Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vedanta Desika 111 part 8

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 8

In previous part 23 is left, and so please make them as 23,24, &25. It can be said 25.Daya Satakam is the outcome of the Lord's Sankalpam only. Similarly I feel my writing this essay is only HIS sankalpam and the blessings of our Achrya sarva bouman SrI Vedantha Desikan . The three remaining sthothrams in his sthothra grantham 26. Garuda thandakam and 27.Garuda vimsathi and 28. Ethiraja sapthathi ,are discussed in this part 8. About swamy Desikan's 24 Tamil prabandams will be continued with HIS Sankalpam from next week.


When Swamy Desikan was in Kanchipuram, a snake charmer challenged him to prove his capability . He then let loose a deadly serpent on him . Swamy Desikan then chanted the Garuda Manthra for God's grace. Garuda emerged immediately from the sky and whisked away the serpent. The snake-charmer realised his foolishness and his underestimation of swamy and surrendered fastly before Swami Desikan. He pleaded then to secure the snake as he is completely depending only on that snake for his livelihood. Swami Desikan with his merciful nature thus composed Garuda Dhandakam and pleaded for its survival. Garuda came back from the sky with living snake and flew after dropping it .

Swamy Desikan's Garuda Dhandakam is in dhandaka format with a majestic, rhythmic style like Raghuvira Gadyam. Dhandam is stick with strong long footing. There are only seven slokas in this. The first one is prayer to Vainadeyan, who is with serpents in the whole body considered as person responsible for Brahma Vidya . Slokas 2 to 5 are in poetic prose split into four quarters . Sloka 6 is description on structure of Dandaka. The Concluding sloka is palasruthi. The lines of Garudamagila veda nidathi roodam ,when recited in gigantic manner is sure to capture all minds.The concluding lines of Garuda dwaja doshaya geetho garuda thandaka points out that he sings this to please Emberuman with the flag on Garuda.

Garuda's importance of being hailed in vedas, being the vehicle of Sriman Narayana, being consort of Rudra and Sukeerthy, being an incarnation of Sankarshana, adorning serpents as ornaments, with powers of blessing and granting manthras to devotees are praised well in this sthothram .


When Swamy Desikan meditates Garuda-manthra on the same night of Lord Hayagriva's presense before him.In very next day, Garuda appeared in his dreams and said, there are four persons Sounaka, Bruhaspathi, Narada and Kasyapa who had his direct blessings and the boons of his manthra, the Pancha Varnee. Swamy Desikan then joined those great souls and a sthothram on Garuda was composed to benefit one and all. Swamy Desikan obeyed this Holy order of Garuda immediately and started writing Garuda Panchasath.

Sri Garuda Panchasath, is on Vainatheya with 52 slokas . This sthothram is composed with five parts each called as 'Varnakas'.

1. Slokas 1 -8 ,Pra-Vyuha Varnaka on Garuda's form in Sri Vaikunta in Vyuha with Sankarshana,

2.Slokas 9 -25, Amruthaaharana Varnaka on greatness of Garuda fetching nectar from Deva Loka.

3.slokas 26-35 NaagadhamanaVarnaka (Sarpanasa)on Garuda's crushing of serpents in pathala lokam .

4.slokas 36-45 Parishkaara Varnaka (Alankara ) on the serpents that adorn Garuda's person as ornaments.Description of snakes given here as 'Audiseshan and Kuligan as kankanams, vasuki as sacred thread, dakshagan as waist belt, padma, mahapadma as ear rings, sankabalan as crown '.

5.Slokas 46-51Adhbhutha Varnaka on describing extraordinary talents of Garuda. Gajendra moksham is highlighted in sloka 47.

Perfection and proper method of chanting this stothra with training from an Acharyua is good. Otherwise it may yield to adverse effects. The sthothram begins with explaining the correct method of chanting the Garuda-manthra. In third sloka hails various parts of Garuda's body .

The fifth sloka may be termed as playing a number game as Eko Vishnu, dweediya sthree chathurvithitham panchavarni hasyam shadgunya smerasaptha swagathi animathyashta sampavan navathma and concluding as a person beyond numbers who gives freedom from fear bayam veeda sankyodaya na is wonderful one.In 52nd sloka ,Palasruthi , Swamy Desikan tells that one who recites this will be free from fear of serpents, mental afflictions, diseases, and all their wishes are sure to be answered favourably. .


SwamyDesikan came to SriPerumbudur on his way to SriRangam and composed a sthothra called 'Yathirja sapthathi' glorifieing all our Acharyas, particularly Sri Ramanuja in depth and sought SriRamanuja's blessings, on Chiththirai-Thiruvaadhirai birth star day of Sri Ramanuja.Yathiraja Sapthathi consists of 74 slokas signifying the number of the Simhaasanaadhipathis, appointed by Sri Ramanuja. Swamy Desikan who forms Achrya lineage after Sri Ramanuja which is as follows SrimanNarayana-SriLakshmi-SriVishwaksenar-SriNammazhvar-SriNathamuni -Sri Uyyakondar -Sri Manakkalnambi-Sri Yamuna Muni-Sri Perianambi-Sri Ramanuja . After Sri Ramanuja, Swamy Desikan joined in this lineage. . Sri Ramanuja is referred in many names such as Yathiraja, Bhashyakarar, Udaiyavar, Emberumanar, Lakshmanamuni, Ethipathi by Swamy Desikan.

In sloka 11, Ramanuja's physical appearance is well stated, as Yajna Upaveetham in His chest ,Oordhvapunram (Thiruman kappu in face, and other part of body ),Tridandam in His hand as a result of the fruit of the Good deeds of three worlds, a tuft of hair on the Head. He also has a specialty as saviour of the Vaishnavites, guaranteeing for their salvation,who surrendered unto Him. In sloka 12 , Chakra, Sanghu, Gadha, Khadga, Saarngha, the Lord's five weapons have unitedly taken the incarnation of Sri Ramanuja and is therefore sure to protect us with harsh on the enemies of our religion.The works of Ramanuja is detailed from slokas 13.

In sloka 30, Sri Ramanuja's works are compared to a river furnishing cool waters to a thirst-tortured traveller traversing a dry desert. as (palar) a river of milk to holy personages devoted to the study of spiritual works ,for sruthis as eyes of the Vedas,and form as precious guide for interpretation ,to the activator to the vital nerve-chord. Sri Ramanuja being an incarnation of the Five Weapons of the Lord as panchaprayuthair murare is indicated in sloka 12, as viswakseno yathipathir in sloka 32; and as Dhaththaathreya in sloka 63. In sloka 44 Swamy Desikan Lauds Ramanuja's SriSukthis and debates as an excellent one and states comparing his works with others is like comparing Salt and pachai karpooram in equal metre as lavana vanija karpoorarkam .

In 38th sloka , Victory to Ramanuja for saving the Para Brahman by giving a hand lift from the clutches of other sects is well said. Slokas 69 &70 are on Ramanuja's Siddhaantham placed on a Trivedhi pedestal,and his works, like Sri Bhashyam to guide us. Slokas 71 &72 are on greatness of Yathiraja sapthathi . Slokas 73 & 74 are palasruthi .In this Swamy Desikan prays to bestow on the reader devotional intellect with leela Vibhuthi and Nithya Vibhuthi. He states that those who learn the hymn are sure to find the righteous path as clearly as a myrobalan fruit in the palm Ullankai nellikkani pola .

During his lifetime Ramanuja wrote Nava rathnangal 1.Sri-Bhasya, 2.Vedanta-dipa,3. Vedanta-sara, 4.Vedanta-samgraha, three prose works (gadyas): 5.Saranagati-gadya,6. Sriranga-gadya and 7.Vaikuntha-gadya, 8 Gita-bhasya and 9.Nitya-grantha. Swamy Desikan got inspiration from him though he was born about 130 years after Sri Ramanuja attained parama padam.

Stotras recitation benifits

In Gita (2.47) Karmanyeva athikarasthe ma paleshu kathachana It is said your right is to work only, But not to expect the fruit thereof. But When Swamy Desikan's sthothrams are recited peacefully it is sure to attain benifits automatically.

Names of Sthothras (Number of slokas ) Benifits

1.Shri Hayagriva Sthothram- 33 Knowledge and proficiency -

2.Shri Maha Veeravaibhavam-94 Happy life

3.Shri Gopala Vimsathi-21 Santhana bagyam

4.Shri Dasavathara Sthothram- 13 Nava graha santhi

5.Shri Sthuthi -25 Luxury and comfort in life.

6.Shri Bhu Sthuthi-33 Success in a cherished desire

7.Shri Godhasthuthi -29 Free from obstacles in life

8.Shri Nyasa dasakham -10 Saranagathi

9.Shri Nyasa Thilakam -32 God's Grace

10.Shri Nyasa Vimsathi -22 Best Teacher and student

11.Shri Kamaasikashtakam-9 Gets all benefits

12.Shri Sudarshanashtakam-9 Getting rid of physical ailments

13.Shri Ashta Bhujashtakam-10 Calling for divine grace

14.Shri Shodasayudha Sthothram-19 Free from misery and troubles

15.Shri Vairagya Panchakam-6 The way to salvation

16.Shri Varadharaja Panchasath-51 Meritorious results

17.Shri Vegasethu Sthothram -10 Fulfill our wishes

18.Shri Saranagathi Dheepikai -59 Avoid Ignorence

19 Shri Devanayaka Panchasath -53 Truthfulness

20.Shri Achyutha Sathakam- 101 Mind purification

21 Shri Dehalya Sthuthi -28 Simplicity and social behaviour

22.Shri Paramartha Sthuthi-10 Eliminate bad characters

23 Shri Daya Sathakam -108 Source to get blessings

24 Shri Abhithistahavam -29 Free from fear

25.Shri Bhagavath Dyana Sobanam -12 Bhakthi for Mukthi

26.Shri Yathiraja Sapthathi -74 Success in debate

27 Shri Garuda dandakam -4 Save from poisonous creatures

28.Shri Garuda Panchasath-50 Healthy life without worries

To be continued .......

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Vedanta Desika 111 part 7

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 7

Swamy Desikan in Thiruvarangam and Tirupathi

In part 1of Swamy Deskan 111, brief note was given on Dasavathara sthothram composed by him, when he worshipped the lord in Dasavathara Sannadhi in Srirangam . In part 3 of Swamy Deskan 111, we saw Swamy Desikan's ' Nyasa thilagam' sthothram praising the deity in SriRangam and various aspects of Prapatti and total surrender only to Sriman Narayana .

There are two more sthothrams 'Abhitisthavam' and 'Sri Bhagavath Dhyana Sobanmam' by Swamy Desikan on SriRanganatha. In 14 th centuary AD ,When Srirangam had fallen into the hands of the Muslim invaders, the shrine of Lord Ranganatha had been closed after secretly sealing the sanctum sanctorum. But utsava-murti was removed to place of safety by some devotees. Due to this incident, some religious leaders sacrificed their life. Swamy Desikan, ran away from the place in fear and panic, and stayed at Satyamangalam near Kollegal of Karnataka state. Swamy Desikan composed Abhitisthavam stotram because of his disheartening situation in regular orderly kainkaryam done to Lord SriRanganatha due to this invasion to plunder the temple idols, ornaments, and other properties.

Sri Bagavath Dhyana Sobanam is just similar to Thiruppanazhwar's Amalanathipiran ,praising the entire Thirumeni of Lord Ranganatha.

In Swamy Desikan's pilgrimage in north, his first halt was in Tirumala and composed Sloka on Sri Thiruvenkatamudaiyan as Dayasathakam.Tirumala a swayam vyaktha kshetra ,wherein Sriman Narayana is worshipped as Venkateswara, Balaji, Srinivasa, Venkatachalapathy etc with His consorts Bhoomi, Neela and Lakshmi Devi Supreme Goddess with their quality of Daya , (Mercy) is well praised in this . The Lord conferred on him the honorific of "Vedaantha Aachaarya" ,similar to Lord Ranganatha's earlier appreciation. "Vedanta Desika Padhe Vinivesya Baalam" is his remarks in this which meant”the Lord had elevated a mere boy into a competent Acharya " .. As omens in the form of dreams had indicated that the child to be born would be an incarnation of the God of Tirumala the child was named Venkatanatha, the name of the God of Tirumala, first and later swamy Desikan attained such a status.

24. Abhiti Sthavam

Abhitisthavam is 'praise of fearlessness' on Lord Ranganatha's grace of removing the fear in the hearts of His devotees. In this Swamy Desikan pleaded Lord Ranganatha to protect all temples and Sri Vaishnavites from invasion by other communities and several aspects of Saranagathi also dealt here. This stothram conveys how a true devotee feels when there is a threat to Thirumeni of Perumal .

In sloka 8, Swamy Desikan stressing importance of a Holy places as one , where any devotee , at any place, at any time living with all senses under control with the appreciation of celestials may be called as thapovanam , capital of confidence, joyful home and a fort of boons. In Sloka 19, Swamy Desikan mentions the names of great devotees such as Prahlada, Kakasura, Gajendrn, Draupadi, Vibhishana, Kaliya sarpam , Ambarisha who became fearless with His blessings, and in sloka 20 He prays similar action to banish fear once for all in Srirangam and restore it to its original glory, as sriyam bahulaya prabho sritha vipaksha munmulaya . Lord's five weapons (panchayudhas), holding in His hands for our protection, is mentioned in slokas 11, 21, 22 and 23 In Sri vishnu sahasranamam Bayakrith bayanasana it is said as Fear and freedom from fever is only God's blessings. Andal also quotes in Tiruppavai as 'Thingalum Athithyanumezhundarpol' as Narayana is capable of contradictory characters such as sun and moon,like this fear and freedom from fear. In this sthothram this aspect is quoted in many slokas. Phrases such as baya vidayino jagathi,kimathra bayaspatham, prathibhayam na kinchit ,na syath bayam,is found in this entire sthothram. In Slokam 23 he prays that Thiruvazhi Azhwan in Lord's hand should take over and Dharma is to be re-established in SrIrangam. In Slokam 24 to 27, prayers for the protection of this divya-kshetram from the enemiesis is stressed. The concluding lines of Bayam thyajatha pathraithyabithath sa va kesava . ' Dont fear you will be safe 'reminds famous Srimad Bagavath Gita lines " mokshayishyami ma sucha" .

25. Srimad Bhagavath Dyana Sobanam

This stothram is with 12 slokas on beauty , fame and praises of Sri Ranganatha (Azhagiya manavalan ) . Similar to Tiruppanazhwr's Amalanathipiran, this is Swamy Desikan's vision of Sriman narayana on what he enjoys in Perumal Thirumeni from Thiruvadi to Thirumudi .In Sloka 1 he gives general titles, praises and observations on Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam as antharjothi, siddanjanam, sinthamani, daivatham daivathanam .The steps ( Sopaanam) from His Feet to the Head as , is described in slokas 2 to 9.. Sloka 10 is ashtanga yogam, the combining all those eight angas (parts of the body). Sloka 11 is on uthsava murthy. His description is sure to be with all devotees who worship in Srirangam like swamy desikan's experience that He will be the hearts of all, as What was seen in Rangam in sloka 1 is said to reside in Desika's heart as . madye rangam mama cha hrudaye varthathe savarotha .In Sloka 11 palasruthi. greatness of Srirangam with more vidwans, rasikas, bakthas is mentioned apart from His desire to bless all with more devotion.

26. Daya Sathagam

Swamy Desikan is 'Ramanuja Daya pathram' and His excellent composition on Sri Venkatachalaparthy is this sthothram with 108 slokas. All mercy, and other auspicious qualities are described elaborately in this. Daya sathakam with 10 sathakams and is like Thiruvaimozhi in 1102 pasurams in ten pathus.(Tens )

Swamy Desikan's poetic metre is found in every ten slokas which form as one dasagam. Ten dasagas may be done with the idea of ten avatarams of Mahavishnu. A brief note on Dasagams is given below.

1.Dasagam 1-slokas 1to 10 - Guruparampara dhyanam - prayers to Azhwars, Maharishis, Vishwaksenar, Mahalakshmi, Bhoomi,Andal, Thiruvenkatamudayan and the Real character of Daya.

2.Dasagam 2 slokas 11to20--usefulness in Gnanam and shakthi of Narayana.Daya is acting as a medicine like mrithsanjeevi, samsara sagaratharini, and dhrushtasthvayaiva karune (Affection on the very look )

3.Dasagam 3-slokas21to30- Prayers to Acharyas.Method of Acharyas in development of Bhakthi among devotees.Encomiums of Daya as Karunethvam sa guneshu sarva bhoumi .

4.Dasagam 4-slokas 31to40--Daya's benevolence in prescribed time, Saranagathi to reduce the sins. Importance of faith in Sriman Narayana is essential.

5.Dasagam 5-Slokaas 41-50-Daya is superior to Narayana. Daya saves all voluntarily, unlike Narayana who saves only to devotees calling him as Deva sriman disathi karune . Daya is like a mother with affection and love only on poor, suffering child .

6.Dasagam 6-Slokaas 51-60--Daya's character is to make everybody as a good person and thinks about the welfare of all. There is nothing more than a pleasure to serve Daya mentioned as Jagathihitham na nasthavayi

7.Dasagam 7-slokas 61 -70- Dayadevi's forgivining character is excellent one. Taking care after one's Saranagathi.Excellent narration of upgrading the status to Guha, Kuchela, sugriva, sabari.

8.Dasagam-slokas 71- 80 -Daya is like a ladder to devotees. She climbs down to devotees with affection for their eternal life as dhradam ithi daye thatha swatham vimukthi valaham .

9.Dasagam 9-slokas 81-90--Daya's efforts in Narayana's ten avatharas and the presense of Venkateswara in Tirumala .Praising Daya as Jagatha hitha karini . Importance in Narasimha Avataram with terrorising figure as spurath kruthi parispurath prugudikepi vakthre kruthe , but with His kind Grace to Prahlada.

10.Dasagam 10-slokas-91-103 -limitless glory of Daya. Swamy comparing his action of with Kulinmgam a forest bird entering lion's mouth and eating flesh in its teath ,while it is snoring as anaboKoram kulinga sakuneriva seshtithamcha , and doing all sins in the midst of remembering as svathina sathva sarani swayamathra jantho. In slokam 104, Swami Desikan acknowledges the glorious mercy of Sri Venkateswara in crowning him as "Vedanthaacharya" . He states that he was just an instrument in the hands of the Lord Venkatasaila natha, in composing Dhaya sathakam. slokas 105 to 107 is palasruthi. in Concluding sloka he commits there may be good and bad in this stotham, but let them go together.

In essence, this sthothram stresses that Lord Sri Venkateswara is omnipotent,omni present , who does everything according to His will, sarangatha rakshagan, parama purushar, who can be reached through prapatti, and who will rush to help all , who offers moksha right here on this earth. This entire Stothram reminds the lines in Ramayana, (III 69- 29 30 ) when Tara seeing manifest before her the invisible , infinite, invincible changeless lord in all His unfading splendour . She sees Rama in one who keeps his senses under control who observed righteousness not only for his sake but for doing good to others who establishes undiminished endless reputation who displays , exemplary skill in discriminating right from wrong, good from evil who exhibits inexhaustible patience and endurance similar to that of the earth even under provocative situations.

Three more Sthothra rathnams of Swamy Desikan and His other works will be continued ……

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Friday, March 12, 2010

Vedanta Desika 111 part 5

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 5

Swamy Desikan in Kancheepuram

When Swami Desikan was in Kanchi,a magician confronted him. As the magician drank the water of a pond, Swamy Desikan's belly bulged filled with water and caused unbearable pain. Swamy Desikan just scratched with his fingernail a pillar nearby and all the water flowed out there from and His belly regained to normal then.The magician begged swamy to be excused and disappeared .Swami Desikan thanked him for helping in cleaning the streets of Kanchi without any effort .Swami Desikan , Amsam of Lord Srinivasa's divine ghantavatharam became master of all Sastras at the divine lotus feet of his Aacharya and maternal uncle Sri Appullar. He composed Vairagya Panchakam and Varadaraja panchasath stotrams stressing 'worship and glory of Sri Varadaraja (Hasthigiri), Vegaasethu stotram seeking Anugraham from Sri Sonnavannam perumal (Yadokthakari) , and Sarangathi deepika in establishing incarnation of Vilakkoliperumal (Deepaprakasar ) .

15.Vairagya Panchakam

Sri Vidhyaranya Theertha, a great scholar and minister in the court of Vijaya nagar empire,sent an invitation to Vedanta Desikan to visit the court of Vijaya Nagar. But Vedantha Desikan wrote the first verse of Vairgya Panchakam starting as Kshoni kona sathamsa balanakala which meant "The pride of kings who rule bits of this earth grows like the wildfire, But people, who praise them and think they are blessed. In reality service to god who is merciful , only give us all our wants."In that He cited an example of , Kuchela who met the Lord, just with fistful of pounded rice was able to become wealthy person.

Sri Vidhyaranya Theertha, then sent another invitation to Vedanta Desikan. The reply was only again in the next five verses which forms the full text of of Vairagya Panchakam. In this great work, he brings out the value he attaches for material wealth. He says his speech with fragrance of jasmine flowers which open in the evening are reserved for our great Lord and not for any king. Begging anybody for perishable wealth with hands held in salutation is not at all his preference. The last lines of Asthi me hasthi sailagre vasthu paitham aham as "I do not have any inherited wealth through his father ,Nor have I earned any wealth,wealth given by my ancestor and grandfather ,is my Lord,Who lives on the top of the Hasthi mountain' Lord Varadaraja' of Kanchipuram.

Thus Vedanta Desikan the incarnation of the bell of Lord Srinivasa, (Ghantavatharam ) may be called as Gnana bhushanam and Vairagya bhushanam as his composition of Vairâgya panchakam stresses on one guna of man ie. vairâgya.

16. Varadaraja Panchasath

Varadaraja Panchasath is a stotra of 51 slokas , sung in praise of Lord Sri Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. The essential doctrines of Vishishtadvatha philosophy are explained in brief in slokas 9 to 15. Then the five forms of SriMaha Vishnu as para rupa, vyuha, antrayami, vibhava avatharam and archa is well described in slokas 16 to 29. Sloka 23 which starts as bakthasya dhanava siso paripalanaya Swamy Desikan emphasise the presense of Lord Narasimha in every pillar akilam narasimha garpam excepting the pillar hit by Hiranyakasibhu's leg. This is in support of Prahlada's claim 'Engum ulan '(presense in every place ) for his father's question of "Engey ulan" (Where is his presense ) .

Sloka 30 is on prapatti at the Feet of Varadaraja . Slokas 31 to 41 is about the mentality of a prapanna in the post-prapatti period. The role of bhagavat kainkaryam in yielding the great pleasure that can eradicate all sorrow and the effects of karma is revealed to us in Slokam 41 . Even after reaching Sri vaikuntham the only desire that a muktathma will have is the desire to do kainkaryam to Him as sacchanda kinkara taya bhavatha krisa in Slokam 42 reveals Swamy Desikan's only aim was service to lord.

In sloka 43 thvam chetha praseedasi Vedanta desikan says to reside near perumal first, then to have bhakthi on Him, and gradually seek the love and affection of Bhagavathas, then the moksham can be obtained here itself in samsara . In sloka 49 Desika swears that if he is able to enjoy inceasingly the beauty of Lord Varadaraja which is beyond thought as vaikuntavase pi na me abilasha he will have no desire for life in Vaikuntha.

In this stotram, beauty of the lord , His various vahanas during uthsavam periods, tirumeni of archa murthy, with and without kavachams are well enumerated. Lord Varadaraja receives Mangalasasanam from Swamy Desikan on pournamikam (Chitra pournami ) , Saasthriyam (Vaikasi Visakham ) Sampradayam (Purattasi sravanam ) and this stotra is recited in full on these days. In daily nivedanam atleast one sloka in Varadaraja Panchadsath is recited. Important among them are Sloka 45 on purattasi sravanam, 46 on Ekantha seva , 47 on chitra pournami 48 on Garuda seva 49 during (Serthi) Swamy and lord meet 50 gajendra moksham . Thus most of the slokams are important in this.

17.Vega sethu Stotram

Vega sethu stotram is on Yathothakari or Sonna vannm Seyyum perumal in the temple in Kancheepuram .There are only 10 slokas with first slokam starting as Ekam vegavathi madhye hasthisaile sa drusyathe upayabala pavena svayam vyaktha para maha, which means as "HE, who is in Swayam vyaktha shetram in the middle of Vegavathi river , is like a dam that helps the devotees in crossing the Ocean of samsara .Swami Desikan calls as Jagadeka sethu and Vishnu sethu in slokas 3 and 4. In the last line of slokam 5 , bhagavan bhaktimatam yathoktakari and as bhakta anugantuh in Slokam 6, Swamy Desikan says as 'He is One who follows and forces to submit Himself to His devotees, and does whatever His devotees wishes Him to do. Also in Slokam 8 we have Him described as sarva jantoh Samayati paritapam - One who removes the sorrows of all beings. Slokas 2 to 4 and 7 refer to the Lord's puranic greatness as Vegasetu. Slokas 5 and 7 refer to both aspects. In conclusion, Swamy Desikan says ye padanthi janasthesham yathoktham guruthe hari; that worship of vegasethu perumaḷ is sure to obtain the wishes of the devotees, as well as getting moksham in accordance with Lord's declaration in His Rama and Krishna avatharams, as He will do as per devotee's wishes .

18.Saranagathi Deepika

Saranagati Deepika is "light of Self-surrender "in 59 slokas stressing the importance of Saranagathi tatwam based on vedas, agamas, upanishads, epics, Alwar and Acharyal's Arulicheyals.Deepa-prakaasa (Villakoli perumal is in the shrine Tiru-t-tangaa(Himavana-Sisira-upavana) in the centre of a circle of holy shrines in and around Kanchi temples.Swamy Desikan had, an attachment to this shrine since it was closely adjacent to Thoopul, his place of birth. It is said that the situation of many temples around Swamy Desikan's Thoopul is only Divine blessings who is to be born there in the thirteenth century for the benefit of the world. Importance of Saranagathy Deepika is felt because it applies to any God in any temple or shrine.

This stotram has aptly been named by Swami Desikan himself as Saranagathi Deepika, because this sthothra is a virtual torch to wipe out the obscurity in our minds and will show us the Saranagathi way,Just as the light from a lamp obliterates the darkness around . The importance of the six great primordial virtues (i.e.) Jnana, Bala, Aiswarya, Veerya, Sakthi and Tejas, which He alone possesses is said as 'Gnanam balam niyamatha kshamatha ksha viryam sakthischa teja ithi the guna shaga mathyam ' in slokam (8) .The salient features, different stages and methods of Bhakthi Yoga, its meaning ,constant meditation and devotion to God are described in slokas 21 to 25.

In sloka 30 Swamy Desikan compares Prapatti as marriage of the individual soul (jeevathma), the bride with Paramathma, the bridegroom. Acharya, who lead the soul into Prapatthi is the father. The Prapatti is kanyaadaanam. The serving the Lord after prapatti (uththara kruthyam) is like keeping the managalya charadu (thaali). After kanyadhanam by girl's father boy accepts her and then girl considering mangalyam as a great treasure seek many auspiciousness . Similarly Acharyas place jeevatmas at sacred feet of Lord. So he then accept with pleasure for their prabatti anushtanams and so prapannas feel happy over that as Mangalya soothram iva bibrathi kinkarathvam.

Prapatti, its greatness and accessories, life of a Prapanna in the post-prapatti period of his life, Departure of Prapanna from the final body , movement through the path of Arciraadi and the attainment of Moksha and supreme bliss, and defects in the enjoyment of possessions in worldly life are explained in detail in this stotram.It is well explained here in Prapathi ,as one should do only what HE likes. It is said that reciting this stotram will destroy the dense darkness of ignorance in the minds of the people and bestow them with the feet of the Lord. .

Note. This year I had an opportunity to worship Swamy Desikan on Purattasi Sravanam day in Kancheepuram temple. It was really a glorious memorable piriya vidai of not only to lord Varadaraja and Vedanta Desikan but to all devotees and Desikan adiyargal.

To be continued.....

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Vedanta Desika 111 part 4

. Vedanta Desika -111

Part 4

Sri Vedanta Desikan , the greatest star in the spiritual horizon of SriVaishnava sampradaya Visishtadwaita philosophy after Sri Ramanujar, has dedicated his life for this and acclaimed a lot. His main aim was to establish a firm ground for teachings of both Ramanuja and Nammalwar through his writings both in sanskrit and in Tamil in various forms of drama, poem, lyrics and even in commentaries. As in Taniyan before Desika Prabhandam recitation, ("Oronru thane amaiyadho Dharaniyil Vazhvorkku Vanerap PomaLavum Vazhvu " ) a person who desires to ascend up to the Heavens, even a single statement of the great Acharya, uttered by him for the benefit of humanity would be sufficient to lift him up to his desired goal . When Swamy Desikan authored many precious articles, we can try to understand something in brief every week in this article.


Kaamaasikashtakam is with 8 slokas on KamaasikaaNarasimhan(Mukunda Narayanan ) ,presiding deity in Thiruvelukkai.'Vel'denotes "by One's own will"'irukkai' is ' seated or located'. Since this place by His own will, it is called 'tiru vel irukkai. ' Kama ' means 'by His own will', Asika' is being seated, ashtakam is with 8 Slokas.In 9th sloka(palasruthi ) he states that if one chants this stotram even once with faith and devotion,he is sure to be forgiven of his sins even if it is huge like elephants, and he is to be bestowed with all benefits he seeks.

In the first sloka itself , Swamy Desikan's Mangala Sasanam conveying as Jeeyath ,says Lord with His lion face and human body and great full of wonders of neither a lion nor man described as 'Kascchith Ascchith Adhbhuta Kesaree ' and He being celebrated in upanishads (last part of vedas) as Srutheenaam Uttaram Bhagam .

He further says as Kaamaasikaa Narasimhan has three eyes, which are in the form of the Sun, Moon and Agni, and He is the only one who can remove our tapa-traya-s, of Adhyatmikam - (physically ill, fear ,anger, desire, fear, etc), Adhi bhaudikam (ills from animals and humans )Adhi daivikam (cold, heat, storm rain ). Lord is the only true relative we all have (bandhum akhilasya

jantoh).His hands compete with one another to protect devotees,

He appeared out of the Pillar in his palace with the frightening swirl for the injustices to His devotee, but with lotus eyes fell with mercy on Prahlaada, showing limitless compassion.

In 8th sloka Swamy Desikan even commands as Tvayi Rakshathi Rakshakai kim Anyai Tvayi Chaarakshathi Rakshakai kim Ananyai and questions as " When You are resolved to protect some one, where is the need to seek the protection of other Gods? When You are resolved not to protect some one, which other God is capable of protecting us? There is no one. Knowing this fundamental truth, I have resolved to offer my saranaagathi at your lotus feet alone that rest at the banks of Vegavathi river".

Thus Saranagathi is well expressed in this stotram in short and sweet.

12. Sri Sudarsana Ashtagam

Sri Sudarsanashtagam by Sri Vedanta Desikn is a great devotional, musical, remedial, meaningful stotram with 8 slokams and palasruthi as usual in the end.

The last The last lines of every verse as "Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana, Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarsana "(Victory and Victory to you, oh, Sudarshana,Victory and Victory to you, oh, Sudarshana,) is sure to give joy and inspiration to all persons while chanting. His prayers made in this stotra were answered and the place was freed from the epidemic and people resettled there as before. This stotram can be recited in homes, daily when some one has fever or illness of other kinds, and everyone should note all Prayers were answered to Swamy Desikan. In last verse itself He has quoted that if one reads he would be fulfilled with all desires ,removing any obstacles because of glorious boon granting powers of the Lord. In 7th sloka Mahita Sampath Sadhakshara ,Vihitasampath Shatakshara Shatarachakra Pratisishtita ,Sakala Tattva Prathishtita ,vividha sankalpa sankalpaka kalpaka ,vibhuda sankalpa kalpaka , He says, with the wealth of righteous knowledge, blessings with the unperishable wealth of Moksham when they seek refuge at HIS feet is possible. By recting the six letter mantra, one can get incomparable wealth. When Yantra of six corners formed by two intersecting triangles with His image in its epicentre is worshipped,He pervades and grant the boons. In general Swamy Desikan confirms in this stotra that devotees are benifitted in these ways.

1. worshippers cross 'shoreless' ocean of Samsara and free from cycles of births and deaths 2. All the sins of those who approach Him as their refuge gets minimised. 3. Sure of obtaining Blessings with the knowledge about the righteous conduct as in Vedas.4. Lord will Come to the rescue of those ,who seek His protection . 5. Growth of the evil-minded persons is arrested and destroyed down to their roots.6. Removal of false knowledge invading the minds of those ,who seek refuge in Him is possible.8. Great compassion shown to devotees , when they worship through Yantra and Mantra.


Sri Ashtabujashtagam is ten slokas on Sri Ashtabujaperumal (God in eight hands ) of Kanchipuram, the holy temple called Attabuyakaram. Swamy Desikan praises Sriman Narayanan's Aiswarya, Sausilya, Moksham and there is nothing else and nobody else to attain moksha. This stotram conveys the basics of Prabatti . In the ten slokas, one sloka for each of the eight arms is praised, with palasruthi in the end.

In the very first sloka, Swami Desikan performs Saranagati with the prayer: "ashtabhujam prapadye". In the sloka, Gajendra raksha thvaritham bhavantham Swami Desikan quotes Gajendra being attacked by the crocodile and compare it with our lives being attacked and torn apart by our senses and dragged towards them on all sides like dragging by crocodiles. He sought the mercy and protection of God like Peyazhwar's pasuram in Moondram Thiruvandathi (99) 'Astabuyagarathan agnnanru kuttathu kol muthal ai thunja'.

In sloka 5 , bhayam kutah syat tvayi sanukampe, raksha kutah syat tvayi jataroshe. This again is one more reason for prapatti at the feet of Lord Narayana alone. None of the efforts that we may undertake, such as worshipping the anya devata-s, will be of any use if He does not offer His protection. If He decides to protect us, with Periya Piratti (Mahalakshmi) standing in support of us by His side constantly, it does not matter what other efforts we undertake (tvayi pravrtte mama kim prayasaih, tvayyapravrtte mama kim prayasaih). Thus He says in sloka 6 as above , is the only upaya, and there is no other upaya for moksha. In sloka 10 Vedanta Desika attributes the doubling of the Lord's hands (from four to eight) to the Lord's hurry and eagerness to afford protection to those who have sought refuge in Him. This stotra it is stated will be of help to those who have performed prapatti and become prapannas, and also to those who desire to become prapannas .Swami Desikan travelled to Sri Varadaraja's temple for his mangalasasanam from his home in Tuppul, he always passed through Sri Ashtabhujam and Sri Yathokthakari temples. The Lord of Ashtabujam thus felt happy for His bhakthan Swamy Desikan's Ashtabhuja Ashtagam stotram .

14. Sri Shodasayutha Stotram

Swamy Desikan composed this Stotram describing Sri Sudarshana holding 16 weapons in His sixteen hands (Eight hands on each side of His Body). That rare form of Sudarshanar responded to Swamy Desikan's prayer immediately and banished the poisonous fever from Tiruputkuzhi . This stotra elaborates the greatness and glory of Sudarsana by singing about the weapons which Sudarsana wields.

In the Shodasha Ayudha stotram, Desika refers to the 16 weapons adorning the Lord, the first among them being Sudarshana Himself. He seeks the protection of devotees and the destruction of their enemies. He concludes by describing Him as the source of all weapons.Sri Sudarsana has the following 16 weapons in His 16 hands.1)Chakram (2)Parasu/Mazhu/a type of axe (3)Lance /Kuntha:(4)Dhandam (5)Ankusam or goad (6) Sathamukhaagni (7)Sword(8) Spear (9)Paanjajanyam/Sankham (10)Bow (11)Noose/Paasam (12)Plough (13)Vajram (14)Mace/Gadhai (15)Pestle/Ulakkai and (16)Soolam .

This Stotram consists prayer to Lord in the form of second person as " May He (Sudrasanan) protect You!" .The first of the 19 slokams of Shodasha ayudha Stotram refers to the sixteen aayudhams (weapons) adorned by Sri Sudarsana . In the very first sloka itself He seeks as "May Sri Sudarshanan served by Sixteen weapons respond to your prayers for relief from the poisonous fever!". In 18th slokam Sudarsano viswam ayuthai shodasayuth tells how Sri Sudarshana is the source of all types of weaponry in the world and prays for His protection:

Acharya sarva bouman wrote a lot. I am trying to continue with HIS Grace........

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan


Vedanta Desika part 1


Sri Vedantha Desika's 111Divyasthuthi is to be known to all, as Swami's 740th birth anniversary is on purattasi sravanam (29 9 09 ) . His compositions are 28 Stotra Granthas, 4 Kavya Granthas including SriPaduka Sahasram, 1 dramatic grantham, 14 philosophic granthas , 8 vyakyana granthas, 32 Rahasya granthas, and 24 Tamil prabhandhas.

Kavidargiga Simham Vedanta Desika , the greatest Sri Vaishnvite writer, poet, philosopher, ardent devotee of Sriman Narayana lived during 1269 – 1370. Swami was born in Thoopul, near Kanchipuram , and his parents are Ananta Suri and Totaramba. "Venkatanatha" was his original name. His maternal uncle Kidambi Appullar . a scholar, and a direct disciple of Sri Ramanujar educated and trained him. His Upanayanam took place at his seventh age and he gradually became master of Vedas, Divyaprabandam, Puranas and Sastras. At 20 , he was a Great Scholar in SRI Vaishnavism. At 21 he got married to Tirumangai alias Kanakavalli, and couple were blessed with a son named as Varadarya" .At 27 Swamy became Acharya .

Vedanta Desikan is said to be incarnation or Avathara of Ghanta (Incarnation of bell ) of Sri Venkatachalapathy of Tirumala. In Tiruvahindipuram "Garuda Mantram" was initiated by his Guru. Garuda appeared before him then and taught him "Hayagriva Mantra". It is said that Lord Hayagriva appeared in the form of horse on Avani Tiruvonam day and presented him an Idol of Hayagriva to Swami Desikan.

It is said that glorious dazzling image of Ranganatha was rescued by Vedanta Desika whose contribution to Vaishnavism and its philosophy is prolific and phenomenal.

His writings include devotional works on deities and Acharyas, treatises on Vishitatwaita , commentary on the Srimad Bhagavad Geetha , secret doctrines of Vaishnavism (Rahasyathrayam), original Tamil poems, epic poems and allegorical dramas in Sanskrit, dialectical works directed against rival schools, treatises on practical daily life and several other miscellaneous treatises. Every work of his is full of beautiful poetry, superb devotion, conceptual density, philosophy, mythology, poetic gymnastics, lilting rhyme and majesty of language.

In this essay,'Vedanta Desika 111' I just want to precisely write with HIS blessings , about few of Sri Vedanta Desika's contributions every week..

1.Sri Hayagriva Stotram

The first sloka of this Stotram

Gnana nanda mayam devam nirmalas spadigagritham

Atharam Sarva Vidyanam Hayagrivam Upasmahe

is famous with many schools included this in prayer song as it states that all scholars with great knowledge attain blessings from Hayagriva only. In this stotram with 33 slokas , He further states as Dakshinamoorthy, and Saraswathy , Vyasa got powers only from Hayagriva. He claims as Orators, eminents, researchers, organising heads get bountiful knowledge from the tips of tongue with the presense of Hayagriva.Sloka 32 is Dyana sloka of Sri Hayagriva.

2. Sri Mahavira Vaibhavam

Raghu Vira Gadyam is another name to this sloka with 94 soornikas. Vedantha Desika's praises to Chakravarthi Thirumagan on seeing the sannnadhi of Lord Rama with Lakshmana and Sita, in Tiruvahindipuram is just narration of the entire Srimad Ramayanam in sweet commanding Sanskrit language.The sloka in 47th soornika

Apara paraa vaara parikha parivratha parapura parisrutha thava thahana javana pavana bhava kabhivara parishvanga bhavitha sarvasva dhana

is essence of entire Sundarakandam , which conveys the glory of Rama who graced Hanuman for identifying Sita in Ashokavana.

3. Gopala Vimsathy

This sloka consists of 21 slokas on Krishna from His birth to Krishna's vasthrabharanam . Sloka 12

Adharahita chharu vamsa nalaa, Muktalambhi Mayoora pincha mala, Hari neelashila vihanga leela Prathibhasanthu mama anthima prayane

conveying his desire to see Krishna with flutes in his lips, blue peacock feather in his hair, at the end of his life is sure to attain Lord's grace. Also it is believed that recitation of this sloka gets blessings to get a child .

4. Dasavathara Stotram

This stotram composed when he worshipped the lord in Dasavathara sannadhi in Srirangam. He offers obeisance to Lord Ranganatha and Sri Ranganayaki Thayar , whose ten divine incarnations he covered in the stotram. The next ten Slokams are devoted to the ten incarnations, one for each incarnation. The twelfth Slokam is summary of all the ten incarnations in one Slokam, and the thirteenth one is Palasruthi. For Navagraha santhi also this sloka is considered good.

.... to be continued

Vedanta Desika 111 part 3

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 3

Nyasa Dasakam, Thilagam, and Vimsathi

The doctrines of self surrender receives treatment in his three works namely Nyasa Dasakam, Nyasa Thilagam , and Nyasa Vimsathi thilagam. Appeal to the deity for shelter is found in Nyasa Dasakam. Nyasa Thilagam is just admissibility and practice of Saranagathi. Nyasa Vimsathi deals with the attainment and qualifications of the preceptor and pupil treating the doctrine of prapatti from the point of acceptability, refuting objections that are raised against it, and the way of life which one who had adopted the course shall practice.

Nyasa Dasakam

Nyasa Dasakam is just ten slokas on Prapatti, supposed to render in Tiruvaradanam. Swamy Desikan rendered as Prabathi to Lord Varadaraja of Kancheepuram. All the slokas are directly addressed to Lord by Swami Desikan and so quotes as Aham mathrakshana , mam svayam, twath paavam, mam mathiyam etc are in the form of "I surrender to you", "I pray to you", etc. The purposes ,prayers, and aims of our daily prayers is self explanatory in this ten slokas.

1.In following Prapatti consisting of three steps of surrendering one's atma, praying for protection, and dedicating benefits to Him. (Svarupa samarpanam,bhara samarpanam,phala samarpanam).

2. In surrendering for our protection to the Lord by observing the following five angas of prapatti ( Anukulya samkalpam, pratikulya varjanam, karpanyam, maha visvasam, goptrtva varanam)

3. In realizing whatever knowledge we have, whatever we do, whatever effects they have, whatever benefits they result are all His acts.

4. In praying the lord to have the full confidence at the time of the end of his body's life in this world for getting moksham .

5. In seeking guidance, firmness and for uninterrupted service to the Lord during the life period with a goal to attain Him.

6. In longing to do flawless service to please Him who is in the company of Sri Devi, Bhudevi and Nila Devi.

7. In dedicating everything he possesses including his self , and all including living and non-living things that belong to him.

8. In entrusting the responsibility for his protection, and adhering not to indulge in any sinful act, and in any sins.

9.In begging to forgive all the sins that have been committed and for performing forbidden acts in Sastras.

10. In devoting the rest of life in the bliss of kainkaryam to Him and to derive the joy of Sri Vaikuntham in this world itself.

Nyasa Thilagam

Nyasa means laying down of the burden and Tilaka means a jewel of ornament which beautifies prominently in the face.Swamy Desikan composed Nyasa Thilagam with 32 slokas , as he likes this number 32 and so adopted in 32 paddathis in Paduka Sahasram and 32 Adhikaras in Rahasya Traya saram .

Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam is the Deity in whose praise this stotra is conceived in almost all slokas found such as rangesa, rangapathe, ranganatha, rangesa, rangathurya, ranginnyasa, rangasayee, etc. It concerns with the mentality that should prevail in post prapatti period. In the second sloka itself starting as Praya prabhatane pumsam Swamy Desikan assures that bountiful blessings are sure even after the very first surrender to almighty Sriman Narayana. It can be said that Swamy Desikan followed Saranagathi Gadyam of Ramanuja. The slokas 3 and 4 after invocation one is similar to Saranagathi Gadyam does. Sloka 22 is about Lord Ranganatha refers to His sayings as Rama and Krishna addressed to Vibishana and Arjuna, in order to convince Ramanuja that his Saranagati has borne fruit is also in line with Gadyam.

This sloka 20 saying as ' Like the blind man led by the man with good vision, like the same man who is enabled to cross a stream and reach the other shore by the ferry -- man, and like the child of a King's valet which enjoys the best pleasures of life, we too can obtain redemption by the Acharya's grace, though we lack gnana or Sakti or both' is sure to invoke Bhakthi by one and all.

The stotra concluding as swa paryanke sevam thisathi pani paryanka rasika is his fervent prayer for getting the title of "Servant of the Lord and His Sri" is gem of this slokam. Various aspects of Prapatti and total surrender only to Sriman Narayana are described in detail in this stotram.

Nyasa Vimsathi

Nyasa Vimsathi with 22 Slokas , on Nyaasa- the score of self surrender and exposition on it, dedicating to Lord Varadaraja of Kancheepuram ,.The qualifications an acharya should possess are set out in the first sloka, and he should be worshipped as if he were God Himself in sloka 2 , and the traits the sishya must possess are mentioned in sloka 3. Sloka 7 explains unshakable faith in the efficacy of prapatti .A sense of security and fearlessness to who performs prapatti is detailed in last sloka. Vyakyanam for this is done by none other than our swamy Desikan himself is plus point in this. He has done with the anugrahams of Lord Ranganatha of srirangam, and his commentary is there for Tattva muktha kalapa for the tattvas [reals],

This' prapatiraksha' describes how an achrya should be respected, observances to be followed by student, qualifications for Bhakthi , importance of prapatti, remedies for violations in the rules or requirements of prapatti etc. Swamy Desikan says that Acharya should be held and worshipped in the same position as God by students ,and he says 14 qualities of Acharyalakshanam as siddham saathsampradaye sthirathiya manaham srothriyam brahmanishtam sathvastham sathyavasam samaya niyadaya sadhu vrudhaya samedam in sloka 1 ,and in sloka 2 he gives 8 reasons how God and teacher can be placed in same position as Acharya sathprabrath yubakarana diya devavath syathu basya .In sloka 3 deals with sishya lakhanam as one with sincere interest in learning, trust in sastra, rules , control of indriya-s. He stresses Sriman Narayana is the sole owner and controller of everything moving and non-moving, and He is the only objective for all of us in life to attain and there is none other. Slokam 4 is on Bhakti and Prapatti as two Independent Means for Moksha.Sloka 5 on greatness of prapatti, 6 on intense faith ,7 0n prapanna's proper way of life, 8 to 19 different kinds of prapatti, with particular reference on Lord Varadaraja of Kanchi and concluding 21 and 22 sloka on fruits to be obtained on following prapatti.

The concluding sloka Samsaravarta vega prasamana Subha-drik desika prekshito ham

is included as part of the nitya-anushandhanam at the end of the Nyasa dasakam which is recited during the Thiruvaradanam.

I have written just few lines written on every stotram ,with my little knowledge. Readers may offer their suggestions .

To be continued ....

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Vedanta Desika 111 part 2

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 2

In the last issue Vedanta desika's 4 slokas were discussed. Three more are in this.

Swamy Desikan follows SriRamanuja's path in Prapatthi for the three Thayars of the Lord in his Sthuthis ( Sri Sthuthi, Bhusthuthi and Godha Sthuthi). " Sriyam asarana: thvAm Saranyaam prapathye".in .Sri Sthuthi " Visvambharam asarana: Saranam prapathye " Bhu Sthuthi and " Godham ananya sarana: saranam prapathye " Godha Sthuthi.

5. SriSthuthi

SriSthuthi contains 25 slokas depicting Sri Thayar's swaroopam, soundaryam, kalyanagunams, vibhavam, archam, and iswaryam. All 25 slokas have got its own power to grant our requests One need not go to different Gods (as of present day style) for different prayers if SriSthuthi is fully recited. SriSthuthi is sure to help everyone for enhancing happiness of mind, for enrichment with high position, removal of fears, sins, physical and mental illness, and for gaining Moksham, health, soubhakaryams, . Similar to Adhi Sankara's KanakaDhara Sthothram ,our Swamy Desikan's Sristhuthi is Amirthavarshini of Sahala Sowbhaghyam.

One day a poor brahmachary , who had completed Veda Parayanam came to Swamt Desikan's house at Thoopul. He prostrated before him and told that he could not get married to a suitable bride due to poverty. Swamy Desikan then took him to Sri Perundevi Thayar Sannadhi at Sri Devarajaswamy temple in Kancheepuram . He started praising Sri MahaLakshmi Thayar with a poem called SriSthuthi. After completing this poem a rain of gold coins poured before Swamy Desikan. That Brahmachary then collected all the gold coins, and offered his prayers to both Sri Devaraja Perumal And Thayar . Later he found a suitable bride for him and conducted his marriage happily. Such is the glory behind this slokam.

In the very first sloka starting as Maanatheetha pratitha vibhavam MangaLam MangaLanam

He tells Mahalakshmi is the refuge of all beings in the world, with limitless wealth, auspicious embodiment of all Mangalams. One can get Her Anugraham both in this and the other world as She is of boon granting nature.

In 7th sloka Madhye kruthya thriguna phalakam nirmitha-sthanabhedham

Visvadheesa Praayini Swamy Desikan says "your lord is Sarveswaran and you are sarveswari and both are equally matched with astonishing Vathsalya subhavam. But both of You are playing a game of chess with the chess board clearly marked by the three gunams of Moola Prakruthi (Satthva, Rajas and Tamas). Its sixtyfour squares are alternatively painted with the colors of white or Red or Black. The dices are the Karmas of the Devas. As a result of the roll of the dices, the positions of devas go up or down or sideways and they attain new positions based on the sweep of their Karmas. The Dhivya dampathis play this game with great amusement .Both of You get amusemet by assigning Brahma, Siva, Indhradhi Devas in appropriate positions.

In the middle 13, 14, and 15 slokas, coronation of Lakshmi in the presense of the Lord , devas and their chiefs together with their wives regaining leadership, begging the Lakshmi kataksham , riches and wealth vie with each other to stay with Lakshmi are detailed.

In 24th sloka Kalyananam avikala-nidhi: kaapi Kaarunya seema

saishA devee sakala bhuvana prarthana Kaamadhenu:, Swamy says as She is the boon-granting Kaamadhenu responding to the pleas for anugraham from all the beings of the world. Thayar is undiminished and eternal abode of all Mangalams, treasure house of Compassion (KaaruNyam) and the boundary for the same. She is Mandhara maalai for the head of Vedas known for their eternal fragrance. She is the precious wealth of the Lord, who destroyed the asuran with the name of Madhu.

In concluding verse he says as Those who recite this hymn will become emperors and enjoy unlimited all round welfare and get all Mangalams through the performance of Prapatthi to Her . They will then cross the boundary of earthly Mangalams to enjoy the nithya Mangalam of Moksha Sukham in Sri Vaikuntam.


Swamy Desikan composed 33 slokas in praise of Bhoomi devi in Sri BhooSthuthi.

In the first sloka he said that he is surrendering to Bhoodevi as sarana saranam prabhatye she is the symbol of tolerance, beloved wife of Vishnu in Varaha Avatara,and she is Kamadhenu who have no supports, and a mother responsible for creation and saviour of the world.

In the second sloka, he said Vishnu is Pranava mantra,and the first word Bhoo is Nachiar. Lord Vishnu is called as Viswarambaran. ,.Similarly Nachiar is Viswambarai.

In 6th sloka Sarvam sahethyavaniri thyasalethi matha viswarambethi vibhulethi vasundarethi ,Swamy Desikan says as 'tolerating even the accused , Giver of food and water ,Having everlasting strength, savior of entire people, omni present, omni potent, showering all wealth'. There is no sloka other than Boosuktham and so Swamy Desikan’’s Sri Boosthuthi is a great boon.

Bhoodevi was born as Satya bhama daughter of Satyajith, and married Krishna. As people suffered a lot in Narakasura’s worst ruling, Krishna came in garuda with Satyabama and killed Asura. One may wonder why SatyaBhama went with Krishna during war. Vishnu, in Varaha Avatara, brought Bhoodevi in pralaya ocean through his hard teeth. Thus born a male child to them and that was narakasura. , who had demon character and who caused all sorts of trouble to all people. Vishnu then told that he may have to kill him, one day in her presence. For this reason she accompanied Vishnu. in war with Narakusara. .Once she went inside an ocean, as she found very difficult with the cruel nature of Hiranyakshagan, .Brahma then wondered as how this happened when people depend on her to save them, from the clutches of family life .Then Brahma prayed Vishnu to find a solution. Vishnu then searched for Bhooma devi. But as she was in a pitiable condition, he married her immediately. Desikan said the sounds of sea waves gave auspicious sound of Mangala vadhyam for this marriage.



"Sri Gothasthuthi" of Swami Desikan on Sri Andal is speciafically sung before the procession of Sri Andal and Sri Renga Mannar During Vasantha Uthsavam Festival in Srivilliputhur is an Remarkable one.Swamy Desikan had plans to go to Andal sannadhi for Mangala Sasanam after Pradosham Mouna vratham.But to his surprise Andal deity uthasava moorthy came in procession before the house he stayed. Though that house is not in prakaram of Purappadu, route was temporarily changed for a day due to some death. This made Swamy Desikan to feel as "Aho Bhagyam" and his Parama Bhakthi towards Andal and recited 29 verses in Sri GodaSthuthi with two Sanskrit poetic metres of Vasantha Thilakam and Maalini.

Swamy Desikan's 28 Sthothra granthams had 862 slokams totally. Vasanthathilakam is found in slokas 2 to 28. The first and concluding Palasruthi slokas had Maalini metre.

Dhyana Slokam of Godha is 28th one as sathamakamaNineelA charukalhArahasthA sthanabharanamithAngi saandhravaatsalya sindhu : I

aLkavinihithAbhi: sragbhirAkrushta naathA vilasathu hrudhi GodhA VishnuchittAthmajA na : I/describes Andal as

who incarnated as the daughter of Periyazhwar has the hue of the blue gem , Indra Neelam, stands sporting a beautiful Senkazhuneer in Her hand . She is slightly bent from the weight of Her breasts. She is the One, who showers Her Daya on us and forgives our trespasses. She is the One , who presented to the Lord the garlands worn by Her first on Her beautiful tresses and overpowered Him by Her beauty and got Him under Her control .May Godha Piratti of these celebrated auspiciousness reside in all our hearts always .

To be continued...

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kothaiyin Geethai 4


4.Preachings and Saranagathi

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Andal's preachings for well being and total surrender to Sriman narayana is elaborated in concluding six pasurams.

In 25th pasuram, Andal says that Krishna gave the pleasure of avatara rasa as born as the son of Devaki and on the same night by becoming the son of Yasoda he gave the pleasure of enjoying His sports in leela rasa .When asked about the requirements Gopis said that they just wanted to do service to God. Andal says Krishna as thiruthakka selvam , a divine personality to dispell all vicious influences and to bless them with all benefits .Her preaching in this pasuram is one can attain more happiness and be free from all troubles by singing Krishna's glory.

Periazhwar in his Thirumozhi moonram Anthathi states as Devakitan vayitril athathin patham nal . Similarly, his daughter Andal here gave puzzle as oruthi, oriravu, olithu, to solve by ourselves. Andal's praises for Krishnavatharam with two mothers is well explained in Gita (4.9 ). Krishna says here as His birth and activities are divine. He further says those who know this in reality is not reborn on leaving the body, but comes to Him. Thus it is known that Krishna has many forms and incarnations .Though there are many transcendental forms, they are one and the same Sriman narayana.

In 26th pasuram the word 'Maley' used by Andal may be a repetition of the previous pasuram as ‘Nedumale’ and as 'Selvathirumal ' in the last one. Nedumale is the great love and affection of Vasudeva on Devaki, which caused terror in the minds of Kamsan for his cruel nature with them. ' Selva Thirumal' is on Dwaya Mantram. But here it is Krishna's excessive, boundless and unlimited loving care and affection for the soul, Maam in Charama Sloka of Gita. Andal says that there is no direct Vedic injunction, excepting the practice of doing what their ancestors has done it as Melayaar seyvanagal. Andal preaches in this as ' Age old customs, traditions and practices of our Acharyas are to be respected and observed with great care .In Gita (4.1 ) Krishna says " Immortal yoga is revealed to Vivasvan from Me ,Vivaswan conveyed to Manu, Manu imparted then to Ikshvaku. Similar to this, all good habits are observed with much care in tradition. Alin ilaiyai conveys the power, glory and excellence of the Omnipotent Krishna is informed and conveys as 'Without His volition not even an atom will move'.

The 27th pasuram in Tiruppavai is popular because of its attraction with sweety, tasty, sumptuous , ghee quoted, Chakkarai pongal. The lines of 'Mooda Nei peithu muzhankai vazhiyara' in Koodaravalli pasuram is of unique attraction as Andal has expressed her broadmindedness and gesture fully in Nachiar Thirumozhi 9 as Nooru thada in which she is offering butter in 100 vessels, Akkaravadisal (the famous Ayyangar veettu Payasam of rice cooked in Milk with jaggery and ghee) in 100 vessels to Lord of Thirumalirunjolai . Andal uses the favorite name of Govinda in three pasurams continuously in pasuram 27, as Koodarai vellum seer Govinda, in 28 as Kurai onrum illatha Govinda, and in 29 as Andru kaan Govinda .Andal preaches as Lord can punish a soul for a wrong only if the the soul is not prepared to take refuge unto Him . The moment he accepts His protection, the Lord cannot punish him for his sins as padi parai kondu yam perum sanmanam.Andal prays for finest fragrant silk attire, and jewels such as bangles, padagam, ear rings, choodigi, citing the instance of issue of saree to Draupadi.

In Gita( 3.13 ) Lord Krishna says that the devotees are released from all kinds of sins because they eat in group offered first for sacrifice. But the people preparing food for just personal enjoyment in a lonely place verily eat sins only. So taking food with all friends and relatives is recommended both by Krishna and Andal.

In 28th pasuram,Andal tells Saranagathi, is otherwise observance Nonbu .As said in the very first pasuram as Narayane namakke parai tharuvan, lord Krishna is to be attained by us as padip parai kondu in 8th, and 27th, He is the means of attainment as angapparai kondu in 30th pasuram. Andal confesses that there is absolutely no omissions, mistakes or wrong things in Him. Andal says as though they know one should perform saranagathi according to one's status and without any expectation of its fruits, they are liable to commit mistakes often. She also pleads for excuse for calling Krishna in various names out of affection and love. Andal pleads for forgiving the break ness in the middle of three modes of Saranagathi Swanishte,( to do directly with full knowledge), Utkishte ,(doing through Acharya's guidance),Acharyanishte, (surrendering to Acharya). In Gita (8.9)Krishna asks Arjuna to think of Him at all times . Krishna claims that , He who contemplates on the all knowing, ageless being, the ruler of all, subtler than subtle, the universal sustainer, possessing a form beyond human conception, effulgent like the sun, and far beyond the darkness of ignorance. Andal's saranagathi to such a supreme personality Paramathma is ever appreciable one.

In Tiruppavai two pasurams 29 and 30 are considered as Satrumurai , Sriman narayana is both means and end in SriVaishnava sampradaya. This is stressed as Unakke naam aat seyvom in this pasuram and in previous one as Unthannai punniyam yaamudaiyom .What Periazhwar in Thiruppallandu tells as Enthai thanthai thanthai tham moothappan ezhpadi is repeated by Andal in this as ezhezh piravikkum unthannodu . Andal pleads Lord Krishna in this pasuram ,for changing all desires of worldly pleasures as sincere service to god. Saranagathi in the form of early morning prayers, prostration before Thiruvadigal ,doing mangalasasanam, are suggested in this pasuram. In Gita (7.19) Krishna says that He himself is the man of wisdom, and in the very last of all births the enlightened person worships Him by realizing that all this is God. Such a great soul is rare indeed. Andal has proved that statement in this verse by following Her father's words.

In the concluding pasuram, Saranagathi's result of Engum Thiruvarul petru inburuga is confirmed. Any one irrespective of caste, creed ,age or sex can follow Saranagathi or surrender. One can perform Saranagathi not only for himself but also for others including animals, birds, plant etc. The individual surrenders to the Lord expressing his limitations of yogic path. The process is simple with huge benefits. Resolve to do only such acts favorable to supreme God, and to avoid all actions nor favoured by the Lord. If one have full faith in the Lord that he will protect the individual. Andal says that people known to recite thirty pasurams of Thiruppavai without any errors are sure to attain benedictions of Srimannarayana and SriMahalakshmi. Vangak kadal kadaintha informs various specialities of Sriman narayana as Churning the ocean to get nectar, in vatsalya , managing individually in swamittva ,working with all in sausilya, distributing nectar in saulabhya, knowledge on chun in gnana, and strength to complete in shakthi.In Gita (5.29) Krishna says that the persons knowing all sacrifices and austerities, as the supreme lord of the worlds attains peace . Andal says in similar voice that Sangathamizh malai is sure to give peace to one and all.

Note. Kothaiyin Geethai is just my attempts to identify similarities in two immortal epics.

Vedanta Desika 111 will be continued from next week.

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3.Awakening and singing on Krishna

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

In the second part of Kothaiyin Geethai ,Andal woke up all her friends of different characters and they then proceeded to Sri Nandabhavanam and asked the door keeper to permit them in. Andal then elaborates awakening Krishna, Balaraman and Nappinnai from 16th to 19th pasurams and 20 to 24 is on singing glory of Krishna .

Sixteenth pasuram starting as Nayaganai is said to be the centre of Tiruppavai. In this Andal requests the gate keeper of the palace of Nandagopan to keep it open for their entry. She narrates the details of nonbu she did with her friends and the assurance of Krishna to grant its benefits .Andal uses the word 'parai ' in pasurams 1,8. 10,16,24 to 30 and in all she claims that Krishna is sure to grant parai tharuvan .This pasuram conveys the decency of approaching great personalities only through proper channel. Also tells that praising and pure worshipping God in word, mind and action, is sure to pave way for His Grace .This thooyomai vandom thuyil elappaduvan is confirmed by Krishna. In Gita(10.9 ) mat chitha matgata pranah He says with minds fully engaged in him their lives devoted to him ,conversing and enlightening one another about His glories ever remain contented and take delight in Him.

In seventeenth pasuram, Andal wakes up Yasoda first, Kannan then and next Balaraman .Andal refers Nandagopalan as donor of food, clothes, water in plenty. Vamana avatharam is again mentioned in this as Ongi ulagalantha umbar koman . As said in second pasuram iyamum pichaiyum anthanaiyum kai katti , Andal continues to say on charity in this as Aram cheyyum emberuman . Andal calls yasoda as kozhunde kulavilakke and asks to embark upon worshipping the lord, to begin the same contemplating upon their preceptors and to seek their approval for the same. In Gita(17.20) Krishna says as Charity given out of duty without expectation of return at the proper time and place and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness.

In Eighteenth pasuram , Andal tells her friend Nappinnai to enjoy pleasures of righteousness, with family and friends without prejudice .Nandagopan was strong as elephant in high .His strength matched that of a group of elephants, and with his great strength in his arms , he never thought to go back. When Sri Ramanujar was in Srirangam, he used to recite Tiruppavai always. When the lines Pandar virali ....Vandhu thiravai came near the house of his Guru Peria Nambi, his daughter Atthuzhai came and Gave Bhikshai. But in seeing her, Ramanuja became unconscious with a feeling that Nappinnai herself came before him. She told this fact to her father Peria Nambi .Peria nambi felt extremely happy as his disciple saw his daughter in the form of Nappinnai. Then this pasuram became Ramanujar's favourite one, and so he was called as Tiruppavai jeer. Krishna says in Gita (2.31), as Killing in battlefield on religious principles and killing animals in sacrificial fire are not to be considered as a violence act. Andal thus said Krishna had strength with shoulders to face any moral struggle as Odatha thol valiyan in this.

Nineteenth pasuram is just an imagination of Nappinnai and Krishna together lying on the costly couch . The pleasures referred is only suggestion by Andal that all gopis should get them in Sri Krishna's company and only for that reason Nappinnai is keeping company with Him. It is said in this pasuram ,that any bed for sleeping should be cool, light, beautiful designed ,good scent, and white in colour. Andal chose Nappinnai as the preceptor, and prayed to her in order to win the communion of Krishna .Andal tells Nappinnai's eyes got enlarged on seeing the beauty of Krishna as Maithadan kanninai . She made a request to Nappinnai to act as a mediator between Bakthas and God. In Gita (18.55)Krishna says that one can understand Him only by devotional service .And when he knows truly he forthwith merges into Him. Based on this, Andal felt that Nappinnai is capable of helping them to attain Krishnaanubhavam successfully.

Glory of Krishna is depicted in pasuram 20 as to wake up all , 21 as to identify their arrival, 22 as to give darsan to them , 22 as to see them with grace , 23 as to analyze their request and bless , and in 24 to convey the greetings .

In twentieth pasuram ,Muppathu moovar Amararku, 33 is taken for 8 vasus,11 Rudras 12 Adityas,and 2 Aswinikumarars.Andal says in this pasuram that a man of faith constructs something beautiful even in the midst of chaos. She asks Krishna as he has on several occasions made him free from fear from the minds of the thirty three crores of Devas and rescued them from the Asuras. But in delaying tactics His reputation only will be spoiled and they just wanted to get Him up from His bed and to grant the necessary boons. As said setrarku veppam kodukkum vimala, Krishna always rescues those who have performed Saranagathi at His lotus feet. And if the dissuaders are enemies, He punishes them for the offence, and if they are friends he makes them to assent the choice in taking them into his hold. Krishna says this periyay in Gita (15.15 ) as He is the source of memory, knowledge and the ratiocinative faculty , He is the only object worth knowing through vedas and the origin of vedanta.

In 21st pasuram , Andal tells Krishna as Utramudaiyay as He is unshakable, not of known authorship, permanent, flawless and is an Authority by itself. Further He has a strong wish and power not to abandon those who surrender Him. She joins with all and says as Periyay for His possession of an indescribable greatness and with passion to do everything to the devotees as Ulaginil Thotramai for His incarnations as Rama, Krishna, etc, Sudare for splender gets increased every time as He is showing mercy on distressed souls. Andal is said to possess all sorts of characters of Idaiyal cowherd and concern and praises for cows, and so she says in this pasuram as pal soriyum Vallal peum pasukkal , like Kudam niraikkum vallal perum pasukkal in third pasuram.

Matrar is identified by Krishna as people against his devotees and not against Him. Krishna says this Gita, (7.15 ) as the people who are not willing to surrender Him as persons whose wisdom has been carried away by Maya, and are domainic nature such as foolish and worthless men of evil deeds do not adore Him.

In 22nd pasuram, Thingalum Adthithyanum ,conveys Krishna is capable of exhibiting his talents simultaneously in most contradictory nature , like Bayakruth bayanasana in SriVishnu Sahasranamam , creating and destroying the fears. In Narasimhavatharam though Hiranyakasipu was killed in much terror, Prahlada was looking smilingly. Andal wants to nullify the evil effect of curses .Andal wants the two eyes of Krishna to be seen on her and remove all curses. She had in mind that Ahalya got it through feet, Kubera through knees, Madhu kaitabha through thighs, and Durvasa through chest. Andal says many kings of various countries are waiting near his kingdom, like Arjuna and Duryodana's wait before Gurukshetra war. Similarly she is waiting with all her friends so as to reach Him as vandhu thalaippeithom .In Gita (17.3) Krishna says the faith of all men conforms to their mental disposition. Faith constitutes a man; whatever the nature of his faith, verily he is that. Andal had such a high confidence in her approach to meet Krishna .

In 23 rd pasuram, Andal expresses the excellence of lion in its coming out from cave in winter season. She compares reclining pasture of lion's appearance with that of Krishna, while coming out from His bed. The gigantic walk Simhanadai attracted Andal more than other walks such as gajanadai, sarpanadai, pulinadai, kalainadai which are still prevailing in SriRangam in oyyara nadai sevai during uthsavam days. As lion cub even at birth is the king of forests, and needs no coronation, Krishna is also great in natural form .Andal calling as Poovai poo vanna, though contradict to lion's look , is also equally good and apt for Krishna. It is said Vishnu took avatars to teach a virtuous life, and to take the lives of bad, only after analysing the facts as Araindhu arul .This has been informed in Gita (18.14 ) as "The place of action, the performer, the various senses, many kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the super soul are the factors of causes for the accomplishment of actions ".So Andal is sure that anything is done in broad analysis.

In 24 th pasuram, Andal took a lead in performing Archana in Tamil and so nobody can claim Tamil archana system as of their own.She narrates Vamana Avatharam as ulagam alanthai, Rama avatharam as then ilangai setrai, Krishna avatharam in vanquishing evil Sakateswara as sakatam uthaithai , killing Kapitthasuran just by throwing calf cow into the air for Vilambazham, as kanru kunila erinthai ,protecting Aayarpadi for 9 days just by holding Govardana giri in finger as kunru kudaiyai eduthai.Andal says there are so many such valours Krishna does in every Avataram, and the purpose of this praises is to attain His grace only. Andal says God protects all unfailingly who seeks refuge in His feet. In Gita (7.17) Krishna says that He is extremely dear to any wise person who knows Him in reality, and He is extremely dear to Him. So it can be said all His seshtithams are only to persons who surrender Him totally.

To be continued ….



2.Nonbu observation (Thiruppaliyezhuchi )

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

In Tiruppavai, Sriman Narayanan 'as aim and source is seen in first Dos and Donts dealt in nonbu in 2, wishing prosperity in 3, Making all areas with bountiful rain in 4, and Relieving from ills, evils and sins in 5th pasurams . Now from 6th to 15th pasurams awakening all friends, with an idea of enjoying Lord's Anugraham with all her friends and others, is discussed. These 10 pasurams also form as representing the glory of ten Azhwars, and awakening Azhwars, otherwise it can be said as Azhwar Thiruppalli Ezhuchi. .

In the sixth pasuram, call made for the first house friend calling as 'pillaai'.. Early morning beauties such as bird's nice chirping sound, sankha natham sound from conch in temple awakening the Gods, are described in this. All devotees in early morning, while getting up from bed used to tell 'Hari' 7 times and that form a basis for 'Good morning' is stressed in this. Vilisangin peraravam is found in Gita (1.14,15 ) as divyau sankhu and called as panchasanyam,devadutta, paundram being blown by Krishna, Arjuna, and Bhima. Krishna assures that He is with them always and sounds of such conchshells announce the message that success in battle is assured. Thus Andal takes the same situation as success to her nonbu .This pasuram refers Poigai Azhwar who sung Putana Vadham , which explains Krishna giving moksham to Putana even for giving him a poisoned milk.

In seventh pasuram, Andal wake up the leader of her group of friends as Nayagappen pillaai . Andal tells here about the audible sounds of bird's Keesukeesu noice, and Ayarpadi women churning milk , and devotees singing namasankeerthanam. Andal wanted to create a similar scene of Sita hugging in Janasthanam when Rama killed all demons in success. She said similar scene of Krishna, brought Kesi down when he came in the guise of demon.In Gita 18.1 Kesi nisudana, Kesi a demon was killed by Krishna, and Arjuna is just to kill the demon of doubt. . Similarly Andal asks the friend whether she had a doubt or just pretending. The word peyppenne reminds us , Kulasekara Azhwar who sung as peyanai ozhinden emberanukke in his Perumal Thirumozhi (3.8 ) .

In eighth pasuram Andal's call to a friend who is always cheerful, mentioning as Kothukalamudaiya pavai .Andal mentions some other marks of early morning such as eastern sun wishing to dawn soon as Kilvanam vellendru, and cattle on Gurukulam let out in vast fields and meadows grazing the refreshing grass dews as erumai siruveedu meivan.In Gita 12.6,7 Krishna says as "Worship me constantly meditating on me with single minded devotion". Andal says the same in this as povan poginrarai considering the walk for nonbu itself is a beneficial one, keeping one goal of observation of nonbu. It is said in the concluding lines of this pasuram as ' When we start worshipping the God , He is sure to welcome our prayer and bless us all '.This pasuram is in line with Nammazhwar's attempt to remove darkness of Agnanam, and cause for gain of useful knowledge.

In ninth pasuram Andal asks her Uncle's daughter interested in just sleeping is asked to get up from bed and asks them to join in nonbu. Ayarpadi residents are almost relatives to each other. Similar to this, in Gita (1.26)also the same scene of Arjuna overcoming with deep compassion on seeing his uncles, cousins, nephews, in the field, asking to join in fight. Chanting Mathava, Govinda , names is considered to be more powerful than Narayana himself, and that will also be answering all our prayers to God. The episodes of Draupadi getting a lengthy saree at a crucial time to save her , and Gajendra in getting relief from crocodile are said to be reasons for their chanting of God's Names . In Gita (10.25) Krishna says that he is Yagnanam japa yagna of all sacrifices chanting of holy names is the purest representation of Him. The word Manthirappattalo in the pasuram coincides with strange situation of Thirukkudanthai Aravamuthan being refered as Aramuthazhwan, and ThirumazhisaiAzhwan being referred of Thirumazhisaipiran .

In tenth pasuram, a friend of Andal , residing near Nandagopan's house. is being waked up. She had the pleasure of attaining Krishna out of Bhakthi, but she felt sleeping, is a divine gift as it is quoted as Notrusch swargam pugugindra ammanai . She is considered to be their guide and companion and so called her to open the door as thetramai vandhu thiravu . Andal says that God is not expecting anything else than just our prayers and prostration before him as Nammal potra parai tharum punniyanal. In Gita( 12.10)Krishna says the same as one can attain perfection even by performing actions for His sake. Peyazhwar's Thanthuzhai marban Moondram thiruvandathi is similar to Natrathuzhai mudi narayanan .

In eleventh pasuram call for a girl with many adjectives such as porkodi, punamayil, selvappendatti and inform all her friends are gathering in front of the house and siging in praise of Krishna. Andal classifies sleep as perunthuyil, perurakkam in 9th and 10th pasurams, and starts condemning the same by questioning the reason of her deep sleep. Andal says here that the practice of milking the cow only to free them off their pains.They were determined to fight the wrong doers like Kamsa and the like, who would dare touch upon the glories of Kannan. In Gita (3.32 ) Krishna says similar to this as people finding fault with his teachings are not following his advice, though his sayings are for making them free from worldly attachments causing sorrows only. Boothathazhwar's Manivannan padame nee maravel nenjame is in line with Andal's Mukil vannan perpada.

In twelfth pasuram, Andal goes to the house of sister of Sudama narchelvan thangai.Sudama is very close friend, and Aide to Krishna, just like Lakshmana to Rama in Ramayanam. The cattle wealth with plenty of milk flooding the whole house is well said as Nanaithillam serakkum .Andal saysRama who killed Ravana ,as manathukku iniyan because he was loved by not only by Dasaratha and Kousalya, as their son , but also by Kaikeyi, Lakshmana, Bharatha, Guha, Vibhishana, Sugriva, jatayu, hanuman ,entire people of Ayodhya.Even after hearing Ramayana she asks why such deep sleep ethenna perurkam is similar to what Krishna said in Gita (6.16) .He says as a person in the mode of ignorence of great men is lazy and prone to sleep, and such persons cannot do anything successfully. Madurakavi Azhwar is compared in this pasuram as he is of the view that Acharya is more beloved to a disciple comparing to God as he is rendering service to God in all levels .Andal says Rama is beloved to all like acharya.

In thirteenth pasuram, Andal's visit to a girl with beautiful eyes, who inspired Krishna.Mentioned here on Krishnavatharam as 'pullin vai keendan , because of Krishna's killing bakasuran, and Ramavatharam as polla arakkanai killilk kalainthanai for fighting with Ravana . Though Andal said in 1 and 4 as Neerada pothuvir , and Margazhi neerada, She now asked them to take bath Kullak Kulira Kudainthu neeradathe as just not to immerse fully on Krishnanubhuvam, but keeping mind and body in comfortable manner. Kallam thavirnthu kalanthu stated here is to avoid personal joy and to enjoy with one and all. This is similar to Gita (13.10) , wherein Krishna insists on unflitching devotion to Him, with exclusive attachment, avoiding delight in the company of worldly people. Thondaradip Podi Azhwar's Achuvai perithum venden in Thirumalai represents this theme.

In 14th pasuram,Andal made an appeal to a girl in sweet tongue and most feminine character as nangai navudaiyai . Andal praised the glories of Krishna who dwells in the love filled with heart of her friends as pankayakkannan and sankodu sakkaram enthum thadakkaiyan as He captivates us by his divine form adoring Sanku and chakra and He entharls with his beautiful eyes that are like the lotus and His eyelashes are long and neat. This reminds us Gita (11.49) when Krishna Himself states seeing such a dreadful form of Him, not to be perplexed or perturbed at all. He asked to watch once again the same four armed of Him with a fearless and tranquil mind.The same expressions are seen in In Amalanathipiran of Thiruppanazhwar, as periya vaya kangal ennai pethamai seithanave .

The 15th pasuram is just to instruct all to accept all responsiblities , in total commitment and be keen in correcting mistakes as nanethan aayiduga . If any body throws blame even on no fault of him or her, please accept as though it is done by you. Then make it as a perfect one . The first half of Tiruppavai ending with this pasuram is on Bagavathas , or Azhwars, or disciples of Krishna. Elle, ilankiliye, nangaimeer, are mentioned for a friend of Andal who is very talkative nature. In Gita, Krishna has asked to renounce the sense of doership in all undertakings. And one should take praise and areproach alike. (14.25, 12.18 ).This is insisted just to impart knowledge in taking care on all the actions done. Thirumangai Azhwar , the last in the Azhwar list, is said to be representing this pasuram. The ten characters of Sri vaishnava is elaborated in this pasuram, as Welcoming speech of Bakthas, avoiding sleep in good company ,not using harsh words, respecting devotees, accepting constructive ideas,owning errors of others as their own, not seperating from devotees, following ancestors path, joining in good congregation, and singing glory of Narayana.

To be continued ......



1. Pavai nonbu

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan

Andal's Thiruppavai otherwise known as Kothai's Upanishad, or Kothaiyin geethai ,is recited in all Vaishnavite temples in Goshti, a large gathering of devotees, in the month of Margazhi. Even in daily Tiruvaradanams Satrumurai songs Sitran chirukale, Vangak kadal kadaintha of 29, 30 th pasurams of Tiruppavai are recited. We have seen many scholars right from Sri Ramanujar, giving meanings, explanations, vyakyanams, swapadesartham, padapadartham for Tiruppavai. My presentation now to readers is just a trial to do something and not at all to be compared with other great research works of many poorvacharyas.

Andal's Thiruppavai is a collection of thirty verses on Andal's imagination as Gopi a cowherd girl during the incarnation of Lord Krishna. She is the only female in the list of Azhwars who sung immortal Nalayira Divya prabandam. This contains description of religious vows (pavai nonbu ) that Andal and the Gopika Sthrees to observe for this purpose. Tiruppavai is also a finest truth of vedantha. Andal gave Kothaiyin Geethai as Thiruppavai with just 30 pasurams as iyainthum iynthum (5x5+5) . Five is prefered perhaps with an idea of panchasamskaram , a vaishnavite should observe in his/her life,and Pancha dwaragai, Lord Krishna's aboding Kshetras in this country. This is similar to what Baghavan Krishna gave us his Bagavath Geetha in (18+8)x(18+8)+18)as 694 slokas. Significance of 18 is for chapters and 8 is for Ashtakshara manthram.

The five points in Thiruppavai in general is as follows.

1. Description of Pavai nonbu in 1 to 5 pasurams 2. Observation of nonbu in 6 to 15 pasurams 3. Awakening Kannan, Balaraman, Nappinnai in 16 to 19 pasurams 4. Singing glory of Kannan 20 to 24 pasurams. 5. Preaching and saranadathi 25 to 30 pasurams.

In this issue, the first part is analyzed briefly with reference to Srimad Bagavath Geetha.

Thiruppavai starts as Margazhithingal as Margazhi is most precious,enjoyable for its seasoned weather in early mornings. In Srimad Bagavath Geetha Lord Krishna quotes himself as Maasanam margasirsham (Gita 10.35 )

The safest means of securing Him is not Karma yoga etc but His Grace only.(Narayane namakke). In the very first pasuram itself Andal tells as Narayanane namakke paai tharuvan .In Srimad Bagavath Geetha,in 8.8 Krishna says as "He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me." Again in 18.66 SriKrishna says as "Resigning all your duties to me,the all powerful, and all supporting lord, take refuge in me.In similar way, Andal assures here in this that the success in all our attempts ,as our goal in nonbu is reaching the supreme Sriman Narayana . Importance to both men and women is given equally by Andal as she first quotes as 'Nandagopan kumaran' giving importance to male, and in the very next line as 'yasodai ilanchingam' giving equal status to female.

The second pasuram is on our Bakthi , in which we should have the confidence that we will be protected by God always.Do's and don'ts kirisaigal of the vow have to be followed strictly, and not to indulge in an act which was not practiced by our righteous minded ancestors.(Seyyadana seyyom ).The same can be seen in Gita as Lord Krishna says in 16.7, as "Men possessing a demoniac disposition know not what is right activity and what is right abstinence from activity. They do not possess purity, good conduct and truthfulness". Again in 4.18 as "He who sees inaction in action , and action in inaction , is wise among men. He is a yogi who has performed all actions. "As all duties are to be performed without attachment, desire for fruit, feeling of possession and egoism do not bear fruit in the form of pleasure and pain in this world or next". Andal also conveyed some ethical practices as not to tell ill of others as Thikkuralai sendru othom and to deliver any gifts only to the deserving persons at suitable time in a fit place as Iyamum pichaiyum anthanaiyum kaikatti . What Krishna said that his devotees who stick to the duties enjoined upon them will never be let down. Andal said this Uyyumarenni uganthu .The words Vaiyathu vazhvirgal is only greeting all as 'let all live in the world' and her words are never like 'oh sinners' being used by other religious groups.


In the third pasuram Ongi ulagalantha uthaman perpadi Vamana avatharam is described by Andal, similar to Gita's Viswaroopa darsan of Lord Krishna in 11.21 as Siddhas, Maharishis praising your names and glories and saying as 'let there be peace'.By such sincere prayers abundant rain ,causing more prosperity is sure to be obtained. Andal uses the word 'padi' in 15 pasurams out of 30 in Tiruppavai, as 'uthaman perpadi' etc. So Andal is not only 'sudikodutha nachiar ' but also a 'padikodutha nachiar'. In Gita chapter 12, when Arjuna asks Krishna about devotees singing in praise of him, Krishna says "I consider them as to be the best yogis who endowed with supreme faith and ever united through meditation with me with the mind centered on me. This pasuram is considered as pallandu ,as it has the lines such as neengatha selvam nirainthua sort of blessing of moksha, aiswarya, service of god alone remain for long with any man.

In the fourth pasuram starting with Azhimazhaik kanna as Krishna is of anything and everything in fame, fair and faith. The word uzhimudalvan is similar to Gita 9.17 as'Krishna declares that "I am the sustainer and ruler of this universe its father,mother, grand father, the one worth knowing the purifier ''. The fourth stage of forms and exploits of Narayana in Vaishnava siddantham 'Antharyami' is depicted in this fourth pasuram as Lord is acting in disguise as Varuna. The lord in this form stays with individual self as its friend in its state of experience such as heaven, hell etc. Again the happiness in the month of Margazhi with bountiful rain causing all water areas in full level giving pleasure to one's mind and body, is well detailed in this pasuram. Lord Krishna describes this fact in Gita 9.19 as 'he hold back and sendforth showers' .Vazha ulaginil conveys that we should always think of everything good for everyone at every occasion.

The fifth pasuram is on God thinking,which disappears accrued Karmas from deliberate or accidental acts.Fifth status of Archavatharam is known through the word vadamathurai mainthan . Utterance of God's name with firm mind centered on God as vayinal padi manathinal sinthikka helps in relieving from all our mistakes.Also Andal says sins will erase completely like cotton placed in fire. Surrendering (Saranagathi ), Andal says will perish as earlier sins be burnt, and subsequent sins not stick. In Gita 12.2 Sri Bhagavan asks to worship him with the mind centered on him as nithya yuktha upasane . in the same chapter 7th sloka Krishna says that he will speedily deliver them from the ocean of birth and death.

In this pasuram 'thoomalar thoovi thozhuthu 'is written as devotees adore him with many fragrant garland of flowers to please Krishna.But He will grace even the people do poojas even with just few petals of flowers. The same lines are seen in Gita as patram puhpam palam thoyam whosoever offers to him with love a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water , he delightfully partake them as it was offered with love.

Andal after describing details of Nonbu in the first five pasurams, calls all her friends to observe this in 6th to 15th pasram, which can be discussed in next issue.

Note.Due to Margazhi, Kothaiyin Geethai in five parts will appear .Vedanta desika 111 part 12 will then be continued.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vedanta Desika 111 part 10

Vedanta Desika -111

Part 10

Swamy Desikan in Tiruvahindipuram, composed many Tamil prabhandams as per the command of Lord Sri Devanathan.During his sleep in one night in Kancheepuram, Sri Devanathan appeared in his dream and asked him to return to Tiruvahindipuram. Swamy Desikan then composed Sri Deva Nayaka Panchasath in Sanskrit, Sri Achyutha Sathakam in Prakritham and Navamanimalai, Mummnanikkovai ,Panthu , Kazhal , Ammanai , Vusal, Yesal in Tamil. In Navamanimalai prabandham He states this fact as Mummnikkovai seriya serthu, pandhu, kazhal, ammanai, vusal, yesal, paravu nanmanilai yum sonnen . But Panthu , Kazhal , Ammanai , Vusal, yesal are not available to us now.In Mummnikkovai also only ten pasurams are available now. There is one more prabandam ' Paramadabangam' written on Swamy's observations of various philosophies , he has studied while he was in Tiruvahindipuram. In part 6 Devanayaka Panchasath and Achyutha Sathakam were briefed.

32.Para matha pangam

Paramatha Pangam is full of philosophies of various thoughts comparing to our Vishishtadwaita. In that he Prays Lord Sudarsana in the beginning and in end.

Swamy Desikan's Sri Sudarsana ashtagam and SriShodasayutha sthothram were discussed in brief in part 4. Para matha pangam, a rahasya grantham in manipravalam style is with 54 pasurams is also dedicated to Sri Sudarsana as Ezhilazhi iraivan and Sudarsanar, with praises on Thiruvazhiazhwan in the beginning and concluding pasurams. In the very first pasuram of this prabandham , Swamy Desikan prays Lord Sudarsana to bless him for his attempts to highlight our philosophy as superior one comparing to the other recently spread philosophies. He says the Lord Sri Sudarsana with only eight tools as enpadai enthi ninran in the beginning, but in the concluding pasuram his 16 hands with names of tools in each hand was well described.

The defects found in Madhyamika, yogasara,sauthranthika, vaibashika, Buddhism, jainism, adwaita, baskara- yadhava, vaiyakarna, gannatha, gauthama, mimamsaka, sankhya, yoga, pasupatha are outlined in the middle pasurams. As he has provided the most logical refutation of Buddha's doctrines ,the issue of Buddha as one of the Dasavatharams of Sriman Narayana does not arise. While Swamy Desikan stayed in Thiruvahindipuram for long period, some of the philosophers of other religious thoughts, came for a debate . Swami Desikan found the inconsistencies in all their theories and quoted them as veenartham vedantha varthai vilakkuvame and defeated them easily as they are not in accordance with Vedas. Swami Desikan's argument that our sampradayam is the only correct and the best siddhantam is excellent in this prabhandam. The glorifying features in pancharathra sastra in 43 rd pasuram as odhiya panchathramukavarai ozhukkuvame , and in 47th pasuram on saranagathy tatwam as naranarke adaikalamai nanuguvure are well explained in this. As written in the last lines in 51st pasuram Pinnadi parthu nadanthu perum padam eruvame , all srivaishnavas may follow the footsteps of our Swamy Desikan, and Sriman Narayana and receive the bountiful blessings.


Swamy Desikan had a dream of Lord Sri Devanatha of Tiruvahindipuram to compose a prabhandam in Tamil on the essence of the four Vedas . Mummanikkovai is thus written by him as very first Tamil prabhandam with 30 pasurams. But only 10 pasurams set in the anthadhi style are available to us today, and the remaining , twenty Paasurams have been lost over time(luptham) . Three aspects of Aasiriyappa,, Venpa and Kattalaikkalitthurai are found in this 30 pasurams. This prabandam excels with Vyankhyartham , in which the words chosen have dhvani echoed,santhirasam, srungararasam , alankaram, adhbutha rasam, karunyam ,viram, serivu, and thelivu, and so praised as a three gems necklace ( mummani) of purana , sthothra,and manthra rathnams. Swamy Desikan is said to have composed Mummanikkovai following Nammazhwar's attempts to give the essence of Rig, Yajur,Athavana vedas, in his Divya prabhnadhams of Thiruviruttham, Thiruvasiriyam ,and Periya Thiruvandhathi .

In this Prabhandham , Swamy Desikan starts telling about Sri Hemambhujavalli Thayar in the first pasuram as She resides in the chest of Devanatha , who never leaves Her place of residence,in all incarnations and in many forms.She takes divine consort corresponding to the incarnation and follows Him.She stays as a resplendent rathna dheepam and removes all our dark cloud of Agnanam . She listens to the soulful cries of the suffering samsaris , recommending for forgiving their trespasses and thus destroys their karmas. She makes those , who sought refuge and shines as the Parama Daya Moorthy .In 4th pasuram of this prabhandam, uyarntha Nee Unnai yemmudan kalanthanai

Ayindhai Maa-naharil amarnthai yemakkai Swamy Desikan commends Devanathan's permanent residence in Tiruvahindipuram as He has blended with us to bless us and for us to have the nectarine experience of enjoying His limitless auspicious attributes is to be acclaimed much. The glories of Dasavatharam of the Lord as Mathsya, Koorma , Varaha , Narasimha , Vaamana , Parasurama ,Rama , Krishna ,so far and is going to take Kalki avatharam later to reduce the burden of the world is well narrated in this Paasuram .

Further encomiums in 8th pasuram as thunaivanum Neeye inai ilayathalin thuyyanum Neeye Seyyaluraithlin karanam Neeye Naarananathalin Karpaham Neeye Nall padham tarutalin Iraivanum Neeye kurai onru ilamayin inbhamum Neeye as"He is our fitting companion ,as there is no one to match Him. He is the purest One as Mahalakshmi resides on His chest without separation. He is the cause for this universe , as He is recognized by the Narayana sabdham.He is the wish granting Kalpaka tree as He bless us to perform nithya kaimkaryam.He is the Sarveswaran as He alone do not have any blemishes or deficiency. He is paramanandha swaroopan as He drive away all sorrows who seek His refuge". In tenth pasuram,Swamy Desikan's experience of Devanathan like Nammazhwar's divine experience with Sriman Narayana is revealed fully.

34. Navamani Malai

Navamanimalai is nine gems (paasurams )strung together in the form of a beautiful ornament (necklace)on glorious features of SriDevanatha of Tiruvahindhrapuram . Swamy named this as Navarathnamalai, . But as this has all the nine elements such as Vennba it is called as Navamanimalai . Whether it is NavaMani or Nava rathnam it is only the nine gems blessed as a treasure to us .As this is a rare one in Tamil poems, the word 'Nava which means' New ' is also apt to this prabhandam Navamanimalai.

The first pasuram is a sixteen lined verse in Four quartets . The glory of the Lord's sacred feet are is well described in this paasuram.Thirukkudanthai Srimad Andavan Swamigal in his lecture on Srimad Ramayanam humorously told Kambar's "Kaivannam angu kande kal vannam ingu kanden" the word 'kal vannam' is correct in the sense that he has described only one fourth (Kal in Tamil means 'one fourth' and' leg ').Swamy Desikan has described fully about this in His Navamani malai in the very first pasuram starting as oru mathi anbar ulam kavarnthana . Swamy Desikan says as the sacred lotus feet of Sri Devanathan , is true to devotees , gives pleasure to their minds ,and make them for complete meditation.The sacred feet then rise to a maximum size and contained all the worlds under them .Similar to that in all avatharams are done.

In the second Paasuram salutations to Dasavatharam in 20 lines is done .In pasuram 5 'irulum arulum tharum annal" is similar to lines in Gopala vimsathi 12th slokam as mama anthima prayane . Anjel enru arul in 7th pasuram is similar to'Ma sucha' in Srimad Bhagavath Gita. Anjal Anjal Anjal endru alikka vendum in pasuram 8 refers Gajendra Moksham episode.

Swamy Desikan concludes this as " Munthai marai mozhi vazhi mozhi nee yenru

Mukundhan arul thantha payan petren nane "as He has done composing Prabhandams on Srisookthis in line with meaning of ancient Vedas as per His command .

A Request

Swamy Desikan wrote both prose and poetry excellently. All his writings are precise, simple, well versed both in Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakritham in manipravala and pure grammatical language. Swamy Desikan is so powerful as a lion and his critics and

rivals would be forced to save themselves, by retracing their steps, submitting meekly and unquestionably to the overwhelmingly balanced, truthful and logical arguments.My attempt to write this article is like a person not knowing to swim, tries to take bath in a sea. So please bear with me for all omissions and commissions in this article.

To be continued ......

Arumbuliyur Jagannathan Rangarajan