Narayana Suktam Lyrics and Benefits
The Narayana Sukta is, in a way, the mystical appendix to the Purusha Sukta of the Veda, the only difference between the Purusha Sukta and the Narayana Sukta being the divination of the Deity addressed by them. The Purusha Sukta beholds the Supreme Being as the All-encompassing, Impersonal Purusha, while the Narayana Sukta addresses the Lord as Narayana. The Purusha Sukta, thus, is a hymn addressed to the Purusha extending beyond the cosmos yet at the same time present within creation, and the Narayana Sukta is a devout, touching, feelingful and personal address to the Creator of the universe. In the Narayana Sukta some clarification of the hidden meaning of the Purusha Sukta is to be discovered.
Narayana is the thousand-headed one, thousand-eyed, and thousand-limbed. But Narayana is not merely the Father or Creator of the cosmos, beyond creation, but is also hidden in the heart of everyone. Like a resplendent flame in the heart of the individual, Narayana can be visualised in deep meditation. In the lotus of the heart there is the citadel of the cosmos, the palace of the Creator of the universe. Thus, the worshipper of the Supreme Narayana need not necessarily look up to the sky to behold Him and adore Him.
One can as well see the same Narayana within himself, in his own heart. While Narayana creates the world from outside, He also impels everyone through feeling and action from within. Through every nerve-current, life flows and vibrates. This vibration, this flow of life, is the chaitanya, or Consciousness, of Narayana moving in creation. Narayana is adored as the One Being extending beyond Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Indra and all the gods and angels, while Himself appearing as every one of them the Imperishable, Self-existent All. Whatever all this universe is yacca kincit jagat sarvam seen or unseen, in its depths or merely heard of, Narayana is within and without all these, enveloping everyone. May Narayana bless us, and bestow upon us glory.
“Narayana Suktam” is a hymn which is present in Yajurveda Taittiriya Arankaya and has been registered in “Maha Narayanopanishad”.
This hymn is misunderstood by everyone (including scholars), as being a hymn of “Lord Vishnu”. But the truth is that, this hymn is entirely a playground of Shakti (and Shiva) only. In fact, Shiva and Shakti being inseparable wherever Shakti is glorified, Shiva is implicitly glorified, and vice versa. This “Narayana Suktam” is a hymn to Goddess Tripurasundari Devi in her Nirguna aspect of Kundalini.
Why was this hymn’s name given as “Narayana Suktam”:
Why was this hymn’s name given as “Narayana Suktam” is just because this hymn is dedicated to the praise of the “movement of Tripurasundari Devi towards her consort nara – who is Shiva”.This is nothing but the movement of “Kundalini (Tripuasundari)” towards Shiva (Nara) through the Sushumna nerve. Well, this fact is clearly evident in verses 7-12 of this hymn.
For those readers who may not have patience to read this Hymn and corresponding analysis sequentially and who may want to see the meaning of “Narayana (as Kundalini – Tripurasundari)” in practice without wasting much time, I would suggest such readers to follow the following sequence in reading this hymn. Other readers who are like me, who prefer to read things in as-is sequence, may follow the as-is sequence.
Narayana Suktam verse(s) 7 – 12
Narayana Suktam verse(s) 1 – 6
Narayana Suktam verse(s) 13-14
Where the verses 7-12 would give us a clear picture of Goddess Tripurasundari’s Kundalini aspect whose Ayana (Direction) is through Sushumna towards the Sahasrara where Nara (Shiva) resides. And verses 1-6 details out how the same goddess Tripurasudnari has manifested herself as this universe and they also talk about her attributes of being a thousand headed and thousand eyed. Further, verse 13 clearly eulogizes the androgynous form (half male-half female form) of goddess Tripurasundari Devi where the right portion of her body is occupied by her consort Shiva. This verse no. 13 clearly beyond any doubt praises Shiva and Shakti since they are identical. Then the last verse viz. verse 14 is a closure verse for this hymn.
