The Narayaneeyam is a condensed version of the Srimad Bhagavatam. It was composed by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri (1560–1666 AD), who was a great devotee and scholar. He lived in Guruvayur, a famed temple town in Kerala. Bhattathiri was a highly celebrated Sanskrit poet of Kerala.
Narayaneeyam tells the story of Lord Narayana. It consists of 1034 slokas or verses, which are divided into 100 dasakams or chapters. Each dasakam consists of 10 slokas roughly. The original Bhagavata Purana has 18,000 slokas penned by Sage Vyasa. It is believed that the work was blessed by Lord Krishna or Guruvayoorappan, who is the presiding deity of Guruvayur.
Narayaneeyam is a narration of a series of episodes from the Bhagavata Purana, especially the most pious of the lot. Vishnu’s incarnations of Vishnu are described with great piety, as Bhattathiri turns the episodes into solemn prayers and pours out his soul in total surrender before the Lord. The final dasaka, Kesadipaada Varnanam, is a top-to-toe portrayal of infant Krishna in all his glory.
Both as a devotional hymn and as a poem, Narayaneeyam has a very high place in Sanskrit literature both as a poem and a devotional hymn.Narayaneeyam can be said to be the masterpiece of Melpathur, and it is also the most widely read of all his works.
Reading the Narayaneeyam is said to possess the miraculous power of healing illnesses, both mental and physical. Daily reading of the work can help the devotees attain good health and vitality.
Keralites worship Krishna as Guruvayurappan in Guruvayur. As per local legends, Bhattathiri had a Guru called Achyuta Pisharadi, who had a severe attack of paralysis and suffered unbearable pain. Bhattathiri wanted to find a cure for his master and earnestly prayed for the disease to be transferred to himself so that his Guru would not have to suffer anymore. Lord Krishna granted Bhattathiri his desire, and soon he became crippled.
Once, the paralyzed Bhattathiri was carried into the Guruvayur temple, where he met Thunchath Ezhuthachan, a famous Malayalam poet. Ezhuthachan told Bhattathiri that if he began his treatment with fish, he could be cured. Bhattathiri’s disciples were shocked to hear this, as Bhattathiri was a devout Hindu and a vegetarian. He would consider it a sin to eat fish. But Bhattathiri understood what Ezhuthachan was hinting at – that he would be cured if he composed a hymn glorifying Krishna’s incarnations, beginning with Matsya, the fish incarnation.
So he began composing the Narayaneeyam. He would recite one dasakam, comprising ten verses, daily. According to local legend, on the hundredth day, he had a vision of the Lord. He composed a graphic description of this form, following which he became free of his disease.He was healed when he sang the completed Narayaneeyam in the temple on Kartika Ekadasi day.
Many are the benefits of Narayaneeyam chanting. Each chapter of the Narayaneeyam ends with a poignant and very moving prayer to the Lord to heal the sickness of all human beings. The Narayaneeyam is often chanted by unmarried men and women who offer garlands to Krishna when the chapter on Rukmini Swayamvara is chanted.
If you are suffering from poor health, disease or delay in marriage, etc., you can request a Vedic priest to chant this hymn for you. The Narayaneeyam comprises 1000+ verses, and the chanting takes an entire day to complete.
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