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Sri Raaga Pancharathnam : Part 5-- Bhagavatha Nishtai

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 14:18:29 PST

Dear NaadhOpAsakAs : 

The Sri Raaga pancha rathnam is a gigantic celebration
of one of the four methods of SaraNAgathi revered as 
Bhaagavatha Nishtai . 

SaraNAgathi is important for those , who follow 
Sri VishNava Dharmam . The Lord pointed the way 
by instrcuting ArjunA on the SaraNAgathi Saasthram :

sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam saraNam vraja I
aham tvAm sarva PaapEyO mokshayishyAmi maa sucha : II

ArjunA of refined intellect performed direct SaraNAgathi 
to the Lord . Dhruvan , PrahlAdhan also were blessed to
perform direct SaraNAgathi to the Lord by virtue of their 
austerity . This type of SaraNAgathi is known as Svanishtai .
None of us are capable of aspiring towards this type of Prapatthi .
The other three modes of Prapatthi ( Nishtai ) are :
(1) Ukthi Nishtai (2) AchArya Nishtai and (3) Bhaagavatha 
Nishtai . 

In Ukthi Nishtai , the aspirant utters the prapatthi vAkhyams
recited by the AchAryan and performs prapatthi to the Lord .

In AchArya Nishtai , the aspirant gets included in the prapatthi
performed by the AchAryA on behalf of all his disciples ( seekers 
of SaraNAgathi ) and reaps the benefit of Prapatthi of the AchAryA .

In BHAgavatha Nishtai , the aspirant gets included in the Prapatthi
performed by a BhAgavathA , who is not his or her AchAryan . 
Because of the special relationship of the Lord to His BhAgavathAs ,
the prapannan also gets blessed  by the Lord and reaps the 
benefits of BhaagavathA's prapatthi . 

SamsAris have difficulty to elevate themselves to the level 
of an ArjunA or DhruvA to perform svanishtai . It is also not
easy for them to secure an appropriate AchAryA in a  timely 
manner and perform Ukthi nishtai . This however is the most 
practised route for many , when the BhagavAn's kataksham 
leads them to a qualified AchAryA .

AchArya Nishtai is also not easy for many . To qualify for this 
prapatthi , one has to be free of AchArya aparAdham and be 
the recipient of the mercy of the AchAryA and thus get included 
in their saraNAgathi for all of their disciples . 

Therefore , for many of us the easy route may be to fall at 
the feet of true BhagavathAs ( Hari DaasAs ) and get blessed 
by them to qualify themselves to receive the blessings of
the Bhaagavatha-priya BhagavAn . 

Swami Desikan in his SaraNAgathi DheepikA sthuthi 
addressed to Sri Dheepa PrakAsan explains that one of 
the above prapatthis permit the sdamsAri to cross 
the fearsome ocean of SamsAram and to reach 
its other shore of Sri Vaikuntam :

Bhakthi: prapatthirathavA Bhagavan tadhukthi:
tannishta samsraya itheeva vikalpyamAnam I
yam kanchidhEkamupapAdhayathA tvayaiva
thrAthastaranthyavasarE bhavinO BhavAbhdhim II

( Meaning ) : O Deepa PrakAsA ! Bhakthi and Prapatthi 
Yogams are the two paths for Moksham .Bhakthi yogam
however is a demanding one to practise . Prapatthi yOgam ,
on the other hand , is easy to practise and every one is 
eligible to perform it . It is an easy route that can be completed 
in a second ( KshaNa karthavyam ) . Prapatthi breaks down into 
four subcategories : Sva, Ukthi , AchArya and Bhagavatha nishtais .
SaasthrAs assert that a jeevan performing anyone of these 
four prapatthis is eligible for MOksham . O Lord , You , out of Your
infinite mercy make it possible fort he Jeevans to perform one 
of the four prapatthis to gain Moksham . You accept as an excuse
their prapatthi and bless them to join the ghOshti of Your 
muktha jeevans . 

Saint ThyagarAjA's Prapatthi
********************************
1. SVANISHTAI
**************** 
Because of his visEsha Jn~Anam , Saint ThyagarAjA
folowed the Svanishtai route as evidenced by the sAhithya
vAkhyams of the krithis : " (1) maa kElarA vichAramu , marukanna
Sri RamachandrA (2)  nee chitthamu naa bhaagyamayaa , 
nirupAdhika , nee vaada nayya (3)  RaghunAyakA ! neepAdha-
yuga rAjeevamula nE vidajAla ,  set in RaagAs RavichandrikA ,
Vijaya VasanthA and Hamsadhvani respectively .  

2. UKTHI AND ACHARYA NISHTAIS 
***************************************

Our Sadhguru had Sage NaaradhA as his visEsha Guru
and saluted him in the Bhairavi , KaanadA , Dharbhar 
and Vijaya Sri Raaga Krithis and performed a mixture of 
Ukthi and AchArya Nishtais . The respective krithis 
saluting Sage NaaradhA as his Guru RaayA are :

1. Sri Naaradha Guru RaayA  kanti menAdi tapamO
     GururAyA ! ( Bhairavi )
2. Sri Naaradha ! Naatha Saraseeruha bhanga supAngha
    ( KaanadA )  
3. Naaradha Guruswamy yikanaina nannAdharimpavEmi , 
     yeekaravEmi ( DharbhAr ) 
4. Vara Naaradha ! NaarAyaNa smaraNAnandha
    -Anubhavamukala ( Vijaya Sri ) 

BHAAGAVATHA NISHTAI
****************************

 In many of his krithis , Saint ThyagarAjA has elaborated 
to us the greatness of BhAgavatha nishtai and the sacredness
of sathsangham . Some of these krithis celebrating Bhaagavatha
Nishtai are :

1. YentharO mahAnubhAvulu -- Sri Raagam 
2. Hari Daasulu vetalE mucchadagani --YamunA KalyANi
3. Bhakthuni chArithramu vinavE manasA- BekadA 
4. AthadE dhanyudurA manasA -- Kaapi
5. KaruNA jaladhi DhAsarathi --Kedaara GowlA 
6. Bhajana parula kEla KodhandapANi-- Surutti
7. Yenthuku peddala -- SankarAbharaNam
8. Buddhi rAdhu-- SankarAbharaNam           
9. IthE bhagyamugA yEmi unnathirA RaamA--Dhunthubhi
10. LeelagAnu jUsEkula seelula -- DivyamaNi 
11. KaruNA yElAkantE yeevidhamE 
       KalyAna Sundara RaamA -- VarALi

Among all these Krithis , the Sri Raaga Krithi ,
" YentharO MahAnubhAvulu " heads the list of
krithis saluting Bhagavatha Nishtai .

We will comment about the Raaga lakshaNams 
of Sri Raagam that Saint ThyagarAja chose 
for this immortal krithi on the most sacred 
subject of SaraNAgathi .

SadhguravE Nama: 
Sri Raamachandra parabrahmaNE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan