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Kuresa& Sri Sthavam--Part 4.1

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Feb 14 1996 - 05:54:31 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group:

I will have two subpostings under  section 4 to cover 
the comments on Sristhavam. Section 4.1 will cover the 
verses 1 to 5 ; section 4.2 will cover verses 6 to 11and
conclude with the reference to Swami Desikan"s Sri
Sthuti and how it was influenced by the Sri Sthavam of
Kuresa.

Verse 1: I will use the Anvaya Kramam (the prose order of this  verse)
to help appreciate the flow of Kuresa"s thought:

"ASESHA JAGADHAAM SARGA UPSARGA STITHI : SWARGAM DURGATHIM
 AAPAVARKINA: PADAM SARVAM CHA KURVAN HARI: YASYAA: MUKAM VEEKSHYA 
TADH  INGHITA PARAADHINA: AKILAM VIDATTEH: ANYATA ASYA DAYAA EIKARASYAAT
IYAM KRRETA ASYA RASATHAA NA SYAATH KALU (SAA) SREE SVASTI DISADHAATAAT "

The consort of Sri Devi (Ranganatha) engages in His acts of creation,protection
and
destruction; He blesses Kaivalyaarthins and Mokshaarthins(Prapannas) with the
boons
of Svargam and Moksham respectively.He punishes those ,who deviate  from
Saastras
 and sends them to Naraka. During the performance of these tasks , He is 
motivated and guided by the hints from the facial expressions of Sri Devi, His
consort.
If He did not synchronize His activities with the expressions originating from
His
Devi"s eye brows and face,His many duties and activities will not yield Him 
happiness. He will not feel fulfilled by the performance of these duties.

May that consort of Sri Ranganatha , who is united with Him at all times,
places and states (Eikarasyam) confer auspiciousness 0n me to undertake
this onerous task. The Eikarasyam concept is an important  theme of Azhwaars.
This is why Ramanuja chose the Panguni Uttaram day to offer his Saranagati to
the Divine couple, when he saw them physically seated together (Ekapeetam ) on
that day at Srirangam temple. Swami Desikan has dwelled  on this concept in his
works; has gone further to underline the  related concept of EKASESHITVAM 
as one of the central principles of Sri Vaishnavam as taught by his
Poorvaacharyas.
He salutes that extraordinary state of INTERDEPENDENCE of the divine couple 
in one of his slokas of Sri Sthuti as follows: 

" Vishnu: Tvam cha iti Dwndhvam Anyonya Lakshyam ". O, Sri devi, You and your 
husband are bound forever by your love for each other. You are never far away
 from each other even for a moment; both of You with Your limitless, illustrious
qualities are a PAIR that can be understood COMPLETELY  ONLY through each
other. That is why You are introduced as Vishnu Patni and he is known as 
Sriya: Pathi. That is your extraordinary state of Interdependence .

Verse 2: O, Maha Lakshmi! You are the mother of the entire universe and
 its inhabitants. I wish to offer my praise to You. Please grant me the gift of
Vak 
(Speech ) appropriate for this task! please grow my intellect and devotion
 to carry out this undertaking ! May my Bhakti become Parama Bhakti 
through Your blessing! Please accept my Kainkaryam  as that coming from one ,
 who has surrendered at Your Lotus feet. Please make me Joyous through the 
acceptance of my Vaachika Kainkaryam ! May we the Prapannas become the object
of the waves of Your most merciful and compassionate glances! This is the verse
for
which Sri P.B.Anna offered the imaginary dialog referred to above.

Verse 3: In the earlier verse, Kuresa said : "Tvaam Sthothum Yeehaamahe". He 
expressed his desire to praise Her . Now he elaborates on the difference 
between his Stotra Sabdhaarthams and that of others. He says that the common
poets praise either gunaas that are not there in the subject being praised or 
drably describe the limited qualities of their subject . For instance, a poet
may
praise a bald man as the one , who has flowing locks of hair and thus describe 
some thing that is not there in reality. Some other common poets describe the 
qualities correctly , but find that there is a limited quantity of particulars
to 
describe about their subject. 	There is not much to praise. Kuresa reveals that
he is not hampered  by either of these two difficulties, when he attempts to
praise
Maha Lakshmi and Her Kalyana Gunaas. There is no problem of exaggeration 
in Her case, since She has all the Auspicious qualities to  a state of
perfection. 
Her Kalyana Gunaas are also  so abundant that there is no shortage on the 
subject matter to praise. Her Kalyana Gunaas are limitless and there is no 
possibility of exhausting them or exaggerating them.

Verse 4: O, Maha Lakshmi! It is impossible to praise adequately
Your Kalyana Gunaas with tongue or mind and do justice to them.
It therefore becomes a laughable matter, when one atttempts to go
about this impossible task. My effort is likethat of the Chakora bird that 
does not hold back its  tongue back and engages itself in drinking 
gluttonously  ALL  of the cool rays of the moon as.its food , while being fully 
aware of its limited power to complete that imposible task. Similarly, I am
not holding back in my effort to praise all of  Your Kalyana Gunaas adequately.

Verse 5: O, Maha Lakshmi! I am not ashamed to engage in my praise of You 
inspite of my inadequacies and disqualifications. I know that I have neither 
exemplary conduct or a sharp intellect informed by Sastra Jnanam. Inspite 
of these limitations, my praise of You will not become impure. The situation is 
similar to the lowly dog licking the most sacred waters of Ganga to quench its
thirst. The River Ganga is not polluted by the dog"s act and the dog gets its
thirst quenched. Here Kuresa equates the sanctity of Maha Lakshmi to the
holiness of Ganga and himself to the undeserving dog.

>From hereon, the stotram begins in earnest.

V.Sadagopan