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Missed post: Bhagavad Dhyaana Sopanam

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Mon Dec 11 1995 - 15:22:33 PST

      
Dear Members,

Due to a configuration error on my part, it looks
like one or two of Dr. Sadagopan's posts did not
get broadcast to the list.  I am resending the 
ThiruppaaN Azhvaar and Bhagavad Dhaayana Sopanam
emails that Dr. Sadagopan sent out.

Thanks,
Mani

------

From: V. Sadagopan
                                                                     
Yuva Samvatsara,Karthigai Month
Kaisika Ekadasi Day, Dec 2, 1995  
 
Dear Members of the Prapatti Group:

Yesterday, A number of Postings covered the Aruliccheyal of
Thiruppaanaalvar known as the Amalannadhipiraan. Today, on this
sacred day revered as Kaisika Ekadasi day, I will post a note on
the importance of the ten stanzas of the Alvar and add some
thoughts on how the Alvar"s Bhagavad Anubhavam moved many of the
Vaishnava Acharyas.  These ten verses are housed in the Sixth
Prabhandam of the Mudalaaiyram of the Naalaiyra Divya
Prabhandam.This Alvar by tradition is considered to be Ayonija or
one, who is not born of mortal human beings. He is also
considered as an Amsa of (Sri Vatsa mark, the mole on the chest )
of Sriman Narayana. He was brought up however as a foster-child
by a childless couple of the Paanar caste (wandering ministrel
caste Like that of Neelakanta Yazhpaanar, who accompnaied Thiru
Gyana Sambhandar).

Swami Desiakn was moved very much by the Composition of this
Alvar and wrote a commentary called Munivahana Bhogam in
Sanskritized Tamil (Mani pravaalam). He also composed four verses
in Tamil in His Prabhanda Saaram to elaborate on the significance
of the Contribution of this Alvar. He went on to compose a
Stotram in Sanskrit known as" Sri Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhaanam" to
praise the matchless beauty of the Lord of Sri Rangam in the
spirit of the Alvar"s experience accounted for in the immortal
verses of Amalanaadhipiran. We will now summarize the earthly
life of this great Alvar and his Anubhavam of the Lord of Sri
Rangam, which inspired Swami Desikan and the Acharyas before him.

Thiruppanar was a resident of one of the 108 divya desams known
as Kozhi or Nisulapuri, which is on the banks of cauveri river ,
very close to Sri Rangam. He used to come to the banks of Cauvery
and sing about the glory of Ranganatha and lose himself in a
trance like state.  On one of those days, when he was totally
oblivious to his surroundings, the temple priest of Lord
Ranganatha came to the river to collect water for the Sacred bath
of the Archa Moorthy .He saw our Alvar and thought that latter
was a man of lower caste and therefore, he should move away to
permit the collection of the water for the daily abishekam of Sri
Ranganatha without pollution. The name of the Ranganatha
Purohita(Priest) was Loka Saranga Muni. He was called a Muni by
the residents of Sri Rangam because of his piety and
scholarship. He devoted every moment of his life to the service
of the Lord at Sri Rangam.
        
The Alvar was lost inthe thoughts of Sri Ranganatha and did not
hear the shouts of Loka Saranga Muniasking him to move away. The
preist got angry at nonresponse and threw a small pebble at the
Alvar to wake him up from his trance. The pebble missed the water
and hit the Alvar in on the forehead and opened a wound from
which blood began to gush. The Alvar woke up and realized the
situation, apologized for his unawareness and moved away. The
Priest collected the water in his golden pot and reached the
inner sanctum of Lord Ranganatha. There , he saw to his sorrow
and astonishment blood oozing from the forehead of the Lord at
the same site, where the Alvar had a wound earlier.The Muni
recognized his apachara and went home and had restless sleep. In
his dream appeared the Lord of Sri Rangam and commanded the
Priest to bring the Alvar to the temple as a praaya
chittam(expiation ) for the apacharam (grave misdeed) to his dear
devotee.  The priest woke up at that dawn and rushed to the banks
of Cauvery and saw the Alvar pouring his heart out to Sri
Ranganatha through his songs. The Muni conveyed to the Alvar ,
the message of the Lord to come to HIS temple. The Alvar refused
, since he felt that as a man of lower caste, he was not fit to
set FOOT in the holy city of Sri Rangam or enter the most sacred
sanctum of the Lord there. Loka Saranga Muni was desparate to
make amendments for his boorish act and persuaded the Alvar to
ride on his back to the sanctum of the Lord to avoid touching the
sacred ground of Sri Rangam.  The Alvar was thus transported to
the sanctum and earned the title as Munivahana.  .During this
ride, the Alvar closed his eyes thinking about the blessings of
the Lord. On reaching the inner court of the Lord of Sri Rangam ,
the Alvar descended from the back of the elderly priest , opened
his eyes to feast on the beauty of the Lord and burst forth in a
song known as Amalanaadi Piran, which is a reflection of the
Sampoorna Bhagavd Anubhavam of the beauty of the Lord from HIS
Lotus feet to HIS crown. At the end of this tribute , the Alvar
declared that his eyes will never rest on anything else, after
seeing the Lord of Sri Rangam and he merged with the Lord right
there and then.

