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सद्यः कृतानेकजनार्तिभङ्गा |​


गङ्गा ममाङ्गान्यमलीकरोतु ||​

This shloka is part of Ganga-Lahari (Waves of Ganga), composed by Pandit Jagannath.

The story behind this famous composition is as interesting as the essence of the shloka itself. Pandit Jagannath, when faced with a terrible crisis, decides to please Mother Ganga by singing verses in her praise. He composes 52 shlokas there and then on the banks of Ganga, and with each shloka, she (Mother Ganga) rises one step. Eventually, the great pandit becomes one with her, that is, he dies a noble death.

This particular shloka, composed in the viparītākhyānikī (विपरीताख्यानिकी) meter, is the 52nd shloka of Ganga-Lahari, and exemplifies the genius of Pandit Jagannath. The repetition of the ङ्ग sound is the key feature - the literary device of alliteration is used, but the arrangement of the adjectives used for Ganga is the true beauty; remember he was doing it extempore!

विभूषिता अनङ्ग-रिपु-उत्तम-अङ्गा The one who adorns the upper-most part of the enemy of Ananga [Lord of Kama], that is, the one who adorns the head of Lord Shiva!

सद्यः कृता अनेक-जन-आर्ति-भङ्गा The one who immediately destroys multiple griefs of people,

मनोहरा उत्तुङ्ग-चलत्तरङ्गा The one whose huge waves are delightful,

गङ्गा मम अङ्गानि अमली-करोतु O Ganga, make my parts (of the body) clean/pure.



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