BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION
I am a great admirer of ‘Brahmashri Samavedam Shanmukha Sharma garu’ who is a legendary scholar and teacher of Sanatana Dharma topics. I silently consider him as my guru within my heart. By god’s grace, on the auspicious day of Deepavali (Nov 2015), I got a chance to speak to him on phone and I requested him to give a chance to meet him. He consented and asked me to meet him in December. In the month of ‘kartika’, my inner self via ‘अन्तः स्फुरण’, persuaded me to write a hymn on lord Shanmukha and gift the same with devotion to this Acharya whose name is ‘Shanmukha’ because I do not see any difference between that lord and this Guru. I began writing this poem on 3rd Dec within my free time in office and finally could finish it on the ‘Poli-Padyami tithi’ i.e., the final day of ‘Kartika’ month.
A major part of this hymn is written based on the knowledge that I gained through the discourse of Guruji titled ‘Subrahmanya Vaibhavam’ and remaining part of this hymn is written based on the knowledge that I gained through self-study of Mahabharata and corresponding interpretations. Teachings are ancient, only words are mine; essence is ancient, only expressions are mine.
I dedicate this hymn with devotion to my Guruji. This hymn is composed with the following specialties.
- It begins with श्री hence auspicious: In one of the discourses Guru garu had mentioned that any work which begins with the following shabdas would be auspicious and victorious (jaya), they are - "atha", "shrI", and "OM". (for instance, 'brahmasutras' etc., begin with 'atha' shabda). Therefore I began this work with "श्री" sound.
- First letter of each stanza forms a string: If we extract the first letter from each stanza and add them as a string it would become – “श्री-व-ल्ली-दे-व-से-ना-प्रि-ये-श्री-गु-ह-म-म-गु-रुः-भ-व” which when read continuously it would read – श्री वल्ली देवसेना प्रिये श्रीगुह मम गुरुः भव ||
- It has eighteen stanzas: As per the ‘क-ट-प’ etc., numeral system (सङ्ख्या शास्त्र), the syllable ‘ज़’ is ‘8’ and ‘य’ is ‘1’. Further there is a rule which says that we need to read this code in reverse order – therefore the number 18 is a symbol of ‘जय’ (victory). For this reason, I wanted to have 18 stanzas in this hymn. Secondly, this hymn eulogizes Shanmukha who is the commander in chief of the army of the celestials and it is he who leads the gods to victory. Therefore, I wanted to have 18 stanzas for this hymn symbolizing the god of war and victory viz. Skanda!
- Each stanza has six lines: I wished to keep six lines per stanza especially because this hymn is for the six headed lord i.e., Shanmukha
- There are 108 lines in Total: There are 18 stanzas each having 6 lines, which amounts to 108 (=18*6). In our Sanatana Dharma ‘108’ is considered most sacred number and almost every god or goddess more commonly has 108 names for worship. Only few gods have 1000 names additionally. The number 108 (as like as 18) when added to get a single digit, gives ‘9’ as the final number. The number ‘9’ is a complete digit. It is complete because unlike other digits we cannot add anything to ‘9’ and get a new number. For instance, if we add ‘2’ to ‘1’ it results in a new digit named ‘3’ and so on, but when you add say ‘1’ to ‘9’, it doesn’t give any new digit, it gives ‘10’, which is a combination of digits which are lower than 9 on a scale of 0-9.
- Contains the names of Kartikeya from Mahabharata: I wanted to ensure that reading this composition should not go fruitless. Hence purposely wanted to insert something which would be sure shot to give benefits to the reader. Mahabharata Vana Parva has an excellent narration about the birth of Kartikeya by sage Markandeya to Yudhisthira. There Markandeya spells out many auspicious names of Skanda. All those names have been carefully put in this hymn
- Contains the various names of Devasena too: In the same topic in Mahabharata Markandeya reveals the various names by which goddess Devasena is known. Those names also have been palced carefully in this hymn so that reciting them would confer benefits to the readers
- Most importantly, this is not a hymn on Kartikeya (it's a hymn on Guruji in disguise): My guru’s name is ‘Shanmukha’ and for all his followers including me, he is verily the incarnation of lord Shanmukha alone. Therefore, I do not see any difference between him and that lord having six faces. Hence this hymn is a glorification of my guruji’s original divine form. Readers would be able to catch the pun in the last line of the hymn, where outwardly I am requesting that teacher of the world Lord Shanmukha, but in reality I have requested this Guru ji to confer his grace. Those who do not know about Guruji, would see this hymn as a praise of the lord, but all those who are disciples and followers of this great teacher, they would be able to see this hymn as a prayer to this teacher by seeing oneness of him with that of the lord.
ॐ कार्तिकेयाय नमः
ॐ उमामहेश्वराभ्यां नमः
ॐ लक्ष्मीनारायणाभ्यां नमः
ॐ वाणीहिरण्यगर्भाभ्यां नमः
ॐ अरुन्धतीवषिष्ठाभ्यां नमः
ॐ लोपामुद्रागस्त्याभ्यां नमः
ॐ विशालाक्षी समेत काव्यकण्ठवाषिष्ठगणपतिमुनिने नमः
|| गुरु षण्मुख स्तुति ||
(By: Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula)
(Dedicated to Acharya Brahmasri Samavedam Shanmukha Sharma with devotion)
श्री आग्नेय नमस्तुभ्यं शिवाभ्यां सञ्जात ।
श्री गाङ्गेय नमस्तुभ्यं गणपतेः आनुजात ॥
वत्सस्त्वं स्वाहायाः नमामि त्वां अग्निभूः ।
महीपुत्र नमस्तुभ्यं शरवनम् तव प्रसूः ॥
भो विशाख मम हृदये सुस्थिरो भव ।
धर्मपथे मम रथस्य सारथिर्भव ॥ 1 ॥
वलारिजित् नमस्तुभ्यं महासेन इन्द्रनुत ।
वत्सस्त्वं उमायाः नमामि त्वां मातृकासुत ॥
कृत्तिकानां स्तन्यं पीत्वा अभवः कार्तिकेयः ।
सनत्कुमारोसि तत्वतः नमामि सुब्रह्मण्य ॥
भो नैगमेय मम हॄदये सुस्थिरो भव ।
ज्ञानपथे मम रथस्य सारथिर्भव ॥ 2 ॥
लीलया त्वं प्रदर्शयसि बालरूपं षडानन ।
वस्तुतस्त्वमसि सदाशिवो पंचाननः ॥
शिवज्ञानाग्निसम्भूत नमस्ते ज्ञानमूर्तये ।
ओंकारो निर्दिशति त्वां त्वया प्रणवार्थः प्रतिपाद्यते ॥
भो स्कन्द मम हॄदये सुस्थिरो भव ।
मोक्षपथे मम रथस्य सारथिर्भव ॥ 3 ॥
देवसेनानी त्वं अपराजितः त्वया भवति असुरमर्दन ।
अमराणां भीति हरस्त्वं त्वया भवति जगद्रक्षण ॥
योगपथे सुषुम्णायाः द्वारता तारकमार्गं कथयते ।
तस्यमूले तमोरूप अवरोधनं असुर उदाहृते ॥
ज्ञानशक्त्यायुधेन त्वं अकरोः तारकासुर मर्दनं ।
योगभाषायां इदं भवति ब्रह्मग्रन्थि विभेदनं ॥ 4 ॥
वदन्ति मुनयस्सर्वे सिंहमुखासुर त्वया हत ।
एतदपि भवति योगरहस्यं न परं केवलं कथा ॥
असुरस्य सिंहरूपमुखं सूचयति तस्य मायाजालं ।
अनाहते भवति मायाकन्दी योगमार्ग अवरोधकं ॥
विचित्ररूपधर सिंहमुखः कथयते महीष तं ।
तस्य मायाशीर्षछेदनं भवति विष्णुग्रन्थि विभेदनं ॥ 5 ॥
सेनासहित स्थ रणरंगे सूरपद्म महाबलः ।
तं प्रदर्शित तव विश्वरूपं व्यापकः च अचलः ॥
अपराजितस्त्वं तवाग्रे सूरपद्म पराभूत अभवत् ।
वॄक्षरूपधर सः शक्त्यायुधेन द्विधा छिन्न अभवत् ॥
तस्योभयाङ्गौ मयूर च शिखी रूपयोः परिणमते ।
योगपथे तस्य छेदनं रुद्रग्रन्थि भेदनं कथयते ॥ 6 ॥
नाना विधैर् तव दिव्य नामानि ऋषिप्रोक्तं भारते ।
करुणया स्वीकुरु तानि सर्वाणि यथा अहं भजे ॥
नमो आग्नेयाय च अनमयाय च अमोघाय च नमः ।
नमो स्कन्दाय च शुचये च स्वाहेयाय च नमः ॥
नमो ब्रह्मचारिणे च भूतेषाय च भुवनेष्वराय च नमः ।
नमो कामजिताय च कामदाय च कान्ताय च नमो नमः ॥ 7 ॥
प्रियाय च शष्ठिप्रियाय च देवसेनाप्रियाय च नमो ।
विश्वामित्रप्रियाय च वालक्रीडनकप्रियाय च वासुदेवप्रियाय च नमः ॥
शुभाननाय च सूराय च शरवणोद्भवाय च नमो ।
रुद्राय च रेवतीसुताय च चण्डाय च नमः ॥
मातृवत्सलाय च महिषर्दनाय च मयूरकेतवे च नमः ।
पवित्राय च प्रसन्नात्मने च प्रभवे च नमो नमः ॥ 8 ॥
ये शिशुनामधेय च शीघ्राय च सत्यवागाय च तस्मै नमः ।
नमो दीप्तकीर्तये च धर्मात्मने च दीप्तवर्णाय च नमो नमः ॥
नमो अनघाय च सुदुश्चराय च भद्रकृते च नमो नमः ।
नमो कन्याभर्त्रे च ललिताय च दीप्तशक्तये च नमो नमः ॥
नमो नेत्रे च विभक्ताय च सुव्रताय च नमो नमः ।
नमो चन्द्राननाय च नैगमेयाय च प्रियकृताय च नमो नमः ॥ 9 ॥
श्रीपञ्चमिदिने त्वं परिणीतवान् देवसेनां प्रजपतेःसुतां ।
सा वाञ्छितवति पतिं महाबलिं ब्रह्मचारीं अपराजितं ॥
ईन्द्रेण अभिवृत त्वं यथा देवसेनायाः भर्ता ।
भजामि तां दिव्यनामानि भारते ऋषिणा प्रोक्त ॥
नमो षष्ठ्यै च लक्ष्म्यै च आशायै च सुखप्रदायै च नमः ।
नमो सिनीवल्यै च कुहवे च सद्वृत्यै च आपराजितायै च नमो नमः ॥ 10 ॥
गुह तव अन्य पत्नी भवति वल्ली व्याधस्य उद्वहा ।
तस्याग्रे आगम्य त्वं सलीलं वृक्षं अभवः ॥
गुरुस्त्वं अतः दर्शयसि तव लीलायां तत्वज्ञानं ।
लता नित्यदा आलिङ्गयति वृक्षं तत् बोधयसि त्वं ॥
उपकृत गणपतिणा गजरूपेण तव वल्ली सह् संयोजनं ।
यथा श्रीनिवासकल्याणगाथायां भेददृष्ट्यो किं प्रयोजनं ॥ 11 ॥
हव्यवाहनज त्वं यज्ञात्मकं षठ्कोणरूप त्वंएव हि ।
त्वं उमारुद्रात्मकं च अग्निशोमात्मकं त्वमसि ॥
देवसेना इन्द्रियशक्तिः कथिता वल्ली भवति प्राणशक्तिः ।
देवसेना अस्ति देवयानी दिव्य देवयाने ददाति सद्गतिः ॥
प्राणशक्ति वल्ली सहाय्येन जीवाः देवयाने उत्क्रामन्ति ।
वस्तुतः एका तव शक्तिः ऋषयः द्विविधा कथयन्ति ॥ 12 ॥
मयूरवाहनस्त्वं अस्ति तवाग्रज मूषिकवाहनः ।
गुरुस्त्वं सर्वविद्यानां विद्याबुद्धिरधिपतिः गजाननः ॥
कः उभयोर्मध्ये श्रेष्ठः कस्य ज्ञानं अधिकं ।
एतानि भेदवाक्यानि हितकरं न भौतिकं न च पारमार्थिकं ॥
सः उपदिशति पश्यतु अत्रैव ईशस्य वासं दिव्यं ।
त्वं उपदिशसि जानातु ईशावास्यं जगत् सर्वं ॥ 13 ॥
महात्मा त्वमसि रक्षिसि वेद धर्मान् महीतले ।
तत् कार्यार्थं मुर्तिमत् भवसि अवतरसि युगे युगे ॥
अखिल कर्ममार्गं त्रातुं त्वं अभवः भट्टकुमारिलः ।
भक्तिमार्गं उद्धरितुं त्वं अभवः ज्ञानसंबन्धः ॥
ज्ञानमार्गं रक्षितुं त्वया रमणस्य रूपं धृत ।
एतावत् करुणा न क्वचिद् अन्यस्य हृदये पर्यवस्थिता ॥ 14 ॥
गुणहीनं च अवगुणपूर्णं अस्मि उद्धर मम कीर्तिं ।
त्वमुद्धरसि लोकान्सर्वे त्रातुं मे न शक्नोषि किं ॥
वाग्दोषान् च दुर्बुद्धिं च मनस्चाञ्चल्यं चोरयतात् ।
वाक्शुद्धिं च सद्बुद्धिं च मनस्थैर्यं दत्तात् ॥
कामान् च क्रोधान् च मोहान् अनुशासने भवतात् ।
अहंकारान् च ममकारान् च रागान् च द्वेषान् चोरयतात् ॥ 15 ॥
रुः दुःखं द्रावयसिस्त्वं अतः तव नाम रुद्र ।
सौभाग्यं देहिमे सदा नमामि तुभ्यं भुजगेन्द्र ॥
इन्द्रिययम च मे स्मृतिश्च मे प्रज्ञा च मे देहि ।
ब्रह्मचर्य च मे तपश्च मे यशश्च मे देहि ॥
धर्मश्च मे धृतिश्च मे तत्वज्ञान च मे देहि ।
श्रेयश्च मे श्रुतिश्च मे श्रद्धा च मे देहि ॥ 16 ॥
भद्रं च मे भाग्यं च मे भक्तिश्च मे देहि ।
एतानि प्राप्तुं यद्यहमयोग्यस्तर्हि प्रथमं योग्यतां देहि ॥
अविद्यावर्ते अहं अपतं तारय भो उमापुत्र ।
अज्ञानं हृत्वा शिवज्ञानं देहि ज्ञानशक्तिधर ॥
ममहृत्पुण्दरीके तव अवतरणमिच्छामि वल्लीपते ।
सर्वसत्कार्येषु मह्यं विजयं देहि सेनापते ॥ 17 ॥
वल्लीपते वैभवं तव कः शक्नोति कीर्तयितुम् ।
शिशुस्त्वं तथापि पुराऽभवत् चद्रशेखरगुरुः ॥
