(The Armour of Narayana)
(The Narayana Kavacham occurs in Bhagavada Purana in the sixth Skanda and occurs in Chapter eight. It is an Armour to protect ourselves from our enemies seen and unseen. I personally feel that this is possibly one of the first Kavachams ever taught to man.
Raja Parikshith, the son of Abhimanyu asks his teacher Sage Shuka for a means to protect himself from his enemies. Sage Shuka then teaches him Narayana Kavacham, which was taught by Sage Viswaroopa the son of Thwashtra to Devendra. It is believed that the soul of the man who reads this Kavacha (even if he is a sinner) becomes extremely holy and that any one who reads this would be protected by Lord Vishnu in his various incarnations, by his various weapons and his various assistants.
Sloka 4-11 of this great stotra give us in detail about the preparations that we should take before reading this great work. These naturally should be learned from a teacher well versed in such procedures.
I am sure many of you may not be able to do that .You can either chant only the Kavacham with out doing Kara and Anga nyasa or follow the method suggested in
http://www.dalsabzi.com/Mantras/narayan_kavach.htm, it is mentioned that
“Before commencing the recital, chant ’Om Namo Naraayanaya’ or ‘Om Namo Bhagvadey Vaasudey
Vaaya (‘ey’ pronounced as Whey) or your favourite mantra 12 times.
Visualize yourself and/or your loved ones, totally protected. My favourite way of doing it is by visualizing a
family portrait. You could ‘see’ them dressed in an armor. You could see them immersed in white or violet
light. You could see them in a tube of Light. You could see an impenetrable ring of white Light around them.
‘Sound’ started with the chanting of Om. The entire SamVeda was transferred through the notes
of the ‘sargam’ Music commenced with the recitation of Mantras and Shlokas. There is Spiritual strength in it.”
The above web site also gives a translation of the Kavacham in to English. Apart from consulting that I have also consulted a Malayalam translation in a very old dilapidated book (author unknown) as well as a Hindi translation published by Hari Prakasan Mandir, Delhi-6)
Yaya guptha sahasraksha savaahaan ripu sainikan,
Kreedanniva vinirjithya trilokya bhubhuje sriyam, 1
Bhagawam sthan mamakhyahi varma narayanathmakam,
Yadha athathayina shathroon yena guptho jayan mrudhe. 2
The king said:-
Oh God please share with me that armour of Narayana,
By which the thousand eyed Indra was able to drive away,
The well armed soldiers of his enemy as if it is a play,
And gain control of the three worlds and wealth,
And also was safe in the battle field and became victorious.
Sri Shuka Uvacha:-
Vrutha, purohitha thwashtro mahendra yanu pruchathe,
Narayanakhyam varmaha thadihaika mana srunu. 3
Sri Shuka said:-
Viswaroopa the son of Thwashtra , when he was made,
The priest Of Indra taught him this armour of Narayana,
And I will teach you that and please listen to it with concentration.
Dhouthangri panir achamya sapavithra udang mukha,
Kruthaswa anga kara nyaso manthrabhyam vagyatha suchi. 4
Narayana mayam varma sannahyedh bhaya agathe,
Daiva bhoothathma karmebhya narayana maya puman. 5
Padyor janu noruvor udhare hrudhyadhorasi,
Mukhe sirasya anu poorva omgaradheeni vinyaseth. 6
When fear approaches you, after washing your feet and hand,
Do internal purification by achamana , wear the holy ring made of Durba,
Face the north , sit on a seat of Durba grass and do the hand symbols,
And do holy chants and attain cleanliness of speech.
You should then become silent , become engrossed in Narayana,
And do suitable actions to tie yourself with the armour of Narayana,
And using the eight letters starting with OM , touch the feet,
Knees, thighs, belly heart chest, face and head,
Om namo narayanethi viparyaya madhapi vaa,
Kara nyasam Thatha kuryad dwadasakshara vidhyaya, 7
Pranavadhi yakarandha mangulyam angushta parvasu,
Nyased drudaya omkaram vikara manu moordhani. 8
Then after touching the eight parts of the body,
The feet, Knees, thighs, belly heart chest, face and head,
Chanting the eight letter Manthra “Om Namo Narayanaya”
Either in an ascending or descending order,
You have to perform the knowledge of the twelve letters,
Shakaranthu brovor madhye nakaram shikhayam nyased,
Vekaram nethrayor yunjyannakaram sarva sandhishu. 9
Makara masthra mudhisya mantha moorthir bhaved budha,
Sarva sanga shadantham thath sarva dikshu vinirdisheth,
Om Vishnava nama ithi. 10
Tell “Sha” and touch the middle of the eye brows,
Tell “Na” and touch the top of the hair on your head
Tell “Ve” and touch both your eyes,
Tell “Na” and touch all your joints,
Facing all directions and say “Ma Asthraya Phat”,
This would make even the dim witted in to a wise one,
And thus you tie all the six directions as directed,
And chant “Om salutations to Lord Vishnu”
Athmanam paramam dhyeyed dhyeyam shad shakthibhir yudham,
Vidhya thejas thapo murthim imam manthra mudhahareth. 11
Afterwards meditate on Athma supported by the six strengths,
Of Wealth, charity, fame , goddess of wealth, wisdom and renunciation,
And chant the following which has the form of knowledge, power and meditation.
Om harir vidhadhyan mama sarva raksham .
Nyashngir padma padgendra prushte,
Dharari charmasi gadheshu chapa,
Pasan dadhano ashtaguno ashta bahu. 12
May all the protection to me be given by Hari,
Who keeps his lotus feet on the back of the bird,
Who is armed with conch , wheel, sword, mace ,
Bow and a rope and who has eight qualities and eight hands.
Jaleshu maam rakshathu mathsya moorthir,
Yadho ganebhyo varunasya pasad,
Sthaleshu maya vatu vamano avyal,
Trivikrama khevadu viswaroopa. 13
(from this sloka onwards till sloka 19 several incarnations of Vishnu are requested to protect us in different circumstances. What is mentioned here are not the dasavathars (Ten incarnations) but a bigger list of incarnations. Devi Bhagwatha mentions 26 incarnations of Lord Vishnu viz Sanaka, Sananda, Sanathana, SAnathkumara, Varaha, Narada , Nara-narayana , Kapila, Dathathreya, Yajna, Rishabha, Pruthu, Mathsya, Mohini, Koorma, Garuda, Danwanthari, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Vyasa, Sri Rama, Bala Rama, Krishna, Budha and Kalki. All these avatharas do not find a place here. Vishaksena who is the commander in chief of army of Vishnu finds a place here.)
Let me be protected in the water by Fish incarnation,
From the animals of the sea and rope of Varuna,
Let me be protected in the Land by Vamana, the illusory boy,
And in the sky Trivikrama and viswaroopa forms.
Durgesh atavyaji mukhadhishu Prabhu,
Payanrusimho asura yoodha pari,
Vimunchatho yasya mahattahasam,
Dhiso vinedhur anya pathangascha Garbha. 14
In forts , forests, dangerous places and in war ,
Let me be protected by Lord Narasimha,
Who by his mighty roar shook all directions,
Broke open the army formation of Asura,
And caused pregnant asura women to abort.
Rakshathwasou maadhwani yajna kalpa,
Swadamshtrayoth patha dharo varaha,
Ramo aadhrikooteshwadha vipravase,
Sa lakshmanovyadh bharathagrajo maam. 15
Let me be protected on my way by Lord Varaha,
Who is Yagna personified and who by his protruding teeth,
Lifted and carried the earth to safety,
Let me be protected on mountain top by Lord Parasurama
Let me be protected when I am abroad By lord Rama,
Who is elder brother of Bharatha and Lakshmana.
Mamugra dharmad akhilath pramadath,
Narayana pathu narascha hasath,
Dathaswa yogad adha Yoga natha,
Payadh Gunesa kapila karma bandath. 16
Let me be protected by Lord Narayana,
When I am transgressing Dharma or committing mistakes,
Let me be protected from my pride by Sage Nara,
Let me protected by Sage Dathathreya,
For not engaging in Yoga , meditation and other activities
And let sage Kapila protect me from the bondage of Karma.
Sanath kumaro aavathu kama devath,
Hayanano maam padhi deva helanath,
Devarshi varya purusharcha nantharath,
Koormo harir maam nirayadh aseshath . 17
Let sage Sanath Kumara protect me from the cupid,
Let Lord Hayagreeva protect me while I am on travel,
As well as when I do action that insults the Devas,
Let Sage Narada protect me from sins of non worship of devas,
And let Hari who took the form of a tortoise,
Protect me from different types of hell.
Dhanwandarir bhagawan pathway padhyath,
Dwandwadh bhayad rushabho nirjithama,
Yajnascha loka devathaa janandath,
Balo ganath krodha vasadh aheendra. 18
Let Lord Dhanwanthari protect me from unsuitable food,
Let Rishabha , the renounced soul protect me .
From fear of the contradictory dualities* ,
Let Sage Yajna protect me from gossip of society,
Let Lord Balarama protect me from problems created by men,
And let Adhi sesha protect me from my anger.
*dualities like joy-sorrow, pain-pleasure etc.
Dwaipayano bhagwan aprabhodhad,
Budhasthu pashanda ganath pramadhath,,
Kalki kale kala malath prapath,
Dharma vanayoru kruthavathara. 19
Let Sage Vyasa protect me from lack of awakening,
Let sage Budha protect me from hypocrisy and ignorance,
Let Lord Kalki , who would be born to salvage Dharma,
Protect me from the evil effects and thoughts of Kali age.
Maam kesavo gadhaya pratharavyad,
Govinda aasangava aartha venu,
Narayana prahana udatha shakthir,
Madhyandhine vishnurareendra pani. 20
May I be protected in the morn by Kesava with his mace,
May I be protected two hours later By Govinda by his flute,
Two more hours later let Lord Narayana protect by his strength,
And at noon let Lord Vishnu protect me his holy wheel.
Devo aparahne Madhu hogra dhanwa,
Sayam thridhamavathu Madhwao maam,
Doshe Hrishi kesa, uthardha rather,
Niseedha yekovathu Padmanabha. 21
After noon let me protected by Madhu with his great bow,
In the evening Let Madhwa in the form of trinity protect me,
Between dawn and midnight let Lord Hrishi kesa protect me,
And at midnight let Lord Padmanabha alone protect me.
Srivathsa dhamaapara rathra eesa,
Prathyoosha eesosidharo janardhana,
Dhamodharo avyad anusandhyam prabathe,
Visweswaro bhagwan kala moorthi. 22
Let me protected by remaining part of the night,
By the Lord in whom Srivathsa lives,
Let me be protected just before dawn ,
By Lord Janardhana who holds the sword,
Let me be protected at sun rise,
By Lord Damodara and just before morn,
Let Lord Visweshwara give me protection.
Chakram yugantha analathigma nemi,
Bhramath samanthad Bhagvath prayuktham,
Dandhagdhi dangdhyari sainya masu,
Kaksham yadha vatha sakho huthasa. 23
Oh holy Wheel ,your edges are like the raging fire of deluge,
You are sent by the God and rotate and travel everywhere,
And so like the fire with the help of wind,
Burns in to ashes the dried up wood of a forest,
Speedily and speedily burn and burn all my enemies.
Gadhe asani sparsana visphulinge,
Nishpindi nishpindyajitha priyasi,
Koosmanda vainayaka yaksha raksho,
Bhootha graham choornaya choornyarin. 24
Oh mace , the spark raising touches of yours,
Are unbearable like the touch of Vajra,
And you are dear to the invincible lord and his servant,
And so please powder and powder again ,
Evil spirits, Yakshas, Rakshasas and all my enemies.
Thwam yathu dhana pramadha pretha mathru,
Pisacha vipra graham gora drushteen,
Dharendra vidhravaya Krishna pooritho,
Bhima swano arer hrudhayani kambhayan. 25
Oh Conch , when lord Krishna blows in you,
You create a huge and loud sound and confuse my enemies,
And drive away ghouls , devils, ghosts, Pramadhas,
Brahma Rakshas and other fearful beings.
Thwam thigma dharasi varari sainyam,
Eesa prayuktha mama chindhi, chindhi,
Chakshoomshi charman satha chandra chadhaya,
Dwishamaghonaam hara papa chakshusham. 26
Oh holy sword, Be sent by the Lord himself,
And cut and cut my enemy army in to pieces,
Oh shield of the lord ,shining like hundred moons,
Please make my enemies with full of sins look blind.
Yanna bhayam grahebhyobhooth kethubhyo nrubhya eva cha,
Saree srupebhyo dhamshtribhyo bhoothabyohebhya yeva cha. 27
Sarvanyethani bhagavan nama roopasthra keerthanath,
Prayanthu samkshayam sadhyo ye na sreya pratheepika. 28
The fear that we have due to planets, comets, Kethu and kings,
The fear that we had from teethed serpents , ghosts and from sin,
And the fear that prevent our well being may all be destroyed,
Oh God , by the praise of your names and weapons.
Garudo Bhagawan sthothra sthobha chandho maya Prabhu,
Rakshathwa sesha kruchsrebhyo vishwaksena swa namabhi. 29
The Garuda, who is being praised by great musical stotras of Vedas,
Who is a god and the lord of the world, may protect me from all troubles,
By singing of his names as well as that of the Lord Vishwak sena.
Savapadbhyo harer nama roopayanaayudhani na.
Budheendriya mana praanan paanthu parshadha bhooshana. 30
Let the names and forms of Vishnu, his steed,
His weapons, and important assistants may protect,
My mind, senses and soul, from all the dangers and sins.
Yadhahi bhagwan eva vasthutha sad sachayath,
Sathye nanena na sarve yanthu nasamupadrawa. 31
The truth that God is all beings and things,
May destroy all the troubles that we face.
Yadaikathmanu bhavanam vikalpa rahitha swayam,
Bhooshanuyudha lingakhya dathe shakthi swa mayaya. 32
Thenaiva sathya manen sarvajno Bhagwan Hari,
Pathu sarvai swaroopairna sada sarvathra sarvaga. 33
Those great savants who think , that God does not have any forms,
And his weapons and ornaments are only symbols without power,
And due to this truth , the God Hari is everywhere,
And let him protect me always and everywhere ..
Vidikshu dikshoordhwamadha Samantha,
Anthar bahir bhagwan narasimha,
Praha bhayam loka bhayam swanena,
Swathejasa grastha samastha theja. 34
Let the Lord Narasimha who due to his power,
Destroyed elephants, serpents and other beings
And saved Prahladha , and removed the fear of the world,,
Protect me in all directions and non directions,
Top and below , inside and outside and in all places.
Maghavan idham aakhyatham varma narayanathmakam,
Vijeshya syanjasa yena damsitho sura yoodhapan. 35
Oh Indra, thus I have told you, the great armour of Narayana,
And using this you protect yourselves and easily,
Defeat the commanders of the army of Rakshasas.
Yethad dharayamanasthu yam yam pasyathi chakshusha,
Pada vaa samsprusethsadhya saadvasath sa vimuchyathe. 36
If he who wears his armour sees any one by his eyes,
Or even touches him by his feet, that man,
Would be able to get rid of all his fears.
Na kuthaschid bhayam thasya vidhyam dharayatho bhaved.,
Raja dasyu grahadhebhyo vyagradhibhyascha karhichith. 37
He who wears this armour will never have any fear,
From king, enemies, planets and animals like the tiger.
Imam vidhyam pura kaschid kaushiko dharayan dwija,
Yogadharanaya swa angam jahow marudhanwani. 38
Long time ago , this knowledge was worn by a Brahmin,
From Koushika Gothra and he gave up his life in a desert
Thasyopari vimanena gandharwa pathi rekhadha,
Yayou chithra radha sthreebhir vrutho yathra dwijakshaya. 39
A gandharwa called Chithra radha was travelling in a plane.
Along with his ladies , where the Brahmins body was lying.
Gagamam anya pada sadhya savimano hyavak sira,
Sa balakhilya vachanad asthhenyadhya vismitha,
Prasya prachee saraswathyam snathwa dhama swa manwagadh. 40
At that spot his plane stopped and he fell there along with his ladies,
And he was perplexed and was advised by the sages called Balakhilya,
And obeying their advice, took the bones of the Brahmin,
And put it in the river Saraswathi , took bath and went back to his home.
(Even a man died in a desert , attained salvation because of this armour.)
Sri Shuka Uvacha:-
Ya idham srunuyath kale yo dharayathi chadhrutha,
Tham namasyanthi bhoohani muchyathe sarvatho bhayath. 41
Yetham vidhyamadhi gatho viswaroopa chatha kruthu,
Trilokya lakshmeem bubhuje vinirjithya mrude asuran. 42
Sri Shuka said:-
He who wears or hears this armour of Narayana,
Would be saluted by all beings and he would get rid of all fears.
Learning this knowledge from Viswaroopa, Indra,
Won in the battle over all asuras and ,
Got the blessings of wealth of the three worlds,