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The Lingashtakam is one of the most popular Ashtakams(a Stotram with 8 verses) dedicated to Lord Shiva which praises Him in the abstract "Lingam" form.

You can read it here.

However,till date,i have never encountered any website that provides any information about the author of this beautiful octet.

Question 1-Who composed the Lingashtakam?

Verse 7 of the said Ashtakam ends with the following line :

Asta Daridra Vinasita Lingam,Tat Pranamami Sada Siva Lingam,

which refers to the Asta Daridras or the 8 types of poverties.

Question 2-What are these 8 types(forms) of poverties?

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  • I think Adi Shankara composed Lingastakam afaik. Will provide you scriptural evidence.
    – The Destroyer
    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:17
  • 1
    Good question. I've also visited but didn't find the author. Some says he was Adi Shankara but can't justify. For 8 kind of poverty, there is one stuff but scriptural reference/commentary is recommended
    – Pandya
    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:42
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    I found some Google books for Lingastakam which say it was written by Adi Shankara. 1, 2 and 3. I searched for scriptural evidence for Asta daridras but couldn't find any.
    – The Destroyer
    Mar 12, 2016 at 10:33
  • @AnilKumar Good finds.
    – Rickross
    Mar 12, 2016 at 12:56
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    Neelothapala, so the Ashta Siddhis are the Ashta Aishwaryas?
    – Rickross
    Jan 20, 2017 at 8:01

1 Answer 1

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As per Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, who is currently the Incumbent Shankaracharya of the Uttarāmnāya Śrī Jyotish Pītham or Jyotir Math (situated in Uttarakhand; one of the four cardinal pitham established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya). - the asht-daaridras are nothing but the opposite of the ashta-Lakshmis (or asht-aishvaryas).

Reference - See this video

This blog-site (which is perhaps by an amateur follower of the Sanatan-dharm but nevertheless), besides giving other interpretation, also succinctly summarizes the authoritative commentary by the Jyotir-math's Shankaracharya as linked in the video above -

In some traditions, the eight forms of poverty (aṣṭadaridra) are as follows:

a. annadaridra — lack of food

b. vastradaridra — lack of clothing

c. nivāsadaridra — lack of shelter

d. bhūmidaridra — lack of territory (either one’s own plot of land, or more broadly, a lack of country)

e. santatīdaridra — lack of family or progeny

f. sampattidaridra — lack of good fortune

g. āpteṣṭadaridra — lack of the fruits of worship (āpta, “reach, attain”; iṣṭa, “worshipped with sacrifices”)

h. mitraparivāradaridra — lack of a community of friends.

Some lists also include jñānadaridra (lack of wisdom), and vivekadaridra (lack of discrimination, the ability to discern the spiritual from the material).

Other traditions associate the eight poverties with the eight forms of the goddess of wealth, Lakṣmī.

Each form of Lakṣmī embodies a particular kind of wealth, and the eight forms of poverty are the lack of those types of wealth. The eight forms of Lakṣmī are as follows:

  • ādilakṣmī — abundance of spiritual merit
  • dhānyalakṣmī — abundance of grain (food)
  • vīralakṣmī — abundance of bravery
  • gajalakṣmī — abundance of livestock
  • santanalakṣmī — abundance of progeny
  • vijayalakṣmī — abundance of victory (in overcoming obstacles)
  • vidyālakṣmī — abundance of knowledge
  • dhanalakṣmī — abundance of money

Thus asht-daaridras maybe inferred as to be antonyms of the opulences signified by the asht-Lakshmis as follows -

  1. Spiritual Poverty.
  2. Food Poverty.
  3. Courage Poverty.
  4. Livestock Poverty.
  5. Progeny Poverty
  6. Success Poverty
  7. Knowledge and Wisdom Poverty
  8. Monetary Poverty.

Regarding the authorship of the Lingashtakam, several researchers both traditional or heterodox, assign it to Shri Adi Shankaracharya, but then again, it can't be proved in 100% terms. At best. we can say that sometimes the Lingashtakam's authorship is attributed to Adi-Sankara by some scholars while others assign it to unknown/untraceable authorship too. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful composition.

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  • Thanks for your answer.
    – Rickross
    2 days ago

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