Definition - What does Stotra mean?
Stotra is a Sanskrit word that means “praise,” “hymn of praise,” “ode” and “eulogy.” It typically refers to a genre of Hindu texts that are sung (rather than recited) and that praise various aspects and incarnations of the Divine, such as Shiva, Rama, Hanuman, Vishnu, Durga and Lakshmi.
Stotras (or stotram) originate in the Vedas, the earliest of Hindu scriptures, particularly the "Rig Veda," and in the Puranas, Indian texts that cover a wide range of topics.
Yogapedia explains Stotra
In addition to general praise for God, stotras describe mystical or deep spiritual experiences or may petition God to forgive sins, remove difficulties, grant higher knowledge or bestow physical or emotional comforts.
A nama-stotra is a stotra in which various names for a deity are sung. A sahasranama is a nama-stotra in which 1,000 names for a specific deity are sung. Some examples of stotras are:
- Shiva Tandava Stotram (a stotra to Shiva's power and beauty)
- Shiv Mahimna Stotra (a devotion to Shiva)
- Ram Raksha Stotra (a plea to Rama for protection)
- Agasti Lakshmi Stotra (praise for Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and abundance)
- Dvadasha Stotra (a series of 12 stotras in praise of Vishnu)