The Sri Hayagriva (also pronounced Hayagreeva) Stotram is a hymn on Sri Hayagriva, composed by Sri Vedanta Desikan, a saint and poet. Among his compilation of Stotras and philosophical works, his composition of the Sri Hayagriva Stotram is very powerful. Sri Hayagriva is the Supreme God of Knowledge in the Vaishnava Sampradaya. People recite this Stotram to enhance their learning faculties. The Stotram is immensely helpful to students and anyone having academic pursuits.
Sri Hayagriva is an avatar of Vishnu and a prominent deity in Vaishnavism. He is in the form of a beautiful white horse with the body of a human being. The God of all knowledge, his body has the luster and sparkle of a white crystal. In his four hands, he holds the Sudarshana Chakra (sacred disc), the Paanchajanyam (holy conch), a book, and the Jnana Mudra (gesture of knowledge). Seated with his consort Lakshmi, he is worshipped as Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva.
Legend of Sri Hayagriva
Sri Hayagriva is the God of Knowledge. Haya means horse, and Greeva is the neck. Sri Hayagriva is an incarnation of Vishnu. Sri Hayagriva is an avatar (incarnation) of Parama Vasudevan, who took this form during Pralayam (destruction), and all sources of nature were embedded in darkness. Humans and living beings, too, were caught up in the swirl of darkness and suffered. Vishnu incarnated as Aniruddhan and rested in a state of yogic sleep on the swirling waters. He reflected on rescuing lives from the depths of darkness and how he could create a new world. He then created Brahma Deva from the lotus arising from his navel and instructed him on the four Vedas, as well as on the intricate details of creation. Before the creation of Brahma, there were two drops of water on the leaf below the lotus flower. The two drops became two asuras -Madhu and Kaitabha, who entered the lotus flower through the stem. Brahma had just completed creating the four Vedas as four beautiful children when the asuras grabbed the babies and ran away to the nether world. Heartbroken, Brahma approached the incarnation of Vishnu, who then assumed the partly human, partly horse avatar Sri Hayagriva. He retrieved the Vedas and re-instructed Brahma Deva on the secrets of creation, using the Vedas.
There is another legend that states Vishnu composed the Vedas in the Hayagriva form and that this avatar precedes the Matsya avatar he took.
Sri Hayagriva Stotram
1) श्रीमान् वेङ्कटनाथार्यः कवितार्किककेसरी ।
वेदान्ताचार्यवर्यो मे सन्निधत्तां सदा हृदि ॥
ज्ञानानन्द मयं देवं निर्मलस्फटिकाकृतिम् ।
आधारं सर्व विद्यानां हयग्रीवम् उपास्महे ॥ १ ॥
Shriman Venkatnarthaye Kavitakirkkesari
Vedantacharyavaryo me Sannidhatam sada Hradi |
jñānānanda mayaṁ devaṁ nirmalasphaṭikākṛtim |
ādhāraṁ sarva vidyānāṁ hayagrīvam upāsmahe || 1 ||
Meditate upon the Supreme Being, Sri Hayagriva, the embodiment of knowledge. Sri Hayagriva is an integrated form of knowledge and bliss. The one with the face and neck of a horse and who has a radiant, sparkling body like a pure white crystal, he is the abode of all learning. He is the first God of all knowledge.
2) स्वतस्सिद्धं शुद्धस्फटिकमणि भूभृत्प्रतिभटं
सुधा सध्रीचीभिर् धुतिभिर् अवदातत्रिभुवनम् ।
अनन्तैस्त्रय्यन्तैर् अनुविहित हेषा हलहलं
हताशेषावद्यं हयवदन मीडी महि महः ॥ २ ॥
svatassiddhaṁ śuddhasphaṭikamaṇi bhūbhṛtpratibhaṭaṁ
sudhā sadhrīcībhir dhutibhir avadātatribhuvanam |
anantaistrayyantair anuvihita heṣā halahalaṁ
hatāśeṣāvadyaṁ hayavadana mīḍī mahi mahaḥ || 2 ||
Sing the glories of the radiant Sri Hayagriva, formed to banish the worldly afflictions of his devotees. His auspicious image is akin to pure white crystal. Sri Hayagriva radiates the white rays that resemble the lustrous nectar, thus making all the three worlds white, and rendering them pure. He bestows his grace on all three worlds.
The Hala Hala sound emitting from his form as a horse is a neighing sound that contains the essence of the Upanishads, and the tones of ornamentation in his legs. The neighing is echoed by the Vedas consistently. Sri Hayagriva’s neighing, the Hesha Hala Halam, removes inauspiciousness and sins, as well as obstacles from one’s path. Pray to Sri Hayagriva to remove misfortune to gain the ability to hear his auspicious neighing that acts as a soothing balm for one’s mundane afflictions.
3) समाहारस्साम्नां प्रतिपदमृचां धाम यजुषां
लयः प्रत्यूहानां लहरि विततिर्बोधजलधेः ।
कथा दर्पक्षुभ्यत् कथककुल कोलाहलभवं
हरत्वन्तर्ध्वान्तं हयवदन हेषा हलहलः ॥ ३ ॥
samāhārassāmnāṁ pratipadamṛcāṁ dhāma yajuṣāṁ
layaḥ pratyūhānāṁ lahari vitatirbodhajaladheḥ |
kathā darpakṣubhyat kathakakula kolāhalabhavaṁ
haratvantardhvāntaṁ hayavadana heṣā halahalaḥ || 3 ||
The neighing sounds of Hala Hala emanating from the divine throat of Sri Hayagriva are the collection of the Sama Vedas, the condensed meaning of the Rig Vedas, and the essence of the utterance of the Yajur Vedas. The form of Sri Hayagriva itself is the essence of Mantras as they are embedded in him. The Haya Haya sounds are the remover of all obstacles that stand in the way of any individual wanting to acquire pure knowledge. They are like the ceaseless waves from the ocean of true knowledge. They light the lamp of knowledge and illuminate our path towards Moksham (salvation).
The very sounds of the Hala Hala Dhvani dispel the inner darkness and confusion arising from fallacious arguments by vain disputants who distort the truth of the Vedas. The innocent and vulnerable are rescued from the noise made by proponents that defend their illusory opinions. The divine sounds of the neighing destroy the dark clouds that block our consciousness, and a real understanding of the principles, and release us from the cycle of birth and death.
4) प्राची सन्ध्या काचिदन्तर् निशायाः
प्रज्ञादृष्टेरञ्जन श्रीरपूर्वा ।
वक्त्री वेदान् भातु मे वाजि वक्त्रा
वागीशाख्या वासुदेवस्य मूर्तिः ॥ ४ ॥
prācī sandhyā kācidantar niśāyāḥ
prajñādṛṣṭerañjana śrīrapūrvā |
vaktrī vedān bhātu me vāji vaktrā
vāgīśākhyā vāsudevasya mūrtiḥ || 4 ||
The propitiousness of Sri Hayagriva with the power of his divine Hala Hala is like a sun rising to banish any lingering darkness. This lustrous image acts as a powerful medium that drives away the terror of the night. He is the propagator of the Vedas and the inner soul who lives inside all things and human beings in the universe.
He is the God of Speech, indeed the avatar of the Parama Vasudevan of Sri Vaikuntam. He is the powerful Vidya Moorthy who gave Veda-Upadesham to Brahma Deva. He is a divine force that helps reveal pure knowledge to us. He is that unique morning light that drives away the inner darkness, and one should pray that this auspicious and divine form of the Supreme Being shines before humanity and within. He has the power to make it possible for human beings to see hitherto, the unknown.
Vishnu, the Supreme Preserver, came to the rescue of Brahma Deva when he lost the Vedas to two asuras – Madhu and Kaitabha. God incarnated as Hayagriva and punished the two asuras. He rescued the Vedas and helped Brahma continue his duty. He is the Supreme God of Learning as he instructed Brahma Deva on the four Vedas.
5) विशुद्ध विज्ञान घन स्वरूपं
विज्ञान विश्राणन बद्ध दीक्षम् ।
दयानिधिं देहभृतां शरण्यं
देवं हयग्रीवम् अहं प्रपद्ये ॥ ५ ॥
viśuddha vijñāna ghana svarūpaṁ
vijñāna viśrāṇana baddha dīkṣam |
dayānidhiṁ dehabhṛtāṁ śaraṇyaṁ
devaṁ hayagrīvam ahaṁ prapadye || 5 ||
The devotees seek refuge in Sri Hayagriva, who is the supreme embodiment of pure and divine knowledge. He is the purest of the absolute. He is an overflowing treasure house of mercy, and he blesses the devotees who surrender unto him. He blesses them with his divine knowledge that will liberate them from the cycle of birth and death. He has taken the vow to free them from the darkness of ignorance. He stands as a beacon light, their sole refuge. He is the unfailing protector of all.
6) अपौरुषेयैर् अपि वाक्प्रपञ्चैः
अद्यापि ते भूति मदृष्ट पाराम् ।
स्तुवन्नहं मुग्ध इति त्वयैव
कारुण्यतो नाथ कटाक्षणीयः ॥ ६ ॥
apauruṣeyair api vākprapañcaiḥ
adyāpi te bhūti madṛṣṭa pārām |
stuvannahaṁ mugdha iti tvayaiva
kāruṇyato nātha kaṭākṣaṇīyaḥ || 6 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan, the composer of the Stotram, addresses Sri Hayagriva. He seeks forgiveness from God for his foolish yet bold attempt to sing his glories with his limited knowledge and faculties. The Vedas are vast and have no author. Even today, people struggle to define Sri Hayagriva’s distinctive qualities, his sacred entity, and the endless divine attributes. Even the great Vedas cannot fully comprehend and praise his glories completely.
The composer, a humble devotee, says he has stepped forward boldly out of sheer foolishness, to praise Sri Hayagriva. He claims he is his child with hardly any intellect and knows he is unfit to sing Sri Hayagriva’s glories. He craves forgiveness for his shortcomings to engage in this impossible task.
7) दाक्षिण्य रम्या गिरिशस्य मूर्तिः
देवी सरोजासन धर्मपत्नी ।
व्यासादयोऽपि व्यपदेश्य वाचः
स्फुरन्ति सर्वे तव शक्ति लेशैः ॥ ७ ॥
dākṣiṇya ramyā giriśasya mūrtiḥ
devī sarojāsana dharmapatnī |
vyāsādayo’pi vyapadeśya vācaḥ
sphuranti sarve tava śakti leśaiḥ || 7 ||
Sri Hayagriva is the God of all Knowledge and learning. He is the eternal source.
One of the foremost beneficiaries who obtained divine knowledge from Sri Hayagriva was Dakshinamoorthy. He sat under a golden banyan tree and taught the highest truth as absorbed from Sri Hayagriva, to the four eminent and older sages – Agasthyar, Pulasthyar, Dakshar, and Markandeyar, through the medium of silence.
Goddess Saraswati, the divine source of knowledge and the consort of Brahma, whose abode is the white lotus, and the mighty Sage Ved Vyas, all derived their divine speech from a minuscule fragment of the power of Sri Hayagriva, he who is the epitome of knowledge.
Sri Hayagriva is the Supreme source of divine knowledge. Great and eminent ones owe it to him for even the fraction of knowledge with which they have been empowered.
8) मन्दोऽभविष्यन् नियतं विरिञ्चो
वाचां निधे वञ्चित भाग धेयः ।
दैत्यापनीतान् दययैव भूयोऽपि
अध्यापयिष्यो निगमान् न चेत् त्वम् ॥ ८ ॥
mando’bhaviṣyan niyataṁ viriñco
vācāṁ nidhe vañcita bhāga dheyaḥ |
daityāpanītān dayayaiva bhūyo’pi
adhyāpayiṣyo nigamān na cet tvam || 8 ||
Sri Hayagriva is the treasure house of all knowledge. He gave the divine advice on the Vedas with meaning on obscure details to Brahma, who lost the Vedas to the two asuras -Madhu and Kaitabha, in his moment of distraction. At a total loss, Brahma did not know how to act. God’s empathy for Brahma’s plight moved him to recover the Vedas and re-instruct Brahma on the Vedas and their meaning once more.
Sri Hayagriva acted in time to restore Brahma’s fortune and status as the Creator, failing which he would have been incapable of performing his duties. Brahma Deva prayed to the Supreme Being to intervene so that he could have the fortune and blessing of being able to continue his duties of creation. God answered Brahma’s prayers and restored his divine knowledge.
9) वितर्क डोलां व्यवधूय सत्वे
बृहस्पतिं वर्तयसे यतस्त्वम् ।
तेनैव देव त्रिदशेश्वराणाम्
अस्पृष्ट डोलायित माधिराज्यम् ॥ ९ ॥
vitarka ḍolāṁ vyavadhūya satve
bṛhaspatiṁ vartayase yatastvam |
tenaiva deva tridaśeśvarāṇām
aspṛṣṭa ḍolāyita mādhirājyam || 9 ||
Sri Hayagriva, of the Supreme knowledge, steadied the Deva Guru, Brihaspathi, from deviating from the righteous path. Brihaspathi is the great teacher and son of Angirasa Prajapathi, one of the ten offspring of Brahma’s mind. He is known for his great intellect and power of speech and is an expert on astronomy and astrology.
Of impeccable ancestry and progeny, at one time, Brihaspathi himself got into trouble while interpreting the Dharma Shastras. He authored the Brihaspathi Samhita, an extensive collection of his teachings for the Devas. His mind started oscillating, and he was so confused that he ended up creating a worldly system that completely denied the existence of God. Sri Hayagriva intervened and stabilized Brihaspathi’s mind, putting him on the Saatvik Maarg (path of righteousness).
Sri Hayagriva went on to save both Brihaspathi and his followers from going down the wrong path. His timely intervention prevented the kingdoms of the Devas from wild oscillations and falling under the influence of the asuras.
Brihaspathi was saved from wrong logic and regained his divine knowledge. He accepted Sri Hayagriva as his timely protector and benefactor.
10) अग्नोउ समिद्धार्चिषि सप्ततन्तोः
आतस्थिवान् मन्त्रमयं शरीरम् ।
अखण्ड सारैर् हविषां प्रदानैः
आप्यायनं व्योम सदां विधत्से ॥ १० ॥
agnou samiddhārciṣi saptatantoḥ
ātasthivān mantramayaṁ śarīram |
akhaṇḍa sārair haviṣāṁ pradānaiḥ
āpyāyanaṁ vyoma sadāṁ vidhatse || 10 ||
While conducting a Yagna (ritual sacrifice), the person performing the ceremony calls upon the Devas to receive their share of Havis (oblations). The Devas called by name, come forward and put their hands forth directly to receive their share of Havis. Most times, the Agni Devta comes as a representation for the Devas. He acts as an intermediary in receiving the Havis from the Yagna.
In the Yagna performed by Brahma Deva atop Hasthi Giri, Sri Hayagriva himself appeared in the form of Varadarajan amidst the towering flames of the fire of the Yagna Kuntam (place for sacred fire). He received the Havis directly, which made Brahma very happy and fulfilled. The Devas had arrived and assembled as their names were called. When they stretched out their hands, the Havis eluded them. Sri Hayagriva accepted the sacred offering directly, and Brahma explained to the Devas he was performing a special Yagna, and that his motive was specific. Sri Hayagriva received the Havis directly and distributed it to the Devas. When he gifted the Devas the tasty Havis, it gave them complete contentment.
