Shiva Tandava Stotram (शिवताण्डवस्तोत्रम्) is a stotra, hymn of praise in the Hindu tradition that describes Shiva’s power and beauty. It was sung by the son of Rishi Vishrawas (aka Vishrava), Ravana. Both the ninth and tenth quatrains of this hymn conclude with lists of Shiva’s epithets as destroyer, even the destroyer of death itself. Alliteration and onomatopoeia create roiling waves of resounding beauty in this example of Hindu devotional poetry.
In the final quatrain of the poem, after tiring of rampaging across the Earth, Ravana asks, “When will I be happy?” Because of the intensity of his prayers and ascetic meditation, of which this hymn was an example, Ravana received from Shiva the boon of indestructibility by all powers on heaven and earth.
It is said that when he was tired of rampaging across the earth, Ravana returned to Lord Shiva to request moksha, release from the bondage of endless rebirth. Shiva replied that he had granted Ravana the boon of indestructibility, and that Ravana must instead seek moksha from Lord Vishnu(According to srimadbhagavatam chanto4 chapter6 verses 43 to 50 it is clear that shiva is ordaining jivas to spiritual world and heavens etc. So shiva can give liberation to any one. But ravana was jaya who is guarding the entrance of lord vishnu’s residence and cursed by four sons of brahma and his destiny lies in the hands of lord vishnu). In this version of Ravana’s story, his battle with Rama can be interpreted as a pretext to attain death, and through death, liberation. Ravana’s poignant cry in the final quatrain of poetry — “When will I be happy?” is echoed by modern man in his quest for earthly fulfillment and ultimate liberation from its bondage.
A compelling and complex personality, Ravana is for many Hindus a legendary hero, a scholar of immense intelligence and the devoted husband of one of traditional five perfect women, Mandodari.Ravana married Maya’s daughter, Mandodari, who was a very beautiful & righteous wife. He had a son by her, named Meghanaada (which means the ‘sound of the clouds’ or the ‘sound of thunder’). Meghanaada defeated Indra, the king of gods, and earned the title of ‘Indrajit’. Ravana’s great-grandfather was Brahma (God of Ultimate Knowledge). He had advanced knowledge of mathematics, science and Ayurveda.
He was obsessed with his powers and was egoistic, and to display and prove his powers he was about to move Mount Kailash (the abode of Shiva who was his ancestor god). He managed to lift the mountain but Shiva immediately placed it back just by pressing his toe crushing Ravana’s fingers in the process. That is when Ravana sings “Tandav Stotra” and he was spared and blessed with chandrahas (moon sword by Lord Shiva) considered one of the most powerful weapons in Hindu Mythology.
Shiva Tandava Stotram: –
Jatatavee gala jjala pravaha pavitha sthale,
Gale avalabhya lambithaam bhujanga thunga malikaam,
Dama ddama dama ddama ninnadava damarvayam,
Chakara chanda thandavam thanothu na shiva shivam.
Jata kataha sambhramabrama nillimpa nirjari,
Vilola veechi vallari viraja mana moordhani,
Dhaga dhaga daga jjwala lalata patta pavake,
Kishora Chandra shekare rathi prathi kshanam mama.
Dara darendra nandini vilasa bhandhu bhandura,
Sphuradigantha santhathi pramodha mana manase,
Krupa kadaksha dhorani niruddha durdharapadi,
Kwachi digambare mano vinodhamethu vasthuni.
Jada bhujanga pingala sphurath phana mani prabha,
Kadamba kumkuma drava praliptha digwadhu mukhe,
Madhandha sindhura sphurathwagu utthariya medhure,
Mano vinodhamadhbutham bibarthu bhootha bharthari.
Sahasra lochana prabhoothyasesha lekha shekhara,
Prasoona dhooli dhorani vidhu sarangri peedabhu,
Bhujangaraja Malaya nibhadha jada jhootaka,
Sriyai chiraya jayatham chakora bandhu shekhara.
Lalata chathwara jwaladhanam jaya sphulingabha,
Nipeetha pancha sayagam saman nilimpanayakam,
Sudha mayookha lekhaya virajamana shekharam,
Maha kapali sampade, siro jadalamasthu na.
Karala bhala pattika dhagadhaga jjwala,
Ddhanam jayahuthi krutha prachanda pancha sayage ,
Dharadharendra nandhini kuchagra chithrapathraka,
Prakalpanaika shilpini, trilochane rather mama.
Naveena megha mandali nirudha durdharath sphurath,
Kahoo niseedhi neethama prabhandha bandha kandhara,
Nilimpa nirjari darsthanothu kruthi sindhura,
Kala nidhana bandhura sriyam jagat durandhara.
Prafulla neela pankaja prapancha kalima prabha,
Valambhi kanda kanthali ruchi prabandha kandharam,
Smarschidham puraschidham bhavaschidham makhachidham,
Gajachidandakachidham tham anthakachidham bhaje.
Agarva sarva mangalaa kalaa kadamba manjari,
Rasa pravaha madhuri vijrumbha mana madhu vrtham,
Suranthakam, paranthakam, bhavanthakam, makhandakam,
Gajandhakandhakandakam thamanthakanthakam bhaje.
Jayathwadhabra vibramadbujaamga maswasath,
Vinirgamath, kramasphurath, karala bhala havya vat,
Dhimi dhimi dhimi dhwanan mrudanga thunga mangala,
Dhwani karma pravarthitha prachanda thandawa shiva.
Drusha dwichi thra thalpayor bhujanga moukthika srajo,
Garishta rathna loshtayo suhrudhwi paksha pakshayo,
Trunara vinda chakshusho praja mahee mahendrayo,
Samapravarthika kadha sadashivam bhajamyaham.
Kada nilampa nirjaree nikunja kotare vasan,
Vimuktha durmathee sada sirasthanjaleem vahan,
Vilola lola lochano lalama bhala lagnaka,
Shivethi manthamucharan kada sukhee bhavamyaham.
Imam hi nithya meva muktha muthamothamam sthavam,
Padan, smaran broovan naro vishudhimethi santhatham,
Hare Gurou subhakthimasu yathi nanyadha gatheem,
Vimohinam hi dehinaam sushakarasya chithanam.
Poojavasana samaye dasa vakhra geetham,
Ya shambhu poojana param padthi pradhoshe,
Thasya sthiraam radha gajendra thuranga yuktham,
Lakshmeem sadaiva sumukheem pradadathi shambu.
Ithi Ravana krutham,
Shiva thandava stotram,
With his neck, consecrated by the flow of water flowing from the thick forest-like locks of hair, and on the neck, where the lofty snake is hanging garland, and the Damaru drum making the sound of Damat Damat Damat Damat, Lord Shiva did the auspicious dance of Tandava and may He shower prosperity on us all. I have a very deep interest in Lord Shiva, whose head is glorified by the rows of moving waves of the celestial river Ganga, agitating in the deep well of his hair-locks, and who has the brilliant fire flaming on the surface of his forehead, and who has the crescent moon as a jewel on his head. May my mind seek happiness in the Lord Shiva, in whose mind all the living beings of the glorious universe exist, who is the sportive companion of Parvati (daughter of the mountain king), who controls invincible hardships with the flow of his compassionate look, who is all-persuasive (the directions are his clothes). May I seek wonderful pleasure in Lord Shiva, who is supporter of all life, who with his creeping snake with reddish brown hood and with the luster of his gem on it spreading out variegated colors on the beautiful faces of the maidens of directions, who is covered with a glittering upper garment made of the skin of a huge intoxicated elephant. May Lord Shiva give us prosperity, who has the moon (relative of the Cakora bird) as his head-jewel, whose hair is tied by the red snake- garland, whose foot-stool is grayed by the flow of dust from the flowers from the rows of heads of all the Gods, Indra/Vishnu and others. May we get the wealth of Siddhis from Shiva's locks of hair, which devoured the God of Love with the sparks of the fire flaming in His forehead, who is bowed by all the celestial leaders, who is beautiful with a crescent moon My interest is in Lord Shiva, who has three eyes, who has offered the powerful God of Love into the fire, flaming Dhagad Dhagad on the flat surface of his forehead who is the sole expert artist of drawing decorative lines on the tips of breasts of Parvati, the daughter of the mountain king. May Lord Shiva give us prosperity, who bears the burden of this universe, who is lovely with the moon, who is red wearing the skin, who has the celestial river Ganga, whose neck is dark as midnight of new moon night covered by many layers of clouds. I pray to Lord Shiva, whose neck is tied with the luster of the temples hanging on the neck with the glory of the fully-bloomed blue lotuses which looked like the blackness (sins) of the universe, who is the killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the demon Andhaka, the destroyer of the elephants, and who controlled the God of death, Yama. I pray to Lord Shiva, who has bees flying all over because of the sweet honey from the beautiful bunch of auspicious Kadamba flowers, who is the killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the demon Andhaka, the killer of the elephants, and who controlled the God of death, Yama. Lord Shiva, whose dance of Tandava is in tune with the series of loud sounds of drum making Dhimid Dhimid sounds, who has the fire on the great forehead, the fire that is spreading out because of the breath of the snake wandering in whirling motion in the glorious sky. When will I worship Lord Sadasiva (eternally auspicious) God, with equal vision towards the people and an emperor, and a blade of grass and lotus-like eye, towards both friends and enemies, towards the valuable gem and some lump of dirt, towards a snake and a garland and towards varied ways of the world When will I be happy, living in the hollow place near the celestial river, Ganga, carrying the folded hands on my head all the time, with my bad thinking washed away, and uttering the mantra of Lord Shiva and devoted in the God with glorious forehead with vibrating eyes. Whoever reads, remembers and says this best stotra as it is said here, gets purified for ever, and obtains devotion in the great Guru Shiva. For this devotion, there is no other way. Just the mere thought of Lord Shiva indeed removes the delusion. In the evening, after sunset, at the end of Puja, whoever utters this stotra dedicated to the worship of Shiva, Lord Shiva blessed him with very stable Lakshmi (prosperity) with all the richness of chariots, elephants and horses. Thus ends the Shiva-Tandava Stotra written by Ravana.