An Octet to the Guru Divine or  Thotaka Ashtakam  By   

Thotaka, one of the disciples of Sankara, wrote an octet in praise of his
Master, Bhagavan Sankara. The metre he used in his composition was the
difficult but the most beautiful Thotaka.

This  eightfold verse voice the extreme loyalty and devotion he had for his
Master. There is nothing superior to the Guru, none greater than Him. Guru
is the destroyer of Ignorance and on the Grace of the Grace rests the
fulfilment of the  dream of Self Actualisation !

His devotion is best expressed in the soul moving note of this magnificent
song , Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine !

h°daye kalaye vimalam cara´am
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨aranam.(1)

O Knower of the Milk Ocean of Sciences philosophic
Proponent of the mighty Upanishads
My heart yearns for Thy faultless feet
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

karu´ßvarunalaya pßlaya mßm
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨ara´am.(2)

Thou art the Ocean of Compassion
This misery afflicted me redeem
Impart the quintessence of the Sciences
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

bhavatß janatß suhitß bhavitß
nijabodhavicßrana cßrumate
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨aranam.(3)

Masses are blissful because of Thee
Thou are blessed with Self Knowledge
With a noble intellect divine
Bestow the knowledge of the Eternal Triad
Of  Universe, Self  and Supreme
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

bhava eva bhavßniti me nitarßm
samajßyata cetasi kautukitß
mama vßraya mohamahßjaladhim
bhava ¨a´kara desika me ¨ara´am.(4)

Thou art Divinity visible
Bliss overwhelming overpowers me
Save me from this Ocean of Delusion
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

suk°te' dhik°te bahudhß bhavato
bhavitß samadarsanalalasata
atidinamimam paripßlaya mßm
bhava ¨a´kara de¨ika me ¨ara´am.(5)

Only when virtuous deeds are performed
Will the desire of Liberation spring in mind !
Save this misery afflicted disciple of yours
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

jagatimavitum kalitßk°tayo
vicaranti mahamahasa¨chalatah
abhimßmsurivatra vibhßsi guro
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨ara´am.(6)

The great who come to save this suffering world

Assume various forms disguise !
Heaven's treasures they bring, their sufferings count their pain
And they pay the gifts of Knowledge with their lives!
Amongst them, Thou art the Sun
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

gurupu˝gava pu˝gava ketana te
samatßmayatßm nahi ko pi sudhiš
¨ara´ßgatavatsala tattvanidhe
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨ara´am.(7)


O Teacher of Teachers
There is none equal to Thee on earth !
Compassionate to those who have taken refuge
And the Treasure-trove of Wisdom
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine

viditß na mayß vi¨adaikakalß
na ca kimcana k߲canamasti guro
drutameva vidhehi k°pßm sahajßm
bhava ¨a˝kara de¨ika me ¨ara´am.(8)

Of all the sciences six
None has been understood by me
Nor do I possess wealth
Impart Thy Grace quickly
On this miserable disciple
Be Thou my Refuge, O Master Divine


I have collected about Seven Thotakashtakam, ARR Music videos and you can hear them at

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