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FW: Digest bhakti.v002.n522

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 10:42:10 PDT

I had tried sending this on Sunday, but it appears that it did not 
make it to the bhakti list.  So I am re-sending it.  I hope this is 
not a repetition.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan

----------
From:  Krishnamachari, N (Krish)
Sent:  Sunday, April 12, 1998 8:20 AM
To:  'bhakti-errors@lists.best.com'
Subject:  RE: Digest bhakti.v002.n522


			SrI deSika stotrams - 5. dayA Satakam - Part 2.

	
The Power of SaraNAgati:

In Slokam 63, svAmi deSikan captures the power of SaraNAgati simply by 
saying that it makes the Lord just forget everything about His 
ISvaratvam, sarva~jnatvam, and Seshitvam, when it comes to those who 
have sought His protection.  He becomes the charioteer or the 
messenger for His devotee and thus His ISvratvam is compromised.  He 
turns a blind eye to their aparAdhams and it appears as though He does 
not have knowledge of their mistakes, and thus His sarva~jnatvam is 
compromised.  And He just becomes the slave of His dayA or compassion, 
and thus His Seshitvam or Lordship is compromised.   If one were to 
think that this is a deficiency in Him, quite the contrary.  This is 
the nature of His compassion to His devotees - the power of 
SaraNAgati.   Even if some minor violations are committed by us 
unknowingly after prapatti is done, His dayA is such that the only 
consequence we suffer is some minor punishment in order to correct us, 
and we are sure to be crowned with mokhsha (nr*pati suta nItim na 
jahati - just as the son of a king may be punished for minor offenses 
by the king, but will certainly be crowned in the end - Slokam 62).

	In Slokam 70, it is pointed out that as long as we offer ourselves, 
even with  our enormous sins,  to Him under the cloak of prapatti or 
bharanyAsam, His dayA will welcome us with open arms and offer us 
moksham.  Such is the greatness of SaraNAgati.  If a prapanna 
sincerely surrenders himself to Him, then even if he commits any 
offenses knowingly, His dayA will ensure that the prapanna will be 
saved from yama and will be guided to moksha in this birth itself by 
either being made to do the necessary prAyaScitta or by being given 
some minor punishment that will remove the effect of this karma's 
effect in this birth itself (Slokam 77).

Kshetra mahimA:

The very Hills where Lord SrInivAsa chose to locate Himself are 
sacred.  In
the very first Sloka, svAmi deSikan describes the tiruvenkata malai as 
the sweet personification of His dayA which has flown out and 
solidified in the form of the hills. Immediately one is reminded of 
AzhvAr's saying "emperumAn tirumalai mEl EdEnum AvEnE".

	In Slokam 31, he expresses his longing to live in the corridors of 
this puNya kshetra (vr*sha giri katakeshu vAsam AsAdayeyam) while he 
is still young and while his indriya-s are in healthy shape.    In his 
vyAkhyAnam, SrI A. V. gopAlAcArya svAmi gives the following nammAzhvAr 
pASuram which conveys an identical thought -

	"kiLaroLi iLamai keduvadan munnam
	  vaLaroli mAyOn maruviya kOil
	  vaLariLam pozhil Suzh mAlirum Solai
	  taLarvilarAgil Sarvadu SadirE"

	In Slokam 37, it is pointed out that living even the vicinity of the 
puNya kshetra is sufficient for His dayA to be showered on us at the 
time of our final moments (karaNa vilaya kAle ...).  This choice of 
living in such a kshetra does not even have to be with the realization 
or desire that we are close to Him, but can be on any pretext such as 
for livelihood etc.

	In Slokam 48, again we note that any one who has even accidentally 
gone to the vicinity of the vr*sha giri (daivAt vr*sha giri taTam 
prApte) will be blessed in his final moments by the Lord's dayA, and 
will involuntarily chant His nAma in the final breath.  This 
involuntary call will then impel Lord venkateSa to appear before this 
dying devotee, and will result in the protection in the form of 
moksham.

	The importance of the kshetra-s where the Lord has chosen to be 
svayam-vyakta is seen also in the other stotra-s of SrI deSika.   In 
fact in one Slokam in abhIti stavam, he stresses the mahimA of a 
kshetra by saying that a place where a bhAgavata has single-mindedly 
devoted himself to the Lord's service, is already a puNya kshetra 
which is fit for the Lord to locate Himself (Slokam 8 of abhIti 
stavam).

	svAmi deSikan lists the antaryAmi, arcA, vyuha, vibhava, and para 
forms of the Lord in that order in Slokam 73, and then after the para 
form in SrIvaikunTham, he mentions the Lord's presence in vr*sha-giri, 
suggesting that the abode of Lord SrInivAsa is at or above the level 
of SrIviakunTham because of its ease of access to the likes of us 
(vividha vibhava vyUhAvAsAh param ca padam vibhoh vrIsha-giri mukheshu 
....).

The Role of AcArya in SaraNAgati:

	In Slokam 2, even as he starts, svAmi deSikan brings out the 
importance of AcArya-s in SaraNAgati.  He compares the AcArya-s to the 
bathing ghats or stepping stones to this great overflowing lake in the 
form of His dayA (SrInivAsa dayA ambhodhim SItaLAm guru santatim). 
 Without these steps leading into the waters, it is not possible to 
get into these overflowing waters.  Every AcArya is thus a step into 
this reservoir of water.  Or the AcArya-s are like the canals that are 
overflowing from this great reservoir that is His dayA.  So the 
AcArya-s are in the same position as bhagavAn because they are His 
off-shoots.

	In Slokam 38, he compares our AcArya-s who know the path for moksha 
(gati vidbhih deSikakih) to the boatmen who take us across the ocean 
of samsAra (bhava jaladhi gatAnAm) with the help of His dayA.   It is 
His dayA which is most important of all in order for us to get this 
bhAgyam, as is mentioned in the very next Slokam.  It is His dayA 
which takes us towards moksha which should be our only goal, and away 
from the cheaper pleasures in life such as wealth, status, sons, etc., 
which also can be obtained by following vedic rites.

	In Slokam 50, svAmi deSikan points out that  even the greatest of 
sinners such as kshtra bandhu could attain moksham by the guidance of 
an AcArya, because in our tradition they are the embodiment of His 
dayA or Mercy.  In other words, He appears in the form of our AcArya 
and gives us the instruction to lead us in the right path so that even 
those who are otherwise undeserving of His grace can realize Him.

	In Slokam 60, SrI deSika again points out that the responsibility for 
guiding the devotees in the path of SaraNAgati has been invested by 
Him in the AcArya - budheshu vitata Atma dhure.

Lord venkateSa the paramAtmA:

	In Slokam 40, SrI deSikan points out that Lord venkateSa is the 
paramAtmA who alone can give moksha and whose dayA is so easily 
available to those who totally surrender to Him.  Seeking other 
devatA-s or other means for impermanent pleasures is like one who has 
the Ganges next to him but looks for the non-existent illusion of a 
water source during the extreme hot season when he suffers from 
extreme thirst.   Other devatA-s such as Indra, Siva, and Brahma are 
enjoying their positions because of His dayA (Slokam 66).

	A SaraNAgatan has mahA viSvAsam in SrIman nArAyaNa and does not 
resort to worship of other gods (bahushu jalASayeshu bahumAnam apohya 
- Slokam 58) for less permanent pleasures.  He is like a cAtaka bird 
which won't drink the water from any source other than the rain water 
that falls straight from the clouds.  SvAmi deSikan refers to this 
similarity of the single-minded devotion of a SaraNAgatan to the 
behavior of a cAtaka bird again in Slokam 80 - nibhr*ta garutah 
sthirASaya cAtakAh nidhyAyanti).  For those who do not resort to other 
gods but who have surrendered to Lord SrInivAsa, even if knowingly 
some sins are committed, the devotee will be guided to do some 
parihAra so that the path to moksha will not be obstructed in any way 
(Slokam 77).

AzhvArs in dayA Satakam:

	There are several instances where the influence of the great AzhvArs' 
works are reflected in the stotram.  An example is Slokam 31 which has 
been covered in detail under the kshetra mahimA. SrI sevA 
SrInivAsAcArya svAmi has given several instances of similarities 
between the prabandhams and dayA Satakam in his vyAkhyAna.   In this 
section, only some direct references to the AzhvArs and their works is 
covered.

	In Slokam 3, svAmi deSikan refers to the sUkti-s (divya prabandham) 
of AzhvArs, and refers to AzhvArs as kamalAvAsa kAruNya ekAntinah - 
those who had only one goal in mind - the dayA of Lord SrInivAsa.  The 
sUkit-s are described as trivedI - the gist of the three veda-s viz. 
r*g, yajus, and sAma.  Perhaps the most important attribute of the 
prabandham is described through the words "sarva yogyatAm", unlike 
veda-s which have constraint on svara (exact way of chanting), varNa 
(caste restrictions),  etc., in addition to the limitations of the 
knowledge of the language of the veda-s, which is more limited than 
the language of the prabandham.

	In Slokam 42, svAmi deSikan refers to "those whose only desire was to 
be born as a movable or immovable object in the forests of venkata 
giri".  The identical thought expressed by kulasekhara AzhvAr in 
PerumAL tirumozhi - nAngAm tirumozhi - UnEru Selvattu...  comes to 
mind right away.   The 9th pASuram in this summarizes our AzhvAr's 
thoughts - "emperumAn pon malai mEl EdEnum AvEnE.

To be continued in Part 3 ......

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan