SreematE rAmAnujAya namaha
Sree raGuveera gadyam
by Sree vEdAnta dESikan
This is one of the famous stOtras of vEdAnta dESika written in Sanskrit in praise of Lord Sree rAma. In this stOtra the entire rAmAyaNa is depicted in small and big sentences, which are full of rhythm and can be adopted to music. There is a story behind the creation of this hymn. Sree dESika was considered as sarvatantra swatantra (One who is well versed in all matters). To test this, one drummer was sent by dESika’s opponents to ask the scholar to write a hymn which suits the various tALas and sounds of his drum. Sree dESika agreed for this challenge and sung raGuveera gadyam using hard letters called mahAprANas by which the drummer was far more satisfied. Here swAmi dESika’s poetic skill and rest Sanskrit knowledge is well exhibited. The starting verse
dEvyA paramavyOmaBAskarah || One ||
“Sree rAma, who always shines like a sun in the supreme abode along with His consort seeta dEvi, who dispels the fear of darkness by emerging like sun in the hearts of those who take refuge in Him, is par excellent in the entire universe.”
Now the gadya starts. gadya means prose order.
jaya jaya mahAveera!
Victory unto You, victory
unto You the great valour (veera)
Oh supreme among great and strong men.
When a war broke out between gods and demons, You were decided as the highest person with unlimited glory.
When a war took place between the Lord and eeSwara (rudra), all the dEvatas including the four faced brahma decided that You are supreme. such is Your glory.
When the gods were troubled by rAvaNa all of them prayed for Your help to save them.
You are the sun for the lotus called soorya dynasty.
When indra, the leader of dEvas (gods) fought with demons, the great king daSaratha helped the gods. Oh Lord, You took birth as the son of that daSaratha and enabled him to clear his debt to his ancestors (called pitru ruNa).
By becoming the son of kousalya (as a human being) who was the daughter of kOsala kingdom, You concealed Your form as originator of the world.
You protected the sacrifice performed by sage viSwAmitra at the young age itself; as a sport.
the great weapons taught to You by sage viSwAmitra,
which were powerful to protect any danger, prostrated before You since You
had known them already.
tanutara-viSiKa-vitADana-viGaTita- viSarAru-SarAru tATakA-tATakeeya!
who is well versed in destroying the enemies of those
who take refuge in You, and one who killed both tATaka and her
son mAreecha who were engaged in troubling innocent people by
using powerful weapons showing the strength of the arms. —You killed
both mother and son on different occasions.
were praised by great lady ahalya, who was the wife of
sage goutama, by cleansing her sin by the dust and touch
of Your lotus feet, and also getting her true form from that of the
state of being a stone. Your lotus feet is so pure and holy
that the sacred ganga which flowed from the head of the
Lord Siva who is a master in dancing and who wears the moon as a ornament
on his head.
heard the various now stories narrated
by the son of kouSika (that is viSwAmitra) for enriching Your
knowledge which You enjoyed very much.
appeared as a full moon to the
beautiful eyes of the damsels of maithila city when You passed
through the streets.
You are having a
beautiful strong arms which broke the bow of Siva with great strength.
beautiful eyes surpass the beauty of the lotus flowers which blossom
at the dawn of the sun having piercing rays.
You removed the
fear of the heart of janaka, the king of mithila .
Your hands are fit enough to
play with in the chest of daughter of janaka who rejected the prayer
of many many kings to marry her.
took the vaiShNava bow from paraSurAma and aimed an
arrow at him. That praSurAma son of jamadagni who holds an axe
which is extremely strong hundred fold than
the vajrAyudha of indra and made him to surrender to You.
took away the vaiShNava bow of the great paraSurAma
which he had gained after performing so many sacrifices and also
who had defeated kArtaveeryArjuna had
conquered all the gods including paramaSiva
by making his kailAsa mountain as
his play ball. Besides kArtaveeryArjuna had
kept rAvaNa in prison for several days. paraSurAma conquered such mighty
person. Also, paraSurAma gave oblations to his parents in the
blood of kShatriya kings in five ponds called syamanta panchaka. Oh Lord
rAma You conquered such a great man by Your arrows.
make sure the promise made by
Your father who was afraid of telling
lie, You did forgot and neglected the kingdom offered by the king
daSaratha Your father.
making friendship with guha, the
king of hunters, You exampled Your
great quality of easy accessibility to one and all; and
became a treasure house of that quality.
the advice of sage BaradwAja, You
resided in the beautiful and lovely mountain of
chitrakooTa making it extremely holy.
You are one who
cannot be commanded by any.
keeping Your holy two sandals on the head of Barata and
coronating them, You looked after the all round welfare of the entire
universe, though pAdukas.
the demon, kAkAsura, who was the son of
indra, out of desire to eat human flesh, pierced the chest of
seeta, You threw a straw of Your
dharba bed, inducing the brahmAstra mantra
in it, he (kAkAsura) out of fear ran through the entire three
worlds for protection. This act of yours was greatly
praised by gods and sages alike.
aim of Your arrows can never be imagined by great people like brahma,
rudra and indra who killed valAsura.
You roamed in the
daNDaka forest which is fit for performing penance and granted boons to
sages like a pArijAta tree.
You became a lion
for the deer called virAdha, a demon.
many demons who were troubling the sages by disturbing their sacrifices
just like a hunter kills the cruel animals in a forest and earned the love
and affection of all sages and pious people.
a demon called triSiras who was having three heads just like the sun
removes the darkness of this world.
dried an ocean called dooShaNa (killed
him) and brought immense pleasure to the sages who
praised You loudly with joy.
You killed cruel Kara, a rAkShasa, who was in the form a tree.
destroyed a plateau full of grass
consisting of fourteen thousand demons just like a young tusker destroys
the grass fields.
You are the one
who never expects anybody’s help.
Your valour is
free from any danger.
You destroyed fourteen thousand demons
single handed without anybody’s help which was
worshipped by all, overwhelmed with joy,
seeta embraced You very fondly by which all the bruises on Your body got
cured, which was a wonder.
Your dharba grass seat by the skin of the deer called mAreecha.
showed immense grace on the great
devotee jaTAyu, an eagle by performing his last rites, who
sacrificed his life fore Your sake while protecting seeta
delighted by kabandhAsura, who attained the godhood after You slained him
in the encounter.
You were a
witness for the holy Sabari attaining salvation, which she got after
serving so many sages and got cleansed of all her sins and became fit
recipient for salvation after You blessed her.
were greatly delighted to listen to the beautiful and sweet language
spoken by the son of wind god, namely AnjanEya.
You were great, You sought the help of sugreeva (son of
sun god soorya) by surrendering to him. Thus giving up Your independence.
created confidence in Your friend sugreeva
by throwing the dead body (skeleton) of the great demon
dunduBi which was like a kailAsa mountain, for a distance of ten
miles only by the touch of the forefinger of Your left
showed extreme perfection an aim in
piercing the big seven trees along
with mountains and surrounding areas by only one sharp arrow and
established that You are a perfect warrior.
pierced the stone like
chest of vAli (sugreeva’s brother) by a sharp single arrow, which
vAli who used to sport everyday in all the four seas with extreme
ease and who caught the demon king rAvaNa in his armpit and gave immense
trouble to him (rAvaNa). Your arrow is so powerful.
embracing hanuman very fondly and
affectionately, You felt that You gave everything to him. That great
hanuman crossed the endless mighty ocean and burnt the entire
lanka town which was surrounded by strong fortress and who was the great
viBeeShaNa approached for refuge, all
Your ministers gave adverse opinion about
him and dissuaded You from accepting him, but You overruled all of them
and established Your decisive nature in accepting viBeeShaNa and showed
that You are supreme.
principle is to protect those including animals who take refuge in You
You always stand
by truth observing it as a vow.
BoomikA BooShita payOdhi puLina!
You slept on
floor in the sand of sea for observing the satyAgraha to pray to the sea
threatened to dry the ocean by Your fierceful and fire
like arrows when the sea god did not oblige Your request.
constructed a bridge in the middle
of the sea which was erected by the boulders big and
small brought by the monkeys very easily just like bringing a cloth,
who were very eager to have encounters with demons
belonging to rAvaNa, with a view to help You in getting back seeta.
mruga-varoothinee-ruddha-lankAvarOdha-vEpathu-lAsya-leelOpadESa dESika- dhanurjyAGOSha!
big sound of Your bow created
ripples in the hearts of the ladies of the lanka town
which was surrounded by the monkey army and it appeared as if the
sound was a teacher of dance to those ladies. (i.e. ladies of
lanka started shivering after listening to the sound of Your bow).
You became unconscious by the serpent
arrows used by indrajit, the great leader and god of birds, namely
garuDa who has the body like mEru mountain and who
freely moves in the air, and sky helped You in
removing the venomous serpents merely by the wind of his wings and thereby
worshipped You as his friend.
with many valourous monkey’s fought with great demons like dhoomrAkSha,
vajradamShTra etc. and slain their hearts, in the
war which was never been witnessed by them with extreme anger and pride.
removed the crowns on the head of rAvaNa by
throwing arrows which resembled the half moon shape and which were quite
sharp and hard, and gave another chance and time to
relax to rAvaNa and asked him come prepared for the next fight and thus
gained world wide reputation of being kind even to enemies.
the big mountain called kumBakarNa by Your arrows which are more
powerful than vajra weapon of indra.
hutavaha paricharaNa viGaTana saraBasa paripatada parimita kapibala
jaladhi lahari kalakalarava kupita maGava jidaBihananakrudanuja sAkShika
made Your brother lakShmaNa to kill indrajit, son of rAvaNa, by an
arrow specially addressed by Your name and fame.
indrajit who was so cruel that he tried to perform a bad and
disastrous sacrifice which was meant to
destroy the entire world, and You thwarted the same by the help of
monkeys and saved the world.
Oh rAma, no one
is equal to You in valour.
Your arrows are
faster than those of Lord Siva who has three eyes.
the charioteer of rAvaNa took back his chariot from
battle ground fearing that rAvaNa may die unable to bear
the force of rAma’s arrows. You were
being praised by rAvaNa appreciating Your valour, which is a very
rare feature in wars.
You standing on
the chariot sent by indra, which had the fragrance of pArijatas flower cut
the ten heads of rAvaNa again and again as those
heads used to grow as soon as they are cut, which made indra to get fear
about the victory of rAma, which was soon removed by You.
rAvaNa by cutting his ten heads, who
considered himself as having supreme strength
because of the boons he got from four faced brahma and when he died his principal wife maNDOdari cried using
beautiful epithets and at the same time
You were praised by sages using the sentences of
upaniShads which were pregnant with meanings.
the gods like brahma, indra, varuNa, agni, yama and others praised
You profusely after the death of rAvaNa and You also got pleased by their
victory, the four faced brahma describing Your greatness made You to
understand that You are the supreme godhead.
You are free from
Your victory indra, the king of gods got rid of his fear of rAvaNa
and as a gift to You gave rebirth to all monkeys who had lost their lives
in the war.
obtained seeta who was Your follower
in all respects who was separated from You by Your
own will for the well being of the world.
You gave the
lanka kingdom to viBeeShaNa and their by indirectly became the Lord of
Your vows by killing rAvaNa and others.
You destroyed the
enemies like a skyflower.
You returned to
ayOdhya in puShpaka plane in no time just like a step of a cow.
had vowed that if You do not come back with in
fourteen years, he would end his life but You made him not to do that by
accepting the kingdom and getting coronated
lion of raGu
Your coronation, all the kings and gods who wear beautiful splendorous
diamond studded crowns prostrated to Your lotus feet seated in
the golden throne.
You became the
Lord of ayOdhya which is both in this world and other worlds also.
restored the kingdoms of hundreds of kings who had lost their kingdoms in
the earlier yuga because of the anger of
paraSurAma who destroyed the entire kShatriya dynasty in the grief
of the death of his father jamadagni.
defeated gandarvas after You installed him as a king in
another province and You were praised from their for Your victory.
You were praised
by Your brother SatruGna who killed the demon lavaNAsura.
You listened with
great pleasure Your own story which was written in Sanskrit language,
which was very musical to listen, and which has penned by sage
vAlmiki on the instructions of the four faced brahma and sung by kuSa and
lava who were Your sons well versed in all SAstras.
respected by all sections of the public.
sent back the great plane puShpaka which was given to You for Your
use to its owner kubEra and thereby gained great appreciation and honour
You gave life to brAhmaNas son who had his untimely death.
restored the same discipline of varNadharmas
as it was in krutayuga in Your time also namely
performed hundred of aSwamEdha (horse)
sacrifices without any lapse and earned
abundant puNya (good will) by distributing plenty of gold coins to needy.
worshipped by all types of good deeds.
You are the
embodiment of righteousness.
were so great that You granted
the salvation (mOkSha) to all the men and women of ayOdhya whether
they are rich or poor, mighty or weak besides to all the birds, and small
were the cool refuge for all those devotees
who were badly affected by the heat of this mundane world.
Oh Lord rAma.
You, again and again prostrations unto You.
muKaih putrapoutrAdiSAlinE |
rAmAya gruhamEdinE ||
You are the great householder having sons and grandsons like four faced
brahma, rudra and a host of gods and always accompanied by great lady
seta. Prostrations to both of You.
kavikathakasimhakathitam kaThOra sukumAra gumBagamBeeram |
BavaBayaBEShajamEtat paThata mahAveeravaiBavam sudhiyah ||
Oh learned ones, please accept this prose poem which is quite terse and at the same time lovely also (consisting of many inner meanings) which describes the greatness of Sree rAma, who is a mahAveera and who removes the threat of this mundane world.
Note: All the sentences in this stOtra are to be taken as addressed to Sree rAma.
raGuveera gadyam samAptam