Shiva Tandava Stotram

Shiva Tandav Stotram live performance at the dhuni.

Story of Shiva Tandava Stotram

Shiva Tandava Stotram is a hymn describing the beauty and power of Lord Shiva composed in 16 verses by Ravana. The Shiva Tandav Stotram represents the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.

On the night of Mahashivaratri, in an epoch long past, the Demon King, Ravana, who was among Shiva’s greatest devotees, made a pilgrimage to attend the wedding of Shiva and Parvati.

Being a demon his great powers which arose from his devotion to Shiva, went to his head, in fact, his ego was so great, that he grew ten heads.

When Ravana arrived at Mount Kailash, Shiva’s abode, he challenged the Great God by lifting and shaking the mountain. Shiva took little notice and merely placed his thumb on the ground in front of Him, which crushed Ravana as if he were a gnat.

Ravan was so impressed by Shiva’s display, that he tore off one of his ten heads, ripped the veins out of his arm, strung them to the severed head, and sang his praises of Lord Shiva composing the “Shiva Tandava Stotram.”

Mahashivaratri 2020

On the auspicious occasion of Mahashivaratri 2020, which was only last February 22 (it seems like years have passed), Baba Suryademah played his electric baglama, the enchanting Tritha Sinha sang sacred lyrics composed by Ravana, and Maestro Anello Capuano played electric oud in a performance of my absolute favorite Mahashivaratri classic, Shiva Tandava Stotram, with a number of Om Namah Shivaya refrains, including the grand finale. Those of us who were there will never forget that night! By the grace of Shiva, I am able to share with you a glimpse of THAT night, and that music.


Lyrics of Shiva Tandava Stotram

Jatatavigalajjala pravahapavitasthale
Galeavalambya lambitam bhujangatungamalikam
Damad damad damaddama ninadavadamarvayam
Chakara chandtandavam tanotu nah shivah shivam

With his neck consecrated by the flow of water that flows from his hair,
And on his neck a snake, which is hung like a garland,
And the Damaru drum that emits the sound “Damat Damat Damat Damat”,
Lord Shiva did the auspicious dance of Tandava.
May he give prosperity to all of us.

Jata kata hasambhrama bhramanilimpanirjhari
Vilolavichivalarai virajamanamurdhani
Dhagadhagadhagajjva lalalata pattapavake
Kishora chandrashekhare ratih pratikshanam mama

I have a deep interest in Shiva
Whose head is glorified by the rows of moving waves of the celestial Ganga river,
Which stir in the deep well of his hair in tangled locks.
Who has the brilliant fire burning on the surface of his forehead,
And who has the crescent moon as a jewel on his head.

Dharadharendrana ndinivilasabandhubandhura
Sphuradigantasantati pramodamanamanase
Krupakatakshadhorani nirudhadurdharapadi
Kvachidigambare manovinodametuvastuni

May my mind seek happiness in Lord Shiva,
In whose mind all the living beings of the glorious universe exist,
Who is the companion of Parvati (daughter of the mountain king),
Who controls unsurpassed adversity with his compassionate gaze,
Which is all-pervading
And who wears the Heavens as his raiment.

Jata bhujan gapingala sphuratphanamaniprabha
Kadambakunkuma dravapralipta digvadhumukhe
Madandha sindhu rasphuratvagutariyamedure
Mano vinodamadbhutam bibhartu bhutabhartari

May I find wonderful pleasure in Lord Shiva, who is the advocate of all life,

With his creeping snake with its reddish brown hood and the shine of its gem on it

Spreading variegated colors on the beautiful faces of the Goddesses of the Directions,

Which is covered by a shimmering shawl made from the skin of a huge, inebriated elephant.

Sahasra lochana prabhritya sheshalekhashekhara
Prasuna dhulidhorani vidhusaranghripithabhuh
Bhujangaraja malaya nibaddhajatajutaka
Shriyai chiraya jayatam chakora bandhushekharah

May Lord Shiva give us prosperity,

Who has the Moon as a crown,

Whose hair is bound by the red snake-garland,

Whose footrest is darkened by the flow of dust from flowers
Which fall from the heads of all the gods – Indra, Vishnu and others.

Lalatachatvarajvala dhanajnjayasphulingabha
Nipitapajnchasayakam namannilimpanayakam
Sudhamayukhalekhaya virajamanashekharam
Mahakapalisampade shirojatalamastunah 

May we obtain the riches of the Siddhis from the tangled strands Shiva’s hair,

Who devoured the God of Love with the sparks of the fire that burns on his forehead,

Which is revered by all the heavenly leaders,

Which is beautiful with a crescent moon.

Karala bhala pattikadhagaddhagaddhagajjvala
Dhanajnjaya hutikruta prachandapajnchasayake
Dharadharendra nandini kuchagrachitrapatraka
Prakalpanaikashilpini trilochane ratirmama

My interest is in Lord Shiva, who has three eyes,

Who offered the powerful God of Love to fire.

The terrible surface of his forehead burns with the sound “Dhagad, Dhagad…”

He is the only artist expert in tracing decorative lines
on the tips of the breasts of Parvati, the daughter of the mountain king.

Navinameghamandali niruddhadurdharasphurat
Kuhunishithinitamah prabandhabaddhakandharah
Nilimpanirjharidharastanotu kruttisindhurah
Kalanidhanabandhurah shriyam jagaddhurandharah

May Lord Shiva give us prosperity,

The one who bears the weight of this universe,

Who is enchanting with the moon,

Who has the celestial river Ganga
Whose neck is dark as midnight on a new moon night, covered in layers of clouds.

Praphullanilapan kajaprapajnchakalimaprabha
Valambikanthakandali ruchiprabaddhakandharam
Smarachchidam purachchhidam bhavachchidam makhachchidam
Gajachchidandhakachidam tamamtakachchidam bhaje

I pray to Lord Shiva, whose neck is bound with the brightness of the temples
hanging with the glory of fully bloomed blue lotus flowers,

Which look like the blackness of the universe.


Who is the slayer of Manmatha, who destroyed the Tripura,

Who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice,

Who destroyed the demon Andhaka, who is the destroyer of the elephants,

And who has overwhelmed the God of death, Yama.

Akharvagarvasarvamangala kalakadambamajnjari
Rasapravahamadhuri vijrumbhanamadhuvratam
Smarantakam purantakam bhavantakam makhantakam
Gajantakandhakantakam tamantakantakam bhaje

I pray to Lord Siva, who has bees flying all around because of the sweet


Scent of honey coming from the beautiful bouquet of auspicious Kadamba flowers,

Who is the slayer of Manmatha, who destroyed the Tripura,


Who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice,

Who destroyed the demon Andhaka, who is the destroyer of the elephants,

And who has overwhelmed the God of death, Yama.

Jayatvadabhravibhrama bhramadbhujangamashvasa
Dvinirgamatkramasphurat karalabhalahavyavat
Dhimid dhimid dhimidhvanan mrudangatungamangala
Dhvanikramapravartita prachandatandavah shivah

Shiva, whose dance of Tandava is in tune with the series of loud
sounds of drum making the sound “Dhimid Dhimid”,


Who has fire on his great forehead, 

the fire that is spreading out because of the


breath of the snake, 

wandering in whirling motions in the glorious sky.

Drushadvichitratalpayor bhujanga mauktikasrajor


Garishtharatnaloshthayoh suhrudvipakshapakshayoh


Trushnaravindachakshushoh prajamahimahendrayoh


Sama pravartayanmanah kada sadashivam bhaje

When will I be able to worship Lord Sadashiva, the eternally auspicious God,

With equanimous vision towards people or emperors,


Towards a blade of grass and a lotus, towards friends and enemies,

Towards the most precious gem and a lump of dirt,

Toward a snake or a garland and towards the varied forms of the world?

Kada nilimpanirjharinikujnjakotare vasanh
Vimuktadurmatih sada shirah sthamajnjalim vahanh
Vimuktalolalochano lalamabhalalagnakah
Shiveti mantramuchcharan sada sukhi bhavamyaham


When I can be happy, living in a cave near the celestial river Ganga,

Bringing my hands clasped on my head all the time,

With my impure thoughts washed away, uttering the mantra of Shiva
Devoted to the God with a glorious forehead and with vibrant eyes?

Idam hi nityamevamuktamuttamottamam stavam
Pathansmaranbruvannaro vishuddhimetisantatam
Hare gurau subhaktimashu yati nanyatha gatim
Vimohanam hi dehinam sushankarasya chintanam

Anyone who reads, remembers and recites this stotra as stated here Is purified forever and obtains devotion in the great Guru Shiva. For this devotion, there is no other way or refuge. Just the mere thought of Shiva removes the delusion.