Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shiva Mahimna Stothram

The Shiva Mahimna Stotra is very popular among the devotees of Lord Shiva and is considered one of the best Stotras (or Stutis) offered to Lord Shiva. The legend about the circumstances leading to the composition of this Stotras is as follows.

A king named Chitraratha had constructed a nice garden. There were beautiful flowers in this garden. These flowers were used every day by the king in worshipping Lord Shiva. 
One day a Gandharva (Singer in the court of Indra, the Lord of the Heaven)named Pushhpadanta being fascinated by the beautiful flowers, began to steal them, as a consequence of which king Chitraratha could not offer flowers to Lord Shiva. He tried very hard to capture the thief, but in vain, because the Gandharvas have divine power to remain invisible. Finally the king spread the Shiva Nirmaalya in his garden. Shiva Nirmaalya consists of the Bilva leaves, flowers, et cetera which have been used in worshipping Lord Shiva. The Shiva Nirmaalya is considered holy.

The thief Pushhpadanta, not knowing this, walked on the Shiva Nirmaalya, and by that he incurred the wrath of Lord Shiva and lost the divine power of invisibility. He then designed a prayer to Lord Shiva for forgiveness. In this prayer he sung the greatness of the Lord. This very prayer became well known as the `Shiva Mahimna Stotra'.

Lord Shiva became pleased by this StotraM, and returned Pushhpadanta's divine powers. The legend has some basis since the name of the author is mentioned in verse number 38 of the stotraM. The recital of this stotra is very beneficial, and Shri Ramakrishna, one of the famous saints of the nineteenth century, went into samadhi just by reciting a few verses from this hymn.

Let its recitation be beneficial to you as well!



Click on the below 'Play' button to LISTEN "Sri Shiva Mahimna Sthotram"


mahimnaḥ pāraṃ te paramaviduṣo yady asadṛśī
stutir brahmādīnām api tadavasannās tvayi giraḥ
athāvācyaḥ sarvaḥ svamatipariṇāmāvadhi gṛṇan
mamāpy eṣa stotre hara nirapavādaḥ parikaraḥ Smst_1

If the praise of Thee by one who is ignorant of the extent of Thy greatness be unbecoming, then the praises of even Brahmā and others are inadequate for Thee. And if all remain unblamable by praising Thee according to their intellectual powers, then even this attempt on my part to compose a hymn is free from any blemish. 1

atītaḥ panthānaṃ tava ca mahimā vāṅmanasayor
atadvyāvṛttyā yaṃ cakitam abhidhatte śrutir api
sa kasya stotavyaḥ katividhaguṇaḥ kasya viṣayaḥ
pade tv arvācīne patati na manaḥ kasya na vacaḥ Smst_2

Thy greatness is beyond the reach of mind and speech. Who will praise That which even the Vedas describe with trepidation by the method of 'not this, not this'? – How many qualities does That possess? And can be perceived by whom? Yet to the form taken later, whose mind and speech do not turn? 2

madhusphītā vācaḥ paramam amṛtaṃ nirmitavatas
tava brahman kiṃ vāg api suraguror vismayapadam
mama tv etāṃ vāṇīṃ guṇakathanapuṇyena bhavataḥ
punāmīty arthe 'smin puramathana buddhir vyavasitā Smst_3

O Brahman! Does the praise of even Brihaspati cause any wonderment to Thee who art the Author of the nectar like sweet Vedas? O Destroyer of Tripura, the thought that by praising Thy glories I shall purify my speech has prompted me to undertake this work. 3

tavaiśvaryaṃ yat taj jagadudayarakṣāpralayakṛt
trayīvastu vyastaṃ tisṛṣu guṇabhinnāsu tanuṣu
abhavyānām asmin varada ramaṇīyām aramaṇīṃ
vihantuṃ vyākrośīṃ vidadhata ihaike jaḍadhiyaḥ Smst_4

O Giver of boons, in refutation of Thy Divinity which is described by the three Vedas, which creates, preserves and destroys the world, and which is divided into three bodies according to the different qualities, some thick headed persons offer arguments, which are pleasing to the ignorant but in reality hateful. 4

kimīhaḥ kiṃkāyaḥ sa khalu kimupāyas tribhuvanaṃ
kimādhāro dhātā sṛjati kimupādāna iti ca
atarkyaiśvarye tvayy anavasaraduḥstho hatadhiyaḥ
kutarko 'yaṃ kāṃścin mukharayati mohāya jagataḥ Smst_5

To fulfill what desire, having what body with what instruments, support, and materials does that Creator indeed create the three worlds? This kind of vain argument with regard to Thee, whose Divine nature is beyond vociferous, is to the delusion of mankind. 5

ajanmāno lokāḥ kim avayavavanto 'pi jagatām
adhiṣṭhātāraṃ kiṃ bhavavidhir anādṛtya bhavati
anīśo vā kuryād bhuvanajanane kaḥ parikaro
yato mandās tvāṃ praty amaravara saṃśerata ime Smst_6

O Lord of Gods, can the worlds be without origin though they have parts? Is creation of the worlds possible without a Creator? Who else but God can begin the creation of the worlds? Because they are fools, they raise doubts as regards Thy existence. 6

trayī sāṃkhyaṃ yogaḥ paśupatimataṃ vaiṣṇavam iti
prabhinne prasthāne param idam adaḥ pathyam iti ca
rucīnāṃ vaicitryād ṛjukuṭilanānāpathajuṣāṃ
nṛṇām eko gamyas tvam asi payasām arṇava iva Smst_7

There are different paths of realization as enjoined by the three Vedas, Sānkhyā, Yoga and Pāśupata doctrine and Vaishnava śāstras . Persons following different paths – straight or crooked according as they consider that this path is best or that one is proper due to the difference in temperaments, reach Thee alone just as rivers enter the ocean. 7

mahokṣaḥ khaṭvāṅgaṃ paraśur ajinaṃ bhasma phaṇinaḥ
kapālaṃ cetīyat tava varada tantropakaraṇam
surās tāṃ tām ṛddhiṃ dadhati tu bhavadbhrūpraṇihitāṃ
na hi svātmārāmaṃ viṣayamṛgatṛṣṇā bhramayati Smst_8

O Giver of boons, a great bull, a wooden club, an axe, a tiger skin, ashes, a human skull and the like - these are Thy sole possessions, though by the mere casting of eyes Thou gave the gods great treasures which they enjoy. Indeed, the mirage of sense – objects cannot delude one whose delight is in the Self. 8

dhruvaṃ kaścit sarvaṃ sakalam aparas tv adhruvam idaṃ
paro dhrauvyādhrauvye jagati gadati vyastaviṣaye
samaste 'py etasmin puramathana tair vismita iva
stuvañ jihremi tvāṃ na khalu nanu dhṛṣṭā mukharatā Smst_9

O Destroyer of Pura some say that the whole universe is eternal, while others say that all is transitory. Yet others maintain that all these are eternal and non-eternal – having different characteristics. Bewildered, as it were by them I do not feel ashamed to praise Thee. Indeed this garrulity indicates my audacity. 9

tavaiśvaryaṃ yatnād yad upari viriñco harir adhaḥ
paricchettuṃ yātāv analam analaskandhavapuṣaḥ
tato bhaktiśraddhābharagurugṛṇadbhyāṃ giriśa yat
svayaṃ tasthe tābhyāṃ tava kim anuvṛttir na phalati Smst_10

O Girīśa, Brahmā trying above and, Vishnu trying below failed to measure Thee who took the form of a Pillar of Fire. Afterwards when they praised Thee with great devotion and faith, Thou revealed Thyself to them of thy own accord, indicating whether Thy worship can go without bearing result. 10

ayatnād āpādya tribhuvanam avairavyatikaraṃ
daśāsyo yad bāhūn abhṛta raṇakaṇḍūparavaśān
śiraḥpadmaśreṇīracitacaraṇāmbhoruhabaleḥ
sthirāyās tvadbhaktes tripurahara visphūrjitam idam Smst_11

