Shiva Tandava Stotram describes how Lord Shiva’s hair moves, how the water of river Ganga splashes when he performs a Tandava dance, how his drums sound as he dances, how his ornaments move along with him and more.
Story behind Shiva Tandava Stotram
Naarad Muni advised Ravana to bring Shiva to his place in Lanka. Ravana being haughty decided to uproot whole Kailash Parvat and as he started to lift it. Lord Shiva pressed his foot thumb which sent Ravana to patala, crushed by weight of Shiva’s thumb he cried in immense pain did one RAAV (crying in agony ) his Raav was so powerful that it trembled three worlds, and later it is here when Shiva gave him name RAAVAN, this name was dearest to Raavan because Lord Shiva gave him this name but even after applying his full strength Raavan could not get away from its weight.
He waited for 14 days chanting Shiva mantras asking for forgiveness than on the evening of Pradosha day he chanted this Taandav stotram to appease Shiva. At pradosha kaal he chanted it in perfect rhythm and with immense devotion, seeing such devotion and hearing this powerful stotra Shiva smiled and Mother Goddess having pity on Ravana asked Shiva to free him and hence Shiva freed Ravana and gave him several boons being appeased by this stotram.
This is very powerful rhythmic stotra though it is not easy to read or pronounce. But with some devoted efforts, we can do it. Shiva Tandava Stotram is very important on pradosha muhurta it gives immense spiritual and mundane benefits to those who chant it in on Pradosha with devotion.
The first thing that may appeal to most of us in Shiva Tandava Stotram is the rhythm.
Shiva Tandava Stotram in English With Meaning
Jatatavee galajjala pravaha pavitasthale,
Gale avalabhya lambithaam bhujanga tunga malikaam,
Damaddamaddama ddama ninnadava damarvayam,
Chakara chanda tandavam tanotu na shivh shivam. 1
That Shiva, Who have long garlands of the snake king (cobra) at the neck which is purified by the flow of trickling water-drops in the forest-like twisted hair-locks, Who danced the fierce Tandava-dance to the music of a sounding drum, — may bless us
Jata kataha sambhramabhramanillimpa nirjari,
Vilola veechi vallari viraja mana moordhani,
Dhaga dhaga dhaga jjwala lalata patta pavake,
Kishora Chandra shekare ratih prati kshanam mama. 2
At every moment, may I find pleasure in Shiva, Whose head is situated in between the creeper-like unsteady waves of Nilimpanirjhari (Ganga), in whose head unsteadily fire (energy) is fuming the like twisted hair-locks, Who has crackling and blazing fire at the surface of forehead, and Who has a crescent-moon (young moon) on the forehead
Dhara dharendra nandini vilasa bhandhu bhandura,
Sphuradriganta santati pramoda mana manase,
Kripa kataksha dhorani niruddha durdharapadi,
Kwachi digambare mano vinodametu vastuni. 3
May my mind seeks happiness in Shiva, Whose mind has the shining universe and all the living beings inside, Who is the charming sportive-friend of the daughter of the mountain king of the Earth ( Himalaya’s daughter Parvati), Whose uninterrupted series of merciful-glances conceals immense-troubles, and Who has direction as His clothes
Jata bhujanga pingala sphurat phana mani prabha,
Kadamba kumkuma drava pralipta digwadhu mukhe,
Madhandha sindhura sphuratwagu uttariyamedure,
Manovinodamadbhutam bibhartu bhoota bhartari. 4
May my mind hold in Shiva, by Whom — with the light from the jewels of the shining-hoods of creeper-like yellow-snakes — the face of Dikkanyas’ is smeared with Kadamba-juice like red Kuńkuma, Who looks dense due to the glittering skin-garment of an intoxicated elephant, and Who is the Lord of the Ghosts
Lalata chatwara jwaladdhanam jaya sphulingaya,
Nipeeta pancha sayakam namannilimpanayakam,
Sudha mayookha lekhaya virajamana shekharam,
Maha kapali sampade, sirijjatalamastunah. 5
For a long time, may Shiva — Whose foot basement is grey due to the series of pollen dust from flowers at the head of Indra (Sahasralocana) and all other demi-gods, Whose matted hair locks are tied by a garland of the king of snakes, and Who has a head-jewel of the friend of cakora bird — produce prosperity
Sahastralochana prabhrityashesha lekha shekhara,
Prasoona dhooli dhorani vidhu saranghripeethabhuh,
Bhujangaraja Malaya nibaddha jaata jootakah,
Shriyai chiraya jayatam chakora bandhu shekharah. 6
May we acquire the possession of tress-locks of Shiva, Which absorbed the five arrows (of Kaamadeva) in the sparks of the blazing fire stored in the rectangular-forehead, Which are being bowed by the leader of supernatural beings, Which have an enticing-forehead with a beautiful streak of crescent-moon
Karala bhala pattika dhagaddhadhagaddha gajjwala,
Ddhananjayahuti kruta prachanda panchasayake ,
Dharadharendra nandini kuchagra chithrapathraka,
Prakalpanaikashilpini, trilochane ratirmama. 7
May I find pleasure in Trilocana, Who offered the five great-arrows (of Kamadeva) to the blazing and chattering fire of the plate-like forehead, and Who is the sole artist placing variegated artistic lines on the breasts of the daughter of Himalaya (Parvati).
