Shiva Tandava Stotram
Shiva Tandava Stotram is the most popular Shiva Stotram composed by Ravana, a Sanskrit scholar par excellence and a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Shiva Tandava Stotram is one of his many works.It is believed that Ravana composed the hymn in praise for Shiva, and pleading for moksha. The stotra has 16 syllables per line of the quatrain, with laghu (short syllable) and guru (long syllable) characters alternating. The poetic meter is iambic octameter by definition. Alliteration and onomatopoeia create rolling waves of resounding beauty in this example of devotional poetry.
In the final stanza of the poem, after tiring of rampaging across the earth, Ravana asks, “When will I be happy?” Because of the intensity of his prayers and ascetic meditation, of which this hymn was an example, Ravana received from Shiva powers and a celestial sword called Chandrahas.
I have made it easy for every person to learn this highly energising songs. Listed below are the words in Sanskrit and the exact pronunciation in English. Word by word meaning and the explanation of each stanza is enclosed. This is a beautiful chant and you can appreciate it better if you understand the meaning. I owe my gratitude to Muthulaxmi Rao for spending time and explaining this beautiful song word by word. I have also enclosed the YouTube links for the same
गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्गतुङ्गमालिकाम् ।
चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् ॥१॥
Jata Tavi Galla Jala Pravaha Pavita Asthale
Galela Lambya Lambitam Bhujanga Tunga Malikaam
Damad Damad Damad DamanniNada Vad Damar Vayam
Chakara Chanda Tandavam Tanothu Na Shivam Shivam
Jata Tavi – Matted hair like a forest, Galla Jala – water pouring out, Pravaha – Flow Streaming forth, Pavita – Purifying, Sthala – Ground. Galela Lambya – Long Neck that is supporting the serpents, Lambitam – Hanging, Bhujanga – Snakes, Tunga – Big, Malikaam – Garland, Damad Damad – Sound of Damroo , Tanothu – Please bless me.
The sacred Ganges is pouring out from his matted locks which are dense like a forest. The sacred water is purifying the place on which it falls. On that holy place Shiva is dancing the great Tandava dance. His neck is supporting the serpents that are hanging down and adorning him like garlands. His Damaru is constantly weaving out the sound Damad Damad and filling the space all around. O Lord please bless us and extend this auspicious Tandava Dance with all beings.
किशोरचन्द्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम ॥२॥
Jata Kataha Sambhrama Bhramanni Limpa Nirjhari
Vilola Veechi Vallari Viraja Mana Muurdhani
Dhagad Dhagad Dhagajwalla Lalata Patta Pavake
Kishora Chandra Shekhare Rathi Pratik Shanamava Mama
Jata Kataha – Matted hair like a big cauldron, Sambhrama Bhramanni – Revolving and whirling around , Limpa Nirjhari – Goddess Ganga as a waterfall flowing from his locks, Villola Veechi – Undulating moving waves, Viraja – Resplendent, Murdhani – Forehead, Dhagad Dhagad – Throbbing pulsating sound of fire blazing on his forehead, Dhagga Jwala – Embers, Lalata – Forehead, Patta – Flat , Pavaka – Pure/ Shining / Bright, Kishora Chandra Shekhara – Young crescent moon on the top of His head, Rathi – Delight, Pratik Shanam – Every Second, Mama – Through my being
His matted hair like a cauldron is whirling and going round and round as he dances his Tandava. And from these matted locks comes gurgling the goddess Ganga. The strands of his matted hair which are like creepers are waving while dancing like the waves of an ocean. His forehead is brilliantly effulgent. The throbbing sound of a raging fire can be heard – Dhaggad Dhaggad (His 3rd Eye). A young crescent moon is shining on the peak of his head. O Lord as you dance every second a rare ecstasy is surging every moment thru my being.
क्वचिद्दिगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ॥३॥
Dhara Dharendra Nandini Vilasa Bandhu Bandhura
Sphurad Diganta Santati Pramoda Mana Manase
Kripa Kataksha Dhorani Niruddha Dhurdhara Apadhi
Kvachit Digambare Mano Vinoda Metu Vastuni
Dhara – One who supports the earth, Dharendra – Montain King, Nandini – Daughter of the mountain king, Vilasa – Sport, Bandhu – Friend, Bandhura – Charming, Sphurad – Trembling, Diganta – Horizon at remote distance, Santati – Continuous/ Uninterrupted, Pramaoda Mana – Delight , Manase – Belonging to me, Kripa – Grace/ Compassion / Tenderness , Kataksha – Side glance, Dhorani – Uninterrupted Tradition ( Like a Thoran – series), Niruddha – Restrained / Witheld , Dhurdhara – Irresistable, Apadhi – Distress / Calamity, Kvachit – Short span of time, Digambare – Sky clad / ever free, mano – Mind, Vinoda Metu – Divine Entertainment , Vastuni – Many Things
In this beautiful cosmic dance he is accompanied by Nandini, the daughter of the mountain king – the one who supports the earth. She is always his companion in his various divine sports. The entire horizon as far as the eye can see is trembling with the force of the Tandava. The subtle waves are entering the mind and creating wave after wave of ecstasy. This great Shiva whose side glance can restrain even the most irresistible calamities. He is sky clad and when in his mind the desire to play the Divine sport materialises it results in the great Tandava
मनो विनोदमद्भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ॥४॥
Jata Bhujanga Pingala Sphurat Fana Mani Prabha
Kadamba Kumkuma Drava Pralipta Dig Vadhu Mukhe
Madanda Sindhura Sphurat Tvag Uttariya Medure
Mano Vinodam Adhbhutham Bhibarthu Bhuta Bhartari
Jata – Matted hair, Bhujanga – Serpent, Pingala – Reddish brown colour, Sphurat – Trembling, Fana – Hood of the snake, Mani Prabha – Radiant Jewel, Kadamba – Flowers, Kumkuma – Red colour Vermillion, Drava – Melted Liquified, Pralipta – Smeared, Dig – Directions, Vadhu – New Bride, Mukhe – face, Madanda Sindhure – Intoxicated Elephant, Sphurat – Trembling, Tvag – Skin, Uttariya – Cloth on upper body, Medure – Thick, Mano – Mind, Vinodam – Entertainment, Adhbhutam – Marvellous, Bhibharthe – Mind is carried away, Bhuta – Living Being, Bhartani – Sustainer
The reddish brown serpents adorning his head are throbbing with their raised hoods. This is making the jewels on their hood shine and glisten with radiance. This beautiful red colour like liquid saffron is smearing all the directions of the Sky as far as the eye as can see. It looks so beautiful like the face of a new bride adorned with sindoor. His upper garment is flying in the breeze and shaking like the thick skin of an intoxicated elephant as he dance the marvellous Tandava. As I watch this my mind is experiencing a marvellous thrill and is carried away by The sustainer of all beings
Om Namah Shivaya
Sadashivam Bhajamyaham ( 2 Times)
Om Namah Shivaya
प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः |
श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः ||५||
Sahashra Lochana PrabhrutyAshesha Lekha Shekara
Prasuna Dhuli Dhorani Vidhusara Angri Pitha Bhuh
Bhujanga Raja Malaya Nibaddha Jata Jutaka
Shriyai Chirai Jayataam Chakora Bandhu Shekara
Sahasra – Thousand, Lochana – Eyes, Prabhriti Ashesha – Starting from this to that – all encompassing, Lekha – Line / streak, Shekhara – Crown of the head, Prasuna – Fresh Flower / Newly born, Dhuli – Dust, Dharani – Uninterrupted series, Vidhusara – Dust coloured, Angri – Foot, Pitha – Throne, Bhuh – Earth, Bhujanga Raja – King of snakes, Malaya – Garland, Nibaddha – Tied, Juta Jata – Matted Hair, Shriyai – Beauty & Auspiciousness, Chirai – Long lasting / eternal, Jayatam – taken place, Chakora – rare bird that feeds on moonlight, bandhu – Friend, Shekhara – Top of the head.
