Shiva Tandava Stotram is one of the best-known Hinduistic stotras. Stotra translates to “euology” or a “hymn of praise”.
It is a type of religious text which is composed in a way in which it can be sung, compared to other texts which are designed to be recited.
Read on to find out more about:
- What the Shiva Tandava Stotram is
- The origins of Shiva Tandava Stotram
- Shiva Tandava Stotram lyrics and meaning
- Its benefits
- How to sing it
- When to sing it
- Audios & videos
What is Shiva Tandava Stotram?
This particular stotra expresses praise and devotion to Lord Shiva. Shiva is one of the Trimurti, the big three deities in Hinduism, responsible for the destruction of the universe.
Once you read the Shiva Tandava Stotram meaning and the beauty of these words, you might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t written by a sage or a saint.
In fact, this hymn was written by Ravana, a demon king. Each of the 15 verses praises Lord Shiva and describes his beauty, mercy, supreme power, and glory.
Through these words, it depscribes the main topic – Shiva’s Tandava cosmic dance, which destroys all negative energies. It also talks about Shiva’s loving relationship with Goddess Parvati.
Since this stotra pleased Lord Shiva, we can use it when we’re uncertain of finding our own words to pray. It can give us an opportunity to celebrate Lord Shiva, and will also help us feel energized.
Shiva Tandava Stotram Origin Story
King Ravana was a vicious demon who is a part of many stories. He was best known for abducting Sita, the wife of King Rama, in a story written in the epic Ramayana.
Other stories also show his fierce and arrogant side, but not many did know that he was an avid Shiva devotee.
This may surprise you given the fact he is a demon. However, among many of Shiva’s names, the best known one is “Bholenath”, meaning the one who is innocent and easy to please.
As well as this, and another thing that demons obviously liked, was that Shiva granted a boon to anyone who praised him.
The story of Shiva Tandava Stotram relates to a day when he traveled far to reach Kailash. To take advantage of Shiva’s aforementioned virtues, he tried to lift the Kailash mountain to take it along with him.
Shiva got angry, pushed the mountain back down with his toe, and trapped Ravana. To avoid further punishment from enraged Lord Shiva and to get back in his favor, he started chanting the Shiva Tandava Stotram hymn.Shiva is said to be particularly easily pleased with music and so, as Ravana started singing, Shiva became completely captivated and was eventually pleased.
Note that although Shiva is merciful – he wasn’t pleased overnight. In fact, the legend says he sang to Shiva for a thousand years.
Only then, Shiva allowed Ravana to ask for a boon, and as a result, he received an indestructible sword and became invincible. He also bestowed him with a linga, a symbol of Shiva, so he can continue to worship him.
Shiva Tandava Stotram Lyrics and Meaning
Galeavalambya lambitam bhujangatungamalikam |
Damad damad damaddama ninadavadamarvayam
Chakara chandtandavam tanotu nah shivah shivam ||1||
From the forest of his matted lock, water flows and wets his neck,
On which hangs the greatest of snake like a garland,
And his drum incessantly plays damat, damat, damat, damat,
And Shiva is engaged in the very vigorous manly Tandava dance,
To bless and shower, prosperity on all of us.
Jata kata hasambhrama bhramanilimpanirjhari
Vilolavichivalarai virajamanamurdhani |
Dhagadhagadhagajjva lalalata pattapavake
Kishora chandrashekhare ratih pratikshanam mama ||2||
As the rows of waves of the sacred Ganga move through Lord Shiva’s matted hair, it glorifies His Head,
The waves of the river flow into the depths of His locks of hair,
A brilliant fire burns on the surface of Lord Shiva’s forehead,
And the crescent moon is a jewel on His Head.
(May we find constant joy in Him!)
Sphuradigantasantati pramodamanamanase |
Kvachidigambare manovinodametuvastuni ||3||
Salutations to Lord Shiva, who is the sporting consort of the daughter of the mountain king (Parvati),
In whose mind the universe with all the living beings exist,
Whose all-pervading, compassionate glance removes all hardships,
Who wears the directions as His apparel.
(May my mind find bliss in Him!)
Jata bhujan gapingala sphuratphanamaniprabha
Kadambakunkuma dravapralipta digvadhumukhe |
Madandha sindhu rasphuratvagutariyamedure
Mano vinodamadbhutam bibhartu bhutabhartari ||4||
He, with the shining lustrous gem on the hood
Of the serpent entwining his matted locks,
He, who is with his bride whose face is decorated
By the melting of red saffron Kumkum,
And He who wears on his shoulder the hide
Of the elephant which was blind with ferociousness,
Makes my mind happy and contented,
In him who is the leader of Bhoothas*.
