shrI guruNA pAlitOsmi

The following lyrics and translations are taken from the LP recording of the navagraha kritis by Prof. S. Ramanathan. I have tried to correct some typographical errors from that source (which is also very hard to read), and hope I have not introduced too many of my own. Please let me know of any errors. The transliteration scheme is that used in the notes to that recording, written by Robert Gottlieb. It is a truncated version of that which I have used on the list of compositions.

Raga is padi (a Dikshitar-only raga.). Tala is rupakam.

shrI guruNA pAlitOsmi


nAdAntasupAdyena navanAthenAdyena
nAdAntavihAreNa navacakrAdhAreNa
pAdAmbujena vareNa bhedAdividAreNa
AdiguruguhapareNa kAdimatam anusAreNa


I am protected by the blessed Guru[1]
The lord of being, consciousness and bliss[2]

Who is impelled by the Agamas[3], etc.
Who is worshipped by the whole universe
Who appeared as Lord Tyagaraja[4]
Who has gone beyond the three afflictions[5]

Who is recognized as the real intent of the Vedanta[6]
Who is the physician for the faulty discrimination
At whose handsome feet the final Nada[7] is sounded, who is the nine Lords[8], the primordial
Who, as Sadakhya[9], assumes the nature of the material world
Who is the incarnation of Sadashiva[10]
Who takes pleasure in (the sounding of) the final Nada, who is the basis of the nine Chakras[11]
By (his excellent lotus) feet, which destroy difference[12]
By him who is higher even than the primordial Guruguha[13], and who follows the Kadimatam text[14]


  1. ref. to Shiva as the Supreme Being
  2. ref. to the three attributes of Brahman (see Caturdasha Ragamalika note 5)
  3. 'traditional scriptures' here referring to Shaivite texts
  4. lit. 'Lord of Renunciation'; a ref. to Shiva as the ascetic Lord
  5. See Caturdasha Ragamalika note 2. tapatraya (lit. 'three heats') also relates to yoga practices, experiencing tapas as penance and abstention from passion which is necessary for achievement of self-realization (cf. Mundaka Upan. I.2.11 and Chandogya Upan. V.10.1-6). Shiva having practiced tapas sets an example for the yogi and for those who aspire to overcome the human afflictions.
  6. lit. 'end of the Vedas'; ref. to Upanishads as the ultimate source of knowledge
  7. ref. to the final nasal syllable 'Om' which traditionally is sounded at the beginning and conclusion of all sacred chanting; concercing the symbolism of the 'feet.' See Caturdasha Ragamalika note 23
  8. The nine planets are manifestations of the Supreme Being.
  9. A form of Shiva in his evolution into the world
  10. See Caturdasha Ragamalika notes 14 & 25
  11. lit. 'wheel' or 'disc' ... The most plausible meaning for the term navacakra is 'nine planets'. Nevertheless this may also have a bearing on yoga since cakra represent the various levels of psychic energy which lie along the spinal column. The practice of yoga is concerned with the release of the kundalini, the coiled-up serpent-like power which lies obstructed as the base of the spinal column, to make it rise up through the various cakra levels attaining ultimately the top of the head. Eliade (1958) describes the experience of the yogi as "...passing beyond samsara, 'emerging in time'.... The pre-eminent sign of this transcendence is found in the final act of kundalini's ascent, its union with Shiva."
  12. By worshipping the feet of Shiva man is able to attain moksa, a state in which the different forms of existence lose their separate identities.
  13. The higher standing of Shiva in relationship to Guruguha (Skanda), his son, has a direct parallel in yoga. Shiva is identified with the highest ascent of the kundalini, whereas Guruguha with the area below it, the sixth cakra.
  14. ref. to the convention related to Tantric mantras in which the initial syllable 'ka' has particular significance. The following are cited in Monier-Williams: 'name of Prajapati', 'of Brahman', 'of Vishnu' et. al. According to Bharati (1970) the so-called 'kadi' mantras are used for propriation and acquisition. He further indicates that "A kadi-mantra though used for magical purposes most frequently, is also used in preparing the mind for the state of oneness...."