Loka Saranga Muni learnt about the greatness of the devotees of
the Lord inspite of the superficial accidents of life such as
caste or Scholarship. The Lord of Sri Rangam demonstrated to one
and all the importance of HIS Bhakthas ,just as He would do later
, when Thyaga Brahmam stood at one corner of Chitra veedhi during
HIS Brahmotsavam. At that time, Sri Ranganatha halted His
procession to let every one know that a great Bhaktha of HIS was
standing aside without any recognition.. He halted his procession
on the Raja Veedhi of Sri Rangam, only after Thyaga Brahmam came
close to HIM and received His blessings and Maryadhai(honor).

Loka Saranga Muni was deluded like Adi Sankara at Kasi
Kshetram,when latter was hastening to offer his worship at the
Temple of Lord Viswanatha. The great Acharya shouted at a
"Chandala with four accompanying Dogs" blocking his way in a
narrow street to get out of his way , so he wont be polluted
through bodily contact. . When the "Chandala" questioned the
Acharya as to whether he should remove his physical body or the
eternal Atman inside ,Adi Sankara realized his folly and
understood that the Chandala standing before him was none other
than the Lord of Kasi Kshetram and the four dogs were the four
Vedas.

Sri Vaishnavite Acharya"s tributes to Thiruppaanaalvar
************************************************************ 
Mahapurna or Periya Nambi composed the Taniyan (invocatory Verse)
in Sanskrit in praise of this work of the Alvar, which begins
with the words: Aapaada choodam anubhuya Harim Sayaanam----

Dr.V.K.S.N.Raghavan"s translation of this Taniyan is as Follows:
" Let me contemplate on Tiruppaanaalvar (Munivahana, the saint
who was carried to the precincts of the shrine of Lord Ranganatha
, by Lokasarangamamuni on his shoulders) ,whose inner soul
(antaratma) became enraptured at the sight of the reclining Lord
Hari(Ranganatha) betwixt (the two streams of ) the river Kaveri
,and who ,having experienced (the vision of the Lord) from the
feet to His head declared that his eyes would not see other
objects (except the Lord).

The second Taniyan in Tamil is said to be composed by Thirumalai
Nambi or Srisaila Purna, who summarized the Alvar"s composition
in a quintissential manner.The translation given by Sri Raghavan
for this verse is as follows:

"Let us sing in praise of the holy feet of Sri Tiruppaanaalvar
,who entered (the holy shrine of Lord Ranganatha) riding on the
shoulders of the sage (Lokasaranga-Mahamuni) saw( the Lord in
full) and sung (in praise) HIM limb by limb ,as the Lord showed
to him ,i.e., the lotus feet , the silk garment, the navel, the
waist band of rare excellence, the holy chest, the neck, the red
mouth(with rosy lips) ,the eyes of unfading (red lotuscharm) and
the (whole divine) Archa form."

Sri Vedantha Desikan was so moved by the Ten verses of
Amalanaadhipiraan that he paid multiple tributes to the Alvar. He
put together a Manipravala commentary known as Munivahana
Bhogam. Swami Desikan was overwhelmed by the profound Bhagavad
Anubhavam of the Alvar that he declared the ten verse compendium
to be the essence of countless Vedic texts. Swami went on to
compose 4 verses in Tamil to praise the work of the Alvar in his
Prabhanda Saaram. The translations of these 4 Tamil verses are as
follows:

 1.We are liberated from our accumulated sins and defects ,after
understanding the true nature of Lord Krishna, whose twin
charactrestrics are His paramountcy (Root cause of the Universe
and its beings) and his overlordship ( role as the emperor of the
Universe and its controller). This is what Thiruppaanalvar
revealed to us in his ten verses and thus brought out the true
meaning of the important teachings of the Vedas in Tamil
verses. Swami describes the Lord revealed by the Alvar as
"Kaavalanum , Kanavanumaai kalandhu ninra Kaaranan". He salutes
the Alvar as the "Tamil Marayin Payaneh konda Paan Perumaal".

