Pushpa Dantha was a Gandharwa - a minstrel of Gods in the court of Indra. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva as well as a lover of flowers. He used to steal pretty flowers from the garden of the King Chithra Ratha and offer them to Lord Shiva. As a result, King Chithra Ratha was not able to do flower offerings to Lord Shiva. He tried to find the thief but was not successful because as a Gandharwa Pushpa Dantha was invisible. So the king spread one day Bilwa leaves, which are extremely dear to Shiva, in his garden. Pushpa Dantha while trying to steal the flowers trod on the Bilwa leaves and invited Lord Shiva's wrath and lost all his divine powers. He then composed this very great prayer, pleased Lord Shiva and regained his powers. There are three English translations of this prayer available in the internet. Apart from consulting them, I have also consulted a Malayalam translation published very long back in Kerala.
Mahimna paaram they parama vidhusho yadhya sadhrushi,
Sthuthir Brahmadheenama api thadavsanna sthwayi gira,
Adhavachya sarva swamathi parinamam avadhi grunan,
Mamapyesha sthothre hara nirapavadha parikara. 1
Very wise people have not seen the other shore of your greatness,
And even the Gods like Brahma are not capable of praising you,
And in spite of that, those like me who consider you as everything,
If they attempt to sing your praise, will it be considered as improper?
Atheetha panthanaam thavacha mahimaa vang manasayo-
Thadhvya vruthyayam chakitham abhi dathe sruthirapi,
Sa kasya sthothavya kathi vithi guna kasya vishaya,
Padhe thwart vaacheena pathathi na mana kasya na vacha. 2
Your praise is beyond the words and mind of every one,
For he who is identified as 'Not that, Not this' by Vedas,
Cannot be praised by any one, for no one can say your properties,
Nor can one define you, as the subject of any one or anything,
But the mind or word can easily describe your assumed form.
Madhu sphreetha vacha parama amruthan nirmitha
Sthava Brahman kim vagapi sura guror vismaya padam,
Mama thwenaam vaanim guna kadhana punyena bhavatha,
Punam eethyrthesmin pura madhana budhir vyavasitha. 3
You are the great God, who used words dripping in honey,
In writing the Vedas and for you even words of Brahaspathi are not great,
Hey, destroyer of cities, My words about you are for gaining your grace,
And do not to even attempt to show that I know any thing about you.
Thwa aiswaryam yathad jagad udhaya raksha pralaya
Thrayee vasthu vyastham thisrushu guna bhinnasu thanushu,
Abhavyanam asmin varadha, ramaneeyama ramaneem,
Vihethum vyakroseem mvidhadadha ihaike jadadhiya. 4
The greatness that you have is capable of creation, upkeep and deluge
of all worlds,
But the Vedas made it in to three qualities and ascribed it to three people,
And Oh my God who blesses, it simply does not happen that prettier than pretty,
Words can be written by fools about you, who are one without any cause.
Kimeeha kim kaya sa khalu kim upaya sthribhuvanam,
Kimadharo dhatha srujathi kimupadhena ithi cha,
Atharkyaisvarye thwayyan avasara dustho hatha dhiya,
Kutharkkoyam kaam schin mukharayathi mohaya jagatha. 5
'Who is he, what is his form, how has he created the three worlds,
What is his basis for his giving, On what cause does he depend on,'
Enquire people about, you who has the power which cannot be questioned,
And which are not the questions which should be asked about you,
And these silly arguments are only meant to impress the world.
Ajanmano lokaa kimayava vanthopi jagatha,
Madhishtantharam kim bhava vidhi ra nadbruthya bhavathi,
Aneeso vaa kuryath bhuvana janane ka parikaro,
Yatho mandhasthwam prathyamara vara samseratha yime. 6
This world with several parts can never be told as not created,
And for everything that is born there should surely be a creator,
And that creator can not be any one except you, the God himself,
And then why do these silly people,do research about you, in this way?
Thrayee sankhyam yoga pasupathi matham vaishnavam
Prabhinne prasthan paramidhamadha padhyamithi cha,
Rucheenaam vaichithryaadhrujhoo kutila nana padha jhooshwam,
Nrunaam yeka gamyathwam aasi payasamarnava yiva. 7
Three types Of Sankhya yoga, School of Shiva, that of Vishnu.
Are among the many type of difference of opinions,
And the people try to find which one is better among them,
And the men with differing taste preferences,
Do not depend only on the right way, but adopt the wrong way also,
But just like all the water reaches the sea, they ultimately reach you.
Mahoksha, gadwangam, parasurajinam, bhasma phanina,
Kapalan chethi yathva varada thathropakaranam,
Suraasthaam thamrudheem dadadhimthu bhavadhabru prani hithaam,
Nahi swathamaramam vishaa mruga thrushana bramayathi. 8
Great bull, sword, white axe, hide, ash, serpents,
And Skull are the equipments, that you own, Oh God,
And the devas, ordered by the movement of your eyelids,
Make some these equipments as theirs but you, Oh God,
Who plays with your soul within your soul,
Are not ever bothered by animal-like desires.
Dhruvam, kaschiddsavam sakala maparasthwa dhruvamidham,
Parodhrou vyadhrouvye jagadhi gadhadhi vyastha vishaye,
Samasthepyethasmin pura madhana thair vismitha yiva,
Sthuvan jihremi thwam nakhalu nanu dhrushta mukharatha. 9
Some say they are permanent, others say they are not,
Some say some of them are permanent but others say some of them are not,
Oh God who churned the towns, I who do not know the opinions of such people,
Am feeling inadequate to sing your praise but the loquacious ones are never ashamed.
Thavaiswaryam yathnadhyad upari virincho hariradha,
Parichethum yathavanala manalaskanda vapusha,
Thatho bhakthi sradha bhara guru granadhbhyam gireesa yath,
Swayam thasthe thabhyam thava kimanu vruthir na phalathi. 10
Brahma and Vishnu went up and down, to search for your greatness,
Oh Lord of hills,
And failed to find anything of you who stood burning and shining like the fire,
And later you showed them your form when they prayed you with concentrated devotion,And when I think about this, I do feel that no prayer to you would end without result.
Ayathnadapadhya tribhuvana ma vaira vyathikaram,
Dasasyo yad bahuna bhrutha rana kundu paravasan,
Sira padma sreni rachitha charanambhoru bhale,
Sthiraya thwad bhakthe sthripura hara visphoorjithamidham. 11
Ravana with ten heads who won over three worlds, without any effort,
And spread his hands which were seeking more and more of war,
But Offered his lotus like heads at your lotus like feet,
Because of his unflinching devotion to you, Oh destroyer of three cities.
Amushya thwad seva Samadhi gatha saram bhujavanam,
Balad kailasepi thwad adhi vasathou vikramayatha,
Alabhya patale apya lasa chalitham angushta sirasi,
Prathishta thwayassed dhruva mupachitho muhyathi khala. 12
Due to strength of his forest of hands got by serving you,
He with valour even shook the Kailasa mountain where you live,
But just by the movement of your toe, did not have even place in Patala,
And this shows that if wicked people prosper, they would become proud.
Yad rudhim suthramno varada pramochai rapi sathee,
Madaschakre baana parijna vidheya thribhuvana,
Na thachithram thasmin vari vasathari thwacharanayo,
Rna kasya unnathyai bhavathi shirasasthwayya vanathi. 13
Oh giver of boons, Bana conquered all the worlds and its attendants,
And even suppressed Devendra who was very rich and at the top,
Due to his keeping you in his mind and constant service to your great feet,
Showing that any one who bends his head before you would get all the riches.
Akaanda brahmaanda kshaya chakitha devasura krupa,
Vidheya syaseedhya sthrinayana visham sahruthavatha,
Sakalmasha kande thava na kuruthe na sriyam aaho,
Vikaraopi slaghyo bhuvana bhaya bhanga vyasanina. 14
To show mercy to Devas and Asuras who were afraid of the destruction
of the entire world,
Oh three eyed God who is amenable to his devotees, you swallowed the poison,
And you had a black scarred neck but even that was pretty to you,
Showing that even bad looks are praiseworthy to those who kill, fear of this world.
Asidhartha naiva kwachidhapi sa devasura nare,
Nivarthanthe nithyam jagathi jayino yasya visikhaa,
Na pasayan eesa thwam ithara sura sadharana mabhooth,
Smara smarthvyathma nahi vasishta padhya paribhava. 15
Being proud that his arrows never return without victory,
In case of Devas, Asuras and men, the cupid who won everywhere,
Not seeing you lord, as different from other ordinary people,
Became only a memory, because insulting masters does not do one good.
Mahee pada aghaadhad vrajathi sahasa samsaya padam,
Padam vishnor brahmyadv bhuja pari gharughna gruha ganam,
Muhoordhyor dhousthyaa yathya nibhrutha jada thaditha thata,
Jagad rakshayai thwam natasi nanu vamaiva vibhutha. 16
The position of earth becomes untenable with your dancing steps,
And the sky becomes full of scattering planets and Gods due to it,
And the flowing hairs of your mane makes heaven distressed due to it hitting the walls,
But your dance is meant for protection of the world,
Showing the great can do whatever action that they want.
Viyad vyapi thara gana gunitha phenodhgama ruchi,
Pravaho vaaraam ya prasha thalaghu drushti sirasi they,
Jagad dweepaakaaram jaladhi valayam thena kruthami,
Thyena naivonneyam drutha mahima divyam thava vapu. 17
The great torrential river flowing all over the sky,
With the stars appearing as form in the body of water,
Which appears like a drop, let on your divine head,
Makes the entire universe look like, an island in the sea,
And clearly brings out, the immensity of your form.
Radha kshoni yanthaa satha druthi ragendro dhanu
Radhange chandra arkou radha charana pani sara jathi,
Thidhakshosthe koyam Tripura thruna madambara vidhi,
Vidheyaou kreedanthyo na khalu para thanthra prabhudhiya. 18
With earth as chariot, with Brahma as the charioteer,
With Sun and moon as the wheels of the chariot,
With the Meru mountain as your bow and Lord Vishnu as arrow,
You organized the destruction of the three cities,
And I ask 'what was the necessity for a great Lord like you,
To playfully engage them, even when you alone did it all?'
Haristhe sahasrammkamala bali madhaya padayo,
Aryadhe kone thasmin, nijamudhaharan nethra kamalam,
Gatho bhakthyudreka parinathimasou chakra vapusha,
Thrayanaam rakshayai thripura hara jagarthi jagatham. 19
Vishnu when he started worshipping your feet with thousand lotuses,
Found one short and plucked his lotus like eyes and worshipped your feet,
And this ebbing devotion on his part transformed in to the holy wheel,
Which is ready to protect the three worlds, in his hands.
Krathou supthe jagrathwamasi phalayoge krathu
Kwa karma pradhwastham phalathi purusharadhanaruthe,
Athasthwaam samprekshya krathushu phala dhana prathi bhuvam,
Sruthou sradham badhwa druda parikara karmasu jana. 20
All the results of actions done are purely temporary and vanish quickly,
And for attaining salvation these results will not be of any help,
Without worshipping you but people perform Vedic sacrifices,
With the deep faith that you would reward them with desired results.
Kriya daksho daksha krathu pathira dheesasthanubratha,
Mreeshsheenaamarthwijyam saranadha, sadasya sura gana,
Krathur breshaswatha krathu phla vidhana vyasnino,
Dhruvam karthu sradha vidhura mabhicharaya hi makha. 21
Even though the fire sacrifice was done by Daksha,
Who was a master performer, even though great sages,
Were presiding over it, even though devas were the audience,
You who are always interested in giving results of such acts,
Destroyed it, for acts done without attention do not yield results.
Praja nadham naadha prasabhamabhikam swam duhitharam,
Gathaa rohid bhoothaam rira mayishu mrushyasya vapusha,
Dhanu paneryatham dhivamapi sapathra kruthi mamum,
Thrasantham nodhyapi thyajathi na mrugavyadharabhasa. 22
When the Prajapathi fell in love with his own daughter,
Who took the form of a doe and tried to escape,
He continued chasing her in the form of a male deer,
But you armed with bow and arrow chased and shot him,
And he reached the heavens but till today he shivers in your fear.
Swalavanyasamsa dhrutha dhanusha mahnaya thrunavath,
Pura plashtum dhrushtwa pura madhana pushpayudhamapi,
Yadi sthrainam devi yama niratha dehardha ghatana,
Dhavaithi thwamadha bhatha varadha mugdha yuva thaya. 23
Proud because of his handsomeness when God of love,shot you.
With his bow of sugarcane, you burnt him like a twig of grass,
Oh destroyer of the cities, even after this, if Parvathi thinks,
That you gave her half of your body due to her prettiness,
Then indeed, oh boon giver, women are under self delusion.
Smasaneshwa kreeda smara hara pisachaa saha charaa,
Aschitha bhasma lepa sragapi nrukaroti parikaraa,
Amangalyam seelam thava bhavathu namaivamakhilam,
Thadapi smarthrunaam varada pramam mangalamasi. 24
Oh destroyer of worries, you play in the cremation ground,
Your companions there are ghosts, you cover yourself,
With the burnt ashes of corpses and wear a garland of skulls,
And the entire world knows that your conduct is not pleasant,
And still, oh giver of boons, you give pleasure to those who think of you
Mana prathyak chithe savidha mavadhayatha marutha,
Prahrushya dhromana pramadha salilothsangitha drusa,
Yada lokyahladham hrudha yiva nimajyamrutha maye,
Dadahthyantha sthathwam kimapi yaminasthathkila bhavaan. 25
Taking away the mind from all senses, controlling all airs of life,
With hairs standing erect all over, with eyes blocked by tears of joy,
The great sages attain great happiness and appear to be immersed in nectar,
And lock within them the great principle and Is it not You, Oh God?
Thwam arka sthwam soma sthwam asi pavanasthwam
Sthwam apasthwam vyomasthwamu dharaneerathma thwam yithi cha,
Parichiinnamevam thwayi parinatham bhibhrathi giram,
Na vidhmasthatthwam vayamiha thu yathwam na bhavasi. 26
You are Sun, You are moon, You are air, you are fire,
You are water, you are the sky, you are the earth, and you are the soul,
Thus the people of the world ascribe everything to you,
But I am not able to locate anything that is not you.
Thrayeem thisro vruthi sthribhuvana madho threenapi
Nakaraa dwai varnaii sthribhira bhidha utheerna vikruthi,
Thureeyam they dhama dwani bhiravirundhana mani bhi,
Samastha vyastham thwaam saranadha granathyom ithi padam. 27
Oh God who gives protection, the three letters Aa, Uu and Mm,
Denote the three Vedas, the three states of awakening, sleep and dream,
The three worlds Bhu, Bhuva and Suva, the holy trinity,
And it refers to you individually and separately,
But collectively it refers to you the omnipresent in the fourth state of Thuriya.
Bhava sarvo rudhra pasupathi radhogra saha mahaam,
Sthadha bheemesanavithi yadabhidhanashtakamidham,
Amooshin prathyekam praviharathi deva sruthirapi,
Priyayasmai dhamne pravihatha namasyosmi bhavathe. 28
You are called by the Vedas as Bhava, Sarva, Rudra, Pasupathi,
Ugra, mahaan Bheema and Eesana and though you are,
Individually each of them, I salute you as the,
Ever glowing one, which concept is dear to me.
(Bhava-Future, Sarva-Everything, Rudra-The angry one, Pasupthi-the
lord of all beings,
Ugra-The livid one,Mahaan-great one, Bheema-the very large one, Eesana- the ruler)
Namo nedishtaya priyadhavadhavishtaya cha namo,
Nama kshodhishtaya smara hara mahishtaya cha nama,
Namo varshishtaya trinayana yavishtaya cha namo,
Nama sarvasmai they thadhidhamithi sarvaya cha nama. 29
Salutations to him who is near and who is far away,
Salutations to him who is micro and to him who is macro,
Salutations to him who is a child and to him who is very old,
Salutations to him who is this, that and everything.
Bahala rajase viswothpathou bhavaya namo nama,
Prabhala thamase thath samhare haraaya namo nama,
Jana sukha kruthe sathwodrikthou mrudaya namo nama,
Pramahasi padhe nisthraigunye shivaya namo nama. 30
Salutations again and again to him who depended more on 'Rajas'
to create .
And to him who depended on the 'Thamas ' and became the destroyer,
And to him who became 'Sathva' for looking after the world and became the ruler,
And to him who became Shiva different from all these at the final deluge.
(Rajas-royal and regal, Thamas-dark and bad and Sathva- the soft
Krusa parinathi chetha klesa vasyam kwa chedham,
Kwacha thawa gunaseemollangini saswa dhruhi,
Yithi chakitha mamandhee kruthya maam bhakthiradhaa,
Dwaradha charanayosthe vakya pushopaharam. 31
'Where is my limited intellect which is slave to sufferings,
And where is your perennial greatness which has exceeded the limits of properties?'
Thinking and fearing you thus, my stainless devotion to you,
Made me offer this gift of the garland of words at your feet.
Asitha giri samam syath kajjalam Sindhu pahre,
Sura tharu vara sakha lekhanee pathra moorkhee,
Likhathi yadhi graheethwa saradha sarva kaalam,
Thadapi thava gunaanaam eesa param na yathi. 32
If the Goddess of Knowledge uproots the dark mountain,
And dissolves it in the waters of sea and uses it as ink,
Takes the branch of the wish giving Kalpaga tree as pen,
And writes on the earth as her broad slate,
She would not be able to completely describe you.
Asura sura muneendrai rarchitha syendu mouler,
Gradhitha guna mahimna nirgunaswaswarasya,
Sakala guna varishta puspha dandhabhi dhano,
Ruchira malaghu vruthair stotrametha chakara. 33
Pushpa Dantha with all great and good qualities wrote this prayer
Describing the qualities Of Lord Shiva who wears the crescent,
And who is worshipped by devas, asuras and great sages,
In the easily understandable and tasteful meter.
Aharaharanavadhyam dhoorjate sthothramethad,
Padathi parama bhkthya sudha chitha puman ya,
Sa bhavathi shiva loke rudhra thulya sthadathra,
Prachura thara dhana aayu puthravan, kerthiman cha. 34
Daily recitation of this faultless prayer on Lord Shiva,
With devotion not only would make one,reach the world of Shiva,
After death and make him live there like Lord Shiva,
But also grant wealth, sons, fame and long life in this world.
Mahesan aparo deva, mahimno na para sthuthi,
Aghorannaparo manthra, nasthi thathwam gurur param. 35
There is no God greater than Shiva,
No prayer greater than Mahimna prayer,
No Chant greater than the aghora chant,
And no principle greater than the teacher.
Deekha danam thapastheertham jnanam yagadhike
Mahimna sthava patasya kalam naarhanthi Shodaseem. 36
Austerities, charity, meditation, bathing in sacred waters,
Performing fire sacrifices all together can never lead to,
Even one sixteenth amount of effect of reading Mahimna stotram.
Kusuma dasana nama sarva gandharva raja,
Sasi dhara vara mouler deva devasya dasa,
Saguru nija mahimno brushta yevasya roshad,
Sthavana midhamakarsheed divya divyam mahimna. 37
Pushpa dantha who was a great Lord among Gandharvas,
And who is the slave of Lord Shiva wearing the crescent,
Became banished from his position due to anger of Lord Shiva,
And composed this great Mahimna prayer, praising Lord Shiva.
Sura vara muni poojyam, swarga mokshaika hethum,
Padathi yathi manushya pranjalir anya chetha,
Vrajathi shiva sameepam kinnarai sthooyamana,
Sthavana midham amogham pushpa dantha praneetham. 38
He who reads this prayer composed by Pushpa Dantha,
And which is considerd by sages and devas as a means to salvation,
With uninterrupted devotion, would be praised by servants of Lord Shiva,
And reach the nearness to lord Shiva permanently.
Sri Pushpa dantha pankaja nirgathena,
Stotrena kil bisha harena hara priyena,
Kanda sthithena padithena samahithena,
Supreenetho bhavathi bhootha pathir mahesa. 39
This prayer coming from the lotus like Pushpa Dantha,
Which is without any doubt, very dear to Lord Shiva,
If learned by heart, or read or meditated upon,
Would without doubt make him very dear to Lord Shiva.
Yithyesha vang mayee pooja srimad Sankara padahyoo,
Arpitha thena devesa priytham may sada shiva. 40
This worship in the form of a prayer,
Was placed at the feet of Lord Shiva by me,
And let Lord Shiva who is the lord of all devas be pleased with me.
Ithi Sri Pushpa Dantha Virachitham Shiva Mahimna stotram Samaptham
Thus ends the prayer on greatness of Lord Shiva composed by Pushpa dantha.
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