11) यन्मूलमीदृक् प्रतिभाति तत्वं
या मूलमाम्नाय महाद्रुमाणाम् ।
तत्वेन जानन्ति विशुद्ध सत्वाः
त्वाम् अक्षराम् अक्षर मातृकां ते ॥ ११ ॥
yanmūlamīdṛk pratibhāti tatvaṁ
yā mūlamāmnāya mahādrumāṇām |
tatvena jānanti viśuddha satvāḥ
tvām akṣarām akṣara mātṛkāṁ te || 11 ||
Sri Hayagriva is the form of Pranavam. He is the source of all letters and the chief cause of the universe. The universe is made up of Devas, humans, and other living beings that include animals and plants. There are the fundamental forces of nature that include the wind, sky, water, fire, earth, and other realities. They are created with the help of the Vedas, which are like trees comprising of several branches. The principal root for all Vedas is the Mantram, which is called Pranavam. Also known as Ek Aksharam, this is an indestructible Aksharam (letter) and the foremost. Those on the righteous path can comprehend correctly that Sri Hayagriva is the original form of Pranavam. He is the source of all letters and the base for all knowledge.
12) अव्याकृताद् व्याकृत वानसि त्वं
नामानि रूपाणि च यानि पूर्वम् ।
शंसन्ति तेषां चरमां प्रतिष्टां
वागीश्वर त्वां त्वदुपज्ञ वाचः ॥ १२ ॥
avyākṛtād vyākṛta vānasi tvaṁ
nāmāni rūpāṇi ca yāni pūrvam |
śaṁsanti teṣāṁ caramāṁ pratiṣṭāṁ
vāgīśvara tvāṁ tvadupajña vācaḥ || 12 ||
Sri Hayagriva is acknowledged as the God of all knowledge. The universe had no shape or name before creation. Out of the source of nature, he created egos and the Pancha Bhootams (air, water, fire, sky, and land). He gave them names and a tangible form.
Sri Hayagriva then entered them as the Antarayami (omniscient- all-knowing). He dwells within everyone and is the ultimate destination. The Vedas that originated from him salute him as their primary source and the goal of the universe. Those blessed with vast knowledge and Vedic speech realize that Sri Hayagriva is not only the Creator but also the ultimate destination. He is the Prajapathi (King) and creates everyone and then dwells in them. Sri Hayagriva is all-encompassing and has no equal or superior.
13) मुग्धेन्दु निष्यन्द विलोभ नीयां
मूर्तिं तवानन्द सुधा प्रसूतिम् ।
वेला मुदारामिव दुग्ध सिन्धोः ॥ १३ ॥
mugdhendu niṣyanda vilobha nīyāṁ
mūrtiṁ tavānanda sudhā prasūtim |
velā mudārāmiva dugdha sindhoḥ || 13 ||
Sri Hayagriva is described here as a pure crystal whose hue is comparable to the luminescent, cooling white rays of the moon that are comforting and remove all worldly afflictions. This image of Sri Hayagriva creates a lot of delight for those who meditate deeply on him and have the great fortune of having a darshan (viewing) of his spotless sacred presence. The image of Sri Hayagriva is compared to the waves generating from the milky ocean. The great venerable and knowledgeable ones meditate on this image and are in a blissful state. The divine image of Sri Hayagriva comprises a pristine pure whiteness and beauty, he who emanates hues like the cooling rays of the moon that resemble rejuvenating nectar. These delightful waves splash on the meditators, immersing them in a state of bliss that cannot be described. A blessed one recognizes Sri Hayagriva as the ultimate destination.
14) मनोगतं पश्यति यः सदा त्वां
मनीषिणां मानस राज हंसम् ।
स्वयं पुरोभाव विवादभाजः
किंकुर्वते तस्य गिरो यथार्हम् ॥ १४ ॥
manogataṁ paśyati yaḥ sadā tvāṁ
manīṣiṇāṁ mānasa rāja haṁsam |
svayaṁ purobhāva vivādabhājaḥ
kiṁkurvate tasya giro yathārham || 14 ||
The king swans represented by yogis and sanyasis take up abode in the divine lake Manasarovar, and Sri Hayagriva chooses to take up abode in their minds and hearts. Yogis, who meditate on the sacred form of Sri Hayagriva, have the power to visualize him seated on a white lotus within their heart. They are the ones blessed with the command of the divine speech. God chooses these devotees as his abode and helps them in their meditational efforts. All forms of knowledge rush to serve the yogis who visualize Sri Hayagriva in the core of their being. The blessed ones become the source of all knowledge.
15) अपि क्षणार्धं कलयन्ति ये त्वां
आप्लावयन्तं विशदैर् मयूखैः ।
वाचां प्रवाहैर् अनिवारितैस्ते
मन्दाकिनीं मन्दयितुं क्षमन्ते ॥ १५ ॥
api kṣaṇārdhaṁ kalayanti ye tvāṁ
āplāvayantaṁ viśadair mayūkhaiḥ |
vāchaam pravāhair anivāritaiste
mandākinīṁ mandayituṁ kṣamante || 15 ||
The devotees of Sri Hayagriva need to meditate for only half a moment on his luminous, white, lustrous form, so that they may receive the benefits of being covered and drenched in his spotless white rays emanating from his form, like ever-flowing nectar of the moon. The drenching the devotees receive from the pure white rays from him, gifts them the purity and momentum of divine speech that is faster than the effervescent Akasa Ganga flowing from the mountains. The speed of Akasa Ganga pales into insignificance when compared to the speed of divine speech, of those blessed by God. Such blessed ones have the gift of Vedic mantras.
