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Sri Raga Pancharathnam : Part 6 --Sri Raagam , Sri Devi & Sri Sthuthi

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Feb 11 1998 - 19:06:37 PST

Dear BhakthAs and NadhOpAsakAs  :

As Sri Murali Rangaswamy is nearing completion of 
his postings on Sri Sthuthi of Swami Desikan , It is an appropriate
time to offer additional salutations to the SrEyO Murthy , 
Sri MahA Lakshmi , who is closely associated with Sri Raagam .

AlavandhAr , Acharya RaamAnujA , KurEsa , Parasara Bhattar
celebrated the Vaibhavam of Sri Devi .Swami Desikan , who 
closely followed their tracks offered his own deeply moving 
tribute to the Sakala Bhuvana PrArhtanA KamadhEnu . 

He composed the Sri Sthuthi with 25 slOkams . The question
arises as to why he chose 25 slOkams . The aksharam " Maa "
is the 25th aksharam in the sanskrit alphabet . That Aksharam
is the EkAksharam for MahA Lakshmi . The Lord derives his name
Maadhavan from there . He becomes SrinivAsan as a result .
Hence Our Guru Saarvabhouman chose 25 slOkams to symbolize
the Lakshmi Tanthram and the Lakshmi Vaachaka YekhAksharam 
( Maa) . 

In Bhagavdh DhyAna sOpAnam , Swami Desikan saluted 
the Lord as " Dhaivatham dhaivathAnAm " . Here , in his salutation
of the pavithrANAm pavithram , Sri Devi , he chose the words 
" mangaLAnAm MangaLam " in the very first slOkam . She is 
Sarva MangaLaa . Therefore , Amara kOsam salutes Her as 
" RamA  MangLa  DevathA " . Sri Raagam associated with this 
MangaLa mUrthy is therefore one of the most MangaLa rAgams .

It is no surprise that Purandara Daasar begs Her benovolent glances  
to fall on him in his Sri raaga krithi : " BhAgyatha Lakshmi BaarammA ,
Nammamma nee SowbhAghyatha Lakshmi Baaramma " .
He salutes Her nithya SowmAngalyathvam in Sri Raagam 
and offers his salutation : " kumkumAngitha pankaja 
lOchana VenkataramaNa na PattatharANi , Baarammaa " .
This " nithya mahOthsava nithya SumangaLa ,
dinakara kOti tEjavu hoLayutha MahA lakshmi " 
is clebrated in Sri Raagam by Daasar . 

Swami Desikan offers his saraNAgathi in the very first slOkam:
" SrEyO mUrthim SriyamacharaNa : tvAm SaraNyAm prapathyE " .
Among SrEyas ( that confers auspiciousness ) and PrEyas
( that makes one the recipient of what one desires ) , She is
the SrEyOmUrthy first of all . Her name " Sri " has been 
elaborated with six different and distinct meanings to 
salute Her six roles symbolized by this Vaidhika Naamam .
Elsewhere in MummaNik kOvai , Swami Desikan explains 
these six roles of this DayA mUrthy :

venduraik kEttu , meendavaik kEtpitthu ,
yeendiya vinaikal maandida muayanru .
tannadi sErntha tamarunai aNuha 
ninnudan sErnthu niRku ninn ThruvE 

The six different roles are : sruNOthi ,
srAvayathi , sruNAthi , sreeyathE ,
sreeNAthi and srayathE . She is shining
with these extraordinary auspicious attributes
( YasasA Jvalantheem ) . 

Swami Desikan used 25 slOkams to salute 
in krama pAtam her glories :

SlOkam 1 : MaanAtheetha-- SaraNAgathi
Slokam 2:   AavirbhAva :--- SvAsakthi -Her greatness
                     that escapes eulogy
SlOkam 3 : sthOthavyathvam -- pala prApthi 

The next 7 slOkams ( 4 to 10 ) deal with Her SvarUpam 

SlOkams 4 to 10 : YathsankalpAth -- , Nishprathyuha --,
                               UddEsyathvam-- , Pasyantheeshu -- ,
                                asyEsAnA --, tvAmEvAhU-- , 
                                AapannArthi --

The subsequent 4 ( 11 to 14 ) slOkams deal with Her athiadhbutha rUpa 
LaavaNyam .

SlOkam 11 -14 : dhatthE sObhaam -- , AasamsAram --
                               agrE bharthu:-- , AalOkya tvAm 

The remaining 11 slOkams ( 15-25) are salutations 
to Her GuNam , Vibhavam and Isvaryam .

This is the Vishaya VailakshaNyam that Sri MuraLi Rangaswamy
covered as intrepreted by our PoorvAchAryAs . 

In the 24th slOkam , Swami Desikan recognizes Her as 
being seated on the chest of His AarAdhya Devan ,
Sri Hayagreevan giving Him the name 
of Sri Lakshmi Hayagrrevan :

Sampath divyA Madhuvijayina: ---- SaishA dEvi
sakala bhuvana prArhtanA KaamadhEnu : 

The Madhuvijiyana : is none other than Sri Hayagreevan ,
who destroyed the asuran , Madhu ( Madhusoodhanan ) .

He is the Maadhavan sanctified by the presence of 
Maa , the aadhara mUrthy for Sri Raagam .

We will continue with the glory of Sri Raagam as celebrated 
by Saint ThyagaraajA for " Naama KusumAnjali " in the next 
posting .

Sri SadhguravE nama:
Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva ParabrahmaNe nama:
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha ParabrahmaNE nama:
Sri Lakshmi NaarAyaNa ParabrahmaNE nama :

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan