Shiva Stotram

SIVA-MAHIMNAH STOTRAM
HYMN TO THE GLORY OF LORD SHIVA
|| Oṁ Namaḥ Śhivaya ||

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, who was a great devotee of lord Shiva, had constructed a nice royal garden . There were beautiful flowers in this garden, which were used every day by the king in worshipping Lord Shiva.

One day a Gandharva (गांधर्व -Heavenly 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 sacred Shiva Nirmaalya in his garden. Shiva Nirmaalya consists of the Bilva leaves, flowers, (बिलीपत्र), etc. which have been used in worshipping Lord Shiva. The Shiva Nirmaalya is considered holy.

The thief Pushhpadanta, not knowing this, stepped on the sacred 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 Stotra, 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 as proclaimed by one of its verses:

"Anyone who recites this hymn with a pure heart and devotion will be blessed with fame (कीर्ति), wealth (धन), long life (आयु) and many children (सुत) in this mortal world, and will attain Kailas, Shiva’s abode, after death." (Text 34)

"Benefit of singing Shivmahimna stotra is far greater than either the benefit of spiritual initiation (दीक्षा), charity (दान), austerity (तप), pilgrimage (तीर्थ), knowledge of the scriptures (ज्ञान), or the performance of ceremonial sacrifice (यज्ञ-याग).” (Text 36)

Shivmahimna Stotra has 43 verses in Sanskrit. For the benefit of all beings this Stotra has been given with the original Devanagari Sanskrit, Roman transliteration and English verse translation.

॥ अथ श्री शिवमहिम्नस्तॊत्रम् ॥
‖ atha śrī śivamahimnastotram ‖

Verse 1
महिम्नः पारं ते परमविदुषो यद्यसदृशी
स्तुतिर्ब्रह्मादीनामपि तदवसन्नास्त्वयि गिरः।
अथाऽवाच्यः सर्वः स्वमतिपरिमाणावधि गृणन्
ममाप्येष स्तोत्रे हर निरपवादः परिकरः॥ १॥


mahimnaḥ pāraṁ te paramaviduṣo yadyasadṛśī
stutirbrahmādīnāmapi tadavasannāstvayi giraḥ |
athā'vācyaḥ sarvaḥ svamatiparimāṇāvadhi gṛṇan
mamāpyeṣa stotre hara nirapavādaḥ parikaraḥ || 1 ||

(Sri Pushpadanta said:)
If it is unseemly to praise You when ignorant of the extent of' Your greatness, then even the praises of Brahma and others are inadequate. If no one can be blamed when they praise You according to their intellectual powers, then my attempt to compose a hymn cannot be reproached. (1)

Verse 2
अतीतः पंथानं तव च महिमा वाङ्मनसयोः
अतद्व्यावृत्त्या यं चकितमभिधत्ते श्रुतिरपि।
स कस्य स्तोतव्यः कतिविधगुणः कस्य विषयः
पदे त्वर्वाचीने पतति न मनः कस्य न वचः॥ २॥


atītaḥ paṁthānaṁ tava ca mahimā vāṅmanasayoḥ
atadvyāvṛttyā yaṁ cakitamabhidhatte śrutirapi |
sa kasya stotavyaḥ katividhaguṇaḥ kasya viṣayaḥ
pade tvarvācīne patati na manaḥ kasya na vacaḥ || 2 ||

Your greatness is beyond the reach of mind and speech. Who can properly praise that which even the Vedas describe with trepidation, by means of' 'neti-neti / not this, not this'? How many qualities does He possess? By whom can He be perceived? Yet whose mind and speech do not turn to the form later taken by Him (saguna) (2)

Verse 3
मधुस्फीता वाचः परममृतं निर्मितवतः
तव ब्रह्मन् किं वागपि सुरगुरोर्विस्मयपदम्।
मम त्वेतां वाणीं गुणकथनपुण्येन भवतः
पुनामीत्यर्थेऽस्मिन् पुरमथन बुद्धिर्व्यवसिता॥ ३॥


madhusphītā vācaḥ paramamṛtaṁ nirmitavataḥ
tava brahman kiṁ vāgapi suragurorvismayapadam |
mama tvetāṁ vāṇīṁ guṇakathanapuṇyena bhavataḥ
punāmītyarthe'smin puramathana buddhirvyavasitā || 3 ||

O Brahman! Do even Brihaspati's praises cause wonder to You, the author of the nectar like sweet Vedas? O destroyer of the three cities, the thought that by praising Your glories I shall purify my speech has prompted me to undertake this work. (3)

Verse 4
तवैश्वर्यं यत्तज्जगदुदयरक्षाप्रलयकृत्
त्रयीवस्तु व्यस्तं तिस्रुषु गुणभिन्नासु तनुषु।
अभव्यानामस्मिन् वरद रमणीयामरमणीं
विहन्तुं व्याक्रोशीं विदधत इहैके जडधियः॥ ४॥

tavaiśvaryaṁ yattajjagadudayarakṣāpralayakṛt
trayīvastu vyastaṁ tisruṣu guṇabhinnāsu tanuṣu |
abhavyānāmasmin varada ramaṇīyāmaramaṇīṁ
vihantuṁ vyākrośīṁ vidadhata ihaike jaḍadhiyaḥ || 4 ||

O Giver of boons! Some stupid people produce arguments--pleasing to the ignorant but in fact hateful-- to refute Your Divinity, which creates, preserves and destroys the world, which is divided into three bodies (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) according to the three gunas, and which is described in the three Vedas. (4)

Verse 5
किमीहः किंकायः स खलु किमुपायस्त्रिभुवनं
किमाधारो धाता सृजति किमुपादान इति च।
अतर्क्यैश्वर्ये त्वय्यनवसर दुःस्थो हतधियः
कुतर्कोऽयं कांश्चित् मुखरयति मोहाय जगतः॥ ५॥


kimīhaḥ kiṁkāyaḥ sa khalu kimupāyastribhuvanaṁ
kimādhāro dhātā sṛjati kimupādāna iti ca |
atarkyaiśvarye tvayyanavasara duḥstho hatadhiyaḥ
kutarko'yaṁ kāṁścit mukharayati mohāya jagataḥ || 5 ||
To fulfill what desire, assuming what form, with what instruments, support and material does that Creator create the three worlds? This kind of futile argumentation about You whose divine nature is beyond the reach of intellect, makes the perverted vociferous, and brings delusion to men. (5)

Verse 6
अजन्मानो लोकाः किमवयववन्तोऽपि जगतां
अधिष्ठातारं किं भवविधिरनादृत्य भवति।
अनीशो वा कुर्याद् भुवनजनने कः परिकरो
यतो मन्दास्त्वां प्रत्यमरवर संशेरत इमे॥ ६॥


ajanmāno lokāḥ kimavayavavanto'pi jagatāṁ
adhiṣṭhātāraṁ kiṁ bhavavidhiranādṛtya bhavati |
anīśo vā kuryād bhuvanajanane kaḥ parikaro
yato mandāstvāṁ pratyamaravara saṁśerata ime || 6 ||

O Lord of gods! Can the worlds be without origin, though they have bodies? Is their creation possible with¬out a creator? Who else but God can initiate the creation of the worlds? Because they are fools they raise doubts about Your existence. (6)

Verse 7
त्रयी साङ्ख्यं योगः पशुपतिमतं वैष्णवमिति
प्रभिन्ने प्रस्थाने परमिदमदः पथ्यमिति च।
रुचीनां वैचित्र्यादृजुकुटिल नानापथजुषां
नृणामेको गम्यस्त्वमसि पयसामर्णव इव॥ ७॥


trayī sāṅkhyaṁ yogaḥ paśupatimataṁ vaiṣṇavamiti
prabhinne prasthāne paramidamadaḥ pathyamiti ca |
rucīnāṁ vaicitryādṛjukuṭila nānāpathajuṣāṁ
nṛṇāmeko gamyastvamasi payasāmarṇava iva || 7 ||

Different paths (to realization) arc enjoined by the three Vedas, by Sankhya, Yoga, Pashupata (Shaiva) (doctrine and Vaishnava Shastras. People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate--and reach You alone just as rivers enter the ocean. (7)

Verse 8
महोक्षः खट्वाङ्गं परशुरजिनं भस्म फणिनः
कपालं चेतीयत्तव वरद तन्त्रोपकरणम्।
सुरास्तां तामृद्धिं दधति तु भवद्भूप्रणिहितां
न हि स्वात्मारामं विषयमृगतृष्णा भ्रमयति॥ ८॥


mahokṣaḥ khaṭvāṅgaṁ paraśurajinaṁ bhasma phaṇinaḥ
kapālaṁ cetīyattava varada tantropakaraṇam |
surāstāṁ tāmṛddhiṁ dadhati tu bhavadbhūpraṇihitāṁ
na hi svātmārāmaṁ viṣayamṛgatṛṣṇā bhramayati || 8 ||