2. In the second verse, Swami states that the work of the Alvar
as an extraordinarily unique poem that has to be learnt ,studied,
explained and meditated upon. He describes the poem as a true
summary of all discourses on the Vedas given by all learned
scholars. An understanding of this poem is tantamount to an
understanding of the essentials of Vedantha. Swami claims that
the Alvar is his Paanan , who has seen the Lord of Sri Rangam ,
the ocean of Daya and limitless grace at HIS sanctum sanctorium
and sung about HIS greatness in ten stanzas containg the essence
of the Vedas and Vedantha...

3.In the third verse, Swami Desikan offers his highest tribute to
the Alvar and his Verses. He says: " Pannperumal is the one , who
spoke only of the supreme Brahman(Kannan) after having seen HIM
(directly) as Ranganatha,neglecting everything else as nothing to
be seen or spoken of; the Alvar had unsurpassed devotion towards
the Lord ; his songs are acclaimed to be the essence of the
beginningless Vedas (and we adore them).I (Vedantha Desika) got
the title of Vedanthaacharya from the Lord of Sri Rangam in this
world ,surrounded by the vast sea ---- it is my submission that I
abhor ego and am devoid of pride; whatever greatness is spoken of
me, it is only the fruit of the perceptor"s blessings and so I
ever resort to the great teachers (like the Alvar) for their
instructions on the good and evil."

4. In the fourth and final verse on the Alvar , Swami
Desikanstates that the Verses known as Amalanaadhipiran are the
essence of the innumerable Vedic Texts and prays for the Alvar"s
blessings to understand their full meaning .

Dr. Raghavan"s translation of the ten verses of Thiruppaanaalvar
***********************************************************************

For the sake of completeness, I will now include the excellent
translation of Dr.Raghavan, who is a Reader in the Department of
Vaishnavism at he University of Madras. This translation closely
follows the Muni Vahana Bhogam of Swami Desikan:

(1) Amalanaadhipiraan---- : He, the Lord Vishnu is blemishlesss,
the foremost God, and the resplendent one that has made me serve
His ardent devotees; He, the Lord of Nityasuris(Celestial,
eternal Arch angels) has taken His abode at the Venkatam hill
surrounded by fragrant groves; He, the immaculate Lord is the
ever pure, sacred God; (now I look at) Him, the overlord of
supreme justful heaven (Vaikuntham or Vaan) ,and the divine God
(Ranganatha) of Sri rangam (girt with ) long ramparts. (As I see
Him), His sacred lotus FEET enter into and become merged with my
eyes.

(2) Uvanda ULLattaanay-----: Lord Ranganatha (Arangatthu Ammaan)
who has with His heart full of pleasure, mesured the worlds
(earth and heaven) (in His descent as Trivikrama) shines with His
tall and lofty crown. He ,whose sharp and piercing arrows
destroyed (devoured) the demons (night -wanderers) who came to
fight Him that day(i.e,. In His descent as Rama), is the scion of
the race of Kakutsa. He is the Lord of Sri Rangam full of
(flowery and) fragrant gardens; now my mind becomes immersed with
the Lord"s Reddish SILK GARMENT worn by Him around His waist.

(3) Mandi Paai Vada Venkata Maamalai--------: The Lord ,
Ranganatha ,who reclines on the serpent couch (Adi Sesha) in Sri
Rangam ,is the same Lord Vishnu ,(Srinivasa) who has stood in the
north at the great Venkatam hills, where monkeys jump from one
tree to the other. Lord Srinivasa has stood there for the sake of
Gods , who come to worship Him; the sweet core (inner soul) of my
heart rests on the twilight colored garment of the Lord and on
His beautiful NAVEL, above it (the garment) -the great NAVEL that
created the four faced God Aja (Brahma Devan).