Naveena megha mandali niruddha durdharatsphurat,
Kuhuh nisheethineetamah prabhandha baddha kandharah,
Nilimpa nirjhari dharastanotu krutti sundarah,
Kalanidhana bandhurah shriyam jagat durandharah. 8
May Shiva — Whose cord-tied neck is dark like a night with shining-moon obstructed by a group of harsh and new clouds, Who holds the River Ganga, Whose cloth is made of elephant skin, Who has a curved and crescent moon placed on the forehead, and Who bears the universe — expand [my] wealth.
Prafulla neela pankaja prapancha kalimaprabha,
Valambi kantha kandali ruchi prabandha kandharam,
Smarchchhidam purachchhidam bhavachchhidam makhachchhidam,
Gajachchhidandha kachchhidam tamant kachchhidam bhaje. 9
I adore Shiva, Who supports the dark glow of blooming blue lotus series at around the girdle of His neck, Who cuts off Smara (Kamadeva), Who cuts off Pura, Who cuts off the mundane existence, Who cuts off the sacrifice (of Daksa), Who cuts off the demon Gaja, Who cuts off Andhaka, and Who cuts off Yama (death).
Akharva sarva mangalaa kalaa kadamba manjari,
Rasa pravaha madhuri vijrumbhane madhuvritam,
Smrantakam, purantakam, bhavantakam, makhantakam,
Gajantakandhakantakam tamantakantakam bhaje. 10
I adore Shiva, Who only eats the sweet flow of nectar from the beautiful flowers of Kadamba-trees which are the abode of all important auspicious qualities, Who destroys Smara (Kamadeva), Who destroys Pura, Who destroys the mundane existence, Who destroys the sacrifice (of Dakṣa), Who destroys the demon Gaja, Who destroys Andhaka, and Who destroys Yama (death).
Jayatwadabhra vibhrama bhramadbujanga mashwasad,
Vinirgamat, kramasphurat, karala bhala havya vaat,
Dhimiddhimiddhimi maddhwanan mridanga tunga mangala,
Dhwani krama pravartitah prachanda tandawah shivah. 11
May Shiva, Whose dreadful forehead has oblations of plentiful, turbulent and wandering snake-hisses — first coming out and then sparking, Whose fierce tandava-dance is set in motion by the sound series of the auspicious and best drum (damaru) — which is sounding with ‘dhimit-dhimit’ sounds, be victorious.
Drushadwichitra talpayor bhujanga mauktikastrajor,
Garishtha ratna loshtayoh suhrid wipaksha pakshayoh,
Trinara vinda chakshushoh praja mahee mahendrayoh,
Samapravrittikah katha sadashivam bhajamyaham. 12
When will I adore Sada Shiva with an equal vision towards varied ways of the world, a snake or a pearl garland, royal-gems or a lump of dirt, friend or enemy sides, a grass-eyed or a lotus-eyed person, and common men or the king.
Kada nilimpa nirjharee nikunja kotare vasan,
Vimukta durmatih sada shirahstha manjali vahan,
Vilola lola lochane lalama bhala lagnakah,
Shiveti mantra muchcharan kada sukhee bhavamyaham. 13
Living in the hollow of a tree in the thickets of River Ganga, always free from ill-thinking, bearing Anjali at the forehead, free from lustful eyes, and forehead and head bonded, when will I become content while reciting the mantra ‘‘Shiva?’’
Nilimpnath naagaree kadamb mauli mallika,
nigumpha nirbharkshanm dhooshnika manoharah.
tanotu no manomudam vinodineem maharshinam,
parshriyam param padam tadanjatvisham chayah.14
Divine beauty of different parts of Lord Shiv which are enlighted by the fragrance of the flowers decorating the twisted hair locks of angles may always bless us with happiness and pleasure.
prachanda wadavaanal prabha shubh pracharinee,
mahaasht siddhi kaaminee janavahoot jalpana.
vimukta vaam lochano vivaah kaalikdhvanih,
shiveti mantra bhooshano jagajjayaay jaaytaam.15
The Shakti (energy) which is capable of burning all the sins and spreading welfare of all and the pleasant sound produced by angles during enchanting the pious Shiv mantra at the time of Shiv-Parvati Vivah may win over & destroy all the sufferings of the world.
Imam hi nitya meva mukta muttamottamstavam,
Pathantaram bhunannaro vishuddhmeti santatam,
Hare Gurau sa bhaktimashu yati nanyatha gati,
Vimohanam hi dehinaa tu shankarasya chitanam. 16
Reading, remembering, and reciting this eternal, having spoken thus, and the best among best eulogy indeed incessantly leads to purity. In preceptor Hara (Shiva) immediately the state of complete devotion is achieved; no other option is there. Just the thought of Shiva (Shankara) is enough for the people.
Poojavasana samaye dasha vaktra geetam,
Yah shambhu poojana param pathati pradoshe,
Tasyasthiraam ratha gajendra turanga yuktaam,
Lakshmeem sadaiva sumukheem pradadaati shambuh. 17
At the time of prayer-completion, that who reads this song by Dasavaktra (Ravana) after the prayer of Sambhu — Sambhu gives him stable wealth including chariots, elephants and horses, and beautiful face.