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Sri Venkateswara Ashtotthram 

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Sri VenkatEsa sthOthram & Prapatthi


There are eleven beautiful slOkams that are housed in Sri VenaktEsa sthOthram. They are a delight to recite and reflect upon . The endearing affection with which this bhakthan eulogizes the Lord and describes his aakinchanathvam have few parallels . The Taalam patterns (chantham) woven into slOkams 1-5 and 8 are remarkable. The MahA VisvAsam in the Lord of seven hills and the personal prayer for His grace captured in SlOkam 9-11 are one of the most moving appeals in the annals of SthOthrams.
(1) KamalA-kucha-chUchuka-kumkumathO
niyathAruNithaathula nIlatanO !
KamalAyatha-lochana !LOkapthE !
Vijayee bhava ! VenkatasailapathE !
Oh Lord of VenkatAchalam ! Oh Lord of the Universe ! Oh Lord with
long eyes reaching almost to Your ears and reminding us of the softeness
and beauty of lotus flower ! Oh Lord whose matchless dark hued body is
renderd red always with the vermillion (Kumkumam) marks from the front portions of the breasts of MahA Lakshmi ! Victory be always to Thee!
(Comments): The Lord's dark bluish body has a lasting redness due to the sambhandham with Sri MahA Lakshmi's saffron and kumkumam paste
worn on Her breasts as beauty marks .The Lord's body is thus visualized as " KamalA kucha chUchuka kumkaumathO niyatha aruNitha athula neela Tanu".
The anyOnyam of the divya dampathis is celebrated here . ThAyAr's intimate sambhandham is hinted as the reason why the Lord of the Venkatam hills
will forgive our trspasses due to the intercession of our most benevolent Mother united with Him in an inseparable manner . AhalahillEn Paasuram of Swamy
NammAzhwAr has to be remembered by us in this context.
(2) sachathurmukha shaNmukha panchamukha
pramukAkhila dhaivatha mouLimaNE !
SaraNAgathavathsala ! SaaranidhE !
ParipAlaya maam VrushasailapathE !
Oh Lord of Vrusha sailam ! Oh Crown Jewel of all DevAs and Gods like the four-faced BrahmA , the five-faced Sivan and the six-faced KumAra Swamy ! Oh Lord immensely attached by the bonds of love to those , who seek Your protection ! Please protct me !
(Comments): Oh Lord of VrushA hills ! You overlook the deficiencies of
those , who perform SaraNAgathi at Your holy feet and look upon that SaraNAgahti as a vyAjam to come to their rescue and bless them fully.
Just as poor people at times of grinding poverty access their savings , we
come to You at times of great distress to save us . May You known for such vaibhavam as Saara Nidhi (matchless treasure )and SaraNAgatha Vatsalan protect me.
(3) athivElatayA thava dhurvishai-
ranuvEla kruthair-aparAdha sathai:
bharitham thvaritham VrushasailapathE
parayaa krupayaa paripaahi HarE !
Oh Lord of Vrusha Giri! May Thou befitting Your name as Hari extend to me Your immense dayA and protect me , who is guilty of committing limitless and unbearable sins without let .AdiyEn has now rushed to Your paadha kamalam with the full trust in Your matchless compassion to overlook my unforgivable trespasses and protect me .
(comments) Oh Hari! " ParayA krupayA maam Paahi" is the moving prayerful appeal to the Lord .He is Para Brahmam and hence His Krupai (grace )is
also Para Krupai . It is a grace for which there are no equals or superiors. The SaraNAgathan is brimming (bharitham ) with AparAdha Sathams and is scared about what is going to happen to him .Therefore , he rushes ( thvaritham ) to
the Lord's Thiruvadi and prays " HarE KrupayA paripAhi ".He does not say "Paahi" , but appeals one step higher with the request , "ParipAhi ".
(4) adhivEnkata sailam udhAramathEr
janathAbhi mataadhika dhAnarathAth
ParadEvathayA gadhithAn nigamai:
KamalaadayithAn na param kalayE
Oh Lord of Sri Devi ! Oh Lord who is saluted as the God of Gods by VedAs and Upanishads ! adiyEn does not recognize anyone as being superior to You ! Oh Lord residing in Venakata Giri ! Your generosity is unmatched and You always bless Your bhakthAs with more than what they desired .
(Comments): "Tvath param na KalayE" .There is none who is superior to You in the sense that the Lordn is " SamAdhika daridhran " . He is poor in the sense
that there is no one , who is His equal or superior .Sri VenkatEsan is saluted here as " UdhAra mathi " and " janathA abhimatha adhika dhAnarathan" . His generosity is unparalleled and as a result , He always enjoys blessing people
with more than they prayed for.
