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Monthly Archives: June 2009

स्तोत्रसङ्ग्रहः

Here is a PDF of a book of stotrās/ślokās I put together: shloka.pdf

सदाशिवसमारम्भां शङ्कराचार्यमध्यमाम्।
अस्मदाचार्यपर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरुपरम्पराम्॥

This book has been primarily inspired by two pieces of work — one, my thāthā’s beautiful hand-written composition of ślokās, for his grandchildren, and mantrapushpam, the excellent compilation of vedamantrās and stotrās, from Ramakrishna Mutt.

In this book, several wonderful stotras have been compiled. One of the aims of this book is to provide ready access to a number of stotrās in a compact form. I’ve often had to refer to a bundle of books for each stotram. This book, I hope, would prove to be really useful for people who would like to carry around these stotrās when they travel around, or would like a handy small book containing all these stotrās. The other important feature of this book is that all the stotrās are in devanāgarī lipi. I’ve often had access to a large number of stotrās, but in Tamil script. I find the devanāgarī lipi more conducive to correct pronunciation. There are several simple shlokās in this book, which I am sure children would be able to pick up easily. Stotrās such as Nāma Rāmāyanam should certainly be taught to children. Many of these stotras have been rendered wonderfully by Śrīmatī M. S. Subbulakshmi; one just needs to listen to her for both bhakti and inspiration. While the foremost importance is to be given to bhakti, one must certainly give importance to accurate pronunciation as well, and MSS is exemplary in that regard.

One should make it a point to chant at least few of these every day, and most of these in a month. One should certainly recite the Vishnu Sahasranāmam everyday. Of course, it must be emphasised that one’s nityakarmā takes precedence over all these — सन्ध्याहीनः अशुचिः नित्यमनर्हहः सर्वकर्मसु — and one must make time for sandhyāvandanādi nityakarmās and such prayers everyday:

विप्रो वृक्षस्तस्य मूलं च सन्ध्या वेदाः शाखा धर्मकर्माणि पत्रम्।

तस्मान्मूलं यत्नतो रक्षणीयं छिन्नॆ मूले नैव शाखा न पत्रम्॥

In Kaliyuga, foremost importance is given to nāmasankīrtanam, and hence, stotras such as these should be recited with bhakti, regularly:

ध्यायन् कृते यजन् यज्ञैः त्रेतायां द्वापरेऽर्चयन्।
यदाप्नोति तदाप्नोति कलौ सङ्कीर्त्य केशवम्॥

There are several people whom I must thank for their contributions to this book. I cannot undermine the importance of the Sanskrit Documents Website (http://sanskritdocuments.org/), which happens to be the source for almost all of the texts contained in here. Many thanks to volunteers to build and present such a wonderful collection online.

I must acknowledge the efforts of my friend Prasād, who has been instrumental (and almost wholly responsible) for the improved formatting in this book. I consulted him several times for help with XeLaTeX. But for his TeX macros, some of the alignments would have never happened! I must also thank the writers of the software ITranslator (http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html), which has been the hammer-and-nail for compiling this book. The other tool critical for this book was XeLaTeX, and it was indeed the release of MiKTeX 2.7 (http://www.miktex.org/) that led me to experiment with XeLaTeX, which I think has been a success.

I take this opportunity to seek the blessings of my Appa, Amma, my Guru Shri S. Ananthakrishnan, and my Mama, who have inspired me and taught me all that I know. I must definitely thank Sāketh too, who has been inspirational in several ways. I must specially thank my Amma, who has encouraged and inspired me a lot through the course of compiling this book. I also must thank her for proof-reading the text, and particularly helping with Śyāmalā dandakam. Thanks are also due to my wife, for her support and encouragement throughout.

Although we have put in efforts to remove any typographical errors in this book, I must emphasise that the errors in this book are solely due to my ignorance and I would be glad to rectify them. Please drop me a gmail_logoat karthik dot raman to notify me of even the smallest of errors. I welcome any suggestions on the content, as well as corrections.

यदक्षरपदभ्रष्टं मात्राहीनं तु यद्भवेत्।
तत्सर्वं क्षम्यतां देव नारायण नमोऽस्तु ते॥

This book is dedicated to Śrī Krishna.

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत्।

यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम्॥

— श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ९-२७

॥सर्वम् श्री कृष्णार्पणमस्तु॥

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