Stotra

Stotra (Sanskrit:स्तोत्र)(sometimes stotram,स्तोत्रम्) is a Sanskrit word that means "ode, eulogy or a hymn of praise".[1][2] It is a literary genre of Indian religious texts designed to be melodically sung, in contrast to a shastra which is composed to be recited.[1]

A stotra can be a prayer, a description, or a conversation, but always with a poetic structure. It may be a simple poem expressing praise and personal devotion to a deity for example, or poems with embedded spiritual and philosophical doctrines.[3]

Many stotra hymns praise aspects of the divine, such as Devi, Shiva, or Vishnu. Relating to word "stuti", coming from the same Sanskrit root *stu- ("to praise"), and basically both mean "praise". Notable stotras are Shiva Tandava Stotram in praise of Shiva and Rama Raksha Stotra, a prayer for protection to Rama.

Stotras are a type of popular devotional literature. Among the early texts with Stotras are by Kuresha,[clarification needed] which combine Ramanuja's Vedantic ideas on qualified monism about Atman and Brahman (ultimate, unchanging reality), with temple practices.[3]

Etymology

Stotra comes from the Sanskrit root stu- which means "to praise, eulogize or laud".[3] Literally, the term refers to "poems of praise".[4] The earliest trace of Stotras are Vedic, particularly in the Samaveda.[4]