(4) Cadura Mamadil Soozh---: The Lord of Sri Rangam (full of
Woods) ,where sweetly singing bees hum and great peacocks dance
(happily) ,is the same as the Lord Sri Rama of (life-bestowing)
ocean hue; Lord Rama vanquished Ravana ,the king of Lanka
surrounded by Massive and square ramparts; after driving him out
(Once from the battlefield), Lord Rama later aimed an invincible
sharp arrow at Ravana and made his ten heads fall down
(simultaneously cut off); The WAISTBAND (of this Ranganatha)
found on His beautiful belly makes plesant strolls within my
heart.

(5)Paaramaya Pazha Vinai-----: The Lord of Sri Rangam has cut
asunder all my burdensome old sins (ripe and heavy); He has now
made me His (exclusive) servant;further ,He has also entered into
my heart;What a wonder! I do not know how much severe and great
penance I have done to acheive such a great fortune of the Lord"s
immense grace over me.The Lord"s CHEST ,beautified by the Goddess
Lakshmi and the great garland Vaijayanthi , indeed has wholly
captured and enslaved me.

(6) Tunda Venpirayan------: My master, Lord Ranganatha , has His
abode in the holy city of Sri Rangam surrounded by groves,wherein
live the swarms of bees with fascinating wings; He is the One
,who has removed the sufferings of Lord Siva with the crescent
moon on His head ( when a skull got stuck in His hand).Lord
Ranganatha "s throat (in days of Yore) consumed in full the whole
Universe comprising (a) many worlds inhabited by Andar( a
category of people) (b) the higher and the nether worlds (c) this
massive and vast earth (d) all the seven Kulaachalas (Ezhu maal
Varai, the seven mountains balancing this earth); Harken!  Such a
THROAT of the Lord indeed has saved me.

(7)Kaiyinar Curi canganal aaliyar------: The Lord of the
beautiful city of Sri Rangam and the one supreme God,Mayan
(beyond the ken of all the ordinary individual souls) ,who
reclines on the serpent couch Adisesha holds on His hands ,the
Conch Paanchajanyam with winding rekha and the chakra (disc
Sudarsanam) that emits fiery sparks; His divins body (archa form)
is like a lengthy mountain range ; He is our father and saviour
,who has a very long crown smelling exuberently with the
fragrance of Tulasi leaves ! His beautiful RED MOUTH (with rosy
lips), aye!(Aiyoh) has captivated and enraptured my mind and
heart.

(8) Pariyanaahi vanda AvuNan------: The blemishless Lord of Sri
rangam is the Supreme Being(i.e,. the foremost creator and
benefactor) ,who made the advent as Narasimha and tore into
shreds the massive body of the demon king(Hiranyakasipu) that
came to assault Him; Lord Narasimha was (and also is)
unapproachable and inaccessible to the Gods (Brahma, Siva,Indra
et al); in the face of Lord Ranganatha , there are those wide
eyes, which are very much black,broad and extensive towards the
sides ,glittering (restless) , with ruddy lines(rekhas) running
across and very much lengthy; these EYES of the Lord have made me
a fool (and I am stupefied).

(9) Aalamaa maratinilaimel oru balakanaai------: Lord Ranganatha
reclining on the serpent couch Adisesha in Sri Rrangam is the one
who (long ago) having devoured the seven worlds ,was seen (by the
sage Markandeya and found to be) lying on the leaf of a great
banyan tree as (an exquisite) Child, incomparable; the Lord
Ranganatha is adorned with beautiful garland studded with
peerless gems and pearl necklace; His holy body (archa form) of
blue diamond lustre is of enormous beauty and excellent
complexion; such a divine BODY of God has, aye(aiyoh) outweighed
my mind (i.e,. the Lord showing His whole body full of beauty has
taken away every thing from me-my mind, heart and soul).

(10) Kondal Vannanai Kovalanaai ------:Lord Ranganatha is the
Overlord (supreme Soverign) of the whole world and all the people
(residing there); Him-who is of the black color of the clouds as
well as the nature of the clouds; who ,as Lord Gopala (Kovala
alias Krishna) ,ate butter with His mouth; who has stolen my mind
and heart; and who is my immortal ambrosia-; my eyes
 that have looked at His beauty; (I swear ) these eyes of mine
,that have seen Him , will never see anything else.

The next posting will cover the Stotram of Swami Desikan (Sri
Bhagavad Dhyana Shobanam) , which is a describtion of the
enjoyment of Sri Ranganatha by this Acharya in the manner
immortalized by Thiruppaanaalvar.Kaisika was of a "low caste"
like the Alvar and he obtained the boon of Moksham on this day by
observing the Ekadasi Vratham (fasting) all through his
life. That is the reason for this Ekadasi of the month of
kartigai being named as Kaisika Ekadasi.

