DESIKA STOTHRAAS-MEANING
 

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Desika Stotras with Meaning

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Panniru Naamam

OORDVA PUNDRA DHAARANA DHYANA SLOKAS
The following Dhyana Slokas are recited when applying the vertical pointing marks on the forehead and other parts of the body (Oordva PuNdrams). The belief is that we consecrate the deity forms of Lord Sriman Narayana presiding over the respective spots, surrendering ourselves to them and seeking protection.

Swami Desika has also confirmed this in his Tamizh Prabandham, ?Panniru Tirunaamam?. This Prabandham is dedicated to Lord Varadan of Kanchipuram where Swami Desika offered his surrender (Bhara SanarpaNam). In this, Swami gives details of the name of the deity form, color, weapons, direction faced, and the spot on which the respective marks are to be applied on our body.

Let us first enjoy the meaning of the Slokas. The meanings of Swami Desika?s Paasurams will follow in the next Issues. Later on, we will consider certain doubts and also explain the practice from a scientific perspective.

Slokam 1
Chatus Chakram Namasyaami Kesavam kanakaprabham /
NaaraayaNam ghana syaamam chatus sankham namaamyaham /
Meaning:
I prostrate to Lord KESAVA who appears with a golden hue and wields four DISCS (Chakram), I genuflect before Lord NAARAAYANA who shines like the dark rain bearing clouds and adorns four CONCHES (Sangam)

Slokam 2:
Madhavam maNi pankaabham chinthayaami Chatur Gadham /
Chandrbhaasam chatus Saarngham govindam abi samsrayE //
Maening:
I meditate on the Lord MASDHAVA who shines like a gem and holds four MACES (Gadha). I take refuge in Lord GOVINDA who has the cool luster like that of the moon and who bears four BOWS (saarngham).

Slokam 3:
VishNum chatur Halam vandE pancha kinchalka sannibham /
Chatur Musalamabjaabham samsrayE Madhusoodhanam //
Meaning:
I salute Lord VISHNU who has the hue of the pollen of flowers and who uses four PLOUGHS (hala). I ponder over Lord MADHUSOODHANA who has the color of the ochre lotus and who commands four mighty PESTLES (musalam).

Slokam 4:
Agni varNam chatu: KaDgam bhaavayaami Trivikramam/
Vaamanam baala sooryaabham chatur Vajram vibhaavayE//
Meaning:
I praise Lord TRIVIKRAMA who blazes like the flame of fire and upholds four sharp SWORDS (KaDgam). I meditate on Lord VAMANA who shines like the young rising SUN and utilizes four THUNDERBOLTS (vajra).

Slokam 5:
Sreedharam punDareekaabham chatu: PaTTa samaasrayE/
Chatur Mudgaram abhyEmi HrisheekEsam thaTith prabham//
Meaning:
I take asylum at the feet of SREEDHARA who is lotus like and employs four weapons called ?PaTTasa?. I eulogize Lord HRISHEEKESA who is like a streak of lightning and deploys four hammers (mudgara)

Slokam 6:
Panchaayudham padmanaabham praNamaami arka rOchisham/
DaamOdharam chatu: Paasam Indrakopa nibham bhajE//
Meaning:
I dedicate myself to the care of Lord PADMANABHA who brightens the sky like the Sun (arka) and shoulders five powerful weapons (panchaayudha). I worship Lord DAAMODHARA who shines like the reddish hue of the insect of the rainy season and who carries four kinds of noose (paasa) in His hands.

Slokam 7:
VaasudEvam upaasEham poornEndhyutha sannibham /
Oordva puNDrEshu iti Sreemaan nityam dhyaayeetha naamabhi://7
Meaning:
I meditate upon Lord VAASUDEVA who shines like a million full moons. One should meditate on these names of the Lord while applying the upward pointing Sacred marks.

MENTION OF PIRAATTI ? IN EACH
After wearing TirumaNN, SreechoorNam has to be worn in between the two white lines, reciting the names of PiraaTTi as follows:
1. Sridevi Prathamam nama
2. dviteeyom amrutOdbhava/
3. Tritheeyam Kamalaa prOkthaa
4. Chaturtham Chandra Sodharee //
5. Panchamum thu varaarOhaa
6. shasTam thu Harivallabhaa /
7. Sapthamam VishNu pathnee cha
8. ashTamam VaishNavee tha thaa//
9. Navamam SaarngiNee ptOkthaa
10. dasamam Deva dEvikaa/
11. Ekaadasam Mahaalakshmee
12. Dvaadasam sura sundaree//
TrayOdasm sadhaa dhyaayEth sarvaabheeshTa pradaayineem/
Evam dhyaathvaa antharaalEshu haridraam dhaarayEth Sriyam//
To Continue: Swami Desika?s Panniru naamam




OORDVA PUNDRA DHAARANAM
SWAMI DESIKA?S ?PANNIRU TIRUNAAMAM?
TANIANS 1 and 2 and PAASURAMS 1 TO 12 AND ?PHALASRUTHI?
- (Anbil Ramaswamy)
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As mentioned earlier, Swami Desika has also dealt with the ?Oordva Pundra DhaaraNam? in his Tamizh Prabandham, ?Panniru Tirunaamam?. This Prabandham is dedicated to Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram where Swami offered his surrender (Bhara SanarpaNam)

TANIAN 1:
Panniru naamam Tiruvaththi oorappan paadam enru
Nal niram naamam paDai thikku yaavaiyum naam ariya
Thennan thamizh thoDai seeraar kalithurai Odhi eendhaan
Minnuru nool amar vEnkaTa naatha namm DesikanE
MEANING:
? Our Achaarya, Thooppul TiruvEnkaTa naathan, who dons the sparkling white sacred thread on his shoulder, has given for our edification this work in the renowned poetic style of ?KatTTLai Kalithurai? in beautiful Tamizh language, on the feet of the glorious Lord of Hastigiri PeraruLaaLan, detailing the colors, the names, the weapons, the directions etc. relating to the 12 upward strokes of the sacred marks to be worn by Srivaishnavas?.

TANIAN 2:
Kaar koNDa mEnian paada ambuyathai karuthu iruthi
YEr koNDa keerthi Iraamaanujan thun iNai aDi sEr
Seer koNDa thoopul TiruvEnkaTa aariyan seer mozhiyai
Aar koNDu pOtrinum amm maal padathai aDaivikkumE
MEANING:
? Whoever praises the lotus feet of Lord PeraruLaLan who shines with the color of rain bearing dark clouds, and whoever praises the charming and popular feet of Emperumaanaar with the exalted Sri Sookthis of our Acaarya, Thooppul Sri TiruvenkaTanathan is sure to attain the feet of Emperumaan?.

In this, Swami gives some more details like, Name of the deity form, color, weapons, direction faced, and the spot on which the respective marks are to be applied on our body.


SWAMI DESIKA?S
PAASURAMS 1 AND 2 (CORRESPONDING TO DHYANA SLOKA 1)


(Chatus Chakram namasyaami KESAVAM kanaka prabhum
NAARAAYANAM ghana syaamam chatu:sankham namaami aham)

PAASURAM 1:
KEsavanaai ninru keezhai Disaiyilum netriyilum
ThEsuDai aazhigaL naanguDan sem pasum pon malai pOle
Vaasi miguthu enai mangaamal kaakkum marai athanaal
Aasai migutha ayan magha vEdhiyil arputhanE
MEANING:
? This is Lord KESAVA whom I have understood clearly through the Vedas as PeraruLaaLan. This Lord appeared wonderfully in the Yaaga vEdhi of Brahma as Supreme deity. I am sure to be protected for reciting His name. He is having His abode on the Eastern direction and on the forehead of Bhagavatas, and who adorns four brilliant discs (Chakram) and whose body shines like pure and red golden mountain?

PAASURAM 2:
NaaraNaai nal valampuri naalum ugandhu eDuthum
Oor aNi mEgham enavE udaramum mErku ninrum
AaraNa nool thandu aruLaal aDaikkalam koNDu aruLum
VaaraNa verpin mazhai mughil pOle ninra maayavanE
MEANING:
?This is Lord NARAYANA who stands on top of Hastigiri Mountain wonderfully like the cool dark rain bearing cloud moving around. He holds happily His four conches with swirls pointing to the right (valam Puri Sanku). His abode is on the middle of the tummy and is on the west, It is He who published the Vedas (aaraNa nool). He will grant protection to me out of His infinite compassion?

PAASURAM 3 AND 4 (CORRESPONDING TO DHYANA SLOKA 2)


(MADHAVAM maNI pangaabham chintayaami Chatur gadam
chandrabhaasam Chatu: Saarngam GOVINDAM aham aasrayE)

PAASURAM 3:
Maadhava naamamum vaan Gadhai naangum maNi niramum
Odhum muraip paDi yEndhi urathilum mElum algip
POdalar maadhuDan pundhiyil anbaal pugundu aLikkum
Thoodhanum Naathanum aaya tholl athi giri chuDarE.
MEANING:
? This is Lord MADHAVAN, with the color of blue diamond (indrakopam). He is the brilliant flame of Lord of Hastigiri and is anti-deluvian (thol athigiri chuDar). He hid His Paratvam and appeared as a mere messanger to the PaaNDavas thus revealing His Soulabhyam. He wields four mighty maces (gada). His abode is the middle of the chest and in the upward direction. He enters my mind with Periya PiraaTTi who is on the lotus flower and protects me out of His infinite mercy?

PAASURAM 4:
Govindan enrum kuLir madhiyaagik koDiyavarai
YEvum dhanukkaLuDanTherkilum utt kazhuthu ninru
MEvum TiruvaruLaal vinai theerthu ennai aaNDaruLum
Poovan thozhaathi maamalai mEl ninra puNNiyanE
MEANING:
? This is Lord GOVINDAN from whose navel arose the four faced Brahma who constantly meditates upon Him. He stands firmly on top of the Hastigiri Mountain like the cool shine of the full moon. He is the very personofication of Spriritual merit (PuNNiyan). He stands with four mighty bows (dhanus) with arrows darting to destroy evil. His abode is in the South and at the center of the neck. He will destroy my sins and grant refuge to me out of His unlimited grace?

PAASURAM 5AND 6 (CORRESPONDING TO DHYANA SLOKA 3)


(VISHNUM Chatur halam vandE padma kinjalka sannibham
Chatur musalam abjaabham samsrayE MADHUSOODHANAM)

PAASURAM 5:
ViTTu vala vayitrin kann vaDakkum viDaathu ninru
MaTTavizh thaamarai daadhu niram koNda mEniyanaaith
ThoTTa kalappaigal eer iranDaalum thuyar arukkum
KaTTezhir Solaik Kari giri mEl ninra karpagamE.
MEANING:
? This is Lord VISHNU who resides on the Hastigiri mountain surrounded by beautiful ever green groves. He stands as the legendary Karpaga tree ( wish fulfilling tree). His color is like the honey laden pollen of the lotus flower. He holds four giant ploughs. He takes His abode on the north and on the right side of the tummy. He will get rid of my woes and protect me?

PAASURAM 6:
Madhusoodhanan enn valap puyam then kizhakku enru ivatrril
Pathiyaai irundhu pon maadhu urai pangaya vaNNanumaai
Mudhu maa vinaigaL arukkum muyalangaL eer iraNDaal
Madhu aar iLam pozhil vaaraNa verpin mazhai mughiLE
MEANING:
? This is Lord MADHUSOODHANA who stands on top of the elephant mountain that is surrounded by groves. He is like the pleasing rain bearing cloud. His color is that of the lotus. He wields four pestles (musalam). His abode is in the South east and on the right shoulder. And together with Mahaalakshmi, He will destroy all my beginningless sins?

PAASURAMS 7 AND 8 (CORRESPONDING TO DHYANA SLOKA 4)


(agni varNam Chatu: KhaDgam bhaavayaami TRIVIKRAMAM
VAAMANAM baala sooryaabham Chatur Vajram vibhaavayE)

PAASURAM 7:
Tiru vikraman thigazh thee niraththan theLivu uDaivaaL
Uruvik karangaL eer iranDu yEndhi valak Kazhuthum
Seru vikramathu arakkar dikkum sirandhu aaLum irai
Maruvik karigiri mEl varam thandhiDum mannavanE
MEANING:
? This is Lord TRIVIKRAMAN , the Emperor who stands on top of Sri Hastigiri mountain and grants boons. He is like the burning flame of fire in color.In His hands are the four unsheathed swords that shine brilliantly. His abodes are the right side of the neck and the direction where the Rakshasas live and known as ?nairuthi? (South west). As a conqueror, He will afford protection to us?

PAASURAM 8:
vaamanan enran vaama udaramum vaayuvin disaiyum
dhaamam aDaindhu daruna arukkan nirathanumaai
sEma marakkalam sem bhavi eer iraNdaal thigazhum
naa mangai mEviya naan mughan vEDhiyil namm paranE
MEANING:
? This is Lord VAAMANA, our SarvEswaran, Sri PeraruLaaLan who arose from the Sacrificial altar (yaagavEdhi) of Brahma, spouse of Goddess Saraswathi. His color is that of the rising Sun. He resides in the direction of Northwest that is guarded by Vaayu (Lord of winds) and on the left part of the tummy. He wields four red hot thunderbolts (vajraayudham). He acts as the ship that takes us to the other shore of Samsaara (i.e) Moksha.?


PAASURAM 9 AND 10: (CORRESPONDING TO DHYANA SLOKA 5)


(SREEDHARAM puNDareekaabham Chatu: PaTTa samaasrayE
Chatur mudgaram abhyEmi HRISHEEKESAM TaTith prabham)

PAASURAM 9:
Seeraar sireedharanaai sivan dhikkum iDap puyamum
YER aar Idam koNDu ilangu VeN thaamari mEniyanaaip
Paar aaya pattayam eer iraNdaalum bhayam arukkum
Aaraa amudhu athi maa malai mEl ninra achyuthanE
MEANING:
? This is Lord SREEDHARA who is insatiable nectar and stands permanently on top of Hastigiri mountain. He will never forsake (achyuthan). His devotees. His abode is that of Lord Siva (North East) and the left shoulder. His color is that of the white lotus. He holds four weapons called ?PaTTayam?(sharp spear shaped lance) with which he rids us of all fears?

PAASURAM 10:
Enn iDeekEsan irai keezh iDak Kazhuthu enru ivatril
Nannlai minn uruvaai naalu murkarangaL koNDu aLikkum
Pon aghil serndhu alaikkum punal vEgai vaDa karaiyil
Thennan ugandhu thozhum thEna vEdhiyar deivam onrE
MEANING:
? This is Lord HRISHEEKESAN who is the ONLY supreme deity. He stands on the northern banks of river Vegavathi that is washed by gold and fragrant sandalwood. He is the darling of PaNDya king and of the Vaidikas living at Thenambakkam who constantly worship Him. His color is like the sharp lightning that seems to have stayed permanently. His abode is down in the nether regions (keezh) and the left side of the neck. He holds four mighty hammers (mudgaram), with which He will protect us?

PAASURAMS 11 AND 12: (CORRESPONDING TO DHYAN SLOKA 6)


(Panchaayudham PADMANAABHAM praNamaami arka rOchisham
DAAMODARAM Chatur paasam indrakOpa nibham bhajE)

PAASURAM 11:
Emm parpa naabhanum enn pin manam patri manni ninru
Vem por kadiravan aayiram mEviya mei uruvaai
Am ponn karangaLil aimpaDai koNDu anjal enru aLikkum
Sem pon thiru madhiL soozh sindhuraachala sEvaganE
MEANING:
? This is Lord PADMANAABHA, the great warrior who stands in the fortress of Hastigiri protected by huge ramparts of gold. He shines with the red hot brilliance of a thousand Suns. His abode is my mind and on the back of the body. He holds in those golden hands the five weapons (AimpaDai) for protecting us?

PAASURAM 12:
DaamOdaran enran dhaamangaL naalu karangaLir koNDu
AamO tharam ena aagathin utpuram pir kazhuthum
Thaam Ore iLam kadirOne ena enn uLL iruL arukkum
Maa mOgam maatrum madhiL athiyoorin maragathamE
MEANING:
? This is Lord DAAMODAHARA, who shines like the emerald gem called PararuLaaLan. He stays on top of the Hastigiri mountain with four powerful nooses (dhaamam) making us wonder if there can be such an incomparable Lord! His color is that of the rising Sun (iLam kadir) . His abode is both within and without my body and more particularly on the back of the neck. Being there, He will dispel all darkness of ignorance?

PAASURAM 13:
Kathi thiriyum kalaigaLai vellum karuthil vaithup
Pathikku uru thuNai panniru naamam payilbavarkku
Muthikku moolam enavE mozhindha im moonrum naangum
Thithikkum engaL Tiruvathiyoorai sErbavarkkE
MEANING:
This is the Phala Sruthi of this work.
? If one were to recite these 12 names of the Lord with care will acquire the power to vanquish the vain noises made by a-vaidikas. These 12 names will stand as companions to those who desire to develop Bhakti to the Lord. For those who constantly meditate on these 12 names, they will reveal the path to Moksham. These 12 names will taste sweet to Bhagavatas who resort to the Lord of Athiyoor ( Hastigiri)







OORDVA PUNDRA DHAARANAM
A FEW QUESTIONS AND BRIEF CLARIFICATIONS
- (Anbil Ramaswamy)
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1. Chatus Chakram? Why mention same weapon 4 times in each?
Answer:
This has a reference to the Vyuha form of the Lord of which the first is ?Param?. The second form is VUYHA, Sri NARAYANA assumes four forms named 'VASUDEVA; SAMKARSHANA' 'PRADYUMNA' and 'ANIRUDDHA. These are called 'emanations'. The Pancha ratra (lore of five nights) describes in detail what is known as 'Visaka Stupa' an allegorical tower with four levels and four sides. The column consists of four parts called respectively from bottom to top Jagrat (the waking state), Svapna (the dreaming state) Sushupti (Dreamless sleep) and the Turiya (the fourth stage). At the base of the column is the Jagratha sthana, which has four divine forms on the four sides, called VASUDEVA, SAMKARSHANA, PRADYUMNA and ANIRUDDHA respectively facing the East, the South, the West and the North. The activity of this Vyuha is the creation, maintenance and destruction of the world. These forms are bright in colors, with arms and weapons. The Lord is meditated as wielding four weapons in each case as per the Dhyana Slokam of Oordva Pundra Dharanam.
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

2. Why Oordva pundram and why Tiryak is not advised.
Answer:
In Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam, -
- Sage Vriddha Jaabaali categorically lays down that ?All those born as Brahmins should wear only the Oordva Pundram? (eructus)
- Sage Sadaadhar further cautions that ?Brahmins should NOT wear the Pundram in the horizontal mode even playfully but should wear only in the upward mode and that one who wears any sacred mark horizontally (tiryak) are indeed fallen souls.
- While discussing the issue, ? ParamEshtya Samhita? lays down that Kshatriyas may wear Oordva pundram with eagle wood (agil) or sandalwood or TirumaNN (White clay).
- Poet Kambar who has learned all these has also confirmed that only by wearing Oordva Pundram that right from Brahma down to every Jiva, can cross the Prakriti mandalam and attain Paramapadam and enjoy eternal kainkaryam to the Lord.?
(Vide page 611 of ?Ramapiraanai KarpOm? by H.H. Srimad Andavan of Poundarika puram Swami Ashramam)

3. Do these signify Lord?s feet?
Answer:
Yes and No. This is only for a constant reminder of adorning the feet of Divyadhamapathis on one?s head. A symbolic representation is worn on the forehead where the mark will be visible, instead of the head itself, The red / yellow mark representing Thaayaar is only to indicate the inseparability of the Lord and Piraatti. (Agalakillen and anaithulagum? aravindalochananai tinaithalavum vidaal). Where the Lord is, she is there too and vice versa.
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

4. Why the Lord is made to wear?
Answer:
The ?Tirumuga Mandalam? of the Lord showers His infinite mercy on us. The ?Abhayahastham? (showing His hand in a protective posture) ensures His promise of protection. When? When one surrenders at His feet. Lord Srinivasa, in fact, shows where to surrender. He shows with His hand pointing towards His feet. Did not Lord Krishna advise ?maam ekam SaraNam vraja? meaning to ask us to surrender at His feet? Of all the three mentioned above viz., face, hand and feet ? for us, the feet are the most enjoyable because, they can dispel all our sins. What the face and the hand can offer, the feet offer by removing our sins. Azhwars and Acharyas have never been tired of paying glorious tributes to the TiruvaDi of the Lord. That is why, in temples, our head is blessed to come into contact with ?SaTaari? representing Lord?s feet. May be only to show the glory of His feet that Balamukundan puts His toe in His mouth when lying on a banyan leaf at the time of deluge!
MukundaashTakam clearly says this:
KaraaravindEna padaaravindam MukhaaravindE vinivESayantham /
VaTasya patrasya puTE sayaanam baalam mukundam manasaa smaraami?
?I meditate on the Bala Mukunda who lying on banyan leaf, holds His toe with His hand and puts it into His mouth?
(Mukunda means one who grants Moksham).
Vide page 470 of ? Ramapiraanai KarpOm? by H.H. Srimad Andavan of Poundarika puram Swami Ashramam)

May be the Lord wished to taste what it is in His toe that had captivated the Azhwars and Acharyas so much!

To show to the world the respective roles of ideal Guru and ideal Sishya
He took dual roles as ?Nara? (Sishya) and ?Narayana? (Guru). To show us how we should wear the sacred marks, He sets an example by wearing them Himself!

5. What is the significance of wearing the 12 sacred marks on the various parts of the body?
Answer:
? The human being is a bodily natural one; Naturally, religion hooks the physical aspects of nature like water with those of the human embodiment, synchronizing dramatically the interaction between the two sanctifying each other within the environment of the sacred world. Here, a meaningful meeting takes place between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.

The human organism has several similarities with the other world 'cosmos'- the body to earth, speech to fire, breath to air etc. The white clay (TirumaNN) worn by Hindu men folk as an auspicious index daily on the forehead especially and over several places on the body by some devout Hindus are constant reminders that they came from dust and would ultimately be returning to dust. The powdered saffron (SrichurNam), the saffron red powder prepared from turmeric roots (Kunkumam) (i.e. crosus sativus) worn by ladies serves the same purpose. This reminder is meant to chasten the mind by highlighting the impermanence and perishable nature of this existence and thus to instill a sense of humility and to dispel ego inherent in humanity.

These `Caste marks' as they are called also serve the purpose in religion akin to the purpose served by badges, medals, stripes etc. in Defense and Police establishments. They constitute what we now know of as `ID' cards that indicate the status and the class of the wearer and the functions they belong to. They are like the `formal' dress insisted upon during parties and special gatherings to differentiate the participants from other `layfolk' and 'mere mortals?!

The principles underlying what we now know as acupuncture and acupressure were developed by our ancestors as acutouch, dispensing with the painful `puncture' and `pressure'. By mere `acutouch' of the various parts of the body with appropriate Mantras, the same effects could be secured, though our ancestors did not spell them out in a way understandable to the so called modern scientific mind.

Modern Computer is activated by soft feather touch of the keys in the keyboard. Similarly, our physical body with the nerve endings would respond to mere soft 'acutouch" provided the touch is administered in conjunction with the appropriate 'Mantras". No puncture or pressure would be needed to activate these nerve endings and the mere touch would do the magic.

Our body is held together by Pranas or life force which moves through meridians - a kind of electrical pathways. These connect various organs and glands with endings in our hands, chest, neck, forehead, stomach, back of neck as also feet, knee joints etc. Just as the arteries carry blood, these meridians carry the life-force energy throughout the body. This system has switches and junction points, which could be activated to regulate supply of life- force to the various parts of the body.
When the flow is interrupted for any reason, disease sets in. The remedy lies in switching on the current by applying a stimulant by a gentle touch at the appropriate end points as aforesaid. This relaxes muscular tension, promotes blood circulation and ensures flow of life force energy to the affected parts by releasing pain killers like endorphins, neuro chemicals etc. and they stimulate an alpha wave response in the brain and pituitary glands thus increasing our energy stock and facilitates diaphragmatic breathing and relieves knuckles - all without our ever noticing it.

During Sandya Vandana, we sprinkle water on these nerve endings and touch them with appropriate `Mantras' and earlier to that, we apply the `Caste marks' with white clay (TirumaNN) and powdered saffron (SrichurNam) at the appropriate places which suck the impurities invisibly. These have been integrated in our daily chores as an in-built discipline.?
(From Chapter 16 Section 3 Karma Yoga? of ?Hinduism Rediscovered? by Anbil Ramaswamy)

6. Red or yellow? Why?
Answer:
Both Red and yellow are mentioned.
Srisuktham which has Vedic authority along with Purusha Suktham mentions in Slokam 4 ?Padma VarNaam? which means ?lotus colored? Though lotus comes in several colors (e.g.) white one on which Goddess Saraswati is found seated, generally it is associated with color ?red?.

There are several references to the use of yellow. A few are as follows:

- The same Sri Suktham Slokam 13 and 14 lend authority for this since they describe Mahaalakshmi as ? PingaLaam? which means ?tawny-colored or ?brownish yellow? and HirNmayeem? which means ?of golden form?. And, we know gold is yellow in color.

- Swami Desika in his Sri Sthuthi Slokam 11 uses the expression ?Taptha jaambhoonadha aabhaa? which means ?One who shines like melted gold? to refer to the color of PiraaTTi. He says that this golden hue of Thaayaar heightens the beauty of the color of the Lord;s ?Hari marakathE? which means ?emerald colored? (and we know emerald is green in color).

Therefore, ?Paramaikanthins who worship PerumaaL and PiraaTTi as the divine couple as the means and the endof meditation use yellow to represent Thaayaar while wearing the Sacred marks along with ThrumaNN to represent PerumaaL.
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

7. What if only white or red/yellow alone is worn?
Answer:
White alone:
We know what happened to Soorpanaka who tried to separate the Lord from His spouse. Those who wear only white are considered to belong to ?Soorpanaka party? and face the consequences! Further it is worn alone only for apara karyam (ceremonies related with death)

Red/Yellow alone:
We know similarly what happened to Ravana who abducted Sri Sita away from Her Lord. Those who wear only Red/Yellow are considered to belong to Ravana?s party and face consequences, which Ravana faced!
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

8. What if nothing is worn?
Answer:
A forehead without the sacred marks is compared to a barren land especially a ?Smasaanam?, a cremation ground!
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

9. Can we rub it off?
It used to be said that Wearing is like ?putting up? a temple and rubbing it off like ?pulling down? a temple. We know that it is PuNyam to construct a temple while it is sinful to demolish a temple. Of course, it can be rubbed off, if faded in part or full accidentally or only one is visible or both are not visible by such fading. We are advised to wear them again immediately after such rubbing off. This is like ?renovation? (JeerNOddhaaraNam) of a temple.
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)

10. Mode of Sacred mark
Answer:
It would appear that when an AchArya observed that the base of the Sacred mark should touch the ?Moolam?, tip of the nose, one set took it to mean the Interciliary space between the eyebrows or ?top-tip? that links the eyebrows with a U shaped curve while the other took it to mean the ?toe-tip? with a spear- point - like stroke riding on the back of the nose reaching up to the nostrils. We do not know whether the AchArya did not explain what he meant or the Sishyas did not seek a clarification or the AchArya had become unavailable for a clarification! Be that as it may, the practices had come to stay and stay with such disastrous consequences. This is an example of how over -enthusiastic fanatics could blow up even insignificant and inconsequential distinctions to abnormal proportions.

In any linear dispensation, there are 3 locations recognized in Sastras viz. ?Agram?, ?Madhyam? and ?Moolam?. ?Agram? means tip; ?Madhyam? means ?midpoint? and ?Moolam? means the ?root? or ?base?.


Most of us know the Slokam on Lord Krishna:
? Kasturi Tilakam lalaaTa palakE Vaksha SthalE Kousthubam
Naasa agre nava mouktikam kara thalE VENum karE kangaNam??

Here, the words ?NaasagrE nava Mouktikam? are significant. This means that the Lord wears the nose jewel at the tip of the nose. Where is it worn? At the ?toe-tip? which ?Naasa Agra? means,(?toe-tip? and not at the ?top-tip?). Therefore, ?Naasa moolam? must refer to the other end viz. the intercilary space between the eyebrows and the base is said to be at this ?naasa moolam?

Perhaps, this is why followers of Bhagavad Ramanuja - Swami Desika Sampradayam wear the ?base? of the Sacred mark the way they do at the ?moolam? and not ?agram?
(The above is as per the inputs at Kaalakshepams of Acharyas on AnushTaanams, while in India)
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 6:32 PM 0 comments

Ashtabhuja Ashtakam

Swami Desika?s StOtras:
?AshTabujAshTakam? of Swami Desika
- Anbil Ramaswamy
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When Swami Desika left Thooppul to do Mangalaasaasanam of Deva PerumAL, the Lords of AshTabhujam and YatOtkaari stopped him on his way. as it were, demanding Mangalaasaasanam. AshTabhujakaran had only one decad from Kaliyan. May be he was not satisfied with that. And, Desika, being a faithful follower of Kaliyan (kaliyanurai Kudi Konda Karuthu Udaiyon), he got him to compose this StOtra of 8 verses.

Why is the Lord here called ?AshTabhujakaran?? Do not ?Bhujam? and ?Karam? mean the same thing? Yes. But, that is the way the Lord introduced himself to Kaliyan, when the latter threatened him to reveal who he was (Vide 2.8of Tirumozhi). Also while Bhujam itself means ?arm?, ?Kara? can mean ?to make? or ?to do?. Thus, Swami Desika suggests that he ?created? eight Bhujams (i.e. literally doubled his usual 4 arms).

Why Eight? Swami Desika explains that he doubled his arms with eight weapons one in each arm out of his anxiety to rush to the succor of his devotees ?Saranaagatha Thraana Tvaraa Dviguna Baahunaa?. Swami Desika does not call his StOtra as ?AshTabhujam Kara AshTakam? He drops the word ?kara? when he named this StOtram and dedicated a SlOka each to the eight arms.

Though as ?AshTam?, it should have only eight SlOkas, Swami adds 2 more by way of Phalasruti and Prayer.

The Sthala PurANam avers that He came down with eight arms to protect Brahma?s Yagna from the wrath of Saraswati in the form of Vegavati. Legend has it that the Gajendra episode also took place in this Kshetram.

Sloka 1: This has reference to the episode in which the Lord rushed to relieve Gajendra whose foot was caught by a crocodile. Swami Desika says that Gajendra was caught by only one crocodile; But, he himself was caught in the vortex of several vicious creatures like KAma, KrOdha, MOha, LObha, Madha and MAtsarya. Therefore, it was all the more necessary for the Lord to double up His speed in rushing to relieve him. How can he do this? Swami Desika answers: Because the Lord?s qualities of Gnaana and Daya are limitless and he has already earned the reputation of being affectionate to Sadhus , he has not only to double up his speed but also double up his weapons and arms to hold them !

Sloka 2: ? I hitherto lacked the knowledge of the Tattvas; So, I was subject to AgjnAna and Vipareetha JnAna. Now that all these have been dispelled, I have come to realize that I am your Sesha (Servitor).

Sloka 3: ?By making me realize this, you have transformed me, a worthless creature into a worthy one fit to be saved. It is you who did this and created in me a desire to seek your feet?. By this, Swami Desika confirms that the Lord has Divyaatma Swaroopam and Divya Mangala Vigraham revealing his Paratvam but by his Soulabhyam mixes with common folk, dispelling the fear generated by his Paratvam.

Sloka 4: ? The fruits that you can bestow (like MOksha) is infinitely greater than the transient and trivial fruits that petty deities boast of conferring. So, men of discretion surrender only at your feet and you do accept them with your infinite mercy?.

Sloka 5: ?To get rid of my fears, I will never think of resorting to anyone other than you. When you shower your mercy on me, whom should I fear? And, if you get angry with me, who can protect me??

Sloka 6: ? You have a natural obligation to protect me. Furthe, mother Goddess is always by your side to recommend me to you. When you can grant MOksha to me who has surrendered to you, why should I take any efforts to beg anything from anybody? If you decide to give me up, of what avail would it be to seek help from others? ?

Sloka 7: ?Oh! AshTabhuja Lord! For those who are not able to complete Bhakti yOga, once they surrender to you, you are known to stand in the place this Bhakti yOga. I know this. But, in my case, I am totally incapable of even trying Bhakti yOga. I will be ashamed when I try to do what is impossible for me and fumble and fall down at every step. I have, therefore, adopted the easy means of Prapatti at your feet?

Sloka 8: ? Since I have surrendered myself to you, I am assured of attaining Moksham at the end of this life; But, so long as I happen to live here, there is no greater bliss than serving the holy feet of you and PirAtti. I pray to you to grant me unsullied and incessant kainkaryam both here and hereafter?

Sloka 9: This StOtram is like a general provender for a traveler of a Prapanna; for those who want to perform Prapatti, it is like a ?rasaayana? (alchemy)- an appropriate medicine that cures all ailments. It will certainly remove all sins that stand in the way, create Mahaviswaasam in the Lord and make them eligible for doing Prapatti. This StOtra was composed by me for the welfare of the entire world.

Sloka 10: This StOtra was composed by me called Sri Venkatesa. The Lord who normally has only four arms simply doubled it in his anxiety (Tvara) in saving those who surrender to him. May the Lord with eight arms accept this StOtra of eight verses.
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 6:15 PM 0 comments

Panniru Naamam

The twelve Urdhva PuNDrams that a SrI VaishNavan wears on his body (upper torso) is an important ritual that qualifies him for performing SandhyA Vandhanam, AarAdhanam and all Vaidhika KarmAs. It is VaishNava lakshaNam.

The 12 NaamAs from Keasavan to DhAmOdharan are invoked as the SrI VaishNavan after SnAnam adorns the ThirumaNN KaapukaL and the 12 Moorthys are invoked to stay at the different locations of the upper torso for protection. The 12 Moorthys exist in our bodies in PuNDra roopam at their sTAnams and protect us . This Prabhnadham is to be recited as we apply the PuNDram at the different locations of the body for the invocation ( aavAhanam ) of the appropriate Moorthys.

There are number of Manthrams for adorning the Urdhva PuNDrams : asthra manthram for purification of the hand used in touching the ThirumaNN katti , another manthram for prathishtai and yet another manthram for preparing the ThirumaNN paste with water as well as the AshtAksharam and Nrusimha BheejAksharam for consecration of the ThirumaNN paste .

One should be seated , while adorning the Urdhva PuNDrams. The index finger or Pavithram adorning finger has to be used for ThirumaNN Kaappu placement .The middle finger should never ever be used in placing the ThirumaNN .The Paadham has to be drawn first and the right extension and the left extension for that Paadham follow next. The two lines connected by the Paadham should have good amount of space in between to place the consecrated yellow SrI ChoorNam to have the aavAhanam of MahA Lakshmi with specified names for the different parts of the upper torso (starting with Sriyai Nama: for the forehead and ending with SarvAbIshta Phala PradhAyai Nama: for the little ThirumaNN on the upper forehead).

We start the application of the PuNDram in this sequence:

(1) The Forehead (2) center of stomach (3) Center of chest (4) Middle of the fore portion of the neck (5) Right side of the stomach (6)Right shoulder /bhujam (7) the right side of the fore portion of the neck (8), the left side of the stomach (9) the left shoulder (10) the left side of the fore portion of the neck (11) lower back/lumbar region (12) and the center of the backside of the neck

The Moorthys invoked to reside in the above positions in sequence are:
(1) Keasavan 2. NaarAyaNan (3) Maadhavan (4) Govindhan (5) VishNu (6) Madhusoodhanan (7) Thirvikraman (8) Vaamanan (9) Sridharan (10) HrisheekEsan (11) PadhmanAbhan and (12) DhAmOdharan .

The color of these 12 Moorthys , their favorite weapons and their locations have been described by Swamy Desikan in this Prabhandham named Panniru ThirunAmam.

These PunDRams are recognized as the sacred Paadhams of Lord VaradarAjan in this Prabhandham by Swamy Desikan . Hence this Prabhnadham like Thirucchinna Maalai , Mey Viratha Maanmiyam , Aruttha Panchakam focuses on Lord VaradarAjan.

Slokas
See Commentary below
Commentary
There are two Taniyans for this Prabhandham , which we will take up in the next posting .

Taniyan 1:
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Panniru Naamam ThiruvathiUrappan paadham yenRu
nanniRa nAmam padai dhikku yAvayum nAmaRiya
tennan-tamizh thodai seerAr kalitthuRai Odhi yeenthAn
minn uRu nool amar VenkatanAthan namm DesikanE

(Meaning): SrI VedAntha Desikan with the radiant sacred thread , an avathAram of ThiruvEnatamudayAn's Temple bell , recognized the 12 Urdhva PuNdrams as the sacred feet of Lord VaradarAjan of Hasthigiri and described for our anushtAnam the individual names of the Lord's Moorthams ( PuNDra DEvathais )associated with
each of these PuNDrams , their color , locations and the weapons adorned by each of them . These 12 paasurams along with the Phala Sruthi Paasuram are set in the celebrated KattaLai KalitthuRai metre of Tamil poetry for our enjoyment and benefit .

Taniyan 2:
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Kaar-koNDa mEniyan PaadhAmbhutthaik-karutthu irutthi
yEr koNDa keertthi IrAmAnusan tann iNayadi sEr
seer koNDa ThUppul Thiruvenkadaariyan seermozhiyai
Aar koNDu poRRinum ammAl Paadhatthai adaivikkumE

(Meaning): The SrI Sookthi of Panniru ThirunAmam has been composed by the VedAnthAchAryan of ThUppul , while he placed firmly in his heart , the lotus feet of the Lord of Hasthigiri with the hue of dark rain-bearing cloud and meditated on Them . That AcAryan of ThUppul is assoicated forever with the sacred feet of ParamAchAryan , RaamAnujA of undiminished fame . Whoever recites these paasurams of Panniru ThirunAmam will land easily at the holy feet of Lord VaradarAjan .

280. Kesavan , the PuNDra Roopa Moorthy for the forehead
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KesavanAi ninRu keezhai tisayilum neRRiyilum
tEsudai aazhikaL naankudan sempasumponn malai pOl
vaasi mihutthu yenai mangAmal kAkkum maRayathanAl
aasai mihuttha maha vEdhiyil aRbhuthanE

(Meaning): Through Veda PramANam , Brahma was convinced that Lord VaradarAjan is the Supreme Being . In the Yaaga kuNtam of Brahma (on top of Hasthigiri) , the mysterious Lord appeared with the ThirunAmam of Kesavan . That Kesava Moorthy with the hue of a golden mountain , having four radiant chakrams as weapons
and facing the Eastern direction will stand firmly on my forehead and protect me without fail .

The Sanskrit Manthram used while adorning the ThirumaNN on the forehead is: "Chathus-chakram namasyAmi Kesavam Kanaka Prabham". "tEsudai Aazhi Naanku" is the equivalent of Chathus-chakram here. The hue of the Kesava Moorthy is Kanaka Prabhai (semm pasum ponn malai pOl).

Devathai: Kesavan, Color: Golden ; Weapons: four discs ; direction: East ; PuNDra sTAnam: Forehead.

Manthram: Chathus-chakram namasyAmi Kesavam Kanakaprabham.



281. NaarAyaNa Moorthy protecting the center over stomach
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NaaraNanAi nall valampuri nAlum uhanthu edutthum
Oor aNi mEham yenavE udharamum mERkku ninRum
AaraNa nool tanthu aruLAl adaikkalam koNDaruLum
VaaraNa veRppin mazhai muhil pOl ninRa MaayavanE

(Meaning): PeraruLALan is like the dark blue rain cloud standing on top of Hasthigiri. This Maayavan takes on the form of NaarAyaNa Moorthy , holds four conches as His weapons and faces west . He adorns the sTAnam of the center of the stomach region and is like a beautiful travelling cloud .He propagates the Veda Saasthrams and through His limitless mercy has accepted adiyEn as the object to be protected .

Devathai : NaarAyaNan; Hue: Sky Blue ; Weapon: four conches; Direction facing: West; PuNDra sTAnam: middle portion of stomach .

Manthram: NaarAyaNam ghana-shyAmam chathus-sankham namAmyaham.

282. Madhavan as rakshakan at the center of the chest region
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Maadhva nAmamum vaann gathai nAnkum maNi niRamum
Odhum muRaippadi yEnthi uratthilum mElum alhip-
pOdhalar Maathudan punthiyil anbAl puhunthu aLikkum
ThUthanum NaaTanum aaya toll Atthigiric-chudarE

(Meaning): Athtigiri AruLALan is both the Swamy as well as the ambasador/messenger for the PaaNDavAs. This ancient jyOthi on top of Hasthigiri became Maadhava Moorthy adorning four powerful maces in the manner prescribed by the SaasthrAs. He has the hue of sapphire (Indhra Neelam). He stays at my chest region as well as in the upper (Urdhva disai) direction.He has entered with affection inside my mind with His lotus lady to protect me.

Devathai: Madhavan; Hue: Indhraneelam ; Weapons: Four gadhais ; Direction: Urdhva ; PuNDra sTAnam : Chest .

Manthram: Maadhavam MaNibhangAbham chinthayAmi Chathurgadham

283. Govindhan as the Rakshakan at the front center of the Neck
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Govindhan yenRum kuLir mathi aahik-kodiyavarai
yEvum dhanukkaLudan teRkkilum uLL kazhuthu ninRu
mEvum ThiruvaruLAl vinai theerthu yenai aaNDaruLum
Poovan thozha Atthi Maamalai mEl ninRa PuNNiyanE

(Meaning): Lord VaradarAjan , the holiest of the holies , stands on top of Hasthigiri so that His son BrahmA originating from the lotus in His navel can worship Him and derive immense pleasure. He is the embodiment of all PuNNiyams (PuNNiyan) . He took on the form of Govindhan with the hue of the cool rays of Chnadran and stays in the center of my neck facing the southern direction. He is armed with four bows for my protection . Out of His boundless mercy , He chases away all my sins and accepts me as His eternal servant.

Devathai: Govindhan; Hue: Moon ray; Weapon: Four Bows; Directon: Southern ; PuNDra sTAnam: center of front neck
region.

Manthram: Chandra-bhAsam chathus-sArngam Govindham aham aasrayE

284. VishNu as Rakshakan from the right side of stomach region
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Vittu vala vayiRRin kaNN vadakkum vidAthu ninRu
mattavizh tAmarait-thAthu niRam koNDa mEniyanAit-
thotta kalappaihaL yeer-iraNDAlum thuyar aRukkum
kattu yezhil sOlaik-Karigiri mEl ninRa KaRpakamE

(Meaning): The boon granting Kalpaka tree , Lord VaradarAjan is standing on top of the Hasthigiri surrounded by beautiful groves with lovely trees. This Lord has assumed the roopam of VishNu with golden hue similar to the makarandham dust of the lotus flower . He faces the northern direction and stays on the right side of
the stomach region . He holds two ploughs ( Kalappai) as His weapons to protect me and chase away my SamsAric sorrows .

Devathai: VishNu ; Hue: golden ; weapons: four ploughs; Direction: Northern; PuNDra sTAnam: Right side of stomach.

Manthram: VishNum Chathur-halam vandhE Padhma-kinjalka-sannibham

285: Madhusoodhanan & Protection from right shoulder
****************************************************


Madhusoodhanan yenn valab-bhuyam tenn-kizhakku yenRu ivaRRil
PathiyAi irunthu ponn mAthu uRai Pankaya vaNNanumAi
muthu maa vinaikaL aRukkum muyalankaL yeer iraNDAl
madhu aar iLam pozhil VaaraNa veRppin mazhai muhilE

(Meaning): Lord VaradarAjan is standing on top of the Elephant hill surrounded by the young trees with honey-laden flowers. This Lord with the hue of the cloud during the rainy season has taken the form of Madhusoodhanan and stays on my right shoulder carrying four pestles as His weapons to protect me. This Lord with the hue of the red lotus faces South East and destroys all of my ancient and fierce karmAs.

Devathai: Madhusoodhanan; Hue; Lotus; Weapons: four pestles ( Ulakkai); Direction: South East; PuNDra sTAnam: right shoulder.

Manthram: Chatur-musalam-abjAbham SamsrayE Madhusoodhanam.



286. Thrivikraman& the right side of the neck
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Thrivikraman thihazh Thee niRatthan theLivudai VaaL
uruvik-karangaLil yeeraraNDu yEnthi valak-kazhutthum
seru-vikkiramatthu arakkar tikkum siRanthuALum iRai
maruvik-Karigiri mEl varam tanthidum MannavanE

(Meaning): The Lord of Hasthi Giri , the boon-granting VaradarAjar takes the form of Thrivikraman with the hue of a radiant flame , adorns four swords in His four hands , faces North west ( the direction of powerful RaakshasAs) and stays watchful while established in the left side of the neck .

Devathai: Thrivikraman; Color: Agni varNam ; Weapons: four Swords; Direction: South West ; PuNDra sTAnam : Right side of the Neck.

Manthram: Agni varNam chathu: khdkam BhAvayAmi Thrivikramam

287. Vaamanan & left Side of the stomach
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Vaamanan yenRan vAmOdharamum Vaayuvin tisayum
thAm adainthu taruNa arukkan niRatthanumAi
sEma-marakkalam semm-pavi-yeer iraNDAl thihazhum
Naamangai mEvia Naanmukan vedhiyil namm ParanE

(Meaning): The Supreme One , who appeared in the agni kuntam of the Yaagam that Brahma Devan performed with His dear consort , Sarswathi , takes the form of Vaamanan , faces northwest direction and stays on the left side of my stomach .His hue is that of Baala Sooryan and uses four VajrAyudhams for protecting His BhakthAs and serves as the safe boat to ferry us across the dangerous ocean of SamsAram.

Devathai: Vaamanan; Hue: the color of Sun at Dawn ; Weapons : Four Vajrams ; Directon: Northwest; PuNDra sTAnam: Left side of stomach.

Manthram: Vaamanam Baala-SooryAbham chathur-vajram vibhAvayE

288. SrIdharan & Left shoulder
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SeerAr SrIdharanAi Sivan tikkum idappuyamum
yEr aar idam koNDu ilangu veNN tAmarai mEniyanAi
Paar aaya pattayam yeer iraNDAlum bhayam aRukkum
AarA amudhu Atthi Maamalai mEl ninRa AcchyuthanE

(Meaning): The insatiable nectar , the Acchyuthan who never abandons His BhakthAs stands on top of Hasthi Giri and assumes the form of the celebrated SrIdharan to remove all of our fears (SamsAra Bheethi). He faces the north east direction (IsAnyam , the direction of Lord Sivan) holding four big swords (PattAyams). His color is that of white lotus and stays as the protector and fear remover on our left shoulders.

Devathai: Sridharan ; Hue: White Lotus ; Weapons: Four PattAkkatthi; Direction: North East ; PuNDra sTAnam: Left Shoulder .

289. HrusheekEsan & the left side of the Neck
*********************************************


yennidikEsan iRai keezh-idakkazhutthu yenRu ivaRRil
nannilai minnuruvAi nAlu muRkkaram koNDu aLikkum
ponnahil sErnthu alaikkum punal vEhai vadakarayil
Tennan uhanthu thozhum tEna Vedhiyar dhaivam onRE

(Meaning): PeraruLALan is the Only God for the great VaidhikAs of TenampAkkam located on the northern banks of Vegavathi river, who are worshipped in turn by the PaaNDyan King . That SrIgrAmam of TenampAkkam located on the banks of the river Vegavathi with jostling waves rushing gold and akil kattais to us has many Parama VaidhikAs with expertise in PaancharAthra Saasthram indispensable for Bhagavath AarAdhanam .That Prama Purushan on top of Hasthi Giri takes on the form of HrusheekEsan with the hue of the lightning and protects us with four hammers as His weapons . He faces the lower direction and occupies the left section of the neck to protect us.

Devathai: HrusheekEsan ; Hue: Lightning ; Weapons: Four hammers; Direction faced: lower ; PuNDra sTAnam: Left ide of the neck .

Manthram: ChathurmudhgaramabhyEmi HrusheekEsam TaDithprabham

290. PadhmanAbhAn & Lower Back
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Yemm PaRpanAbhanum yenn pinn manam paRRi mannu ninRu
vemm porrk-kathiravan aayiram mEviya mey uruvAi
amm poRRk-karangaLil aimpadai koNDu anjal yenRu aLikkum
sempoRRt-ThirumathiL soozh SindhurAchala SevakanE

(Meaning): The Lord of Hasthi Giri surrounded by the golden ramparts is a MahA Veeran and takes on the form of PadhmanAbhan to give abahya pradhAnam to us . He locates Himself on the lower back region and manas. He has the hue and lustre of thousand Suns and in His beautiful hands and body carries the five weapons (Chakram , Sankham , Sword , Bow and Gathai) .

Devathai: PadhmanAbhan ; Hue: Rising Sooryan ( Pattu Poocchi) ; Weapons: Five; sTAnam: Manas; PuNDra sTAnam: Lower Back .

Manthram: PanchAyudham PadhmanAbham PraNamAmyarkka-rOchisham

291. DhAmOdharan & Back of the Neck
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DhAmOdharan yenRu dhAmangaL naalu karangaLil koNDu
aamO taram yena aahatthin utppuram piRRkkazhutthum
thAmOr iLam KathirOn yena yenn uLL aruL aRukkum
MaamOham mARRum mathiL AtthiyUrin MaragathamE

(Meaning): The Lord who banishes the mighty nescience stands at Hasthigiri surrounded by mighty walls and is splendid like a Maragatha gem (Emerald) in lustre . He takes on the matchlessform of DhAmOdharan and adorns four nooses (Paasams) as His weapon to remove our false and viparItha knowledge . He is seen inside and outside our bodies and is worshipped at the back side of the neck.

Devathai: DhAmOdharan; Hue: Rising Sun ; Weapons: Four Paasams; Location: Inside and outside the body ; PuNDra sTAnam: back of the neck .

292. Insatiable delight arising from recital of Panniru ThirunAmam
******************************************************************


Katthit-thiriyum kalaihaLai vellum karutthil vaitthu
patthikku uRu thuNai Panniru Naamam payilbhavarkku
Mutthikku Moolam yenavE mozhintha immUnRu nAnkum
titthikkum yengaL Thiru-AtthiUrarai sErbhavarkkE

(Meaning) : Those BhaagavathAs engaged in the worship of the sacred feet of Lord VaradarAjan will revere these Paasurams of Panniru ThirunAmam. They will experience the growth of Bhagavath Bhakthi , perform SaraNAgathi as an upAyam for Moksham and will be blessed with Nithya KaimkaryAnugraham in SrIVaikuntam . During their life on earth , those Prapanna BhaagavathAs will conquer in debate , the vainglorious loud mouths , who run around seeking debates through display of their imperfect knowledge.These PrapannAs will find the Panniru ThirunAma Prabhandham indispensable for their Moksham and will surrender at the sacred feet of PeraruLALan of Hasthigiri.

NaarAyaNa , NarAyaNa , NaarAyaNa
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradachAri Sadagopan

Srimate Sri Lakshminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka
SrivaNN SaThakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya Nama:

http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/vdesikan/pannirunamam/index.html
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:40 AM 0 comments

Adaikkala Pattu

Swami Desikan had reverential offered prapatthi to Sri VaradarAjA of
Hasthigiri in Tamil, which crystallized as eleven verses including the
pala sruthi verse of ADAIKKALAP PATTHU housed in Desika Prabhandham. These
verses are equally sacred in purport.

Swami Desikan's ArAdhana Murthy was VaradarAjan .Time and again, he has
offered his profound salutations to Atthigiri AruLALan through his
sthOthrams such as Sri VaradarAja panchAsath, meyviratha Maanmiyam,
ThirucchinnamAali and Sri Hasthigiri MahAthmyam.

Swami Desikan was born in Thuppul not far from the temple of VaradarAjan,
which is known as PerumAL Koil. It is revered as one of the seven mukthi
KshEthrams .The Lord stands on top of a small hill here saluted as
Atthigiri in Tamil and Hasthi Giri in Sanskrit. Here, he responds most
affirmatively to all auspicious vrathams of devotees and hence this
kshEthram is known as Sathya Vratha KshEthram. The Lord's greatness is
saluted as Meyviratha mAnmiyam.

The Lord of Hasthigiri is saluted from time immemorial as Varadhan,
DevarAjan, Devap PerumAL , AruLALan and PeraruLALan . He is saluted as
KaaruNya Raasi (the embodiment of Mercy and DayA) by Swami Desikan .He is
recognized as avyAja Vatsalan (One Whose natural disposition is affection
for His devotees). He is recognized as Varadhan or the boon giver par
excellence. The beauty of His divya MangaLa vigraham has been enjoyed by
Swami Desikan without any satiety.

Swami Desikan has described Sri Varadan as a matchless vessel to cross the
tumultuous ocean of SamsArA ( SamsAra vAridhi nidhi santhraNaika pOtham )
.He is saluted as the end statement of ALL words ( Sarva VachasAm avasAna
seema : ) .In a most majestic salutation , Swami Desikan has recognized
Him as " Nithyam param Sarva Gatham SusUkshmam nishpandha-nandhathu mayam
Bhavatha: svarUpam ) . Swami Desikan untypically is at a loss for words
and tries to describe the Lord's form as " eternal, superior to every
thing, all pervasive,unobstructed in its power and an embodiment of
unalloyed Joy ) .Swami recovers from his state of being overwhelmed and
comes back to his fluent self and salutes the Lord as " Visva AdhisAyee
Sukha rUpan " ( the unmatched embodiment of beauty in all the three worlds
) .

Swami Desikan's salutaion of Atthigiri AruLALan as the tree with its
eastern branch as VaasudEvA , Western branch as PradhyumnA , Southern
Branch as SankarshaNA and the Northern Branch as AniruddhA and Himself at
the very centre of the Chathur VyUhams is a moving tribute (
Satthvavantha: ----tava Chathurshvapi sthAnEshu api sAkA vibhAga chathurE
chAthurAthmeyE jaagrathi ) . Here Swami says that the pious ones deeply
concentrate in the enjoyment of Him as the Chathur vyUha Moorthy. Swami
goes on to adore Him as the emerald resting in the casket made up of all
Upanishads as their SaarArtham (nikhila Upanishad maneeshA manjUsjikA
marakatham).

In the VaradarAjA panchAsath, Swami salutes Him as dasAvathAra SvarUpan,
as the antharyAmi as well as ArchAvathAran. Swami Desikan reminds the Lord
that his own anjali is the shield against the Lord's shafts of anger over
his sins. Our AchAryA melts the heart of Varadhan by describing HIm as the
faultless dam over the ocean of SamsAram (tvAm yEva abhangura: sEthu asi).
He invites the rejuvenating glances of VaradarAjan to bring him back to
life after experiencing the scorching rays of the summer sun of samsAram .
Swami reminds the Lord that it is not a big effort for Him to take care of
him during the remaining few years on His earth ( sEshathva lEsa nayanE
ka: iva athibhAra: ? ) .

Frightened over his accumulated sins and their effect on him, Swami
Desikan cries out and begs for the Lord's cool and merciful glances to
fall on him (madhurA: DhayALO: tE katAkshA: mayi pathanthu) .He calls Him
as KarisailadhAman (One who has Hasthigiri as His place of residence) and
begs Him to bless him to travel by archirAdhi maargam at the end of his
days. Swami wants from VaradarAjan the boon of anthima smrithi about HIm
(AlOhitha amsukam tvAm anusmarEyam) .He confides to Varadhan that the
enjoyment of His beauty in ArchAvatharam at Kanchi makes him conclude that
the stay in Sri VaikunTam is not so tempting. Swami concludes his
salutation to VaradarAjan with a prayer for unceasing rememberance (Dhruva
smruthi) of Him as a resident of his heart cave.

In the divya prabhandham, Hasthigiri MaahAthmyam, Swami Desikan rightfully
concludes that Kanchi has become the KshEthram that totally cuts asunder
all the sins of devotees because of its sanctity arising from the
association with Sri VaradarAjan (atthigiri bhatthar vinai tottaRa aRukkum
aNi AtthigiriyE). The Lord appeared in the uttara vEdhi of BrahmA's
yAgasAlA under the PuNyakOti vimAnam as the effulgent radiance. Swami
states that the nithya sUris raised the mangaLa naadham from their
Thirucchinnams during that auspicious occasion (kAhaLi nAdhEna
karNEshvamruthasEchanam). Swami Desikan is immersed in the sweet memories
of the Lord appearing before BrahmA as a golden mountain in the middle of
the fire of the yajnam. Wave after wave of memories about the Lord's
glories wash over Swami Desikan and he declares with elation his
nectar-like experience over those thoughts:

atthigiri aruLALap perumAL vandhAr
-- karutha varam tharum Dhaivap perumAL vandhAr
--umbhar thozhum kazhaludayAr vandhAr
--vAnEra vazhi tanthAr vandhAr thAmE

Swami Desikan celebrated thus .the trilOka mahaneeyam Sathyavratha
mahAthmyam .in his prabhandham in a glorious manner. The auspicious sound
raised by the NithyasUris from the Lord's Thirucchinnam reminded him of
the comforting sound of mUla Manthram. The praNava sabdham reminded him
once again of the rakshakathvam of Lord VaradarAjA . The accompanying
UkAra, MakAra sabdhams and that of the fourth case as well as the nama:
and the NaarAyaNa sabdham with its own chathur vibhakthi engulfed our
AchAryA into an ocean of bliss. He performed his prapatthi immediately to
the Lord of Hasthigiri in grateful appreciation of that extraordinary
experience and out poured the ten verses of Adaikkalap patthu.

Swami Desikan was moved to perform SaraNAgathi after the unmatched
nectar-like experience of tasting the subhAsrayam and the anantha kalyANa
guNams of Lord VaradarAjA presiding over Hasthigiri. He used the Tamil
metre of KocchahakkalippA to direct the flow of his emotion, which rushed
forth as the gushing water from a dam that collapsed.

Prabhandham 1: Bhakti mudalAmavaRRil ---

I surrender my soul at the sacred feet of PeraruLALan, who resides at the
most important of the seven cities that bless their residents with
Moksham. I have come to the realization that I am powerless to attain
moksham through the difficult-to-practise Bhakthi yOgam as upAyam. I have
hence chosen Prapatthi at the lotus feet of Varadhan as the saving grace
for me and am performing saraNAgathi. This act of mine (performance of
SaraNAgathi at the Lord's feet as the helpless one with no other recourse)
is like the deed of the evil-minded KaakAsuran, who committed grave
apachArams to the Lord's consort and was yet saved by the Lord, when he
fell at the feet of the Lord as a saraNAgathan without any other recourse.

Prabhandham 2: sadaimudiyAN --

Here again ananya gathithvam is celebrated in another way.

I am offering my prapatthi at the sacred feet of PeraruLALan while fully
cognizant of the fact that the power and wealth of even BrahmA and SivA
are evanascent and transitory and fully dictated by their karma visEshams.
Once their accumulated puNyams are over, their status as powerful
demi-gods disappear. Knowing their alpa sukhams fully well, I am not
enamoured of such status and power. I seek therefore the lasting bliss of
moksham and nithya kaimkaryam in the Lord's Sri Vaikuntam through my
prapatthi .

Prabhandham 3: TanthirangaL--

Here, Swami Desikan points out that all are eligible to perform Prapatthi
at the lotus feet of the Lord of Kaanchi and receive the boon of Moksham
from that act of self-surrendeer.

I meditate on the glorious attribute of VaradarAjAn, who blesses all
without discrimination, when they perform prapatthi unto Him. These are
the virtuous ones, who understand the difficulties of practising Bhakthi
yOgam and understand well the equal qualifications of all to perform
prapatthi to gain the boon of Moksham. They do not seek any other means
than prapatthi and observe their varNAsrama dharmams without slipping.
They utter thereafter the prapatthi manthram (svanishtai) or follow the
utterances of their AchAryAs (AchArya Nishtai) and perform their prapatthi
to the Lord, who accepts it with joy and rewards them with the boon of
mOksham.

Prabhandham 4: kaahamirAkkathan ----

Here the reference is to Maha Viswasam that leads to the fruition of one's
prapatthi.

I offer my prapatthi at the holy feet of VaradarAjan inspired by the
thought that He granted the boons of samsAra bhOgam and Moksham as desired
by them to the offending crow , VibhishAnAN , Drowpathi ,Kshathrabhandhu ,
GajEndran , KaaLiyan , Sivan , BrahmA and all the dEvAs .

Prabhandham 5: uhakkumavai--

Here, Swami Desikan reveals that he has performed the prapatthi at the
Lord's feet in the proper manner with the five angAs of Prapatthi .The
words of the prabhandham connected to the five angams are:

uhakkumavai uhanthu -- AanukUlya Sankalpam
uhavAvanaitthumozhindhu--PrAthikUlya Varjanam
mihat thuNivu peRavuNarndhu-- mahA visvAsam
kAvalena varitthu-- gopthruva VaraNam
puhalillAt tavamaRiyEn -- kArpaNyam

With these words, Swami Desikan points out that he has performed aathma
samarpaNam with its five limbs.

Prabhandham 6: aLavudayAr --

Here, Swami Deikan refers to the four kinds of Prapatthi:Svanishtai ,
Ukthi nishtai, AchArya nishtai and BhAgavatha nishtai . Swami says that he
has performed prapatthi at the lotus feet of Varadhan, who grants the boon
of Moksham to one, who has performed any one of the four kinds of
Prapatthi.

Prabhandham 7: umathu adigaL adaihinREn---

The meaning of the Abhaya MudrA of Varadhan is ceelbrated here.

The Lord is resplendent at the sight of the prapannA and blesses him to
enjoy all of His Isvaryam and looks at the prapannA with great compassion
and reveals through the gesture of Abhaya MudrA that his one-time
praaptthi alone is sufficient to enjoy all of that bliss. I surrender my
aathmA to that glorious and merciful Lord, who grants such matchless
boons.

Prabhandham 8: thiNmai kurayAmaikkum -----

Here, the conductance of one's life in the post-prapatthi period is
described by our ParamAchAryA.

I repeatedly reflect on the meaning of the Lord's sarama slOkam and the
assurances given by Him there to the one, who has performed prapatthi. I
remind myself that as a prapannan, I must have unshakable faith in the
assured fruits of my prapatthi.

I pray for the further enhancement of my bhakthi and Jnaanam. I shall
never forget my utter servititude to You and You alone. I shall stay in a
happy and tranquil mood with the knowledge of the essence of the
rahasyArthAs .I will bear my days on the earth without agitation over the
delay in realizing moksham. I will forget the sorrows of SamsAram that is
inevitable during the days on earth after performing my prapatthi at Your
Sacred Feet. This way, I will spend my post-prapatthi life.

Prabhandham 9: Suruthi ninaivu ---

As a prapannA, I worship always the Lotus feet of PeraruLALan with a
tranquil mind calmed by the clear understanding of the meanings of
Sruthis, Smruthis, AzhwAr's Sri Sookthis , AchAryA's Sri Sookthis that
deal with the sookshmArthams of VedAnthams .

Prabhandham 10: ThirumahaLum Thiruvadivum ---

I have joined without fail the majestic and glorious feet of the Lord, who
is never separated from His beloved consort. He has the most bewitching
beauty. He is an ocean of mercy. His dayA for His devotees is unmatched.
He is omniscient. He is easy of access to His devotees .He has the
chEthanAs and achEthanmas as His body. He is the supreme Lord of all this
universe .He is the one, who creates, protects and destroys all of this
world and its beings. These auspicious attributes will never part company
with the Lord. I have now joined with this PeraruLALan of such anantha
kalyANa guNa vaibhavam.

Pala sruthi Prabhandham --11: aaRu payan vERillA ---

These ten verses dealing with my SaraNAgathi at the sacred feet of the
Lord of Kanchi will shine without any faults forever. BhagavathAs seek the
Lord as upAyam and palan. They observe prapatthi once at His feet. The
fruits of the one time prapatthi , however lasts forever and is most
enjoyable. Understanding the above truths and the significance of such a
prapatthi , I have performed my own prapatthi and sung about them in a
manner matching their blemishless aathma samarpaNams .

Sri PerumdEvi ThAyAr Sametha Sri Varadaraaja ParabrahmaNE Nama:

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam

http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/vdesikan/adaikkalappattu/index.html
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:36 AM 1 comments

Dasa Avatara Stotram

This stotram was composed by SrI vedAta desika when he worshipped the =
Lord in the daSAvatAra sannidhi in SrIrangam. The first Slokam is =
introductory in nature, and SrI deSika offers obeisance to Lord =
ranganAtha and Mother ranganAyAki whose ten divine incarnations he is =
going to cover in the stotram. The next ten Slokams are devoted to the =
ten incarnations, one for each incarnation. The twelfth Slokam =
summarizes all the ten incarnations in one Slokam, and the thirteenth =
and last Slokam is a phala-Sruti. =20

The most striking aspect of this stotra for me was the poetic side of =
SrI deSika that comes out so vividly in this composition. When this =
statement is made, it is not to diminish the importance of the =
devotional fervor in the stotra in any way. In praising the poetic gift =
of Sri deSika, one writer has remarked that SrI deSika could compose a =
thousand pASurams in praise of SrI RanganAtha's pAduka-s with ease in =
one night, whereas no other poet would have found it easy to compose =
more than a handful of Sloka-s on the topic of 'sandals'. This is the =
poet that is revealed to us when we go through the daSAvatAra stotram. =
Especially in the description of the first few incarnations, this poetic =
expression is striking.

In his description of the matsya incarnation, the poet describes the =
beauty of the eyes of the Lord thus - wherever He goes as a fish in the =
waters looking for the lost veda-s, His eyes look like a traveling lotus =
garden. The huge waves that He creates as He travels collide with each =
other and this looks like a swing in the waters. And Our Lord is having =
fun enjoying this ride in this swing as He is looking for the veda-s.

In the kUrma avatara, SrI deSikan imagines the Lord in the form of a =
tortoise enjoying the massage by the mandAra mountain as it is used in =
churning the ocean while supported on His back. This massage makes the =
Lord feel so comforted that He falls asleep. His deep breathing results =
in the huge waves which again serve the Lord as the water-bed on which =
He is present with His Consort, blessing all of us.

The poet describes the sound emanating from the nose of the Lord in the =
varAha incarnation (ghur-ghuraih) as reverberating across the worlds and =
purifying them. The Lord takes this incarnation to retrieve the lost =
Earth from the ocean, and once He has retrieved Mother Earth, He has Her =
firmly seated on His canine teeth as He is rising out of the Ocean. She =
is enjoying the firm seating on His canine teeth and creating all the =
forms from brahma all the way down to the grass and all other beings as =
She is enjoying the ride.

When the Lord appeared as nr*simha in the pillar in hiranyakaSipu's =
palace, the pillar became the 'mother' of the Lord, who Himself is the =
Father of brahma. Thus the pillar managed to lose its sterility, and =
now became the grandmother of brahma! Given that brahma himself is =
called the pitAmahan (grandfather), now the pillar became the =
grandmother for the grandfather also. (How lucky is the pillar that =
had the good fortune to give birth to the Lord!). Since the Lord did =
not know He had to appear in the pillar (until prahlAda so wished), He =
did not have His weapons for the slaying of hiraNyakaSipu. This is just =
as well, because His nails obviously are more powerful than His other =
weapons!

As the foot of the Lord in His vAmana incarnation keeps growing, SrI =
deSika imagines that His feet are carrying mahAbali's fame (for =
fulfilling His words to the Lord happily) like the soldier announcing a =
victorious king's arrival. The Ganges river that resulted from brahma's =
washing of the Lord's Holy feet as it flowed down to earth looked like a =
white victory flag for the Lord. =20

The second aspect of the stotra that is noticeable is the description =
of the incarnations of the Lord using strikingly extreme aspects of the =
avatAra as if to illustrate that the Lord is all extremes at the same =
time. In the description of the parasurAma and rAma incarnations, SrI =
deSika first points out the extreme capability or actions that they =
either did or are capable of, and then takes us down to the other =
extreme of their actions as if to contrast the two extremes. Thus he =
first points out that ParSurAma destroyed 21 generations of kshatriya-s =
as a revenge for the slaying of his father, and captured the whole world =
for himself. At the other extreme, He sacrificed all his possessions =
in one swoop to Sage KaSyapa. In rAma incarnation, SrI rAma was capable =
of draining the whole ocean with the heat of His arrows. The power of =
His arrows is far more, and is many times more tortuous than the agni =
that devours the world mercilessly at the time of pralaya. This same =
Lord rAma has as His vow the protection of those who surrender to Him =
just once.=20

The above are some instances in the daSAvatAra stotram where SrI deSika =
has lost himself intensely in the bhagavad-anubhava as he is describing =
the different incarnations. In addition to the descriptions of the =
above incarnations, the stotram also has one Sloka each that is devoted =
to the balarAma, kr*shNa and kalki incarnations. =20

Originally when I had the desire to go through each of the deSika =
stotra-s and share a high-level summary of each, I had planned not to =
include the samskr*t version of any Sloka or present detailed meanings. =
However, in the twelfth Sloka
in this stotram svAmi deSikan summarizes all the ten incarnations in one =
Sloka. So I am including this Sloka and its meaning briefly.

"IcchA-mIna vihAra-kacchapa mahA-potrin yadr*cchA-hare =20
rakshA-vAmana rosha-rAma karuNA-kAkutstha helA-harin |
krIDA-vallava kalka-vAhana-daSA-kalkin iti pratyaham
jalpantah purushAh punanti bhuvanam puNyaugha paNyApaNAh ||

"Oh Lord! Those who speak your name daily=20

as the One who took the form of a fish by your own free will, incarnated =
as a tortoise for the purposes of having fun, took the form of a big =
boar, appeared as Lord nr*simha when no one (including you) expected it, =
took the incarnation of vAmana just for protecting everyone (through the =
contact with your feet), presented yourself as the angry paraSurAma and =
also as rAma - the personification of kindness and mercy, had the sport =
with the plough in the balarAma avatAra and as the cowherd in your =
kr*shNa incarnation, and will ride the white horse in your kalki =
incarnation,

make this world pure by the store-house of puNya that they have =
accumulated, and are like the store where we can get all the puNya we =
need (i.e., by merely associating with them)".

SrI deSika again gives vent to his poetic sentiments in describing =
these noble souls as shop-keepers from whom we can get all the puNya =
that we want by associating with them. In the concluding Sloka, Sri =
deSika points out that even the desire to chant this stotram will lead =
to sarasvati-katAksham, in addition to the spiritual development, =
purity of thought, and all kinds fame. =20
=20
As in the case of the previous write-up on SrI hayagrIva stotram, it is =
hoped that this high level description of the daSAvatAra stotram gives =
the desire to look at the detailed meanings of the stotram, chant it =
regularly, and be blessed by our Lord and our AcArya.=20

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan

http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/acharyas/desika/stotras/dasavatara-nk.txt



Another input:

DevO na: Subham AaathanOthu dasadhaa nirvarthayan bhoomikaam
RangE dhaamani labda nirbhara rasaih adhyakshithO bhaavukai:/
Yad bhaavEshu pruthak vidhEshu anuguNaan bhaavaan swayam bibhrathee
Yad dharmair iha dharmiNi viharathE naanaa kritir naayikaa// 1

" May the Supreme Lord who descended down to earth in ten incarnations and acted, all in sport, a variety of roles on the massive stage of this earth and Mother Goddess who took appropriate roles and also presided over their drama as great Connoisseurs of histrionic arts – May the Divya Dhampathis shower on us their divine grace"

avyaasur bhuvana trayii manibhR^itaM kaNDuuya nairadriNaa
nidraaNasya parasya kuurma vapuSho nishvaasa vaatormayaH .
yadvikShepaNa saMskR^ito dadhipayaH preN^khola paryaN^kikaa -
nityaa rohaNa nirvR^ito viharate devaH sahaiva shriyaa

“The Lord dived into the ocean in the form of a fish searched with His lotus eyes, rapidly viewing on all directions creating an illusion of lotus flowers blossoming everywhere - all in search of the Vedas that had been stolen by an Asura. The ebb and flow of the waves of the Ocean seemed to be a swinging cradle that soothed and almost lulled Him into a comfortable reverie. May this Lord of “Matsya Avataara” protect us”


gOpaayEth anisam jaganthi kuhanaa pOthree pavithree kritha
brahmANDa: praLayOrmi gOsha gurubhir gONaaravai: gurguraih: /
yath dhamshtra ankura kOTi ghaaTa ghaTanaa nishkampa nitya sthithi:
brahma sthambham asoudasou bhagavathee mushEva visvambharaa // 4

“At the time of the great deluge, mother earth was wholly drowned under the waters. The Lord took the form of a huge wild boar and diving deep under the waters salvaged Her. At that time, He exhaled so heavily making a roaring sound that purified the three worlds. The boar bore Mother earth who bears the entire universe firmly on His horn as if She was a tuber root stuck in it”.

prathyaadishTa puraathana praharaNa graama: kshaNam paaNijai:
avyaath threeNi jaganthi akunTa mahimaa vaikunTa kaNTeerava:/
yath praadur bhavanaath avandhya jaTaraa yaadrichikaath vEdasaam
yaa kaachith sahasaa mahaasura griha sthooNaa pithamahi abhooth//

"The King of VaikunTam Himself came down in the form of Lion-king. Discarding the antiquated conventional weapons, He converted His own nails as the weapon. He appeared in some pillar in the palace of the great Asura and rid it of its sterlity by delivering Him, thus transforming it as the Paternal Grandmother of Brahmas! May that Lord Nrisimha protect all the three worlds"

vreeDaa vidha vadhaanya dhaanava yasO naasera dhaaTee paTah:
trai aksham makuTam punan avathu na: TraivikramO vikramah: /
yath prasthaava samuchritha dvaja paTee vrithaantha siddhaanthibhih:
srOthObhih: sura sindhu ashTasu disaa soudhEshu dOdhooyatE //

“ When the Lord went to Mahaabali to beg for three footsteps of land, the bounteous Emperor Mahaabali felt ashamed of himself in offering the gift. When the Lord grew to show His Viswaroopam and measured the three worlds, the foot that went up seemed to be the flagstaff proceeding to proclaim the glorious bounty of Mahaabali. Brahma offered “Paadhyam” to this foot, while the sacred waters flowing from this fell on and sanctified the matted crest of hair of Siva and the eight directions. May that Vikrama’s foot protect us”

KrOdha agnim jamadagni peeTana bhavam sam tharpayishyan kramaath
a-kshathraam iha santhathas cha ya imaam tri:sapta kritva kshithim /
Dathvaa karmaNi dakshiNaam kvachana thaam aaskandhya sindhum vasan
Abrahmanyam apaa karOthu bhagavaan aabrahma keeTam munih //

“ When the fire of the fury of the Lord as a Sage was roused by a king who
killed his father Jamadagni, He wiped out with a vengeance 21 generations of the Royal clan from the face of the earth. Later He gave away the earth in a Yagjna and retired to a land, which He reclaimed, from the Sea. Let this Lord rid the miseries of the world right from the four faced Brahma to the lowest of creatures”

paaraavaara payO visOshaNa paareeNa kalaanala –
jwaalaajaala vihaara haari visika vyaapaara gOra kramah /
sarvaavastha sakruth prapanna janathaa samrakshaNaika vrathee
dharmO vigrahavaan adharma virtheem dhanvee sa thanveetha na: //

“ He can, with His bow and arrows wreak havoc on everything and dry up the vast bodiess of waters of great oceans like the fierce fire-force of deluge.
His valor is incomparable and unsurpassed. Yet, His compassion is so great that if one were to surrender at His feet for once, He has vowed to afford protection as a matter of principle and policy, whatever the circumstances, even at the risk of His own life! Let that Lord Rama, the wielder of the mighty bow, the Greatest of heroes and who is Dharma personified, save us”

Pakkath Kowrava paTTaNa prabruthaya: praastha pralambaadaya:
Thaalaankasya tathaa vidhaa vihruthayas thanvanthu bhadraaNi na: /
Ksheeram Sarkara yEva yaabhir apruthak boothaa: prabhoothair guNai:
Aa-kowmaarakam aswadantha jagathE krishNasya thaa: kELaya: //

“May the exploits of Sri Balarama like his turning upside down Hastinaapura, the capital of the Kauravas, his wiping out the Rakshasas like Pralambasura do us all the good. Right from childhood, Balarama was inseparably involved in the sporting activities of Sri Krishna making them more enjoyable, like the inseparable sugar dissolved in milk therby heightening its taste.”

Naathayaiva namaH padam bhavathu nas chitrai: charitra kramai:
BhooyObhi: bhuvanani amooni kuhanaa gOpaaya gOpaayatE /
KaaLindhee rasikaaya kaaLiya paNi spaara spaTaa vaatikaa
Ranga utsanga visanka chankrama dhuraa paryaaya charyaa: yathE //

MEANING:
“ Let our obeisance be only for the Supreme Lord KrishNa
- who protects the world with His most wonderful acts
- who enjoys and relishes His association with the river Yamuna
- who performed a dance fearlessly making the broad hoods of the KaaLinga
serpent as His stage and
- who accomplished numerous such impossible but
- who nevertheless disguised Himself the garb of a simple cow-herd”

Bhavinyaa dasayaa bhavan iha bhava dvamsaaya na: kalpathaam
Kalkee vishNuyasa: sutha: kali kathaa kaalushya koolankasha: /
Nis sesha kashtaha kanTakE kshithi thalE dharaa jaloughair dhruvam
Dharmam kaartha yugam prarOhayathi yath nistrimsa dhaaraadhara: //

“The Lord who presents Himself to us now in Archaa form is sure to reappear later on in the form of Kalki, being born as the son of a Brahmin called VishNuyasas. To put an end to the present calamitous Yuga, with a blazing sword on hand and riding a horse, He will exterminate all evil, re-establish Dharma and make the golden age spring forth again as if watered by His compassion. May He get rid of our pangs of Samsaara”

(phala sruti:)
vidhyO udanvathi vEnkaTEswara Kavou jaatham jagan mangaLam
dEvEsasya dasaavataara vishayam stOtram vivakshEtha yah /
vaktrE thasya saraswaththee bahumukhee bhakti: paraa maanasE
suddhi: kaapai thanou disaasu dasasu khyaathi: subhaa jrumbathE //

Let me tell you what one can acquire on reciting this StOtram in praise of the 10 Avataras of the Lord of Lords, Sri Tiruvarangan that arose from the great poet VEnkatEswara, a veritable Ocean of knowledge. This StOtram is intended to bring welfare of the entire world (Jagan MangaLam)
Even if one were to THINK of reciting this StOtram -
1. Goddess of learning, Saraswathi, will bless such a person’s tongue in a variety of ways.
2. Such a person will develop in mind an extraordinary devotion to the Lord
3. Such a person will acquire even physical purity and
4. Such a person’s fame will spread far and wide in all the 10 directions of the world.

http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.php?showtopic=2747
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:33 AM 0 comments

Vegasethu Stotram

vegA-setu means "the dam for the river vegavati". This name arises
for the Lord in the kshetram called tiru-vehkA since He lies across the
river vegavati like a dam. The Lord is also called yathokta-kAri in
samskr*t, and its equivalent in tamizh, "Sonna vaNNam Seyda perumAL", or
"One who did as He was told". The history behind this is that once
tirumazhiSai AzhvAr requested bhagavAn to pack up his snake bed and move
out of kA~nci because of the local king's insult to a bhakta. BhagavAn did
exactly what He was told. When BhagavAn moved out of the king's land,
there were immediate signs of impending darkness and suffering in the
kingdom. The king realized his mistake and begged forgiveness from the
AzhvAr. AzhvAr forgave the king, and asked perumAL to return back, unfold
His snake bed and lie down again in His old place, and bhagavAn heeded this
request as well, and the kingdom returned to normalcy again. Thus the Lord
in this kshetram is fondly called yathokta-kAri.

Like hasti-giri, tiruvehkA is also a svayam-vyakta kshetram. We learned in
SrI varadarAja pa~ncASat that varadarAjap perumAL is on a small hill called
hasti-giri, and appeared there in response to brahma's aSva medha yAgam.
We may recall from the write-up of the sthala-purANa-s of these temples that
when sarasvati rushed in the form of vegavati river to obstruct brahma's
yAga prior to its completion, perumAL just lied down on His snake bed in the
path of the river, and sarasvati subsided and went underground. Thus
bhagavAn protected brahma's yAga in this instance, and stayed here in this
arcA-mUrti form in response to brahma's request.

In the short 10 Sloka-s of this stotra, svAmi deSikan points out the
following key aspects of bhagavAn:

1. He is like a dam that helps the cetana-s in crossing the Ocean of samsAra
(eshah setuh gamayitum pAram IshTe - Slokam 2). This is the vegA-setu
aspect of this perumAL. In fact, svAmi deSikan refers to bhagavAn as vishNu
setuh in Slokam 4, and as jagadeka setuh - The only dam that can help
cetana-s, in Slokam 3.

svAmi deSikan emphasizes the aspect of bhagavAn being a dam that helps in
crossing the ocean of samsAra in other stotra-s as well. Thus in dayA
Satakam Slokam 87, he points out that in His rAma incarnation He created the
setu to cross the ocean to get into Lanka, which is in itself a great act of
compassion on His part. The very sight of the setu or dam is sufficient to
remove all the sins - prakr*shTa bahu-pAtaka praSama hetunA setunA.... In
SrI varadarAja pa~ncAsat, he refers again to the very sight of the dam that
was created by Lord rAma being able to lead the cetana-s to cross the ocean
of samsAra (Slokam 25 - tam vIkshya setum adhunA'pi SarIravantah sarve
shadUrmi bahuLam jaladhim taranti).

2. He is One who subjugates Himself to His devotees, and does whatever His
bhakta-s want Him to do. (bhaktimatAm yathoktakArI - Slokam 5; Srita jana
para tantram - Slokam 7; SaraNam upagatAnAm AdeSa kArI - One who obeys the
orders of those who have surrendered to Him- Slokam 8; bhakta anugantuh -
One who follows His devotees - Slokam 6). The response of perumAL to
tirumazhiSai AzhvAr's request to role down His snake bed and get out of
kA~nci, and later to return back to kA~nci, has already been covered in the
previous write-up on the sthalapurANam of this kshetram. This is the
yathoktakAri aspect of this perumAL.

An alternate interpretation for the name 'yathoktakArI' is that bhagavAn
will give moksham to those who have surrendered to Him as He has declared in
His rAma and kr*shNa incarnations.

3. He removes all obstacles that face His devotees. This is illustrated by
His protecting brahma's yAga against the ferocious force of vegavati.
(praSamita hayamedha vyApadam padmayoneh - Slokam 7). Also in Slokam 8 we
have Him described as sarva jantoh Samayati paritApam - One who removes the
sorrows of all beings.

4. Surrendering to bhagavAn not only ensures moksham at the end of this
life, but it quells the unrest caused by the waves of samsAra while the
cetana still spends the rest of his life in this world. The prapanna leads
a life of bliss in this world by dedicating himself completely to the
service of the Lord (samsAra jaladhi kallolAn praSamayati - Slokam 3). In
Slokam 6, bhagavAn is described as "pratyAdiSanti prajAnAm bhava sa~ncaraNam
- One who puts an end to the wanderings of people in the ocean of samsAra.

5. vegAsetu perumAL appeared first, followed by varadan later according to
the kshetra purANa-s. svAmi deSikan nicely interprets this as Lord first
appearing as vegAsetU peru.mAL in the form of upAyam or the means, and then
the same Lord appearing as Lord varadarAja in the form of result (phala) -
Slokam 1. Another way he enjoys the vaibhavam of these two arcA-mUrti-s is
by crediting vegAsetu perumAL as One who removes the obstacles of His
devotees (in this case the obstacels to brahma's yAga), so that varada can
concentrate on His job of bestowing the devotees' wishes (e.g., by
appearing as a pratyaksham to brahma according to His wishes) - Slokam 8.

In conclusion, svAmi deSikan points out that worshipping vegAsetu perumAL
will lead to bhagavAn fulfilling the wishes of the devotees, as well as
giving moksham in accordance with bhagavAn's own declaration in His rAma and
kr*shNa incarnations.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan


http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/acharyas/desika/stotras/vegasetu-nk.txt
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:31 AM 0 comments

Hayagriva Stotra

It is believed that Sri Hayagriva stotram was the first of the many stotra-s that were composed by Sri Desika. Sri Desika had worshipped Lord Hayagriva as part of his nitya aradhana (daily worship). Sri Rama Desikacharya points out that for this reason, wherever Sri Desika's vigraham has been installed, Lord Hayagriva's idol is also installed alongside.

Among the points that I noticed as I went through the 33 sloka-s in this stotra are:

The sphatika (crystalline) hue of Bhagavan Hayagriva
The Vedas and Bhagavan Hayagriva
Sri Desika's prayer for the defense of the sampradayam (tradition)
Swami Desikan's simplicity and humility.
In the following sections, the above topics are elaborated with quotes from Swami Desikan's Hayagriva Stotram.

The sphatika hue of Bhagavan Hayagriva
Sri Desika points out in several places that Lord Hayagriva's form is pure white like a flawless sphatika maNi.
nirmala sphaTikAkRtim -- One with a pure white form, in sloka 1
Suddha sphaTika maNi in sloka 2
mugdha-indu-nishyanda, dugdha-sindhOh udArAm, tava mUrtim -- Your appearance is pure white like the molten form of the rising moon or the great product from the Milk Ocean (Sloka 13)
viSadaih mayUkhaih AplAvayantam tvAm ye kshaNardham api kalayanti... --- Those who meditate even for a fraction of a second on your form which radiates pure white rays... (sloka 15)
viSadaih mayUkhaih tamAmsi bhittvA Sarad-ghane candramiva nava-puNdarIke sphurantam -- You remove the darkness of ignorance in your devotees through the pure white rays emanating from you, and appear like the beautiful milk-white moon seated on the new white lotus (sloka 26)
amRta viSadaih amSubhih mAm plAvayan mAnase AvirbhUyAt -- O Lord Hayagriva! Please shower me with Your white radiant rays which are like nectar, and dwell in my mind always.
In his Rahasya Traya Sara, he also says the following (in Tamil) :
veLLaip parimugar dESikarAi viragAl adiyOm
uLLatthezhudiyadu Olaiyil ittanam yAm idarRkken

Lord Hayagriva with the face of a white horse appeared as the acharya and wrote this grantham in my mind, and all I have done is reproduced it. So there is no fault in this work.
Lord Hayagriva and the Vedas
There are several references by Swami Desika beautifully describing the origin of the Vedas from Bhagavan Hayagriva. He variously describes the "hala hala" sound arising from Lord hayagrIva with the face of a horse, and the sound of the oranments in His leg, as the Vedic emanations from the Lord.
anantaih traiyantaih anuvihita heshA hala halam in sloka 2
sAmnAm samAhArah, RcAm pratipadam, yajushAm dhAma, pratyUhAnAm layah, bodha jaladheh lahari vitatih, hahavadana heshA hala halah -- The hala hala Sabda of the horse-faced Lord Hayagriva which is the source of the Sama, Rg, and Yajur Vedas, which removes all obstacles to knowledge and which is the like the waves arising out of the ocean of knowledge, in sloka 3
vedAn vaktree - One who taught the Vedas (sloka 4)
tvam daitya apanItAn nigamAn dayayA eva bhUyah api na adhyApayishyah cet -- If only you had not with your mercy restored the Vedas to Brahma after they had been stolen by the asura-s... (sloka 8 )
te manjupraNAdam maNi nUpuram veda girAm ma~njUshikAm pratImah -- We know that the Vedas are stored in the sounds arising from the decorative ornament you wear in your feet and given to this world kalpa after kalpa (sloka 22).
Sri Desika's Prayers For the Defense of our Sampradayam
Sri Vedanta Desika's thoughts seem to have been preoccupied with the efforts of those with other beliefs who were putting up annoying fights and arguments against his own philosophy. He repeatedly prays to Lord Hayagriva in this stotram to give him the ability to overcome these obstacles and to establish the right path.
In sloka 3 he says kathA darpa kshubhyat kathaka kolAhala bhavam antardhvAntam haratu -- Let Lord Hayagriva remove the darkness of ignorance in those who are making big celebration based on their haughtiness resulting from their wrong arguments.
samara angaNeshu kavi tArkika indrAn jigIshatah me jihva agra simhAsanam abhyupeyAh -- O Lord Hayagriva! Please take your seat at the tip of my tongue so that I can win in these warring debates involving the best of those who debate with me (sloka 28)
samAjeshu svacchanda vAda Avaha baddha SUrah samedhishIya -- Please bless me so that I can be the unquestionable victor in the battleground of debates where the people of other faith indiscriminately put forth arguments against me (sloka 29)
kavi tArkika venkatanAthena viracitAm -- (This stotra is) composed by Venkatanatha, the lion among the composers and those that excel in debates.
Sri Vedanta Desika's extreme Simplicity and Humility
More than once in this stotram, swAmi Desikan gives expression to His extreme simplicity and humility, which is a key aspect of saranagati (whole-hearted self-surrender).
nAtha! Aham mugdha iti tvayA kAruNyatah eva katAksahNIyah O Lord! Please accept me as an ignorant kid (mugdha iti) and bless me with your Mercy (sloka 6).
aham nAnAvidhAnAm agatih -- I am not learned in the different arts
tIrtheshu ca na api kRta avatArah -- I have not learned from the great acharyas
anAtha parigrahAyAh tava dayAyAh navam navam pAtram, dhruvam -- I am the most fitting case for your mercy which you shower on the destitute and the helpless; That I am the most deserving case for your mercy, there is no doubt, (sloka 30)
apa nIti bhedaih akampanIyAni SankA kalanka apagama tattvAni mama hRdayam alankr*shIran -- By your blessings, let my mind be rid of the dirt of uncertainty that is being sprayed on me by the indiscriminate arguments of my opponents, and let truth be revealed to me by your Grace.
It should not be forgotten that the main content of the stotra is the praise of Lord Hayagriva, which is covered throughout the stotram. It should also be clearly kept in mind that the main purpose of the stotram is that the followers of Sri Desika chant the stotram and benefit with the blessings of Lord Hayagriva. Hopefully the summary I have presented here will lead to this next step by all of us. Sri Desika's concluding lines are "paThata hayagrIva stutim bhaktyA -- Read the Hayagriva stotram with devotion", for the purpose of "vAk artha siddhi hetOh -- attaining fluency over words and true knowledge about the Truth" (Sri Rama Desikacharya Svami has translated this part as the ability to be able to compose the praise of the Lord (kavi pADum vallamai) and to attain true knowledge about the siddhanta-s (uNmaip poruLgaLaip paRRiya SiRanda aRivu).

[I have not done a literal translation of all the Sanskrit portions, but have tried to keep the thoughts that were meant to be conveyed.]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Addendum
Even though what follows is not part of Bhagavad-dhyana Sopanam which is the topic of the present write-up, I noticed a "mini Bhagavad-dhyana Sopanam" embedded in the Hayagriva stotram as I was going through the latter yesterday. Swami Desikan composed the Hayagriva stotram as Lord Hayagriva was giving His pratyaksha darsanam to the acharya in Tiruvahindrapuram. In this stotram also, just as in Bhagavad-dhyana Sopanam, we find Swami Desikan describing his anubhavam of Lord hayagrIva's beautiful form part by part, starting with His sacred feet. There is a sequence of 8 sloka-s (19 to 26) describing the Lord's beauty. sloka 32 is a summary of the eight sloka-s.

In sloka-s 19 to 21, Swami Desikan describes Lord Hayagriva's lotus feet. In sloka 22 the beautiful anklets of the Lord are described. Sloka-s 23 and 24 describe the Lord's two right hands showing the jnAna mudra and holding the japa-mAlA respectively. Sloka 25 is a description of the Lord's sacred left hand with a book, and sloka 26 talks about the Lord's beautiful pure white moon-like form as He is seated on the fresh white lotus flower. Sloka 32 (vyAkhyAmudrAm karasarasijaih...) is the dhyAna sloka where the over-all beauty of Lord Hayagriva is summarized. I had not included the overall meaning of this dhyana sloka in my write-up on Sri Hayagriva stotram, and so am including it here.

vyAkhyAmudrAm kara-sarasijaiH pustakam Sankha-cakre
bibhrad-bhinna-sphaTika-rucire puNDarIke nishaNNaH |
amlAna-SrIr amRta-viSadaih amSubhiH plAvayan mAm
AvirbhUyAt anagha-mahimA mAnase vAgadhISah ||

May Lord Hayagriva, the Lord who bestows His grace of knowledge on His devotees,
with the four divine hands which carry the sacred Sankha and cakra, the book and the jnAna mudra respectively,
who is full of flawless greatness and eternal radiating brilliance,
who is seated on the beautiful white lotus which is like it has been carved out of the pure white sphatika maNi, and
whose greatness and brilliance are eternal and flawless --
may He always reside in my mind and grace me with His nectar-like cool white rays so that I am always immersed in His thoughts.



http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/acharyas/desika/stotras/hayagriva-nk.html




Introduction

Generally vidyaarmbam among sri vaishnavas begins with a prayer to Lord Sri Hayagreeva, preceded by obeisance to our Acharyaas. Even today Vijayadasami and Sarsvathi pooja are celebrated in Srivaishnavas homes with the recitation of Sri Hayagreeva sthOthram. (in our home at least!). The Parakala Matham, situated in Mysore, is one the most ancient and premier Srivaishnava religious institutions in the country that came into being for the specific purpose of propagating Sri Ramanujam's Visishtadvaita philosophy. Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva (the Lord with the horse's face) Haya-horse: greeva-neck: this Lord is the presiding deity for all knowledge - 'Aadhaaram sarvavidhyaanaaam Hayagrivam upaasmahe'- is the principal deity of the Parakala Matham, the icon being one of the most beautiful ever adorning the Matham. Sri Hayagreevar Divya MangaLa vigraham is also the president deity for Sri Poundareekapuram Andavan Ashramam and also greatly revered by Sri Ahobila Matham and Andavan Ashram.

Sri Hayagriva Avataram

The avataram of Hayagriva Bhagavan took place to restore the Vedas to Brahma. Emperumaan had taught BrahmA the Creation through His breath of VedAs. Then, Brahma could understand how various kalpams had begun due to Emperumaan's vEdOpasEam. He became extremely proud and head strong of his position as the creator and about his powers/jnAnam. Sriman Narayana as usual wanted to teach him and decided to remove his (Brahma's) pride. A couple of water droplets from the lotus seat of the Lord incarnated as two Asuras, Madhu and Kaitabha; Due to Bhgawath sankalpam, one (kaitapan) was of thamO guNA and the other (madhu) was of rajO guNA. They stole the Vedas from Brahma. Emperumaan smiled.

Unable to carry on his work of creation without the Vedas, Brahma rushed to the Lord and pleaded the Lord Narayana for mercy and saving Vedas. BrahmA prostrated to the Lord and said:

"Vedas alone are my eyes; they are my wealth; They are my Lord. The whole world is surrounded by darkness due to the absence of Vedas. How am I to proceed on my creation without the Vedas ? Please arise from the Yoga nithrA and help me Lord! Please give me back my eyes which have been blinded by my own pride."

"veda: mE paramam sakshI: veda: mE paramam param
veda: mE paramam dharma, veda: mE brahma sOtthamam"



Lord Narayana incarnated as Hayagriva, appeared as the white Horse faced, faultless sphatika hued form, satva mUrthy, with Divya tEjas, and lustrous form and destroyed the Asuras and restored the Vedas to Brahma. This avtaaram was made on a AvaNi month, sravaNa nakshthram paurNami thithi. With a lovely long nose, like the heaven surrounded by white bright stars, the asva siras (head of horse) illumined the whole world. The upper world and the lower world became His ears. The rays of Sun's brightest lustres are His hairs at the nape of His neck (pidari). BhUmi became His forhead; Ganga and Saraswathi became two lovely eyebrows; Chandra Sooryar (The Moon and the Sun) became His two eyes; SandhyA dEvathai became His nostrils; Pithru devathAs became His teeth; GolOkam and Brahma lOkam became His two lips; kalaraathri became His neck; The Divya tEjas Sathva mUrthy Sri Hayagreevan thus, in a grandest beautiful manner appeared. He rushed to PaathaaLa lOkam and raised His "uthGitham" in samavEdha swaram and terrified Madhukaitapa asurAs; They hid the VedhAs (which were in the form of babies) and ran away from the scene. Sri Hayagreevar handed over the Vedas to BrahmA and went back. Madhukaitapar searched for the sound which terrified them earlier but found the Vedas missing. They rushed to BrahmA who in turn was terribly scared and sought the help of Sriman Narayanan. Sri Hayagreevar fought with asurAs and killed them. BrahmA continued his work of creation.


This avataar is described in VishNu puraaNam as "mathsya kUrma varaaha ashva simha rUpaathibhi:". In BrahmANda purANam during maheshwara-naradha samvaadham, Naradha describes this avthaar. Even when naradha praises Sri rangan in this PurANam, he says "ashva sirasE namah:". That is why the Lord is called Madhusoodhanan. (for having killed madhu and kaitabhar). Sri Paraasara Bhattar in his Sri Rangarajasthavam (utthara sathakam-52 nd slOka) says "Sri ranganAthA! You, as Hayagreeva rUpI, removed the hurdles of madhu, kaitapar to BrahmA and recovered the VedhAs and saved the whole world!". In MahAbharatham, Shanthi parvam, hayasira upaakhyaanam details Hayagreeva avathaaram. Srimadh Bhagawatham, too, describes Hayagreeva avtaar.

There is another version of this avtaar and killing of asurAs. When paraLayam was about to end, Bhagawaan out of His dirt from the ear drum made two small solid balls and dropped on the Lotus leaf and BrahmA activated the PrANa vaayu, which gave life to these two, as madhu and kaitabhar. These asurAs appeared and grew up.

BrahmA started off his creation and Vedhas were snatched away by these two asurAs. When the most compassionate Lord, Parama kaaruNikO Bhagawaan wished to please the asurAs, without killing them, asked them as to what they want as a boon. These two asurAs said "we can give You what You want". That is it! The Lord decided to kill them. They said "Can You kill us only where there is no cover for the sky?". The Lord immediately took Hyagreeva avtaar and removed His cloth on the Thighs, put them on His thighs and killed them. Bhagawaan's legs house the Earth and the space/sky. Since the Lord removed the cloth from His thighs and killed them, He still complied with what they challenged Him. What they thought was impossible to happen, He could make it happen with no effort. He, thus saved the Vedas and saves the world. The moral is: thamas, rajas guNAs are to be destroyed to reach Him.

There is yet another interesting "different" version in BrahmANda PuraaNam- Sri Devi Bhagawatham. There was a asurA, by name Hayagreeva (with horse face) who did his severe penance/ tapas on Parvathi Devi. Parvathi, pleased with his tapas, appeared in his front and the asurA asked for "no death". She said "Impossible-can not be granted". Then the asurA amended the request and said "Except for a horse faced one, no one else can kill me". (thinking that it can never happen!). She consented. He became tremendously proud of his achievement and started harassing every deva and rishi. He troubles all three worlds. He snatched away the Vedas from BrahmA and disappeared. Then is the history. The Lord appeared as Hayagreevar and killed the asurA to save the world and bring back the Vedas.

There is yet another puraaNic narration on Hayagreevar. At Kanchi, Agasthya muni was on severe penance on Sriman Narayanan and the Lord appeared as Hayagreevar and was immensely pleased with his tapas. He blessed the muni with Devi mahaathmyam. This is described in BrahmANda puraaNam Sri Hayagreeva agasthya samvaadham.

During Tripura samhaaram to entice the asurAs, the Lord appeared as "other religious" saint (buddhism?) and appeared as Hayagreevar to mislead the asurAs from the Veda maargham (from the path of Vediv traditions and sayings). Thus, He made them lose their ability to get saved and the Lord won. (As also claimed and reported in Buddhism in a web site as follows: Like Mahakala, Hayagriva is one of the Eight Great Protectors of Buddhism, a guardian and a destroyer of obstacles to enlightenment(!). He is a popular personal, or tutelary, deity among the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism. Hayagriva's crown of skulls is surmounted by Hayagriva's attribute, a horse's head, alluding to his origin as a horse-headed Hindu god. The terrific neigh that emanates from this horse's head is said to pierce through the illusory nature of reality. Although he was also popular in Tibet and China, Hayagriva's association with the horse may have had a particular appeal to the Mongols. (This, I read in the Net in some buddhism web site!) Swami Desikan in his "navarathna maalai" says " puRamuyarttha asurargatku puRam uRaittha poyyinaan". (to explain the Lord thus, misleading the asurAs by taking non-vedic religion (Buddhism)).

Scriptures on Hayagreevar (Madhusoodhanan)

Since, Lord Hayagreevar killed the asurAs, madhu and kaitapar, He is referred to as Madhusoodhanan.

In BrahmANda puraaNam, Sri RangarajamahAthmyam, Om namO VishnavE Deva MadhussodhanathE Namah: refers to Madhusoodhanan Sri Hayagreevan.
Srimad Valmiki RamayaNam BalakaaNdam 76th sargam, 17th slOkam Parasuraama says to Rama "akshayam madhuhanthaaram jaanaami tvaam surOtthamam". I realise that You are the DevaadhiDevan, immortal, MahAVishNu, the One who killed madhu,kaitapar.
Also, when Rama (before proceeding for His PattabhishEkham), gets up in the wee hours, in Brahma muhUrtham, He performs His anushtaanam and pays obeisance to Lord Hayagreevan "dhushtaava praNadhaischaiva sirasaa madhsoodhanam" (6th sargam-7th slokam).

In Kishkinthaa kaanDam, Vaali tells Sri Rama "Even if that rAvaNan hids SitA in PaathaaLa lOkam, no problem. You could have just told me so. I world have brought SitA back from anywhere wheresoever like Sri Hayagreevar brought the Vedas killing Madhukaitapar. (17th sargam-49th slOkam)

When Hanumaan went in search of sanjeevini, and other aushadhaas, he saw the pleace where chathurmukhan (brahmA) performed thiruvaaraadhanam for Lord Hayagreevar. Commentators, are reported to have praised this slOkam as "hayaananam, hayagreeva araadhana sthaanam", and "hayaananam - BhagawathO Hayagreevasya sthaanam".
Sri MahAbhAratham, Santhi parvam mentions Haygreeva avataar.

Sri HayagreevOpanishad, naturally elaborates the greatness of Haygreevar.
In Rk vEdam, "vaagham bruNi sookhtham", "apradhiratham", Yajur vEdham, "yajnya prakaraNam", Saama vEdham, udgItam, AdharvaNa vEdham, Shanthikam, Bhaushtikam are all referring to the greatness of Lord Hayagreevar.

Periya Thirumozhi 7-8-2, by Thirumangai AzhwAr says "munivvEzhu ulaghum iruL maNdiyuNNa munivarOdu ??parimukhanaay aLittha paramanai kaaNmin".. maeaning: "See the Lord who appeared as the white horse faced Lord to recover the VedhAs when the whole world was pitch dark due to the absence of four Vedas"

Thiruvaaymozhi 2-7-6 NammAzhwAr says "madhusoodhananai anRi maRRilEn.." There is NONE but Madhusoodhanan only? which refers to Lord Hayagreevan. (eeadu vyAkhyaanam also explicitly refers to Lord Hayagreevan)

Also Thiruvaaymozhi 2-8-5 "maavaaghi, amaiyaay, meenaaghi, maanidamaay." Commentators say that maavaaghi refers to Lord Hayagrrevan. Upanishad bhAshyakaaarar Sri Rangaraamanuja Swami. HayO bhUthvaa, HayagrIvO bhUthvaa? - is referred to in 9000 padi Bhagavath Vishayam. Says Saakshaath Swami or Periya Parakaala Swami. He refers the padham "maavaaghi to Lord Hayagreevan only.

PeriyAzhwAr pAsuram 1-9-10 "thunniya pEriruL soozhndhu ulaghai mooda, manniya naan maRai muRRUm maRaindhida?." Refers to Sri Hayagreevan.

Our AchAryAs on Sri Hayagreevan

Alavandhaar (Yamuna muni) while praises his Grandfather (his Guru's Guru), says "madhu jithangri sarOja thatva jnAna anuraag.." . He (Nathamuni) became a great jnAni/bhakthA at the Feet of Madhsoodhanan (Hayagreevan). YamunAchArya also refers in his SthoThra Rathnam 13th slOka to Haygreevan for which Periyavaacchaan PiLLai comments that it narrates about the recovery of Vedas by Lord Hayagreeva and handing over to BrahmA. That makes us realise Alavandhaar's involvement on Lord Hayagreevan. He also requests the Lord Madhusoodhanan (in 57th slOkam) to mercifully remove all non-vedic thoughts in the world and traditions existing in the world to save us as He did earlier as Haygreevan by killing madhukaitapar to establish/recover Vedas.
SvEthAsvara upanishad, "yO BrahmANam vidhadhaadhi poorvam?. Mumukshuvai saraNamaham prapdhyE.." means: adiyEn who is interested only in mOksham, a mumukshu, surrenders to the Paramapurushan, who did parama upakaaram by recovering Vedas from madhukaitapar and handed over to BrahmA to save the world"- i.e Lord Hayagreevan." BhAshyakaarar Sri Ramaujar took this manthrA in his Saranaagathi Gadhyam and surrenders to the Lord.

Here asvam in svEthAsvara upanishad refers to the Lord Hayagreevan (White Horse faced Lord)and that is why Swami Desikan refers Lord Haygreevan in Rahasyathraya saaram as "veLLai parimukhar". (Swami Desikan's bhakti for Hayagreevan needs no elaboration to this Group)

Sri Kooratthaazhwaan in his "sundharabaahusthavam" 84th slOkam highlights Sri Hayagreeva avataar.

In 121st slOkam also, Kuresa says "Do not think that there are only 10 avataars of the Lord. Even Hamsa, hayagreeva, NaranaraayaNa avataars are also His only are equally grand and great.

In 58th slOkam of Sri Vaikunta sthavam of Kooratthaazhwaan, it is said "Adhyaathma saasthraas are established by Emperumaan in Hayagrreva avtaar by recovering vedas and saving the world.

Swami Desikan in his last pAsuram of Sri RTS, says "It is the white horse faced Lord who wrote in my mind and I have written that on the palm leaves.
Lakshmi Hayagriva Bhagavan is the Archa Murthy of both Srimad Paundarikapuram Ashramam as well as Sri Parakala Matam.

HOW LORD HAYAGREEVA VIGRAHAM CAME TO US

Bhagavan Ramanuja re-established the Visishtadvaita siddhaantham and commented on Brahma sUthram in his Bhashyam. This excellent, unambiguous vyAkhyaanam was completed by Yathiraajaa and fulfilled his "maanasika guru" Yamaunaacharya's wish (manOratham). Ramanuja "officially" released the commentary at the grand gathering of all sanskrit scholars and Vedic scholars at Saraswathi Peetham in Kashmir, in front of Saraswathi Devi. Goddess Saraswathi, immenslely satisfied at the excellent commentary and the truthful presentation of Brahma sUthram, she honoured the commentary by confering a award calling it "SRI BHAASHYAM". Also, she was extremely happy with Yathiraajaa, she presented to him a Divya mangaLa vigraham of Sri Lakshmi Hayagreevan. Since the, Yathiraaja was performing Thiruvaaraadhanam for Sri Kalshmi Hayagreeva Vigraham daily.

This vigraham, through Thirukurugai piraan, through our AchAryAs, came to Sri Vedanta Desikan. Afetr Swami Desikan's period, this is passed on to Sri Brahma tantra Swami and is now with Mysore Parakala Matham Swami. Even today, the Thiruvaaraadhanam is being performed on this Divya MangaLa vigraham of Lord Sri Lakshmi Hayagreevan. If one has a close loving glance at the Lord Hayagreevan's vigraham, He has four hands, and has a beuatiful Horse face, sitting on a white Lotus. His Lotus Feet wears "salaghai" (paayal). His upper two hands hold Sankhu and ChakrA. His lower right hand offers jnAnOpadEsam to us, bhakthAs. Other hand hold Japamaalaa. Also, it appears as if He is granting us boons. VishNu DharmOttharam, VaishNava Moorthanya DharaNi part describes Hayagreeva Thiruvuruvam (form). There it details eight hands for Hayagreevan, where four hands hold Vedas (four children) and other four hold Sanghu, ChakrA, GadhA, and Padmam. Afterwards, He is blessing us with four hands as detailed above.

Even Sri VishNu puraaNam, details Sun as the Horse faced one for upadEsam. Hayagreeva avtaaram is for VedOpadEsam and granting us jnAnam. (Swami Desikan was initiated into the Great Hayagreeva Manthram). Once Swami Desikan wished to stay at ThiruvaheendraPuram and was proceeding from Kanchi. On the way he stayed at some remote place (that belonged to a grain merchant). There lot of grains were stored and piled in sacks.

There Swami Desikan did not have anything to offer to his Sri Hayagreeva vigraham and hence, offered just water and he also went to sleep, without eating anything (just by drinking few drops of water that he had offered to the Lord). Midnight, the merchant noticed a very big, beautiful white Horse which started eating those grains from a sack. The merchant, thinking that it belongs to Swami Desikan, immediately woke him up to tie the white horse. Swami Desikan has tears rolling down his cheeks, and prostrated to the Lord (who had come as the White Horse) and explained to the merchant and asked him to bring a pot of milk. The excited merchant and others brought milk which the Lord drank happily and disappeared.

Next day morning the merchant chased Swami Desikan, (who had actually started off his journey to Thiruvaheendrapuram) and informed that the whole sack (from which the white horse ate) is full of Gold coins! Swami Desikan smiled and was overwhelmed with joy for His mercy and leelA. That place is called "pon viLaintha kaLampudhoor".

Other sampradaya AchAryAs on Hayagreeva
In Dwaita sampradaayam, Gururajar, (also called Vathirajar) in 15th century A.D, adorned the Madhva Matham as a Peetadhipathi. He calls his nithya thiruvaaraadhana prasadham as "Haygreeva Pandi", that is made of kadalai, (Dhal), vellam (saccharin), coconut etc and taste like Sakkarai pongal. Guru rajar used to offer to the Lord, by keeping the Prasadham on a big plate and raise it above his head with both of his hands. Sri Hayagreevan, used to gracefully appear as a real horse and keep His front two legs on Gururajar's shoulders and eat ("sweegari"cchufy) the Prasadham. (What a scene it should have been!). What remains used to be Gururaja's only food always!
Also Sri Hayagreeva upasakas are: Aanghirasar, Adharvaa, Vasishtar, Adhi Sankarar, Panditha rajar, and so on.

Adhi Sankara, who established the Adavita Siddhantham, is also called BhagawathpaadaaL. In his VishNu sahsranaama bhAshyam, for the name "theerthagara" (691st name per sankara paadam), he write the commentary as " Hayagreeva rUpENa madhukaitabhoU hathvaa virinjaaya saakhaaruthou sarvaa sruthi adhyaasa cha upaadhisat"? Means: The knowledge (jnAnam) is like an unbounded and limitless waters. There are dangerous steps in that pond, where we may tend to slip down. There are also lovley, non-dangerous, most enjoyable steps, where we can blissfully take bath. There are about 14 (or 18) such steps, namely four vedas, sikshai, vyAkharaNam, chandha, niruktham, jyOthisham, kalpam,(they are all vEdhanthams), mImAmsam, nyAyam, (DarshanangaL), dharma saasthrAs, purANam, are the 14 VidhyA sthAnams. In addition, there are Ayur vEdam, Gandharvam, Artha saasthram, Dhanur vEdham that add to a total of 18. If one include the "dangerous" non-vedic steps of Buddhism, Jainism, also there are even 20.

Who is the Lord of all Vishyasthaanam? Was the question and Sri Bhagawadh PaadhAL in his vyAkhyAnam says: the One who killed madhu, kaitabhar and brough back the Vedas to the world and saved the world, Sri Hayagreevan is the ONLY ANSWER. (daivatham Devathaanaam). All VidhyAs pay obeisance to Him, Sri Lakshmi Hayagreevan with folded hands and He blesses them.

Panditha Rajar, in his rasagangaadhara kOsam, says Sri Hayagreevar hasgot sakala VidhyA srEshtathvam.

Works on Sri Hayagreevan

Sri Vedanta Desikan: Sri Haygreeva SthOthram
Sri KrishNa Brahmatantra Swathantra Jeeyar- Sri Lakshmi Hayavadhana PrabhOdhika sthuthi
Sri Lakshmi Hayavadhana PadukA sEvaki- Sri Lakshmi Hayavadhana Rathna maalaa SthOthram
Srimad Abhinava RanganAtha Parakaala Jeeyar - Sri Hayagreeva Ashtakam and Sri Haygreeva panjara SthOthram (that houses Sri Hayagreevaaushtu manthram)
Srinivasa kavi- Sri Hayagreeva ashtakam
Varadhakavi Sri Venkataachaarya Swami- Sri Hayagreeva ashtakam, Sri Haygreeva ashtOthram
Sri Sevaa Swami- Kalaakalana maalikA.

Greatness of Lord Sri Hayagreevan

Swami Desikan in his Hayagreeva SthOthram, says: "Even DhakshiNA moorthy (Sivan) and Saraswathi pay obeisance to Hayagreevan and are blessed with VidhyA Sakthi by Lord Haygreevan's grace. (DhAkshiNya ramyaa girisasya mUrthi: Devi sarOjaasana dharma pathnI..). Also he says: the followers of Sri Haygreevan shall chant this stotram and benefit with the blessings of Lord Hayagreevaa ("paThata hayagrIva ?) "Read the haygrIva stotram with bhakti", for attaining fluency over words and true knowledge about the Truth and to attain true knowledge about the siddhAntam.

In Paraasara puraaNam, agasthya naaradha samvaadham, Sri Hayagreeva ashtOthra sadhanaama stHothram blesses us a palasruthi, ("naama naamshtOththarasatham hayagreevasya patEth?avaapya sakalaan bhOgaannithE hari padham vrajEth?") BhakthAs of Sri Hayagreevan, will be blessed with sakala Vedha saasthra jnAnam and be blessed with truthful knowledge. They will also live very happily in this world with their spouse and children with sakala sowbhAgyam and REACH THE LOTUS FEET OF SRI HARI for sure.

Source: http://www.parakalamatham.org/articles/mkarticle.shtml
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:29 AM 0 comments
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 7:28 AM 0 comments

Gopala Vimsati

Swami Desikan paints a word picture of the incomparable beauty of Sri Gopalan. He describes the structure of His mantram and affectionately recalls the many mischievous deeds performed by bAla Gopalan in Gokulam and Brindavanam to the utter delight of the humans and the celestial beings.

Sri Gopala Vimsati must have been very dear to Swami Desikan as indicated by his inclusion of the twelfth verse of this stotram in his esoteric masterpiece Sankalpa Suryodayam. There, he depicts Narada descending from heaven singing joyously the above verse during his journey to meet Purushan and initiate him into the mahAmantram of the Lord .

May our thoughts be blessed with the delectable experience of Swami Desikan! I salute Sri Vedanta Desikan prior to attempting to provide an English translation to these bhakti-laden verses dedicated to Sri Rukmini Satyabhama sameta Raja Venugopalan.

Verse 1

vande bRndAvanacaram vallavI janavallabham |
jayantisambhavam dhAma vaijayantI vibhUshaNam ||


I salute that divine effulgence named Gopala, who was born on this Sri Jayanthi day and roamed in the forests of Brindavanam wearing the unfading garland, known as Vaijayanti, made of wild flowers of the forest. This garland was his charactrestric decoration. He enchanted the gopis of Brindavanam. I salute this illustrious jyoti.

Verse 2

vAcam nijAnkarasikam prasamikshamAno
vaktrAravidha vinivesita pAncajanya: |
varNatrikoNarucire vara puNDarIke
baddAsano jayati vallava cakravartI ||


The Lord of the cowherds, Sri Gopala is seated on a yantra in the shape of a eight-petalled lotus. Inside that yantra is yet another yantra in the shape of a triangle. Gopala-upAsakas seat Him at the center of this inner triangle and enjoy His illustrious beauty. On His lap, they find Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. He blesses Her with His auspicious glances .

He has on His lotus lips the conch known as Panchajanyam, whose sound is that of the holy praNavam symbolizing the essence of the Vedas. (His devotees meditate on Him in this manner and recieve His blessings).

Verse 3

amnAyagandhI rudita sphUritAdharoshTam
AsrAvilekshaNamanukshaNa mandahAsam |
gopAlaDimbhavapuSam kuhanAjananyA:
prANasthanandayAmivaimi param pumAmsam ||


I visualize and revere Sri Gopala as the Supreme Lord, who took the form of the child born in the cowherd family. He was not an ordinary baby. As he feigned fear at the sight of the approaching evil Puthana, he alternately cried and smiled. As He cries, his upper and lower lips quivers from the exertion. At that time, his sweet breath carries the fragrance of the Vedas. He also smiled in between his crying spells. His smile was over the thought of what he planned to do next with the deceitful Puthana. He not only helped himself to the poisonous milk from her breast, but also sucked her life through the very same act of responding to her cunning invitation to breast-feed him. He drank at one swoop Puthana's milk and her life force and blessed her this way. This certainly is no ordinary child!

Verse 4

AvirbhAvAtvANibhrUtAbharaNam. purastAt
Akuncitaika caraNam. nibrUtanyapAdam |
dadhnAnimantamukareNa nibaddhatAlam
nAthasya nandabhAvane navanItanATyam ||


At the house of his parents, Yasodha was strenously churning milk to produce butter as part of the daily chore. Krishna, the bhAgyam of Yasodha, heard these rhythmical sounds coming from her efforts and began a special dance to amuse her and to receive gobs of butter as a reward. He planted one of his feet firmly and he moved the other foot around in different directions, the gold necklaces, jewelery and the ankle bells on His holy feet producing a most delightful musical sound, which matched the laya patterns emanating from his mother's efforts at churning milk. May that vision of this sweet, butter dance of Lord Gopala appear before my eyes! (navanItam is freshly churned butter mixed with sugar ).

Verse 5

hartum. kumbhe vinihita kara: svAdu hayangavInam.
dRshTvA dhAmagrahaNacatulAm. mAtaram. jAtaroshAm. |
pAyadhISat pracalitapado nApagacchan na tishTan
mithyAgopa: sapadi nayane mIlayan visvagoptA ||


Here, Swami Desikan enjoys the scene just before the Lord is caught by his angry mother in the act of stealing butter from a hidden vessel.

May the special pose that this protector of the Universe, who acted like an innocent child born in the family of cowherds of Gokulam, nurture the inhabitants of his world! His mother normally stored freshly churned butter in shallow earthern vessels (chattis). Gopalan routinely raided the kitchen and stole this butter. Yasodha thought that she could hide the butter in deep water pots (kumbha) to mislead her child. Gopalan defeated his mother in her efforts to save the butter and won the game. When his mother stepped out of the kitchen for a moment, he put his hands into the pot and helped himself. As he was enjoying himself, his mother arrived suddenly suspecting something was going on behind her back. She saw Gopalan stealing butter again and ran towards him, rope in her hand, to tie him up as punishment.

Gopalan was bewildered by the sight of his angry mother. For a moment, he wanted to run away to escape his mother. He lifted his foot to run. His (feigned) fright at his mother however made him stop. He stood still pretending that he did not know what to do next. He closed his eyes at the thought of the impending calamity of being caught and punished by his mother. He appeared as though he was averting that danger by closing his eyes. It is common for ordinary human beings to close their eyes, when they face serious danger, out of a sense of utter helplessness. Our Lord, who is the protector of His universe adopted this posture as if he was a mere mortal. May the thought of the simplicity that he adapted for this occasion protect all of us in our daily lives!

Verse 6

vraja yoshidapAnga vedhanIyam.
mathurAbhAgyam. ananya bhogyamIDe |
vasudevavadhU sthanandhayam. tat
kimapi brahma kiSorabhava dhRSyam. ||


The young girls of Gokulam look at this lovely child of Yasodha with great affection. Their glances enter him like arrows and makes him subservient to them. He is the great fortune of the city of Northern Madhurai (Mathura). He who was born there is the object of delectable experience for the sages, who do not covet anything else in this world. Right from his infancy, when he was breast fed by his natural mother Devaki in the prison, he has been the essence of beauty in all the three worlds. I salute and offer my tribute to this supreme being known as Gopalan.

Verse 7


parivattita kandharam bhayena
smita phulladhara pallavam. smarAmi |
vitapitva nirAsakam kayoschit
vipulolUkala karSakam kumAram ||


I meditate on that child Gopala, who dragged the big mortar to which he was tied by his angry mother Yasodha. She wanted to teach him a lesson for stealing butter. As Yasodha went away, he checked around to make sure that she was out of sight and then pulled the tied mortar to the garden. He smiled with a sense of satisfaction that he duped his mother once again and his lips were rosy with that joy. He dragged the mortar further and went between two Marutha trees. The shock of the collision with the mortar broke the twin trees and the the sons of Kubera, who stood as the trees in the garden of the Lord, got released from their curse and regained their original bodies. I offer my worship to that blessed child, who freed the sons of Kubera from their existence as twin trees.

Verse 8

nikaTeshu nisAmayAmi nityam
nigamAntai: adhunApi mRkyamAnam |
yamalArjuna dRshTa bAlakelim
yamunAsAkshika yauvanam yuvAnam ||


Vedas are still searching for Him; His leelas were seen by the twin Marutha trees in His backyard. Even after they were released from their state as trees, the sons of Kubera did not want to get back to their home, since they wanted to enjoy some more of His Bala Leelas. The river Yamuna, the daughter of Surya was a joyous witness to all his playful deeds that took place on her sandy banks. I see that wonderful young Gopala next to me always. (This is a blessing that Swami Desikan earned as a result of his meditation on Rajagopalan. )

Verse 9

padavIm. adhavIyasIm. vimukte
atavI sam.padam ambhuvAhayantIm. |
aruNAdhara sAbhilASa vam.sAm
karuNAm. kAraNa mAnushIm. bhajAmi ||


I worship the most merciful Gopala, who is the root cause of the creation, sustenance and destruction of this universe; He is the one, who revealed to us the easy-to-practise route of Prapatti as the short road to Moksham. He is the rejuvenating, rain-bearing cloud that enhanced the wealth and well-being of the citizens of Brindavanam. The flute that rests on His red lips during the time of His playing appears to be deeply eager to taste the sweetness of his mouth. I salute this embodiment of mercy known as Venugopalan.

Verse 10

animeSaniSevanIyamakshno:
ajahat yauvanam Avirastu chitte |
kalahAyita kuntalam kalAbhai:
karanonmAdaka vibramam. maho me ||


One should enjoy the unchanging and incomparable beauty of the youth, Gopala, with unblinking eyes. When we blink, we lose that moment of this delectable experience. He is wearing the peacock feathers (peelis) in his dark tresses. The "eyes" at the top of each of the peelis decorating his hair seem to compete for the attention of his youthful beauty. When we think of His many playful deeds/pranks as Balagopala in Gokulum and Brindavanam and his blemishlesss beauty, our minds fall in intense love with Him. Our senses are overpowered. May the overflowing flood of that beauty and its lustre remain steadily in my mind .

Verse 11


anuyAyi manojna vam.sanAlai:
avatu sparSita vallavI vimohai: |
anagasmita SItalai rasau mAm
anukampA saritambhujai: apAngai: ||


Venugopalan plays on his flute and creates delightful music and casts his most merciful glances on the Gopis. They are totally captivated by his friendly smile and the divine music originatinig from His flute. At this time, His cool and welcoming eyes resemble a pair of just-blossomed lotuses in the river of His mercy (Dayaa). May this enchanting youth Gopala protect me always!

Verse 12

adharAhita cAru vamSa nALA:
makuTalambi mayUra pinchamAlA: |
harinIla SilAvibhanga-lIlA:
pratibhA: santu mamAntima prayANe ||

This is the famous verse sung by Sage Narada in Sankalpa Suryodayam. The beauty of Venugopala and His world-enchanting flute music has been celebrated by Srimad Bhagavatham and Periyazhwaar in particular (Periya Tirumozhi: 3.6)

May the resplendent blue jyoti of Gopala reminding one of an incomparable blue gem stone (indranIla or blue sapphire), with blue peacock feather decorations on His dark black hair and the divine flute on His lips appear before me during the last moments of my life on this earth.

Verse 13

akilAnavalaokayAmi kAlAn
mahilAdhIna bhujAntarasya yuna: |
abhilASapadam. vajrAnganAnAm.
abhilAbha krama dhuramAbhirUpyam ||


Even in His incarnaton as Krishna/Gopala, Sri Devi is always united with Him. He has left her His chest region as Her place of special residence and enjoyment. He has the eternal and youthful beauty that qualifies Him to play with Her. We are powerless to describe His full beauty. The Gopis of Gokulam are thirsting to enjoy His beauty. I am blessed to have the vision of this beautiful youth everywhere and at all times .

Verse 14

hRdI mugdhasikanda mandana:
likhita: kena mamaisha SilpinA |
madanAdura vallavAnganA
vadanAmbhoja divAkaro yuvA ||


Which (bold) artist has drawn this picture of this unsatiable beauty known as Gopala in my heart? Who etched this embodiment of beauty wearing the charming peacock feathers in His hair? Which painter painted the picture of this beautiful youth in my heart, who is like the morning Sun to the lotus-like faces of the love-sick Gopis ?

Verse 15

mahase mahitAya maulinA
vinatenanAnjalimanjanatvise |
kalayAmi vimugdha vallavI
valayAbhAsita manju venave ||


I join my hands in Anjali Mudra and lower my head in salutation of that much revered effulgent, dark-hued Jyothi of Gopala, whose divine flute music joins in conversation as it were with the taaLam of Gopis whose golden bangles that jingle as they keep up with the rhythmic patterns.

Verse 16

jayati lalitAvRttIm sikshito vallavInAm.
Sitila valaya sincA SItalairhasta tAlai: |
akhilabhuvanarakshA gopaveSasya viSno:
AdhAra maNi sudhAyAm. amsavAn vam.AsnAla: ||


The incarnation of Vishnu taking the form of a cowherd to protect all the universes has on its coral-red lips the bamboo flute that tastes the nectar of this Gopala's mouth. As he plays the flute on the banks of the Yamuna river during the moon-lit nights, the lovelorn Gopis engage in rAsa krIDa with him. The Gopis beat taaLam to the music of their Lord with their cool hands decorated with golden bangles. Their follow-up with taaLam suggests as though they are teaching the abhinayam step known as LaLitham to the flute of the Lord. [The Abhinaya sastras describe LaLitham as the gesture, where the dancer places her hands on the appropriate portion of the body and change the movement of her eyebrows to mimic the different rasas. The delectable interplay between the bhAvam, rAgam and tALam - Bharatanatyam - is suggested here as the rAsa krIDa progresses.]

Verse 17

citrAkalpa: Sravasi kalayan lankalI karNapUram.
barhottamsa sphuritacikuro bandhujIvam dadhAna: |
gunjA baddhA murasi lalitAm dharayan hArayaStim
gopastrInAm. jayati kitava: ko'pi kaumArahAri ||


Gopalan is a roamer of the forest. Hence, he decorates himself with the ornaments appropriate to the dwellers of the forests i.e. natural products available in the forests.

The mischevous Gopalan, who stole the youth of the Gopis appears before them with many decorations that enhance his beauty. On his ears, the Gopis find the flower known as Laangali (flower from the coconut tree's sheaf/ Tennampaalai flower); peacock feathers are found by them on his dark and curly tresses; red hibiscus also decorates those tresses. On his broad chest, they find a beautiful necklace made of yellowish-red seeds known as Gunjaa or Kunrimani strung together . With these and more AbharaNAs made of forest products, Gopala enchants the hearts of the adoring Gopis.

Verse 18

lIlayashtIm karakisalaye dakshine nyasya dhanyAm
amse devyA: pulakaruchire sannivishTAnya bAhu: |
meghaSyAmo jayati lalito megalA datta veNu:
gunjApIta sphurita Sikaro gopakanyA bhujanga: ||


Lord Gopalan, showing great affection for the Gopis, stands before them in resplendent attire. He strikes a pose with his tender right hand holding the shepherd's bent stick; his left hand rests on the shoulder of the beautiful Nappinnai; that touch of Gopalan sends shivers of joy over Nappinnai's body. That beautiful Gopalan has tucked his flute inside his waist band and has additional decoration in the form of a chain of Kunrimani beads tied across his own dark hair pulled up in the form of a bun. He shines with his dark blue hue, reminiscent of the clouds in the rainy season and wins over the Gopis with his formidable beauty. He roams around with great desire for union with Gopis.

Verse 19

prayAlIta sthitimadigatAm praptagAtAngapAlIm
pascAdISan milita nayanAm prayasIm. prekSamAna: |
bhastrA yantra pranihita karo bhaktajIvAturavyAt
vAri krIDA nibitavasano vallavI vallabho na:


Gopalan desirous of performing water sports with the Gopis tucked tightly his garments. He took in his hands the water pump used in those sports. He approached one of the Gopis, who was standing with one foot forward in the water and the other planted backward on the land. He surprised her from behind and embraced her tightly. That Gopi was overpowered by that delectable experience and partially closed her eyes and looked at Gopalan with half-open eyes. He returned her affectionate glances. Their eyes met.

May that Gopala engaged in water sports with the Gopis as their lover protect us, since he is the medicine for his devotees suffering from the afflictions of Samsaara .

Verse 20

vAso hRtvA dinakarasuta sam.nidhau vallavInAm
lIlAsmero jayati lalitAm. Asthita: kuntasAkhAm. |
savrItAbhi: tadhanu vasane tAbhirabhayArtyamAne
kAmi kaScit kara kamalayo anjalIm. yAcamAna: ||


On the banks of the Yamuna river shines the Lord, who is seated on the bow of a kunthaa tree with a smile on his face. He is enjoying the prank that he played on the unsuspecting Gopis, who had left their clothes on the river bank and were engaged in taking morning abolutions. [He wanted to teach them a lesson for breaking the rules of Sastras, which forbid one from taking bath in the river without wearing a cloth.] Gopalan sneaked up on the crowd of Gopis deeply absorbed in water sports and took all of their clothes and climbed up the kuntha tree and sat on one of its branch and waited for them to come out of the water. The unaware Gopis completed their water sports and abolutions and got out of the water and discovered that their clothes were removed by the smiling Gopalan sitting on the adjacent Pinnai (Kuntha) tree. Overcome by modesty, they rushed back into the water and prayed to him to return their clothes. He commanded them to come out of the water with folded hands raised above their hands [as a mark of atonement for the sin of breaking the injunctions of Saastras]. They had no choice, but to obey him to regain their clothes. May that mischievous Gopalan fond of Gopis be victorious!

Verse 21 - Phala Sruti of Gopala Vimsati

ityanayamanasA vinirmitAm.
venkaTesa kavinA stutIm. patan |
divyaveNurasikam samIkSate
daivatam. kimapi yauvata priyam. ||


This stotram has been created by the poet Venkatesa, who does not consider any God other than Gopala/Narayana .Those who read and recite this eulogy will have the blessings of the darSanam of the God of incomparable beauty, Venugopalan who was the keen object of desire of youthful gopIs .
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 6:57 AM 0 comments

Sudarsana Ashtakam

Traditionally, this stotram is recited in homes, when some one has fever or illness of other kinds. Swami Desikan is said to have composed it to help the residents of Tirupputkuzhi, when they suffered from the grip of a epidemic fever. Alternatively, It is said that he composed it at Tiruvahindrapuram prior to a major debate with a leader of another sampradaya. Swami Desikan won that debate and thereby established the supremacy of Sriman Narayana and Visishtadvaita.

Swami Desikan chose the 'dhrithas' chandas as a meter for the 8 verses praising Sudarsana. He chose the 'aupachandasikam' meter for the phala-Sruti sloka. Both these meters hint at the the Vedic roigin of Sudarsana as indicated by Swami Desikan in one or more verses of this Stotram.

Srimate nigamAnta mahAdeSikAya namaH

SrImAn venkaTanAthAryaH kavitAarkika kesarI |
vedantAcArya varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

Verse 1: Pratibhatasreni Bhishana Varagunasthoma Bhushana
Janibhyasthana Taarana Jagadavasthaana Karana |
Nikhiladushkarma Karsana Nigamasaddharma Darsana
Jaya Jaya Sri sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Sri Sudarsana! All the enemies of your Lord's devotees run away fearing your prowess. All auspicious attributes find their home in you. Those , Who worship you cross the 'shoreless' ocean of Samsara and free themselves from their cycles of births and deaths. The entire Universe is stabilized by your mighty power. You cut asunder all the sins of those who approach you as their refuge. You bless all of your devotees with the knowledge about the righteous conduct prescribed by the Vedas. O Lord Sudarsana of these auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 2: Subhajagadrupa Mandana Suraganathrasa Khandana
Satamakabrahma vandita Satapatabrahma Nandita |
Pratitavidvat Sapakshita Bhajata Ahirbudhnya Lakshita
Jaya jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Sri Sudarsana! You are resplendent as a precious decoration on the hand of Sriman Narayana, who has the universes as His body. Through your grace, Devas are freed from the fear caused by the Asuras. Indra and Brahma always worship you. The Satapatha Brahmana belonging to Sukla Yajur Veda hails your glories and pays its tributes to you. The scholars of this universe seek your help to overcome their contestants . Ahirbudhnya Samhita states that Ahirbudhnya (Siva) worships you and sought the boon to see your beautiful form with His own eyes. O Lord Sudarsana of illustrious attributes! Hail To Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 3: SphutataDijjaala Pinjara Pruthutarajwaala Panjara
Parigata Pratnavigraha PaDutaraprajna Durgraha |
Praharana Grama Manditha Parijana Thraana Panditha
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana! You shine like the resplendent assembly of lightnings. The bright tongues of flames surrounding you appear like a cage (home) for you. The forms of Vasudeva, Sankarshana and other vyuha murti-s find their positions around your geometric form (yantra). Even the scholars with sharp intellects stumble, when they try to understand the full extent of your glory. It is a beautiful sight to see the sixteen weapons of yours resting on your hands to serve you. You are dedicated to come to the rescue of those ,who seek your protection . O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 4: Nijapatapreetha saddgana Nirupathispeetha Shad Guna
Nigama NirvyuDa Vaibhava Nijapara Vyuha Vaibhava |
Hari Haya Dweshi Daarana Hara Pura Plosha Kaarana
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana! The Righteous people have firm attachment to your holy feet. The Six Kalyana Gunaas --- Knowledge, Power, Strength, Wealth, Heroism, and effulgence-- find their natural home in You. The Vedas have firmly established Your glory in their many sections. Like your Lord, You have the forms of para and vyuha. You cut asunder the fear caused by the foes of Indra, the foremost among your devotees. You were responsible for the burning down Kashi, the city of Siva to ashes. You stood at the tip of Siva's arrow, when He was engaged in the campaign to destroy Tripuraasura. O Sri Sudarsana Of such Kalyana Gunas! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 5: Dhanuja visthaara Kartana Janitamisraa Vikartana
Dhanujavidya Nikartana Bhajatavidya Nivatana |
Amara drushtasva Vikrama Samara Jushta Bramikrama
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana! You arrest the growth of the evil-minded Asuras and destroy them down to their roots. You are like the resplendent Sun banishing the dark night of Samsara, which bedevil your devotees. You Overcome any and every act of deception practised by the Asuras. You remove every shred of false knowledge that invade the minds of those ,who seek refuge in you. The Devas celebrate Your heroic deeds and experience joy in witnessing Your powerful actions. You revolve and rotate in many ways in your battles against the enemies of Your devotees. May Thou with such auspicious attributes prosper further! Hail to Thee! Hail To Thee!

Verse 6: Prathimukhaaleeta Bandhura Pruthumahaheti Danthura
Vikatamaaya Bahishkrutha Vividhamaalaa Parishkrutha |
Sthiramahaayantra Tantritha Dhruta Daya Tantra Yantrita
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana! You give darsana to us with Your dynamic gait of One foot placed forward in movement and the other rapidly following it. Your position in that gait is beautiful to behold. You are surrounded by Your magnificient and fearsome weapons. You are the conqueror of Powerful illusions (mAyA) caused by Asuras. You are not therefore affected by their acts of Mayaa. You are decorated with many beautiful flower garlands that add to your natural beauty. You are firmly bound in the warp of your great compassion for your devotees and bless them , when they worship You through Your Yantra and Mantra. O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 7: Mahita Sampath Sadhakshara Vihitasampath Shatakshara
Shatarachakra Pratisishtita Sakala Tattva Prathishtita |
Vividha Sankalpaka Kalpaka Vibhudhasankalpa Kalpaka
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana of many prime qualities! The wealth of the righteous is their true knowledge about Your Lord. You Bless them with the unperishable wealth of Moksham, When they seek refuge at Your holy feet. Those who recite Your mantra made up of the six letters (aksharas) gain incomparable wealth. Your devotees (upaasakas) invoke You in Your yantra of six corners formed by two intersecting triangles and worship You at its epicenter. You pervade and reside in all the creations of Your Lord. You have the power to complete all deeds that you decide to undertake. You are thus a satya sankalpa and serve as the divine Kalpaka tree granting all the boons that your devotees request. O Sri Sudarsana! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 8: Bhuvana Netra Trayeemaya Savanatejastrayeemaya
Niravadhisvaadhu Chinmaya Nikhila Sakthe Jaganmaya |
Amita Viswakriyaamaya Samitavishvagbhayaamaya
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana ||

O Lord Sudarsana, the eye of the Universe! You are of the form of the three Vedas. You are of the form of the three fires -- gaarhapatyam, Ahvaneeyam and dakshinAgni -- of the Yagaas. You are of the delectable form of true knowledge! You have the power to accomplish every deed. You have taken the form of the Universe and its contents. You are woorshipped thru the sacrificial rituals of your devotees. In return, You destroy the fears and diseases of those, who worship You from all directions. O Lord Sudarsana of auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 9: Pala Sruthi

Dwichatushkamidam Prabhoothasaaram patathaam Venkatanayaka Praneetham |
Vishamepi Manorata: Pradhaavan na Vihanyeta Rataangadhuryagupta : ||

Those, who recite this Stotram consisting of 8 verses in praise of Sudarsana composed by Venkatanatha known as Vedanta Desikan comprehend the deep references to the glory of Lord Sudarsana will have the fulfilment of all their wishes.The Boon-granting powers of Lord Sudarsana will make them realize all their wishes by overcoming all obstacles that stand in the way.

kavitArkika-simhAya


Another input:

Verse 1:

O Sri Sudarsana! All the enemies of your Lord's devotees run away fearing your prowess. All auspicious attributes find their home in you. Those , Who worship you cross the 'shoreless' ocean of Samsara and free themselves from their cycles of births and deaths. The entire Universe is stabilized by your mighty power. You cut asunder all the sins of those who approach you as their refuge. You bless all of your devotees with the knowledge about the righteous conduct prescribed by the Vedas. O Lord Sudarsana of these auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 2:

O Sri Sudarsana! You are resplendent as a precious decoration on the hand of Sriman Narayana, who has the universes as His body. Through your grace, Devas are freed from the fear caused by the Asuras. Indra and Brahma always worship you. The Satapatha Brahmana belonging to Sukla Yajur Veda hails your glories and pays its tributes to you. The scholars of this universe seek your help to overcome their contestants . Ahirbudhnya Samhita states that Ahirbudhnya (Siva) worships you and sought the boon to see your beautiful form with His own eyes. O Lord Sudarsana of illustrious attributes! Hail To Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 3:

O Lord Sudarsana! You shine like the resplendent assembly of lightnings. The bright tongues of flames surrounding you appear like a cage (home) for you. The forms of Vasudeva, Sankarshana and other vyuha murti-s find their positions around your geometric form (yantra). Even the scholars with sharp intellects stumble, when they try to understand the full extent of your glory. It is a beautiful sight to see the sixteen weapons of yours resting on your hands to serve you. You are dedicated to come to the rescue of those ,who seek your protection . O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 4:

O Lord Sudarsana! The Righteous people have firm attachment to your holy feet. The Six Kalyana Gunaas --- Knowledge, Power, Strength, Wealth, Heroism, and effulgence-- find their natural home in You. The Vedas have firmly established Your glory in their many sections. Like your Lord, You have the forms of para and vyuha. You cut asunder the fear caused by the foes of Indra, the foremost among your devotees. You were responsible for the burning down Kashi, the city of Siva to ashes. You stood at the tip of Siva's arrow, when He was engaged in the campaign to destroy Tripuraasura. O Sri Sudarsana Of such Kalyana Gunas! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 5:

O Lord Sudarsana! You arrest the growth of the evil-minded Asuras and destroy them down to their roots. You are like the resplendent Sun banishing the dark night of Samsara, which bedevil your devotees. You Overcome any and every act of deception practised by the Asuras. You remove every shred of false knowledge that invade the minds of those ,who seek refuge in you. The Devas celebrate Your heroic deeds and experience joy in witnessing Your powerful actions. You revolve and rotate in many ways in your battles against the enemies of Your devotees. May Thou with such auspicious attributes prosper further! Hail to Thee! Hail To Thee!

Verse 6:

O Lord Sudarsana! You give darsana to us with Your dynamic gait of One foot placed forward in movement and the other rapidly following it. Your position in that gait is beautiful to behold. You are surrounded by Your magnificient and fearsome weapons. You are the conqueror of Powerful illusions (mAyA) caused by Asuras. You are not therefore affected by their acts of Mayaa. You are decorated with many beautiful flower garlands that add to your natural beauty. You are firmly bound in the warp of your great compassion for your devotees and bless them , when they worship You through Your Yantra and Mantra. O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 7:

O Lord Sudarsana of many prime qualities! The wealth of the righteous is their true knowledge about Your Lord. You Bless them with the unperishable wealth of Moksham, When they seek refuge at Your holy feet. Those who recite Your mantra made up of the six letters (aksharas) gain incomparable wealth. Your devotees (upaasakas) invoke You in Your yantra of six corners formed by two intersecting triangles and worship You at its epicenter. You pervade and reside in all the creations of Your Lord. You have the power to complete all deeds that you decide to undertake. You are thus a satya sankalpa and serve as the divine Kalpaka tree granting all the boons that your devotees request. O Sri Sudarsana! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 8:

O Lord Sudarsana, the eye of the Universe! You are of the form of the three Vedas. You are of the form of the three fires -- gaarhapatyam, Ahvaneeyam and dakshinAgni -- of the Yagaas. You are of the delectable form of true knowledge! You have the power to accomplish every deed. You have taken the form of the Universe and its contents. You are woorshipped thru the sacrificial rituals of your devotees. In return, You destroy the fears and diseases of those, who worship You from all directions. O Lord Sudarsana of auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 9: Pala Sruthi

Dwichatushkamidam Prabhoothasaaram patathaam Venkatanayaka Praneetham Vishamepi Manorata: Pradhaavan na Vihanyeta Rataangadhuryagupta :

Those, who recite this Stotram consisting of 8 verses in praise of Sudarsana composed by Venkatanatha known as Vedanta Desikan comprehend the deep references to the glory of Lord Sudarsana will have the fulfilment of all their wishes.The Boon-granting powers of Lord Sudarsana will make them realize all their wishes by overcoming all obstacles that stand in the way.
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 6:55 AM 0 comments

Nyasa Dasakam

Swami Sri Desikan has blessed us with many granthams on the doctrines of NyAsam or Prapatthi . One of the most substantive and short sthuthi on the subject of NyAsam consists of ten verses and is known as NyAsa Dasakam . Because of the importance of this work as the distilled essence of the principles of NyAsam and the method of performance of NyAsam , Sri VaishNavAs recite NyAsa Dasakam at their homes during their daily aarAdhanam for Sriman NaarAyaNan .
Sri NyAsa Dasakam is associated with the Prapatthi that Swami Sri Desikan performed at the sacred feet of Kanchi VaradarAjan . The topics covered are :

(1) The method of performing nyAsam or Bhara SamarpaNam
(2) the five limbs of nyAsam
(3) the method of enacting sAthvika thyAgam
(4) his prayer to the Lord for moksham at the end of his life on His earth
(5) his prayer for the blessings of service to the Lord during his life on His earth
(6) his appeal for the Lord's grace for tolerating any sins committed during his days as a prapannA .

Swami Sri Desikan elaborated further the glories of the doctrines of nyAsam in his other granthams such as Sri nyAsa vimsathi , Sri nyAsa tilakam , SaraNAgathi deepikai , Adaikkala patthu , mummaNik kovai , Anjali vaibhavam , Abhaya pradhana sAram , Rahasya sikhAmaNi and in his magnum opus , Srimadh Rahasya Traya Saaram . The significance of nyAsa dasakam however is due to the clarity and brevity with which our AchAryan summarized in just ten slokAs , the essence of nyAsam or bhara samarpaNam .

Slokas
SlOkam 1

aham madhrakshaNabharO madhrakshaNa palam tathA |
na mama SripathErevEthyAthmAnam nikshipEth bhudha: ||
A viveki ( one with disrininating intellect ) should surrender at the Lord's feet his AthmA (svarUpa samarpaNam ) , the responsibilities for his protection ( Bhara samarpaNam ) and the fruits of that protection ( pala samarpaNam ) . He should performbhara nyAsam in this manner and understand that his AthmA ,protection and the fruits of such protection does not belong tohim , but only to Sriman NaarAyaNan.
SlOkam 2

nyasyAmakinchana: Sriman anukUlOanyavarjitha: |
viswasa prArthanApUrvam AthmarakshAbharam thvayi ||
Oh my Master ! Sriman-NaarAyanA ! I surrender at Your lotus feet the total responsibilities for my protection . I have no other means . I will perform only the duties that please You ( AnukUlya sankalpam ). I will not transgress the codes of conduct prescribed by You in Your sAstrAs ( PrAthikUlya varjanam ) . I am totally unfit for pursuit of any paths of deliverance ; hence I stand before You with utter humility about my helplessness ( kArpaNyam ) . I have total and enduring faith in Your coming to my protection ( MahA visvAsam ) and I entrust my protection entirely to you with this prayerful appeal ( Gopthruva VaraNam ) . Here Swami Sri Desikan performs prapatthi with its five limbs .
SlOkam 3

SwAmI svasEsham svavasam svabharathvEna nirbharam |
svadhattha svadhiyA svArtham svasmin nyasyathi mAm svayam ||
Srima NaarAyaNan is the supreme Lord of all . As His bonded servant , I am completely under His control . He blessed me with the knowledge about Himself out of His own accord. He has accepted me as His responsibility for protection. He has thus removed all my worries about my protection with that gift of knowledge. The fruits of my protection belong entirely to Him . He frees me from any connection to the fruits resulting from His protection out of His own free will and accepts me .
In this slOkam , Swami Sri Desikan refers to his performance of Saathvika thyAgam constituted by its three parts : (1) Karthruva thyAgam (2) mamathA thyAgam (3) pala thyAgam .

SlOkam 4

Sriman abheeshta Varada tvAmasmi saraNam gatha: |
yEdhaddEhAvasAnE mAm tvadh paadham prApaya svayam ||
Oh my Lord who is always with Your consort ! Oh Master who is hailed as Varadhan because of Your disposition to grant all the boons that Your devotees ask for ! I have now performed bhara nyAsam at Your sacred feet . Please grant me the boon of reaching Sri Vaikuntam at the end of my stay on this earth and perform nithya kaimkaryam there for You .
SlOkam 5

tvacchsEshathvE sthiradhiyam tvath prApthyEka prayOjanam |
nishiddha kAmyarahitham kuru mAm nithya kinkaram ||
Oh VaradarAjA ! I am a prapannan at Your holy feet. I am firm of thought about my status as Your servant . That thought will never leave me. My mind is not seeking any fruits other than the enjoyment of Your limitless auspicious attributes. Please bless me not to engage in any acts forbidden by Your sAsthrAs . Please grant me the boon of uninterrupted service to you , while on Your earth . All of this will not happen without Your dayA . Please bless me !
SlOkam 6

dEvi bhUshaNa hEthyAdhi jushtasya bhagavamsthava |
nithyam niraparAdhEshu kaimkaryEshu niyunkshva mAm ||
Oh my Lord ! You are served endearingly by Your beloved consorts. Your AbharaNams and Ayudhams serve You by association with Your auspicious body . I am deeply desirous of performing eternal service to You , who is accompanied by Your dEvis , weapons and AbharaNams . Please therefore bless me with the duties that are dear to Your heart and accept them .
SlOkam 7

mAm madheeyam cha nikilam chEthanAchEthanAthmakam |
svakaimkaryOpakaraNam Varadha sveekuru svayam ||
Oh Lord VaradarAjA ! Please accept out of the fullness of Your heart myself , all that is mine and my kaimkaryam . Please make me an instrument of Your kaimkaryam and have the services to You done by Yourself through me. In this effort , please use all that is " mine" ( my wife , my children , my house , my garden and all other property ) . I have nothing left to do , nor even the power to place any thing at Your disposal since they - my Self , my worldly properties-- are already Yours .
SlOkam 8

tvadEka rakshyasya mama tvamEva KaruNAkara |
na pravarthaya pApAni pravrutthAni nivarthaya ||
Oh Lord VaradhA , the ocean of Mercy ! There is no one except You to protect me. Please grant me the boon not to commit anymore sins . Please also destroy out of Your limitless compassion all the sins that I have accumulated so far .
SlOkam 9

akruthyAnAm cha karaNam kruthyAnAm varjanam cha mE |
kshamasva nikhilam dEva PraNathArthihara prabhO ||
Oh VaradarAjA known for destroying the samsAric sufferings of Your dear devotees! Your power has no limits. You are capable of executing whatever You desire. I have transgressed the injunctions of Your sAsthrAs; I have abandoned the karmAs prescribed by You in those sAsthrAs . Please forgive all of these trespasses of mine and protect me . The power of Your pardon alone can destroy my sins .
SlOkam 10

SrimAn niyatha panchAngam madhrakshaNa bharArpaNam |
acheekarath svayam svasmin athOhamiha nirbhara : ||
Oh Lord VaradarAjA always in the company of PerundEvi ThAyAr ! YOU have YOURSELF executed the bhara nyAsam for me at Your sacred feet . You have completed my prapatthi in its entirety with its five limbs . You have accepted now the responsibilities for my protection . I am therefore freed of any worries about my protection and lead my life as a prapannA with peace and tranquility .
With this slOkam , Swami Sri Desikan brought to a conclusion , the sAthvika thyAgam that he commenced in the third slOkam of nyAsa dasakam

Subhamasthu

kavithArkika simhAya kalyANa guNasAlinE |
SrimathE VenkatEsAya vEdhAntha guravE nama: ||
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan
Commentary
The subject of SaraNAgathi is a vast one. One of the most moving and beautiful summary of SaraNAgathi is housed in Swami Desikan's NyAsa Dasakam. This magnificent work has ten slOkams, which are rich in meaning for the SaraNAgathi literature. From the height of his Ubhaya -VedanthA perspective, our most merciful AchAryA has blessed us with the distilled essence of the doctrine of SaraNAgathi.

We recite it daily because of its terse brilliance, depth of allusions to NammAzhwAr's paasurams and the need to reflect upon the meaning of each of the words that Swami Desikan has chosen to assemble this garland of exquisite fragrance divine!

Any discussion on the subject of SaraNAgathi can benefit from its start with the ten inspired and inspiring verses of Swami Desikan.

He has blessed us many other works on SaraNAgathi to help us understand the procedure related to and the actual performance of Prapatthi. This sacred grantham was composed by Swami Desikan during the occasion of his performance of Prapatthi at the lotus feet of Sri VaradarAjan (pEraruLALan ) of KanchIpuram .

The ten slokams comprising this short sthothra grantham covers the following topics:
1. The method of performing SaraNAgathi ( prapatthi, Bhara SamarpNam or Aathma NikshEpam ) -
2. The five limbs of SaraNAgathi
3. The method of performing Saatvika thyAgam
4. Prayer for the boon (varam ) of Moksham from the king of boon givers ( VaradarAjan )
5. Another prayer for the boon of kaimkarya Sri during the rest of the life after Prapatthi and
6. A moving appeal to forgive the trespasses and sins committed knowingly or unknowingly after Prapatthi.

This extraordinary scope of this sthothram on the most important subject necessitates us to recite it and to reflect on it daily during the occasion of the ThiruvArAdhanam for the Lord at our homes.

I will follow the commentary tradition established by my MaanasIka Guru, Sri Vankipuram Navaneetham SrirAma DesikAchar Swamy and the additional commentary made by Dr.V.N .Vedantha Desikan (VNV) in his brilliant work with the title of AazhwAr ThiruvuLLam.

Dr. V.N.V cites the paasurams of NammAzhwAr, which might have inspired Swami Desikan to make reference to them in his Sanskrit sthOthra grantham, NyAsa Dasakam. I will elaborate on these paasurams of NammAzhwAr to extend the commentary for a more detailed study of the ten slokams of NyAsa Dasakam. I will try to interlace the thoughts from other works of Swami Desikan to illustrate how our great AchAryA blessed us again and again to gain a clear and full understanding of the doctrines of SaraNAgathi as revealed by his predecessors.

SLOKAM 1:
********

aham madhrakshaNabarO madhrakshaNa palam tathA I
na mama SripathEvEthi aathmAnam nikshipEth bhudha : II

Here Swami Desikan points out the procedure to be adopted by one with discriminating intellect; such a person has grasped fully the essence of Tattva, Hitha and purushArthams at the sacred feet of a qualified AchAryA and is desirous of seeking Moksham through the act of Prapatthi. How does such a person perform Prapatthi? Swami Desikan divides the act of Prapatthi or SaraNAgathi into its three parts:

1. SvarUpa SamarpaNam
2. Bhara SamarpaNam
3. Pala samarpaNam.

Swami Desikan states that one has to surrender SvarUpam, RakshaNa bharam and RakshaNa palam at the lotus feet of the Lord and declare (anusandhAnam) without any shred of doubt that ,

(1) the Lord is the owner of his or her aathmA and that he or she is not an entity gifted with svathanthram/svarUpa samarpaNam

(2) The total responsibility to protect me is that of the Lord alone and that I have no role to play in that responsibility /bhara samarpaNam

(3) The fruit that results from protecting me also belongs to the Lord and Lord alone .I have no right to claim any of that fruit /pala SamarpaNam.

The terse statement of these three anusandhAnams are covered in the first paadham of this slOkam set in the Anushtup metre : aham na mama (SvarUpa SamarpaNam) , madh RakshaNa bhara: na mama ( Bhara samarpaNam) and tathA madh rakshaNa palam na mama ( pala SamarpaNam ) .

He completes the thought behind these three anusandhAnams in the second paadham of the slOkam with the decalration: "(Aham, madh rakshaNa bharam, tathA madh RakshaNa palam) SripathErEva, na mama ". This triad of samarpaNam is entirely controlled by the Lord and not by me is the way to perform prapatthi according to our AchAryA. He points out that this is how a vivEki (Bhudha : ) should surrender his aathmA at the lotus feet of the Lord (SripathErEva ithi budha: aathmAnam nikshipEth). This is the right royal way to perform Prapatti to gain the supreme boon of Moksham says Swami Desikan at the very outset of NyAsa Dasakam.

Dr. VedAntha Desikan translates this slokam as follows: "A refined and discerning person must surrender himself-- his aathmA, his protection and the fruit of his protection as the Lord's. They are all HIS and His will is carried out. Aathma -samrpaNam, Bhara-SamarpaNam and Pala-samarpaNam are thus carried out ".

Dr. VNV cites the following two paasurams of NammAzhwAr as context for the text of Swami Desikan:

1. ThiruvAimozhi 2.3.4: yenathAvi yaar? yaanAr? thantha nee kondAkkinayE !

Here NammAzhwAr engages in a dialog with SaraNyan. He says: O Lord! You have pervaded my soul (aathmA) and preside there. This is an ancient happening! My aathmA has been Yours from time immemorial. What a tragedy that I had mixed up things and had the deluded thinking that this aathmA, a property of Yours is mine. When I say now that I am surrendering MY aathmA at Your feet , I am committing aathmApahAram ( stealing of the object that is Yours and pretend that I am giving to You what is mine ) . Oh, My Lord! You indeed are the owner of this aathmA. You are the Lord of me and the aathmA. I am now cleared of my mix up about the ownership of the aathmA. How can I repay You for helping me out of my confusion?

Earlier in this pasuram, AzhwAr points out to the Lord in a mood of utter submission that he will surrender his aathmA to the Lord and Lord alone and asserts that the aathmA belongs to the Lord totally and he has no claims whatsoever on it. He says: "YenathAvi tanthu ozhindhEn ". He makes a statement thereafter," "ini meeLvathu yenpathu uNdO? ". AzhwAr states here that he has no thought whatsoever on reclaiming what he has just surrendered to the Lord as His property. This is SvarUpa samarpaNam at its best.

ThiruvAimozhi 8.1.10

Second Paaaadham: Yennyuirai aRavilai seythanan sOthi !
--- tamiyanEn PeriyavappanE !

Here the AzhwAr is supremely elated after svarUpa samarpaNam. In that mood of blissful joy , he says : You have granted Thy feet exclusively for my enjoyment . How can I repay You for Your mahOpakAram ? There is however one thing . My cherished possession is my aathmA . I now make a clean , unconditional sale of it to You . It is my gesture of gratitude for Your paramOpakAram . Oh Lord ! what is happening to You now that You have accepted my aathmA , which has always been Your property . You seem to have attained a special effulgence ( jyOthi ) as a result of accepting my svarUpa samarpaNam . Oh Great benefactor ! You have paid very little in this commercial transaction of mine . I sold you my aathmA ( svarUpam ) . The price paid by You is the enjoyment of Your lofty lotus feet . You are now beaming with joy over this transaction , where You have gained an upper hand .You have got back your property and you seem to be recalling with great happiness your statement in the GithA , J~nAni thu aathmA yeva matham " .You are considering me as Your aathmA . What a great fortune that befell me thru this SvarUpa samarpaNam ? Thus pours out our Kulapathi his sense of joy over the act of SvarUpa SamarpaNam .

These thoughts are captured by Swami Desikan in his first slOkam of NyAsa dasakam .

In the second slokam of NyAsa Dasakam , Swami Desikan addresses Sri VaradarAjan of Kancheepuram as" Sriman " as in Dvayam and salutes PerundEvi ThAyAr as well this way and performs his SaraNAgathi . He states unambigouously , " Sriman ! aathma rakshA bharam tvayi nyasyAmi". Swami Desikan reminds the Lord that he has laid the total responsibility of his protection at the feet of the Sarva Loka SaraNyan. The full slOkam is as follows:

nyasyAmyakinchana: Sriman aanukUlOnyavarjitha: I
visvAsa prArthanA pUrvam aathmarakshAbharam tvayi II

(Anvaya kramam): Sriman! anukUla: anya varjitha:
akinchana: visvAsa prArthanA pUrvam aathma rakshA
bharam tvayi nyasyAmi .

Swami Desikan brilliantly weaves in the five angAs of Bhara SamarpaNam in this slOkam first and then performs SaraNAgathi at the holy feet of PEraruLALan . This is the Saastraic way to perform SaraNAgathi with its five angAs . These five angAs are :

(1) aanukUlya Sankalpam
(2) PrAthikUlya varjanam
(3) KaarpaNyam
(4) MahA VisvAsam and
(5) gOpthruva VaraNam

1)AanukUlya sankalpam is covered by the word " anukUla: " in this slOkam .This refers to his vow to perform always deeds that please the Lord .

2)PrAthkUlya Varjanam is covered by the word " Anya Varjitha: " in the verse . PrAthikUlya varjanam relates to the vow of one performing Prapatthi that he will not engage in acts that cause displeasure to the Lord .

3)KaarpaNyam is connected to the word " akinchana: " in this verse. KaarpaNyam is a state of meekness and humility arising from the clear recognition that one has no skills or power to practise any upAyams to reach the Lord such as Bhakthi yOgam et al . This state is invoked by ALavandhAr in his famous sthothra rathna slOkam :

" na dharmanishtOsmi nachAthmavEdhi na bhakthimAn
tvadh SaraNAravindhO !
akinchanO ananyagathissaraNya tvadh paadha mUlam
saraNam prapadhyE " .

4)MahA VisvAsam is hinted by the words " VisvAsa " in this slOkam . Maha visvAsam is the total and unshakable faith in the thought that the Lord will protect the saraNAgathan without fail .

5)gOpthruva VaraNam is the request of the rakshaNam of one with a humble prayer . The words , " prArthanA pUrvam " connect to the fifth limb (angA ) of SaraNAgathi in this slOkam .

After observing SaraNAgathi with the above five angAs , Swami performs saraNAgathi with the statement , " Aathma rakshA bharam tvayi nyasyAmi". Thus the pancha anga bharanyAsam is practised by Swami Desikan througth this verse .

Swami addresses thus the kAruNya Raasi ( the embodiment of mercy and compassion ) presiding over VaaraNa sailam ( Hasthi Giri ) and performs his SaraNAgathi . Lord VaradarAjan was very dear to our AchAryan . He has saluted His SvarUpam elsewhere as " nithyam param sarvagatham susUkshmam nishpandhanandhathu mayam bhavatha: SvarUpam " .

With the above moving salutation , Swami Desikan recognizes
the Bhagavath SvarUpam of Lord VaradarAjan as eternal ( nithyam, superior to all tattvams (param ) , omnipresent (sarvagatham ) and capable of penetrating everywhere ( susUkshmam ) and of the form of unaltered bliss ( nishpandhanandhuathu mayam ) .

Before this Lord of anantha kalyANa guNams, Swami Desikan feels acutely his aakinchanyam and ananyagathithvam referred to by AlavandhAr earlier. The above two are the visEsha adhikArams of Prapatthi. After that acknowledgement of his deficiency, Swami performs his SaraNAgathi.

Aakinchanyathvanm refers to the lack of skills to follow the upAyams such as Bhakthi yOgam ; ananyagathithvam relates to the seeking of Moksham alone as the fruit of one's efforts and seeking Sriman NaarAyaNA alone as the one capable of granting that boon of Moksham .

The first two paasurams of adaikkala patthu of Swami Desikan, which are echoes in Tamil of the ten slOkams of NyAsa dasakam in Sanskrit deal with akinchanathvam and ananyagathithvam respectively.

Swami Desikan's whole life was devoted to advancing the key doctrine of Prapatthi housed in Bhagavadh RaamAnujA's SaraNAgathi Gadhyam and AlavandhAr's sthOthra rathnam. In the above cited 22nd slokam of SthOthra rathnam, AlavandhAr ( YaamunAcchaaryA ) describes himself as one bereft of dharma nishtai , aathma j~nAnam and Bhakthi at the Lord's lotus feet. He explains the reason for his saraNAgathi at the Lord's
Sacred feet as a direct consequence of these deficiencies.

AlavandhAr in turn took his cues from NammAzhwAr ( thruvaimozhi VaanamAmalai paasuram 5.7.1) and Thondardippodi's 25th Thrirumaalai paasuram ( nORRa nOnbilEn nuNNaRivilEn of NammAzhwar and ninlaNum batthanallEn of Thpondaradipodi AzhwAr ) ..

NammAzhwAr addresses ThOthAdhrinaathan of VaanamAmalai in his paasuram and cries out:

" O Lord ! I have not gained any distinction through pracise of karmaa or J~nAnA yOgA , which are precursors to the development of Bhakthi in one . I do indeed have Bhakthi for You , but it is far from the kind that results from the practise of Bhakthi yOgA . My bhakthi for You is of a restless and intensely passionate kind . This is not a kind of Bhakthi resulting from Bhakthi yOgA that leads to Moksham . That is why I have this dvarai or urgency . Oh my Lord seated on your mighty serpent aasanam at Srivaramangala Nagar , rich with lotuses growing in fertile paddy fields , take me into your fold as one who needs protection ."

NammAzhwAr states here that of all the four yOgAs leading to Moksham , he is not qualified or he is unable to succeed in the practise of Karma, J~nana or Bhakthi yOgams . He is left with only Prapatthi yOgam to reach his goal of Moksham . He has no other succor . Therefore he confesses , " Puhal onru illA adiyEn unnadikkeezh amarnthu puhundhEnE".

The basis for the hoary tradition of SaraNAgathi as the easy -to-practise and as a quick yielder of the fruit of Moksham is in the Lakshmi Tantram belonging to the PaancharAthrA texts. NammAzhwAr , Naathamuni, AalavandhAr , RaamAnujA and Swami Desikan followed this tradition . Lakshmi Tanthram says in this context :

" upAyaccha chathurthasthE prOktha: seegra paltara: pUrvE
traya upAyAsthE bhavEyu ramanOharA : , chathurthamAccharyan
yEvam upAyam saraNAsrayam " .

Lakshmi enlists the three yOgams --karma , J~nana and Bhakthi yOgams --first and discards them in favor of Prapatthi yOgam as seegra pala pradham ( quick to yield results ) . GeethAchAryan followed the same line of thought and described the three yOgams first and then in the very last chapter revealed prapatthi at his lotus feet as the fourth and most effective upAyam for one and all . The five limbs of prapatthi and the two visEsha adhikArams ( Aakinchanyam and ananyagathithvam ) were elaborated upon by our pUrvAchAryAs in general and Swami Desikan in particular .

This is the greatness of the second slOkam of NyAsa dasakam since it focuses on the five angAs and the two adhikArams of SaraNAgathi.

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 3:03 AM 0 comments
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