Bhaktambar Paath

Bhaktamar stotra is gem of devotional literature. This incessant stream of devotion for
the first Tirthankar Adinath can make a devotee immortal.
The author of Bhaktamar stotra, Acharya Shri Mantunga was a missionary monk as well
as eminent scholar.
It is said that king of Avanti, Vriddha Bhoj, had chained and imprisoned the Acharya out
of curiosity to witness some miracle. He was kept in a dark cell. It was possible to come
out of cell only after crossing 48 doors. Each door was chained and locked. He was told
by the king if he had enough faith in Lord Adinath then he should use his power of faith
to come out of it. The Acharya remained in meditation for three days and on the fourth
morning composed this panegyric in honor of Lord Adinath.The moment he chanted the
first couplet the chains and shackles of first door were gone. Likewise he chanted 48
couplets and all the 48 doors opened one by one. After chanting 48 couplets he walked
out of the prison as a free man. The incident astounded the king. He became a staunch
devotee of the Acharya and Lord Adinath. Indeed, miracle has tremendous influence.
The Bhaktamar Stotra has 48 stanzas. Every stanza has four parts. Every part has 14
letters. Thus the complete panegyric is formed by 2888 letters.
It is said that some specific stanzas are miraculously effective for fulfillment of different
purposes :
For wealth - 2nd, 36th, and 48th
For improving knowledge - 6th
For improving oratory to be true - 10th
For relief from disturbances - 7th
For relief from diseases and pain - 17th and 45th
For release from prison and state oppression - 46th
For removal of fears - 47th
For cure of snakebite and poisoning - 41st
For protection of bewitching spells - 9th
For fulfillment of needs - 19th
When the Gods bow down at the feet of
Bhagavan Rishabhdeva divine glow of his
nails increases shininess of jewels of their
crowns. Mere touch of his feet absolves the
beings from sins. He who submits himself at
these feet is saved from taking birth again
and again. I offer my reverential salutations
at the feet of Bhagavan Rishabhadeva, the
first Tirthankar, the propagator of religion at
the beginning of this era.
Wise celestial lords, who have acquired wisdom
from all the canons, have eulogized Bhagavan
Adinath with Hymns bringing joy to the
audience of three realms (heaven, earth and
hell) I(Matungacharya, an humble man with little
wisdom) shall be steadfast in my endeavour to
eulogize that first Tirthankar.
Buddhya vinaapi vibudharchita padapitha
stotum samudyata matirvigata trapoaham.
Balam vihaya jala samsthitam indu bimbam
anyah ka ichchhati janah sahasa grahitum.
O Jina! As an ignorant child takes up an
impossible task of grabbing the reflection of
moon in water, out of impudence alone, an
ignorant man like me trying to eulogize a
great soul like you.
Vaktum gunan gunasamudra
kaste kshamah suraguru pratimoapi
Kalpanta kala pavanoddhata nakra
ko va taritum alam ambunidhim
bhujabhyam || 4 ||
O Ocean of virtues! Can even Brihaspati,
the guru of gods, with the help of his
unlimited wisdom, narrate your virtues
transparent and blissful as the moon?
(certainly not.) Is it possible for a man to
swim across the reptile infested ocean,
lashed by gales of deluge? (certainly not.)
Soaham tathapitava bhakti vashanmunisha
kartum stavam vigatashaktirapi
pravrittah.Prityatma viryam avicharya mrigi
mrigendram nabhyeti kim nijashishoh
paripalanartham || 5 ||
O Apostle of apostles ! I am incapable of
narrating your infinite virtues. Still, inspired by
my devotion for you, I intend to compose a
hymn in your praise. It is well known that to
protect her fawn, even a doe puts her feet
down and faces a lion, forgetting its own
fraility. (Similarly, devotion is forcing me to
face the great task of composing the hymn
without assessing my own capacity.)
Alpashrutam shrutavatam
parihasadhama tvadbhakti-reva
mukhari kurute balanmam. Yat
kokilah kila madhau madhuram
virauti tachchamra charu kalika
nikaraika-hetuh. || 6||
O lord ! I am such an ignorant that I
am an object of ridicule for the wise.
Still, my devotion for you compels me
to sing hymns in your praise, as the
mango sprouts compel the cuckoo
during the spring time to produce its
melodious coo.
Tvat sanstavena bhavasantati
sannibaddhampapam kshanat
kshayamupaiti sharirabhajam .
Akranta lokamalinilamasheshamashu
suryamshu bhinnamiva sharvaram
andhakaram || 7||
Just as the bright sun rays remove
darkness, the sins accumulated by
living beings are wiped out by praying
Matveti nath ! tava samstavanam
mayedamam arabhyate tanudhiyapi tava
prabhavat . Cheto harishyati satam
nalinidaleshu muktaphala dyutim upaiti
nanudabinduh || 8 ||
I compose this panegyric with the belief
that, though composed by an ignorant like
me, it will certainly please noble people
due to your divine influence. Indeed,
when on lotus leaves, dew drops gleam
like pearls presenting a pleasant sight.
Astam tava stavanam astasamasta
dosham tvat samkathapi jagatam
duritanihanti Dure sahasrakiranah
kurute prabhaiva padmakareshu
jalajani vikasha bhanji || 9||
The brilliant sun is far away; still, at
dawn its soft glow makes the drooping
lotus buds bloom. Similarly, O Jina ! Let
alone the immeasurable powers of your
eulog, mere utterance of your name with
devotion destroys the sins of the
mundane beings and purifies them.
Natyadbhutam bhuvana bhushana !
bhutanatha bhutairgunairbhuvi
bhavantam abhishtuvantah . Tulya
bhavanti bhavato nanu tena kim va
bhutyashritam ya iha natmasamam karoti
|| 10 ||
O Lord of the living ! O Eminence of the world !
It is not surprising that he who is engrossed in
praise of your infinite virtues (assimilating the
virtues in his conduct) attains your exalted
position. It should not be surprising if a
benevolent master makes his subjects his equals.
In fact, what is the use of serving such a master
who does not allow his dependents to prosper
to an exalted position like his ?

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