Bilwa Ashtakam

394
Bilwa Ashtakam, also spelled Bilwashtakam, Vilvashtakam, or Bilvashtakam, is the asthakam (ashtak) addressed to Lord Shiva. Bilwa Ashtakam is a highly powerful Sanskrit Shiva stotra which are the eight hymns chanted while offering Bilwa (Vilva) leaves to Lord Shiva. The Bilwa (Aegle Marmelos) leaves are one of the main offering to Lord Shiv and by offering Bilva leaves (Koovalam in Malayalam) a devotee can easily please Lord Shiva.
Bilvashtakam is in Sanskrit. It starts with bowing to God Ganesha. It is a very pious Shiva Stotra. God Shiva likes Bilva (tree) leaf. In this stotra, how Bilva leaf is pious and why it is offered to God Shiva when we worship (pooja) him, is described. While performing Pooja of God Shiva, it is said to be incomplete if we don’t offer Bilva Patra (Leaf).

Bilwa Ashtakam

Tridalam triguNaakaaram trinetram cha triyaayudham
trijanma paapasamhaaram eka Bilvam shivaarpaNam

I offer the bilva patra to Shiva. This leaf embodies the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas. This leaf is like the three eyes, and the sun, moon and fire. It is like three weapons. It is the destroyer of sins committed in three earlier births. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

Akhanda bilvapatreNa poojite nandikeshware
shudhyantii sarva paapebhyo eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

I offer the bilva patra to Shiva. This leaf is soft and free of blemish. It is complete in itself. It is like three branches. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

Shaaligram shilaama ekaam vipraaNaam jaatu charpayet
somayadnya mahaapuNyam eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

I offer the bilva patra to Shiva. I complete the pooja for Nandikeshwara by the bilva patra to him, and thus become free of sin

DantikotisahasraNi vajape shataanicha
kotikanyaa mahaadaanam eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

The offering of Bilva is greater in power than yagnas and sacrifices.

Laxmyaa stnam unpanam mahadevasya cha priyam
bilva vruksham prayachchhaami eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

The bilva tree was created by Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Shiva has great affection for the bilva tree. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

Darshanam bilva vrukshasya sparshanam paapanaashanam
aghorapaapa samhaaram eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

Beholding the bilva and coming in contact with it destroys all sin. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

Kashi kshetra nivasam cha kalabhairava darshanam
Prayaage maadhavam drushtvaa Ekabilvam shivaarpanam

I offer one leaf of the bilva to Shiva, after being in the city of Kashi, beholding Kala Bhairava, and visiting the temple of Madhava

Moolato brahma roopaaya madhyato Vishnu roopiNe
agrataha shiva roopaaya eka bilvam shivaarpaNam

The lower part of bilva is Brahma, the middle is Vishnu and the upper is Shiva himself. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

Bilwa Patra

Bilva is a sacred tree and most loved by Lord ShivA.  It is called “bael” in hindi and “vilvam” in tamil.  Its fruit is also called “Sri phala”, meaning plenty.

The Bilva tree (Aegle Marmeolus), also called wood apple  tree/stone apple tree grows in almost all parts of India, irrespective of the nature of the soil, and is bitter, astringent and dry by nature.  Its leaves are used in the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Mahalakshmi.  Bilva leaves are said to be the vegetal form of Lord Shiva.

A confluence of three leaves (trifoliate) is called “bilva dala”.  It is a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva’s weapon Trident (trishool) which destroys the sins of past 3 births. There are also penta-foliate Bilva dalAs having 5 leaves known as panchadaLa patra found on some Bilva trees and we may find 7 or 11 leaves also.

Lighting a lamp under the tree bestows knowledge and enables the devotee to merge in Lord shiva.


Facebook Comments

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here