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Shiva Kavitalu: Devotional Poems on Shiva

About the author

Dr V.V. Hanumantha Rao had the great good fortune of going around the entire country with Sadguru Sivanadamurty, his guru, as a worshipper, disciple, follower and companion.  He grew up under his preceptor.  With his suggestion and under his guidance he wrote Shiva Kavitalu, a devotional composition published by Sivananda Supatha Foundation. Presented below is my translation of the Shiva Kavitalu poems:

Courage only by seeing YOU

For having the gumption to have Your darshan
Would You rage fire with flint stone
The three-eyed one with the skull dish
Boiling rice till water evaporates!

Let the Sun go up far
In the cold that is harsh
Giving up the ox
How would You go for ingredients!

For followers countless
And guests numberless
How could You cook for the feast,
And serve those in countless numbers!

How do you take care?
And guard little kids without fall
How safe would they be!
Held by You!

First a family one
Guarding a city
Every time I get tired with my little family
Think of You and Your forms in wonder!

Your play for diversion
Oh! The killer of Love God!
May the moon shine of Yours
Enrich my smiles
Remember I
The mountain of Your innumerable chores!

The one going bad is our Brother Shambhu!

Forgiving us endlessly
You smeared ash all over
For cruelty to send those to the burning ghat
Reducing the god of love to ash
For correction
Make You that your resting place!
Having Gauri Your better-half.
Why any worry for us!
Isn’t He Shambu by our side!

Feel running Your palm over Your head

What happened to all the water pored over
Not a
Drop remains!
What would I call this magic!
Did anyone praise or condemn
You carry it both
You don’t leave even while lighting his corpse.

Feel running your fingers on the pate
And bless us plenteously!
The immovability of Your LINGA
The movability of the living
Your strength and power and Your Thinking
Implant in my heart
Use it in Your work!

Shiva, Is it for Nothing!

Is it just for wealth,
Devotion for Shiva?
All the sections of Peria PuraNa,
An ocean of sayings?
Is written and read
Just as a pastime,
The great declarations
Of all those Nayanars!

Is it for nothing that Ravanasura
The superhumans and the far-living are devotees
Worshipped Him!

Is it for nothing that offered,
Holy water and milk
Sweet fruit juice in devotion!

Is it for nothing that the Spider,
Elephant and the great devotees offered
Their lives for the Pasupati Eswar!

Is it for nothing our parents and forefathers,
Walk readily to the burning ghat
To Kashi, crossing forests and wilds

Is creation only for nothing,
Birth and living and work in devotion
All only for just nothing?

Is devotion just for nothing! Salvation
And faith and devotion
Only for nothing! 

Devotion to Shiva – A Sharp Sword

Sprouting from the origin
Cleaving the three glands
Going back into the sheath
A moving sword

Showers down the aeons
Hot winds through generations
Cutting off bonds
Plucking and cutting off

Though this much happened
Without even a grain, lost its sharpness
The sword never lost its shine
Getting into the eye
Piercing the ear
Cleaving cover over the manas
Opening up the flower of buddhi, intellect

Entering into the innards
The roots of life and living
All is plucked out with this sword

This sword cuts off the field
All the produce down the births
Heaps us and collected grain

The troop of the six enemies
Fights and defeats the fields of thought and feeling
That is the grit of the sword.

Sword big and sharp
Cleaves the innards of consciousness rising
Rouses again with devotion to Shiva!

Devotion to Shiva is everlasting
Attraction to Him is limitless
Endless and deathless is D E V O T I O N

Devotion favourable

Whatever one needs
All are there with You!

For moon’s cool shade
Ma Ganga is there on your crown!

To the snake to take a round
there is poison in Your throat!

For the burning-ghat being Your home
Ghosts have been Your servants!

The wealth You don’t use
Became the Wealth Tree for Kubera!

To chew the cud plentifully
Your ox to ride on!

With no distance, wishing Your company
On Your left is Universal Mother!

Then, if favourable
The world is full of Your followers!

In deluge the moment unfavourable
Beg, none is there for any effort!

All are symbols of friendship
In the area favourable!

In the time of great poison
Every one takes to the heel!

This is Your tale from the beginning of Creation
Oh1 Lord! Your birth chart is all loss!

The Eight Formed One!
No visionary can envision Your thinking!

We are poets who try to decipher Your secrets!
The keys of the padlocks of Your tatwa, thought processes!

Are You a Lingama! Or, Jangama!

Lingama! Jangama!
Do we say no fear
To swallow anything, even bitter!
Lingama! Jangama!
Would we say we don’t bend down
Only the god of love would be defeated!
Lingama! Jangama!
Would we say no to meetings!
The daughter of the mountain is half of Your mane!
Lingama! Jangama!
Would we say there is no being defiled!
What if Ma Ganga is on the Crown!
Lingama! Jangama!
The world is a stage in a theatre!
Don’t we play and sing! Why fatigue!

Lingama! Jangama!
In the lotus heart - a servant!
What can we say, the honey of our devotion!
Lingama! Jangama!
The deer of wise rage!
Drop us not from Your lap!
Lingama! Jangama!
Shall we say it is fire on Your brow!
Or, water in the matted locks!
Or, just live as per Your wish!

Drug for Flames

If beaten even with a single matted lock
By Veerabhadra the directions would be shaken!
In the many matted Dhoorjati
How many fires of deluge are there!
Perhaps this is why You have Ma Ganga
On Your head, for coolness!
On those locks there is moon
Smeared over with sandal paste!
For the raging flames
That would be a balm!
Otherwise all the world
Would be in flames and people would be burnt!

Would He deny if any one prays for?

What Daksha has done
Is the same as the love god has done!
Both thought and treated Rudra as human
The same blunder!
But then, Daksha
With unforgivable arrogance!
But poor love god’ is
Only an attempt to help mankind!
Only for that reason
The love god became bodied!
The arrows of Tripuras
Went to the untouchable master Rudra
Angels and demi-gods praise
We worship the one wielding the trident!

Poor love god
Shot a flower-arrow
How simple and childlike is the love god!
Made Ratidevi shed tears!

Falling on he feet and seeking mercy
Wouldn’t He shower mercy!
One should ask for s boon
It is the love god’s fault
To try to force Shiva!

The one with the kindest qualities
Is the innocent good heated Shiva!
Did He not swallow poison?
The one with poison in His throat!

He would shower boons even on devils, if prayed for
Embodiment of mercy is He!
Very delicate
Wouldn’t He favour the lover god!


Enough if You move…

Enough if You move
The seasons of poesy
Pleased would be
The orchards of Life!

The little moments of thoughts of You
Great things occurring
Would snap away the bond
Of days and nights!

The ash You are smeared on
Is a painting on You
Down Your head to toe
All attracts You
The snow mount where You live
When You are with us
It is a celebration, a festivity!

Of sight, the Sun of Your vision
The fear Your sight causes
Wouldn’t all be burnt
And become ash! Siva!

The Three-eyed one of Telugus

Note: The poet refers to Telugu poets. philosophers and places of art and architecture here:

The language Siva talks
Speak the Telugus
The way Bhava expresses in 
Is the way of our land!

Speaking deliciously with Ma Ganga
Responding to Bejja Mahadevi’s endearing talk
Calling ‘Nannaya’ affectionately
Moved about Siva becoming a Trailinga!

Listening to Nanne Choda’s Kumara Sambhavam
With speech mellifluous with musical sweetness
He must have spoken in Telugu local tone
“BhaLey! Very sweet is the composition, praising!

Under the prestigious roof of worship in the thousand pillars
In a beautiful way with Pandithaaraadhya
Held dialogue in Orugallu this Deity, MRUDAA
With vowels and consonants in pure Telugu!

With the intimacy of Palkurki in friendship
Greeted He in the country language in a special style
With the sweetness of jaggery, treacle
Enjoyed gleefully Siva with joy!

In the Vemulavada temple with Bhmakavi
With proverbs, tales and sayings
He must be playing
With the joy of Prakrit!

Worshiping with Odayanambi
In the village Achanta in the temples
O! the little one, speaking sweetly
Goes the three-eyed one’s Telugu!

In Kumaaraarama greeting poet Sreenadha,
In the Godavari region slang
How are you? He must be fully energetic
The three-eyed One the Telugu in full value! 

In Sri Kalahasti on the banks of Suwarnamukhi
Must be saying “Come! Dhoorjati! Are you fine!”  
The poison-throated clearing His throat
With a loving glance in sweet Telugu!

Here is the food for the creatures of Pasupathi

Here is grab for the stomachs of Your creatures!
For infants and little kids breast milk
Here is oil for the flames, O Lord!
If you refuse grab where is life for us!

If there is no eye to see how can one survive?
To hear the ear is the organ
Can we live without listening?
Only the dearest one is to sing Your praise!

Sure, it is like a little babe we crawl
Sometimes while running we fall
We walk like one with a broken limb
Don’t You know our organs, Lord!

The life breath, Prana, is the bracelet on the wrist
Manas is the flower in Your hair, the moon
Intellect, buddhi, is the deer running
The living one is part of Your locks of hair!

O! The Three Eyed One bless us to stay alive!
Oh! Poison Throated! Bless us to pray and reach You!
The Odd Eyed One!
Give us the ease of way!

The Hand which Flows down Mercy

Welcome Pashupati!
The hand that showers down mercy
Dispels fear
Come down quickly!

Driving away enemies
Giving relief
You are the most benevolent, skilled
Shamho! Tripuraari!

An infant I am!
My condition is infancy
Oh! The merciful
Para mesa! Our fortune and wealth!

Remove the condition of fever
Relieve all pain
Bless us with peace of home
Mahadeva! Shambho!

For the likes of me
To bless is how much!
Through the knee deep
Help us cross all grief!

Burn down the forests of grief
Be the light of the sky
Hey the glow of Kashi
How easy is that for You!

Burn down the wilds of sorrow
Be the light of the sky
You are the all bestowing Kalpavriksha!
Answer all my calls, hearing all my cries!

Lord! Your mercy!

This life, this being
This birth, this action
This moment, this trice
All is Your mercy, Lord!

This writing, this verse
The heap of my doing
The thinking behind all
All Your kindness, mu Lord!

A little warning, even in a dream
Never disobeying even for a moment
All this – Your mercy, I don’t forget
All and everything – Your mercy, Lord!

The Story of Creation

Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Who else is our mentor?
Who else we have to look up to for mercy?

Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Your mercy it is for breast milk giving to our infants!

Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Your love and affection are comfort giving to us, hubby and wife!

Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Your blessing is the offering for our happiness!

Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Your direction it is for the movement of the universe!
Your love and affection are our wealth
Salutations, Shiva! Salutations, the ever youthful!
Your embrace, Your wish
The duo mating is holy unction!

Our dad is stability and merciful our Ma!
The saviour of all our offspring and moment auspicious!
Your love and affection are our wealth!

Wherever there is unction there is great crow
Wherever there is unction it is celebration
For the linga it is water, it is life ad living
Every drop is fruit of desire fulfilled!

When living is gone the devotion rises high
The linga living has great flow of feeling
When culture and graces ancient die
It is unction that flows for Hara!

From Dad’s eyes wet with tears
There would be flow of fortunes!
If one asks whose wealth is that, saying that it is Dad’s
Would reply all people, brothers!

Till the aeons’ end boons are bestowed
For existence and a world
There are fourteen lokas which are movable
And properties immovable
All given for to enjoy living with!

Five organs and five pranas
Five elements are given by the five-faced
Who asked to imagine, understand and 
When tired and exhausted join Him.!

Asked us to be good, comfortable
Taste grief for committing sins!
As a bird, snake, animal or insect
We are asked to travel the earth!

As humans, He asked us to
Shed radiance and glow in this world
        He asked us to come here again and again
And die again and again!

Future and past – birth and death
He asked us to play, win and lose
Seeing again and again, hating and hating
Depart saying ‘Enough is enough’ leaving freely!

Then He asked us to look at Him
Asked then to give up desire
Said He would give immediately when asked
And lift us to His lap then and there!

Would be seen in ash …

Demon Tripura becoming as would be seen in ash
The body of Sati Devi (Parvati) shone as ash in radiance
In ash can be seen the burnt Love God
As ash the burnt Lanka can be seen
In ash our grandfathers and great grand fathers
In layers over layers
Rudra in time flames mearing ash
What grandeur is His!
The tale of happenings in Creation is clear
The mad imagination of life and living
The times of smearing ash come clear to mind!

Youth of Shiva

In saying Shambu is self-born
What is secret?
Every moment being different and new
There on thing - T I M E!

In a moment it is visible
Seeing the condition
In a moment there is a boon
The one Seeing is Shiva!

The past and the coming
Would appear to have no relation
Fruit and its result
His boon blossoms like a flower!

Belief it is that He is ever-youthful
To call Him Shiva
Ever new! Ever New!
In every atom would
He is born, every moment!
The site He is not living in
Is the site of His birth!

That is the reason Shata Rudra
It is appropriate to say
The moment He ends
Is that very moment He begins!

For those who did …

Giving Bhasmasura! Giving BaaNaasura
Giving Gajaasura, Giving Shatasura …
Giving the moment asked, boons to the demons
Every moment you rained boons
In a trice when asked
Whoever knows what happens next
As a stream You shed boons
The moment asked, - even to adulterers or thieves!

Giving what is asked Oh! Mruda! is Your wont
Who knows wat is in the future!
Hara! You give what we want. This is Your joy!
The result of our Karma would follow as our doing!

What is to be asked, what not
What favours and what does harm
To know the heat before Your spear
The responsibility is only the doer’s!

If what is done is good, punya,
Comes good result, gives happiness
If what is done is wrong and sinful
Grief accrues!
If desired and worked for, comes Heaven!

In Shiva’s press
This is the first print!
For whatever one does
Comes the reward accordingly!
The scriptures, epics
Just tell us this!

Not able to understand this, not seeking Your support
Like the bling ox going into the field, if asked
Would you stop bestowing!
Mahadev, for the acts the approprite results!

Rudra’s Edict

Neglecting holy scriptures, leaving the deity
beiForgetting to learn and avoing the great ones
Nail, hair, bone being the body
The outward actions of fire obltions and the divine related
The leader of the ritual carries
The celebration of Daksha 
Is not the God ordained,
Not in divine ordained
So came the consequnce horrible
Arrived Veerabhadra dancing fiercely!

Isn’t our body the place chosen for Daksha’s yajna!
Is n’t the manas the performer!
The performers are the bodily organs
All the doers of human sustinence are the performers!

In yajna the five vishayas are ffered to five deeds
Swaaha!Swadhaa! are the prescribed rites
Only the condition of the mind would be Brahma, the perormer
Daksha being the lord of thinking
Even the existing Natue is Sati Devi…

When the inner feelings are there
No realization that jeeva is Shiva? Re, re!
Doesn’t the thought go to Hara, the goal!

Forgetting Shiva and Jeeva
Daksha behaves
Performs the yajna
All the acivities of life
Insults Nature Sati Devi
Is this not Daksha’s yajna!
It is destroyed by Vaarabhadra called Death!

For all this prformance
Siva, the inner one is not realized, re re!

Forgetting that jeeva is Shiva
The consciouness Daksha
Goes on doing things
That yajna is insulting Sati, prakriti!
Deatroyed by Death! Veerahadra!


Beyond maintaining body
For thirst hunger and tastes
Eating is Daksha yajna!
Beyond the growth of family
The woman who dallies
Is Daksha yajna!

Without  charity or giving away
Accumulation of wealth
Is Daksha yajna!
Without knowledge of the good deeds
The knowledge of developing the mere ‘I’
Is Daksha yajna!
Forgetting clean moral behaviour
Dallying with beastly immoral acations
Is Daksha yajna!
Just for argument, discussion
Speaking for pros and cons
Is Daksha yajna!
Crossing morality and priciples
Accumulation of money
Is Daksha yajna!
Worshipping and serving a mean king
Leaving enlightened company
Is Daksha yajna!
Anyhting impious
With no good thinking
Is Daksha yajna!
Speech and discussion limitless
Doing deeds not following dharma
Is Daksha yajna!
Education and learning with no goal
Is Daksha yajna!
Any thing that makes nature grief stricken
Is Daksha yajna!

Continued to Next Page  



More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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