I was curious to learn more about this beautiful song and mantra. Where is it found in the Vedas? What is the exact Sanskrit and meaning of the words? Who was the woman sage to whom this particular mantra/lullabye was attributed? What else do we know about her?
I first heard this song on Shimshai’s 2008 CD “Alianza,” and then later this past January (2013) at the Mystic Island Festival on Maui. The first video below is one I put up on Youtube of Shimshai and friends singing the song. What I noticed as I looked around for the original Sanskrit words to this song is that the Sanskrit is incorrectly written in several places on the internet. At the very least, this blog post will help to correct that — or at least give the Sanskrit (+ English and Spanish) translations that Shimshai has on the CD. The only correction I can make to what is on the CD is the word “swarupe” is one word, not two. A minor correction. I cannot speak to the rest.
Here is what I found on Shimshai’s Alianza CD:
Sanskrit mantra originally sung as a lullaby by a woman saint to her children in the Vedas
Suddhossi buddhossi niranjanosi
Samsara maya parivar jitosi
Traija mohan nidram
Na janma mrityor
Tat sat sva rupe
You are forever pure
You are forever true
& the dream of this world
Can never touch you
So give up your attachment
& give up your confusion
& fly to that space
That’s beyond all illusion
Tu eres siempre puro
Y el sueño del mundo
Nunca te tocará
Deja los apegos
Deja la confusion
Y vuela mas alla
De toda ilusion
BASIC GUITAR CHORDS: E minor, C Major, D Major
This one by Swami Svareshwarananda sounds more like a lullabye, and you’ll find the words in more languages here,
with slight differences in the words to what is above:
Explanation of the song found with the video above:
“Un hermoso mantra en sánscrito cantado en la antigua India
por madres y madres embarazadas para preparar a sus bebes a ingresar al mundo de maya sin ilusión.”
English Translation: “Beautiful Sanskrit mantra sung in ancient India
for mothers and expectant mothers to prepare their babies to enter the world of maya without illusion. “
Swami Śivananda wrote a whole book on conquering fear, in which he mentioned this particular mantra, which was sung by the woman sage Madalasa to her young babies. Here is what he wrote:
The sage Madalasa sang the following cradle song when she rocked the cradle of her children: “Suddhosi Buddhosi Niranjanosi Samsara-maya-parivarjitosi“—”O child! Thou art Pure Consciousness. Thou art stainless. Thou art devoid of Maya and Samsara.” She made all her children sages.
The world is in dire need of women-sages like Madalasa.
The destiny of the world and children is in the hands of intelligent mothers.”
Stephen Knapp has the following to say about Madalasa:
“Madalasa was the daughter of Vishvasu, the Gandharva king. She was also a great inspiration to her sons. Ritdhvaj, the son of the powerful king Shatrujit, was her husband. When Shatrujit died, Ritdhvaj took the position of king and engaged in the royal duties. In due course, Madalasa gave birth to a son, Vikrant. When Vikrant would cry, Madalasa would sing words of wisdom to keep him quiet. She would sing that he was a pure soul, that he has no real name and his body is merely a vehicle made of the five elements. He is not really of the body, so why does he cry?
Thus, Madalasa would enlighten her son with spiritual knowledge in the songs she would sing to him. Because of this knowledge, little Vikrant grew up to be an ascetic, free from worldly attachments or kingly activities, and he eventually went to the forest to engage in austerities. The same thing happened to her second son, Subahu, and her third son, Shatrumardan. Her husband told her that she should not teach the same knowledge to their fourth son, Alark, so that at least one of them would be interested in worldly activities and take up the role of looking after the kingdom. So to Alark she sang a song of being a great king who would rule the world, and make it prosperous and free from villains for many years. By so doing he would enjoy the bounty of life and eventually join the Immortals. In this way, she trained her son Alark from the beginning of his life in the direction he would take. This is how a mother can influence her child in whatever potential may be possible, whether materially or spiritually, by imparting noble thoughts to open the avenues of activities for her children.”