of Virinci, 3 Viṣṇu, and Śiva,
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


O Devī, Narmadā,! I salute Thy lotus feet.
How sweet is the sound heard on the banks of Her who has sprung from the hair of Śiva 4.
Destroyer of pain and sin of hunter, and singer 5 of the learned and the fool,
And of the heat of the submarine fire, 6

p. 216

Giver of happiness to all being.
Tvadīya pāda pankajam namāmi devi narmadé.


Who ever reads but thrice daily this hymn to Narmadā
Will never fall into misfortune, He will never see Raurava, 1
He will never be reborn,
But will reach the glorious abode of Śiva,
So difficult to attain, by this body so easily gained. 2


212:1 One of the sacred rivers of India, and a form of the Devī.

212:2 The ocean is the husband of all rivers.

212:3 Rebirth is caused by karma.

212:4 When a man is about to die, a messenger is sent by Yama to take his life.

212:5 The refrain is translated in the first line.

212:6 The is stuti (praise). In all sanskrit works the particular Devatā who is the subject of hymn, meditation or prayer is spoken p. 213 of as the greatest of all. Tīrtha is not only a place of pilgrimage such as a shrine and the like, but also, according to the Amarakośa, a sacred river.

213:1 The present or fourth age, marked by the predominance of sin, each of the preceding eras (Dvāpara, Tretā, Satya) being more virtuous than the other. In the Kaliyuga era time works evilly.

213:2 The cakravāka bird (by some said to be the Brahmini duck) celebrated in sanskrit poetry for its devotion to its mate. During the night-time the male and female birds call to each other from opposite banks of the stream, as I have heard them do on the reaches of the lonely Malia River in Northern Orissa.

213:3 Dāritāpadacalam.

213:4 The Mahāmuni Mārkaṇḍeya.

214:1 The edition used has punarbhavābdhi janmajam, but this seems meaningless, and it is read as janmaghnam.

214:2 Bhavābdhi dukhha barmadé. Literally, "armour given to the pain of the world."

214:3 A lakh is 100,000.

214:4 Amara--i.e., Devas.

214:5 Demonic spirits, opponents of the Devas or Suras.

214:6 A class of spirits (Devayoni).

214:7 Dhīra--that is because they are undisturbed by men who have become enemies to their brother creation.

214:8 Ṛṣis and munis of that name.

214:9 Śiṣṭa, which means a gentle and learned man who governs himself by his own wisdom, and is not governed by external restraints.

214:10 The bee hovers on the lotus seeking honey. The sages gather round the feet of the Devī seeking the wisdom of which She is the embodiment.

214:11 Munis and ṛṣis.

215:1 Indra.

215:2 Both enjoyment and liberation is given to men: to animals enjoyment (bhukti), though they, too, by merit acquired in present birth may attain future birth in human form.

215:3 Brahmā.

215:4 Maheśakeśajātate. As to Gangā, see p. 188, note 7. It is the same and only Devī who manifests both as Gangā and Narmadā, and all other rivers and things.

215:5 Hunting is sinful. The singers are a mixed caste.

215:6 Kirātasūtavādaveṣu pandita śathe. When the Dakṣayajna was destroyed by Śiva, it changed into a mare (Vadavā). Śiva followed, and it plunged into ocean. Fire is produced by it. The Śloka says that Her water is so great and pure that it is unaffected by this fire. As regards the rest of this somewhat obscure verse, it means that the Devī is the remover of the sin of all whoever they may be.

216:1 One of the great hells.

216:2 Sulabhya dehadurlabham. Not that it is easy to attain human birth. On the contrary, it is said: "Naratvam durlabham loke and vidyātatra sudurlabhā," etc. ("The state of a man is difficult to attain, and still more so that of a wise one," cited in Sahitya Darpaṇam, chap. i, by Viśvanātha Kavirāja). What is apparently meant is that, compared with the difficulty of attaining to Śiva, the state of humanity is easily attainable.

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