Born in 8th Century India, Jagatguru Adi Shankaracharya showed an early interest in spiritual life. By age eight, He had read and understood all of the Vedic scriptures. After receiving permission to leave home in pursuit of spiritual attainment, He met and received instruction from Guru Govinda Bhagavatpada. Shankaracharya went on to write commentaries on the ancient doctrine, “Advaita Vedanta” as well as the “Bhagavad Gita” and the ten principal Upanishads. He became known as the founder of the Smartha tradition, which brought together several branches of the Hindu faith and highlights the oneness of the inner Self (Atman) with the Supreme God (Nirguna Brahman). Shankaracharya also composed 72 hymns of praise and reverence for the Divine, dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. “Shivananda Lahari,” or “Waves of the Bliss of Shiva,” is one of the devotional hymns composed by Adi Shankaracharya.
“Oh Lord Shambu, who grants us happiness, Let these waves of ecstasy of Lord Shiva, Flowing from the holy history of yours, Calming the dusts of sin forever, Rushing from the canals of wisdom, Falling into the whirlpool of life, Dousing the fires of sorrow, Living in my heart as senses, Be always victorious. I pray with all my heart, Him who is known by the three Vedas, Him who is pleasant to the mind, Him who is first among everything, Him who has all seeing three eyes, Him who carries the weight of matted lock, With eminence great, Him who wears the moving snake as necklace, Him who holds the jumping deer in his hand, Him who is greatest among devas, Him who shines with glitter, Him who has mercy on me, Him who is the Lord of all beings, Him who is the only support to holy wisdom, Him who is always with my Goddess, And Him who is a great entertainer.”