O Destroyer of Tripura, that the ten-headed Rāvana, after riding the three worlds of any trace of enemies, remained with arms eager for fresh war is due to the fact of his having great devotion to Thee devotion which prompted him to offer his heads as lotuses to Thy feet. 11

amuṣya tvatsevāsamadhigatasāraṃ bhujavanaṃ
balāt kailāse 'pi tvadadhivasatau vikramayataḥ
alabhyā pātāle 'py alasacalitāṅguṣṭhaśirasi
pratiṣṭhā tvayy āsīd dhruvam upacito muhyati khalaḥ Smst_12

When Rāvana extended the valour of his arms whose strength was obtained by worshipping Thee - to Kailāsa, Thy abode, Thou moved the tip of Thy toe, and he did not get a resting place even in the nether world. Verily, when affluent the wicked becomes deluded. 12

yadṛddhiṃ sutrāmṇo varada paramoccair api satīm
adhaś cakre bāṇaḥ parijanavidheyatribhuvanaḥ
na tac citraṃ tasmin varivasitari tvaccaraṇayor
na kasyā unnatyai bhavati śirasas tvayy avanatiḥ Smst_13

O Giver of boons, that Bāna, who had the three worlds at his command, put to shade the wealth of Indra is not to be wondered at - he being the worshipper of Thy feet. What prosperity does not result from bowing down the head to Thee? 13

akāṇḍabrahmāṇḍakṣayacakitadevāsurakṛpā
vidheyasyāsīd yas trinayana viṣaṃ saṃhṛtavataḥ
na kalmāṣaḥ kaṇṭhe tava na kurute na śriyam aho
vikāro 'pi ślāghyo bhuvananbhayabhaṅgavyasaninaḥ Smst_14

O Three eyed one, it is not that the dark stain on the throat of Thee who drank poison as an act of favor to gods and demons at their being panicky at the threatened destruction of the universe all on a sudden, has not beautified Thee. Even deformity is admirable in one who is given to freeing the worlds of fear. 14

asiddhārthā naiva kvacid api sadevāsuranare
nivartante nityaṃ jagati jayino yasya viśikhāḥ
sa paśyan īśa tvām itarasurasādhāraṇam abhūt
smaraḥ smartavyātmā na hi vaśiṣu pathyaḥ paribhavaḥ Smst_15

O Lord, the God of love whose arrows do not fail anywhere in the world of gods, demons and men but are always successful became simply an object of memory by looking upon Thee as an ordinary god. For an insult to the self controlled does not conduce to good. 15

mahī pādāghātād vrajati sahasā saṃśayapadaṃ
padaṃ viṣṇor bhrāmyadbhujaparigharugṇagrahagaṇam
muhur dyaur dauḥsthyaṃ yāty anibhṛtajaṭātāḍitataṭā
jagadrakṣāyai tvaṃ naṭasi nanu vāmaiva vibhutā Smst_16

In order to save the world when Thou danced, the earth wondered at the striking of Thy feet, whether it would not come to sudden end; so felt the spatial region along with the planets, oppressed by the movement of Thy iron-cube like arms; and the heaven became then miserable - its side being struck by Thy waving matted hair. Ah, Thy very mightiness is the cause of trouble. 16

viyadvyāpī tārāgaṇaguṇitaphenodgamaruciḥ
pravāho vārāṃ yaḥ pṛṣ.atalaghudṛṣṭaḥ śirasi te
jagad dvīpākāraṃ jaladhivalayaṃ tena kṛtam ity
anenaivonneyaṃ dhṛtamahima divyaṃ tava vapuḥ Smst_17

The river which pervades the sky and whose foams look all the more beautiful because of stars and planets, seems no more than a drop of water when on Thy head. That again has turned the world into islands surrounded by waters. And by this should be inferred how vast is Thy divine body. 17

rathaḥ kṣoṇī yantā śatadhṛtir agendro dhanur athor
athāṅge candrārkau rathacaraṇapāṇiḥ śara iti
didhakṣos te ko 'yaṃ tripuratṛṇam āḍambaravidhir
vidheyaiḥ krīḍantyo na khalu paratantrāḥ prabhudhiyaḥ Smst_18