V.Sadagopan       


Dear Members of the Prapatti Group: I will concentrate on the
"Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhanam" of Swami Desikan in this posting.

SWAMI DESIKAN AND SRI RANGAM
*****************************************

Swami Desikan spent many years of his long life at Sri
Rangam. Sri Ranganatha and Ranganayaki were very dear to him. The
Lord of Sri Rangam gave him the title of Vedanthaachrya and Sri
Ranganayaki recognized him as Sarva Tantra Swatantra.He composed
many of his celebrated works such as Padhuka Sahsram at Sri
Rangam. He enjoyed most of all the blessings of being able to
offer his worship to Sri Ranganatha daily and enjoy the divine
beauty of the Lord resting at Sri Rangam on the couch of Adi
Sesha.

SWAMI DESIKAN AND AMALANAADIPIRAN
************************************************

 He particularly relished meditation on the ten verses of
Thiruppaanaalvar dealing with his Bhagavad Anubhavam of Sri
Ranganatha. In his ten verses, the Alvar sings movingly about the
indescribable beauty of the limbs of the Lord of Sri Rangam from
His lotus feet to his welcoming face inquiring about the Yoga
Kshemam of His devotees. Swami Desikan felt that the Verses of
the Alvar dealt with the essence of the Vedas and particularly
covered the esoteric meanings of the Divyaaksharam known as
Pranavam and Rahasya Tryam.. He recognized that the Alvar
included the 5 states of the Lord (Param, Vyuham, Vibhavam,Archa
and Antaryaamitvam ) as summarized by the Veda Mantram-- ,
Ambasya Paareh, Bhuvanasya Madhyeh-- in his verses.  - Further,
the verses of the Alvar covered succinctly many of the
Vaishnavite doctrines such as Kainkaryam, Prapatti, Ananya Bhakti
, the role of Jivan as Vishnu-dasa and Vishnu as the supreme goal
of life. All of the above doctrines have roots in the Vedas and
Upanishads. That is what attracted Swami Desikan to the ten
verses of the Alvar.

SWAMI DESIKAN AND NAALYIRA  DIVYA PRABHANDAM AS TAMIL MARAI(VEDAM)
*********************************************

 Both at Kanchipuram and Sri Rangam, Swami defended the
sacredness of the Tamil Marai as being on a par to the Sanskritc
Vedas. He defeated his critics ,who held that the Naalyira Divya
Prabhandam does not have the same sanctity of the Sanskritic
Vedas and as such should not be included as part of the
Recitations infront of the Lord during His annual
festivals. Swami Desikan established that the verses of the
Alvars are strictly based on the Vedas ( Parama Vaidheekam ) and
silenced the overzealous critics. Sri Varadaraja of Kanchi and
Sri Ranganatha approved the arguments made by Swami in defense of
the sacredness of the Naalayira Divya Prabhandam. The Lord of
Kanchi went as far as to give one of his two Thirucchinnam used
to announce his arrival during festive occasions to Swami Desikan
as a reward for this defense... Even today, there is only one
Thirucchinnam used at the kanchi temple because of this
happening.. The deep reverence that Swami Desikan had for the
compositions of Alvars in general and particularly to
Thiruppaanaalvar in particular was the reason for his stout
defense of the sanctity of the 4000 verses as having the status
of Tamil Marai or Vedam. Swami Desikan composed a stotram on Sri
Ranganatha called Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhanam to celebrate the Anga
Soundharyam (the Beauty of the limbs of Ranganatha) in the manner
in which Thiruppaanalvar joyously described. Swami also gave us a
commentary (Rahasya Grantha) called Munivahana Bhogam , which
discusses the inner meanings of the ten verses of the Alvar
extolling the beauty of the Lord of Sri Rangam. We will focus on
the twelve verses of the Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhanam set in the
beautiful Mandhaakrantaa meter.

