Mathru Panchagam

I am never a fan of these commercially created father’s day/mother’s day. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect moms/dads. 20 years back, we never had these days, we had much better respect for elders than we have in today’s world. To me, our culture doesn’t expect Archies, JC Pennies, Walmarts to remind us the importance of matha, pitha etc…..I know, I am getting into a debatable topic – but this is my view. I can defend this.

I was attending Adi Shankara Jayanthi celebration yesterday and our gurukkal, who is my veda teacher as well, called me, made me sit by him and suddenly explained the amazing 5 slokas composed by Adi Shankara called “Mathru Panchagam”. The time, place and the situation when He composed this is so unique and He is revealing the Parameswaran within Him through this slokas….. I have given the link to an English Translation also, but not sure about the accuracy. For instance, yesterday, he explained to me the meaning of “dhurvara soola vyatha…”, which is little different in this translation….anyways, the underlying meaning is the same.


மாத்ருகா பஞ்சகம்

1.ஆஸ்தாம் தாவதியம் ப்ரஸ¨திஸமயே துர்வாரசூலவ்யதா
நைருச்யம் தநுசோஷணம் மலமயீ சய்யாச ஸாம்வத்ஸரீ I
ஏகஸ்யாபி நகர்பபார பரணக்லேசஸ்ய யஸ்ய க்ஷம :
தாதும் நிஷ்க்ருதிமுந்நதோsபி தநய:தஸ்யை ஜநன்யை நம:

தடுக்கமுடியாத பிரஸவ வேதனை ஒருபுறமிருக்க, வாய்க்கு ருசி இல்லாதிருத்தல், உடம்பு இளைத்தல், ஒரு வருஷகாலம் மல மூத்ரம் நிறைந்த படுக்கை ஆகியவையான கர்பகாலத்தில் பாரத்தைத் தாங்கிக்கொள்ளும் கஷ்டத்தில் ஒன்றையாவது தீர்க்க வளர்ந்த பிள்ளை முடியாதவனாகி விடுகிறானே! அக்கஷ்டங்களை தாங்கிக் கொள்ளும் தாயை என்னவென்று செல்ல? அந்த தாய்க்கு நமஸ்காரம்!

2.குருகுலமுபஸ்ருத்ய ஸ்வப்ன காலே து த்ருஷ்ட்வா
யதிஸமுசித வேஷம் ப்ராருதோ மாம் த்வமுச்சை :I
குருகுலமத ஸர்வம் ப்ராருதத்தே ஸமக்ஷம்
ஸபதி சரணயோஸ்தே மாதரஸ்து ப்ரணாம :II

ஹே தாயே! c ஒரு சமயம் நான் படிக்கும் குருகுலம் வந்து கனவில், நான் ஸன்யாஸம் பூண்டதாக் கண்டு உறக்க அழுதாயே அப்பொழுது குருகுலம் முழுவதும் உன் எதிரில் அழுததே! உனது கால்களில் விழுந்து நமஸ்கரிக்கிறேன்!

3.ந தத்தம் மாதஸ்தே மரணஸமயே தோய மபிவா
ஸ்வதாவா நோதேயா மரணதிவஸே ச்ராத்தவிதிநா I
ந ஜப்தோ மாதஸ்தே மரணஸமயே தாரகமநு:
அகாலே ஸம்ப்ராப்தே மயிகுரு தயாம் மாதரதுலாம் II

தாயே! c மரிக்கும் தருணத்தில் தண்ணீர்கூட கொடுக்கப் படவில்லை. c மரித்த தினத்தில் சிராத்த முறைப்படி ஸ்வதா என்ற ஹவிஸும் கொடுக்க முடியாமலிருந்தது. தாயே! உன் மரணவேளையில் தாரக மந்திரம்கூட ஜபிக்கப்படவில்லை. காலம் கடந்து வந்துள்ள என்மீது இணையற்ற தயை காட்டவேண்டும் தாயே!

4.முக்தாமணி ஸ்த்வம் நயனம் மமேதி
ராஜேதி ஜீவேதி சிரம் ஸுதத்வம் I
இத்யுக்தவத்யா ஸ்தவ வாசி மாத:
ததாம்யஹம் தண்டடுலமேஷ சுஷ்கம் II

என் முத்தல்லவா c ! என் கண் அல்லவா c ! c என் ராஜா, என் குழந்தை c சிரஞ்சீவியாய் வாழ வேண்டும் என்றெல்லாம் கொஞ்சினாயே தாயே! அத்தகைய வாயில் சாரமில்லாத பிடி அரிசியைத்தானே போடுகிறேன் !

5.அம்பேதி தாதேதி சிவேதி தஸமின்
ப்ரஸ¨திகாலே யதவோச உச்சை :I
க்ருஷ்ணேதி கோவிந்த ஹரே முகுந்தே –
த்யஹோ ஜநந்யை ரசிதோsயமஞ்ஜலி :II

அன்று ப்ரஸவ காலத்தில் ‘அம்மா’ அப்பா, சிவ என்று உறக்க கத்தினாயல்லவா தாயே! இன்று நான் கிருஷ்ணா, கோவிந்தா, ஹரே முகுந்தா என்று கூறி அஞ்சலி செய்கிறேன்.

