Bhaktamara Stotra is a famous Jain Sanskrit prayer. It was composed by Acharya Manatunga seventh century CE. The prayer praises Rishabhanatha adinath , the first Tirthankara of Jainism in this time cycle. There are forty-eight verses in total. The last verse gives the name of the author Manatunga.
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Contributed by Nalini Balbir. The hymn is written in Sanskrit in an elaborate poetical style. Most prominent are the Jina's radiance and absolute serenity, which are features of his utter perfection. These tales tend to emphasise the freedom from fear and life's difficulties that reciting it brings to devotees. Many Jain followers know the original text by heart and may daily recite or meditate upon it. The hymn is also part of the Jain tantric tradition, in which worshippers chant mantras and reflect on mystical diagrams — yantra s.
It is commonly the focus of a collective rite, a popular approach especially among Jains outside India. Translated into many languages from the original Sanskrit, the hymn continues to be popular among contemporary Jains. Befitting its status as a fundamental Jain hymn, the text is often recorded on manuscripts that are frequently noteworthy artefacts. Because of their beauty and importance in the literature and practice of the Jain faith, these items are highlights of the manuscripts on the website.
But historical information about him is scarce, and his date remains a matter of hypothesis or controversy. Various tales relating to the creation of the hymn share the episode that demonstrates the power of the hymn and belief in the Jain doctrine. The earliest commentary on the hymn , however, dates back only to the 14th century.
This gap is difficult to explain if the hymn were composed so early. Their number is the same as the number of stanzas in the Digambara hymn.
Whether historical fact or not, this successive affiliation to the two principal Jain sects explains why both groups consider:. The poet gains his freedom and demonstrates the supremacy of the Jinas , especially compared with the deities of Hinduism, the majority faith in India. When they were asked to demonstrate the marvels of their poetical art:. As a result, the king paid due attention to the poet and the Jain faith.
This was meant as a test, for the king wanted to witness a miracle. The monk meditated for three days and on the fourth day composed this hymn.
He chanted the second-last stanza. The king was astonished, and convinced by the power of devotion to the Jina. When he recited each of the 48 stanzas of the hymn , each lock broke in turn. A slightly different version in the Digambara tradition is found on the HereNow4U website.
The setting of the story may show variants, but the main motif is identical. The chains or locks binding the poet break after he recites one or all stanzas in the hymn. Whether the story sets the Jain poet in competition with non-Jain colleagues or not, it is also clearly meant to show the superiority of Jainism and the Jinas over Hindu gods and goddesses.
The only difference lies in the number of stanzas in the versions of each sect. The four additional verses found in the verse version lie between stanzas 31 and Verses 28 to 31, which both sectarian versions have, describe four objects associated with the state of a Jina , underlining his royal status.
The extra stanzas add four more attributes. The poet has composed a hymn of praise to the first Jina, who is specified at the beginning. But no name as such appears in the poem. Even so, other Jinas are associated with the colour gold. Beyond karma and rebirth , he is dispassionate, representing infinite knowledge as well as bliss. The hymn is thus a celebration of the liberated soul. It is the result of full devotion — bhakti — to a spiritual being.
Here the poet explicitly states that devotion justifies his undertaking and gives it any quality it might have. Two features are repeatedly underlined in the devotional song. These following qualities make a Jina distinctive and create a special atmosphere:. To demonstrate the first point, the poet systematically compares with the Jina other well-known standards of light or brightness, particularly the sun and the moon.
He has only positive qualities, with no defects or impurities. These qualities are beyond expression. Demonstrating devotion in the Jain faith involves mentioning, remembering or reciting a particular name, because it is credited with a special power. It is significant that the name is described as a mantra.
It can remove all kinds of physical fears or dangers, which are duly described in the latter stanzas as fear of:. In modern times this hymn has been seen as containing a definition of divinity in the Jain sense of the word. It is rich in imagery and alliteration, making it a powerful song of devotion and a favourite of many Jains.
Each of the four lines that makes up a stanza has 14 syllables. Each set of 14 syllables has exactly the same rhythm:. Far from being dry, the hymn is suffused with images, lightly suggested by the numerous comparisons found throughout.
Alliteration appears frequently, as the first words immediately show:. The poet often appears to select words for that purpose from the vast repertory of Sanskrit synonyms. Indeed, numerous Jains know it by heart or read it in the original Sanskrit, even though they are not otherwise conversant with the language. Let alone the praise, the mere mention of the Jina is beneficial. He is a paragon of steadiness, not subject to any disturbance from external factors. He is compared with Mount Meru.
He has more brightness than the moon , who can be obscured by eclipses stanzas 18 to After seeing what these gods are like, the poet finds the Jina provides satisfaction that cannot be found elsewhere. The mother of a Jina is superior to all other mothers, like the eastern direction where only the sun rises. The Jina is the supreme being, perfect.
Having realised this, one conquers death. There is no other path to liberation. Praise to you, supreme lord of the triple world. Praise to you, O Jina, you dry up the ocean of rebirth'. The Jina is the refuge of all qualities. No fault goes to him — they have enough homes elsewhere!
His splendour in setting out the doctrine and his brightness are without parallel. The man who has in his heart his name, which is like a snake-charm, can easily face a violent snake that comes towards him with bad intentions. By reciting his name, even the army of powerful kings is destroyed instantly, like darkness pierced by the rays of the sun.
By remembering him, even those who are in a boat tossed on agitated waves go on the ocean without fear. As if scared away, all kinds of fear instantly vanish for the intelligent people who recite praise to him stanzas 47 to Contemporary Jains may know it in either Sanskrit or modern languages. Scholar-monks wrote commentaries on the hymn probably soon after its composition, with the earliest surviving commentary dating from the 14th century. Commentaries are still being produced on this widespread song of devotion.
Besides word-to-word explanation of the verses, it includes mantras associated with each stanza plus stories showing the positive effects of reciting the hymn. It was published in Kapadia This is mainly a word-to-word explanation of the verses Kapadia — This is mainly a word-to-word explanation of the verses.
Translations are still being undertaken in modern times. Recent translations may be recorded and circulated on modern audio technology. Contemporary Jains may prefer these for their devotions to the original Sanskrit text. The table gives details of some important vernacular language translations of the hymn. Translation using a metre different from the original, with one stanza translation for each original verse Pandit and Shah — There are also many modern presentations of the contents of the hymn , which may show sectarian orientations.
There are also several contemporary imitations of the poem that reuse certain phrases see examples in Cort Hymns can be recited or sung out of pure devotion. But Jains also chant or sing them to gain various benefits. It can remove all types of fears and cure various diseases. Such stories are found in the commentaries. Each story is associated with a specific verse, and points to its efficacy in particular circumstances.
Thus each verse is put in context, and made alive through a gallery of word-portraits from various times and places see Kapashi — After reciting one or several verses of the hymn , the figures in the tales are rescued from difficult or perilous situations. The wicked people who had caused them torment or endangered them are also punished. As the intermediary between the human being and the Jina , she decides to grant protection to the hymn's chanter.
A poor merchant is caught in a storm while on a boat. A monk tells him to recite verses 3 and 4 of the hymn. The houses of two Jain merchants become totally dark, covered with dust by a yogi who is infuriated that they did not come to worship him.
Bhaktamar Stotra of Acharya Manatunga. Transliteration bhakt a mara-pra n ata-maulima n i-prabh a n a - mudyotakam dalita-p a pa-tamovit a nam samyak pra n amya jina p a dayugam yug a d a - v a lambanam bhavajale patat a m jan a n a m 1 ya h sa n stuta h sakala-v a ng aya- tatva-bodh a - d -ud bh u ta- buddhipa t ubhi h suralokan a thai h stotrairjagattritaya chitta-harairudarai h sto sh ye kil a hamapi tam prathamam jinendram 2 buddhy a vin a api vibudh a rchita p a dap i th a stotum samudyata matirvigatatrapoaham b a lam vih a ya jalasa n sthitamindu bimba - manya h ka ichchhati jana h sahas a grah i tum 3 vaktum gu n a n gu n asamudra shash a nkk a nt a n kaste kshama h suragurupratimoapi buddhy a kalp a nta - k a l - pavanoddhata - nakrachakram ko v a tar i tumalamambunidhim bhuj a bhy a m 4. With words select and expressions deep I give Thine supreme attributes a peep Just as Shruti others sang Thy praise It was Indra and other celestials craze. My desire to praise Thee is insolence Using various expressions sheer ignorance No wise man would catch the reflection Of moon in water, a childish action.
Shree Bhaktamar Stotra - 1 | श्री भक्तामर स्तोत्र - 1
Contributed by Nalini Balbir. This version features a male and female singer reciting the hymn, considered a masterpiece of Sanskrit poetry. The 48 Sanskrit verses of the Digambara version of the hymn are presented in Nagari and transliteration with English translation below, on a faculty private page on the Colorado State University website. The hymn is considered to be a masterpiece of Sanskrit poetry. This YouTube video contains pages of an illustrated publication of the hymn, which is a masterpiece of Sanskrit poetry. There is also a glossary of Sanskrit terms.
Contributed by Nalini Balbir. The hymn is written in Sanskrit in an elaborate poetical style. Most prominent are the Jina's radiance and absolute serenity, which are features of his utter perfection. These tales tend to emphasise the freedom from fear and life's difficulties that reciting it brings to devotees.