Thursday, September 5, 2013

Medha Suktam

One of the most beautiful suktams in Sanskrit is the medha suktam. This can be chanted at anytime and is a way to invite the deity of intellect - medha devi, to enhance the intellectual capacity of anybody, ideally of students. Goddess "medha devi" guides and guards the intellectual faculty in living entities.

Some think that this is a "religious" piece. It is or it is not depending on how one wants to see it. One can see this as a glorification of the intellect or the glorification of the personified deity (abhimAni devata) of the intellect - medhA devi. Without intellect no learning is possible, so this is the glorification of that intellectual faculty in us all. I am in awe of how one is using the intellect to pay tribute and reverence to itself. Beautiful.

तैत्तिरीयारण्यकम् – ४ प्रपाठकः – १० अनुवाकः ४१-४४

ॐ यश्छन्दसामृषभो विश्वरूपः । छन्दोभ्योऽध्यमृताथ्सम्बभूव । स मेन्द्रो मेधया स्पृणोतु । अमृतस्य देवधारणो भूयासम् । शरीरं मे विचर्षणम् । जिह्वा मे मधुमत्तमा । कर्णाभ्यां भूरिविश्रुवम् । ब्रह्मणः कोशोऽसि मेधया पिहितः । श्रुतं मे गोपाय । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Oum yashChandasAmRuShabho vishvaroopaH | Chandobhyo adhyamRutAth- sambabhoova | sa mendro medhayA spRuNotu | amRutasya devadhAraNo bhooyAsam | shareeraM me vicharShaNam | jihvA me madhumattamA | karNAbyAM bhoorivishruvam | brahmaNaH kOshOsi medhayA pihitaH | shrutaM me gopAya | Oum shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH ||

Om, the universal rhythm, that which is the most exalted in all the sacred texts (brahma, sciences) [the superior most pleasure, wish]. For the sake of the vedAs it [the Om] emerged simultaneously from the eternal one (brahma). May that superior one deliver (gratify, protect, bestow) me. Oh Lord, may I become the possessor of the eternal nectar (of divine wisdom). 

May my body become active (performing, practicing). May my tongue become the sweetest [may it speak pleasant words]. May I hear [wisdom and shAstrAs] abundantly with my ears. You [Om] are the treasure of the brahman, filled (covered, one who knows the deep secrets) with the divine intellect. May the shAstrAs (sacred knowledge) be preserved (protected) in me [or may sacred knowledge be my protection]. May there be peace, peace, peace [within, outside, everywhere]. 

ॐ मेधा देवी जुषमाणा न आगाद्विश्वाची भद्रा सुमनस्यमाना ।
त्वया जुष्टा जुषमाणा दुरुक्तान् बृहद्वदेम विदथे सुवीराः ॥

Oum mEdhA dEvee juShamANA na aagAdviShvAchee bhadrA sumanasyamAnA |
tvyA juShTA juShamANA duruktAn bruhadvadema vidathe suveerAH ||

OUM! Oh medha (one who facilitates the power of ‘grasping’, intelligence, wisdom, prudence) dEvi (deity, Her majesty), one who is all pervading (universal), all auspicious, one who takes delight in all minds, may you not back away from us. We have [previously] taken pleasure in harsh words (spoken that which is not worthy of; wrongly pronounced), but by your grace we, endowed with virtues, will speak that which is valuable (significant). 

त्वया जुष्ट ऋषिर्भवति देवि त्वया ब्रह्माऽऽगतश्रीरुत त्वया ।
त्वया जुष्ट-श्चित्रं विन्दते वसु सानो जुषस्व द्रविणो न मेधे ॥

tvayA juShTa rishir bhavathi devi tvayA brahma Agatasreeruta tvayA |
tvayA juShTaschitram vindate vasu sAno juShasva draviNona medhe ||

Blessed by you (by your grace) one becomes a seer (sage, a ray of light, knowledgeable of brahman), by your favor one becomes brahman, one becomes wealthy. Blessed by you one discovers (produces, accomplishes) clarity (distinction, excellence, curiosity, brilliance, variegatedness) and radiance (prosperity). Please bless us with that essence (wealth, strength, substance, power) Oh medha (power of intellect personified or the deity).

मेधां म इन्द्रो ददातु मेधां देवी सरस्वती। मेधां मे अश्विनावुभावाधत्ताम् पुष्करस्रजा । अप्सरासु च या मेधा गन्धर्वेषु च यन्मनः। दैवीं मेधा सरस्वती सा मां मेधा सुरभिर्जुषताँ स्वाहा॥
medhAM ma indro dadAtu medhAM dEvee Saraswati | medhAM me ashvinAv ubhAvAdattAm puShkarasrajA | apsarAsu cha yA medhA gandharveShu cha yanmanaH | dEvee medhA sarasvatee sA mAM medhA surabhirjuShatAM svAhA || 

May Lord Indra (my own purified senses) grant me the nourishment (mental vigor, stamina), may Goddess Saraswati (deity associated with eloquence, wisdom, power of speech, education / knowledge/ learning) grant me the intellect [academic excellence]. May the twin Ashvinis (deities of nostrils, the divine physicians), garlanded with lotuses, infuse the power of intellect [the smart looks]. May she grant me the intellect that which is in the apsarAs (wives of the gandarvAs known for beauty and grace) and creative intelligence of the gandarvAs (celestial musicians). May Sarasvati, manifested as Surabhi (the fulfiller of all wishes, celebrated, divine cow, charming), endow me with divine intelligence [ability to see beyond the limitations of the ordinary senses].

आमां मेधा सुरभिर्विश्वरूपा हिरण्य़वर्णा जगती जगम्या। ऊर्जस्वती पयसा पिन्वमाना सामां मेधा सुप्रतीका जुषन्ताम्॥
aamAM medhA surabhirvishvaroopA hiraNyavarNA jagatee jagamyA | oorjasvatee payasA pinvamAnA sAmAM medhA suprateekA juShantAm ||
May She, the one with the golden complexion (the imperishable), who is universal, by who the entire manifestation - all variegatedness (all life forms) - attains excellence, by who the earth (heavens and lower planets, the mankind) becomes intelligible (suitable, accessible, passable), approach me (come near to me). The one who is powerful, swelled with milk (the free-flowing, pure / sAtvika knowledge), the one with the lovely form, may she – medhA (the intellect) – be pleased.

मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मय्यग्निस्तेजो दधातु मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मयीन्द्र इन्द्रियं दधातु मयि मेधां मयि प्रजां मयि सूर्यो भ्राजो दधातु॥mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayyagnistejo dadhAtu | mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayeendra indriyaM dadhAtu | mayi medhAM mayi prajAM mayi sooryO bhrAjo dadhAtu ||

May He infuse in me prudence, virility (progeny, people, society), and the brilliance of the fire (the charm, the splendour, the passion). May He infuse in me prudence, progeny, and the best of the senses (vigour). May He infuse in me prudence, progeny, and sun (one who enables one to see and to sustain) give me his radiance (the ability to see within; enlightenment). 

[ऊँ हंस हंसाय विद्महे परमहंसाय धीमहि। तन्नो हंसः प्रचोदयात्॥]


  1. Beautifully explained the meaning of Medha Suktam.

  2. Nicely translated. A humble suggestion: Along with the translation at the end if you could summarize the gist of the suktham as per your view in may be not more than 500 words would help seekers/students/beginners to understand in a better way. Of course, the translation is beautiful enough and self-sufficient in itself, but the power of the words used is so big that it has in itself an essay to be written to be understood. Just my opinion and request.

  3. Thank you, i was searching for it.

  4. I would appreciate if meaning is also provided for the last line 'Om hamsa hamsaaya vidmahe, thanno hamsa prachodayaat'

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  6. Pranams. thank you for the commentery. 1st sloka Yas chandasam is from Taittiriyam But What about the other slokas. Medha devi jushamana .. onwards. Pls let us know which veda, which part etc.. Thank you
    With pranams

  7. Thank you
    Brilliantly Meaningful

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  9. Last verse...
    We perceive the Hamsa that is the soul; we meditate on that Hamsa that is the supreme being.
    May that Hamsa inspire us (to reach that goal).

  10. Last verse...
    We perceive the Hamsa that is the soul; we meditate on that Hamsa that is the supreme being.
    May that Hamsa inspire us (to reach that goal).

  11. I've a complete and indepth comment on the whole suktam + the vedic intonation.If any one is serious about, pls inform me

  12. bhooyAsam just means "let me become" or "may I become". In this case "may I become the possessor of the eternal nectar (of divine wisdom".