Narayana Suktam Lyrics in English:
The Narayana Suktam
om sahasra sirsam devam visvaksam visvasambhuvam ।
visvai narayanam devam aksaram paramam padam ॥ 1 ॥
Narayana is the name of goddess Tripurasundari whose direction or goal of movement (Ayana) is towards Nara (Shiva)”.
This entire universe is the eternal being Narayana:
As analyzed in earlier sections, “Narayana is the name of goddess Tripurasundari whose direction or goal of movement (Ayana) is towards Nara (Shiva)”.
This interpretation is the only perfect interpretation because it makes this verse of Narayana Suktam remain in sync with the verses of Vedas and other Upanishads as discussed below. Any other interpretation of the word “Narayana” would end up contradicting these below Upanishads and Vedas entirely. And by logic, even an idiot would understand that there can be only one supreme god and all others should be his/her manifestation. There can never be more than one equally supreme king in the same jungle. And Vedas always state that there is only one supreme God who is addressed in various names (Ekam sat vipraH bahuDhA vadantI). So, going by this logic, “Narayana=Vishnu” would end up contradicting the below Upanishads whereas “Narayana=Shakti” remains in synchronization with the below evidences from Shruti.
Entire universe is the manifested form of Goddess Tripurasundari Devi (Lalita) as stated below.
“devI hyekAgra evAsIt.h | saiva jagadaNDamasR^ijat.h |” (Bahvricha Upanishad-1 from Rig Veda)
“The Goddess was indeed one in the beginning. Alone she emitted the world-egg (Hiranyagarbha)”.
“tvaM chAhaM cha sarvaM vishvaM sarvadevatA itarat.h |sarvaM mahAtripurasundarI |” (Bahvricha Upanishad-5 from Rig Veda)
“You and I and the entire universe and all divinities and all besides are the Maha-Tripura-Sundari”.
The same is stated again in Devi Upanishad also as follows.
“sarve vai devaa deviimupatasthuH | kaasi tvaM mahaadevi | saabraviidahaM brahmasvaruupiNii | mattaH prakR^itipurushhaatmaka.n jagach |” (Devi Upanishad-1-2 from Atharva Veda)
“All the gods waited upon the Goddess (and asked): ‘Mahadevi, who art Thou?’ She replied: I am essentially Brahman. From Me (has proceeded) the world comprising Prakriti (immobile objects) and Purusha (beings / mobile creatures)”.
N.B:- in the above verse it says from her proceeds the universe which is comprised of Prakriti and Purusha. Here Prakriti which constitutes the universe is a lower form of Prakriti called “Pradhana”, and that Prakriti is destructible (hence universe is destructible). And the Purusha mentioned as the constituent of the universe is all created beings which have consciousness. These two shouldn’t be confused with “Moola Prakriti (The goddess herself who is supreme and imperishable) and Purusha (supreme Brahman – Shiva).
All that is born takes birth inside the world-egg (Hiranyagarbha). And Hirayagarbha itself is born. And all that is born; actually gets their birth from Shakti. Shiva infuses life in the creation by entering as the indwelling Atman. The following verses also support the same.
“shivo.ayaM parama.n deva.n shaktireshhaa tu jiivajjaa |” (Tripuratapini Upanishad 1:18)
“Siva is the Supreme God. So (Brahman-knowers) say; Sakti is all that is born”.
Rig Veda says that Gauri (Uma) has become all this creation.
“gaurīrmimāya salilāni takṣatyekapadī dvipadī sā catuṣpadī
aṣṭāpadī navapadī babhūvuṣī sahasrākṣarā parame vyoman ” (RV 1.164.41)
“Forming the water-floods, the buffalo (cow) hath lowed, one-footed or two-footed or four-footed, she, Gauri, Who hath become eight-footed or hath got nine feet, the thousand-syllabled in the sublimest heaven.
“tasyāḥ samudrā adhi vi kṣaranti tena jīvanti pradiśaścatasraḥ
tataḥ kṣaratyakṣaraṃ tad viśvamupa jīvati ” (RV 1.164.42)
“From her (Gauri) descend in streams the seas of water; thereby the world’s four regions have their being, Thence flows the imperishable flood and thence the universe hath life”.
