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Sri Ranganaathar Temple construction/ Sri Ranganaatha Mahimai : part 3

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Apr 01 1998 - 19:29:11 PST

Dear Sriranga KshEthra AbhimAnis : 

In this posting , I will cover the masterly
salutation of Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshithar to
Sri RanganAthA in raagam , BrindhAvana SaarangA .

BrindhAvana charan's beauty's embodiment is the raagam
Swami Desikan saluted the heart throb of the gopis 
roaming in the forest of BrindhAvanam as " VandhE 
BrindhAvanacharam  vallavee jana vallabham " in his
GOpAla Vimsathi . The insatiable nectar ( AparyApthAmrutha-
SaarangapANi) ,of the beauty of the Hema Rangan moving 
around the thickets and winding paths of BrindhAvanam 
is saluted by the raagam aptly named as BrindhAvana SaarangA . 

ANDAL enjoyed the divine vENu ghAnam of the blemishless Lord 
(kuRaivonRumillAtha Govindhan )in the forest with the Gopis 
and experienced the rain of svarams falling all around Her as
the showers of fast moving arrows from the bow of the Lord 
named Saarangam . ANDAL addressed that SaarangapANi in
one of Her ThiruppAvai paasuram this way and prayed for 
auspiciousness : " thAzhAthE saarngam uthaittha sara mazhai 
pOl --vaazha ulahanil peythitAi " . BrindhAvana Saarnga 
raagam is thus a raagam closely associated with SaarangapANI ,
the Naadha Brahmam of BrindAvanam .He is the sound and light
( oLi and oli ) of BrindhAvanam .Instead of the rain of 
arrows from HIs Saarangam , the rain of svarams emanated
from His flute and rejuvenated the world .

Sri Rangapura VihAra Krithi in BrindhAvana SaarangA rAgam
This beautiful rAgam is a janya rAgam of Harihara PriyA
( Karahara PriyA ) , the 22nd mELa raagam , which has 
the connection to Veda chakram and BhU PrasthAram . 
It has also the feminine name of BrindhAvani in the 
North Indian classical music tradition .It is a dhaivatha
svara varjitha rAgam with chathusruthi rishabham ,
sAdhAraNa ghAndhAram , kaisiki nishAdham and suddha 
madyama svarams . It has the ArohaNa -avarOhaNa kramam of 
" sa ga ri ma ni ss -ss ni pa ma ga ri sa " .

Pallavi of this Krithi

The pallavi "Rangapura vihAra Jaya kOdhanDa RaamAvathAra 
Raghuveera ( Sri ) " packs a wealth of meanings and
allusions . Swami Desikan saw Sri RanganAthA 
as a radiant effulgence in the middle of Srirangam
and experienced that parabrahmam as the the One , 
who is readily accessible God of Gods , who banishes 
the sorrows of the suffering and orphaned humanity 
through the granting of the boon of mOksham ( chinthArathnam
sulabamiha na: siddhi mOkshAnurUpam , dheenAnAtha 
vyasana samanam , Dhaivatham DhaivathAnAm , divyam 
chakshu: parishathAm dhrusyathE RangamadhyE ) .
In the middle of the rangam / stage of BrindAvanam 
( verdant groves on the banks of KaavEri river ),
that jyOthi is seen as the eye of the VedAs and as
the ChinthAmaNi gem that grants the wishes that one 
wants fulfilled . 

Just as Lord GovindhA roamed in the Brindhavanam , 
Lord RanganAtha roamed in Rangapuri ( Rangapura Vihaaran ) . 
Sri RamachandrA's roaming was done in DandakAraNyam . 
That was His stage ( rangam ) . He was with Jaanaki MaathA 
( Sri ) for part of the time and made it Sri Rangam . 
Deekshitahr visualizes that KodhanDa Raaman as 
the Raghu Veeran and recognizes Him as the RaamAvathAram 
of Srimann NaarAyaNan . Sri Deekshithar hails hence that 
" KodhanDa RaamAvathAra , Raghuveera RangapuravihAran " in 
the pallavi as " Rangapura VihAra Jaya KodhanDa-
RaamAvathAra Raghuveera ( Sri ) " . By invoking 
the naamam of Raghuveeran , Deekshithar reminds us
immediately of the beautiful mangaLAsAsanam of the valour 
of  Raghu Veran by Swami Desikan in his 
incomparable Raghuveera Gadhyam .

There is also a very famous sannidhi for KodhanDa Raaman 
in Sri Rangam near the Chandra PushkariNi . With the 
KodhanDam in His hand , the Raghuveeran there must have 
inspired Deekshithar to compose this krithi 
on the IshvAku Kula dhaivam that Veeraraaghavan Himself 
worshipped at AyOdhyA with the VisAlakshi , SitA piratti .

Anupallavi of BribdhAvana SaarangA krithi

Here , Deekishithar places the raaga mudrai 
cleverly and salutes the VaradarAja svarUpa 
visEsham of the Lord of Srirangam . The anupallavi
vAkhyams are :

angaja janaka dEva gaja bhrundhAvana sArngEndhra
Varadha RamAntharanga syAmaLAnga vihanga turanga 
sadayApAnka sathsanga ( Sri RangapuravihAra Jaya)

We will analyze the word by word meanings of the 
anupallavi vAkhyams now.

1)Angaja janaka dEva: This group of words are chosen
by the nAdhOpAsaka to reveal that He is the father 
of ManmathA , the beautiful one . Lord RanganAthA 
is more beautiful than Manmathan and a portion of 
His beauty took the form of Manmathan , the love god .

2)Gaja BhrundAvana SaarngEndra :This salutation refers 
to Sri RanganAthA's role as Gajendra Varadan . He arrived 
in great haste to the lotus pond on the back of 
Garudan , when he heard the moving plea for rescue 
by GajEndran , who was being tormented by the crocodoyle .
That AdhimUlam saved the king of elephants and 
blessed the helpless herd of other elephants ,
which stood by the bank of the pond worrying about 
their king .Gaja Bhrundham means the herd of elephants.
SaarngEndran is the GajEndra Varadhan .BhrindA vanam 
means the herd of trees or dense forest . 

3)Varadha ShyAmaLAnga : Here , Deekshithar salutes
the avyAja karuNA mUrthy , who grants desired 
boons to His bhakthAs as VaradarAjan . He is
shyAmaLAngan , because He rose out of the agni
kuntam of BhramA's yaj~nam on Hasthigiri .
The smoke and the fire gave him the shyAMaLa mEni.
Swami Desikan salutes the shyAmaLa mEni appearing 
amidst the flames of the AsvamEdha Yaaga kuntam
in the first slOkam of Sri Varadha Raaja PanchAsath
this way : "--thuraga savanavEdhyAm ShyAmaLO havyavAha : "  

4)RamAntharanga : That avyAja vathsalan is the foremost
among those , who protects the saraNAgatha janams .
That pEraruLALan is bound to the antharanga visvAsam
of PerumdEvi ThAyAr , who is none other than RamA .
Therefore , He becomes RamAntharangan .In his Sri sthuthi
slOkam , Swami Desikan stood in front of Sri RanganAyaki
and saluted Her with the following slOkam to illustrate
the RamAntharanga RangarAja tattvam . Some think that 
Sri Sthuthi was composed in front of PerumdEvi ThAyAr
of Kaanchipuram :

nishprathyUha praNaya gaDitham dEvi nithyAnapAyam I
VishNusthvam chEthyanavadhiguNam dhvandhvamanyOnya lakshyam II

( Meaning ) : Oh , RamA !Both You and Your consort 
never are without each other and both of You are
bound by the bonds of love for each other . Each of You 
can only be understood through the other . That is 
the antharangam ( indwelling rahasyam )saluted as 
"RamAntharangam" by Deekshithar , who saw Sri RanganAthA
as Sri VaradharAjan for a moment . This anubhavam 
is common to Thirumangai , who will have the vision 
of the ArchA mUrthys of other divya desams,
when he performs mangaLAsAsanam to the archA mUrthy
of one divya dEsam .

5)Vihanga turanga : The Lord has Garudan as His 
vAhanam .Garudan is Veda svarUpi as indicatd by
the following salutation of Swami Desikan 
( sruthi satha sikhara abhishtutha aathmA asou
GaruthmAn ) . Bruhath and Rathanthara Saamams 
are his wings and Gaayathra Saamans are his eyes .
Thrivruth Saaman is his siras . Garudan had won the boon 
from the Lord to carry Him ( yO yam dhatthE svanishtam
VAHANAMAPI VARA : ). Such a sapthasvara gathi ( The home
of the Saama vedam  made of seven svarAs ) is the 
Vihangan and is the turangam( vaahanma ) for Sri RanganAthA .

6) sadayApAnaka: Swami DEsikan salutes the KaaruNyam and 
unparalleled DayA of BhagavAN in one of his sthOthrams as :

kalasa jaladhi kanyA vallaree kalpasAkhee
kalayathu kusalam na: kOapi KAARUNARAASI : 

Here Swami Desikan states that KsheerAbdhinAthan ,
the KalpakA tree , is covered by the tender creeper 
known as MahA Lakshmi and appears like the embodiment
of DayA /KaruNai .Swami Desikan has created hundred
verses on the subject of the unique and limitless 
DayA of the Lord to illustrate the meaning behind
the word : " SadayApAnka : " .

7) Sathsanga: This choice of word , Sathsanga: ,
means at one level that Sri RanganAtha enjoys 
the company of Saadhus , amala chittha bhakthAs .
At another level , it refers to the meaning 
provided by the fifteenth slOkam of Sri VaradarAja
PanchAsath( sadhAdhi sabdhA : , SivAdhi VaachA :
NaarAyaNE tvayi ikakanTyam ):

sAmAnya buddhi janakAsccha SADHAADHI SABDHA :
  tattvAnthara bramakruthasccha SivAdhivAchA : I
NaarAyaNE tvayi Kareesa vahanthyananyam
  anvartha vrutthi parikalpitham ikakanTyam II

( Meaning ): O Lord of Kaanchi ! Upanishads call
the object behind the Universe as "Sath " ,
AathmA " ,  " Brahman " . These are general names 
and may cause confusion that they are some thing 
other than Yourself . Similarly , the sabdhams 
such as SivA , IndrA , BrahmmA might appear to
elevate them as independent beings with their 
own power .When we examine these superficial
statements appropriately , it becomes clear 
that they have no independent source of power 
and that all of them derive their power and reason 
for existence from You and You alone .For instance ,
the word Sath means that which exists by itself 
without any dependence . Brahman refers to You alone
under rigorous analysis . AathmA refers to You , who has 
all the others as Your body . The word Sivan means 
the one who is the most auspicious , Yourself .
You are the one , who is mangaLAnAm manngaLam 
( sivAnAm Sivam , Parama Sivam ).Indran refers to 
the most wealthy One ,Yourself . With unified voice ,
all these " sadhAdhi sabdhams " refer to no one but 
Your majestic self as Sriman NaarAyaNan .

When Deekshithar salutes Sri RanganAthA in his 
BrindhAvana SaarangA krtihi as " Sadhsanga " ,
he means like Swami Desikan that NaarAyaNa 
sabdham . That Sri Ranganathan with Sri RanganAyaki
ThAyAr is coming to take their residence amidst us 
to bless us . Hence , Please support the Sri RanganAthA
temple construction project to the best of your ability .

I will cover the charaNa vAkhyams of this krithi
in the next posting and will also suggest a method
of support for the Kaimkaryam , which is tax free .
BhagavAn"s Revathi ( Janma nakshthram ) , ThaayAr's
Panguni Utthiram , Sri Rama Navami , AchArya RaamAnuja 
Jayanthi are all coming to remind us soon . The sacredness
of this ancient temple that is central to our tradition 
is beyond description .Hence , Please consider support 
for this kaimkaryam and be blessed by the SaraNYa dampathis .

ParAnkusa Daasan ,
Oppiliappan Sannidhi VaradAchAri SadagOpan