Shiva Tandava Stotram is a Hindu hymn that describes the power and beauty of Shiva.
It is traditionally attributed to Ravan, the Asura king of Lanka and the devotee of Shiva.
When Ravan was tired of taking revenge on earth, he returned to Shiva to demand deliverance from the bondage of endless rebirth.
Shiva replied that he had given Ravan indestructibility. Ravan cried out in the last quatrain of the poem – “When will I be happy?” and this question is echoed by modern man in his quest for earthly fulfillment and subsequent liberation from the slavery of the ego and its senses.
A convincing and complex personality, Ravan is for many Hindus a legendary asura and a special master.
He was the husband of one of the five traditional women, the Mandodari .
Ravan married Maya’s daughter, Mandodari, who was a very beautiful and straight wife. He had a son named Meghanaada (which means “the sound of clouds” or “the sound of thunder”). Meghanaada defeated Indra, king of the Devas, and won the title of “Indrajit”.
Ravan’s great-grandfather was Brahma (God of final knowledge).
Ravan was obsessed with his powers and was selfish, and in order to demonstrate his powers, he was about to move Mount Kailash (the shelter of Shiva who was God’s ancestor).
He managed to raise the mountain, but Shiva immediately put it back just by pressing his finger, crushing Ravan’s fingers in the process.
Then Ravan sings “Shiva Tandava Stotra” and was spared and blessed with chandrahas (the moon-shaped sword of Shiva) considered one of the most powerful weapons according to the Hindu cultural belief system.
Here are the lyrics in transliteration:
1. Jatatavigalajjala pravahapavitasthale
Galeavalambya lambitam bhujangatungamalikam
Damad damad damad damaddama ninadavadamarvayam
Chakara chandtandavam tanotu nah shivah shivam.
2. Jata kata hasambhrama bhramanilimpanirjhari
Dhagadhagadhagajjva lalalata pattapavake
Kishora chandrashekhare ratih pratikshanam mother.
3. Dharadharendrana ndinivilasabandhubandhura
4. Jata bhujan gapingala sphuratphanamaniprabha
Kadambakunkuma dravapralipta digvadhumukhe
Madandha sindhu rasphuratvagutariyamedure
Mano vinodamadbhutam bibhartu bhutabhartari.
5. Sahasra lochana prabhritya sheshalekhashekhara
Prasuna dhulidhorani vidhusaranghripithabhuh
Bhujangaraja malaya nibaddhajatajutaka
Shriyai chiraya jayatam chakora bandhushekharah.
6. Lalata chatvarajvaladhanajnjayasphulingabha
Sudha mayukha lekhaya turnamanashekharam
Maha kapali sampade shirojatalamastu nah.
7. Karala bhala pattikadhagaddhagaddhagajjvala
Ddhanajnjaya hutikruta prachandapajnchasayake
Dharadharendra nandini kuchagrachitrapatraka
Prakalpanaikashilpini trilochane ratirmama
8. Navina megha mandali niruddhadurdharasphurat
Kuhu nishithinitamah prabandhabaddhakandharah
Nilimpanirjhari dharastanotu krutti sindhurah
Kalanidhanabandhurah shriyam jagaddhurandharah.
9. Praphulla nila pankaja prapajnchakalimchatha
Vdambi kanthakandali raruchi prabaddhakandharam
Smarachchidam purachchhidam bhavachchidam makhachchidam
Gajachchidandhakachidam tamamtakachchidam bhaje.
10. Akharvagarvasarvamangala kalakadambamajnjari
Rasapravaha madhuri vijrumbhana madhuvratam
Smarantakam purantakam bhavantakam makhantakam makhantakam
Gajantakandhakantakam tamantakantakam bhaje.
11. Jayatvadabhravibhrama bhramadbhujangamasafur
Dhigdhigdhi nirgamatkarala bhaal havyavat
Dhvanikramapravartita prachanda tandavah shivah.
12. Drushadvichitratalpayor bhujanga mauktikasrajor
Sama pravartayanmanah kada sadashivam bhaje.
13. Kada nilimpanirjhari nikujnjakotare vasanh
Vimuktadurmatih sada shirah sthamajnjalim vahanh
Shiveti mantramuchcharan sada sukhi bhavamyaham.
14. Imam hi nityameva muktamuttamottamam stavam
Pathansmaran bruvannaro vishuddhimeti santatam
Hare gurau subhaktimashu yati nanyatha gatim
Vimohanam hi dehinam sushankarasya chintanam.
15. Puja vasanasamaye dashavaktragitam
Yah shambhupujanaparam pathati pradoshhe
Tasya sthiram rathagajendrangayuktam
Lakshmim sadaiva sumukhim pradadati shambhuh.
गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्गतुङ्गमालिकाम् |
चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् || १||
किशोरचन्द्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम || २||
क्वचिद्दिगम्बरे(क्वचिच्चिदम्बरे) मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि || ३||
मनो विनोदमद्भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि || ४||
प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः |
श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः || ५||
प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम || ७||
कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः |
कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः || ८||
स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं
गजच्छिदांधकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे || ९||
रसप्रवाहमाधुरी विजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् |
स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं
गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे || १०||
ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तित प्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः || ११||
गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः |
समं प्रव्रितिक: कदा सदाशिवं भजाम्यहम || १२||
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन्
विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरः स्थमञ्जलिं वहन् |
शिवेति मंत्रमुच्चरन् कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् || १३||
निलिम्प नाथनागरी कदम्ब मौलमल्लिका-
निगुम्फनिर्भक्षरन्म धूष्णिकामनोहरः ।
तनोतु नो मनोमुदं विनोदिनींमहनिशं
परिश्रय परं पदं तदङ्गजत्विषां चयः ॥ १४॥
प्रचण्ड वाडवानल प्रभाशुभप्रचारणी
महाष्टसिद्धिकामिनी जनावहूत जल्पना ।
विमुक्त वाम लोचनो विवाहकालिकध्वनिः
शिवेति मन्त्रभूषगो जगज्जयाय जायताम् ॥ १५॥
इमं हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं
पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् |
हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं
विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिंतनम् || १६||
यः शम्भुपूजनपरं पठति प्रदोषे |
तस्य स्थिरां रथगजेन्द्रतुरङ्गयुक्तां
लक्ष्मीं सदैव सुमुखिं प्रददाति शम्भुः || १७||
With his neck, consecrated by the flow of water flowing from the thick forest-like locks of hair, and on the neck, where the lofty snake is hanging like a garland, and the Damaru drum making the sound of Damat Damat Damat Damat, Lord Śiva did the auspicious dance of Tandava and may He shower prosperity on us all. 
I have a very deep interest in Lord Śiva, whose head is glorified by the rows of moving waves of the celestial river Gaṅgā, agitating in the deep well of his hair-locks, and who has the brilliant fire flaming on the surface of his forehead, and who has the crescent moon as a jewel on his head. 
May my mind seek happiness in the Lord Śiva, in whose mind all the living beings of the glorious universe exist, who is the sportive companion of Parvati (daughter of the mountain king), who controls invincible hardships with the flow of his compassionate look, who is all-pervasive (the directions are his clothes). 
May I seek wonderful pleasure in Lord Śiva, who is supporter of all life, who with his creeping snake with reddish brown hood and with the luster of his gem on it spreading out variegated colors on the beautiful faces of the maidens of directions, who is covered with a glittering upper garment made of the skin of a huge intoxicated elephant. 
May Lord Śiva give us prosperity, who has the moon (relative of the Cakora bird) as his head-jewel, whose hair is tied by the red snake-garland, whose foot-stool is grayed by the flow of dust from the flowers from the rows of heads of all the Gods, Indra/Vishnu and others. 
May we get the wealth of Siddhis from Śiva’s locks of hair, of him who devoured the God of Love with the sparks of the fire flaming in His forehead, who is bowed by all the celestial leaders, who is beautiful with a crescent moon. 
My interest is in Lord Śiva, who has three eyes, who has offered the powerful God of Love into the fire, flaming Dhagad Dhagad on the flat surface of his forehead, and who is the one expert artist of creation accompanied by Parvati, the daughter of the mountain king. 
May Lord Śiva give us prosperity, who bears the burden of this universe, who is lovely with the moon, who is red wearing the skin, who has the celestial river Ganga, whose neck is dark as midnight of new moon night covered by many layers of clouds. 
I pray to Lord Śiva, whose neck is tied with the luster of the temples hanging on the neck with the glory of the fully bloomed blue lotuses which looked like the blackness (sins) of the universe, who is the killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the demon Andhaka, the destroyer of the elephants, and who controlled the God of death, Yama. 
I pray to Lord Śiva, who has bees flying all over because of the sweet honey from the beautiful bunch of auspicious Kadamba flowers, who is the killer of Manmatha, who destroyed Tripuras, who destroyed the bonds of worldly life, who destroyed the sacrifice, who destroyed the demon Andhaka, the killer of the elephants, and who controlled the God of death, Yama.
Lord Śiva, whose dance of Tāṇḍava is in tune with the series of loud sounds of drum making Dhimid Dhimid sounds, who has the fire on the great forehead, the fire that is spreading out because of the breath of the snake wandering in whirling motion in the glorious sky.
When will I worship Lord SadāŚiva (eternally auspicious) God, with equal vision towards the people and an emperor, and a blade of grass and lotus-like eye, towards both friends and enemies, towards the valuable gem and some lump of dirt, towards a snake and a garland and towards varied ways of the world.
When will I be happy, living in the hollow place near the celestial river, Ganga, carrying the folded hands on my head all the time, with my bad thinking washed away, and uttering the mantra of Lord Śiva and devoted in the God with glorious forehead with vibrating eyes.
Divine beauty of different parts of Lord Śiva which are enlightened by fragrance of the flowers decorating the twisted hair locks of angels may always bless us with happiness and pleasure.
The Shakti (energy) which is capable of burning all the sins and spreading welfare of all and the pleasant sound produced by angels during enchanting the pious Shiv mantra at the time of Shiv-Parvati Vivah may win over & destroy all the sufferings of the world.
Whoever reads, remembers and says this best stotra as it is said here, gets purified for ever, and obtains devotion in the great Guru Śiva. For this devotion, there is no other way. Just the mere thought of Lord Śiva indeed removes the delusion.
On the thirteen day of each paksha of the hindu calendar,in the evening, whoever utters this stotra sung by Rāvaṇa, which is dedicated to the worship of Śiva, Lord Śiva will indeed bless him with great Lakṣmī (prosperity) with all the richness of chariots, elephants and horses.
Thus ends the Śiva-Tāṇḍava Stotra written by Śrī Rāvaṇa.