Faith

Subramanya Bhujanga

Adi Sankara has sung more than one hymn on many deities such as Ganesha, Siva, Parvati, and so on. He has two on Ganesha, the Ganesha Pancharatnam and the Ganesha Bhujanga. Sivananda Lahari, Siva Ashtothram, etc, are some of the many stotras on Siva, and the Saundarya Lahari, Gowri Dasakam, Sarada Bhujanga, Annapurna Ashtakam, etc, are on Goddess Parvati. But the Subramanya Bhujanga is the only stotra of the acharya on this deity and this itself is indicative of its special quality, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

In spiritual parlance, there is a term ‘sastra vasana’ which means the penchant to study more texts. But such sastra vasana has no use if it does not lead one to learn about God and one’s atma swaroopa. Anyway, for a sadhaka, even any one text is enough if it teaches him about God and leads him towards God realisation. Just as Gita sastra is singled out as the most essential and comprehensive of all sastras, this one hymn contains within it all that is essential to gain salvation.

When analysing the circumstances leading to the composition of this hymn, the Lord’s sankalpa that Adi Sankara should grace humanity with an Uttama sloka on Subramanya is vey clear. Under the cover of being in the grip of a painful disease, Adi Sankara is directed to propitiate Subramanya in Tiruchendur. It is not that Adi Sankara, a realised yogi, who reaches the place by yogic power, could not have got rid of this ailment. The hymn teaches us to seek the God’s grace as the only hope for the cure for all ills. The first verse is in praise of Ganesha, well known as the remover of hurdles and obstacles of all kinds. In the next verse, the humble tone of the seeker makes us imbibe this most valuable and essential quality by giving up our sense of ego.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:00:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/subramanya-bhujanga/article37428661.ece

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