O Giver of boons! A great bull, a wooden hand rest, an axe, a tiger skin, ashes, serpents, a human skull and other such things--these are all You own, though simply by casting Your eyes on gods You gave them great treasures which they enjoy. Indeed one whose delight is in the Self cannot be deluded by the mirage of sense objects. (8)

Verse 9
ध्रुवं कश्चित् सर्वं सकलमपरस्त्वध्रुवमिदं
परो ध्रौव्याऽध्रौव्ये जगति गदति व्यस्तविषये।
समस्तेऽप्येतस्मिन् पुरमथन तैर्विस्मित इव
स्तुवन् जिह्रेमि त्वां न खलु ननु धृष्टा मुखरता॥ ९॥


dhruvaṁ kaścit sarvaṁ sakalamaparastvadhruvamidaṁ
paro dhrauvyā'dhrauvye jagati gadati vyastaviṣaye |
samaste'pyetasmin puramathana tairvismita iva
stuvan jihremi tvāṁ na khalu nanu dhṛṣṭā mukharatā || 9 ||

O Destroyer of the demon Pura, some say that the whole universe is eternal while others say that all is transi¬tory. Others still, hold that it is eternal and non-eternal -- having different characteristics. Bewildered by all this, I do not feel ashamed to praise You; indeed my loquacity is an indication of my boldness. (9)

Verse 10
तवैश्वर्यं यत्नाद् यदुपरि विरिञ्चिर्हरिरधः
परिच्छेतुं यातावनिलमनलस्कन्धवपुषः।
ततो भक्तिश्रद्धा-भरगुरु-गृणद्भ्यां गिरिश यत्
स्वयं तस्थे ताभ्यां तव किमनुवृत्तिर्न फलति॥ १०॥


tavaiśvaryaṁ yatnād yadupari viriñcirhariradhaḥ
paricchetuṁ yātāvanilamanalaskandhavapuṣaḥ |
tato bhaktiśraddhā-bharaguru-gṛṇadbhyāṁ giriśa yat
svayaṁ tasthe tābhyāṁ tava kimanuvṛttirna phalati || 10 ||

O Girisha, when You took the form of a pillar of fire, Brahma trying from above and Vishnu trying from below failed to measure You. Afterwards, when they praised You with great faith and devotion, You revealed yourself to them of Your own accord; does not surrender to You bear fruit? (10)

Verse 11
अयत्नादासाद्य त्रिभुवनमवैरव्यतिकरं
दशास्यो यद्बाहूनभृत-रणकण्डू-परवशान्।
शिरःपद्मश्रेणी-रचितचरणाम्भोरुह-बलेः
स्थिरायास्त्वद्भक्तेस्त्रिपुरहर विस्फूर्जितमिदम्॥ ११॥


ayatnādāsādya tribhuvanamavairavyatikaraṁ
daśāsyo yadbāhūnabhṛta-raṇakaṇḍū-paravaśān |
śiraḥpadmaśreṇī-racitacaraṇāmbhoruha-baleḥ
sthirāyāstvadbhaktestripurahara visphūrjitamidam || 11 ||

O Destroyer of Tripura, it was because of that great devotion, which prompted him to offer his heads as lotuses to Your feet, that the ten-headed Ravana was still with arms and eager for fresh war after he had effortlessly rid the three worlds of all traces of enemies. (11)

Verse 12
अमुष्य त्वत्सेवा-समधिगतसारं भुजवनं
बलात् कैलासेऽपि त्वदधिवसतौ विक्रमयतः।
अलभ्यापातालेऽप्यलसचलितांगुष्ठशिरसि
प्रतिष्ठा त्वय्यासीद् ध्रुवमुपचितो मुह्यति खलः॥ १२॥


amuṣya tvatsevā-samadhigatasāraṁ bhujavanaṁ
balāt kailāse'pi tvadadhivasatau vikramayataḥ |
alabhyāpātāle'pyalasacalitāṁguṣṭhaśirasi
pratiṣṭhā tvayyāsīd dhruvamupacito muhyati khalaḥ || 12 ||

But when he (Ravana) extended the valour of his arms-whose strength was obtained by worshipping You- to Kailas, Your abode, You moved the tip of Your toe, and he did not find a resting place even in the nether world. Truly, when affluent the wicked become deluded. (12)

