Invocations, Pleas, Prayers, Poems, Hymns and Other Homage to HER:

The Goddess named — Narmada

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Beauteous with the breakers of the heaving waves of ocean,
With which the drops of Thy waters mingle.
O giver of prosperity! I salute Thy feet bathed in water,
Which destroys rebirth, the cause of which is sin,
As also all fear at the coming of the messenger of death.
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute Thy lotus-like feet
Giver of celestial (blessing) to the lowly fish in Thy waters,
Foremost of all sacred rivers.
Destructress of the heavy weight of sin of the Kaliyuga,
Giver of welfare to multitude of fine fish, tortoise, alligators, and ruddy geese.
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
The overflow from Thy depths washes away the sins of the world.
Thou destroyest all great sins and the mountain of calamities.
O giver of happiness to the son of Mrkandu,
At the fearful moment of the world's dissolution.
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
And Thy waters worshipped by the son of Mrkandu, Saunaka, and other enemies of the Asuras.
Destructress of rebirth in the ocean of the world,
Protectress from all worldly pains,
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Worshipped by countless lakhs of immortals, Asuras, Kinnaras and others,
Whose banks resound with the fearless song of many lakhs of birds.
Giver of happiness to Vasista, Pipala, Karddama, and other sages,
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Held in the minds of the bees, Sanatkumara, Naciketa, Kasyapa,
And by the bees, Atri, Narada and other sages.
Thou who blesseth the work of sun, moon, Rantideva, and Devaraja,
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
Weapon against lakhs of sins known and unknown,
The Giver of enjoyment and liberation to all beings and animals,
And of happiness to the abode of Virinci, Visnu, and Siva,
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

O Devi Narmada! I salute thy lotus-like feet,
How sweet is the sound heard on the banks of Her who has sprung from the hair of Siva.
Destroyer of pain and sin of hunter, and singer, of the learned and the fool,
And of the heat of the submarine fire,
Giver of happiness to all being.
Tvadiya pada pankajam namami devi narmade.

Who ever reads but thrice daily this hymn to Narmada
Will never fall into misfortune,
He will never see Raurava,
He will never be reborn,
But will reach the glorious abode of Siva,
So difficult to attain, by this body so easily gained.

translation and notes by Sir John Woodroffe
{slightly edited by FW} from his Hymns to the Goddess and Hymn to Kali. Narmada - One of the sacred rivers of India, and a form of the Devi.
ocean - The ocean is the husband of all rivers.
sin - Rebirth is caused by karma.
messenger of death - When a man is about to die, a messenger is sent by Yama to take his life.
Tvadiya - The refrain {which is Her mantra - FW} is translated in the first line.
Foremost of all - This is stuti (praise). In all sanskrit works the particular Devata who is the subject of hymn, meditation or prayer is spoken of as the greatest of all. Tirtha is not only a place of pilgrimage such as a shrine and the like, but also, according to the Amarakosa, a sacred river.
Kaliyuga - The present or fourth age, marked by the predominance of sin each of the preceding eras (Dvapara, Treta, Satya) being more virtuous than the other. In the Kaliyuga era time works evilly.
ruddy geese - The cakravaka bird (by some said to be the Brahmini duck) celebrated in sanskrit poetry for its devotion to its mate. During the night-time the male and female birds call to each other from opposite banks of the stream, as I have heard them do on the reaches of the lonely Malia River in Northern Orissa.
mountain - Daritapadacalam.
Mrkandu - The Mahamuni Markandeya.
Protectress - Bhavabdhi dukhha barmade. Literally, "armour given to the pain of the world."
lakhs - 100,000.
immortals - Amara - ie, Devas
Asuras - Demonic spirits, opponents of the Devas or Suras.
Kinnaras - A class of spirits (Devayoni).
fearless song - Dhira, that is because they are undisturbed by men who have become enemies to their brother creation.
Vasista, etc - named Rsis and munis, more are named in verse 6.
sages - Sista, which means a gentle and learned man who governs himself by his own wisdom, and is not goverened by external restraints.
bees - The bee hovers on the lotus seeking honey. The sages gather round the feet of the Devi seeking the wisdom of which She is the embodiment.
Devaraja - Indra. {meaning something like "king of the gods", FW}
enjoyment - Both enjoyment and liberation is given to men: to animals enjoyment (bhukti), though they, too, by merit acquired in present birth may attain future birth in human form.
Virinci - Brahma.
sprung from the hair - Mahesakesajatate. As to Ganga, see p. 188, note 7. It is the same and only Devi who manifests both as Ganga and Narmada, and all other rivers and things.
hunter, and singer - Hunting in sinful. The singers are a mixed caste.
the submarine fire - Kiratasutavadavesu pandita sathe. When the Daksayajna was destroyed by Siva, it changed into a mare (Vadava). Siva followed, and it plunged into ocean. Fire is produced by it. The Sloka says that Her water is so great and pure that it is unaffected by this fire. As regards the rest of this somewhat obscure verse, it means that the Devi is the remover of the sin of all whoever they may be.
Raurava - One of the great hells.
this body - Not that it is easy to attain human birth. On the contrary, it said: "The state of a man is difficult to attain, and still more so that of a wise one." What is appaarently meant is that, compared with the difficulty of attaining to Siva, the state of humanity is easily attainable.

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