Prayer

Prayer

Sri Sankara

I know no mantra, yantra or stotra: I know no invocation or contemplation; I know no stories in your praise; I know no stories in your praise; I know not mudras, not even how to cry out; I simply know that running to you, O Mother, destroys all distress.

By a mistake of fate, poverty, laziness or the impossibility of becoming your devotee, I have been away from Your feet. Auspicious Mother! Saviour of all humankind! Forgive my sin. A wicked son is sometimes born, but never an unkind Mother.

O Goddess Durga, Ocean of compassion! I think of You only when I am immersed in calamities. Do not take it as insincerity on my part. A child, who is seized with hunger or thirst, thinks of his mother only.

Ignorant of the commands of scriptures, utterly devoid of wealth, shiftless, indolent am I, unable to do as I ought to do. Mother, Saviour of all humankind! Kindly forgive my sins.

Here in this world of Yours, O Mother, many are Your guiltless children; but restless am I among them all, and so it is nothing very strange that I should turn myself from You. Yet, surely, it were impossible that You should ever turn away from me.

I do not ask of You, O Mother, riches, good fortune, or salvation; I seek no happiness, no knowledge. This is my only prayer to You – that as the breath of life forsakes me, I may still chant Your Holy Name.

Nowhere exists in all the worlds another sinner equal to me, nowhere a Power like Yourself for overcoming sinfulness; O Goddess, keeping this in mind, do as You please.

O Siva! O Pasupati! O Lord of Parvati! Kindly rescue me, helpless as I am, from the trackless forest of this miserable world.

O Siva! Forgive all the sins that I have committed with hands or feet, with ears or eyes, with words or body, with mind or heart; forgive my sins, those past and those that are yet to come. Victory unto Siva, the Ocean of compassion, the great God, the abode of Blessedness!

In youth, the venomous snakes of sound and sight, of taste, touch and smell, fastened upon my vitals and slew my discrimination. Alas! My heart bereft of the thought of Siva, swelled with arrogance and pride. Therefore, O Siva, O Mahadeva, O Sambhu, forgive me, I pray, my transgressions.

Now in my old age, my senses have lost the  power of proper judging and acting; my body is weak and senile from many afflictions. From sins and illness and bereavements; but even now my mind, instead of meditating on Siva, runs after vain desires and hollow discussions. O Siva, O Mahadeva, O Sambhu, forgive me, I pray for my transgressions.

Wherever my mind is, let there be Your form; wherever my head is, let there be Your feet.

 

— reproduced from THUS SPAKE SRI SANKARA published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, India.

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