[Advaita-l] Selections from the Shiva-mahimna-stotram - 1

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jun 7 20:56:37 CDT 2010

NamaH ShivAya

Poet Kalidasa has said in praise of Ishwara:

If, after exalting your glory, we remain quiet, it is only on account of our
incapacity and fatigue and not because your glories have come to an end.

The 'Shiva mahimna stotra'

॥ शिवमहिम्न स्तोत्रम् - पुष्पदन्तकृतम्॥

*    Introduction, transliteration, and translation by*

*           Devendraray V . Bhatt and S . V . Ganesan   *

* Introduction*:

The Shiva Mahimna Stotra is very popular among the devotees of Lord Shiva
and is considered one of the best among all Stotras (or Stutis) offered to
Lord Shiva . The legend about the circumstances leading to the composition
of this Stotra 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! [
http://www.ms.uky.edu/~sohum/sanskrit/mahimna/mahimna.htm ]
(I do not know if the audio works)

I will also be consulting a book 'Siva-Mahimna Stotram' by Swami
Pavitrananda (1938) published by Advaita Ashrama.

A selected few shloka-s from this stotram are proposed to be presented in
this series.

महिम्नः <http://www.ms.uky.edu/%7Esohum/sanskrit/mahimna/mahimna.wma> पारं
ते परमविदुषो यद्यसदृशी

स्तुतिर्ब्रह्मादीनामपि तदवसन्नास्त्वयि गिरः ।

अथाऽवाच्यः सर्वः स्वमतिपरिणामावधि गृणन्‌

ममाप्येष स्तोत्रे हर निरपवादः परिकरः॥ १॥
O, Lord Shiva, remover of all types of miseries, what wonder is there, if
the prayer to you, chanted by one who is ignorant about your greatness, is
worthless! Because, even the utterance ( speech ) of Brahmaa and other gods
is not able to fathom your merits ( ie, greatness ). Hence, if persons with
very limited intellect ( and I am one of them ) try to offer you a prayer,
their attempt deserve your special favour. If it is so, I should not be a
exception . Hence, (thinking like this ) I begin this prayer . (1)

त्रयी <http://www.ms.uky.edu/%7Esohum/sanskrit/mahimna/trayii.wma> साङ्ख्यं
योगः पशुपतिमतं वैष्णवमिति

प्रभिन्ने प्रस्थाने परमिदमदः पथ्यमिति च।

रुचीनां वैचित्र्यादृजुकुटिल नानापथजुषां

नृणामेको गम्यस्त्वमसि पयसामर्णव इव॥ ७॥
The different practices based on the three Vedas, SaMkhya, Yoga,
Pashupata-mata, VaishhNava-mata etc . are but different paths (to reach to
the Greatest Truth) and people on account of their different aptitude choose
from them whatever they think best and deserved to be accepted . But as the
sea is the final resting place for all types of streams , You are the only
reaching place  for all people whichever path,straight or zigzag, they may
accept .  (7)

(to be continued)

A recent post titled 'Lord Krishna's Devotion to Shiva' is available here:


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