Sri Nataraja Stotram (Patanjali Krutam) in English:
॥ śrī naṭarāja stōtram (patañjalimuni kr̥tam) ॥
This hymn is by Sage Patanjali, author and compiler of the famous yogasuutra. Once upon a time, according to the story of the origin of the Nandi hymn, the holder of Shiva does not allow Patanjali Muni to receive the Darshan of Lord Shiva (Nataraja of Chidambaram). To reach Lord Shiva, Patanjali, mastering the grammatical forms, spontaneously composed this prayer in praise of the Lord without using an extended syllable (`diirgham ‘),) to make fun of Nandi. Shiva rejoiced quickly, gave Darshan to the devotee and danced to the rhythm of this song. The place where this incident would have occurred is Chidambaram (also known as Thillai), located about 100 kilometers from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is considered one of the most sacred places in India. In this temple, which has a gold-covered roof, Lord Nataraja is present in the form of a cosmic dance. Many books have been written about the grandeur of the temple and its divinity and can also be deduced from various hymns composed to praise the Lord by the saints of Shaiva Siddhanta.
caraṇaśr̥ṅgarahita śrī naṭarāja stōtraṁ
sadañcita-mudañcita nikuñcita padaṁ jhalajhalaṁ-calita mañju kaṭakaṁ |
patañjali dr̥gañjana-manañjana-macañcalapadaṁ janana bhañjana karam |
kadambarucimambaravasaṁ paramamambuda kadamba kaviḍambaka galam
cidambudhi maṇiṁ budha hr̥dambuja raviṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 1 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer Shiva, residing in the holy place, Chidambaram. He is called Hara (the destroyer) who smashed the three cities (of demon tripura). He is worshipped by good people. While dancing he has lifted one foot which is bent. His lovely bracelets are set in motion of dance movements and hence are making a jingling sound. He is like ointment to the eyes of Patanjali by whose application the vision gets clear for receiving knowledge. However, he is free from contamination of any kind. He destroys the cycle of birth (and death). He possesses the loveliness of Kadamba tree; wears the sky as a garment. His throat is dark like the multitude of rainy clouds. He is the jewel in the ocean of consciousness. He is the Sun blossoming the lotus- the heart of wise persons.
haraṁ tripura bhañjana-manantakr̥takaṅkaṇa-makhaṇḍadaya-mantarahitaṁ
viriñcisurasaṁhatipurandhara vicintitapadaṁ taruṇacandramakuṭam |
paraṁ pada vikhaṇḍitayamaṁ bhasita maṇḍitatanuṁ madanavañcana paraṁ
cirantanamamuṁ praṇavasañcitanidhiṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 2 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Shiva, residing in the holy place, Chidambaram. He is the destroyer of the world, who destroys sin and grants emancipation. He has destroyed the three cities of demon tripura, representing the three types of sorrows. He is wearing the great serpent, ananta, like a bracelet. He is incessantly showering compassion and is endless. “God Brahma, Indra and the other devatas meditate upon his feet. The crescent moon adorns his crown.”
The great one has crushed yama by his feet. His body is decorated with ash. He is inclined to brush aside cupid. His preciousness is saturated in the syllable – AUM.
avantamakhilaṁ jagadabhaṅga guṇatuṅgamamataṁ dhr̥tavidhuṁ surasarit-
taraṅga nikurumba dhr̥ti lampaṭa jaṭaṁ śamanadambhasuharaṁ bhavaharam |
śivaṁ daśadigantara vijr̥mbhitakaraṁ karalasanmr̥gaśiśuṁ paśupatiṁ
haraṁ śaśidhanañjayapataṅganayanaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 3 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Lord Shiva, residing in the holy place, Chidambaram, who protects all the world. His lofty place is due to the indestructible good qualities. It is difficult to grasp his nature. He has held a crescent moon in his forehead. His matted hair is covetous of holding the multitude of waves of the divine river, Ganga. He has dispelled the vanity of Yama and is capable of delivering men from the pangs of worldly life. The Lord of creatures, the auspicious God, in whose hand a young deer is dancing, has spread his hands in all ten quarters. The great destroyer has moon, fire and sun as his eyes.
anantanavaratnavilasatkaṭakakiṅkiṇijhalaṁ jhalajhalaṁ jhalaravaṁ
mukundavidhi hastagatamaddala layadhvanidhimiddhimita nartana padam |
śakuntaratha barhiratha nandimukha bhr̥ṅgiriṭisaṅghanikaṭaṁ bhayaharam
sananda sanaka pramukha vandita padaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 4 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Shiva residing in the holy place, Chidambaram. The tiny bells attached to his bracelets which are shining with innumerable gems of nine kinds are making a sweet jingling sound. The dancing movements of his feet are accompanied by the drum in the hands of Mukunda (Vishnu) and vidhi (Brahma). He is closely surrounded by Vishnu, riding a chariot to which a bird (Garuda) is yoked, by Kartikeya, riding a chariot to which a peacock is yoked, by a troupe of Gana-s consisting of Srngi, Riti, Bhrngi etc headed by Nandi. Prominent sages like Sananda and Sanaka are saluting his feet.
anantamahasaṁ tridaśavandya caraṇaṁ muni hr̥dantara vasantamamalam
kabandha viyadindvavani gandhavaha vahnimakha bandhuravimañju vapuṣam |
anantavibhavaṁ trijagadantara maṇiṁ trinayanaṁ tripura khaṇḍana param
sananda muni vandita padaṁ sakaruṇaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 5 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Lord Shiva, residing in the holy place called Chidambaram. His luster is beginningless and endless. His feet are revered by the gods. The pure one who is free from all blemishes resides in the interior of sages hearts. He wields a lovely body made up of the following components – water, sky, moon, earth, wind, fire, sacrificer (atman), and Sun. His riches are infinite; he is the jewel of the three worlds having three eyes, he is inclined to smash the three cities of Tripura. The God who takes pity (on the distressed) is saluted by Sage Sananda.
acintyamalivr̥nda ruci bandhuragalaṁ kurita kunda nikurumba dhavalam
mukunda sura vr̥nda bala hantr̥ kr̥ta vandana lasantamahikuṇḍala dharam |
akampamanukampita ratiṁ sujana maṅgalanidhiṁ gajaharaṁ paśupatim
dhanañjaya nutaṁ praṇata rañjanaparaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 6 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Shiva, residing in the holy place, Chidambaram. He is not capable of being understood by the faculty of thinking. His dark-colored throat is attractive with its resemblance to the color of a multitude of bees. His complexion is white like a bunch of blooming Kunda flowers. He wears a glittering appearance when saluted by Vishnu, gods, and Indra, the killer of balasyre. His ear ornament consists of the serpent. He is free from fear and hence unmoved. However, he took pity on Rati. He is a reservoir of all auspicious things for good persons. The destroyer of Gajasure is the Lord of creatures, praised by Arjuna. He is inclined to be delightful to persons who bow down to him.
paraṁ suravaraṁ puraharaṁ paśupatiṁ janita dantimukha ṣaṇmukhamamuṁ
mr̥ḍaṁ kanaka piṅgala jaṭaṁ sanaka paṅkaja raviṁ sumanasaṁ himarucim |
asaṅghamanasaṁ jaladhi janmagaralaṁ kavalayanta matulaṁ guṇanidhim
sananda varadaṁ śamitamindu vadanaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 7 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer Shiva residing in the holy place Chidambaram. He is the best among gods, the destroyer of the three cities for the benefit of the world. That Lord of creatures has given birth to elephant-headed Ganesha for warding off obstacles and to six-faced Kartikeya for leading a divine army. The benevolent god has hair that is brownish like gold. He is like Sun who causes the blooming of the lotus in the form of sage Sanaka. Having a mind kind to all, he wields the luster of snow. His mind is not attached to anything, even to Parvati. He has swallowed poison arising out of the ocean in order to save the world from its adverse effects. He is a storehouse of qualities, not comparable to anyone else. He has given boons to sage, Sananda. Having a face that is delightful like the moon, he has attained a blissful state.
ajaṁ kṣitirathaṁ bhujaṅgapuṅgavaguṇaṁ kanaka śr̥ṅgi dhanuṣaṁ karalasat
kuraṅga pr̥thu ṭaṅka paraśuṁ rucira kuṅkuma ruciṁ ḍamarukaṁ ca dadhataṁ |
mukunda viśikhaṁ namadavandhya phaladaṁ nigama vr̥nda turagaṁ nirupamaṁ
sa caṇḍikamamuṁ jhaṭiti saṁhr̥tapuraṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 8 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Lord Shiva, who resides in the holy place, Chidambaram, and He is without birth. The earth itself is his chariot. The great serpent, Vasuki is his bowstring. The golden peaked Meru is His bow. In His hands shines a deer, a big sword and an aze. He wields a damaru (drum) which has the color of lovely kumkuma. Mukunda himself is his arrow. He effectively grants the desire to those who salute him. The multitude of Vedic texts are his horses (or mind). The incomparable God accompanied by Chandika has quickly destroyed the cities of demon tripura.
anaṅgaparipanthinamajaṁ kṣiti dhurandharamalaṁ karuṇayantamakhilaṁ
jvalantamanalaṁ dadhatamantakaripuṁ satatamindra suravanditapadam |
udañcadaravindakula bandhuśata bimbaruci saṁhati sugandhi vapuṣaṁ
patañjali nutaṁ praṇava pañjara śukaṁ para cidambara naṭaṁ hr̥di bhaja || 9 ||
Heartily resort to the great dancer, Lord Shiva, who resides in the holy place, Chidambaram. Birthless, he is an enemy of Cupid. He bears the burden of the earth, He is intensely compassionate to all. The killer of demon Andhaka is capable of holding burning fire. Gods headed by Indra are constantly falling at His feet. He is having a body that has got the luster of a group of hundred rising suns and is fragrant. He is praised by Patanjali and is like a parrot in the cage of the syllable Omkara.
iti stavamamuṁ bhujagapuṅgava kr̥taṁ pratidinaṁ paṭhati yaḥ kr̥tamukhaḥ
sadaḥ prabhupada dvitayadarśanapadaṁ sulalitaṁ caraṇa śr̥ṅga rahitam |
saraḥ prabhava sambhava haritpati haripramukha divyanuta śaṅkarapadaṁ
sa gacchati paraṁ na tu janurjalanidhiṁ paramaduḥkhajanakaṁ duritadam || 10 ||
Here ends the praise song composed by Patanjali who is an incarnation of the great serpent Shesha. One who learns it by heart and recites it will find a seat in the assembly of Gods. The praise song is charming. The words in it lead to the perception of the Lord’s pair of feet. It flows on, being beginningless and endless (composed of the meter charanashringarahita). It contains the description of Shankara praised by the divine beings headed by Brahmadeva, Lords of the Quarters and Vishnu. One who recites this hymn quickly reaches the highest goal and does not steep into the ocean of worldly existence which causes great sorrow and sinfulness.
iti śrī patañjalimuni praṇītaṁ caraṇaśr̥ṅgarahita naṭarāja stōtraṁ sampūrṇam ||