When Thou wanted to burn the three cities which were but a piece of straw, the earth was Thy chariot, Brahmā Thy charioteer, the great mountain Meru Thy bow, the sun and the moon the wheels of Thy chariot, Vishnu Thy arrow why this paraphernalia? The Lord is not dependent on others - He was playing with things at his command. 18

haris te sāhasraṃ kamalabalim ādhāya padayor
yad ekone tasmin nijam udaharan netrakamalam
gato bhaktyudrekaḥ pariṇatim asau cakravapuṣā
trayāṇāṃ rakṣāyai tripurahara jāgarti jagatām Smst_19

O Destroyer of Tripura, Hari rooted out his lotus eye to make deficiency when one flower was missing in his offering of a thousand lotuses to Thy feet; this great devotion transformed into a discus is alert in protecting the three worlds. 19

kratau supte jāgrat tvam asi phalayoge kratumatāṃ
kva karma pradhvastaṃ palati puruṣārādhanam ṛte
atas tvāṃ samprekṣya tratuṣu phaladānapratibhuvaṃ
śrutau śraddhāṃ baddhvā dṛḍhaparikaraḥ karmasu janaḥ Smst_20

The sacrifice being destroyed Thou ever remainest the connecting link between the sacrificers and the fruit of the sacrifice. When does the destroyed sacrifice bear fruit, if not accompanied by the worship of the Lord? Therefore knowing Thee to be the giver of fruits and putting faith in the Vedas, people become resolute about the performance of sacrifical rites. 20

kriyādakṣo dakṣaḥ kratupatir adhīśas tanubhṛtām
ṛṣīṇām ārtvijyaṃ śaraṇada sadasyāḥ suragaṇāḥ
kratubhraṃśas tvattaḥ kratuphalavidhānavyasanino
dhruvaṃ kartuḥ śraddhāvidhuram abhicārāya hi makhāḥ Smst_21

Thou Giver of refuge, even the sacrifice where Daksha, the Lord of creation expert in sacrifices was the sacrificer, Rishis were priests, gods were supervisors, was destroyed by Thee though Thou art bent upon giving fruits of the sacrifices. Surely the sacrifices cause injury to the sacrificers in the absence of devotion. 21

prajānāthaṃ prasabham abhikaṃ svāṃ duhitaraṃ
gataṃ rohidbhūtāṃ riramayiṣum ṛśyasya vapuṣā
dhanuṣpāṇer yātaṃ divam api sapatrākṛtam amuṃ
trasantaṃ te 'dyāpi tyajati na mṛgavyādharabhasaḥ Smst_22

O Lord, the fury of Thee who became a hunter with a bow in hand has not as yet left Brahmā though, keenly pierced by Thy arrow and terror stricken, he has fled to the sky. 22

svalāvaṇyāśaṃsādhṛtadhanuṣam ahnāya tṛṇavat
puraḥ pluṣṭaṃ dṛṣṭvā puramathana puṣpāyudham api
yadi straiṇaṃ yamanirata dehārdhaghaṭanād
avaiti tvām addhā bata varada mugdhā yuvatayaḥ Smst_23

O Destroyer of Tripura, O Giver of boons even on seeing in front the god of love, bow in hand burnt like a straw in a trice by Thee, if Pārvatī proud of Her beauty thinks that Thou art under Her fascination, because She was allowed to occupy half of Thy body on account of austerities, ah, surely the young women are under delusion. 23

śmaśāneṣv ākrīḍā smarahara piśācāḥ sahacarāś
citābhasmālepaḥ srag api nṛkaroṭīparikaraḥ
amāṅgalyaṃ śīlaṃ tava bhavatu nāmaivam akhilaṃ
tathāpi smart.Rṇāṃ varada paramaṃ maṅgalam asi Smst_24

O Destroyer of the God of love, O Giver of boons, Thy play is in cremation grounds, Thy companions are the ghosts, Thou besmearest Thy body with the ashes of burnt bodies and human skulls are Thy garlands all Thy conduct indeed is thus full of evil. But Thou conduces to the great good of those who remember Thee. 24

manaḥ pratyakcitte savidham avadhāyāttamarutaḥ
prahṛṣyadromāṇaḥ pramadasalilotsaṅgitadṛśaḥ
yad ālokyāhlādaṃ hrada iva nimajyāmṛtamaye
dadhaty antas tattvaṃ kim api yaminas tat kila bhavān Smst_25

