The English Version of Bhaktaranjini
There are quite a number of commentaries for Srimad Narayaneeyam, in Malayalam, Tamil and English . Even in English, there have been many, with word for word meanings, but paraphrased as per the prose order in Sanskrit and a short gist of the contents of the sloka in English. Such word for word meaning given in English, when read alone, does not always make for a coherent reading, as the prose orders in Sanskrit and English are different. For instance, for the sentence, "Rama killed Ravana", the prose order in Sanskrit would be corresponding to "Rama Ravana killed". In order to allay this sort of language deficiencies, we have rearranged the words of the prose order in Sanskrit (the anvaya) to match the syntax in English for the word for word meaning so that even for a person who does not know Sanskrit, a one-time reading of the English part alone will make complete sense. The presentation of each sloka would be as follows:
1. A preamble (wherever necessary) for the sloka.
2. The text of the sloka in Sanskrit in Devanagari script.
3. Transliteration to English.
4. The Anvaya (prose order) in Sanskrit. The difficult words have been broken with hyphens to make reading easier.
5. The word for word meaning tabulated to have the Sanskrit words on the left and the corresponding meaning in English on the right. Even those who are not well up in Sanskrit but would like to go through the Sanskrit text, could do so with a degree of comprehension, if they follow the words in the correct sequence.
6. A detailed commentary in English.
7. A glossary of terms, alphabetical index for the slokas, list of abbreviations etc.,
8. Sources given for quotations, with meaning in brackets.
9. Every dasakam ends with a prayer on the last line of the last sloka, There are a few exceptions where the prayer is not in the last sloka, but in an earlier one. Such prayer has been used as the “footer” for every page in that dasakam.
As stated earlier, the work is done by a group of four like-minded friends, comprising Shri. T.P. Sivasubramani, Shri. G. Sankaran, Smt. Parvathi Sankaran, and Shri. K.V. Gopalakrishna. Of these, except Smt. Parvathi Sankaran, the other three are officials retired from service in Central Government / Public Sector. All the four have been students of Sanskrit in the earlier part of their career. Smt. Parvati Sankaran has been a student of philosophy and has been doing a critical study of Srimad Narayaneeyam as well as teaching the epic to groups of devotees. All the four are sincerely dedicated to the stupendous and challenging task which they have taken up as an offering of love and devotion to Guruvayoorappan.
The work is edited by Shri. S.N. Sastri, a retired Central Government official, an erudite scholar in Sanskrit and Vedanta Philosophy, and a totally dedicated and devout Narayana-Bhakta, who has authored another commentary on Narayaneeyam published by the Chinmaya Mission in 1988. Please visit the website http://www.geocities.com/snsastri for his articles on Vedantic topics and the works of Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada with English translation.