Vasudevasutham Devam – Learn Sanskrit through Slokas

Welcome back to the series of learning Sanskrit through Slokas! Today’s verse is from a sloka set called ‘Krishnaashtakam‘. ‘Ashta’ is the number eight in Sanskrit. Since there are 8 verses in this sloka series, it came to be known as Krishnaashtakam.

vasudevasutham devam kamsa
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Here is the shloka:

vasudevasutham devam kamsa-chanoora mardhanam |
devaki paramaanandham krishnam vandhe jagadhgurum ||

Let’s discuss the word-by-word meaning of the above sloka.

vasudevasutham dhevam
  • vasudevasutham – ‘sutha:‘ is son. ‘suthaa‘ is daughter (‘Janakasuthaa‘ is Sita). Vasudevasutha: is ‘Son of Vasudeva – Lord Krishna’
  • devam – ‘deva’ is God
kamsachanoora mardhanam
  • kamsachanoora – Kamsa was Lord Krishna’s uncle and Chanoora was the wrestler appointed by Kamsa to kill Lord Krishna
  • mardhanam – ‘mardhana’ is to destroy/vanquish.
    The whole phrase would mean, ‘the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanoora’.
devaki paramaanandham
  • devaki – Devaki is the mother of Lord Krishna
  • paramaanandhamParama is complete/absolute. Aanandam is happiness.
    This would mean, the one who gives complete happiness to Devaki.
krishnam vandhe jagadhgurum
  • krishnam vandhe – As we know already, ‘vandhe‘ is to salute/pray to (‘vandhe maatharam‘). It means Salutations to Krishna
  • jagadhgurum‘Jagath‘ is the world (‘Jagannaatha‘ is the Lord (Naatha) of the world). Guru is teacher/preceptor. Krishna is called the Preceptor to the whole world. This is because, during the Mahabharata war, he taught Arjuna the right path to be followed through Bhagavad Gita. It was not just for him but for the whole world, hence the name ‘Jagadhguru‘)

The full meaning would be, “I pray to Lord Krishna, the beloved son of Vasudeva, who vanquished the evil Kamsa and Chanoora, who is also the source of extreme happiness to his mother Devaki and is teacher to the whole world.”

Let’s pray to Lord Krishna, the Guru of this whole world and seek his blessings to come out strongly from this current situation. 

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Rangarajan has been blogging for over 12 years now on various topics. With Thedal, he becomes one with the universe and he is hoping that his search will help him discover the eternal truth.  Please join him as he traverses through the universe across temples, philosophies and science!

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