Vaageswari Sthavam

(The prayer to the Goddess of Speech)


Adhi Shankara Bhagawat Pada

Translated by P.R.Ramachander

(Saraswathi is the Goddess of learning and knowledge. Her name is variously interpreted as “That which flows”, “that which has lakes and pools” and as “essential knowledge personified”. She arose out of the mind of Lord Brahma, when he was meditating. He later married her. (Brahmanda Purana). She is supposed to have the forms of Gayathri, Savithri , Saraswathi and Brahmani. She is the goddess of Speech and hence called Vaageswari. The reference I have in Malayalam ascribes this prayer to Adhi Shankara Bhagawat Pada. But this is not listed as one of the works of Adhi Shankara in the web.)

Amala kamaladhi vaasini, manaso,

Vaimaya dhayini, manogne,

Sundara gathri, susheele,

Thava charanamboruhayo namami sadaa. 1

I always worship your lotus feet,

Oh Goddess, who lives in pure white lotus flower,

Oh Goddess, who grants cleanliness of mind,

And Oh Goddess who is pretty and good natured.

Achalathmaja cha durga,

Kamala tripurethi bheditha jagathi,

Yaa saa thwameva vaachaa,

Meeswari, sarvathmana praseede mama. 2

By all known means, be pleased with me,

Oh Goddess, though you are called differently by the world,

As the daughter of mountain, as fearsome Durga,

As one who, lives on lotus and as the great Tripura,

You are the one and the same – the goddess of speech.

Twacharanamboruhayo ,

Pranama heena punardwijathirapi,


Sthwad bhaktho bhavathi Devi, sarvagna. 3

Hey Goddess, he who does not salute your lotus feet,

Even if he is a Brahmin, would become dumb and deaf,

In the births that he will take later,

And your devotee would become the all knowing one.

Mooladhara mukhorgatha,

Bisa thanthu nibha prabhavathaya,

Visruthalipi pravatha hitha,

Mukha kara charanadhike , Praseede mama. 4

Oh goddess , whose face , hands and legs,

Are the letters of alphabets , which have become enlarged,

Starting from the inside of mooladhara,

By the power of sound shining like a thread of lotus.

( The sound which emanates from mooladhara is indistinct and micro and is called “Para”. From there, when it reaches the belly button, it slightly becomes distinct and is called “Pasyanthi” .When it further travels and reaches the heart, it is called “Madhyama:” and when it reaches the throat , it becomes distinct and pronounceable and is called “Vaikhari”. These are the different alphabets, which have developed from the micro sound and are 51 in number. The vowels become the head and neck of the goddess of learning, the five letters starting from “ka” become her right hand, the five letters starting with “cha” become her left hand, the five letters starting with “ta”, become her right leg and the five letters starting from “tha”, become her right leg and the remaining fifteen letters become her other parts of the body.)

Varnathano amrutha varne,

Niyatha nirvarnithepi yogeendrai,

Nirneethikarana dhoothe,

Varnayithum devi, dehi samarthyam. 5

Hey colourful holy goddess,

Hey Goddess who is as white as nectar,

Even sages great, cannot describe you properly,

And so Goddess, who is far-far away from any description,

Please make me capable of describing you.

Sasura asura mouli lasa,

Nmani prabha deepithangri nalina yuge,

Sakalagama swaroope,

Sakaleswari, Sannidhim videhi mayi. 6

Hey Goddess whose tender pretty feet,

Shines due to the gems in the crowns of devas and asuras*,

And who is personification of all Vedas and other holy books,

And who is the goddess of every one,

Please live within my heart

*Who bend and salute you

Pusthaka japa pata hasthe,

Varadabhaya chinha charu bahu lathe,

Karpooramala dehe,

Vageeswari, shodhayasu mama chetha. 7

Hey goddess of speech,

Who has in one hand the prayer beads bag,

Who shows protection and blessing by two hands,

And who is as white as the camphor,

Please clean fast my intellect.

Kshmoumaambara paridhaane,

Muktha mani bhooshane, mudha vase,

Smitha chandrika vikasitha,

Makhendu bimbe ambike praseeda mama. 8

Hey Goddess Ambike,

Who wears white silk,

Who decorates herself with gems,

Whose face shines with the moonlight of her smile,

And in whom the pure happiness of the soul resides,

Kindly become pleased with me.

Vidhyaa roope avidhya,

Nasini, Vidhyotheethe antharathma vidhyam,

Gadyai ssapadhya jatai,

Raadyair munibhi sthuthe , praseeda mama. 9

Hey Goddess , who was praised by primeval sages,

By prose and well written poems,

Who is with the form of knowledge,

Who is the dispeller of ignorance,

And who shines in the lotus mind of ,

Sages who are experts in the knowledge of soul,

Kindly become pleased with me.

Trimukhi, trai swaroope,

Tripure, tridashobhi vandithamgri yuge,

Theekshana vilasitha vakthre,

Trimoorthi moolaathmike, praseedaama. 10

Oh Goddess , Who is the soul of the trinity,

Who has three faces,

Who has three forms of Lakshmi, Parvathi and Saraswathi,

Who lives as macro, micro and causal forms,

Whose feet is worshipped by all devas,

And who has a face shining with keen intellect,

Kindly become pleased with me.

Vedathmike, niruktha,

Jyothir vyakarana kalpa shikshabhi,

Sachandobhi sandatha

Knuptha shadangendriye, praseeda mama. 11

Hey Soul of Vedas,

Whose six parts of the body are,

Etymology , Astrology, grammar, rituals

Phonetics and prosody,

Kindly become pleased with me.

(Astrology is her eyes, rituals are her hands, Etymology are her ears, phonetics is her nose, grammar is her face and prosody are her legs)

Bodathmike, budhaanaam,

Hrudayambuja charu ranga natana pare,

Bhagawathi, bhava bhanga kareem,

Bhakthim bhadrathadhe, praseeda mama. 12

Oh goddess who is personification of intelligence,

Who likes to dance in the mind of the intellects,

Who is the goddess with all qualities,

Who grants all wishes,

Grant me devotion to you which would,

Destroy all fears to day today living.

Thwacharana sarasi janma,

Sthitha mahithadhiyaam na lipyathe dosha,

Bhagawathi Bhakthimatha sthwayee,

Paramaam parameshwari, praseeda mama. 13

Oh goddess of the pure hearted,

To those who place their heart in thine lotus like feet,

Bad qualities and dirty thoughts do not happen,

And so please help me to have utmost devotion,

In thine lotus feet and be pleased with me.

Vaageesi stham mithiyo,

Japarchanaaha vana vrutheeshuprajapeth,

Sathu vimala chitha vruthir,

Ddehapadhi nithya shudha methi padam. 14

He who chants this ode to the goddess of words,

During the time of meditation, worship and sacrifice,

He would attain clear pure mindedness,

And reach the perennial pure bliss.

Sri Vageswaryai nama

Salutation to Goddess of Speech.

Srimath paramahamsa parivrajaka sankarabhgwat,

Paadavirachitham Vageesi sthavam sampoornam.

Thus ends the “Ode to the Goddess of Speech” written by

Adhi Shankara Bhagawat Pada.

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