Thou art indeed that unspeakable truth which the Yogis realize through meditation on the Self, on controlling the breath according to the scriptural directions, and realize which they shed tears of thrilling joy and swimming as it were in a pool of nectar, enjoy inner bliss. 25

tvam arkas tvaṃ somas tvam asi pavanas tvaṃ hutavahas
tvam āpas tvaṃ vyoma tvam u dharaṇir ātmā tvam iti ca
paricchinnām evaṃ tvayi pariṇatā bibhrati giraṃ
na vidmas tat tattvaṃ vayam iha tu yat tvaṃ na bhavasi Smst_26

The wise hold this limiting opinion about Thee - Thou art the Sun, Thou art the Moon, Thou art the Fire, Thou art the Air, Thou art the Water, Thou art the space, thou art the Earth and Thou art the Self. But we do not know that thing which Thou art not. 26

trayīṃ tisro vṛttīs tribhuvanam atho trīn api surān
nakārādyair varṇais tribhir abhidadhat tīrṇavikṛti
turīyaṃ te dhāma dhvanibhir avarundhānam
aṇubhiḥsamastaṃ vyastaṃ tvāṃ śaraṇada gṛṇātīm iti padam Smst_27

O Giver of refuge, with the three letters A, U, M indicating the three Vedas, the three states, the three worlds and the three Gods, the word OM mentions Thee separately. United by the subtle sound the word OM collectively mentions Thee - Thy Absolute Transcendent State. 27

bhavaḥ śarvo rudraḥ paśupatir athograḥ sahamahāṃs
tathā bhīmeśānāv iti yad abhidhānāṣṭakam idam
amuṣmin pratyekaṃ pravicarati deva śrutir api
priyāyāsmai dhāmne praṇihitanamasyo 'smi bhavate Smst_28

O Lord, Bhava, Śarva , Rudra, Paśupati, Ugra, Mahādeva, Bhīma, and Īśāna – these eight names are mentioned even in the Vedas. To Thee who art beloved and effulgent I bow down. 28

namo nediṣṭhāya priyadava daviṣṭhāya ca namo
namaḥ kṣodiṣṭhāya smarahara mahiṣṭhāya ca namaḥ
namo varṣiṣṭhāya trinayana yaviṣṭhāya ca namo
namaḥ sarvasmai te tad idam iti sarvāya ca namaḥ Smst_29

O Lover of solitude, my salutations to Thee who are very near as also very far, far away. O Destroyer of the god of love my salutations to Thee who art the minutest as also the largest. O Three eyed One, my salutations to Thee who art the oldest as also the youngest. This is my salutations to thee who art all as also transcending all. 29

bahularajase viśvotpattau bhavāya namo namaḥ
prabalatamase tatsaṃhāre harāya namo namaḥ
janasukhakṛte sattvotpattau mṛdāya namo namaḥ
pramahasi pade nistraiguṇye śivāya namo namaḥ Smst_30

Salutations to Brahmā in whom Rajas preponderates for the creation of the universe, salutation to Rudra in whom Tamas preponderates for the destruction of the same. Salutation to Vishnu in whom Sattva preponderates for giving happiness to the people, Salutation to Śiva who is effulgent and beyond the three attributes. 30

kṛśapariṇati cetaḥ kleśavaśyaṃ kva cedaṃ
kva ca tava guṇasīmollaṅghinī śāśvadṛddhiḥ
iti cakitam anandīkṛtya māṃ bhaktir ādhād
varaca caraṇayos te vākyapuṣpopahāram Smst_31

O Giver of boons, why is my ill-developed mind subject to misery and where is Thy Divinity - eternal and possessing infinite virtues? Though terror stricken because of this, I am forced by my devotion to offer this hymn at Thy feet. 31

asitagirisamaṃ syāt kajjalaṃ sindhupātre
surataruvaraśākhā lekhanī patram urvī
likhati yadi gṛhītvā śāradā sarvakālaṃ
tad api tava guṇānām īśa pāraṃ na yāti Smst_Add_32

