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VarALi Pancha rathnam --Part

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Jan 14 1998 - 17:02:54 PST

Isvara Samvathsaram , Thai First day
Makara SankarAnthi ( Pongal Pandigai ) Dinam
UttarAyaNa PuNya Kaalam 
Pushya Nakshthram ,
DvithIyai thithi , Jan 14 , 1998
Vangak Kadal kadaintha ThiruppAvai Dinam 

Dear BhakthAs of Sri RaamachandrA :

After performing divya NaamArchanA to his Lord 
in the third charaNam  of the VarALi pancha rathnam , 
Saint ThyagarAja moved on to celebrate one of the greatest
bhakthAs of Sriman NaarAyaNA , who engaged in the rUpa--
dhyAnam of the PeethambharadhAri ( Kaanchith Kaanchana
Kaanchi lAnchitha lasath PeethAmbharAlampini ) and had 
his sorrows and sufferings destroyed ( Aarthicchidham
tava mUrthim ) from the fruits of  such a dhyAnam . This great 
bhakthA is no other than the five year old , child DhruvA , the son 
of king UtthAnapAdA and grandson of SvAyambhuva Manu .
Bhaktha DhruvA's success in gaining the anugraham of 
Sriman NaarAyaNA is described in the fourth skhandham 
of Srimadh BhAgavatham . 

The fourth charaNa vAkhyams relating to the legend of 
DhruvA from the fourth Skhandham are as follows: 

sApathni mAthayou SurichichE karNa sUlamaina mAta veenula 
jurukkana taaLaka Sri Harini dhyAninchi sukhimpaka lEdhA ?
( Kana Kana RuchirA , Kanaka Vasana ninnu ) 

Here , Saint ThyagarAjA recalls with great reverence the blessings
conferred by Sri Hari on  the bAlan , DhruvAn ,  from  rUpa dhyAna 
soubhAghyam . DhruvA's step mother Surichi  rebuked Dhruvan 
sharply for wanting to sit on the lap of his father . Her cruel words 
describing DhruvA's unfitness to sit on his father's
lap like her own son , Utthaman drove him to tears . Surichi reminded 
Dhruvan that he should perform penance to Sri Hari to have 
the boon of being born as her own son to qualify for  
the honor of being  seated on theb lap of his father . Dhruvan prostrated 
before Surichi and retired to the jungle and performed austere penance for 
SIX MONTHS . He meditated on the divya rUpam of Sri Hari
in the manner described by sAsthrAs and purANAs :

yath thrilOkya maheeyasOpi mahitham , sammOhanam 
mOhanAth , kaantham kaanthi nidhAnathOpi , madhuram 
mAdhuryadhuryAdhapi , SoundharyOttharathOpi 
Sundara taram tvadh rUpam 

Sriman NaarAyaNA was immensely pleased with the ardour
and intensity of Dhruva swAmy 's penance and appeared before 
him with the form that has been celebrated as the most sacred
one to worship , the most charming of all charming entities to
attract the mind , the most radiant among all resplendent jyOthis ,
the sweetest among all sweets , the most beautiful among all
beautiful forms . Dhruva swami was so immersed in the Lord's 
rUpa dhyAnam that he did not recognize the Lord standing in front of 
him with his physical eyes . He woke up from his dhyAna samAdhi ,
when the touch of the Lord's Paanchajanyam ( divine conch ) 
brushed against his cheeks . He opened his eyes and saw 
the Lord , whom he saw until then in his hrudhayAkAsam , standing now 
in front of him and blessing him with His TejOmaya darsanam . 
He fell at the Lord's feet and was elevated to Dhruva Mandalam ,
a seat more lofty and sacred than that of his father's lap . 

Saint ThyagarAjA recalls this incident and says in this charaNam :

" Oh Lord , who ran to the side of DhruvA in great haste to bless him ! 
When I think of Your sundara thirumEni , my mind gallops off like
a horse that has been released from its shackles . When I see 
your aprAkrutha subhAsrayam , the mind of mine rises in rapture
like the waves of the ocean on the PourNami  day  " . 

There is a specific reason for Saint ThyagarAjA's reference to 
DhruvOpAkhyAnam in the context of his AanandhAnubhavam
from witnessing  the Lord's soundharyam . The five year old 
boy performed severe penance and realized the darsana soubhAgyam  
of the Lord in the short span of six months . Great sages in contrast
could not become eligible for such a parama bhAgyam even after
penance in many janmams . Saint ThyagarAjA thinks of the unique 
anugraham conferred by  the Lord on Dhruva Swamy and seeks 
such a quick  response of Sriman NaarAyaNan ( Sri RaamAvathAran )
for the conferral of the blessings similar to that enjoyed by 
the child bhakthan . 