Verse 13
यदृद्धिं सुत्राम्णो वरद परमोच्चैरपि सतीं
अधश्चक्रे बाणः परिजनविधेयत्रिभुवनः।
न तच्चित्रं तस्मिन् वरिवसितरि त्वच्चरणयोः
न कस्याप्युन्नत्यै भवति शिरसस्त्वय्यवनतिः॥ १३॥


yadṛddhiṁ sutrāmṇo varada paramoccairapi satīṁ
adhaścakre bāṇaḥ parijanavidheyatribhuvanaḥ |
na taccitraṁ tasmin varivasitari tvaccaraṇayoḥ
na kasyāpyunnatyai bhavati śirasastvayyavanatiḥ || 13 ||

O Giver of boons, since Bana was the worshipper of Your feet is it to be wondered at that he had the three worlds at his command and put to shame the wealth of Indra? What prosperity does not come from bowing down the head to You? (13)

Verse 14
अकाण्ड-ब्रह्माण्ड-क्षयचकित-देवासुरकृपा
विधेयस्याऽऽसीद् यस्त्रिनयन विषं संहृतवतः।
स कल्माषः कण्ठे तव न कुरुते न श्रियमहो
विकारोऽपि श्लाघ्यो भुवन-भय- भङ्ग- व्यसनिनः॥ १४॥


akāṇḍa-brahmāṇḍa-kṣayacakita-devāsurakṛpā
vidheyasyā''sīd yastrinayana viṣaṁ saṁhṛtavataḥ |
sa kalmāṣaḥ kaṇṭhe tava na kurute na śriyamaho
vikāro'pi ślāghyo bhuvana-bhaya- bhaṅga- vyasaninaḥ || 14 ||

O Three-Eyed One, who drank poison out of compassion for gods and demons when they were distraught at the sudden prospect of the destruction of the universe, surely the dark blue stain on Your throat has beautified You. Even deformity is to be admired in one who is given to freeing the world of fear. (14)

Verse 15
असिद्धार्था नैव क्वचिदपि सदेवासुरनरे
निवर्तन्ते नित्यं जगति जयिनो यस्य विशिखाः।
स पश्यन्नीश त्वामितरसुरसाधारणमभूत्
स्मरः स्मर्तव्यात्मा न हि वशिषु पथ्यः परिभवः॥ १५॥

asiddhārthā naiva kvacidapi sadevāsuranare
nivartante nityaṁ jagati jayino yasya viśikhāḥ |
sa paśyannīśa tvāmitarasurasādhāraṇamabhūt
smaraḥ smartavyātmā na hi vaśiṣu pathyaḥ paribhavaḥ || 15 ||

O Lord, the god of love, whose arrows never fail in the world of gods and men, become nothing but an object of memory because he looked on You as an ordinary god (his body being burnt by Your look of wrath). An insult to the self-controlled is not conducive to good. (15)

Verse 16
मही पादाघाताद् व्रजति सहसा संशयपदं
पदं विष्णोर्भ्राम्यद् भुज-परिघ-रुग्ण-ग्रह- गणम्।
मुहुर्द्यौर्दौस्थ्यं यात्यनिभृत-जटा-ताडित-तटा
जगद्रक्षायै त्वं नटसि ननु वामैव विभुता॥ १६॥


mahī pādāghātād vrajati sahasā saṁśayapadaṁ
padaṁ viṣṇorbhrāmyad bhuja-parigha-rugṇa-graha- gaṇam |
muhurdyaurdausthyaṁ yātyanibhṛta-jaṭā-tāḍita-taṭā
jagadrakṣāyai tvaṁ naṭasi nanu vāmaiva vibhutā || 16 ||

When You danced to save the world, the earth was suddenly thrown into a precarious state at the striking of Your feet; the spatial regions and the hosts of stars felt oppressed by the movement of Your massive club-like arms; and the heavens became miserable as their sides were constantly struck by Your waving matted hair. Indeed it is Your very mightiness which is the cause of the trouble. (16)

Verse 17
विय-द्व्या पी तारा-गण-गुणित-फेनोद्गम-रुचिः
प्रवाहो वारां यः पृषतलघुदृष्टः शिरसि ते।
जगद्द्वीपाकारं जलधिवलयं तेन कृतमिति
अनेनैवोन्नेयं धृतमहिम दिव्यं तव वपुः॥ १७॥


viya-dvyā pī tārā-gaṇa-guṇita-phenodgama-ruciḥ
pravāho vārāṁ yaḥ pṛṣatalaghudṛṣṭaḥ śirasi te |
jagaddvīpākāraṁ jaladhivalayaṁ tena kṛtamiti
anenaivonneyaṁ dhṛtamahima divyaṁ tava vapuḥ || 17 ||

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