16) स्वामिन् भवद्ध्यान सुधाभिषेकात्
वहन्ति धन्याः पुलकानुबन्धम् ।
अलक्षिते क्वापि निरूढ मूलं
अङ्गेष्विवानन्दथुम् अङ्कुरन्तम् ॥ १६ ॥
svāmin bhavaddhyāna sudhābhiṣekāt
vahanti dhanyāḥ pulakānubandham |
alakṣhite kvāpi nirūḍha mūlaṁ
aṅgeṣvivānandathum aṅkurantam || 16 ||
The devotees of Sri Hayagriva experience great joy when they focus their attention on his pure form. They meditate on him without letting up. Deep in meditation, they have the delightful experience of being flooded in nectar. The joy of experiencing God in the deepest core of their hearts makes their hairs stand on end. Their contemplation of Sri Hayagriva raises hairs as roots in their hearts, which later take life externally and sprout on the limbs, where they stand on end. The heart is the core and source of a being where happiness is experienced. Tears of joy and the happiness that sprouts from the inner soul to the external limbs are a symbol of the blissful experience.
17) स्वामिन् प्रतीचा हृदयेन धन्याः
त्वद्ध्यान चन्द्रोदय वर्धमानम् ।
अमान्त मानन्द पयोधिमन्तः
पयोभिरक्ष्णां परिवाहयन्ति ॥ १७ ॥
svāmin pratīcha hṛdayena dhanyāḥ
tvaddhyāna candrodaya vardhamānam |
amānta mānanda payodhimantaḥ
payobhirakṣṇāṁ parivāhayanti || 17 ||
The yogis are deep in the meditation of Sri Hayagriva. Their minds are pulled away from external distractions and pulled inwards. Their focus is only on God. In a state of deep meditation, they visualize the form of the divine and auspicious Sri Hayagriva. Their minds are uplifted, and they experience a surge of happiness, like an ocean rising when it witnesses the moon rising in the sky. That wave of immense joy cannot be controlled, and the dam breaks. Devotees experience a flow of tears of joy that cannot be contained, and they spill over. These are the blessed ones who have such uplifting experiences that can bring eternal tears to their eyes upon having a Darshan (sacred view) of Sri Hayagriva.
18) स्वैरानुभावास् त्वदधीन भावाः
समृद्ध वीर्यास् त्वदनुग्रहेण ।
विपश्चितो नाथ तरन्ति मायां
वैहारिकीं मोहन पिञ्छिकां ते ॥ १८ ॥
svairānubhāvās tvadadhīna bhāvāḥ
samṛddha vīryās tvadanugraheṇa |
vipaścito nātha taranti māyāṁ
vaihārikīṁ mohana piñchikāṁ te || 18 ||
The ones who are fortunate to experience Sri Hayagriva are truly evolved and are connected to the Supreme Being. These wise ones place their minds at the feet of Sri Hayagriva. They become glorified in their greatness. So concentrated are they at the feet of Sri Hayagriva that they gain immense strength. The devout pray to Sri Hayagriva, confirming their complete surrender unto him. They seek his help to cross the Maaya (illusion) that flows without a beginning or an end, that denies them the true vision of God.
The knowledgeable devotees cross the line of Maaya that hypnotizes humans just the way a magician would captivate his audience. Sri Hayagriva bestows blessings on his ardent devotees to transcend this difficult Maaya (illusion) seamlessly. God has the Maaya, which is a great power that he projects, from whose grip no one can escape unless he gives his blessings. God observes the level of Bhakti in his devotees that melts his heart, and he helps them cross his Maaya.
19) प्राङ् निर्मितानां तपसां विपाकाः
प्रत्यग्र निश्श्रेयस संपदो मे ।
समेधिषीरंस्तव पाद पद्मे
संकल्प चिन्तामणयः प्रणामाः ॥ १९ ॥
prāṅ nirmitānāṁ tapasāṁ vipākāḥ
pratyagra niśśreyasa saṁpado me |
samedhiṣīraṁstava pāda padme
saṁkalpa cintāmaṇayaḥ praṇāmāḥ || 19 ||
The knowledgeable and devout are aware that it is not easy to have the blessing of worshipping the divine feet of Sri Hayagriva. Moksha (salvation) can only be attained through severe penance in previous births. When a devotee worships the feet of the Supreme Being, it is the rarest of rare wealth, the blessing of salvation. Beyond the Supreme Being, one can attain other benefits. However, worshipping the sacred feet of God is akin to the Chinthamani Rathnam (rarest of gems) that bestows all blessings sought from it.
The attainment of salvation is obtained from blessings at the feet of Sri Hayagriva. One prays for continued and uninterrupted meditation of the sacred lotus feet.
20) विलुप्त मूर्धन्य लिपिक्र माणां
सुरेन्द्र चूडापद लालितानाम् ।
त्वदंघ्रि राजीव रजः कणानां
भूयान् प्रसादो मयि नाथ भूयात् ॥ २० ॥
vilupta mūrdhanya lipikra māṇāṁ
surendra cūḍāpada lālitānām |
tvadaṁghri rājīva rajaḥ kaṇānāṁ
bhūyān prasādo mayi nātha bhūyāt || 20 ||
Brahma Deva encodes the Brahma Lipi (fate) on a person’s skull when one is born. The person’s life follows those instructions. The Brahma Lipis, for a devotee in pursuit of Moksha (salvation), interfere with his meditation and the penance he carries out. The life of such a person thus experiences the cycle of birth and death, and the perception of attainment of Supreme Blessings for salvation recedes further and further away.
However, the power of the sacred dust on the lotus feet of Sri Hayagriva is incomparable and is found on the heads of Brahma and other Devas who can then overcome their misfortunes. The access to the sacred dust of the lotus feet could change the fate of a human being. May the power of that sacred dust settle on the heads of devotees permanently and erase the Brahma Lipis making them untenable, as the sacred dust has the power to completely eradicate the Brahma Lipis, written on one’s skull. May the devout attain Moksha (salvation).
