DaivadeShakam; an introduction

Shree NArAyaNa Gurudevan was perhaps the most proficient Malayalam poet. HIS poetry is musical with bursting devotional excellence and abundant in divine experience. DaivadeShakam even though effortless in its vocabulary is filled with the profound knowledge of braHMavidya. HIS simple but significant selection of vocabulary cannot be equated. HIS Sacred insight and ability to transfer the Spiritual experience to the readers are far ahead of any of the contemporaneous, preceding or succeeding literary or Spiritual intellectual giants. Contemplating on HIS literary works is an excellently satisfying Divine experience.

It is said that daivadeShakam is a prayer originally written for children. On a casual reading or recitation it may look very simple. However, if we contemplate on it, we can understand that Gurudevan had intended it to be an enlightening experience for every one; children and adults; common folks, intellectuals, and serious spiritual seekers. As we comprehend, we can experience the essence of the Spiritual treasures of bhAratham, which NaTarAja guru termed as “The Science of the Absolute” flowing out in abundance from this otherwise simple looking entreaty. It flows out of those ten verses like a never ending stream of eternal bliss and engulf us in its Spiritual infinity. Every aspect of Wisdom as realized by the ancient Spiritual Masters of bhAratham can be experienced with the dedicated, sincere and earnest study and contemplation on these ten verses and it can lead us to the Ultimate Bliss.

DaivadeShakam is Often categorized as a “generic”, “universal” or “non denominational” prayer. “Generic” means something without a brand name, used as a substitute in place of an original and authentic product made by someone other than the reputed original manufacturer. When an original; one of the greatest Spiritual writings on par with any; and far ahead of the majority of them in any language; by the most exceptional Spiritual Personality ever been incarnated in bhAratham as a “generic”, “universal” or “non denominational” prayer; it is a relegation of a giant proportion. Even though daivadeShakam is included in some prayer books by spiritual organizations, I am yet to hear it prayed by any of them on a regular basis. The main reason for this is the terming of IT as a “generic”, “universal” or “non denominational” prayer. Of course it can be used universally as a “non-denominational” prayer, but practically none, very few at the most use it thus; because every denomination has its own god. Even in our own braHMavidya, or sanAthana DharMam as some call it, which is eternal; it is a known fact that lot of cults are in existent and they all claim that their god is the real God. So they don’t pray to a non denominational God with a “universal” prayer.

The creation of these cults, along with the discrimination based on caste system & chAturvarNyam have become a stumbling block for the unity of our people. Divides within our ranks; some we created and some created and nourished by outsiders has to be removed; if we have to survive as a decent society and prosper. There can be no excuse for any one amongst us to give out discriminatory treatment of any one, based our Spirituality, The Science of the Absolute. Our upaniShads including Bhagavad Geetha, ThirukkuRaL, TirumantiRam, all says that we are all one.

“HE, the Being First, and HE, the Emerald-hued,
And HE of the glowing, original Lotus-seat-
Though the three form an integral whole,
The world consider them separate and quarrel.”

“Beyond the Two Karmas is ISA seated,
The seed of the world, the Mighty God become;
‘This’ and ‘That’ is ISA – so the thoughtless contend,
The dross but know the beast sediment low.” Thus says the TirumantiRam.

DaivadeShakam contains the very essence of almost every aspect of braHMavidya, the Spiritual Science; which can lead us to the elaborative details of our ancestry. It has everything and anything Spirituality has to offer condensed in it. The knowledge of ParabrhMam, clearly and cleverly based on the profound Divine knowledge provided by our ancestors, who lived in the land of bhAratham, then known as bhArathvarsha and now as India; and flourished and flowered this entire universe with their Spiritual affluence, can be understood and the bliss of it all, enjoyed by contemplation of daivadeShakam. It is the best contrivance for realization of ParabrhMam. Naming it “non denominational”, “universal” or “generic” prayer can only be a relegation.

