Sringeri Jagadguru has said in many Anugraha Bhashanams that the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya are for all times and we should make efforts to try and understand the works of Bhagavadpada Shankara.
Adi Shankara has written some highly complex works which only a few people may be able to understand, but at the same time, Shankara has written many works which almost everyone can understand.
Among the many works of Shankaracharya, works like Bhaja Govindam, Guru Ashtakam, Bhavani Ashtakam deliver powerful and thought provoking upadeshams (messages) that when we read/listen to them with devotion and meaning, only tears fall from our eyes.
Shankara has packed such powerful messages in Sri Bhavani Ashtakam, which is very relevant for most people today. Shankara speaks of the miseries that has befallen humanity in every verse and prays to Jaganmata Bhavani to bless them. And Shankara does all this with beautiful poetry that can be easily seen in every verse of Sri Bhavani Ashtakam. Such is the greatness of Bhagavadpada Shankara and we should always be indebted to Him.
The main message of Sri Bhavani Ashtakam is:
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani
You are my Refuge (Gati), You Alone are my Refuge (Gati), Oh Mother Bhavani.
Shankara starts the first verse by stating no person in this world, whether father/mother/friend/relative can be the ultimate refuge and it is only Mata Bhavani who is the ultimate refuge.
In the second verse, Shankara prays to Mata Bhavani to save us from endless Samara Sagara filled with materialism.
In the third and fourth verses, Shankara speaks of people who do not perform any good deeds, or worship God or go to pilgrimages or know of ways of worshipping God and prays to Mata Bhavani to bless them.
In the fifth verse, Shankara speaks of people who have always performed sins/bad deeds and prays Mata Bhavani to bless them.
In the sixth verse, Shankara mentions people who do not know any Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra or the other Gods and prays to Mata Bhavani to bless them.
In the seventh verse, Shankara prays to Mata Bhavani to protect us during all types of problems, when we are in disputes or fights or dejected or intoxicated or alone in foreign land, when we are in water or fire or in the mountains or amongst enemies.
In the final verse, Shankara prays to Mata Bhavani for people who are helpless, poor, affected by old age or disease, weak or miserable and says that Mata Bhavani alone is the ultimate refuge for these people.
Sri Bhavani Ashtakam
न तातो न माता न बन्धुर्न दाता
न पुत्रो न पुत्री न भृत्यो न भर्ता ।
न जाया न विद्या न वृत्तिर्ममैव
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥१॥
Na Taato Na Maataa Na Bandhur-Na Daataa
Na Putro Na Putrii Na Bhrtyo Na Bhartaa |
Na Jaayaa Na Vidyaa Na Vrttir-Mama-Iva
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||1||
1.1: Neither the Father, nor the Mother; Neither the Relation and Friend, nor the Donor,
1.2: Neither the Son, nor the Daughter; Neither the Servant, nor the Husband,
1.3: Neither the Wife, nor the (worldly) Knowledge; Neither my Profession,
1.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
पपात प्रकामी प्रलोभी प्रमत्तः ।
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥२॥
Papaata Prakaamii Pralobhii Pramattah |
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||2||
2.1: In this Ocean of Worldly Existence which is Endless, I am full of Sorrow and Very much Afraid,
2.2: I have Fallen with Excessive Desires and Greed, Drunken and Intoxicated,
2.3: Always Tied in the Bondage of this miserable Samsara (worldly existence),
2.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
न जानामि पुण्यं न जानामि तीर्थ
न जानामि मुक्तिं लयं वा कदाचित् ।
न जानामि भक्तिं व्रतं वापि मातर्गतिस्त्वं
गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥४॥
Na Jaanaami Punnyam Na Jaanaami Tiirtha
Na Jaanaami Muktim Layam Vaa Kadaacit |
Na Jaanaami Bhaktim Vratam Vaapi Maatar-Gatis-Tvam
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||4||
4.1: Neither do I Know Virtuous Deeds, nor Pilgrimage,
4.2: I do not know the way to Liberation, and with little Concentration and Absorption,
4.3: I know neither Devotion, nor Religious Vows; Nevertheless Oh Mother,
4.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
कुकर्मी कुसङ्गी कुबुद्धिः कुदासः
कुलाचारहीनः कदाचारलीनः ।
कुदृष्टिः कुवाक्यप्रबन्धः सदाहं
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥५॥
Ku-Karmii Ku-Sanggii Ku-Buddhih Kudaasah
Kula-[Aa]caara-Hiinah Kadaacaara-Liinah |
Ku-Drssttih Ku-Vaakya-Prabandhah Sada-[A]ham
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||5||
5.1: I performed Bad Deeds, associated with Bad Company, cherished Bad Thoughts, have been a Bad Servant,
5.2: I did not perform my Traditional Duties, deeply engaged in Bad Conducts,
5.3: My eyes Saw with Bad Intentions, tongue always Spoke Bad Words,
5.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
प्रजेशं रमेशं महेशं सुरेशं
दिनेशं निशीथेश्वरं वा कदाचित् ।
न जानामि चान्यत् सदाहं शरण्ये
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥६॥
Praje[a-Is]sham Rame[a-Is]sham Mahe[a-Is]sham Sure[a-Is]sham
Dine[a-Is]sham Nishiithe[a-I]shvaram Vaa Kadaacit |
Na Jaanaami Caanyat Sada-[A]ham Sharannye
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||6||
6.1: Little do I know about The Lord of Creation (Brahma), The Lord of Ramaa (Goddess Lakshmi) (Vishnu), The Great Lord (Shiva), The Lord of the Devas (Indra),
6.2: The Lord of the Day (Surya) or The Lord of the Night (Chandra),
6.3: I do not know about other gods, but always seeking Your Refuge,
6.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
विवादे विषादे प्रमादे प्रवासे
जले चानले पर्वते शत्रुमध्ये ।
अरण्ये शरण्ये सदा मां प्रपाहि
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥७॥
Vivaade Vissaade Pramaade Pravaase
Jale Ca-[A]nale Parvate Shatru-Madhye |
Arannye Sharannye Sadaa Maam Prapaahi
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||7||
7.1: During Dispute and Quarrel, during Despair and Dejection, during Intoxication and Insanity, in Foreign Land,
7.2: In Water, and Fire, in Mountains and Hills, amidst Enemies,
7.3: In Forest, please Protect me,
7.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
अनाथो दरिद्रो जरारोगयुक्तो
महाक्षीणदीनः सदा जाड्यवक्त्रः ।
विपत्तौ प्रविष्टः प्रनष्टः सदाहं
गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि ॥८॥
Anaatho Daridro Jaraa-Roga-Yukto
Mahaa-Kssiinna-Diinah Sadaa Jaaddya-Vaktrah |
Vipattau Pravissttah Pranassttah Sadaaham
Gatis-Tvam Gatis-Tvam Tvam-Ekaa Bhavaani ||8||
8.1: I am Helpless, Poor, Afflicted by Old Age and Disease,
8.2: Very Weak and Miserable, always with a Pale Countenance,
8.3: Fallen Asunder, Always surrounded by and Lost in Troubles and Miseries,
8.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
Source for translation and transliteration:http://greenmesg.org/mant…/devi_bhavani-bhavani_ashtakam.php