Shankara Stotra Makarandam
Volume 1. Lecture Notes on Select Stotras of Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada by Shri. P.R.Kannan;
Published by GIRI Trading Agency Pvt.
The origin of the lecture is by the blessings and the directives o f Mulamnaya Kachi Shankaracharya, Pujyasri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji, who blessed the entire exercise by both purva and uthara Anugraha Bhashanam .
The greatness and the spiritual excellence of Bhagavatpada’s stotrams have been dealt with by the author in his introduction in a delectable fashion.
I shall now mention the uniquely superior features observed by me in these notes.
- Anvayam ( word s equence), padacchedam (word split), pratipada artham (word m eaning) and Bhavaartham (overall meaning) like Pracheen granthas (ancient texts).
- A stotram should have the six lakshanas (characteristics) to qualify as a Stotram Namaskaram (prostration), Asirvadam (blessing, narration of fruit), Siddhantam (philosophy), prabhava: (glory of deity), parakramam (valour of deity) and prarthana (prayer). It goes without saying that Bhagavatpada’s stotras, being Advaitha, are a model for other siddanthas (philosophies). What is fascinatingly amazing is that Shri. Kannan has brought out all these aspects in every sloka in a beautiful manner.
Now let me enumerate the special features observed by me in the slokas. Lecture notes are comprehensive in the sense that the author touches upon in great detail the relevant references and explanations from various other spiritual works such as Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Puranas, Itihasas etc.
Now a few examples.
- In Siva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotra he has delectably dealt with Srauta and Smarta karmas, Bhakthi and Gnana as propounded by Adi
- In Dvadasha Jyotirlinga Stotra, he has described all the connected stories in an interesting
- Kannan is at his scintillating best in Dakshinamurthy Stotra. He has distilled the quintessence of Advaita Siddantha in a lucid manner that can be followed even by a novice.
In Amba Pancha Rathnam he has dealt with Pancha Kosas delectably
- In Devi Bhujanga Stotam the way he has explained Panchikaranam is non
- In short these lecture notes should be read again and again, to be followed by Mananam (reflection) and Nididhyasanam (contemplation).
To conclude, I have two humble suggestions. Notes on Stotras 1 to 4 could be printed as a separate book with meanings in Tamil for the guidance of a larger and younger generation. Notes on Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam should be printed as a separate book for the discerning disciple, who wants to understand the relatively difficult Advaita in a simple and lucid manner.
Lastly the book has whetted the reader’s appetite for Volume 2