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Sri AparyApthAmrutha Dhyana sOpAnam : Slokam 4

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 06:22:55 PST

Dear BhakthAs of Sri AparyAptha Para Brahmam :

Thirukkdanthai Desikan enjoyed the beauty of 
the ankles of the Lord in the third slOkam . 
In the  fourth slokam , Our AchAryA's eyes 
shifted their gaze further upward from the ankles
and rested at the beautiful thighs of the Lord . 
The text of the fourth slOkam is as follows : 

dEvArAma prabhava kadaLee sthambha sambhAvya sObham
Sri BhU dEvi prabhruthi mahishee prArthyamAnOpadhAnam I
kAnchi niryath kiraNa ruchiram peetha kousEya jushtam
chitthE lagnam bhavathu mama tacchArnga dhanvOru yugmam II

Thirukkudanthai Desikan is recognized as 
the aparAvathAram of our Guru Saarvabhouman,
Swami Sri Vedantha Desikan . Hence it is most
interesting to compare Swami Sri Desikan 's enjoyment
of the beautiful pair of thighs of the reclining Sri RanganaathA
in his Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAnam . As we meditate 
on Swami Sri Desikan"s slOkam , we can recognize 
the unmistakable echos in Thirukkudanthai Desikan's 
slokam celebrating the beauty of the thighs of 
AarAvamudhan .  The original fourth slOkam of
Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAnam of Swami Desikan 
is as follows : 

kaamArAmA  sthira kadhali sthambha sambhAvaneeyam
kshoumAslishtam kimapi KamalA Bhumi NeeLopadhAnam I
nyanchath kAnchee kiraNa ruchiramnirvisathyUrugmam
lAvaNyaugadhvayamiva mathirmAmikA Ranga Yoona: II

The comparisons of the words used in the two salutations 
about the beautiful thighs of Hemarangan ( ArAvamudhan 
of Kudanthai ) and Kasthurirangan of Srirangam 
by Thirukkudanthai dEsikan and Swami dEsikan 
respectively are proof to their own relationships 
across centuries . Thirukudanthai Desikan's chosen  words ,
their meaning and that of Swami Desikan's ( In paranthesis ) 
are sometimes identical and at other times very , very close.
Here are some examples of individual pasages from
their eulogies  :

1 . dEva ArAma ( Kama ArAma ) = devA's garden 
      ( Manmathan's garden ) 

2 . prabhava kadali sthambha sambhAvya sobham 
( sthira kadalikA sthambha sambhavaneeyam ) =
like the Vaazhai plant / plantain tree with remarkable 
lustre ( like the firm Vaazhai plant that is not easy to
forget because of its notable beauty ) 

3. Sri BhU dEvi prabrudhi mahishee prArhtyamAna
upadhAnam ( Bhumi NeeLA upadhAnam ) = 
like the most desired pillow for the heads of Bhumi 
Devi and other consorts of the Lord (  serving as 
the pillow for the heads of Sri Devi , BhU Devi 
and NeeLA devi ) 

4. kanchee niryath kiraNa ruchiram peetha kousEya 
jushtam tath ( nyanchth kAnchee kiraNa ruchiram,
kshouma aaslishtam ) = Those beautiful  thighs , 
which are adorned by the yellow silk dress 
and whose beauty is enhanced by the lustre of 
the golden waist belt { Those (beautiful ) pair of thighs
beautified further by the golden raiment ( PeethAmbharam ) 
and whose beauty is enhanced even more by the golden rays
originating from the gem-studded , golden waist band ) 

5. Saarnga dhanva Uru yugmam mama chitthE 
lagnam bhavathu ( lAvaNya Ogadhvayam iva 
kimapi Uru yugmam maamikA mathi nirvisathi ) =
May that ( most beautiful ) pair of thighs of the Lord
wielding the bow revered as Saarngam get connected 
to my mind { My mind enjoys the pair of thighs of the youth
known as Sri RanganAthan , which resemble the  two 
branches of  a beautiful river in flood stage ). 

ThiruppANAzhwAr expressed the way in which his mind
got entrapped in the beauty of the red peethAmbharam
that covered the thigh region of Sri RanganaathA : 

---kadiyAr pozhil arangatthammAn ,
araicchivantha Adayin mEl senRathAm yenn chinthayE 

AzhwAr did not make specific mention of the beautiful 
thighs of Sri RanganAthA . He was too absorbed with 
the beauty of the red silk garment that covered those 
thighs . Both Thirukkudanthai Desikan and Swami 
Desikan chose to admire the beauty of the pair of thighs
resembling the tapering trunk of the banana plant . 

Swami Desikan's celebration of  the beauty of the Lord's thighs
*********************************************************************

Manmathan is the Symbol of beauty . He is the son of the Lord 
and is beauty personified. He has a nandavanam or play garden .
There , he plants with his own hands two banana saplings. 
They grow tall , stand up to the wind and rain and are beautiful
to look at . Swami Desikan compares these two Vazhai marams 
( Plantain/Banana trees ) to the Lord's thighs . Just as the Vazhai
trunks taper upward and narrow down in a symmetric and beautiful
manner , the Lord's thighs branch down from the  waist in to  a pair
and taper down to the knees .   The consorts of the Lord - Sri , Bhu 
and NeeLA devis choose those strong and beautiful thighs as 
pillows , when they rest from the exertion of pressing His lotus feet . 
The rays of light from the gems adorning the waist band ( OttiyANam ) 
fall on the peethAmbharam ( the yellow silk garment ) that is wrapped 
around the  thighs and add more lustre to the thighs . In Swami Desikan's
anubhavam , the beautiful , strong thighs branching  from the waist
of the Lord are like the powerful streams of flood flowing in two 
symmetric branches brimming with soundharyam .Those strong 
thighs belong to the forever youthful RanganAthA ( Ranga Yoona : ) .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan"s Anubhavam of ArAvamudhan's  lovely thighs 
***************************************************************************
****

Swami Desikan referred to Kaama aarAmam ( Manmathan's 
sport garden ) . Thirukkudanthai Desikan referred to Deva 
aarAmam ( The sport garden of DevAs ) as the place , where two 
divine and beautiful Vaazhai marams stand . They celebrate the 
beauty of the Lord's thighs , which beat them in the contest for
beauty and  thus have won the top prize  ( Prabhava Kadalee 
sthambha sambhAvya sObham )  . Swami Desikan's words are 
" sthira kadhaLikA sthambha Sambhavaneeyam ) .

Thiose beautiful and strong thighs are sought after pillows
( prarthyamana UpadhAnam ) for Bhu Devi and other two 
consorts of the Lord . Thirukkudanthai Desikan refers to
Bhu Devi and others ( Bhu Devi prabruthi mahishee ) .
Swami Desikan spells out the names of those consorts 
with the passage in his slOkam as " Kamalaa  Bhumi NeeLA
upAdhAnam " and qualifies those pillows as " Kshouma
Aaslishtam " ( adorning the peethAmbharam ) . Thirukkudanthai
Desikan enjoys the beauty of the very same peethAmbharam 
with the following words : " Kaanchee niryath kiraNa ruchiram
peetha kousEya jushtam " . He adds another contributor to 
the enhancement of the beauty of the Lord's thighs adorned 
with the yellow silk garment ( viz., ) the rays of multicolored 
light originating from the gems of the navarathna waist belt .
The BhakthA of ArAvamudhan is at a loss for words to describe
this integrated soundharyam . He just describes that beauty 
as " Tath " ( That ) and stops . Swami Desikan is also overcome by 
that profound beauty and stops by saying " Kimapi LAvaNyam " .
The effort to adequately describe the total beauty of 
the Lord's thighs esacpes both the Desikans . One attempts
to describe the beauty of the thighs of SaarngapANI 
 " Saarnga Dhanva: Uru Yugmam ) and the Thuppul Desikan
attempted to describe the soundharyam of the forever-youthful
RanganAthA's pair of thighs ( Ranga Yoona : Uru Yugmam ) . 

Thirukkudanthai Desikan prayed for permanent association
of his mind with those pair of beautiful thighs ( Mama chitthE 
lagnam bhavathu ) ; Swami Desikan declared that the pair of
thighs are implanted in his mind already and that his mind 
is enjoying their beauty ( MaamikA mathi: nirvisathi ) .

Additional Observations : 

In RaamAvathAram , Both RaamA and SithA 
took turns to rest their heads on each other's thighs , while they  
got tired during their journey thru the forest . The famous KaakAsurA 
incident happened on one of those occasions , when the Lord
was resting on SithA piratti's thigh and sleeping . In the distant
Ashoka vanam , SitA Piratti misses those supporting , strong 
thighs  and cries out , " Katham Uru : " . With Her deep love for 
Her Lord , she reflects on the beauty of those strong thighs 
and laments about Her separation from them . In YaadhavAbhudayam ,
which is Swami Desikan's salute to Lord KrishNA , we come across 
the concept of those powerful and beautiful thighs of SaarangapANi 
becoming the playful pillow for KOmaLavalli 
( Bhavishyatasccha Saarnga bhruthasthUrU
leelOpadhAnE kimathO digEna ) . The similie of the Thighs 
with the pillows ( UpAdhAnam ) is referred to here again . 

The close association of the Golden Yellow peethAmbharam 
of the Lord with His thighs is often saluted by AzhwArs
and AchAryAs. The specific references by the Lord's consort ,
ANDAL In NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi is appropriate to recall here :

" PerumAn arayil peethaka vaNNa aadai kondu yennai
vAttam taNiya veeseerE " ( Wont you worried about me bring 
the peethAmbharam worn by my Lord and use it as a fan 
to waft it across my body to remove my sufferings of 
sepaeration from Him ? ) ".

" Peethaka Vaadai udai thAzhap perumkAr mehak kanrE pOl 
veedhiyAra varuvAnai vrundhAvanatthE kanDOmE (  We have 
now enjoyed the darsanam of the Lord of blue hue moving around 
the streets of BrindhAvanam like a strong cloud of the rainy season
with His lovely peethAmbharam flowing all the way down 
to His ankles ) . 

That is the celebration of the PeethAmbharam 
covering His beautiful thighs . AzhwArs have always 
celebrated Thirukkudanthai AarAvamudhan as 
GopAlan ( kOlAl nirai mEyttha AayanAik Kudanthai
kidantha kudamAdi ) and hence the reference to
BrindhAvana Charan as SaarangapANi is very 
appropriate .

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Thirukkudanthai Desikaaya Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan