Ganapati Muni and Mother India
Prayers for the protection of Mother India compiled from Indrani Saptashati
composed by Vasishtha Ganapati Muni
(Compiled, edited and translated by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Director, Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture –SAFIC, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry)
Indrani Saptashati, is a poem containing seven hundred verses in the praise of Indrani, the consort of the paramount Lord Indra of the Vedas. This was composed by Sri Vasishtha Ganapati Muni in 1922, while he was doing tapas in the Mango tree cave on the mount of Arunachala, in Tiruvanna Malai, Tamilnadu. Although, it was summer, and the sky was cloudless – bright with sunlight, at the time of composition of the seven hundred verses, every evening there appeared in the sky flashes of lightning, indicating the very presence of Indrani – the great vajra-vairocani Shakti of Indra. This stotra was later revised and the final version of the text was completed much later by the Muni in March 1931, during his stay at Sirsi in North Kanara District. He removed many verses from the original text, added new verses, and amended a few.
The Muni composed this grand poem in seven different metres used in the Vedas – gayatri, ushnik. anushtubh, brihati, pankti, trishtubh and jagati. These verses are distributed over seven shatakas (a century of verses) – each shataka composed in one of the seven Vedic metres. A shtaka is further divided in to four parts with twenty-five verses in each.
Each verse of this stotra reflects the glory of the Goddess Indrani. Here the seer-poet has reconciled Indra of the Vedas with Maheshwara (the great controller) of the Tantras. In this stotra many of the secrets of the Vedas, Yoga and Mantras have been revealed. It is interesting to note that in this saptashati, goddess Renuka, the mother of Parashurama (the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Draupadi (a character in the Mahabharata), and Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ (who came to this world to expiate for the hurdles of sins of the entire mankind) have been specially extolled as the three incarnations of the great Divine Mother – the Maha Shakti.
In the first invocatory verse of each stabaka the alluring smile of the Divine Mother is praised and in the second verse of the same stabaka, the poet prays the goddess to protect this land of Bharata. In the twenty-fourth verse of every stabaka, the poet seeks for grace of the Divine Mother to be an instrument in the immense task of serving his country in order that it regains its past glory. In the twenty-sixth stabaka, (where all the verses are written in a metre called jaloddhata-gati) the Muni by using the refrain rokEc pj.ka oztkfe ‘kj.ke~ – O mother, I seek refuge in thy feet, prays again and again to the goddess Indrani for the upliftment and protection of his country at this juncture when all human efforts are not enough to release her from the bondage of darkness and inertia.
In the last verse of every stabaka, the name of the metre, in which the verses of that stabaka are composed, is mentioned. The saint-poet followed this style in each of the twenty-eight stabakas. In the second stabaka, Indrani is praised in the form of space (ether) in a marvelous manner. The ninth stabaka has the ultimate Reality as its subject matter. In the eleventh stabaka, the poet has described various Upanishadic vidyas, with great poetic beauty. In this highly fascinating poem every reader is sure to be entertained by its poetic excellence where there is an effortless play of alliterations.
CLICK HERE to read the verses of Muni's prayers to Indrani for the protection of Mother India.