(5) kalavENu ravAvasa gOpavadhU
SathakODi vruthAth smarakODi samath
prathi vallavikAbhimathAth sukhadhAth
VasudEva suthAn na param kalayE
adiyEn does not recognize anyone other than Sri KrishNA ( Lord SrinivAsan as VenkatakrishNan) as a superior God. Sri VenkatEsan in His KrishNA -vathAram is the one ParamAthmA ,who is surrounded by hundreds of crores of Gopis , who have lost themselves totally in the charming music coming out of His divine flute.This son of VasudEvan is far more beautiful than the combined beauty of crores of ManmathAs and is desired by each and every Gopi maiden and He in turn blesses them with all pleasures that they desire individually including Moksha sukham.
(Comments): The power of KrishNA's VeNugAnam has been movingly described by both PeriyAzhwAr and Swamy Desikan (GopAla Vimsathi slOkams). This slOkam touches on that Vaibhavam . The leelAs of "Gopa kanyA Bhujangan"
are hinted here as well .
(6) abhirAma guNAkara ! dhAsarathE!
jagdhEka dhanurdhara ! dheeramathE !
RaghunAyaka! Raama! RamEsa! VibhO !
varadhO Bhava ! Deva! dayA-jaladhE !
Oh the treasure house of all auspicious GuNAs revered by every one ! Oh the son of DhasarathA ! Oh matchless archer in all the Universe ! Oh Lord of firm sankalpam !Oh the chief of Raghu Kulam ! Oh SupremeLord! Oh effulgent One ! Oh Ocean of Mercy ! May Thou assume the role of the boon giver(Varadhan) and bless us !(Comments): Here the prayer is shifting to Sri VenkatarAman , who declared His SaraNAgathivratham as " DhadhAmyEthath Vratham mama ".
(7) avanI tanayA kamanIya karam
rajanIkara chAru mukhAmbhu ruham
rajanichara rAja tamO mihiram
mahanIyam aham RaghurAmam ayE
adiyEn performs SaraNAgathi to RaghurAman ,whose hands are held with affection by SitA PirAtti . He has the most beautifulm face reminding one of a well blossomed , lotus flower . He is the valorous One , who is like the Sun to the darkness of the unrighteous RaavaNan . adiyEn seeks refuge in Him .
(Comments):This passage reminds one of thirty fourth sargam of Sundara KaaNDam of Sri Vaalmiki RaamAyaNam , where HanumAn describes to SitA in AshOka Vanam the beauty ,valour and the other auspicious qualities of
Lord Raamachandran : " roopavAn Subhaga: SrimAn Kandharpa iva MoorthimAn , VikramENa upapannasccha yaThA VishNurmahAyasA : ".
(8) sumukham suhrudham sulabham sughadham
svanujam cha sukAyam amOgha-saram
apahAya Raghudhvaham anyam aham
na kaThanchana kanchana jaathu bhajE
Oh VenkatEsA ! You are Sri RaamAvathAran .As RaamachandrA ,
the crest jewel of Raghu Kulam ,You have the most beautiful face and
body , compassionate heart and are easily accessible .You are known
for Your unfailing arrows. You incarnated with Your brothers as the sons
of DasarathA and have the power to grant the boon of Moksham to those
who sought refuge in You.With all of Your aanatha kalyANa guNams in mind , adiyEn will never seek anyone other than You for my salvation.
(Comments): In the fifth slOkam, the composer of this sthOthram saluted ThiruvEnkatamudayAN as KrishNA and in the slOkams from 6-8 he visualized
the Lord of Thirumalai as the Veera Raaghavan , Sundara Raaman and Jaanaki RamaNan . In the concluding three slOkams ( 9-11) , the composer reverts to
the adulation of the Lord of Thirumalai as Sri VenakatEsan .
(9) vinA VenkatEsam na NaathO na Naatha:
SadhA Venkatesam smarAmi smarAmi
HarE! VenkatEsa ! Praseedha Praseedha
Priyam Venkatesa ! Prayaccha Prayaccha !
Oh VenkatEsa! Even in my dreams , adiyEn does not
consider any God superior to You . Therefore ,
adiyEn is always meditating on YOu and You
alone. Oh Hari !Please grant me the boon of what
adiyEn desires or better still , bless me with
any auspicousness , which You deem appropriate
for me.
(10) aham dhUratas thE padhAmbhOja yugma
prANama icchayaa Aagathya sEvAm karOmi
sakruthsEvayA nithya sEvA phalam thvam
prayaccha prayaccha PrabhO VenkatEsa
Oh Lord VenkatEsA ! adiyEn has come from afar with the longing to worship Your holy feet this one time .The fierce waves of paapam have tossed me about far and wide and kept adiyEn away from You . The benovolent waves of
PuNyam have brought me to Your sannadhi today. adiyEn is saluting You heartily this one time. Please bless me with Mukthi SaamrAjyam , where adiyEn can
delight in nithya Kaimkaryam to You .
(11) aj~nAninA mayA dOshAn
asEshAn vihithAn HarE !
Kshamasva Thvam Kshamasva thvam
Seshasaila SikhAmaNE
Oh Hari NaarAyana ! Oh Crest jewel of Sesha Sailam ! Please pardon adiyEn
for all the sins committed by me . If You do not forgive my trespasses done out of ignorance , then Your Naamam as Hari will become meaningless; further, Your sankalpam to leave Parama Padham in favor of Thirumalai would become an act without any purpose. Therefore ,Oh VenaktEsA , Please forgive my apachArams and bless adiyEn .


The general meanings of these sixteen slOkams are given below
along with the text of these slOkams :
(1) IsAnAm jagathOsya Venkatapather- VishNO: parAm PrEyasIm
Tadh vakshalsthala nithyavaasa rasikAm- tathkshAnthi samvardhinIm I
PadhmAlankrutha paaNi pallava yugAM-PadmAsanasthAm Sriyam
VaathsalyAdhi-guNojvalAm BhagavathIm-VandhE Jaganmaatharam II
Sri AlamelumangA is the Mother of all the universes and
their beings . She resides always on the chest of Sri VenkatEsA and is
His dearest consort.Through Her proximity to Her Lord with Her eternal
residence on His chest , She enhances the compassion for us , the errring -jeevans. Our Mother , Sri Alamelumanga is seated on a lotus and carries
two lotus flowers on Her tender lotus-stalk like hands. She is reputed
for Her benovolent qualities such as affection and compassion for us ,
Her children .After bowing to Her and obtaining Her blessings ,adiyEn approaches my Father, Lord SrinivAsA without any fear to perform Prapatthi
at His sacred feet .
(2) Srimann KrupaajalanidhE krutha SarvalOka
Sarvag~na Saktha Nathavathsala sarvasEshin I
Swaminn Suseela SulabhAsritha Paarijatha
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE
Oh Lord of MahA Lakshmi ! Oh Ocean of Mercy ! You pervade all
universes. You are the witness to all happenings in this and other
universes and as such You are aware of every thing. You are omnipotent .
You treasure those , who seek Your holy feet .You are the ultimate and
residual entity of every thing. You are indeed the undisputed Supreme Lord.
You come to the rescue of those , who call out to You in their states of utter helplessness. You serve as the cool boon-granting PaarijAthA tree to those ,
who surrender themselves at Your sacred feet . Therfore , adiyEn also
performs the SaraNAgathi at Your divine feet .
(3) aanUpurArpitha sujAtha sugandhi pushpa-
sourabhya sourabhakarou samasannivEsou I
soumyou sadhAnbhavanEapi navaanubhAvaou
Sri VenkatEsa ChaaraNou SaraNam PrapadhyE II
Oh Lord of Venkatam hills! Devotees place at Your
holy feet fragrant flowers during their worship. That assembly of
flowers reach up to Your ankles and cover the ornaments adorning
Your ankles . As a result of their association with Your holy feet ,
the fragrance of these flowers get multiplied manyfold. Although
adiyEn worships Your tender flower-covered feet everyday ,
adiyEn's enjoyment of Your sacred feet increases day by day.
AdiyEn is never satiated by the thought of Your divine feet; on the
contrary , the glory of Your sacred feet enhances adiyEn's desire to
worship them even more every day. Those paadha kamalams are a
delight to adiyEn's eyes and mind. AdiyEn offers now my Prapatthi
at those sacred feet of Yours.
(4) sadhyO vikAsi samudhithvara saandhrarAga-
sourabhya nirbhara sarOruha saamyavArthAm I
samyakshu saahasapadhEshu vilEkhayanthou
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Oh Sri VenaktEsA ! Lotus flowers might be the best
among all the flowers because of their tenderness , fragrance and
color.It is not however correct to equate the beauty of Your feet
to them . It would indeed be a gross exaggeration to compare the lotus
flower to the benevolent attributes of Your holy feet . Such attempted comparisons are indeed the foolish efforts of ignorant poets , who do
not understand the magnitude of greatness of Your divine Paadha
kamalms. Indeed , there is nothing in the world that can come near
the unique auspicousness of Your sacred feet. AdiyEn performs my
prapatthi at those matchless feet of Yours.
