You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : February 1998

Sri Stuthi-11

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (rangaswamy_m_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Feb 13 1998 - 06:04:14 PST

Dear Friends,

I shall conclude the Sri Stuthi series in this post with a summary 
of verses 23-25. The highlight of this work by Swami Desikan
is verse 24. 

I offer my sincere thanks to Sriman Sadagopan for sharing additional 
insights about the significance of the number 25 (number of verses in 
Swami Desikan's Stuthi) and for the most eloquent description of the 
six attributes of Thayar from the Lakshmi Tantram of the Paancharaatra 
Agamam. Sri Sadagopan's overview provides an excellent perspective of 
the Sri Stuthi composed by Swami  Desikan. Sri Nadadur Ammal wrote an 
extensive commentary (Prapanna Paarijatam) on the Lakshmi Tantram. I 
would like to request Sri Sadagopan to continue his informative 
summaries on this subject. Swami Desikan has referred to the Lakshmi 
Tantram in several verses of the Stuthi. In this context, it must be 
noted that the number six is also significant in the glorification of 
Mahalakshmi Thayar. In one of the verses Swami Desikan eulogizes Thayar 
as being replete with the six auspicious qualities (JnAna, Bala, 
Aishwarya, Shakti, Tejas and VAtsalya). This salutation points to Thayar 
being the manifestation of the Lord's auspicious attributes.  
 
23. MAtA Devi! Tvamasi BhagavAn VAsudeva: PitAmE 
    JAta SsOham Janani YuvayOrEkalakshyam DayAyA: II
    DattO YuShmatparijanatayA DesikaIrapyatastvam 
    Kim TE Bhuya: Priyamatikila SmEravaktrA ViBhAsi II

Oh Devi! You are my mother. Bhagavan VAsudeva alone is my father. I 
am but one among the numerous who have secured your grace and been 
blessed with your mercy. My Acharyas have given me to you in the form of 
an eternal servant. You are smiling at me now simply because 
you are thinking "what more is left that is befitting for Desika to 
accomplish?" The tasks meant for me have been completed. This is 
what I infer from your smile.

In this verse, Swami Desikan beautifully glorifies the role of the 
Acharya in performing Prapatti. Here, Swami Desikan declares that 
as a result of Prapatti, he has become an eternal servant of the 
Divine couple, who are the mother and father of the Universe 
respectively (Akhila Jagan Mataram Asman Mataram and Akhila Jagat 
Swamin Asmat Swamin are the relevant salutations from Sri 
Ramanujacharya's SharaNagati Gadyam). The message here is that 
he has now been rendered fit for Moksham. It is in this context that 
the role of the Acharya is glorified. Moksham is extremely difficult  to 
obtain. The state of Moksha can be attained by performing SharaNagati at 
the feet of a SadAcharya. Since Swami Desikan has 
been blessed with the boon of Moksham through the grace of his Acharyas, 
what more can interest him? What more is left for him to accomplish? Is 
this not the ultimate goal of life? Thus asks Swami Desikan. Mahalakshmi 
Thayar smiles knowing that Swami Desikan has 
attained this state of eternal bliss. Swami Desikan adds that he is 
aware of the reason for Thayar's smile. This smile of Thayar is related 
to the Shruti declaration: Tatvam Asi. Swami Desikan uses 
this statement as a glorification of Thayar. In the Bhagavad Gita 
Arjuna salutes Lord Krishna as "PitAsi Lokasya..". In the Sri Sooktam 
Mahalakshmi Thayar is glorified as "Sriyam VAsayamEkulE Mataram 
PadmamAlinIm" and "Nicha DevIm Mataragam Sriyam VaAsayamEkulE" 
denoting that her status as the mother of the univese. This verse of 
Swami Desikan's Sri Stuthi is consistent with the Upanishad declaration 
of "Matru DevO Bhava, Pitru DevO Bhava, Acharya DevO 
Bhava". This can be seen from first the salutation of Mahalakshmi 
Thayar as his mother, followed by the slautation of Bhagavan Vasudeva 
as his father and then glorifying the exalted role of the Acharya 
in performing Prapatti. All of Swami Desikan's works pay utmost 
importance to the relevant PramANams. However, these become evident only 
through a study of Swami Desikan's works at the feet of a SadAcharya. 
Swami Desikan concludes the verse with the declaration that "After 
begetting all that there is to be received, what else is left?"

24. KalyANAnAm AvikalaniDhi: KApi KAruNyasImA 
    NityAmodA NigamavachasA MoULimandAra MAla I
    SampaddivyA MaDhu Vijayina: SamniDhattam SadA Me 
    SaIShA Devi Sakala BhuvanaprArThanA KAmaDhenu: II

You who are the cause of auspiciousness in everything! Your 
manifestation as Daya SvarUpiNi which is beyound imagination and   
defies description by words! You who adorn the head of the Vedas as 
the MandAramAla! You who symbolize divine wealth (Divya Sampath)! 
You who grant the request of those who offer prayers from all the worlds 
like the wish fulfilling cow KamaDhenu! Oh Mother Mahalakshmi! 
Please remain rooted in my heart forever!

In the first Shlokam Swami Desikan salutes Thayar as Mangalam 
MangalanAm. In this verse, he glorifies her as Mangala NiDhi. It is 
important to note the usage of KaruNa along with Mangala Nidhi. 
In general, those who rule over anything or acquire Lordship, are 
not necessarily merciful. However, Swami Desikan is brilliant in 
pointing out that Mahalakshmi's Lordship over everything 
auspicious is accompanied by unbounded mercy. Her mercy is like that 
of a mother for her retarded son "ManyE Maata Jada Iva SutE" to 
borrow from Swami Desikan's Daya Shatakam. The salutation AmodA refers 
to happiness. In this context Swami Desikan glorifies Thayar as 
NityAmoda since she is responsible for conferring the boon of 
eternal bliss (Moksham). Madhu Vijayina: describes her as the 
consort of Bhagavan Hayagriva resident in his chest. Sriman Sadagopan 
saluted this aspect of Thayar very eloquently in his note. Swami 
Desikan's Aradhya Daivam was Bhagavan Hayagriva. Therefore, it is 
fitting that he commenced the Stuthi with a salutation Madhuvijayi 
and he is remembering Bhagavan Hayagriva again at the conclusion.
The key salutation in this verse is PrArthanA KAmaDhenu:, where 
Thayar is described as the wish fulfilling cow who grants the wishes 
of all who offer prayerrs to her. Those who contemplate on Thayar 
through this verse will be blessed with all Siddhis.    

25. UpachitaguruBhaktEruttitam VenkateshAt 
    KalikaluShanivrityaI KalpamAnam PrajaNaM I
    SarasijanilayAyA: StotramEtat PaTanta: 
    Sakala KushalasIma Sarva BhoumA Bhavanti II

The foremost among those devoted to their Acharyas, named Venkatesha 
has composed this set of verses in praise of Mahalakshmi Thayar, 
which dispels all misery and bestows those who engage in its recitation 
with all auspiciousness and will make them emperors.

The reference here is to Srinivasa, the Lord of Seven Hills. Swami 
Desikan was an incarnation of the bell of the Lord of Seven Hills 
(VenkateshAvatarOyam TadGhantAm ShrohavAdbhavE is a tribute to 
this aspect of Swami Desikan from the Desika Mangalam). He was also 
known as KavitArkika Simham (the lion among poets and logicians). 
Swami thus attributes his composition to the Mahima of Lord Srinivasa 
and declares that those who recite the verses of the Stuthi composed 
by him in praise of Mahalakshmi Thayar will be blessed to the ultimate 
extent (emperors) of everything auspicious. 

An important aspect of the Sri Stuthi is that it contains 
the essence of the Lakshmi Mantram. Therefore,  the Phala Shruti of 
Swami Desikan's Stuthi follows as a logical consequence. 

In this eleven part series, I have tried to summarize the important 
aspects of Mahalakshmi Thayar from Swami Desikan's Stuthi and 
related references from Shruti and the works of Acharyas before 
Swami Desikan. I gratefully acknowledge the insightful comments, 
words of encouragement, and thoughtful suggestions of Srimans Sadagopan, 
Anand Karalapakkam, Jaganath Bharadwaj and Smt. and Sri.  
Krishnamachari, and Smt. Subadra Vasudevan during the course of this 
Kainkaryam. Everything correctly stated in these posts is entirely 
due to the Anugraham of my Acharyan, Srimad Andavan Swami of 
Srimad Paundarikapuram Ashramam, (who blessed me with the source 
material for the summary) and my mentor, Swami Rangapriya 
Mahadesikan. All errors and shortcomings are mine alone. I hope this 
series of articles serves as input for additional reflections. On this 
note I offer Prayers to the Divya Dampatis for Anishta Nivrutti and 
Ishta PrApti for all members of our group.

Bhagavan NarayanAbimatAnurUpa SwarUpa Rupa GuNa VibhavaIshvarya 
SheelAdyanamadikAtishaya Asankheya KalyANa GuNa GaNam 
Padma VanAlayAm BhagavatIm 
Shriyam DevIm  NityAnapAyinIm NiravadyAm Deva Deva Divya MahishIm 
Akhila Jagan MAtaram Asman MAtaram AsharaNya SharaNyAm Ananya SharaNa: 
SharaNamaham PrapadyE.

Nitya Sri Nitya Mangalam,    
  
Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy 


______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com