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ThyagarAjA , a parama VaishNavA : Part 3

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Dec 12 1998 - 14:29:00 PST

Dear NadhOpAsakAs :

I posted a series of articles on the greatness
of Saint ThyagarAja for another private list .
The attached one is the third in the series.

>We will focus on additional krithis 
>of the Saint to throw light on his parama Bhakthi and 
>SaguNa BrahmOpAsanA ,Maha Viswasam and ananya Bhakthi .
>1. AnurAgamulEni Krithi -Raagam sarasvathi 
>In the charaNam , the Saint declares :
>vaga vagaka Bhujiyinchu vAriki drupthiyou reethi
>SUGUNADHAAYANAMU paini soukhayamu ThyagarAjanuth
>(anurAgamulEni manasuna SUJN~ANAMU radhu )
>(Meaning ) ; Like the satisfaction attained by One , 
>who consumes a variety of delicious dishes (aRusuvai UNdi),
>is the great happiness that One gets through meditation
>on the Lord with attributes ( saguNa UpAsanA of the Brahman ).
>(Comment ): The PramAnam here is :
>svabhAviki Jn~Ana Bala kriyA cha 
>--Svetasvataara Upanishad 
>This is the view opposite to that of
>Adhvaitham , which postulates a Brahmam
>without attributes and qualities.
>ThiruvAimozhi 1.2.10 instructs us that
>His anantha kalyANa guNAs are vital for
>the Bhakthi path .  
>2. mahA VisvAsam : idhE bhaagyamu ( Raagaa KannadA )
>third charaNam : BhOgi Sayana ! neevE GATHIYANI bhatti
>rAgAdhula thOdi puRutha bhava saagaramanu dhADi , 
>santhathamanu yAgapAlana jAgarUka !
>(meaning ) : Oh Lord resting on SAdhi SeshA ! 
>(it is BrahmAnamdham TO TAKE YOU AS SOLE REFUGE
>and pray to you as the VedAs and AgamAs do and thereby 
>cross the ocean of SamsArA , which is beset with passions 
>and desirs.
>Comments : It has been pointed out that " A VisishtAdvaitin's
>thoughts and actions are informed by a single undercurrent 
>of devotion , God dependence and absolute surrender to ONE
>LORD , who is the soul to ALL ".Here Saint  seeks sole refuge 
>in that One Lord .   
>3.SourAshra Raaga Krithi : Paahi maam HarE MahAnubhAva Raaghava 
>5th and 6th CharaNams :VisvAsam of a Mumukshu
>paahi Raamayanuchu needhu PAADAMU BaaDithi
>paahi Raamayanuchu paramapadhamu vEDithi
>paahi Raamayanuchu dhyAna paruDa naithini
>paahi ThyagarAja vinutha BhakthuDaithini 
>(Meaning ) : Oh (Veera )RaaghavA ! Oh MahAnubhAvA ! 
>I have reposed my faith in Your holy feet
>with a devout mind and have sung Your limitless 
>glory ; desiring residence in Paramapadham ,
>I have meditated on You and have become Your 
>Bhakthan .Please protct me !
>4. Kaapi Raaga Krithi: Intha Soukhayamani nE jEppajAla
>( Raama Bhakthi of SankarA )
>SeethA Kantha karuNA svAntha !--svara raaga laya
>sudhArasamandhu , VARA RAAMA naamamanE kanDachakkEra
>misramu jEsi bhujinchE SANKARUNIKI delusunu Thyaga-
>raaja Vinutha !
>(Meaning ) : Oh Lord of SitA Piratti ! Oh Abode
>of Mercy ! It is not possible for me to describe the joy
>one derives from the chanting of Raama Naamam . Who can
>really take a measure of its quality ! Only the great 
>and true devotees know about it. Lord SankarA , who delights
>in drinking the nectar of music mixed with the sugar candy 
>of Raama Naama , knows it well . ( RaamA has to be equated
>to Sriman NaarAyaNA ).
>Sri Raama RaamEthi RamE RaamE manOramE
>sahasra naama tath thulyam Raama naama varAnanE
>--Isvaran on the glory of the Raama Naamam
>5.His ananya Bhakthi without dhvEsham to other demi gods :
>Sukhi YevarO Raama Naama (Raagam KaanadA )
>Who is the truly blessed and happy one that enjoys
>the nectar of Raama Naama , which is the best of all
>mantrAs (Taaraka Manthram ) aimed to save men from
>samsAric bondages ?
>Who is the blessed one unswerving from truth,
>performs kaimkaryam to all humanity  and who without 
>disregard or hatred towards other Gods , sings always 
>Raama nAmam  with music with susvarams .
>Elsewhere in the Sriraga krithi (Naama KusumamulachE),
>the Saint points out that the human life itself becomes
>blessed , if one worships the lotus feet of (Veera ) Raaghavan
>with the flowers of His (thousand ) names .
>6. VisvAsam : Entha vEdu kondu RaghavA (Sarasvathi ManOhari )
>I have reposed my faith totally in You and
>believe , with joy , that the greatest happiness
>consists in seeing You in my heart ! 
>Sarvarakshakathvam of the Lord is referred to 
>7.Dvaithamu SukhamA ? adhvaithamu sukhamA ?
>In this Reethigowlai Krithi , Saint ThyagarAjA 
>asks a question and answers it himself in
>the spirit of a famous paasuram of NammAzhwAr .
>Here he asks " Oh RamachandrA ! which conduces to bliss , 
>DvaitA or AdvaitA ? Pray instruct me ! Clear my doubt .
>You are sporting in this Universe of pancha BhUthAs , 
>in Gods like BrahamA , SivA , Indra and in BhagavathAs .
>I conclude that the rhetorical answer is VisishtAdvaitham
>bsed on the echo I hear  from the ThiruvAimozhi 1.1.7
>( ThiDavisumperivaLi--).Opposing SamaanadhikaraNyA , 
>which equates the Brahman and the World as identical ,
>NammAzhwAr says here that the world is a PrakArA or
>VibhUthi of the Lord. He is indeed the cause , sustainer,
>contoller and the soul of all things and beings .This is 
>recognized as an important doctrine of VisishtAdvaitham as
>evidenced by the Thirukkurhai PirAn's original commentary
>that supports this doctrine housed in this paasuram with
>48 Vedic PramANams and 25 more other pramANams. 
>AzhwAr says:
>thiDavisumperivaLI neer nilamivaimisai
>paDar poruL muzhuaathumAi avai avaithoRum 
>udanmisai uyir yenak karanthengum paranthuLan
>sudar mihu SuruthiyuL ivai unDa suranE 
>Sri V.N.Vedantha Desikan translates this Paasuram
>this way :
>"Everybody is sure to admit the existence of the five
>elements.The Lord created them in the order, Ether ,
>Fire, Air, Water and Earth. From out of them , he wrought
>all others. Indeed He became all others. He pervades 
>everything in and out.He is the soul for the body of
>every being and every thing , controlling and directing ,
>but being invisible. In the final deluge , He devours all .,
>--- All this knowledge about the Lord and His relationship
>to the World is obtained from the supreme authority , 
>the VedAs , of excellent effulgence (Sudar mihu Sruthi )-
>the VedAs , which are authorless , timeless, endless 
>and faultless --".
>8 .Saint ThyagarAjaa's Self-portrait in the NaarayaNa Gowlai
>Krithi ," InnALLu dayarAkunna vainavEmi?" (3rd charaNam ):
>I have always spent my time on this earth cherishing
>You with happiness in my heart as my Father, Mother 
>and elder and younger brother ; without engaging 
>myself in disputations with elders , and worshipping 
>Your blessed feet with flowers . 
