Once when Sri Vadiraja Swamy was touring South India, he reached Kumbhakonam in what is now Tamil Nadu. There, he was staying in the house of an Acharya for a few days. During his stay, he had defeated many scholars of other schools of philosophy and had made them accept the philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya.
The owner of the place where he was staying had a son whose marriage had got fixed after a long search for a good bride. The parents of the boy had requested Sri Vadiraja Swamy to attend the marriage and bless the couple, to which Sri Swamiji had agreed.
On the day of the marriage, when the rituals were on in full swing, the groom suddenly collapsed on the floor. Within minutes, he was frothing and shivering and ended up motionless. People realized that a small, but poisonous, snake had creeped into the head gear that the groom was wearing. The snake had bit him right on the temple causing instant poisoning.
The local doctor was called in and the groom was pronounced as dead. Some local tantriks were also put to service, but to no avail. People were getting ready to take the body away for cremation.
The father of the groom rushed to Sri Vadiraja Swamy who had not yet arrived at the marriage venue. Sri Swamiji instantly was able to relate to the chain of events. He told the people gathered there that there had been an uneasiness in him since three days and he had realized that something untoward would occur during the marriage. On the morning of that day, at Brahmi Muhurtha (around 4:30AM), he had composed a song in Kannada on Mahalakshmi and Vishnu. The song was about Lakshmi’s marriage to Vishnu during the Samudra Mathana episode (churning of the ocean for Amruta).
Sri Swamiji meditated for a while on his favorite form of Vishnu – Hayavadana – and realized that the groom had an untimely death and that there was still life in the body. He rushed to the venue immediately. There, he sprinked some “Theertha” (holy water) on the body and also some “Mantrakshate”. He sat down there and started singing the newly composed Lakshmi Shobhane song. Lo and behold! Just as the song was to complete, the groom sat up as if he had just got up from deep sleep!
The Lakshmi Shobhane song is one of the most auspicious songs in the Kannada language. Even today, nearly 500 years after its composition, it is sung in almost every wedding in Karnataka. In Tulu Nadu, ladies sing this almost daily during their evening prayers. It is an extremely melodious song with 112 verses in it.
Today, I managed to transliterate this beautiful composition in Kannada and English scripts. Readers can download them from the below links.
Of course, these are also available from the Mantras page.
The song is also sung by gents and is not restricted to ladies. In fact, the most famous rendition of this song is by Sri Vidyabhushana.
May Lord Hayavadana bless all!
P.S: The extent to which this song is famous can be guaged from the fact that in the film “Madhvacharya” made by Sri G V Iyer, there is a scene in which young Vasudeva (Madhvacharya) is made to attend a wedding. The film shows the ladies in the wedding singing the Lakshmi Shobhane song when the song was actually composed nearly 300 years later 🙂