The devas and Indra with their thousand eyes forming an unending Q are being entertained by the great Tandava dance. They are being blessed by the dust that is coming from the great dance. His matted hair is bound by the serpent king like a garland. The shining moon on the top of his head which is a friend of the Chakora bird is radiating the deep beauty and auspiciousness of Shiva.
निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् |
महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ||६||
Lalata Chatwara Jwallat Dhanunjaya Sphulinga Bha
Nipeeta Pancha Sayakam Naman Nilimpa Nayakam
Sudha Mayukha Lekhaya Virajamana Shekharam
Maha Kapali Sampade Shiro JathalaMastunaah
Lalata – Forehead, Chatwala – Levelled ground prepared for sacrifice/ Yagna, Jwallat Dhanunjaya – Sparkling embers of the blazing fire, Sphulinga – Embers, Bha – Shining, Nipeeta – Drink / Absorb, Pancha – 5, Sayaham – Arrows, Namann – Bow / Pay Obessiance, Nilimpa Nayakam – Chief God of Kama, Sudha – Amrit, Mayukha – Ray of light, Lekha – Line / stroke, Viraja – Sitting , Shekaram – Peak / Crest, Maha – Large , Kapali – Lord Shiva, Sampada – Prosperity, Shiro – Head, jata – Matted hair, Astu – So be it.
The blazing fire on his forehead is radiating lustre and energy. (Referring to His 3rd eye). This fire engulfed and absorbed Kama and his 5 arrows (The lord of Love). Finally Kama the Chief God of love bowed down in obeisance to the great Lord on whose head is shining the crescent moon. May we also receive the grace, blessings and prosperity from the Great Kapali.
प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम ॥७॥
Karala Bhala Pattika Dhaggad Dhaggad Dhaggajwallad
DhanunjayAaahuti Kritta Prachanda Pancha Sayake
Dhara Dharendra Nandini Kuchagra Chitra Patraka
Prakalpana Aika Shilpini Trilochane Ratheer Mama
Karala – Terrible / Gory, Bhala – Forehead , Pattika – Flat, Dhaggad Dhaggad – Sound of burning embers, Dhanujaya – Fire, Aahuti – offering to Fire, Kritta – Performed, Prachanda – Terrible, Pancha – 5, Sayaki – Arrows, Dhara – One who supports the earth, Dharendra – Montain King, Nandini – Daughter of the mountain king, Kuchagra – Front of the bosom, Chitra Patra – Varigated leaves, Prakalpana – Praising, Aika – One, Shilpini – Artist, Trilochane – 3 Eyed, Ratheer mama – Enjoying me
The terrible surface of his forehead is throbbing with the sound of the raging fire. This was the fire that consumed Kama. The fire to which we offer our prayers. His dancing steps are drawing various pictures on the bosom of Mother Earth – who in turn is the daughter of the mountains. He is an artist par excellence. My mind is delighted with the wonderful spellbinding dance of the 3 eyed Lord Shiva.
कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः ।
कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः ॥८॥
Naveena Megha Mandali Niruddha Dhurdhara Sphurat
Kuhu Nishithini Tamah Prabanddha Baddha Kandharah
Nilimpa Nirjhari Dharas Tanotu Krutti Sindhurah
Kala Nidhanah Bandhurah Sriyam Jagad Dhurandharah
Naveena Megha Mandali – Fresh new cloud mass, Niruddha – Restrained, Dhurdhara – Irresistible, Sphurat – Trembling, Kuhu – New Moon, Nishithini – Midnight, Tamah – Darkness, Prabandha Baddha – Tied, Kandarah – Nexk, Nilimpa – Godess, Nirjhari – Waterfall, Dharasta – Bearing the mountain / Womb, Tanotu – Spread, Kritthi – Skin, Sindhurah – Elephant, Kala – Small part of the moon – the last part 1/16th, Nidhanah – Containing, Bandhurah – Curved / Pleasant, Sriyam Jagad Dhurandarah – Holding the universe together.
The great dance has restrained the unrestrainable orb of newly formed clouds. Has bound the darkness of the night and the curved moon around his neck. The bearer of the Goddess Ganga and one wearing the elephant hide please extend the auspiciousness and welfare from this great Tandava to all.