>10. Jingala Raaga Krithi : anAthudanu gAnu 
>here he says: Oh RaamA ! I am not a destitue 
>(anAthai ). The VedAs say that You are the supreme
>(Bhandhu ).The unintelligent folk of the world , 
>seeing that I have no support of man, call me destitute !
>The parama VisvAsam in the Lord gushes out here.
>He points out that one , who has the Lord as Bhandhu 
>does not need to worry about all the others and 
>their loyalty.
>11. RaamA ninnE namminAnu (HusEni Raagam )
>Oh RaamA ! I have placed my total faith in You 
>and You alone .
>Ananya gathithvam is referred to here .
>12. Raama Nee SamAnamamevarUrA ?
>Oh Lord ! Is there  anyone equal to You ? Never !
>then the saint goes on to say in the spirit of 
>Poygai AzhwAr paasuram , Mudal ThiruvanthAdhi 88:
>naadilum ninnadiyE naaduvan ,nADORum
>paadilum ninnpukazhE paaduvan, soodilum
>Ponnaazhi YenthinAn ponnadiyE sooduvERkku
>13. The Maanasa SambhOdhanams of saint ThyagarAjA are
>remarkable illustrations of His parama Bhakthi as a 
>Sri VaishNava.
>One of the example is the AtANA krithi : ChEDE buddhi maanurA .
>here he advises his mind : " banish all evil
>disposition . Take care to see who the real
>charitable one is .Oh My mind! Are you not aware
>that each gets rsults according to his desires .
>Meditate constantly on the ETERNAL TRUTH THAT
>sarvamithi Sa MahAthmA Dhurlabha: ).
>14. In a Bhiravi Krithi , Saint ThyagarAja
>sang PallANDu to Sri RaamA .Like PeriyAzhwAr
>before him , he was concerned about any harm
>coming to the Lord thru YecchiRkkaNN (drishti DhOsham ).
>He sang :" raksha BettarE doraku.
>Vakshasthalamu velayu LAKSHMI RamaNuniki Jaya
>(raksha PettarE )" . He thus performed mangalAsAsanam 
>on the Lord out of pongum parivu .
>(Meaning ) : Let us protect our Lord in 
>whose bosom shines Lakshmi , with the victory charm
>(Jaya Lakshmi ). 
>15. The anubhavaas and Bhakthi PrakArAs ( the forms
>of devotion )of the Saint from morning awakening
>of Sri RaamA to paryankAsanam for Him are the most moving 
>to read and reflect .In the raagA ,NaagasvarALi ,
>he will confess to the Lord :SripathE !
>neepadha chintana jeevanamu ( Oh Sriya: pathi!
>Meditation on Your holy feet is my very life 
>and sustenance ).
>He will decorate the Lord with flower garlands and
>jewelery and stand before him completely taken aback
>by the beauty of the Lord ( ChEthulAr a SringAramu
>jEsi chUthunu , Sri RaamA ).
>He will take the Lord on procession on Sri Rama Navami days
>and say Paraak ( HeccharikagA raara Hey Raamachandra ).
>He will offer milk at the right temperature like
>NaadAdhUr ammaaL and say : AaragimpavE , PaalAraimpavE .
>He will offer Taampoolam to the Lord with affection
>and request : ViDamu sEyavE , nannu viDanADakavE ( Pray
>accept the paansupAri and do not discard me ).
>As the last upachAram for the day , He will rest
>Raaman and His consort in the flower strewn bed and
>lull them to sleep in Dolai with the song :
>" UyyAlalUkavayyA Sri RaamA , SayyADa paaDalanu 
>SathsArvabhoumA " in NeelAmBhari raagam .The Bhaavam
>of Saint ThyagarAjA in his Araadhanam to the Lord
>is matchless.
>I will conclude this series on the Saint 
>with His Aathma Nivedanam krithis tomorrow.
>AzhwAr , AchAryaaL, BhagavathAL ThiruvadigaLE saraNam 
>Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan