Abhinavagupta’s Bhairava Stotra is a unique hymn that is a part of the Sacred Verses for Sunday Puja. Swamiji revered these verses, as he did all of the works of Abhinavagupta. He would request his devotees to recite the Bhairava Stotra regularly, and it was always recited at the end of any major spiritual function at his ashram in Kashmir.
These verses encapsulate the entire philosophy and experience of Kashmir Shaivism, so we wanted to share them with everyone, as they are very uplifting, especially in these challenging times.
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Abhinavagupta’s Bhairava Stotra
तन्मयचित्ततया हृदि वन्दे ॥१॥
tan-maya-citta-tayā hṛdi vande //1//
I, Abhinavagupta, with one pointed devotion, am praying to that supreme all-pervading Lord Śiva, who is himself present in each and everything that exists, and who through realization reveals himself as the one limitless Bhairavanātha the protector of the helpless.
भाति मम त्वदनुग्रहशक्त्या ।
त्वं च महेश! सदैव ममात्मा
स्वात्ममयं मम तेन समस्तम्॥२॥
bhāti mama tvad-anugraha-śaktyā /
tvaṁ ca maheśa! sadaiva mamātmā
svātmam-ayaṁ mama tena samastam //2//
By the energy of your grace it has been revealed to me that this vibrating universe is your own existence. Thus, O Lord Śiva, this realization has come to me that you are my own soul and as such this universe is my own expression and existence.
स्वात्मनि विश्वगते त्वयि नाथे
तेन न संसृतिभीतिः कथाऽस्ति ।
त्रासविधायिषु कर्मगणेषु ॥३॥
svātmani viśvagate tvayi nāthe
tena na saṁsṛti-bhītiḥ kathā’sti /
trāsa-vidhāyiṣu karma-gaṇeṣu //3//
O possessor of everything, though your devotees, bound by karma and conditioning of mind, are caught in the net of destiny that arouses troubles and bondage, still they are not afraid of the fret and fever of this world. Having realized this universe as your own existence they are not afraid of worldly difficulties, because fear exists only when there is someone else to inflict it, but when there is none other than You how can fear arise.
अन्तक! मां प्रति मा दृशमेनां
क्रोधकरालतमां विदधीहि ।
antaka! māṁ prati mā dṛśamenāṁ
krodha-karāla-tamāṁ vidadhīhi /
O angel of death, do not look towards me with wrathful and frightening eyes as I am always absorbed in the worship of Lord Śiva. Through constant devotion, meditation and reflection, I have become steadfast and courageous, one with the energy of the terrifying Bhairava, thus, your dreadful and frightening looks can do me no harm.
र्नाथ! नमोऽस्तु न जातु बिभेमि ॥५॥
nātha! namo‘stu na jatu bibhemi //5//
O Lord Bhairava, I offer salutations to you who has awakened me to the realization that everything in existence is you alone. As a result of this awakening, the darkness of my mind has been destroyed and I am neither frightened of the evil family of demons nor am I afraid of Yama, the fearful Lord of death.
त्वय्यऽहमात्मनि निर्वृत्तिमेमि ॥६॥
tvayya‘ham-ātmani nirvṛttim-emi //6//
O Lord Śiva, it is through your existence, revealed to me by real knowledge, that I realize all attachments and all that exists in this universe is activated by you. It is by this awakening that my mind becomes saturated with immortal devotion and I experience supreme bliss.
नाथ! तदैव मम त्वदभेद-
nātha! tadaiva mama tvad-abheda-
stotra-parā’mṛta-vṛṣṭirud-eti // 7 //
O Lord, sometimes I feel misery which arouses torment in my mind, but at that same moment, blessed by a shower of your grace, a clean and clear vision of my oneness with you arises, the impact of which my mind feels appeased.
शङ्कर! सत्यमिदं व्रतदान-
स्नानतपो भवतापविनाशि ।
स्यन्दति चेतसि निर्वृत्तिधाराम् ॥८॥
śaṅkara! satyam-idaṁ vrata-dāna-
snāna-tapo bhava-tāpa-vināśi /
syandati cetasi nirvṛtti-dhārām //8//
O Lord Śiva, it is said that through charity, ritual bath and the practices of penance the troubles of worldly existence subside, but even more than this, by remembrance of the sacred śāstras and your words alone the current of immortality like a stream of peace enters my heart.
नृत्यति गायति हृष्यति गाढं
संविदियं मम भैरवनाथ! ।
त्वां प्रियमाप्य सुदर्शनमेकं
दुर्लभमन्यजनैः समयज्ञम् ॥९॥
nṛtyati gāyati hṛṣyati gāḍhaṁ
saṁvid-iyaṁ mama bhairava-nātha /
tvāṁ priyam-āpya sudarśanam-ekaṁ
durlabham-anya-janaiḥ sama-yajñam //9//
O Lord Bhairava, through my utmost faith I have perceived you in the unique sacrifice of oneness, which otherwise is not possible though performing mountains of rituals. Being filled with your presence my consciousness intensely dances and sings, enjoying its own ecstasy.
मभिनवगुप्तः स्तवमिदमकरोत् ।
शमयति झटिति जनस्य दयालुः॥१०॥
abhinavaguptaḥ stavam-idam-akarot /
śamayati jhaṭiti janasya dayāluḥ //10//
O compassionate Lord, under the influence of your glory and for the benefit of your worshipers, I Abhinavagupta have composed this hymn. By meditation and recitation of this hymn within a moment that merciful Lord Bhairava destroys the torments and sufferings springing from this wilderness of saṁsāra.
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