(5) RekhAmaya dhvaja sudhA kalasaatapatra
vajraankusaambhuruha kalpaka sankha chakrai: I
bhavairalankrutha talou paratathvachihnai:
Sri Venkatsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Oh Lord of Venkata Giri ! The secret that You are the
Supreme ruler of all the universes is clearly revealed by the
markings seen on the soles of Your holy feet. There , we see
the lines taking the shapes of umbrella , nectar pot , flag , vajrA
weapon, goad , lotus flower , conch , disc and kalpakA tree.
These symbols adorning Your feet offer unmistakable proof that
You are the God of Gods . AdiyEn offers my Prapatthi at these divine feet.
(6) thAmrOdhara dhyuthi parAjitha Padma Raagou
baahyair mahObirabhibhUtha mahEndra neelou I
udhyan nakhAmsubhi rudhastha sasAnga bhAsou
Sri VenkatEsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE
Oh Lord of Sapthagiri ! The soles of Your feet have a reddish
hue darker than that of the best PadmarAgA stones .Your outer
feet have a hue that in their bluishness defeat the best of
IndraneelA gems. The nails of Your feet outshine the Moon in
their cool,white lustre.All of these hues assoicated with Your holy
feet reveal that You are none other than the Lord of all Universes .
Therefore , adiyEn performs my SaraNAgathi at those divine Paadha Kamalams.
(7) saprEmabheethi Kamala kara pallavAbhyAm
samvAhanEapi sapadhi klamamaadhanou I
kaaanthAvavaangmanasa gOchara soukumAryou
Sri VenaktEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Oh the Emperor resident at the Venkatam hills ! During Your
incarnation as ThrivikramA , Your feet measured the universes .
During Your incarnation as Sri RaamA, Your feet travelled over
harsh forest and mountain paths . These very same feet are so
tender that they bruise from the gentle pressure generated by
the soft hands of MahA Lakshmi, when She squeezes them. It is
indeed a paradox that Your matchless feet are harder than the
stones of forest paths and yet more tender than Your consort's
lotus soft hands. AdiyEn offers my Prapatthi to those mysterious
feet,whose greatness is not easy to comprehend .
(8) LakshmI mahI tadhanurUpa nijAnubhAva-
NeeLAdhi dhivya mahishI kara pallavAnAm I
aaruNya samkraNamatha: kila saandhrarAgou
Sri VenaktEsa charaNou SaraNm prapadhyE II
Oh Lord SrinivAsA ! MahA lakshmi , BhUmi Devi , NeeLA Devi
and other consorts of Yours offer their kaimkaryams to You
through the act of squeezing Your feet , when You are resting
on Your serpent bed. Your feet appear to have incorporated the
reddish hue of their lotus-red hands with Your feet during the
occasion of their kaimkaryam to You . AdiyEn surrenders unto
those sacred feet, which have the hue of the red PadmarAgA gem .
9) nithyAnamadh Vidhi SivAdhi KirIDa kODi
prathyuptha deeptha navarathnamaha: parOhai: I
nIrajanAvidhim udhAramupAdhadhAnou
Sri VenkatEsa charnou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Oh Crown Jewel of Venkatam Hills ! Brahmaa and MahEswaran
offer constant worship at Your divine feet through their prostrations .
At that time , the lustre from the nine kinds of gems adorning their crowns
shine on Yourfeet and appear to give the impression of deepa-aarAdhanam
to Your holy feet . AdiyEn surrenders unto those feet .which serve as the
object of worship even for BrahmA and MahEswaran .
(10) VishNO: padhE parama ithyudhitha prasamsou
yauv madhva uthsa ithi bhOgyatayAapi upAtthou I
bhUayasThaThEthi tava paaNitala prathishtou
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
(Meaning): Oh Lord VenkatEsA ! The majesty of Your feet have
been praised by the VedAs through passagessuch as " VishNO:
padhE paramE", and "madhva utsa" .The residents of Vaikuntam
also offer their praise to Your holy feet through the recitation of
above such Vedic and Upanishadic passages.Your feet indeed are
the ones that bless those who are fortunate to serve them and shower innumerable gifts on them , both in this and the other world . You also
point with Your right hand through the varadha mudhrA that Your feet
are indeed the sure means for attaining salvation.Therefore , adiyEn
offers my SaraNAgathi at Your sacred feet.
(11) PaarthAya tathsadrusa sAraThinA thvayayaiva
yau darsithou svacharaNou saraNam vrajEthi I
bhUyOpi mahyamiha thE karadarsithou thau
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou saraNam prapadhyE II
(Meaning): Oh Lord SrinivAsA ! In Your incarnation as Sri KrishNA ,
You revealed the secret of Your holy feet as the indispensable means for
attaining salvation through the statement " maamEkam SaraNam vraja" .
On the top of ThiruvEnkatam hills , You gesture to Your feet with Your
right hand and give us the same message that You gave to ArjunA as his
charioteer in KurushEthrA battle field.
(12) manmUrdhni KaaLiyaphaNE vikaDADavIshu
Sri VenkaDAdhri sikharE sirasi sruthinAm I
chitthEpyananya manasAmsamamAhithou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
(Meaning ): Oh VenkatEsa! Your holy feet danced on
the hoods of the serpent KaaLiyA during Your incarnation
as Sri KrishNA ; they also roamed in the forest such as
DanDakA and BrindhAvanam in Your two different incarnations.
Now, they rest on the top of ThiruvEnkatam hills as well as on the heads
of the VedAs and sanctify both of them. Your holy feet rest also on the heart
lotuses of Your devotees and on my head. AdiyEn considers those sacred
feet as my refuge to overcome the ills of SamsArA. Hence , adiyEn offers my
SaraNAgathi to Your holy feet .
(13) amlAna hrushya dhavaneetala keerNa pushpou
Sri VenkaDAdhri sikharaabharaNaayamAnou I
aanandhidaakhila manO nayanou tavaithou
SrivEnkatEsa charaNou saraNam prapadhyE II
(Meaning ): The dEvAs and Your devotees from this earth shower Your feet
with innumerable fragrant flowers during their daily archanAs. These piles of flowers reach up toYour ankles and then spill over and form a flower bed
around Your feet .Because of their association with Your divine feet, these flowers never lose their fragrance or fade. They shine brilliantly forever and
serve as decorations around Your divine feet. Your devotees witness this miracle and understand the transforming power of Your holy feet. AdiyEn surrenders unto those wish-fulfilling holy feet .
(14) prAya: prapanna janathA prathamAvagAhyou
maathu: sthanAnAniva sisO; amruthAyamanou
prApthou paraspara thulA mathulAntharou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE
(Meaning): Oh Sri VenkatEsA ! Your holy feet serve as a deep ocean of
Mercy to the swarm of devotees ,who have offered Prapatthi to You.
Your acceptance of their Prapatthi is similar to the nectar of milk
offered by the caring Mother from her breasts to her hungry child.
Your feet are matchless in their power to drive away the sorrows of
this world and offer refuge in the other world. AdiyEn prostrates before
them and offer my SaraNAgathi unto them .
(15) satthvOttharais satata sEvya paadhAmbhujEna
samsAra taaraka dayArdhra dhruganjalEna
soumyOpayanthru muninA mama darsithou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE
(Meaning): Sri MaNavALa MaamunigaL is worshipped by people of pure
heart. He is a great ocean of compassion .He pointed out Your holy feet and revealed to me that they are the sole means for attaining lasting happiness
in this world and to gain eternal residence in Sri VaikunTam.AdiyEn has followed the path shown by my illustrious AchAryA and as a result , adiyEn performs my SaraNAgathi at Your holy feet.
(16) Srisa SriyA gatikayA thvadhupAyabhAvE
prApyE thvayi svayamupEyatayA spuranthyA
nithyAsrithAya niravdhyaguNAya thubhyam
kinkarO vrushagirIsa na jaathu mahyam
(Meaning):Oh Lord of ThiruvEnkatam hills ! Oh Consort of MahA
Lakshmi! You are indeed the integrated essence of all auspicious
qualities .Your consort makes us worthy of the object of Your mercy.
When we obtain Your blessings through Her intercession , She also
presents Herself with You as the inseparable ,divine couple ; at that time,
both of You become the object of our adorations.We will serve both of
You with pure hearts. We shall never be detatched from You even for a
moment in thought or deed.We will never consider ourself as svatantra
purushAs .We are indeed blessed to receive the benefits of SaraNAgathi performed according to the way taught by our AchAryAs to secure Your blessings.
SrimathE VenkatEsAya namO nama:
AdiyEn , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan
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