21) परिस्फुरन् नूपुर चित्रभानु
प्रकाश निर्धूत तमोनुषङ्गाम् ।
पदद्वयीं ते परिचिन् महेऽन्तः
प्रबोध राजीव विभात सन्ध्याम् ॥ २१ ॥
parisphuran nūpura citrabhānu –
prakāśa nirdhūta tamonuṣaṅgām |
padadvayīṁ te paricin mahe’ntaḥ
prabodha rājīva vibhāta sandhyām || 21 ||
The focus is on the sacred lotus feet of Sri Hayagriva when devotees meditate on them, where the ankles are adorned with anklets inlaid with precious gems. The luster from the gems has the power to match the brightness of the sun and become the early rays of dawn, chasing any traces of darkness that linger. Devotees pray that any hint of ignorance should be banished by the luster of God’s sacred feet. The knowledgeable compare the rising of the sun that makes the lotus blossom, to the awakening and growth of Bhakti in them as they stay focused on the sacred feet of Sri Hayagriva. The radiance of the lotus feet of Sri Hayagriva removes any trace of ignorance. The meditation on the lustrous feet of God adorned with gems can dispel the dark clouds, while there is the growth of divine knowledge that blooms from a shrunken state into full blossom.
22) त्वत् किङ्करा लंकरणो चितानां
त्वयैव कल्पान्तर पालितानाम् ।
मञ्जुप्रणादं मणिनूपुरं ते
मञ्जूषिकां वेद गिरां प्रतीमः ॥ २२ ॥
tvat kiṅkarā laṁkaraṇo citānāṁ
tvayaiva kalpāntara pālitānām |
mañjupraṇādaṁ maṇinūpuraṁ te
mañjūṣikāṁ veda girāṁ pratīmaḥ || 22 ||
The divine speech generated by the knowledge of the Vedas is compared to the precious gems that adorn the anklets on the sacred feet of Sri Hayagriva. Humans typically tend to safeguard their jewels in a safe box. The Veda mantras that represent precious jewelry for the devout are similarly stored in one’s head. The Vedas are protected through the instructions given by God to Brahma in every period. The anklets worn on the sacred feet of Sri Hayagriva have matchless precious gems. These anklets make twinkling and sacred sounds when they move, which are delectable to the ears of the devotees. The sounds of the anklets provide a deeper meaning of the Vedas. The sacred anklets are like safe boxes that protect precious Vedas.
The Vedas are compared to the precious gems in the sacred anklets, which, when moved, produce sweet, sacred sounds. Anklets are made of small golden balls with gems rolling inside freely. And the golden balls are joined together to form the anklets with gems inside. When God walks, he generates sounds from the anklets that sound divine to the devotees meditating on the sacred feet. Losing themselves in the sounds made by the sacred anklets, the devout attain divine knowledge.
23) संचिन्तयामि प्रतिभाद शास्थान्
संधुक्षयन्तं समय प्रदीपान् ।
विज्ञान कल्पद्रुम पल्लवाभं
व्याख्यान मुद्रा मधुरं करं ते ॥ २३ ॥
saṁcintayāmi pratibhāda śāsthān
saṁdhukṣayantaṁ samaya pradīpān |
vijñāna kalpadruma pallavābhaṁ
vyākhyāna mudrā madhuraṁ karaṁ te || 23 ||
Sri Hayagriva’s right-hand serves as an instrument to kindle the wick in the lamps to impart the meaning of the Vedas to the devotees, and the position of the right- hand is instrumental in teaching the deeper meaning of the views that devotees need to grasp. The sacred and knowledgeable persona of God is the Kalpakaa tree that grants boons to devotees during their meditation.
The right hand is gracious and held in a Gnana Mudra pose that is beautiful to behold.
It represents the tender shoot of the Kalpakaa tree and embodies knowledge. It kindles the knowledge of the eternal Vedas lit by the bright intellect, and is the eternal lamp nourished and protected by Sri Hayagriva. The sacred right-hand removes all ignorance, and the position of the hand symbolizes imparting knowledge to the devout.
24) चित्ते करोमि स्फुरिताक्षमालं
सव्येतरं नाथ करं त्वदीयम् ।
ज्ञानामृतो दञ्चन लम्पटानां
लीला घटी यन्त्र मिवाश्रितानाम् ॥ २४ ॥
citte karomi sphuritākṣamālaṁ
savyetaraṁ nātha karaṁ tvadīyam |
jñānāmṛto dañcana lampaṭānāṁ
līlā ghaṭī yantra mivāśritānām || 24 ||
The right hand of Sri Hayagriva holds a Japa Mala (prayer beads) that is akin to a Ghatee Yantram (machine for pumping water). Just as the machine rotates and brings up water at every turn, there is a movement of the beads in God’s right hand, which reflects his blessing to the devotees when he brings the nectar of divine knowledge from his depths, so that his devotees may gain wisdom. He blesses the devout abundantly with divine knowledge.