THE VERSES OF BHAGAVAD DHYANA SOBHANAM& ITS LINKS TO AMALANAADHIPIRAN
************************************************************************

This stotram inspired by the Thiruppaanalvar"s composition is
like a series of steps(Sobhaanam) to climb to perform meditation
(Dhyanam) on the Lord of Sri Rangam and his beauty as well as
auspicious attributes (Bhagavad Vishayam). Therefore, it is aptly
named as Sri Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhaanam.It closely follows the
format of Thiruppaanalvar in that it adopts the Paadaadi
Kesaantha varnanam of the Lord of Sri Rangam. Poets usually adopt
the describtion of the beauty of Gods and Goddesses from their
Lotus feet to their head (paadaadi Kesantham ) or Kesaadi
Paadaantham. Out of the great affection and reverence that the
Alvar had for Sri Ranganatha, he lifted his adoring eyes slowly
from the holy feet of the Lord and let them travel longingly and
slowly to His upper limbs.Swami Desikan followed this method used
by the Alvar in his stotram.

First  Slokam: Antar Jyothi: kimapi Yaminam---
***************************************************

In the first verse, Swami Desikan offers his homage and general
salutation to the Lord of Sri Rangam. He pays obesiance to the
brilliant effulgence that shines in the middle of Sri Rangam and
in the heart cavities of the Yogis like the Alvar. He states that
the effulgence found in Sri Rangam is the one that unfailingly
blesses human beings with bhogam (enjoyment) in this universe and
Moksham (freedom from the cycles of births and deaths) in the
hereafter.He says THAT effulgence is the Lord of Lords Himself ,
Sri Ranganathan , who blessed the Alvar with the vision of His
beautiful body (Subhaasryam). He adds that the effulgence
recognized as Sri Ranganatha removes the miseries of the weak and
those, who are orphaned and serves as the divine eye to
appreciate the immense texts of the holy Vedas.

Second Slokam: Homage to the Lotus feet of the Lord ( Velaatita sruthi
parimalam-------)
***************************************************************************

Here , Swami acknowledges that the lotus feet of the Lord is
reflected in the pool of his memory . Then he goes on to describe
the significance and greatness of those Holy feet of the
Lord. The countless Veda Mantras are ceaselessly saluting those
feet and impart their fragrance to them. The Tamil Vedas created
by the Alvars , which can be sung by one and all , are also
saluting them and add their own unique fragrance to the very same
lotus feet. Those holy feet have descended on the sandy shoals of
Cauveri River , where the swans play.  Gods like Indra, Brahma ,
Siva and other Devas place those holy feet on their heads as a
token of their reverence. Those lotus- soft feet are pressed
gently by Maha Lakshmi and Bhoomi Devi to remove the stress
arising from His exertions.
 
The Alvar acknowledged that the sacred feet of the Lord entered
into and merged with his eyes.  Swami Desikan describes the Lotus
feet as being reflected in the still waters of the pool of his
memory.

Third Slokam: Salutatons to the section fom the ankle to the
knee(Chitraakaaram kataka ruchibi:---)
*******************************************************

The portion of the body between the knee and the ankle is known
as Jangha. Here Swami offers his salutations to that portion of
Sri Ranganatha"s beautiful body. The Alvar moved his gaze from
the lotus feet of the Lord to the reddish silk garment worn by
Him around His waist. He skipped as it were the lower legs of the
Lord. Swami Desikan seems to be more leisurely and includes this
portion of the Lord"s body in his salutations.He says that the
lustre from the gems adorning the ankle jewelery of the Lord
bathes the region of the body from the ankles upto His knees.

These very same beautiful legs went on a mission of peace on
behalf of the Paandavaas to the court of Kowravaas. The power of
the ankles made Him rush quickly to that court in pursuit of His
mission. The lower portion of the legs appear to serve as a
vessel to hold and capture the flood of beauty that overflows as
he Moves around.When the beauty of the Knees join with that of
the ankle and lower leg, the resulting beauty is multiplied many
times over.Swami Desikan in his own brilliant way concludes this
verse by stating that the worship of the beautiful Jangha of the
Lord of Sri Rangam leads to the mindless of wandering of his own
Jangha due to samsaric worries.

4.Fourth Verse: The salutatons to the beauty of the Thighs (Kaama
Rama sthira Kadhalikaaaa---)
***************************************************************************

Here Swami Desikan says that his mind enjoys the beauty of the
powerful thighs of the Youthful Sri Ranganatha. He compares the
two thighs of the Lord to those of the two lovely Banana plants
cultivated by Manmatha himself in his garden with care and
affection. These thighs are covered with the most beautiful silk
garment .They act as pillows for His consorts, when they get
tired after pressing His feet.They also reflect the radiance of
the gems embedded in His waist belt. These beautiful thighs
seperating at His hip appear to be the two branches of a river of
beauty. Swami says that his mind is deeply absorbed in enjoying
the power of the beautiful thighs of the ever youthful Lord.

5.Fifth slokam: Beauty of the Navel (Sampreenathi---)
*************************************************************

The Alvar paid tribute to the Navel of the Lord in his third
verse. Swami Desikan catches up with the Alvar in his fifth
verse, when he offers his own salutations to the deep navel ,
which appears to hide many worlds in its depth during the time of
the Universal deluge. He points out that the pollens falling from
the petalsof the big lotus flower arising out of the Lord"s
beautiful navel have the power to create many Brahma Devans. As
the Lord"s beauty swirls about His body, it appears to form
lovely eddies around His navel and creates additional beauty to
observe. Swami concludes by saying that the beauty of the Lord"s
navel is deeply etched in his mind and causes him great joy every
moment of his life.

6. Sixth slokam: The Chest  region ( Sri Vatsenah pratita Vibhavam---)
*****************************************************************************

The Alvar confessed in his fifth verse that the Lord"s chest ,
beautified by Maha Lakshmi and the ever green vana Mala known as
Vaijayanthi has wholly bewitched him and enslaved him .Swami
Desikan's verse in celebration of the beauty of the chest region
of the Lord is a literal echo of the Alvar"s thoughts with
additional embellishments. The factors contributing the beauty of
the chest region are identified by Swami as follows: (1) its
glory is revealed by the mole known as Sri Vatsam (2) It is
glorified as a place for the foot rest of Maha Lakshmi residing
there (3) Its lustre is enhanced by the splendid red gem known as
Kousthubha (5) Its cool beauty is enhanced by the Vanamalai
containing a generous portion of green and young Tulasi leaves
and (6) beautiful pearl necklace , which has the inimitable
whiteness of the full moon. Swami concludes this verse by
confessing that the beauty of the chest region of the Lord
removes all the afflictions of his mind.

7 Seventh Slokam:Beauty of the Hands of the Lord ( Ekam Leelobahitamitaram---)
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After enjoying the beauty of the chest region of the Lord, The
Alvar moved on to describe the beauty of the throat region of the
Lord. Swami Desikan is however in no hurry.  He focussed on the
beauty of the two hands of the Lord after saluting the beauty of
His chest. He compares the Lord"s two hands to a unique Kalpaka
tree , which can grant the boon of Moksham to those, who
performed Prapatti. The traditional Kalpaka tree in the garden of
Indra can bless one with many things, but does not have the power
to grant Moksham.One of His hands is providing support for His
head ; the other one is stretched all the way to His knee. Swami
states that his mind reflecting on the beauty of the two hands of
the Lord is intoxicated with that enjoyment and is like a female
elephant in the state of rut. He points out that his mind is
however kept in a bound state by the many resplendent rays of the
jewelery of the Lord , which serve as many ropes to keep his mind
under control during the state of that joyous inebriation.

8.Eigth Slokam: Describtion of the beauty of His Face (Saabipraya
smitha Vikasitham---)
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Swami Desikan"s description of the facial beauty of the Lord is
one of the most moving word pictures.This slokam is full of grace
and celebrates the extraordinary compassion of Sri Ranganatha for
His devotees, wherever they happen to be geographically. Here,
Swami describes the meaningful and benevolent smile of the Lord
and His sweet red lips that house the unforgettable smile. the
Lord"s warm and welcoming eyes seems to inquire about hte welfare
of even people scattered in distant lands. Swami concludes this
slokam by stating that the beautiful smile, the compassionate
eyes and the golden dot on the forehead of Sri Ranganatha will be
embedded in his mind forever.

9.Ninth slokam: Beauty of His crown: ( Maalyrantha: sthira parimalai:----)
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After saluting the beauty of the chest of the Lord, Alvar went on
to describe the beauty of the throat, rosy red lips and His
beautiful eyes. Swami Desikan took the route of the enjoyment of
the arms, face and Crown of the Lord after saluting the beauty of
the chest region. In the ninth slokam, Swami revels at the
beautiful gem-studded crown sitting on the naturally curly black
hair of the Lord.  He points out that His tresses are decorated
with fragrant flower garlands by the beautiful hands of his
consorts. Swami uses an analogy to describe the curliness of the
Lord"s tresses. He says that they are splendidly curly like the
speech of the young girls of Chola land, when they get angry. He
notes that the lustre of the gems adorning his head region mingle
with the lustre of the gems in His crown and creates a wonderful
panoply of colors. Swami says that the experience of watching the
beautiful crown sitting on the curly black tresses of the Lord of
Sri Rangam tames his erstwhile turbulent heart and makes him like
a house wife obedient to her lord.