Well, the analysis of Narayana Suktam verse-1 is complete here because our interpretation of Narayana as Shakti is in sync with the other Shruti evdiences quoted above where it says from Shakti emerged this universe (which is same as what Narayana Suktam verse-1 also states).
But let’s see the presence of Ardhanareeshwara here for additional knowledge. Actually speaking; the whole universe and everything gets created by the union of Shiva and Shakti where Shiva implants his seed into Shakti and she engenders it as her womb (Hiranyagarbha – which is the universe). And within that womb as the embryos (worlds and creatures), it is Shiva who enters and makes the creation alive. In this process, all the creation inherits their material existence (or bodies) from Shakti (Prakriti) but the indweller is Shiva who takes birth. So, this is to say that, Shiva takes birth from the womb of his Shakti as the manifested world, and creatures; where the visible entities are created by Shakti and the consciousness is Shiva. It is Shiva who enters the creation and makes it alive. The same has been explained in Bhagawad Gita (BG. 4.6), “prakritim svam adhisthaya sambhavamy atma-mayaya”, which means, “relying on my own Prakriti I take birth by my own (powers) of illusion”. In simple terms, it is like a mother who gives birth to a child where the child is the reincarnation of the father himself but gets his form and body created by his mother.
visvatah paramannityam visvam narayanam harim ।
visvam eva idam purusah tadvisvam upajivati ॥ 2 ॥
This universe is the Supreme Being (Purusha) alone; hence, it subsists on That, the Eternal which transcends it (in every way) the Omnipresent Absolute which destroys all sins.
patim visvasya atma isvaram sasvatam sivamacyutam ।
narayanam mahajneyam visvatmanam parayanam ॥ 3 ॥
The protector of the universe, the Lord of all souls (or Lord over Self), the perpetual, the auspicious, the indestructible, the Goal of all creation, the Supreme object worthy of being known, the Soul of all beings, the Refuge unfailing (is He).
narayana paro jyotiratma narayanah parah ।
narayana param brahma tattvam narayanah parah ।
narayana paro dhyata dhyanam narayanah parah ॥ 4 ||
amtarbahisca tatsarvam vyapya narayanah sthitah ॥ 5 ॥
padma kosa pratikasam hrdayam ca api adhomukham ॥ 6 ॥
jvalamalakulam bhati visvasyayatanam mahat ॥ 7 ॥
Below the Adam’s apple, at a distance of a span, and above the navel (i.e., the heart which is the relative seat of the manifestation of Pure Consciousness in the human being), effulges the Great Abode of the universe, as if adorned with garlands of flames.
santatam silabhistu lambatya kosasannibham ।
tasyante susiram suksmam tasmin sarvam pratisthitam ॥ 8 ॥
so’gravibhajamtisthan aharam ajarah kavih ॥ 9 ॥
tiryagurdhvamadhassayi rasmayah tasya santata ।
santapayati svam dehamapadatalamastakah ।
tasya madhye vahnisikha aniyordhva vyavasthitah ॥ 10 ॥
nivarasukavattanvi pita bhasvatyanupama ॥ 11 ॥
sa brahma sa sivah sa harih sa indrah so’ksarah paramah svarat ॥ 12 ॥
urdhvaretam virupaksam visvarupaya vai namo namah ॥ 13 ॥
We commune ourselves with Narayana, and meditate on Vaasudeva; May that Vishnu direct us (to the Great Goal).
ōṁ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.
Om. May there be Peace, Peace, Peace.
Narayana Suktam Lyrics in Devanagari:
ॐ ॥ स॒ह॒स्र॒शीर्॑षं दे॒वं॒ वि॒श्वाक्षं॑ वि॒श्वशं॑भुवम् ।
अन्त॑र्ब॒हिश्च॑ तत्स॒र्वं॒ व्या॒प्य ना॑राय॒णः स्थि॑तः ।
ॐ ना॒रा॒य॒णाय॑ वि॒द्महे॑ वासुदे॒वाय॑ धीमहि । तन्नो॑ विष्णुः प्रचो॒दया॓त् ॥
ॐ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑ ॥