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Daily Invocations
by Swami Krishnananda


The Narayana Sukta

ॐ सहस्र शीर्षं देवं विश्वाक्षं विश्वशम्भुवम् ।
विश्वै नारायणं देवं अक्षरं परमं पदम् ॥

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.

विश्वतः परमान्नित्यं विश्वं नारायणं हरिम् ।
विश्वं एव इदं पुरुषः तद्विश्वं उपजीवति ॥

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.

पतिं विश्वस्य आत्मा ईश्वरं शाश्वतं शिवमच्युतम् ।
नारायणं महाज्ञेयं विश्वात्मानं परायणम् ॥

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).

नारायण परो ज्योतिरात्मा नारायणः परः ।
नारायण परं ब्रह्म तत्त्वं नारायणः परः ।
नारायण परो ध्याता ध्यानं नारायणः परः ॥

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.

यच्च किञ्चित् जगत् सर्वं दृश्यते श्रूयतेऽपि वा ।
अन्तर्बहिश्च तत्सर्वं व्याप्य नारायणः स्थितः ॥

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).

अनन्तं अव्ययं कविं समुद्रेन्तं विश्वशम्भुवम् ।
पद्म कोश प्रतीकाशं हृदयं च अपि अधोमुखम् ॥

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.

अधो निष्ठ्या वितस्त्यान्ते नाभ्याम् उपरि तिष्ठति ।
ज्वालामालाकुलं भाती विश्वस्यायतनं महत् ॥

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.

सन्ततं शिलाभिस्तु लम्बत्या कोशसन्निभम् ।
तस्यान्ते सुषिरं सूक्ष्मं तस्मिन् सर्वं प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥

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.

तस्य मध्ये महानग्निः विश्वार्चिः विश्वतो मुखः ।
सोऽग्रविभजन्तिष्ठन् आहारं अजरः कविः ॥

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.

तिर्यगूर्ध्वमधश्शायी रश्मयः तस्य सन्तता ।
सन्तापयति स्वं देहमापादतलमास्तकः ।
तस्य मध्ये वह्निशिखा अणीयोर्ध्वा व्यवस्थिताः ॥

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.

नीलतोयद-मध्यस्थ-द्विद्युल्लेखेव भास्वरा ।
नीवारशूकवत्तन्वी पीता भास्वत्यणूपमा ॥

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.

तस्याः शिखाया मध्ये परमात्मा व्यवस्थितः ।
स ब्रह्म स शिवः स हरिः स इन्द्रः सोऽक्षरः परमः स्वराट् ॥

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.

ऋतं सत्यं परं ब्रह्म पुरुषं कृष्ण पिङ्गलम् ।
ऊर्ध्वरेतं विरूपाक्षं विश्वरूपाय वै नमो नमः ॥

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.

ॐ नारायणाय विद्महे वासुदेवाय धीमहि ।
तन्नो विष्णुः प्रचोदयात् ॥
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

ōm nārāyaṇāya vidmahe vāsudevāya dhīmahi,
tanno viṣṇuḥ pracodayāt.
ōṁ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.

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.