ganapati carana saroja gahi I caranodaka dhari bhala II
likhaum vimala ramavali I sumiri amjanilala II
Having clasped the lotus-feet of Ganesa, lord of Siva’s henchmen, and having anointed my forehead with the water hallowed by his (Ganesa’s) feet, I meditate of Amjani’s son Hanuman and compose this spotless Ramavali, a series of verses in praise of Rama.
rama carita varnana karaum I ramahim hrdaya manai II
madana kadana rata rakhi sira I mana kaham tapa mitai II
With rama’s image enshrined in my heart and with my head at the feet of Siva who destroyed Cupid, I recount the holy acts of Rama, so that it may destroy all my heart’s impurities and agonies.
rama ramapati raghupati jai jai I maha lokapati jagapati jai jai II
rajita janaka dulari jai jai I mahinandini prabhu-pyari jai jai II
Glory, all glory to you Rama, Lord of Laksmi and of the house of Raghu; glory, all glory to you, the high Lord of the spheres and of the world; glory, all glory to the resplendent daughter of Janaka; glory, all glory to the delight of the Earth (her daughter) and beloved consort of the Supreme Lord !
Ratihum divasa rama dhuna jahim I magana rahata mana, tana dukha nahim II
rama saneha jasu ura hoi I maha bhagyasali nara soi II
raksasa dala samhari jai jai I maha patita tanu tari jai jai II
rama nama jo nisadina gavata I mana vamchita phala niscaya pavata II
Glory, all glory to you, O destroyer of the demon host ! Glory, all glory to you, the deliverer of the most degraded ! Whosoever hymns the glory of Rama’s name throughout the day and night is verily rewarded with whatever he desires most.
ramayudhasara jehim kara sajata I mana manoja lakhi kotihum lajata II
rakhahu laja hamari jai jai I mahima agama tumhari jai jai II
Beholding the exquisite bow and arrow in Rama’s splendid and shapely hands, myriads of Cupids are at once abashed; glory, glory to you, O Lord, whom I beseech to keep my honour; glory, glory to you, O Lord, whose majesty is incomprehensible (immeasurable).
rajiva nayana munina mana mohai I mukuta manohara sira para sohai II
rajita mrdula gata suci anana I makarakrta kundala duhum kanana II
Your lotus-eyes, O Lord, fascinate even the minds of hermits and recluses (who are detached the allurements of the world). The lovely coronet looks lustrous on your fair and splendid face sheds its brilliance on your tender body. No less sparkling are the crocodile-shaped pendants in your ears.
ramacandra sarvottama jai jai I maryada purusottama jai jai II
rama nama guna agama ananta I manana karata sarada sruti santa II
Glory, all glory to you, O Lord Supreme; you are the best of all earth-born, guardian of all bounds and custodian of moderation. Glory, all glory to you O Ramacandra; your very name has boundless and immeasurable virtues, which the Vedas, the saints, and Sarasvati contemplate.
rati divasa dhyavahu mana rama I mana ramjana bhamjana bhava dama II
raja bhavana samga mem nahim jaihem I mana ke hi mana mem rahi jaihem II
O (rambling) mind, meditate on Rama (the changeless) night and day, for such a meditation will bring you delight and quell al the worldly fire (which burns you ceaselessly). The magnificent palace (of which you have kept dreaming) will not accompany you; instead, it will remain a desire unfulfilled.
ramahim nama anta sukha daihem I mana gaRhanta gapa kama na aihem II
rama kahani ramahim sunihem I mahima rama tabai mana gunihem II
It is Rama’s name that will ultimately give you comfort (and accompany you on your last journey). The fanciful pleasures you have been dreaming of will turn out to be a mirage (the promised land that you long for will remain an unrealized dream). Your story-the story of all that you wanted to do or of what you did-would be heard only by Rama himself and by none else; then will you realize how glorious the Lord Rama is.
ramahi maham jo nita cita rakhihem I madhukara sarisa madhura rasa cakhihem II
raga ramga kahum kirtan athanihem I mamata tyagi eka rasa janihem II
Those who keep their mind centred everyday on Rama will savour the honeyed taste of it as bumble bees do (when they savour the pollen of the flowering plants). Then will start the glorification of the Name amid a life of luxury and enjoyment and, abandoning all attachment, the mind will recognize only one source of true delight-the Name of the Lord.
rama krpa tinhim para hoihem I mana vamchita phala abhimata paihem II
raksasa damana kiyo jo ksana mem I maha bahni bani vicaryo vana mem II
Rama will rain down his compassion on them and fulfil all their cherished desires. The Lord trounced the demons in a trice, just as a dreadful wildfire, breaking out in the midst of the forest, reduces its trees to ashes.
ravanadi hati gati dai dinhom I mahiravanahim siyahita vadha kinhom II
rama bana suta surasari dhara I mahapatakihum gati dai dara II
Having slain the Ten-headed and his host, he sent him to his own celestial abode and for rescuing Sita had Mahiravana killed in the nether regions of the earth where he dwelt. Rama’s arrow, like the pure stream of the Gamga, redeems even the vilest of the sinners.
rama ramita jaga amita ananta I mahima kahi na sakahim sruti santa II
rama nama joi deta bhulai I maha nisa soi leta bulai II
Rama, the omnipresent Lord, permeates this infinite and endless world and eludes description by the Vedas and the high sages. He who forgets Rama’s name only invites (dense) darkness of ignorance or, as some commentators believe, his utter doom.
rama bina ura hota amdhera I mana sohi dukha sahata ghanera II
ramahi adi anadi kahavata I mahavrati samkara guna gavata II
Bereft of Rama, the heart plunges deep into darkness and the mind has to experience insufferable grief. It is Rama and Rama alone who is described as both beginning and beginningless and as the subject of the praise sung by the high ascetic Samkara.
rama nama lehi brahma apara I mahikara bhara sesa sira dhara II
rakhi rama hiya sambhu sujana I maha ghora visa kinhvo pana II
Fathomless became Brahma with the help of Rama’s name and the serpent-King could bear the burden of the earth upon his head; with Rama in his heart the wise Sambhu gulped down the dread poison (churned up from the ocean).
ramahi mahi lakhi lekha mahesu I maha pujya kari diyo ganesu II
rama ramita rasa ghatita bhakti ghata I mana ke bhajatahim khulata prema pata II
Having observed the name of Rama scribbled on the earth, the great Lord Siva made Ganesa highly venerable (so much so that all ceremonies begin with his worship). The bliss filling the heart with devotion to Rama is all pervaded by Him. Chanted with profound interest it opens up the gates of devotional love.
rajita rama jinahim ura antara I mahavira sama bhakta nirantara II
ramahi levata eka sahara I mahasindhu kapi kinhesi para II
The heart resplendent with the image of Rama dwelling in it and filled with devotion like that of Mahavira, the heart that takes refuge only in Rama, crosses the ocean of this world as did the Monkey-King. (The poet describes a votary as Mahavira whose heart is devoted to glorious Rama; when the Monkey-King made Rama his only refuge he got over the ocean of birth and death)
rama nama rasana rasa sobha I mardana kama krodha mada lobha II
rama carita bhaji bhayo sujnata I mahadeva mukti ke data II
Rama’s Name is the sweetness of the taste enjoyed by the human tongue; it eradicates lust, anger, arrogance and greed. By chanting the story of Rama’s holy acts the all-wise Mahadeva became a saviour and liberator.
ramahi japata mitata bhava sula I ramamamtra yaha mamgalamula II
ramanama japi jo na sudhara I mana pisaca so nipata gamvara II
Chanting of Rama’s praise destroys all wordly distress, for the mystic name ‘Rama’ is the source of all well-being. He who does not mend himself by singing Rama’s praise is verily one whose mind is demoniac and devilish and who is utterly ignorant.
rama ki mahima kaham laga gaum I mati malina mana para na paum II
ramavali asa likhi calisa I mati anusara dhyana gaurisa II
The more I sing of Rama’s glory the more remain to be sung. Being dull-witted, I fail to fathom its immeasurable depth. I have nonetheless strung together the manifold virtues of Rama in the form of the calisa as well as I could with my mind centred on Siva, the beloved consort of Gauri.
ramahi sundara raci rasa paga I matha durvasa nikata prayaga II
ramabhakta yahi jo nita dhyavahim I manavamchita phala niscaya pavahim II
By soaking it in the flavour of devotion to Rama, I, Sundaradasa, have composed this beautiful hymn in the hermitage of Durvasa near Prayaga (Allahabad). If the votaries of Rama chant it everyday with due attention they will assuredly be rewarded with the fruit they desire most.
rama nama nita bhajahu mana I ratihum dina cita lai II
mamata matsara malinata I manastapa miti jai II
With unwavering attention, O mind, meditate Rama’s name day and night with uninterrupted regularity, so that you are rid of your sense of attachment, your jealousy, dullness and your inmost intemperate sufferings.
rama ka tithi budha rohini I ramavali kiya bhasa II
mana sahasra bhuja drga sameta I magasara sundaradasa II
Sundaradasa completed this hymn, the string of Rama’s virtues, in the language of the people on the ninth day of the month margasirsa Wednesday, under the constellation Rohini, of the year 2002 of the Vikrami era.