(10) Tenth Slokam: Enjoyment of the entire body of the Lord: (Paadambhojam--)
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The Alvar described his feeling state at the end of enjoying the
entire body of the Lord Of Sri Rangam in his ninth verse. Swami
describes his experience of the same in his tenth slokam.  In
this magnificient slokam soaked with emotions, Swami summarizes
brillaintly his attraction to the divine beauty of the body of
the Lord and its many limbs.In this slokam, he equates his mind
to that of a woman , who appreciates the beauty of her beloved
consort. As the mind of Swami takes on a fminine approach to
enjoy the beauty of the Parama Purusha, we experience the
emotional depth of the appreciation of our Acharya for the
unmatchable beauty of the Angas (limbs) of Sri Ranganathan. In a
feminine and tender mood, Venkatanayaki touches gently the lotus
feet of the Lord;She worships the anklets with firm and
single-minded devotion; she elevates her gaze and gets absorbed
in the masculine beauty of the muscular and strong thighs;she
glances for a second at the navel and is overcome by the beauty
,she sees there.She elevates her gaze to the broad and beautiful
chest of her Lord; then she concentrates on the powerful
shoulders and let her gaze stay there a little longer. She then
drinks the divine beauty of the Lord"s face with her eyes and
finally rests her attention on His splendid crown.

(11) Eleventh Slokam: The Beauty of the Utsava Murthy:
(Kanthotarairayamiha bhujai:---)
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Swami Desikan slowly shifts his attention from the celebration of
the beauty of the reclining Moola Murthy of Sri Rangarajan to the
Utsava Murthy in front of the Moolavar. He says the Lord with his
beautiful, strong and generous hands marked by the welts from the
chord of his Mighty bow Sarangam calms our fears with His abhaya
Mudra. That Lord of Sri Rangam takes the form of Utsava Murthy
with His two consorts and stands in front of His reclining
Moolavar form.  Swami Desikan concludes this slokam by stating
that the very same Utsava murthy form of the Lord of Sri Rangam
is standing forever in his heart cavity. The Alvar was so
overcome at the end of his enjoyment of the entire body of the
Moolavar that he merged with HIM , before paying his salutations
to the Utsava Murthy of Kasturi Rangan. Swami Desikan was so
eager to enjoy the beauty of the Lord of Sri Rangam for a much
longer period and therefore , he seems to have kept his request
for immediate Moksham under control. Sri Ranganatha was also
interested for the Vedanthacharya to continue his service to the
strengthening of Sri Vaishnavism for few more Years and therefore
postponed granting the boon of Joining His holy feet .

(12) Concluding slokam about the fruits of recitation of this
stotram:(rangasthaneh---)
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Here, Swami Desikan states that Sri Rangam is a sacred place ,
where abound the Bhagavathaas deeply devoted to the service of
the Lord. He was priveleged to live in Sri Rangam and that he was
able to compose the Stotram on the Beauty of the Lord in the
style of Thiruppaanalvar due to the blessings of his acharya ,
Kidambi AppuLLar. Swami reveals that the recitation of this
stotram on Lord Ranganatha will grow rapidly the devotion
(Bhakti) for the Lord. Those, who aspire to ascend the ladder
(Sobhanam ) of Moksham will easily attain their wish and become
proficient practioners of Bhakti Yogam, which in turn will lead
to the attainment of the supreme blessing of Moksham.

Srimatheh Nigamaantha Maha Desikaaya  Nama:
Sri Haya Vadana Parabrahmaneh Nama:

 Oppiliappan  Koil  Varadachari Sadagopan

Yuva Samvatsara , Krittika Month, Kaisika  Ekadasi
Revathi Nakshatram (the Nakshatram of Sri Ranganatha).    
   
Errata in the first part: three of the Four Tamil pasurams of
Swami Desikan referred to should be claasified as three from
Amrita Suvadhini and he fourth from Prabhanda Saaram. It was
erroneously stated that all the four are from the Prabhanda
Saaram.