A Hymn to Arya Avalokiteshvara by Carpatipada
Translated by: Min Bahadur Shakya
In Nepalese Buddhist literature a large number of Sanskrit Strotras written by various authors are found. These Strotras or hymns throws light on various aspects of Buddhist doctrines, especially Mahayana in particular.
Newar-Buddhists are affluent in this kind of literature called strotras and dharanis,a least explored branch literature in the Buddhist World. These strotras are sung buy sadhakas during their meditation or act of devotional Strotras play an important role in Newari Buddhist. The contents of these strotras are of varied nature ranging from simple act of confessional qualities of Buddha and Bodhisattvas, praise of deities of both mundane and supramundane, iconographical data of various tantric deities and also the explanation of emptiness. Newari Budddhist utilise these strotras and means of Dharma teachings through the medium of devotional songs in Baha and Bahi of Kathmandu Valley. These strotras are still sung in various monasteries of Kathmandu. Among these strotra Namasangiti. Dasabalastava-a huymn to Lord Buddha, six paramita stava, Avcalokiteshvara stavas are most prominent ones.
These strotras can be sung with melodious music and can imprint the devotees significantly even in this modern world through them multi media device.
I. In 1986, the Center for Tibetan Higher Studies published a journal "Dhih" No.1 reviewing Bauddha Strotra Sangraha- the Nepalese collection of Strotra Manuscripts preserved in National Archives of Nepal. It contains 176 strotras. It was collected by Jive Ratna Bajracharya. (1906A). Among these, twenty strotras contains the reference to source materials 58 strotras have mentioned the names of authors, and to 71 deities, the hymns are dedicated.
II. "Dhih" No.2 furnishes a review article containing another 144 Collection of Stotras preserved in National Archives, Kathmandu.
III. A part for these review collections there are many published and unpublished manuscripts of Strotra Collection in Kathmandu. There are plenty of research materials for the study of Strotras or hymns in Buddhist literatures.
The present Strotra is a popular hymn of Avalokiteshvara said to be composed by Sri Carapatipada, (8th century ?) a siddha who passed away merging his mind with Avalokiteshvara after his successful mission of bringing emanation of Aryavaliokiteshvara for kamarupa into kathmandu Valley. The mission was carried out in order to eliminate the problem of twelve year draught and there by bringing peace and prosperity in Nepal Valley.
Among his companions were the Licchavi king Narendra Deva of Bhaktaput and Guru Bhandhudatta Acharya of Kathmandu who composed successively the hymn called Rupastavah and Karunastavah.
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