மாத்ருகா பஞ்சகம் முற்றிற்று.


Mathru Panchakam

Translated into verse





Adhi Sankara Bhagawat Pada was born at Kalady in Kerala in a Namboodiri family. His mother was Aryamba and his father died very early..When he wanted to take up sanyasa very much against the will of her mother, she finally agreed with a condition, that He should be present near her death bed and also he should perform the obsequies. Sankara agreed for this and took up Sanyasa.When he was art Sringeri,  he realized that his mother was nearing death and by the power given to him by God reached there immediately. He was near his mother at the time of her death and also performed the funeral ceremonies .It was at this time he wrote this five slokas which came out deep from his mind. This was possibly the only poem he wrote, which is not extolling any God and also not explaining his philosophy.

Mother has been extolled as a god form in several places in the puranaas and also God has been approached as a son approaches his mother by many great savants. She is Dhatree(One who bears the child), Janani(one who gives birth to the child), Ambaa(One who nourishes the limbs of the child) and Veerasu(One who makes him a hero), Shusroo(One who takes care of him) .But Sankara in these poems is not dealing either of God in the form of mother nor mother in the form of God.He laments to the lady who was his mother and points out how his conscience is pricking him for being not able to do the duty of a son.

Aasthaam tavaddeyam prasoothi samaye durvara soola vyadha,

Nairuchyam thanu soshanam malamayee sayya cha samvatsaree,

Ekasyapi na garbha bara bharana klesasya yasya kshmo dhathum,

Nishkruthi munnathopi thanaya tasya janyai nama.


(Oh mother mine, With clenched teeth bore thou the excruciating pain, When I was born to you,

Shared thou the bed made dirty by me for an year, And thine body became thin and painfull,

During those nine months that you bore me, For all these in return, Oh mother dearest,

I can never compensate, Even by my becoming great.)


Gurukulamupasruthya swapnakaale thu drushtwa,

Yathi samuchitha vesham praarudho maam twamuchai

Gurukulamadha sarva prarudathe samaksham

Sapadhi charanayosthe mathurasthu pranaama.


(Clad in a dress of a sanyasin, You saw me in my teacher’s school, In your dream and wept,

And rushed thither, Smothered , embraced and fondled me , Oh mother mine,

And all the teachers and students wept with you dear, What could I do ,

Except falling at your feet, And offering my salutations.)


Ambethi Thathethi Shivethi tasmin,

Prasoothikale yadavocha uchai,

Krishnethi Govinda hare Mukunde tyaho,

Janye rachito ayamanjali.


(Oh mother mine, Crying thou shouted in pain, During thine hard labour, “Oh mother, Oh father,

Oh God Shiva, Oh Lord Krishna, Oh Lord of all Govinda, Oh Hari and Oh God Mukunda,”

But in return, Oh my mother dearest. I can give you but humble prostrations.)


Na dattam mathasthe marana samaye thoyamapi vaa,

Swadhaa vaa no dheyaa maranadivase sraadha vidhina

Na japtho mathasthe marana samaye tharaka manu,

Akale samprapthe mayi kuru dhayaam matharathulaam.


(Neither did I give you water at thine time of death, Neither did I offer oblations to thee to help thine journey of death, And neither did I chant the name of Rama in thine ear, Oh Mother supreme, pardon me for these lapses with compassion, For I have arrived here late to attend to those.)

Mukthaa Manisthvam, Nayanam mamethi,

Rajethi jeevethi chiram sthutha thwam,

Ithyuktha vathya vaachi mathaa,

Dadamyaham thandulamesh shulkam.


(Long live, Oh, pearl mine, Oh jewel mine, Oh my dearest eyes, Oh mine prince dearest, And oh my soul of soul, Sang thou to me, But in return of that all, Oh my mother dearest. I give you but dry rice in your mouth.)


Categories: Bookshelf, Upanyasam


9 replies

  1. can someone please clarify whether Sri Bagavad padal reached his mother during her last moments as Shloka 3 Na dattastam Maataste seems to suggest that the Acharyal reached her after her death and funeral. On the other hand I have read in His charitram that he made it when the last moments were drawing near and at His mother’s request summoned the Vishnu Dhutas instead of Shiva Ganas to take her to the abode of the Supreme.


  3. It is a very poignant poetry. Similar is a poem by the saint Pattinathar who extolled the sufferings of the mother and felt that he would be hurting her if he were to cremate her with logs of wood but cremated her with plantain pith. Could any body quote the verses he sang.

  4. very nice expression of matha and the mathru bakthi by aadi sankara. In these days such love to matha is not found people run towards something which gives them wealth but if they read this may be they would turn a new leaf in their life and change their attitutde.

  5. Reading made me to recollect the pravachanam of Brahmashri Sundarkumar in this regard. One can not escape
    from shedding a few drops of tears while listening the pravachanam about the mother.

  6. Touched deeply aneha kodi pranam to Adi shankara as well as to his mother-Ravi

  7. wonderful.

  8. Superb. Adi Sankara has soaked every word with gratitude and Maathru Bhakthi! Who can return to Mother what she bore during her pregnancy and in rearing her child! Maathru Devo Bhava!

  9. Very poignant and beautiful!

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