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Daily Invocations
by Swami Krishnananda

The Narayana Sukta

ōm sahasraśīrṣaṁ devaṁ viśvākśaṁ viśvaśambhuvaṁ,
viśvaṁ nārāyaṇaṁ devamakśaraṁ paramaṁ padam.

This universe is the Eternal Being (Narayana), the imperishable, the supreme, the goal, multi-headed and multi-eyed (i.e., omnipresent and omniscient), the resplendent, the source of delight for the whole universe.

Note:—With this verse commences a famous hymn of the Vedic group, stating the characters of the Absolute in its manifestation as this creation.

viśvataḥ paramam nityaṁ viśvaṁ nārāyaṇagï harim,
viśvamevedaṁ puruṣastadviśvamupajīvati.

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.

patiṁ viśvasyātmeśvaragï śāśvatagï  śivamacyutam,
nārāyaṇaṁ mahājñeyaṁ viśvātmānaṁ parāyaṇam.

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).

nārāyaṇaḥ paraṁ brahma tattvaṁ nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ,
nārāyaṇaḥ paro jyotirātmā nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ.
nārāyaṇaḥ paro dhyātā dhyānam nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ.

The Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute; Narayana is the Supreme Reality; Narayana is the Supreme Light; Narayana is the Supreme Self; Narayana is the Supreme Meditator; Narayana is the Supreme Meditation.

yacca kiñcijjagatsarvaṁ dṛśyate śrūyate'pi vā,
antarbahiśca tatsarvaṁ vyāpya nārāyaṇaḥ sthitaḥ.

Whatever all this universe is, seen or heard of—pervading all this, from inside and outside alike, stands supreme the Eternal Divine Being (Narayana).

anantamavyayaṁ kavigï samudre'ntaṁ viśvaśambhuvam,
padmakośapratīkāśagï hṛdayaṁ cāpyadhomukham.

He is the Limitless, Imperishable, Omniscient, residing in the ocean of the heart, the Cause of the happiness of the universe, the Supreme End of all striving, (manifesting Himself) in the ether of the heart which is comparable to an inverted bud of the lotus flower.

adho niṣṭayā vitasyānte nābhyāmupari tiṣṭhati,
jvālamālākulaṁ bhāti viśvasyāyatanaṁ mahat.

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.

santatagï śilābhistu lambatyākośasannibham,
tasyānte suṣiragï sūkśmaṁ tasmin sarvaṁ pratiṣṭhitam.

Surrounded on all sides by nerve-currents (or arteries), the lotus-bud of the heart is suspended in an inverted position. In it is a subtle space (a narrow aperture, the sushumna-nadi), and therein is to be found the Substratum of all things.

tasya madhye mahanagnirviśvārcirviśvatomukhaḥ,
so'grabhug vibhajan tiṣṭhan āhāramajaraḥ kaviḥ.

In that space within the heart resides the Great Flaming Fire, undecaying, all-knowing, with tongues spread out in all directions, with faces turned everywhere, consuming all food presented before it, and assimilating it into itself.

tiryagūrdhvamadaḥśāyī raśmayastasya santatāḥ,
santāpayati svaṁ dehamāpātatalamastakam,
tasya madhye vahniśikhā aṇīyordhvā vyavasthitaḥ.

His rays, spreading all round, sideways as well as above and below, warm up the whole body from head to foot. In the centre of That (Flame) abides the Tongue of Fire as the topmost among all subtle things.

Note:—Due to the attachments and entanglement of the jiva in worldly enjoyment and suffering, the Consciousness is enshrouded in potential as well as expressed objectivity; hence, it appears like a tiny streak of flame within the dark clouds of ignorance. But when the jiva rises above worldliness, the Consciousness is realised as the Infinite.

nīlatoyadamadhyasthād vidyullekheva bhāsvarā,
nīvāraśūkavattanvī pītā bhāsvatyaṇūpamā.

Brilliant like a streak of lightning set in the midst of the blue rain-bearing clouds, slender like the awn of a paddy grain, yellow (like gold) in colour, in subtlety comparable to the minute atom, (this Tongue of Fire) glows splendid.

tasyāḥ śikhāyā madhye paramātmā vyavasthitaḥ,
sa brahma sa śivaḥ sa hariḥ sendraḥ so'kṣaraḥ paramaḥ svarāṭ.

In the middle of that Flame, the Supreme Self dwells. This (Self) is Brahma (the Creator), Siva (the Destroyer), Hari (the Protector), Indra (the Ruler), the Imperishable, the Absolute, the Autonomous Being.

ṛtagï satyaṁ paraṁ brahma puruṣaṁ kṛṣṇapiṅgalam,
ūrdhvaretaṁ virūpākśaṁ viśvarūpāya vai namo namaḥ.

Prostrations again and again to the Omni-formed Being, the Truth, the Law, the Supreme Absolute, the Purusha of blue-decked yellow hue, the Centralised-force Power, the All-seeing One.

ōm nārāyaṇāya vidmahe vāsudevāya dhīmahi,
tanno viṣṇuḥ pracodayāt.

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.