BraHMavidya teaches that, divinity is in every one. But the degree or grade of its practical external expression and its noticeable indications are different in everyone including gods. The only One beyond this and completely divine is “The Absolute” and we call It BrahMan or ParabrhMam, That Divinity is in us; and it is ever ready to help us and guide us through every eventuality we face, in here now; and hereafter forever. The only requirement is that we must realize the truth that, that divinity is with-in us. Once we realize that, everything will go smooth and we will be enlightened. But it is not that essay. Only few have realized it. DaivadeShakam is a true means for that realization.

In Semitic religions, Divinity is only in God and it is an entity separate and away from us, who ‘created human in His shape’. BraHMavidya says that everything, including the creator, the creation, the created and the cause of creation; all are the BrahMan and thus, that BrahMan is also within us; always ready to help us. Some have a god who sits in a throne in heaven with a crown and enforces rules and regulations, punishes some for the wrongs and even give special treatments for some. We have a BrahMan who is even beyond that God and at the same time who is also within us and in everything around us. Heaven is their goal and moksham, the merger with the BrahMan; and the realization of the Ultimate Bliss we get from that merger, is our goal. Their goal, the heaven; is only a materialistic paradise from which no one can reach the Absolute. And reaching the Absolute is every one’s inheritance according to our Spirituality. Thus going to heaven is not much desirable for us, but attainment of moksham and the Ultimate Bliss is; and daivadeShakam can help us in that endeavor.

According to our beliefs, “ParabrhMam is our Brother, our Father and Begetter. He knows all beings and all worlds”. “He is Agni, He is Aditya as He engulfs all at the time of dissolution of the universe; He is VAyu, He is All powerful; He is Moon, He is full of pleasure and is the giver of pleasure; He is pure and quick in action; He is Brahma as He is great; He is All-pervading”.

At the creation of this entire universe, which materialized from the BrahMam, everything “was then undifferentiated. It becomes differentiated by name and form: it was known by such and such a name, and such and such a form. Thus to this day this universe is differentiated by name and form; so it is said: ‘He has such a name and such a form.’ The Self has entered into these bodies up to the very tips of the nails, as a razor lies (hidden) in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, (lies hidden) in its source. People do not see the Self, for {when viewed in parts} It is incomplete: when breathing, It is called the vital breath (pRANa); when speaking, the organ of speech; when seeing, the eye, when hearing, the ear; when thinking, the mind. These are merely Its names according to Its functions”, (just like IT is referred to as Brahmin, KshetRiya, VaiShya and Shudra when in human form). “He who meditates on one or another of Its aspects does not know, for It is then incomplete: the Self is separated from Its totality by being associated with a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for in; It all these become unified. Of all these, this Self alone should be known, for one knows all these through It, just as one may find [an animal which is lost] through its footprints. He who thus knows the Self obtains fame and association [with dear ones]”.

“The Supreme dwells within the lotus of the heart. Those who reach His Splendid Feet dwell endearingly within unearthly realms. Draw near the Feet of Him who is free of desire and aversion, and live forever free of suffering. Good and bad, delusion’s dual deeds do not cling to those who delight in praising the Immutable, Worshipful One. A long and joyous life rewards those who remain firmly on the faultless path of Him who controls the five senses. They alone dispel the mind’s distress who takes refuge at the Feet of the Incomparable One. They alone can cross life’s other oceans who take refuge at the Feet of the Gracious One, Himself an Ocean of Virtue. The head which cannot bow before the Feet of the Possessor of eight infinite powers is like the senses lacking the power to perceive. The boundless ocean of births can be crossed, indeed, but not without intimate union with Infinity’s Holy Feet.” Thus says ThirukkuRaL, chapter one. This daivadeShakam, Will indeed aid us for crossing of that ocean of births and deaths.

UpaniShads are the foundation of our heritage and they are the ultimate in Spiritual Science. Those divine songs clearly educate us and lead us on the path to the ‘Ultimate Truth’. However, as the time moves on, people deviate from that path of sanAthana DharMam and miseries set in to human life, and When that happens, from time to time, Divine incarnations do appear and reinforce sanAthana DharMam. Shree NArAyaNa Gurudevan was such a Divine incarnation and HE provided daivadeShakam for us to realize The Ultimate Truth.

