[Advaita-l] परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् - Panduranga Ashtakam by Adi Shankaracharya

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 1 01:48:18 EDT 2017


This is one more very beautiful Stotra from Adi Shankaracharya. It is on
Sri Panduranga Vithala. Many Dasas like Purandara Dasa have composed songs
on this dear God standing on a brick in Pandharapur on the shore of River
Bhimarathi. The inspiration for all the Dasas and huge number of followers
of Vitthala is coming from this very important Stotra of Adi Sankara.

In this Stotra Krishna is not in the form of the darling of the Gopikas
like in Jagannath Ashtakam. In that Stotra Krishna was मुदाभीरी नारी वदन
कमला स्वाद मधुपः the bee happily drinking the nectar of the lotus faces of
Gopikas. But in Panduranga Ashtaka He is not the naughty Krishna playing
with Gopikas but the Gruhastha Krishna married to His beloved Rukmini and

Adi Sankara is describing Lord Vithala as Parabrahmalingam. His crown is in
the shape of a Shiva Lingam. That is one meaning. Another meaning is He is
the Symbol of Para Brahman of the Upanishads. But I have seen Maadhvas and
narrow minded Vaishnavas when they sing Panduranga Ashtakam change the word
to Parabrahmaroopam instead of Parabrahmalingam.

In first Sloka Adi Sankara is saying Lord Vithala has come down to give
boon to Pundarika. Why? Pundarika was serving his old parents. Vithala was
pleased and came down to see him. But Pundarika said to Him - Please wait
for some time. I am serving my parents. After completing my job only I can
receive You. Vithala said - Where should I wait? Pundarika gave Him a
single brick to stand. This story is showing importance of Matru Pitru.
They are Gods seen by all. How many people have seen God? But everybody has
seen the visible Gods - the Mother and Father.

That is why Adi Sankara is saying परं त्विष्टिकायां समन्यस्तपादं. He is
Supreme but He is standing on a brick.

Lord Vithala is standing with His hands on His hips. What is the importance
of this stance? Adi Sankara is explaining - प्रमाणं भवाब्धेरिदं मामकानां
नितम्बः कराभ्यां धृतो येन तस्मात् । For Vithala's devotees the ocean of
Samsara is coming up to hips only and they will not drown in it. They can
easily cross the Samsara ocean.

In 5th and 6th Slokas Adi Sankara is describing the physical beauty of Lord
Vithala. In the 8th Sloka Vithala is described as रुक्मिणीप्राणसञ्जीवनं. He
rescued Rukmini from Death. Why? Because Rukmini had said She will die if
Krishna does not come to Her father's place and take Her away and marry
Her. She did not want to marry some other person chosen by Her father.
Krishna carried Her away and married Her. Vithala did all this even though
He is तुरीय the Para Brahman.

Popular playback singer Late P.B. Srinivas has beautifully sung this
Panduranga Ashtaka. His Sanskrit pronunciation is almost
100% perfect. Listen -


Stotra and translation -




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