Fifth CharaNam 
******************

The charaNa vAkhyams are as follows:

mrugamadha lalAma subha nitila vara JatAyu Moksha Paladha ! 
PavamAna Suthudu needhu mahima delpa SiTA delisi valachi 
sokkalEdhAyAreethi ninnu ( Kana Kana RuchirA  ) 

Saint ThyagaraajA covers two incidents from  Srimadh RaamAyaNam 
in this charaNam . The first one is about His bhaktha dhAkshiNyam 
for the king of Eagles , JatAyu . The second is an incident  at 
AshOka Vanam described in Sundara KhAndam .

Oh Lord , You blessed JatAyu with MokshAnugraham by
performing the anthima kriyai ( the last rites) for him . This blessing 
did not even come the  way of Your own father , Emperor DasarathA . 
You prooved Your Bhaktha DaakshiNyamm and Bhaktha
Vaatsalyam to king JatAyu , who waited to tell you about the cruel
deed of RavaNA and his valiant fight to prevent him from 
kidnapping SitA Piratti . Oh Lord who has been saluted by 
Swami Desikan as : " vikrama yasO lAbha vikreetha jeevitha
grudhra Raaja dEha didakshA lakshitha Bhaktha jana 
dAkshiNya ! " . Oh Jaanaki ramaNA ! Sri RaamA ! Oh SrungAra
mUrthy with the beautiful KasthUri tilakam on Your forehead ! 
Oh anupama mOhanAngA ! Oh Lord of unmatched beauty !
The more and more I take in Your divya Soundharyam , my 
mind is experiencing indescribable bliss ! 

In AshOka Vanam , AnjanEyA described the great deeds 
performed by Her Lord in giving mOksham to JatAyu ,
protection of the sages of DandakAraNyam and SiddhAsramam .
When SitA piratti longing for union with Her Lord heard His 
sucharuithram , She swooned from the reminiscences about
Her Lord's mahimA . Sri RaamA to Her was ' RupoudhArya 
guNai: pumsAm dhrushti chittApahAriNam " . She  swooned from 
the unbounded prEmai for Him and His celebrated beauty and 
auspicious attributes . AnjanEyA's narration comforted Her and sent Her
into raptures . Saint ThyagaraajA recalls this incident of the Lord's
consort swooning over the thought of Her Lord's beauty and states
that his mind is jumping all over in an uncontrollable manner
over the darsanam of the beautiful limbs of the Lord and His
sarvAngha Soundharyam . 

Sixth CharaNam
******************

Saint ThyagarAjA's brahmAnandham knew no bounds and 
outpoured the nAmArchanAs once again in a copious stream .
They form the body of the sixth CharaNam :

SukhAspadha ! VimukhAmbhudhara pavana ! vidEha 
mAnasa viharAptha ! Sura pUja ! Maanitha guNAnga ! 
ChidhAnandha ! Kakaturanga dhrutha rathAnga ! 
Parama dhayAkara ! karuNArasa varuNAlaya ! 
bhayApahAra ! Sri RaghupathE ! ( Kana Kana RuchirA --) 

Every one of these naamAs chosen by the Saint can be 
transformed into nAmArchanAs . For instance , the first
salutation is " Om SukhAspadhAya nama: " . Here , the saint
recognizes the Lord as the basis of all sukhams . He describes 
Him as the abode of all sukhams . With his smaraNa 
darsanAnandha  janitha prEmai , he saluted " the Srikara
kOti vibhAkara bhAsa sudhAkara vadhana KaruNAkara mUrthy "
with affectionate nAmAs .

In the next salutation ( vimukhAmbhudhara pavanan ) ,
the saint compares the Lord to the sUrAvaLi kARRu 
( powerful blast of wind ) , which drives away  the dark clouds
of mOham , madham , mAtsaryam , krOdham et al .

In the third nAmArchanam , he recalled Sri RaamA as 
the Lord , who sports  with joy in the heart temple
of Sri VaidEhi ( VidEha Maanasa vihAra ApthA ) .

He saluted the Lord further as  the one worshipped by 
the dEvAs ( Sura pUja! ) , as the home of celebrated auspicious 
attributes ( Maanitha guNAnga ) , bliss conferrer for the mind
( chidhAnandha ) , Garuda Vaahanan ( kaka turanga dhrutha
rathAnga ) , the most merciful one ( parama dhayAkara ) ,
the ocean of KaruNA ( karuNArasa VaruNAlaya ) and the 
banisher of all fears ( BhayApahAra ) through His SaraNAgathi
vratham . He concluded this charaNam with another restatement 
that his mind is running amok over the divyAnubhavam of 
the Lord's supreme beauty.

Sri Raamachandra ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan