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Jagannatha Astakam by Sri Adi Sankaracharya

Introduction
This beautiful, simple and yet most appealing hymn requesting Lord Jagannath (Lord of the universe) to make Himself visible was composed by Jagat Guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya. It was he who has made Lord Jagannath's temple at Puri as one of the four dhams (char dham) or holy places which every Hindu must visit during his lifetime. In this beautiful hymn, Jagat Guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya positions himself as a devotee in the second line of every verse in which he makes this humble request to the Lord.


 
Shri Jagannatha Ashtakam

 


kadacit kalindi-tata-vipina-sangitaka-ravo
mudabhiri-nari-vadana-kamalasvada-madhupah
rama-sambhu-brahmamara-pati-ganesarcita-pado
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me

1. Sometimes in great happiness Lord Jagannatha, with His flute, makes a loud concert in the groves on the banks of the Yamuna. He is like a bumblebee who tastes the beautiful lotus-like faces of the cowherd damsels of Vraja, and His lotus feet are worshiped by great personalities such as Lakshmi, Siva, Brahma, Indra and Ganesa. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

Bhuje savye venum sirasi sikhi-puccham kati-tate
dukulam netrante sahacara-kataksham vidadhate
sada srimad-vrindavana-vasati-lila-paricayo
Jagannatha swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


2. In His left hand Lord Jagannatha holds a flute. On His head He wears the feathers of peacocks and on His hips He wears fine yellow silken cloth. Out of the corners of His eyes He bestows sidelong glances upon His loving devotees and He always reveals Himself through His pastimes in His divine abode of Vrindavana. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

mahambhodhes tire kanaka-rucire nila-sikhare
vasan prasadantah sahaja-balabhadrena balina
subhadra-madhya-sthah sakala-sura-sevavasara-do
Jagannatha swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


3. Residing on the shore of the great ocean, within a large palace situated upon the crest of the brilliant, golden Nilacala Hill, along with His powerful brother Bala-bhadra, and in the middle of Them His sister Subhadra, Lord Jagannatha bestows the opportunity for devotional service upon all godly souls. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

kripa-paravarah sajala-jalada-sreni-ruciro
rama-vani-ramah sphurad-amala-pankeruha-mukhah
surendrair aradhyah sruti-gana-sikha-gita-carito
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


4. Lord Jagannatha is an ocean of mercy and He is beautiful like a row of blackish rain clouds. He is the storehouse of bliss for Lakshmi and Saraswati, and His face is like a spotless full-blown lotus. He is worshiped by the best of demigods and sages, and His glories are sung by the Upanishads. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

ratharudho gacchan pathi milita-bhudeva-patalaih
stuti-pradurbhavam prati-padam upakarnya sadayah
daya-sindhur bandhuh sakala-jagatam sindhu-sutaya
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me

5. When Lord Jagannatha is on His Ratha-yatra cart and is moving along the road, at every step there is a loud presentation of prayers and songs chanted by large assemblies of brahmanas. Hearing their hymns Lord Jagannatha is very favorably disposed towards them. He is the ocean of mercy and the true friend of all the worlds. May that Jagannatha Swami, along with His consort Lakshmi, who was born from the ocean of nectar, be the object of my vision.

para-brahmapidah kuvalaya-dalotphulla-nayano
nivasi niladrau nihita-carano ’nanta-sirasi
rasanando radha-sarasa-vapur-alingana-sukho
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


6. He is the ornament of the head of Lord Brahma and His eyes are like the full-blown petals of the lotus. He resides on the Nilacala Hill, and His lotus feet are placed on the heads of Ananta Deva. Lord Jagannatha is overwhelmed by the mellow of love and He becomes joyful in the embracing of the body of Sri Radharani, which is like a cool pond. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

na vai yace rajyam na ca kanaka-manikya-vibhavam
na yace ’ham ramyam sakala-jana-kamyam vara-vadhum
sada kale kale pramatha-patina gita-carito
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


7. I do not pray for a kingdom, nor for gold, rubies, and wealth. I do not ask for an excellent and beautiful wife as desired by all men. I simply pray that Jagannatha Swami, whose glories are always sung by Lord Siva, be the constant object of my vision.

hara tvam samsaram druta-taram asaram sura-pate
hara tvam papanam vitatim aparam yadava-pate
aho dine ’nathe nihita-carano niscitam idam
jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me

8. O Lord of the demigods, please quickly remove this useless material existence I am undergoing. O Lord of the Yadus, please destroy this vast ocean of sins which has no shore. Alas, this is certain that Lord Jagannatha’s lotus feet are bestowed upon those who feel themselves fallen and have no shelter in this world but Him. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.

 

Jaya Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadraya Namah:

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