शरणातोऽस्मि तव भक्तोहं त्वां विना को मम त्राता ।
उमासुतोस्मि शिवपुत्रोस्मि तेन त्वमसि मम भ्राता ॥
भो गुरुगुह मां शिष्यरूपेण स्वीकुरु ।
भो आचार्य षण्मुख भव मम गुरुः ॥ 18 ॥
|| इति श्री अय्यलसोमयाजुलसन्तोषकुमारशर्मण कृत श्री गुरु षण्मुख स्तुति सम्पूर्णं ||
|| एतत् सर्वं श्री षण्मुखाचार्य चरणारविन्दार्पणमस्तु ||
Salutations to Sri son of Ganga the younger brother of Ganapati.
You are the son of Swaha salutations to you born of Agni.
Son of Earth salutations to you Sharavana is your mother (begetter).
Hey Vishakha be firmly (seated) in my heart.
On the path of dharma, be my chariot's charioteer. 
Conqueror of the enemy of Vala (i.e., Indra) salutations to you Mahasena praised by Indra.
Son are you of Uma I salute you O son of mAtrikAs.
Drinking the milk of krittikas you became (known as) kArtikeyaH.
In essence (tatwam) you are sanatkumara salutations to you Subrahmanya.
Hey naigameya, be firmly (seated) in my heart.
On the path of jnana be my chariot's charioteer. 
By playfulness you display your childform O god having six faces.
In reality you are sadashiva of five faces.
Born out of shivajnAna-fire salutations O you who are embodied knowledge.
Omkara indicates you and by you Omkara's meaning has been taught (to Brahma)
Hey Skanda, be firmly (seated) in my heart.
On the path of liberation on my chariot be my charioteer. 
Hey leader of celestial army! You are invincible, by you happens destruction of asuras.
You are the one who takes away the fear of Deities, by you happens protection of the world.
On the path of yoga, shushumna's entrance is called path of taraka.
At its bottom blockage of the form of tamas is called as asura.
Using weapon of knowledge you did tarakasura's slaying.
In yoga language this becomes piercing of brahmagranthi. 
Say all the seers that demon simhamukha was slain by you.
This also is a secret of yoga not only just a story.
Demon's lion face indicates his illusionary powers (web).
In Anahata remains the knot of Maya which is a blocker in the path of Yoga.
Simhamukha has Strange face, Mahisha name is given to him.
Piercing his head of illusion is vishnugranthi piercing. 
Together with the army stood sUrapadma of great strength in the battle field.
To him you displayed your cosmic form which is pervasive and immovable (being sthanu all filling).
Invincible are you in front of you surapadma got defeated.
He assumed the form of a tree, by shakti weapon he was split into two.
His both parts transofrmed into peacock and cock.
In yoga path his splitting (into two) is called rudragranthi piercing. 
Various types of your divine names rishi (markandeya) mentioned in mahabharata.
With compassion accept them all as I chant.
Salutations to agneya, and to anamaya, and to amogha salutations.
Salutations to skanda, and to shuchi, and to swAheya salutations.
Salutations to brahmachari and to bhutesha and to bhuvaneshwara salutations.
Salutations to kamajit and to kamada and to kanta salutations. 
To Priya and to shashtipriya and to devasenapriya salutations.
To Vishvamitrapriya and to valakreedanakapriya and to vasudevapriya salutations.
To Shubhanana and to sUra and to sharavaNodbhava salutations.
To rudra, and to revatisuta, and to chanda salutations.
To matruvatsala and to mahishardana and to mayuraketu salutations.
To pavitra and to prasannatma and to prabhu salutations. 
(To) who has name Shishu and to Shighra and to satyavaaga to him salutations.
Salutations to diptakrita and to dharmatma and to diptavarna salutations.
Salutations to anagha, and to sudushchara, and to bhadrakruta salutations.
Salutatiosn to kanyabharta and to lalita and to deeptashakti salutations.
Salutations to Neta and to Vibhakta and to Suvrata Salutations
Salutations to Chandranana and to naigameya and to priyakruta Salutations. 
On Sripanchami day you married Devasena the daughter of Prajapati.
She desired a husband who would be of great strength, a celebate and invincible.
By indra was chosen you as Devasena's husband.
I am chanting her divine names stated by rishi in Mahabharata.
Salutations to shashti, and to lakshmi and to Asha and to sukhaprada salutations.
Salutations to sinivali, and to kuhu and to sadvritti and to aparajita salutations. 
Hey Guha! Your another wife is Valli daughter of a hunter.
Coming (appearing) in front of her playfully you became a tree.
You are Guru hence display tatvajnanam in your leelas.
Creeper (lata i.e., valli) always embraces (i.e., marries) tree that you are preaching.
(You were) Helped by Ganapati in the form of an elephant in your union with Valli.
As in srinivasa's marriage story - what's the use of having a dualistic sight? 
Son of havyavAhana you are of the form of yajna, you alone are of the form of shatkona.
You are of the form of uma-rudra and you are of the form of angi-shoma.
Devasena is said to be the power of indriyas and valli is the pranashakti.
Devasena is devayani (on) divine devayana path gives sadgati.
With valli the pranashakti's help all jeevas rise up on the path of devayana.
In reality one is your shakti seers call her as two. 
You are one who has peacock as vehicle and your elder brother has mouse as his vechcle.
You are guru in all the vidyas vidya's and buddhi's lord is gajanana.
Who between the two is great? Whose knowledge is greater?
These words of differences are neither beneficial in wordly level nor in spiritual level.
He (ganesha) preaches "see lord's divine presence here itself".
You preach "Know lord is present in the entire world". 
You are high souled being, protects veda dharmas on the surface of earth.
For that task you assume a form and comes down everytime
To protect entire karmakanda path you became Kumarilla bhatta
To uplift bhakti path you became jnanasambandha
To protect path of jnana by you Ramana's form was assumed
This much compassion nowhere seen contained in other's hearts. 
Devoid of gunas and full of avagunas I am uplift my glory.
You uplifts all the worlds, why can't you uplift me ?
Take away vakdosha, and durbuddhi, and manaschanchalyam
Give me vakshuddhi and sadbuddhi and manasthairyam
Bind in discipline my desire, anger and infatuation
Take away I-ness, my-ness, attachment and hatred. 
‘ruH' is sorrow, you eliminate (dravayasi) it hence your name is rudra.
Give me always good fortune I salute you O king of serpents.
Give me control of indriyas, memory, knowledge.
Give me brahmacharya, tapas, and fame
Give me dharma, steadiness, and tatvajnana
Give me prosperity, Vedic knowledge, and faith. 
Give me protection, fortune, and devotion
If I am not eligible to gain these then first give me eligibility
In the whirlpool of avidya I am fallen, ferry me hey son of Uma
Taking away ignorance, bestow me with shivajnana O holder of jnAnashakti.
In my lotus heart I desire your descent O husband of valli.
In every good deed give me victory O leader of army. 
O husband of valli, who is capable of singing the glory of yours?
You are infant even then long ago you became guru of chandrasekhara
Your refugee I am your devotee I am other than you who is my protector?
I am son of Uma, son of Shiva therefore you are my elder brother
Hey guru guha please take me as your disciple
Hey Acharya shanmukha please become my guru. 
All Rights Reserved.