God is the most talked about entity in the world. Who is God? Is He the imagination of the fertile human mind? Does He exist or not? Is He existence or a void? Can He be known or is He always unknowable? Such and more questions are answered as a praise of God -- a Hymn to Him (Isa Stuti).
This wonderful composition and commentary by Swami Tejomayananda leaves us with a sweet feeling of devotion for God and makes us wonder why we ever questioned His existence.
About the Author
Pujya Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda is a spiritual Master and visionary leader who deftly and humbly carries forward the vision of his Guru, Swami Chinmayananda. An outstanding Teacher of Vedanta, he conveys the profound knowledge of the scriptures with devotion, simplicity, wit and humor.
Pujya Guruji is a versatile author and has written commentaries on many texts of Vedanta and authored original compositions on various aspects of life, notably on Vedanta.
I pray each day, 'May there is auspicious thoughts in my mind' (tanme manab Siva sankalpam astu). So one day, as on many days, God answered my prayers and my mind became prayerful. I wrote a song in praise of the divine Goddess known to us as Durga, Laksmi and Sarasvati. This song ended with a prayer to the Goddess of Knowledge, Sarasvati, 'Do fulfill my earnest desire to sing the praise of the Lord (mana kamana Isa stuti ki, kijiye purl" vidya-dayini).'
I also pray each day, 'May I live by His will and may His will manifest as my will or thoughts - (§ivasya sankalpath me astu).' Soon thereafter my prayers were answered as Goddess Sarasvati's gift to me in the form of Ida Stuti - a Hymn to Him. So I take no credit for this composition as these verses came to my mind as His/Her will and grace alone.
Stuti means praise. The things and beings of this world change. The mobile we praise, becomes outdated, gives trouble or stops working or the person we praise does some unworthy deed. Therefore the only one worth praising is the eternal Lord.
There is always an element of exaggeration when we praise worldly things and beings like 'my mobile is my faithful friend' or 'my friend is always by my side.' God is infinitely great, and therefore, there is no exaggeration possible. The infinite Lord has infinite possibilities and aspects. He can be indicated, described, spoken of, and written about and extolled in infinite ways, yet whatever we say will always be less than what He is.'
Why do we praise God? We need to be often appreciated, assured, praised and encouraged; or else we feel disheartened and demotivated. Does the Lord also need such praise? Certainly not. He is well-established in His own infinite glory.2 However when we see His glory; we feel the need to express our joy. His praise is our recognition of His greatness, an expression of our respect, love, reverence and gratitude. It is a blessing to praise Him and the truly blessed alone can do so.
Who is Iga/God? Na/fgvarafIgana means the one who rules, the ruler (-iati iti). Since God is neither a man nor a woman, He can be referred to either as 1§vara or hvari. For convenience, God is designated hereafter as hvara/tga. The ruler must have both the power and the position to rule. In the world we see some are powerful but have no authority to rule and some others in positions of power are mere puppets. God is omnipotent — all powerful and the undisputed Lord of the universe. He is totally independent and can do, undo and do otherwise, anything and everything He wills.'
Interestingly God is the most talked about entity in the world. People have various views, notions, beliefs and concepts about Him. These have been in existence from time immemorial and shall continue forever. Even in the Vaidika times, some believed that He existed, some that He did not, some that He was existence and yet others that He was a void (gianya). Some non-believers become believers and some believers become non-believers. We have no doubt about our own existence, but we have doubts about the existence of God, because of whom we exist! God who is the Truth must be laughing up His sleeves as Truth does not depend on our beliefs and non-beliefs, right or wrong notions of individuals, however logical, learned and intelligent they may be.
Ganga Stotram is written in praise of Mother Ganga, Madhurastakam describes the sweet qualities of Lord Krishna and Sri Rama Stuti is in praise of Lord Rama. Iga Stuti does not extoll a particular form of the Lord, nor His sports, virtues, stories or abode. It is the praise of God as the Lord of the universe.
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