स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं
गजच्छिदान्धकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे ॥९॥
Prafulla Neela Pankaja Prapancha Kalima Prabha
Valambi Kantha Kandali Ruchi Prabaddha Kandharam
Smara Chidam Pura Chidam Bhava Chidam Makha Chidam
Gajja Chida Andaka Chidam Tamantaka Chidam Bhaje
Prafulla – Expanded/ Blooming, Neela – Dark Blue, Pankaja – Lotus blooming in mud, Prapancha – Universe constantly expanding, Kalim – Darkness, Prabha – Light, Valambi – Support , Kantha – Throat, Kandala – Girdle / Cheek, Ruchi – Relish, Prababdha – Bound, Kandhara – Nexk, Smara – Kama , Chidam – Destroyer, Pura – Asuras , Bhava – Samsaram, Makha – Daksha’s yagna , Gaja – Gajasura, Andaka – Asura, Tamantakam – Yama
The dark black lustre of the universe (Poison drunk by Lord Shiva) looks like a blooming blue lotus, resting within his throat like a girdle. This poison he himself has restrained by his own will. I worship the destroyer of Kama, The Tripura Asura’s, Gaja, Andaka, the destroyer of worldly delusions. I worship the one who controls and restrains Yama. I worship my Lord Shiva.
स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं
गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ॥१०॥
Akharva Sarva Mangala Kala Kadamba Manjhari
Rasa Pravaha Madhuri Vijrumbhana Madhu Vratam
Smarantakam Purantakam Bhavantakam Makhantakam
Gajaanta Kaandha Kaantakam Tamanta Kaantakam Bhaje
Akharva – Mutilated, Sarva – All, Mangala – Auspicious, Kala – Small part / Division of time, Kadamba – Tree / Flower, Manjhari – Cluster of blossom, Rasa – Nectar, Pravaha – Flowing, Madhuri – Sweetness, Vijrumbha – Opening mouth wide, Madhu – Honey / sweet, Vrata – In the service of / Command, Smara – Kama, Antakam – End, Pura – Asuras, … name of Asuras as in the earlier stanza.
He is the infinite source of auspiciousness for the welfare of all. He is the source of all Arts, which he manifests like a cluster of blossoms. From his Tandava is surging forth the nectar of Art in various forms. I worship the destroyer of Kama, The Tripura Asura’s, Gaja, Andaka, the destroyer of worldly delusions. I worship the one who controls and restrains Yama. I worship my Lord Shiva.
ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तितप्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः ॥११॥
Jayat Vada Bra Vibhrama Bhramad Bhujangama Shvasad
Vinirgama Krama Spurat Karala Bhala Havya Vaat
Dhimid Dhimid Dhimid Dhvanan Mridanga Tunga Mangala
Dhvani Krama Pravartita Prachanda Tandavah Shiva
Jayat – Victory, Vada – Peak, Bra (Bru) – Eyebrow, Vibrama Bhramad – Revolving / Moving to & fro, Bhunjangama – Sepent, Shvasad – Hissing sound from breath, Vinigrama – Spreading out, Krama – Steady Progress, Sphurat – trembling, Karal – Dreadful/Terrible, Bhala – Forehead, Havya – Anything offered as Oblation, Vaat – Exclamation while performing sacrifice, Dhimid Dhimd – Sound of drums, Dhvanam – Resonance, Mridanga – Drums, Tunga – Big, Mangala – Auspicious, Dhvani – Melodious sound, Krama – Step by step process, Pravartita – Established/ set in motion, Prachanda – terrible,
As he dances his eyes and eyebrows are moving to and fro expressing his mastery over all the worlds. The fast movements is making the rolling serpents hiss and spew out hot breath. It looks like a raging fury. The terrible 3rd eye is throbbing like an altar. The Mridangam is constantly bellowing with the auspicious beats of Dhimd Dhimid. And in this beautiful but ferocious manner Shiva is dancing his Tandava.
गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः ।
समप्रवृत्तिकः कदा सदाशिवं भजाम्यहम् ॥१२॥
Drushad Vichitra Talpa Yoh Bhujanga Mauktika Srajor
Garishta Ratna Loshta Yoh Suhrid Vipaksha Paksha Yoh
Trinara Vinda Chakshu Sho Praja Mahim Mahendra Yoh
Samapravruttika Khada Sada Shivam Bhajamyaham
Drushad – Behold / To see, Vichitra – Manifold / Varigated / Many colours, Talpa Yoh– Of the Bed, Bhujanga – Snake, Mauktika – Pearls, Srajor – Garland made of pearls, Garishta – excessive, Ratna – Jewel, Loshta – Lump of earth like clay, Suhrid – Friend / Ally, Vipaksha – opponent, Paksha – Supporter, Trinara Vinda – Grass & Lotus two views, Chakshu Shoh – Two Eyes, Praja – Subject, Mahim – Earth, Mahendra – Great King Indra, Samapravruttika – Equal moving forward, Khada – When
When will I stop differentiating and start seeing a hard ground a comfortable colourful variegated bed as the same. When I will see a garland of serpents and that of pearls as one and the same. When will I stop differentiating between a Jewel and a lump of clay. When I will feel the sameness in a relationship between a friend & a foe. When will I feel the sameness in Vision between a Grass-like Eye (representing ordinary look) and a Lotus-like Eye (representing beautiful look). When will I feel the sameness in the soul of an ordinary Subject and the King of the World And when will I Worship Sadashiva with the Equality of Vision and Conduct.
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन्
विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरस्थमञ्जलिं वहन् ।
शिवेति मन्त्रमुच्चरन्कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ॥१३॥
Kada Nilimpa Nirjhari Nikunja Kotare Vasanh
Vimukta Durmatis Sada Shirashtham Anjalim Vahanh
Vimukta Lola Lochano Lalama Bhala Lagna Kah
Shiveti Mantram Uchharan Kada Sukhi Bhavamyaham
Kada – When , Nilimpa – Godess, Nirjhari – Waterfall, Nikunja – Thick bush / Thicket, Kotara – Cave / Gap in Thick Bush, Vasanh – Dwell / Stay Put, Vimukta – Free from sinful mental disposition, Durmatis – Bad Conduct, Sada – Always, Shirastham Anjalim – Bowing down head in respect, Vahanh – Carrying, Vimukta – Liberated, Lola – Moving, Lochana – Eyes, lalama – Mark on forehead, Bhala – Forehead, Lagnaha – Sureity.
When will I dwell in the hollow of a tree by the dense woods with the River Ganga flowing by and be free from all sinful mental dispositions. And constantly worship Lord Shiva by keeping my hands on the forehead. When will I be free from my lustful desires (rolling of eyes) and worship Lord Shiva by applying the sacred ash on my forehead. When will I be happy chanting the Mantras of Shiva?
इदम् हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं
पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् ।
हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं
विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिन्तनम् ॥१४॥
Idam Hi Nityam Evam Uktam Uttamotamam Sthavam
Pathan Smaran Bruvan Naro Vishuddhim Eti Santatam
Hare Gurau Subhaktim Aashu Yati Naanyatha Gatim
Vimohanam Hi Dehinam Su Shankarasya Chintanam (3 Times)
Imam Idam – This, Nityam – Daily/ Continuously, Evam – In this manner, Uktam – Told / Uttered, Uttamotamam – Best of best, Sthavam – Praise , Pathan – Read, Smaran – Remember, Bruvanna – telling, Nara – Human, Vishuddhim – Purification, Eti – he gets, Santatam – Continuously, Hare – In Shiva, Gurau – Spiritual Perceptor, Subhakti – Great devotion, Aashu – fast, Yati nanyata Gatim – Advance towards, Vimohanam – Confusion, Dehinam – Human, Su Shankarasya Chintanam – Meditate deeply on Shiva
And thus the greatest Hymn of Shiva has been chanted. Those who contemplate on Shiva and chant this regularly with purity of mind in an uninterrupted manner will quickly advance towards him. There is no other way or refuge. The delusion of that person will be destroyed by deep contemplation and meditation on lord Shiva.
Om Namah Shivaya
YouTube Links to Chant along