*souls/ghosts or mythical beings guarding Kailasa
Sahasra lochana prabhritya sheshalekhashekhara
Prasuna dhulidhorani vidhusaranghripithabhuh |
Bhujangaraja malaya nibaddhajatajutaka
Shriyai chiraya jayatam chakora bandhushekharah ||5||
Salutations to Lord Shiva, whose footrest is decorated by the dust from flowers,
Which fall from the heads of all the gods – Indra, Vishnu and others,
Whose matted locks are bound by the snake-garland,
Whose head holds the moon, a friend of Chakora*, as a crown.
(May Lord Shiva bless us with prosperity!)
* mythical bird who drinks moonlight
Nipitapajnchasayakam namannilimpanayakam |
Sudha mayukha lekhaya virajamanashekharam
Maha kapali sampade shirojatalamastu nah ||6||
May Lord Shiva, who devoured the God of Love with the fire burning on His forehead,
Who is revered by the celestial leaders,
Whose forehead is enticing with the gleam and cool rays of the crescent moon,
Shower His blessings on us, so we obtain the wealth of the Siddhis.
Karala bhala pattikadhagaddhagaddhagajjvala
Ddhanajnjaya hutikruta prachandapajnchasayake |
Dharadharendra nandini kuchagrachitrapatraka
Prakalpanaikashilpini trilochane ratirmama ||7||
May He in whose dreadful forehead, fire burns “Dhahaga”, “Dhaga,”
May He who burnt the one with five arrows* as an offering to fire,
May He who is the only one who can write decorative lines,
On the tip of the breasts of the daughter of the mountain,
And May He with three eyes make mind enjoy in him.
* The God of love
Navina megha mandali niruddhadurdharasphurat
Kuhu nishithinitamah prabandhabaddhakandharah |
Nilimpanirjhari dharastanotu krutti sindhurah
Kalanidhanabandhurah shriyam jagaddhurandharah ||8||
Salutations to Lord Shiva, whose neck is as dark as layers of dark clouds on the night of the full moon,
Who is enchanting as He wears the moon and celestial river on His head,
Who bears the weight of this universe.
(May He bless us with prosperity!)
Praphulla nila pankaja prapajnchakalimchatha
Vdambi kanthakandali raruchi prabaddhakandharam |
Smarachchidam purachchhidam bhavachchidam makhachchidam
Gajachchidandhakachidam tamamtakachchidam bhaje ||9||
I salute him, who shines with a black neck
Similar to the well opened blue lotus,
On which all the temples depend for prayer,
And him who destroyed God of love, the three cities,
The worldly problems and yaga destroyers,
And him who destroyed elephant faced Asura and also God of death.
Rasapravaha madhuri vijrumbhana madhuvratam |
Smarantakam purantakam bhavantakam makhantakam
Gajantakandhakantakam tamantakantakam bhaje ||10||
Salutations to Lord Shiva, who has bees flying around Him,
Because of the auspicious and sweet scent of the kadambha flowers,
Who destroyed Manmatha (God of Love), Tripura (3 cities),
Who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, and the yagnas (sacrifices),
Who destroyed Andhaka (his blind son), the elephant demon (Gajasura), and the God of Death (Yama).
(May He bless us with prosperity!)
Dhigdhigdhi nirgamatkarala bhaal havyavat |
Dhvanikramapravartita prachanda tandavah shivah ||11||
Salutations to Lord Shiva, who has a fire on His forehead, that is ever-increasing
Because of the breath of the snake wandering in the sky,
Whose Tandava dance is in tune with dhimid-dhimid,
Victory to Lord Shiva!
Drushadvichitratalpayor bhujanga mauktikasrajor
Garishtharatnaloshthayoh suhrudvipakshapakshayoh |
Sama pravartayanmanah kada sadashivam bhajamyaham ||12||
Towards different forms of the world, towards a snake and a garland,
Towards the most precious gem as well as a lump of dirt, and friends and enemies,
Towards a blade of grass or a lotus, towards common people or emperors,
Lord Shiva has an equanimous vision – where can I worship Lord Sadashiva?
Kada nilimpanirjhari nikujnjakotare vasanh
Vimuktadurmatih sada shirah sthamajnjalim vahanh |
Shiveti mantramuchcharan sada sukhi bhavamyaham ||13||
When can I be happy, living in a cave near the celestial river Ganga,
Clasping my hands together on my head all the time,
Devoted to the Lord with a glorious forehead and with vibrant eyes,
Washing away my impure thoughts with the mantra of Shiva?
Imam hi nityameva muktamuttamottamam stavam
Pathansmaran bruvannaro vishuddhimeti santatam |
Hare gurau subhaktimashu yati nanyatha gatim
Vimohanam hi dehinam sushankarasya chintanam ||14||
Anyone who reads, remembers, and recites this stotram
Is purified forever and immerses in deep devotion to the great Guru Shiva leading to salvation.
There is no other way or refuge,
Just the mere thought of Lord Shiva removes the delusion and detachment.
Puja vasanasamaye dashavaktragitam
Yah shambhupujanaparam pathati pradoshhe |
Tasya sthiram rathagajendraturangayuktam
Lakshmim sadaiva sumukhim pradadati shambhuh ||15||
One who recites this song composed by Ravana
At the end of prayer to Lord Shiva early in the morning,
Gets wealth of chariots, elephants, horses.
Lord Shambhu always gives such people prosperity.
Shiva Tandava Stotram Benefits
When we talk about yoga poses, we mention physical benefits, most of which are proven by science – or can be.
But now, we’re entering the field of religion and devotion to God, so to trust the benefits of this Sanskrit hymn, we literally need a leap of faith.
Shiva Tandava Stotram was adapted in many texts, sung by many musicians, and was part of a variety of films and series. The reason being that its spiritual effects are well known.
The stotra can bring one to a state of spiritual bliss and destroys negative energies around them. It makes the devotee feel they are full of energy and imparts great beauty, power, and mental strength to them.
In its essence, the stotra benefits one who wants to please Shiva and wouldn’t otherwise know how to approach him.
Since the song has pleased God Shiva and his wife Parvati when sung by Ravana, regardless of his sins, it has been shown to be an accepted form of worship.
The Shiva Tandava Stotram itself also talks about its benefits in the last verses.
The verses tell how each person who sings or recites the song in the evening will be given all material blessings. It goes so far as to say they will receive gifts suitable for a king, with examples of chariots, the best elephants, and horses.
The song also says the person who is chanting this song will be blessed by the Goddess of Wealth and Luck, Lakshmi. Lord Shiva himself will be happy, and all of the person’s wishes will be fulfilled.
Sometimes, we want to praise the Lord without really asking for anything. In this way, we can begin to truly understand him and meditate on him.
Shiva Tandava Stotram is a beautiful form of worship for those who want to build a connection with Shiva.
His devotees say they can feel his blessings and presence while singing this hymn.
Shiva Tandava Stotram – How To Chant
One of the most comforting things for many is that this hymn can be sung by everyone. The Hindu scriptures say it can be sung by any caste or gender.
Everyone can worship Shiva, regardless of how pure or sinful they are, as long as they try to sing it with devotion and understanding.
Whether you recite the song from a piece of paper or sing the song from memory, this isn’t as important as singing it with full understanding.
We’ll assume you’re not proficient in Sanskrit for the sake of these instructions (most of our readers aren’t).
If that’s the case, learning to chant the song in the right way will take a bit of time. You’ll first want to listen to it to hear the right pronunciation. Then try to sing along. It will be much easier to learn in this way.
We’ll share some useful Shiva Tandava Stotram audios for that at the end of this article.
It’s ok to have the lyrics in front of you when you sing, but do go through the meanings for each verse. Only if you fully understand what you’re singing can you receive the benefits of this song.
Shiva Tandava Stotram – When To Chant
You can chant Shiva Tandava Stotram at any time, but there are some times when one may receive more benefits.
1. In an Eclipse
It is said that chanting Shiva’s songs and mantras like the Shiva Tandava Stotram and Om Namah Shivaya during an eclipse reduces any bad effects planets have on your life.
It is also said praying and chanting are a hundred times more effective during the eclipse than at any other time.
2. Dawn and dusk
Brahma Muhurta is the period before dawn. It is said that any devotion you do in these periods is much more effective than at other times of the day.
On the other hand, it is said the best time to worship Lord Shiva is in the prodosha or the period of sunset.
3. Pradosh Vrat
The word pradosh refers to the time of the day, but also several special days in the month when it’s especially beneficial to worship Shiva.
The worship is traditionally also accompanied by fasting. There are online calendars you can use to find out when the next Pradosh Vrat is.
Shiva Tandava Stotram Audios
Now you know everything you need to know about the Shiva Tandava Stotram meaning and its benefits, it’s time to hear the actual song, and perhaps learn it to build your connection with the most merciful of all, Lord Shiva.
More on mantra
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