No other Divine personality has given us such a great spiritually prosperous literary work, where the Divine knowledge of bhAratham is given in a simple, condensed and at the same time in an elaborate manner.

DaivadeShakam; This uncomplicated but accomplishing and highly exorbitant un-embroidered embodiment of braHMavidya is indeed an absolute collection of the Divine knowledge ever assimilated into the thinking process of the History of the world, which, when learned and practiced, will lead everyone to “The Ultimate Bliss”. Our Spirituality is the best in this world and Gurudevan was the best and complete Master of HIS time and on par with any we had. Still some label Gurudevan as a “Social Reformer”. He was not just a “Social Reformer”, HE was not just a poet, He was not just a Guru; HE was the embodiment of the parabrhMam.

Gurudevan was a Spiritual Master of Enormous value, who gave us this majestic jewel of Divine Knowledge, daivadeShakam; amongst many other of HIS Divine works. All HIS words and deeds were to establish the evading DharMam from this world, not just for the uplift of the few, as some made it out to be. HE did everything to establish DharMam, as did BhagvAn Shree KRishNan. HE won the war for us, but we had no DharMarAja like YudhistiR. We only had others of the PAndava clan, thus the establishment and sustainment of a DharMarAjyam still remains a dream.

“Our spiritual heritage cannot be contained in a single cult or a creed. It has never been asserted as a one dogma, nor is it viewed as a one path to salvation. It’s not even a religion as such–nor is it just a way of life. It is the divine knowledge of the Absolute Truth, which–when learned and practiced–can lead us to the experience of the Ultimate Bliss. It is a continuously evolving and absorbing science–a flexible body of knowledge centered on the quest of jeevAtman for moksham (Divine Realization). And it makes provisions for all in this quest. Yet, it remains immeasurable as it safeguards the very purpose of all life everywhere and in all things. It is called Sanathana DharMam. The wise know it by no other name.” It is an immense, many-sided and many staged knowledge, which prescribes provisions for the Divine Self-reclamation and realization of ParabrhMam. It is an immeasurable collection of thoughts and words for action and non action, which will help anyone, who wishes to, accomplish that “Ultimate Bliss”, which is the goal of every life form in this universe. We can succeed provided we are willing to dare to digest that incalculable, perilous, self-building and self finding knowledge contained in IT. DaivadeShakam contains the essence of it all. So, It is an UpaniShad of the highest caliber. Let us learn It as an UpaniShad. Let us teach It as an UpaniShad. Let us experience It as an UpaniShad. Naming Gurudevan just a Social Reformer, a Guru or a Swamy is only a partial truth. Partial truth is a lie. Let us believe and tell the full truth. Shree NArAyaNa Gurudevan was an embodiment of the Absolute TRUTH. Let us project HIM as such, Let us not degrade HIM by categorizing HIM as a social reformer. Let us not degrade our BraHMavidya, “The Science of the Absolute,” the absolute knowledge of The Ultimate, in to a meager religion.

© Udayabhanu Panickar. If anyone needs reproduction in full or in part, please contact the writer.

Daivadeshakam, Interpretation by Guru Nitya Chaithanya Yeti
Daivadeshakam, Interpretation by Professor G. Balakrishnan Nair
Daivadeshakam, Interpretation by M. Damodaran
Hinduism Today, July 2005.
BRrihadAraNyaka UpaniShad Interpretation by Guru Nitya Chaithanya Yeti
Bhagavat Geetha Interpretation by NaTarAja Guru and ChinmayAanada SwAmikal
Aitareya upaniShad
Yajur Veda Translated by DEVI CHAND, M.A.; Ex. Principal, D. A. V. College* Hoshiarpur; Ex. President, D. A, V. College Managing Committee, Hoshiarpur,

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