We bow down to the Master of the Universe, Lord Vishnu who is ever peaceful, who lies on the great serpent bed, who has lotus arising from His navel, who is the Lord of the Devas, the supporter of the entire Universe, who is all pervading as the sky, who is of the hue of the clouds, of fascinating beauty, the beloved of Lakshmi, who is lotus eyed, who dwells in the heart of the Yogis, who can be approached and perceived through meditation and who is the destroyer of fear of birth and death.
Shaantaakaaram – Explanation
Shaantaakaaram Sloka – Video
Shaantaakaaram Sloka – Activity
- Make a card for each line of the Shloka separately on a quarter chart of paper. i.e. Shantaakaaram Bhujaga Shayanam on one card, Padmanabham Suresham on another and so on. The Balvikas Gurus can keep these cards ready well ahead of the class.
- In the class, ask the children to pick a card each. This way, in total 8 children would have picked one card each containing one line of the Shloka. If there are more than 8 children, then this can be repeated with all the children in turns, so that everyone gets an opportunity.
- Now ask the children to stand and arrange themselves in a line, so that the correct sequence of the Shloka is formed
- Once they form the correct sequence, ask each child to chant the line of the shloka that they are holding.
A variation of this activity can be as follows –
Meanings can also be written on separate charts/cards. The children can be asked to match each line of the shloka with the correct meaning.
Through this activity the children can learn the Shloka easily. This activity can be used for all shlokas which are a little lengthy.
Shaantaakaaram Sloka – Further Reading
Meaning of the shloka
Lord Vishnu who is ever peaceful, who lies on the Great Serpent bed, from whose navel springs the lotus of the creative power who is the controller of Gods, whose form is the entire universe, who is all-pervading as the sky, of the hue of the clouds, of fascinating beauty, the Lord of Lakshmi, The Lotus Eyed, He who dwells in the heart of the yogis and who can be approached and perceived through meditation. He who is the destroyer of fear of samsar, we bow down to the Master of the universe.
‘Shantam’ means equanimity, unruffledness. The countenance of the Lord depicts inner calm, happiness, balance, inner grace and mercy, the consciousness of strength and sovereignty – the very picture of peaceful calm. (All the deities exhibit their Bhava on their face and in their stance.)
The lord is the very embodiment of peaceful calm, though reclining on a thousand hooded snake. The snake is the symbol of the objective world, with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but not of it, not bound by it – that is the secret. Immanent in the universe, yet transcending it. The ocean on which He reclines is symbolic of the Bhavasagar. ( SSS V/p 224 )
This refers to the lotus arising out of the navel of the Lord. Brahma is depicted as seated on the lotus. Brahma stands for creation. The lotus stalk represents the umbilical cord. Just as the child draws sustenance from the mother through the umbilical cord, the creation draws sustenance from the Lord, who is the Vishwadharam or the basis of the universe.
The Lord is like the sky, sarva vyapi, pervades everything. He is at all times, everywhere, besides His children. He is in the most distant star as well as in the blade of grass. He is the core of everything, as butter in every drop of milk. A person who realises this becomes fearless. Therefore the Lord is called Bhavabhayaharam. Despair is sin against God. When He is in your heart, why do you lose hope? That is why The Lord says, “When I am here, Why do you fear?” Be always joyful, optimistic and courageous – Baba
The dark colour of the Lord is the colour of the deep sea and the vast sky. It signifies the fathomless, unfathomable. His secret is beyond us, (SSS IV/p.168). However long you try, whosoever seeks to know by whatever means, you cannot grasp the mystery of My Majesty. Only intense study with faith of the scriptures can help you catch a glimpse of my glory. ”Yogihridyanagamyam”
His form is full of loveliness and charm which radiates auspiciousness everywhere. ( SSS V/p.329)
He is the source of wealth. He is the universal provider.
1. The five elements that sustain life – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. 2. The wealth of sound indriyas and good health 3. The wealth of virtues.The Lord is the Master of the five elements. He is the source of all virtues. He is the provider of sound body, mind and buddhi.
The Lord is like the lotus, unaffected by the environment where He is. That is the reason why His eyes and His feet are compared to the lotus. ( SSS V/p.73)
Sustainer of the universe.
The Paramathma is present in the minutest particle; Being in everything; that remains unaffected.
That universal consciousness (Vishnu) pervades everything in creation
He is purer than the whitest snow.
That universal consciousness illuminates and sustains the three worlds.
Story related to the stotra
Lord Vishnu is described as Shaantakaram, always peaceful and steady minded. Once sage Kashyapa was celebrating a Yajna and all the sages had gathered to witness the same. Now there arose a doubt in their mind as to who was the highest of all divinities. Sage Narada replied that the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara were the highest of all but Lord Vishnu was the Supreme. He was never disturbed by either praise or blame. He was ever peaceful and in bliss. The sages asked Narada to prove it. Narada called sage Brighu aside, whispered something in his ear. Brighu was sent to verify Narada’s statement.
He first went to Brahmaloka. He saw that Lord Brahma was busy in his act of Creation. From afar, Brighu started condemning Lord Brahma. He said” Oh! Brahma, you don’t have the proper knowledge of Creation. Your Creation is full of defects and faults! Therefore all your efforts are in vain. Not a single thing in your creation is worth praising!” Lord Brahma was annoyed to hear these words. He got up from his seat and came forward to punish Brighu. But the sage ran away from Brahmaloka. Then Brighu went to Shivaloka. He saw Lord Shiva engaged in Thandava Nrithya. From a distance Brighu began to criticise Lord Shiva. He said “Oh Lord! You are not looking after your department properly at all. Your task is to destroy the evil of the world. But the world today is full of evil. You are busy dancing the whole day and not performing the task allotted to you, why should we worship you then?” Lord Shiva was angry to hear this and He was about to open His third eye to burn the sage, but the sage ran away from there.
Then he went to Vaikuntha. He saw Lord Vishnu resting upon the sesha. He got very angry seeing that Lord was not coming for His devotees but seemed to be engaged in self enjoyment. He went near Lord Vishnu and kicked hard upon his chest. Then Brighu was afraid of the consequences and was about to run away. But to his surprise he saw Lord Vishnu getting up from His seat and falling at his feet. The Lord said “Oh sage! Please forgive me for not noticing you and ignoring you, thereby causing anger to rise in you. My iron-like chest may have injured your foot. Let me press it and comfort you.” What a great tolerance! What a peaceful state! Brighu was taken aback to hear these words and asked the Lord to forgive him.
Then the sage came back to the council of the sages at the yajna and narrated the whole story. Hearing it, all the sages believed that Lord Vishnu alone was Shaantakaram and their doubt was cleared.