O Lord if the blue mountain be the ink, the ocean the ink-pot, the branch of the heavenly tree be pen, the earth the writing leaf, and by taking these if the Goddess of Learning writes for eternity, even then the limit of Thy virtues will not be reached. 32

asurasuramunīndrair arcitasyendumauleḥ
prathitaguṇamahimno nirguṇasyeśvarasya
sakalaguṇavariṣṭhaḥ puṣpadantābhidhāno
ruciram alaghuvṛttaiḥ stotram etac cakāra Smst_Add_33

The best of the Gandharvas, Pushpadanta by name, composed in great devotion this beautiful hymn of the Lord, who is worshipped by demons, gods and the best of sages, whose praises have been sung who has got the moon on His forehead and who is attributeless. 33

aharāhar anavadyaṃ dhūrjaṭe stotram etat
paṭhati paramabhaktyā śuddhacittaḥ pumān yaḥ
sa bhavati śivaloke rudratulyaḥ sadātmā
pracurataradhanāyuḥ putravān kīrtimāṃś ca Smst_Add_34

The person who with purified heart and in great devotion always reads this beautiful hymn to Śiva becomes like Śiva after death in the abode of Śiva, and while in this world gets much wealth, long life, many children as also fame. 34

maheśān nāparo devo mahimno nāparā stutiḥ
aghorān nāparo mantro nāsti tattvaṃ guroḥ param Smst_Add_35

There is no God better than Śiva, there is no hymn better than the Hymn on The Greatness of Śiva, there is no sacred word better than the name of Śiva, there is nothing better to be known than the real nature of spiritual teacher. 35

dīkṣā dānaṃ tapas tīrthaṃ jñānaṃ yāgādikāḥ kriyāḥ
mahimnas tava pāṭhasya kalāṃ nārhanti ṣoḍaśīm Smst_Add_36

Getting initiation into the spiritual life, charity, austerity, pilgrimage, knowledge of the scriptures the performance of sacrificial rites - these do not give one-sixteenth part of the merit that is got by reciting the Hymn on the Greatness Of Śiva. 36

āsamāptam idaṃ stotraṃ puṇyaṃ gandharvabhāṣitam
anaupamyaṃ manohāri śivam īśvaravarṇanam Smst_Add_37

The Lord of Gandharvas, Pushpadanta by name is the servant of the great God who has the crescent moon on His forehead. Fallen from his glory due to the anger of the Lord, he composed this very beautiful Hymn on the Greatness Of Śiva to regain His favor. 37


worshipping Śiva, who is adored by Gods and who grants heaven and liberation, if one with single minded devotion and folded palms reads the unfailing hymn composed by Pushpadanta, one goes to Śiva, being worshipped by Kinnaras. 38


This unparalleled, sacred hymn composed by Pushpadanta and describing the glory of God is all very fascinating from start to finish. 39

ity eṣā vāṅmayī pūjā śrīmacchaṃkarapādayoḥ
arpitā tena deveśaḥ prīyatāṃ me sadāśivaḥ Smst_Add_40

This hymnal worship is offered to the feet of Śiva. May the ever - propitious Lord of Gods be pleased with me at this. 40

tava tattvaṃ na jānāmi kīdṛśo 'si maheśvara
yādṛśo 'si mahādeva tādṛśāya namo namaḥ Smst_Add_41

O Lord, I do not know the true nature of Thy being - of what kind Thou art. Of whatever nature Thou mayest be, O Great God to That my salutation again and again. 41

ekakālaṃ dvikālaṃ vā trikālaṃ yaḥ paṭhen naraḥ
lambapāśavinirmuktaḥ śivalokaṃ sa gacchati Smst_Add_42

The person who reads this hymn once, twice or thrice is glorified in the abode of Śiva, being freed from all sins. 42

śrīpuṣpadantamukhapaṅkajanirgatena stotreṇa kilbiṣahareṇa harapriyeṇa
kaṇṭhasthitena paṭhitena gṛhasthitena samprīṇito bhavati bhūtapatir maheśaḥ Smst_Add_43

If a person learns by heart, reads or keeps in the home this hymn, which came out of the lips of Pushpadanta and which destroys sins and is dear to Śiva, Śiva the Lord of creation becomes very pleased. 43

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