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Dehaleesa Sthuthi --Part 2 : Vedic salutation to Trivikraman

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Aug 09 1997 - 07:17:39 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of  Vamana-Trivikrama NaarAyaNan : 

Before we dwell deep into the Slokams of 
DehaLeesa Sthuthi , it is appropriate to focus 
on the ancient salutations to this particular
avathAram of our Lord in an exclusive fashon .
This avathAram  is highly suggestive and symboloic 
from the view point of Sri VaishNavA doctrines and 
this Vedic sanction and support accounts for 
the AzhwArs unique anubhavam of this
avathAram . 

ANDAL saluted Him as " Ongi UlahaLantha Uttaman " 
in her third Thiruppavai verse . GodhA piratti refers to the
all- pervasiveness of Sriman NaarAyaNA first here and
then the  esoteric chant ( vaachaka manhtram ) ," Uttaman pEr "
next . Thirumangai on the other hand refers to 
the Thirumanthiram first and then only . 
the VyApthi ( VishNu tattvam ) of our Lord in 
his ThirunedumthAndakam ( 4.5 ) .
Both of them are celebrating the SarvOtthamathvam
(uttaman ) of VishNu- NaarAyaNan here .

NammAzhwAr invited the world to see the enfolding 
wonderment  of the sacred feet of the Lord 
shooting up and out  to measure the earth and 
the sky ( KaaNmingal ulaheer yenru kaNNmuhappE 
nimirntha TaaLiNayan ) . Our Lord's paadham 
and the Sri paadha theertham is the most sacred 
for us as salvation .
Thirumangai stood before ThiruvEnkatamudayAn and
reflected on the adhbhutham of the Lord measuring the 
entire world with His two steps ( Kondaai KuraLaai nilam
yeeradiyAlE , VindOyi sikartthiruvEnkatam meya--) .

At KaazhiccheerAma ViNNagaram , Thirumangai 
was filled with wonder about the Lord's power to get
the sky and the earth under two of His steps and shattering 
the ego of Maha Bali ( oru KuraLaairunilam moovadi maNN
vEndi , ulahanaitthum eeradiyAl odukki -- maavaliyai 
sirayil vaittha TADaLan thALaNaiveer ) . The choice of the word
"aNaiveer " is so rich in rasam and reveals the compassion 
of AzhwAr in his role as an AchAryA .

At ThiruarimEya ViNNagaram , Thirumangai is filled with
astonishment over the deed that the Lord accomplished 
at the yaga SaalA of MahA Bali . He describes this kshEthram 
as the site , where the Lord came in the form of a dwarf and 
asked for three feet of earth as gift and then grew immensely 
to measure the ocean-coverd earth , the sky and the space
in between effortlessly ( mihu siRu kuRaLaai moovadi
yenru iranthittu , anDamum ivvalikkadalum avanigaLellam 
aLantha pirAn amaramu idam ) .

At ThiruveLLiangudi divya desam , Thirumangai  salutes 
this kshEthram as the one belonging to the kapata vAmanan ,
who with His three steps filled the eight directions 
( TeLLIya KuraLaai moovadi kondu thikkura vaLarnthavan koil ) .

At ThiruvazhundUr , the peripatetic Thirumangai stops to 
wonder at the miracle of the Lord transforming from the 
appearance as a dwarf to that of TrivikramA to measure 
the universes with His three steps and saluted Him as 
his Lord ( talaivan ) this way :

vaanavar tam thuyar theera vandhu thOnRi 
   maaNuruvaai moovadi maavaliyai vEndi ,
  tani mudal chakkarappadai yen talaivan kaaNmin 

He was probably reminded by the " KaaNminkalulaheer "
invitation of NammAzhwAr at ThiruviNNagaram , when 
he concluded this verse with " kaaNmin " .. 

The AchAryAs followed the way shown by the AzhwArs .
AaLavanthAr saluted Trivikrama in the 31st verse of 
his SthOthra Rathnam and wondered as to when the 
lotus feet of the Lord of Trivikraman with the signs of
the divine chakram ,conch , mace , flag , goad and
other lAnchanAs are going to decorate his head :

kathA puna: sanka rathAnga kalpaka
dvajAravinda Ankusa vajralaanchanam I
Trivikrama tvaccharaNAmbhuja dvayam 
madheeya murdhAnamalankarishyathi ? II

Swami Desikan composed an entire sthuthi on
DehaLeesa-Trivikraman , which is the focus of these
postings . 

Later , Sri NarAyaNa Bhattadhiri celebrated this 
fast growing rUpam of Trivikraman and the Lord's 
wonderful metamorphosis this way :

divyam rUpam tava cha tadhitham pasyathAm visvabhAjam 
ucchairucchai avrudhat  avdheekruthya visvAnDa bhAnDam 

Sri Bhattadhiri experiences like Thirumangai and NammAzhwAr 
the scene that unfolded before one and all ( kaaNmingaL ulaheer )
and describes it as VisvabhAjAm pasyathAm ( before all that 
witnessed the scene ) , tava divyam tadh idham rUpam ( this 
short  dwarf  form of Yours ) visvabhAndam avadheekruthya 
ucchairucchai: avrudhaath ( grew higher and higher and 
defined the boundaries of BrahmAndam ) .

Sriman K.C.VaradAchAri comments on the concept 
of the Vamana-TrivikramA that overpowered the imagination of 
the AzhwArs this way : " The VamanA became the TrivikramA .
KaTopanishad says that VamanA is the Godhead secret 
in the heart of man , and VishNu as the Omni-pervading being 
outside as the TrivikramA . The identity between the minutest 
( aNOraNeeyAn )  and the vastest ( mahathOrmaheeyAn ) 
is the supreme identity that is shown to be the doctrine of
VisishtAdvaithic intrepretation of the vEda  MahA Vakyams , 
" Aham BrahmAsmi " , or " So'ham asmi " or Tath tvamasi " . 
This myth is very important for understanding the Real 
existence of the Omnipervading deity . This myth is found
in the Veda itself . " 

DayAnandha Saraswathi , the reputed commentator of VedAs 
lends support to this view , when he intreprets the name "VishNu "
as " yO vEvEshti sa Jagadheesvara: " ( The Lord who is 
all-pervading is VishNu ) . 

Let us now look at the original rks of ancient Rg vedam , where 
TrivikramAvathAram alone is saluted among all the avathArAs
of Sriman VishNu-NaarAyaNan . They are found in the first 
and sixth cantos of Rg vedam ( 1.22.17-21 , 1.154.1 ,1.155.4 ,
and 6.49.13 )  . These manthrams are mystical and moving 
and formed the basis of the adoration of Trivikraman by
the AzhwArs and AchAryAs .

Rg Rk 1.22.17 is the celebrated rk that we invoke in our
worship of the Lord :

idam VishnurvichakramE trEdhA ni dhadhE padham I
samULahamasya paamsurE II

(meaning ) :  The omnipresent and the omnipotent Lord dominates 
over ALL the three regions --earth , mid region and the sky --and
His one step is rooted in the deep dark mystery , beyond the ken 
of mankind .

Rks 1.22.20& 21 are equally famous and are used by us in our 
daily aaradhanams :

tadh VishNO's paramam padham sadhA pasyanthi sUraya: I
divIva chakshur atatam II
tadh viprAsO vipanyavO jaagruvAmsa: samindhathE I
VishNOr yath paramam padham II

( Meaning) : The emancipated ones ( wise and true seekers ) 
realize and experince the Lord through meditation within their 
own selves . They rcognize (see ) Him vividly as the eye ranges
( recognizes ) the yonder sky . 

Through transcendental meditation and dharmic (pious ) 
acts , the persevering (vigilant ) seeker of truth realizes 
(experiences ) the all-pervading God within the innermost
cavity (of his heart ) , the supreme abode of the Lord . 

Rk 1.154.2 :

pra tadhvishNu: sthavEna veeryEna mrughO 
na bheema: kucharO girishtA : I  
yasyOrushu thrishu vikramaNEshvadhikshiyanthi 
bhuvanAni visvA II

The " Visva " sabdham and " the Thrishu VikramaNEshu " picture
are linked here. Sri MadhvAchArya once gave 100 intrepretations
to that first naamam of Sri VishNu sahasra Naamam . This
mathram is therefore very profund to understand the Trivikrama
avathAram of VishNu-NaarAyaNan . The meaning of this Rk 
is as follows : " The omnipresent , all-pervading Lord has 
been dominating the world by His prowess like a sturdy 
wild mountain lion dominates  the forests . Within His three 
extended paces (strides ) , He encompasses (covers ) 
the entire creation (of His ) . 

Rk 1.155.4& 5 salutes again the three consecutive steps 
of the Lord so that the world may live in peace and states that 
no one cmprehends the mystery of the third step .

I will conclude this posting on the mystery of the three steps
of the Trivikraman with the reference to the Rg Rk 6.49.13 .

yO rajAmsi vimamE pArthivAni tris chidh 
vishNur manavE bhAdhithAya I
tasya tE sarmann upadadhyamAnE rAyA 
madEma tanvA tanA cha II

(Meaning ) : O All-pervading Lord ! May we happy in a home 
filled with riches , progeny and relatives bestowed on us by You .
You measure out all the universes in three strides and guard 
mankind from the inauspiciousness of the dark forces .

Dayandha Saraswathi intreprets here the name of VishNu-
Trivikraman as the one , who measured the universes with
three steps to protect the people in peril and to ward off the 
dangers from such a peril . 

This is the Vedic mystery that inspired the AzhwArs and AchAryAs 
to seek Trivikraman as their ever-supportive , never-failing saviour 
(aapath bhAndhavan and AnAtha rakshakan who came to the rescue 
when His devotees like Gajendran , Drowpathi and PrahlAdhA
cried out for Him in their hours of Ccrisis ) . 

Sri Bhumi Devi Sametha Sri Oppiliappan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Daasan / VaradAchAri Sadagopan