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                                        Shyamala Dandakam


                         Maha Kavi Kalidasa


                                            Translated by



(Kalidasa was perhaps the greatest of the Sanskrit poets. He has written great dramas like Shakunthalam and great epics like Kumara Sambhavam, Malavikagni mithram , the message poetry called Megha Sandesham etc. He is extremely famous for the use of appropriate similes and metaphors. Shyamala Dandakam is perhaps the greatest stotra written by him eulogizing the mother goddess –Shyamala.

   He has employed a poetic style called Dandakam in writing this prayer. Dandakam is that poetry where some of the lines have more than 26 syllables. It very much resembles prose. In this case, the entire Dandakam is a single sentence from start to the end. I have attempted to retain the same style

 There is a folk story about how he came about to write this stotra. He was a foolish wood cutter. The courtiers of a proud princess made him act as a wise man and made the princess marry him. The princess advised the wood cutter to enter in to a temple of kali, when she goes out for a walk and lock himself in. When Kali came back, the wood cutter refused to allow her in , unless she makes him wise. She did that. Shyamala Dandakam is supposed to be the first prayer of this wood cutter to Kali after he became wise.)


Manikhya veenaam upalalayanthim,

Madalasam manjula vaag vilasam,

Mahendra Neela dhyuthi komalangim,

Mathanga kanyam manasa smarami.            1


I meditate on the daughter of Matanga,

Who plays the veena made of precious gems,

Who has become lazy due to   her exuberance,

Who is blessed with very sweet words,

Who has a pretty mien which shines like the blue gem.


Chathurbhuje Chandra kala vathamse,

Kuchonnathe kumkuma raga sone,

Pundrekshu pasangusa pushpa bana,

Hasthe namasthe jagadaika matha.                 2


My salutations to that mother of universe,

Who has four hands,

Who wears the crescent as an ornament,

Who has very high breasts,

Who is of the colour of saffron,

And who holds flower, sugar cane, rope, arrow,

The goad and pundareeka in her hands.


Matha marakatha shyama, Mathangi madha shalini,

Kuryath kadaksham kalyani kadambha vana vasini.      3


Please bless me with a side long glance,

Oh daughter of sage Mathanga,

Who is my mother,

Who is as green as an emerald,

Who is exuberant,

Who  blesses with all that is good,

And who lives in the forest of Kadambha*.

                  *Kadambha is a tree called Nauclea cadamba. It is said to put forth orange, fragrant buds at the roaring of thunder clouds. 


Jaya Mathanga thanaye, Jaya Neelolpala dhyuthe,

Jaya Sangeetha rasike, Jaya Leela shuka priye.                 4


Victory to the daughter of Mathanga,

Victory to her who resembles Neelothphala* flowers,

Victory to her who enjoys music,

Victory to her who likes the playful parrot.

                    * blue lotus flower



Jaya janani,

sudha samudranthar udhuyanmani dheepa samrooda vilwadavi Madhya

Kalpadhruma kalpa kadambha vasa priye,

krithivasa priye,

sarva loka priye.


Victory to the mother

Who is interested always in living in the forest of Kadamba trees which are similar to the wish giving Kalapaka trees and  which is in the forest of Vilwa trees  and  which is situated in the gem island in the sea of nectar,

Who is the consort of Lord Shiva,

Who is the darling of  all the world,


 Sadararabdha  sangeetha sambhavana a sambhrama lola  neepasraga badha  chooli sanadathrike,

Sanumath puthrike,


Who has her posterior decorated by her dancing hair which has been freed by the raising crescendo of the soulful music,

Who is the daughter of the mountain,


Shekhari bhootha  sheethamsu leka mayookhavalibadha  susnigdha  neelaalaka  sreni sringarithe,

Loka Sambhavithe,


Who is extremely pretty with her bluish black hair curls which shine due to the light emanating from the cold crescent which she wears on her head,

Who is respected by all the world,


Kama leela  dhanusannibha brullatha pushpa sandoha sandeha krullochane,

Vak sudha sechane,


Who has eye lashes which resemble the flower arrows coming from the playful bow of  the God of love,

Who cools down the universe with nectar like words,


Charu  gorchana panga  keli lalabhirame ,




Who is very pretty with her Thilaka* made of musk,

Who makes all the world happy,

Who is Rama, the goddess Lakshmi,

                              * Dot in the middle of the forehead


Prollasad valika moukthika srenika chandrika mandalothbhasi  lavanya gandasthalanyatha kasthurika  pathra rekha samudbhootha sourabhya  sambhrantha  brungangana geetha santhree bhavan mantra thanthreesware,




Who is with the charming sound of Veena mixed with appropriate beats , strengthened by the several bees ,which rush towards the incenses of the marks of musk made  on her pretty necks and the light emanating from the  ornaments she wears in her ears made of very precious gems which put to shame the light of the universe of the moon,

Who has very pleasing musical voice,

Who shines  with her very pretty features,


Vallaki vadana prakriya lola thali dhala badha thadanga  bhoosha viseshanwithe,

Sidha sammanithe,


Who wears the ear ornaments made of palm leaves when she plays the musical instrument called Vallaki*,

Who is recognized by great sages,

                       * A stringed instrument similar to Veena


Divya halamadho dwelahelala sachakshurandholana sri samakshiptha karanaika neelothphale ,

poorithasesha lokapi vanchapale,



Who wears ear studs made of neelothphala flowers , whose  shine is more than the light of her divine glances that emanate from her very pretty eyes which are red colured because of the divine alcoholic spirits drunk by her,

Who grants all wishes for all people of the world,

Who grants wealth and happiness


Sweda bindulla sathphala lavanya  nishyandha sandhoha  sandeha krunnasika  moukthike,

Sarva viswathmike,



Who has nose rings , which makes one wonder whether  it is made by the perspiration on her pretty forehead which has flown down from there and crystallized on her nose,

Who is the soul of all the world,

Who also assumes the form of Kali,


Mugdha mandasmithodhara  vyaktha sphural  pooga  thamboola  karpoora gandolkare,

Jnana mudhrakare,





Who has a pretty face which easily showers smiles and which is made by prettier by the areca nut, Thamboola* (Betel leaf, lime and areca nut)and camphor in her mouth,

Who shows the symbol of jnana(wisdom)

Who has all types of wealth,

Who holds the lotus flower in her hand,

Who grants good blessings,

                  * Betel leaf, lime and areca nut


Kunda pushpa  dhyuthi  snigdha  dantha vali  nirmala lola  kallola,

Sammelanasmera sona dhare,

Charu veena dhare,

Pakwa bimbha dhare,


Who is having the soft sweet reddish smile which comes in waves from the very pretty set of teeth  with its white shine similar to the garland made of white jasmine buds,

Who holds in her hand the pretty Veena,

Who is having reddish lips like the Bimba fruits,


Sulalithayouanarambha chandrayodhvela  lavanya  dughdarnawavir bhava th  kambhu bibhoka bruth kandhare,

Sathkala mandhire,



Who is having the bright white conch like neck  which has arisen from the ocean of milk  at the time of high tide that too at the moonrise of the very pretty new youth,

Who is the personification of all arts,

Who is voluptuous,


Divya rathna prabha  banduhrachaanna  haaradhi bhoosha  samudhyotha mananavadhyanga shobhe,



Who is having the total blemish less luster created by her shining parts of the body which are decorated by several  garlands and ornaments made by holy gems,

Who is the personification of all that is good,


Rathna keyura  rasmi chada pallava  prollasath dhorlatha  rajithe,

Yogibhi poojithe,


Who is pretty because of her two arms  which shine like young tendrils decorated by the shining armlets made of  umpteen rathnas(gems),

Who is being worshipped by sages,


Viswa ding mandala  vyapi manikhya  theja spurath kankanalangruthe,


Sadhubhi poojithe,


Who wears bangles , the light of whose gems  spread all over the world,

Who is also very pretty because of all that she wears,

Who is worshipped by holy people,


Vasararambha vela samjrumbhamana aravinda  prathi dwandwi  panidwaye,




Who has two hands which challenge in their beauty  the luster of newly opened lotus flowers at the rise of the sun,

Who always rains the shower of mercy,

Who is the one in whom there is no two,


Divyarathnormika dheethithi  sthoma  sandhyaya mananguli  pala vodhyanna khendu prabha mandale,

Sannadha ghandale,

Chith prabha mandale,

Prollasath khundale,


Who has very pretty fingers  which has the luster emanating from her nails and which are decorated by several rings studded with very precious jewels which is similar to the luster of the moon,

Who is worshipped lord by Indra, the king being of devas,

Who is surrounded the  holy light of God emanating from the chith*,

Who wears ear studs which have great luster,

                        * The eternal consciousness


Tharaka jala neekasa haraa valee smera charu sthana  bhoga bharanamanmadhya  vallee valee schedha veechi samudhyath samullasa sandarsithakara soundarya rathna kare,


Kimkara sreekare,


Who is an ocean of beauty due to the three wave like lines which are formed in her middle due to a slight bent caused by her very attractive and heavy breasts which are happily pretty  due to the luster of several chains that she wears which  resemble  a bevy of stars,

Who plays the sacred veena ,

Who blesses her devotees with wealth,


Hemakumbhopamothunga  vakshoja parava namre,



Who has a look of humility due to the slight bent caused by her very heavy golden breasts,

Who is being worshipped by all the people of all the three worlds,


Lasadvrutha  gambheera  nabhee sarastheera  saivala  sangakara syama  romavalee bhooshane,

Manju sambhashane,


Who shines due to pretty greenish black hair which appears like the thin row of water plants surrounding her lake like deep ,round and attractive belly button,

Who has a very attractive speech,


Charu sinchath kati soothra nirbarsthinanga leela dhanu sinchineedambare,

Divya rathnambare,


Who defeats the lovely sugarcane bow of the God of love  in arousing  passionate love  by just  using the slight shake  of her  golden belt,

Who wears silk studded with gems,


Padmaraghollasanmekhala  moukthi sreni shobajitha  swarna bhoo bruthale.

Chandrika seethale,


Who by the shine of  the diamond studded bells which are tied to her golden belt and which lessen the beauty of the greenish valley of the Mount Meru,

Who is as cool as the moon light,


Vikasitha navakimsuka thara divyamsuka channa charooru shobha para bhootha sindhoora sonaya manendra  matanga hasthargale,

Vaibhavan argale,



Who has very pretty thighs hidden by the holy cloth which is as red as the fully open flowers of palas* tree and which defeats the prettiness of the trunk of Iravatha** which has  the pasting of  a saffron coat,

Who has the ever flowing grace without hindrance emanating from her,

Who is a dark beauty,

   *   A holy tree of India with reddish flowers  ** The elephant of Indra which arose from the ocean of milk.


Komala snighdha  neelothpalothpaditha ananga thunnera sangakare dara jangalathe,

Charu leela gathe,


Who has very beautiful knee caps resembling the quiver of the God of love ,  which is shiningly pretty and made of dark flowers,

Who has very pretty feminine gait,


Namradik pala seemanthini  kunthalasnighdha  neela prabha punja samjatha  durvangurasangi saranga samyoga ringanna khendujjwale,




Who has lustrous  and the crescent like nails, which are bent and saluted by the wives of the eight lord of directions whose flowing hair is attracted by deer who think is as the luscious grass,

Who has a wholly  lustrous mien,

Who is holy and pure,


Prahwa devesa lakshmeesa  bhoothesa  thoyesa  vaneesa  keenasa  daithyesa  yakshesa  vayvagni koteera manikhya  sangushta  bala thapodhama lakshara  sarunya tharunya  Lakshmi graheethangri padme,




Who has lotus like feet which shine  in the  light emanating from the crowns of the  bent head of  Indra, Vishnu, Shiva, Varuna, Brahma, Yama Niryathi, Vaisravana(God of wealth), Vayu,  and Agni, which because they are painted red by the plant extracts  shines like the reddish rising sun and which are the treasure house of youthful beauty,

Who holds lotus flower in her hands,

Who has the form of Parvathy,


Suruchira navarathna peeta sthithe,


Rathna padmasane,

Rathna simhasane,




Who sits in the seat made of the nine precious gems,

Who sits prettily,

Who sits on the jeweled lotus flower,

Who sits on the jeweled throne,

Who is being sought by the Conch and the lotus flower,

Who is very famous,


Thathra vignesa  durga vatu ksethra palairyuthe,

Matha mathanga kanya samoohanvithe,

Bhairavair  ashtabhir veshtithe,


Who is surrounded by Ganesa, Durga, Bhairava and Kshethra pala,

Who due to her ebbing youthful vigour shines among the girls in the house of mathanga,

Who is surrounded by the eight Bhairavas,


Manjula menakadhyanga namanithe,

Devi vamadhibhi  shakthihi sevithe,

Mathurka mandalair mandithe,

Yaksha  gandharwa sidhangana mandalair archithe,

Pancha banathmike,

Pancha banenarathya  cha sambhavithe,

Preethibhajaa vasanthena chaanandithe,


Who is being revered by the divine beauties like Manjula and Menaka,

Who is being served by Goddess Durga and Vama deva,

Who is with the eight divine mothers  ,

Who is being worshipped by  the yakshas, gandarwas and sidhas,

Who is the soul of the arrows of the God of love,

Who is being worshipped by Manmatha(God of love) and his wife Rathi devi,

Who is being worshipped in spring along with love,


Bhakthi baajam param sreyase ,

kalpase yoginaam manase dhyothase,

Geetha vidhya vinodhati  trushnena krishnena sampoojyase,

Bhakthimaschedasa vedhasa sthooyase,

Viswa hrudhyena vadhyena  vidhyadharair gheeyase,


Who grants great fame to her devotees,

Who from the beginning of the world is being meditated upon by sages,

Who is being worshipped by Lord Krishna a great expert in music,

Who becomes pleased by the power of Vedic chants,

Who is being worshipped by Lord Brahma with devotion,

Who is being worshipped by Vidhyadharas by soulful music made of pretty words,


Sravana harana dakshinakwanaya  veenaya kinnarair gheeyase,

Yaksha gandarwa  sidhangana mandalair archyase,

Sarva soubhagya vanchavahirvadhudhir suranam samaradhyase,


Who is being praised by Kinaaras accompanied by soulful music  of the Veena,

Who is being worshipped by the women of Yaksha, Gandharwa and Sidha clan,

Who is also being worshipped by all devas with a  deep wish to grant them all their desires,


Sarva Vidhya viseshathmakam, chadu gatha samuchaaranam,

Kanda mulolla sadwarna raji thrayam,

Komala syamalo dhara paksha dwayam,

Thunda shobhathi  dhoori bhavath kisukam tham shukam,

Lalayanthi parikreedase,


Who pets and plays with that parrot  which is the personification of all knowledge, which keeps on singing pretty songs, which has the shining three lines on its neck in three different colours, which shines with  two wings of green colour , which has shining beaks which are more pretty than the Kimsuka flowers,


Pani padmadwaye nakshamalamapi  sphatikeem jnanasarathmakam  pustakangusam  pasa bibrathiyena sanchinthyse,tasya vakthrantharal gadya padyathmika bharathi nissareth,

Yena vaa yavaka bhakruitheer bavyase tasya vasya  bhavanthi sthriya purusha yena vaa sathakumbhadyuthir bhavyase sopi Lakshmi sahasarair  parikreedathe,


Who when meditated upon as the one who holds  the crystal chain in one hand, the knowledge filled book in another  ,and the goad and rope in other hands, makes knowledge flow from the devotee’s mouth in the form of prose and poems,

Who when meditated upon as  the one who has he reddish colour of dawn similar to the juice of red cotton, makes the devotee attractive to all males and females,

Who when meditated upon as the one who has a golden coloured body  grants the devotee all sort of wealth and makes him live happily,


Kinna sidhyedwapu  shyamalam komalam  Chandra choodanwitham thavakam dhyatha thasya  kelivanam nandanam  thasya bhadrasanam bhoothalam, thasya gheer devatha  kimkari thasya chajnakari sree swayam,


Who when meditated upon as prettily greenish lustrous form  wearing a crescent  on her head , would grant all  occult powers to the devotee and make him  feel that the ocean is his pool for playing, great gardens are  his kitchen gardens, the entire earth appears as his  seat, Goddess Saraswathi appears as his servant  and Goddess Lakshmi as the one obeys all his orders,


Sarva Theerthathmike,

Sarva mantrathmike,

Srava yantrathmike,

Sarva shakthyathmike,

Sarva peedathmike,

Sarva thathwathmike,

Sarva vidhyathmike,

Sarva yogathmike,

Sarva nadathmike,

Sarva shabdathmike,

Sarva viswathmike,

Sarva vargathmike,

Sarva sarvathmike,

Sarvage, Sarva roope, Jagan mathruke,

Pahi maam, Pahi Maam, Pahi maam,

Devi thubhyam nama, Devi Thubhyam nama. Devi thubhyam nama.


Who is the form of all sacred waters,

Who is the form of all holy chants to god,

Who is the form of all holy and sacred symbols

Who is the form of goddess of female principles,

Who is the form of all sacred platforms,

Who is the form of all philosophy,

Who is the form of all knowledge,

Who is the form of all yoga,

Who is the form of all musical sounds,

Who is the form of all sound,

Who is the form of all universes,

Who is the form of all divisions,

Who is the form of  all souls,

Who is everything,

Who has all forms,

Who is the mother of the universe,


Please save me, pleases save me, Pleas save me,

Salutations to the holy goddess,

Salutations to the holy goddess,

Salutations to the holy goddess