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Sri Stavam of Kuresa and its relation to other Stotraas : Part 1

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Feb 09 1996 - 20:34:24 PST

Dear Members of the Group:
This day is still the birthday of Kuresa. As mentioned 
in the morning posting , I will now focus on the SRI STAVAM 
of this prime disciple of Sri Ramanuja before this day is over.
I will post this  Sri Sthavam  subject in two sections. 

The Words Sthavam , Sthotram and  Stuti originate from the 
root Sthu to praise, eulogize, laud, extol, glorify and celebrate.
Sthotram and  Stuti some times are used to praise humans.
Sthavam on the other hand can never be mistaken for anything
other than offering one's humble eulogy to  a deity or Upasana
Murthy or a Supreme being. Therefore Kuresa chose the suffix 
of Sthavam for his five eulogies known as Athimaanushua Sthavam,
Vaikunta Sthavam, Varadaraja Sthavam , Sundarabahu Sthavam 
and Sri Sthavam. Parasara Bhattar followed his father's footsteps
and named his eulogy on Rangaraja as Sri  Rangaraja Sthavam.
Parasara Bhattar used the title of Guna Ratna Khosam for his 
eulogy of Sri Ranganayaki , since his father had already used the
suffix of Sthavam in his praise of the Consort of Rangaraja. Swami Desikan 
used the title of Sri Stuthi to fit as a  triad among his eulogies
(Sthutis ) on Sri Devi, Bhu Devi and Godha Devi. 

The illustrious commentators have pointed out that the Acharyas 
created their sthavams and sthuthis after  completing their other
works. They seem to have kept the subject matter dearest to their
heart to the Last. In this context, Alawandaar composed Chathussloki 
after blessing us with Sthotra Ratnam; Kuresa completed  his four
Stavas first before turning his attention to Sri Sthavam; Parasara Bhattar
blessed us with Rangaraja Sthavam first before offering his salutations to 
the Divine Mother through his Gunaratna Khosam. 

Kuresa followed the tradition of his Purvaacharya , Alawandaar, who 
was the trend setter( Prathama Pradarsakar)  in transforming the diificult -
to-grasp Ubhaya Vedanta Saaraarthaas (Essence of the Vedanta in the 
twin traditions) into easy- to- understand sthotras such as Chatussloki. 
Bhattar, and Swami Desikan followed this  tradition set by  Alawandaar
and Kuresa. 

Kuresa folllows the many thoughts of Alawandaar in his 
eulogy on Sri Devi. For instance, Alawandaar says : 

" YASYAAS TEH MAHIMAANAM ATMANA: IVA TVAT vALLABHOBHIH pRABHU: 
NAALAM MAATUM IYATTAYAA NIRAVATHIM NITYAANUKULAM SVATHA: I
TAAM TVAAM DASA ITI PRAPANNA ITI CHA STHOSHYAAMYAHAM NIRBHAYA:
LOKAIKESWARI LOKANATHADAYITEH DHATEH DAYAAM TEH VIDHAN II 

In the first two lines, Alawandaar points out  that even  the all powerful Lord 
does not have the ability to determine the limit of the auspicious Gunaas 
of his consort. He says that he is determined to offer his salutatons to Her 
limitless glory fearlessly even after knowing about  the inadequacy of
the Lord Himself  to fathom the immeasurable Kalyana Gunas of his Consort. 
Alawandaar"s  defense in undertaking such an impossible task is that he is 
approaching the Divine Mother  as  a Servant (Dasa ) and Prapanna.
Kuresa echos the same  sentiment of Alawandaar through his statement,
" DEVI TVANMAHIMAAVATIR NA HARINAANAAPI TVAYA JYAETEH"
Both conclude that her ASRITHA PAKSHAPAATAM " ( Leniency to
those, who seek refuge in Her) will overlook the insufficiency of
the Prapannas , who launch forth on the impossible task of
adequately describing Her indescribable auspicious attributes.

In his third verse of the Chathussloki, Alawandaar points out that 
Men and women will not be able to obtain the boons to enjoy the 
blessings of this  world, Kaivalyam and Parama Padam WITHOUT
the anugraham of the Consort of the Lotus-eyed Lord. Swami Desikan offers
a very fine commentary on the unique blessings of Sri Devi and how she 
influences Her Lord without usurping  His power to grant wishes (Pala Pradhana
Adhikaratvam). Swami Desikan explains that She through Her influence turns 
him away from His intention to punish (Nigrahonmukan) those ,
who stray  from Saastraas. She pleads for Her children, who have erred.
When the Lord decides to reward the Prapannaas(Anugrahonmukhan),
She grows his desire (Anuvritti)  to bless the Prapannaas even further .
That is the nature of Her Vaatsalyam and Purushakaara Quality. 
Kuresa follows these  thoughts closely in his Sri Stavam and
points out that She never leaves Him even for a moment 
 at any place , time or state(Sarva Desa Sarva Kaala Sarvaavasthaa ).

The  fourth and the final sloka of Chathussloki is a verse with 
profound  meanings related to Sri Devi"s Kalyana Gunas . It is  as follows:

"SAANTHAANANDA MAHAVIBHUTI PARAMAM YATH BRAHMA RUPAM HAREH 
MURTHAM BRAHMA TADHOPIH TATH PRIYATARAM RUPAM YATADHBHUTAM I
YANYANYAANI YATHA SUKHAM VIHARATHO RUPAANI SARVAANI THAANI
AAHUS SVAIRANURUPA VIBHAVAIR  KATOPAKUTAANI TEH II

Ramanuja, Kuresa, Bhattar and  Swami Desikan incorporated the profound 
thoughts enshrined in this immortal verse in their Sri Sookthis. The gist  of 
this verse in brief  is as follows:

The First paadam of the verse praises the Divine features of the Lord(Divyaatma 
Svaroopam ). The Second Paadam describes the Mangala Vigraham of 
Para Vasudeva. The third Paadam offers its  salutation to all of the Vibhava
Roopas
taken for the pleasure of the Lord. The final Paadam comes down with a sweeping 
and summary statement that in every one of those states and forms of Her
Consort,
Periya Piratti is permanaently and tightly intertwined with Her Lord. . For
example ,
even in  the Brahmachari state of Vamanaavataram, She was present 
under the deer skin attached to the Sacred thread of the Lord. 
Thus, She is present inseperably from Her Lord just as the fragrance 
coexists with the flower, the lustre with  the gem in a state of Ekatvam. 

I will conclude this posting tomorrow to cover the eleven verses of 
Sri Stavam of Kuresa.

May we all rest under the shade of the Lotus feet of the Divya Dampathis always
and derive comfort against the Klesas of Samsaara!

Oppiliappan Koil  Varadachari Sadagopan