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Swami Desikan"s Bhusthuthi

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Apr 05 1996 - 12:56:50 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group :

Sri Bhumi Devi is the consort of Sri Oppiliappan
in Thiruvinnagara  Kshetram. Sri S.Rengarajan 
has described at length about Her Vaibhavam in the 
recent postings on the Sthala Puranam of Thiruvinnagar.
I will focus here on some of the slokas of Swami Desikan"s
Bhusthuthi, where he explained to us about Her special role.

If Sri Sthuthi was an elaboration of Sri Suktham , 
Bhusthuthi is an elaboration of the concepts 
covered by Bhusooktham.

In  thirty three slokas, Swami offers his homage
to Sri Bhudevi , as the Dharma Patni of 
Yajna Varaha Murthy , who fought with the Asura
known as HiranyAksha to bring back the stolen
Bhumi Devi from under the ocean. Our Acharya 
points out here that She is easy to approach by Chetanas
and She is the sustenance of the Chetanas. He states
that Sriman Narayana is enriched by His association
with Bhumi Devi. The seventh Sloka covers his 
thoughts on this aspect of Bhumi Devi.
Through the latter half of this verse , he proclaims:

TVATH SANGAMAATH BHAVATHI 
MAADHAVI LABDHAPOSHA :
SAAKA SATAI : ATIGATHO 
HARICHANDANOSOW 

Here Swami Says that Sriman Narayana , who is
like a Harichandana tree (a variety of Kalpa Taru ) ,
gets His nourishment by His association with 
Sri Bhumi Devi and thereby becomes empowered
to perform His duties as praised by the hundreds of
branches of the Vedas .

Swami desikan"s reverence for Bhumi Devi is revealed 
in the sixth sloka , where he recites Her many names 
to provide an unambigous describtion of Her and 
dwells on Her many glories as the dear wife of the Lord. 
His choice of words are Sarvam Sahaa , Avani, Viswambhara,
Achalaa, Vipulaa, Vasumdharaa, Ananthaa, PruthvE  et al. 
By the holy name of Sarvam Sahaa, he points out that She
represents Her infinite patience with us and putting up with our 
many trespasses. By the name Avani, She indicates Her 
functions in protecting the  universe; by the name Achalaa,
She represents Her steady resolve in helping the 
Prapannaas to receive the mercy of Her Lord ; 
by the name Viswambharaa, She hints at Her duties 
of bearing the Universe; by the name Vipulaa , she 
points out to Her Immesaurable auspicious qualities;
by the name vasundharaa, She reveals Her enormous wealth.

To show the unique distinction of Bhuma Devi and Her special 
place in the affection of Sriman Narayana , Swami states that 
Bhagavan carries Sri Devi only in His chest , where as He carries 
Bhuma Devi on His thousand heads in His role as Adisesha:

VISWAMBHAREH MADHURIPU: PRANAYAANURODHAATH
SESHAATMANAA TU BHAVATHEEM SIRASAA DHADAATHI 

In resonance with the first Rk of Bhoosooktham, 
Swami Desikan states that She enriches and nourishes 
the Earth and makes it produce all riches including food
and minerals .The First Rk of Bhoosuktham is as follows:

BHUMIRBHOOMNAA DHYAURVARINAANTHARIKSHAM MAHITVAA 
UPASTEH TEH DEVYADHITEHAGNIMANNADHAMANNAADHAYAAYAADATEH 

In this Taitiriya samhita mantram, the invocation in 
honor of Bhumi Devi is referred to. The meaning of this 
Mantram is as follows: 

O Bhumi Devi! You are Immeasurable in Your dimensions;
it is not posisble to asses your expanse. You shine forth in
a manner that is respected by every one. Your qualities of 
compassion and forbearance elevate You to dizzying heights;
You can not be divided into finite pieces by anyone. We offer
the Agni that is capable of consuming the Havis for You in
appreciation of our recognition of You producing the food 
that nourishes us. 

Swami Desikan"s twelfth slokam of Bhusthuthi echoes the 
sentiments of the above Bhusooktha Mantram. It begins
with the words: Bhutheshu Yath -----

Here , Swami says that those living beings ,
which are the object of the mercy of Bhumi 
Devi get nourished through Her blessings 
very well ;he also says that among the five 
elements ( Pruthvi, Water, Agni , Vayu 
and ether) , only Pruthvi, the amsam of Bhu Devi 
has the five qualities such as Taste , Fragrance ,
Shape, Touch and Sound . The rest of  the four
Pancha Bhoothams have one or two of the above
attributes only.As a rsult, Bhoomi Devi is the 
embodiment of the mighty riches.

In the twenty eighth slokam of this Sthuthi, Swami
addresses Her as Kshameh and goes on to describe
Her influence with Her Lord to help chetanas approach Him.
Our Acharya says that She is like a ladder 
(Svargaapavarga Saranim ) for Svargam and Moksham. 
In yet another verse, Swami describes Her as the possessor of 
blemishless quality of Mercy (Anapaanukampaa) .She prepares
therefore the fearing Jivans to approach Her Lord .The chetanas
are bent down by the fear that their enormous sins can not be 
expiated by any amount of Praayaschittam . They are sacred to 
experience the fruits of their accumulated sins through 
prolonged residence in Narakam. While they are in the grip of 
such terror, they pray to You and You out of your infinite 
compassion take pity on them and use Your influence 
with Your Lord to get the boon of entering Srivaikuntam. 

Swami Desikan concludes the Bhusthuthi
with a splendid word picture enshrined in 
the Dhyana slokam.Here, he describes Her as the
Adivaraha Mahishi seated on the immense tusk of her Lord
(Bhuvaraha Murthy ) arising out of the Pralaya waters :

PATHYUR DAKSHINA PAANI PANKAJA PUTEH
VINYASTHA PAADHAAMBHUJAA 
VAMAM PANNAGA SAARVABHOWMA SADHRUSAM
PARYNKAYANTHEE BHUJAM
POTHRA SPARSA LASAT KAPOLA PALAKAA
PULLAARAVINDHEKSHANAA
SAA MEH PUSHYATU MANGALAANYANUDHINAM
SARVAANI SARVAM SAHAA 

The above verse is set inthe majestic 
Sardhoola Vikriitham meter in contrast to 
almost all of the other slokas of this Sthuthi ,
which are set in the lilting Vasantha Tilaka meter.

In the above Dhyana Slokam, Swami describes the 
beautiful vision of Bhumi Devi resting both of Her 
Lotus feet on the right palm of Sri Varaha Bhagavan 
and placing Her head on His Cheek, while being 
embraced by His left hand . Our Acharya says that 
the intimacy of Her cheek touching the cheek of Her Lord
made Her experience the sensation of horripilation. Our 
Acharya prays  that Sri Bhumi Devi in that 
state of auspiciousness(Romanjali) and the enjoyment of
the proximity of Her Lord"s presence(Saamepyam )
to  confer on us all  blessings every day.

Sri Bhumi Devi Sametha Sri Bhuvaraha PerumaaL
 thiruvadigaLeh Saranam.

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan