Saturday, September 8, 2007

Shiva Chalisa

Shiva Chalisa (Śiva Chālīsā) is a hymn of Shiva written in the middle Hindi dialect called Avadhi. Chalisa is derived from the word chalis (chālīs) which means forty in Hindi, as it contains forty verses. Many different chalisas have come into existence over the past 500 years addressed to various Deities. The original chalisa, however, was probably the Hanuman Chalisa written by the Vaishnava saint-poet Tulsidas. The theme of chalisas is very simple: they are devotional hymns written in the language of the common man recounting the Puranic mythology of the Deity interspersed with a little theology and philosophy. The chalisas are prayers beseeching the Deity to help the devotee in need.

The Shiva Chalisa follows all the above themes. It was written by a saint-poet called Ayodhyadas, and invokes Shiva as the only one who can help the devotee. It praises Shiva by recounting various Puranic legends, and promises that whoever should read it shall certainly win over Shiva's blessings. Like the other chalisas, the forty verses of Shiva Chalisa are written in poetic meters called chaupais. The first and the last invocatory verses are longer meters called dohas, and they are not counted as part of the forty. There are at least two versions of the Shiva Chalisa with minor differences. Below is a free translation of the version with which I am more familiar.

Shiva Chalisa
शिव चालीसा

Hail to Ganesha, the Son of Girija, worshipped at all auspicious occasions,
Ayodhyadas beseeches You to grant him the boon of fearlessness.

Victory to the Girijapati, the ever compassionate Lord,
Who ever looks after and protects His devotees. ||1||

Who is adorned with the moon upon His forehead,
And whose ears are decorated with coiled serpents. ||2||

To Him who is fair-complexioned, from whom the Ganga flows,
Who wears a garland of skulls, and whose body is smeared with ashes. ||3||

Who wears the skin of a tiger around His waist,
Whose countenance is charming even to the Nagas. ||4||

To Him on whose left is seated His beloved,
The darling Daughter of Maina (Parvati). ||5||

Whose arms hold the trident so grave,
With which all enemies are ever destroyed. ||6||

To Him who is accompanied by Nandi and Ganesha,
Just as Lake Manas is ever with blossoms of lotus flowers. ||7||

Served by the dark-complexioned Kartikeya and Ganesha,
Who is of such countenance that none could describe. ||8||

To Him, the One who is called upon by the Devas,
Who always resolves their distress within an instant. ||9||

When the demon Taraka created great havoc,
The Deva delegation called upon You for help. ||10||

At once You sent Shadanana (Kartikeya),
And in no time was the demon destroyed. ||11||

You slew the demon Jalandhara,
Your good glory throughout thus spread. ||12||

You fought the demon Tripurasura,
And mercifully saved the Devas and all. ||13||

King Bhagiratha had performed severe penance,
And by Your grace alone, His wishes were fulfilled. ||14||

You are the greatest of all Givers with no equals,
And Your servants ever sing Your praises. ||15||

Though the Vedas sing of Your name and glory,
It is impossible to fathom the incomprehensible, the beginningless. ||16||

When the churned cosmic ocean produced a poisonous flame,
All the Devas and Asuras feared being scorched. ||17||

You came to their aid with great compassion,
Drank the deadly poison and gained the name Nilakantha. ||18||

As Ramachandra worshipped You with offerings,
He won over Lanka, and gave it to Vibhishana. ||19||

A thousand lotuses were offered to You (by Rama),
But You decided to test his faith, O Purari. ||20||

When You hid from him one of the lotuses,
He offered to You in place his lotus-like eye. ||21||

So pleased were You by his devotion, O Shankara,
That You granted Him with the boon of his choice. ||22||

Victory, victory, victory to the Infinite, the Indestructible,
Shower Your grace on all, O all-pervading One. ||23||

Troubled am I always by the wicked,
Distressed is my mind, and never peaceful. ||24||

Pray protect me Lord, I cry in distress,
Come, lift me out of my troubled times. ||25||

With Your trident do slay my enemies,
And release me from the torture of delusion. ||26||

Mother, father, brothers and all though I may have,
In times of trouble, none can truly help me. ||27||

O Master, I have but one desire,
That You come and relieve me of my pains. ||28||

You bestow riches upon the poor,
And always bless us with our desired fruit. ||29||

I know not of another way to beseech You,
O Lord, do forgive me for any mistakes on my part. ||30||

O Shankara, You are the Destroyer of pains,
The cause of auspiciousness, the obliterator of obstructions. ||31||

All the sages and yogis meditate upon You,
Sharada and Narada bow in reverence to You. ||32||

I chant and chant now ‘Namah Shivaya’,
Even Brahmā and the Devas can not fathom Your glory. ||33||

Whosoever should read this prayer with full devotion,
He shall certainly be helped by Lord Shambhu. ||34||

Blessed and prosperous indeed are those,
Who with deep devotion chant these verses. ||35||

One who is without any issue and wishes for children,
Shall certainly be blessed with offspring by Shiva. ||36||

He who with a priest on the thirteenth day of the moon,
Performs a homa ritual with full devotion, ||37||

And keeps a fast on the thirteenth day of the moon,
Will certainly be blessed with health and prosperity. ||38||

He who offers unto Him incense and lighted lamps,
Shall at the end ascend to the abode of Shiva. ||39||

Says Ayodhyadas -- your wishes too will be fulfilled,
Know that He will resolve all our worldly pains. ||40||

Every morning with devotion do I regularly read this Chalisa,
That You, O Lord of the universe, should fulfill my wishes.

Aum Namah Shivaya.

For Shiv Chalisa in Hindi, click here.


CrippLeD SaM said...

// Om Namo Shivaay Namah: //

Thanks for providing Shiva Chalisa.

If you want Shiva, Gayatri and Hanuman Bhajans, you can look at:

YouRs SinCereLy CrippLeD SaM

Agnideva said...

Thanks Crippled Sam. I will be sure to check out your site. I've provided a link to your site just now.

OM Namah Shivaya.

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