25)प्रबोध सिन्धोररुणैः प्रकाशैः
प्रवाल सङ्घात मिवोद्वहन्तम् ।
विभावये देव सपुस्तकं ते
वामं करं दक्षिणम् आश्रितानाम् ॥ २५ ॥
prabodha sindhoraruṇaiḥ prakāśaiḥ
pravāla saṅghāta mivodvahantam |
vibhāvaye deva sapustakaṁ te
vāmaṁ karaṁ dakṣiṇam āśritānām || 25 ||
The lower right hand of Sri Hayagriva embraces his consort, Maha Lakshmi. The hand also holds a book. The left-hand contains a reddish hue that reminds Sri Vedanta Desikan, composer of the Hayagriva Stotram, of the assembled corals that have been brought from the depth of the ocean of knowledge. This hand reflects power and glory that also blesses the devout and knowledgeable with boons they desire.
The halo of reddish hue emanating from the left hand of Sri Hayagriva is a reminder of the enlightenment that comes to the rescue of those who seek his sacred feet in refuge. The sacred hand removes ignorance in the minds of the devotees.
26) तमांसि भित्वा विशदैर्मयूखैः
संप्रीणयन्तं विदुषश्चकोरान् ।
निशामये त्वां नव पुण्डरीके
शरद्घने चन्द्रमिव स्फुरन्तम् ॥ २६ ॥
tamāṁsi bhitvā viśadairmayūkhaiḥ
saṁprīṇayantaṁ viduṣaścakorān |
niśāmaye tvāṁ nava puṇḍarīke
śaradghane candramiva sphurantam || 26 ||
The radiance of Sri Hayagriva gladdens the hearts of all scholars as he destroys the pervading darkness. God is seated on a newly blossomed radiant white lotus, and he emanates spotless white rays. Witnessing the sacred form of Sri Hayagriva, devotees are reminded of the white and undulating hues of the autumn moon, that removes the darkness of the night. The white moonbeams make the Chakora birds happy as it is their only nourishment.
Sri Hayagriva on the radiant white lotus is compared to the full moon in autumn, radiating white and spotless beams of light. The scholars are comparable to the Chakora birds waiting in anxiety for the moonbeams to sustain themselves. The scholars are sustained by the effervescent white rays of light from God, which also destroys ignorance around the world.
27) दिशन्तु मे देव सदा त्वदीयाः
दया तरङ्गानुचराः कटाक्षाः ।
श्रोत्रेषु पुंसाम् अमृतं क्षरन्तीं
सरस्वतीं संश्रित कामधेनुम् ॥ २७ ॥
dishantu me deva sadā tvadīyāḥ
dayā taraṅgānucarāḥ kaṭākṣāḥ |
śrotreṣu puṁsām amṛtaṁ kṣarantīṁ
sarasvatīṁ saṁśrita kāmadhenum || 27 ||
The devotee prays for the divine glances of Sri Hayagriva to grant him the powers of praising him. The Stotrams of the Vedas sound like the nectar of heavenly music to the ears of the devout. May auspiciousness descend on those who recite the Stotrams.
Sri Vedanta Desikan, the composer of the Hayagriva Stotram, prays to God to empower him with divine speech to create poems through God’s eternal grace. He implores God to shower his blessings on him as he readies for debates and prays to God to empower him with the Veda mantras so that he can debate with clarity and strength of mind. He prays that the nectar of the Veda mantras stream into the ears of devotees and bless them to realize their desires.
Sri Vedanta Desikan prays for the boon of mastery over his speech, and the power for him to win debates with those assembled, master poets and logicians.
28) विशेष वित्पारिष देषु नाथ
विदग्ध गोष्ठी समराङ्गणेषु ।
जिगीषतो मे कवितार्कि केन्द्रान्
जिह्वाग्र सिंहासनम् अभ्युपेयाः ॥ २८ ॥
viśeṣa vitpāriṣa deṣu nātha
vidagdha goṣṭhī samarāṅgaṇeṣu |
jigīṣato me kavitārki kendrān
jihvāgra siṁhāsanam abhyupeyāḥ || 28 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan here prays for the power of speech so that he can win over poets and logicians. He seeks the blessings of Sri Hayagriva to join the battlefield of contestants where very learned scholars will mediate the debates. He seeks blessings to win over the representatives of great mathams (religious centers). He prays for the power of the Vedic mantras that will establish the truth. He implores Sri Hayagriva that he may succeed in his efforts to protect the Siddhantham (ideology)and prays that God sits on the tip of his tongue to let flow the divine speech. God’s presence is essential in a debate over rival ideologies.
29) त्वां चिन्तयन् त्वन्मयतां प्रपन्नः
त्वामुद्गृणन् शब्द मयेन धाम्ना ।
स्वामिन् समाजेषु समेधिषीय
स्वच्छन्द वादाहव बद्ध शूरः ॥ २९ ॥
tvāṁ cintayan tvanmayatāṁ prapannaḥ
tvāmudgṛṇan śabda mayena dhāmnā |
svāmin samājeṣu samedhiṣīya
svacchanda vādāhava baddha śhooraḥ || 29 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan seeks the blessings of Sri Hayagriva to meditate on his divine form. He seeks God’s help to imbibe his attributes and that he may have oneness with him. He wants to chant the sacred mantra that can help him conquer the battlefield of debates with rival ideologies. He seeks to be a warrior and emerge victorious with Sri Hayagriva’s blessings and have endless strength to argue debates.
Once Sri Hayagriva sits on the tongue of Sri Vedanta Desikan, the devotee goes into deep meditation and reaches a state of oneness with God. He performs the Hayagriva Mantra in meditative repetition. It is Sri Hayagriva who wins these debates using Sri Vedanta Desikan as an instrument.
30) नाना विधानामगतिः कलानां
न चापि तीर्थेषु कृतावतारः ।
ध्रुवं तवानाथ परिग्रहायाः
नवं नवं पात्रमहं दयायाः ॥ ३० ॥
nānā vidhānāmagatiḥ kalānāṁ
na cāpi tīrtheṣu kṛtāvatāraḥ |
dhruvaṁ tavānātha parigrahāyāḥ
navaṁ navaṁ pātramahaṁ dayāyāḥ || 30 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan appeals to Sri Hayagriva’s compassion, stating his position to be hopeless and hapless, and that he qualifies the best for God’s mercy and blessings. The devotee prays to Sri Hayagriva, seeking his blessings for a clear understanding of ideologies so that he can be competent and ably defend them in debates. The devotee explains his shortcomings to Sri Hayagriva, stating that he has not devoted time to learn any knowledge or skills, nor has he accumulated any blessings by bathing in holy waters. He has not rendered any help or excellent services to his teachers to attain their blessings. He appeals to God, who has infinite compassion and kindness to welcome the hopeless and hapless with open arms. An individual with such limitations as himself, the devotee says he is best qualified to receive the mercy and blessings of Sri Hayagriva.
31) अकम्पनीयान् यपनीति भेदैः
अलंकृषीरन् हृदयं मदीयम् ।
शङ्का कलङ्का पगमोज्ज्वलानि
तत्वानि सम्यञ्चि तव प्रसादात् ॥ ३१ ॥
akampanīyān yapanīti bhedaiḥ
alaṁkṛṣīran hṛdayaṁ madīyam |
śaṅkā kalaṅkā pagamojjvalāni
tatvāni samyañci tava prasādāt || 31 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan seeks Sri Hayagriva’s blessings so that any doubts he fosters in his mind about his ideology will be erased. He seeks God’s benevolence to receive the true and real meanings that will be etched in his heart, that will remain steady and unshakable by brilliant logic and will disclose the truth, putting to rest all doubts and mistaken perceptions about the truth. There would be scholars who would engage in debate with Sri Vedanta Desikan, who would have varying opinions but would be unable to attack the true meaning of his ideology. He seeks blessings from Sri Hayagriva to fulfill the services in support of his spiritual tradition.
The melting heart of Sri Hayagriva has full compassion for the devotee, and he blesses him heartily to go forth and extoll the virtues of the spiritual tradition upheld by him.
32) व्याख्या मुद्रां करसरसिजैः पुस्तकं शङ्क चक्रे
बिभ्रद् भिन्नस्फटिक रुचिरे पुण्डरीके निषण्णः ।
अम्लानश्रीर् अमृत विशदैर् अंशुभिः प्लावयन् मां
आविर्भूया दनघ महिमा मानसे वाग धीशः ॥ ३२ ॥
vyākhyā mudrāṁ karasarasijaiḥ pustakaṁ śaṅka chakre
bibhrad bhinnasphaṭika rucire puṇḍarīke niṣaṇṇaḥ |
amlānaśrīr amṛta viśadair aṁśubhiḥ plāvayan māṁ
āvirbhūyā danagha mahimā mānase vāga dheeshaḥ || 32 ||
The devotees are in deep meditation of the divine form of Sri Hayagriva. God holds in his four hands that are soft and resemble the lotus, the Sudarshan Chakra (sacred wheel), the Paancha Janyam (holy conch), the Jnana Mudra (gesture of knowledge) and a Book. Sitting on a fresh white lotus in bloom, God reminds his devotees of the aura of a pure white crystal that has been freshly opened. The luster of Sri Hayagriva draws devotees and never fades. His glories are eternal, and one cannot stop singing in praise of them. Sri Vedanta Desikan prays for Sri Hayagriva to bestow the divine, white, cool rays of his nectarine upon him, and implores him to reside in the innermost core of his heart.
33) वागर्थ सिद्धिहेतोः
पठत हयग्रीव संस्तुतिं भक्त्या ।
वेङ्कट नाथेन विरचिता मेताम् ॥ ३३ ॥
paṭhata hayagrīva saṁstutiṁ bhaktyā |
veṅkaṭa nāthena viracitā metām || 33 ||
Sri Vedanta Desikan says that the verse appeals to people who are righteous and faithful to learn the Stotram composed on Sri Hayagriva by a legend among poets and logicians, by the name of Venkatanathan. Everyone should recite this Stotram so that they, too, can be blessed with the power of composing poetry and attain knowledge about the true meaning of principles and life’s aims. The Stotram should be learned to obtain blessings of the Veda mantras with meanings. The Sri Hayagriva Stotram is a very auspicious rendering of the adoration of God. One’s Bhakti (devotion) should be steadfast and tenacious to attain the blessings of Sri Hayagriva.
॥ इति श्रीहयग्रीवस्तोत्रं समाप्तम् ॥
Iti Shri Hayagriva Stotram Samaptam.
The Sri Hayagriva Stotram ends here.
कवितार्किकसिंहाय कल्याणगुणशालिने । श्रीमते वेङ्कटेशाय वेदान्तगुरवे नमः ॥
KavitaKirksinghaye Kalyaangunshaline Srimade Venkateshaye Vedantgurve Namah
Devotees pray sincerely to Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva. May he confer his choicest blessings on those who learn the Sri Hayagriva Stotram composed by Shri Vedanta Desikan, every day.