Hymnology is a significant genre in Sanskrit Literature. The most
ancient literature of human beings contains his relating to the Lord. .
There is a huge repertoire of sakfas (hymns) in Vedic Literature. Equal
numbers of sfotras are there in Classical Sanskrit Literature. :
Uktam means - 'said'. Su-uktam means ‘well-said'. Thus, sdktam
means a hymn praising a particular deity by a rsi. There are 1,028
siktas in the ten mandalas of the Rgveda comprising 10,552 mantras.
A few popular sdktas have been selected in this book that are regularly
chanted in the temples.
This text should not have taken so long. But I realized what | had
dismissed earlier as commonplace has immense depth.
I am happy to have included all the three philosophical sdktas in the
Rgveda. There is a clear development. The dc (faf) in Nasadiya-
Stiktam becomes Hiranyagarbha in Hiranyagarbha-Siktam, and then
the full-fledged Purusa in Purusa-Sdktam. usaf & Uae
That the extra mantras in the Rgvedic Purusa-Stktam are from Krsna-
Yajurveda, a discovery while writing Nomenclature of the Vedas.
These three are followed by Visnu-Siktam (again a compilaton of
mantras scattered in the first and seventh mandala cf te cwece
followed by Narayana-Siktam. This had to be followed Dy Saica
to bring tangible abundance to the readers. I have included af the a
additions to the original fifteen mantras that are in the khila
That four mantras in the Durga-Siktam are dedicated to Agr was 2
Mantrapuspam was another challenge. There are clear paragraphs.
and there is a clear pattern. Thus, presentation is very important. I am
sure if Purusa-Saktam and Narayana-Siktam were presented as
verses (instead of running like prose), they would be clearer to all
Dasasanti (my first book in 2008) was already published with each
word-meaning, so was not difficult. However, the 10" SAntimantra
brahmanam vidadhati pairvam yo vai vedamsca prahinoti tasmai. tam
ha devam atmabuddhi-prakasam mumuksur-vai Saranam aham
prapadye - took me one year to locate. I found it while going through all
the 10,552 mantras of the Rgveda.
In Classical Sanskrit, the styles of sfotras are many. There are -
paficakam (comprising five Slokas), satkam (comprising six S/okas),
astakam (comprising eight Slokas), Safakam (with a hundred S/okas),
sahasri (with a thousand S/okas). All these are generally simple. Rarely
some of them sometimes contain long compounds leaning towards
artificiality, especially when the subject matter is Tantric. Some of such
examples are - Kanakadhara-Stotram, Mahisasuramardini-Stotram,
Seeds of philosophical thoughts are there in some of the sfotras like -
atmatvam girifa matih sahacarah pranah Sariram grham, puja te
visayopabhoga-racana nidra samadhi-sthitih’ - Sivamanasapija
Daksinamarti-Stotram of Sankara (on which Sureswara has written a
commentary titled Manasollasa) is regarded as one of the most famous
Most of the stotras are composed in Anustup* (as used in the
Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavadgita) or Tristup" (used
in Bhagavadgita), or Vasantatilaka (portions of Kanakadhara-Stotram),
Sardulavikridita* (Daksinamiurti-Stotram), and rarely Arya which is used
by the hymnologists in a very graceful way.
There are more elaborate schemes, as in the case of Dandaka metre.
The well-known Syamala-dandakam Stotram, attributed to Kalidasa is
Hymnology is alive from Rgvedic period till date. We have hymns in
vernacular languages also. These works are comparable to the work of
any high class hymnologists in Sanskrit.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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