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VarALi Pancha Rathnam : part 7.2

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Jan 15 1998 - 12:48:19 PST

Thai Month , Second Day 
KrishNa paksham , Thrutheeyai Thithi 
Aayiyam/Maham Nakshthtram 
January 13 , 1998

Dear Raama BhakthAs :

After saluting Sri Ramachandran with a splendid 
array of divya nAmAs in the sixth charaNam , Saint ThyagarAjA 
celebrates here  the Aasritha Rakshakathva guNam of the Lord.
This charaNam is a testament to Lord Raamachandra
as the SaraNAgatha Rakshakan , who declared :

" mithra bhAvEna samprAptham na tyajEyam kathanchana"
and , " Abayam Sarva bhUthEbhyO dadhAmyEtadh VRATHAM mama "

He declared that Even if one ( even an enemy ) seeks my protection 
under the pretense (guise ) of  a friend , I will ignore his erstwhile
enimity and will come to his rescue and ward off any dangers 
that might come his way . Once again , he declared in Yuddha 
KhAndam , " My vow ( deekshA/Vratham ) is to banish all the fears 
from the one , who has performed SaraNAgathi to me and sought 
my succour and protection . Even if he says once that he has 
performed SaraNAgathi to me , I will come to his rescue without fail .
This is my dharmam . Bhaktha rakshaNam is my vratham . 

Saint ThyagarAjA remembered these comforting words of the Lord 
and said to us that Sri AnjanEya Swami , SitA Piratti , Lord SivA , 
His consort Paarvathi , Sages NaaradA , ParasaraA , Sukha Brahmam , 
Sounakar , GoudhamA and PurandarA stand by to offer their 
own testimonies  to Lord RaamachandrA "s Bhaktha RakshaNa 
Vratham . Saint ThyagarAjA confesses that his mind is brimming 
with AanandhAnubhavam over the darsana soubhAgyam of this
Asritha Rakshakan ( prapanna PaarijAtham , SaraNAgatha 
RakshaNa vrathee ) . 

Saint ThyagarAjA had great joy in reminding himself about 
the unfailing protection of the BhakthAs by Lord RamachandrA .
He was never tired of singing  about this kalyANa guNam of the Lord. 
In one of his SourAshtra Raaga Krithis , He celebrated the Bhaktha-
RakshaNa LakshaNam of his Lord this way :

" Raama Raama Govindha , Rakshinju Mukhundha ,
  kalee yuga manujulu neeku mahAthmyamu galathu
  LEdanE kaalamAyagA " 

( Meaning ) My dear One , RaamA ! In this Kali Yugam ,
the people have descended down to the level of questioning
and debating whether You have the power to come to their rescue .
I do not belong to this group of doubters. I will perform pradhakshiNams
to You , do kaimkaryam , meditate on You and take comfort from
the testimony of MahAthmAs like Lord SivA ( Raama Naama Rasikudu )
about your Bhaktha RakshaNa vratham and stay with MahA VisvAsam
that You will come to my  rescue . I spend my days this way 
without fear or doubt .

Raama Kothada Raama ! Raama KalyANa Raama ! 
Raama Pattabhi Raama ! In this lowly age of Kali ,
people celebrate the lives of rich adhamAs as exalted
lives ! Please listen to my eulogies on the meaning of 
the sacredness of Your Lotus feet ( PoRRAmarRai
adiyE poRRum poruL kELAi ) . I stay at Your lotus feet 
in full awareness of their Bhaktha RakshaNa parAkramam 
as testified by AnjanEyA , ParamasivA and a host of other 
devotees of Yours ! 

SitA Naayaka sritha Jana pOshaka Sri Raghu kula Tilaka RaamA !

Baala sasAnka kalAlankrutha nutha RaamA ! ( One worshipped 
by the Kailaasa Nathan adorning the cresent moon on His Jatai ) ,

Saaregu Sangeetha yOga naigama parAnguthudaina Parama
pAvana Naarada Vandhitha RaamA ! ( One who is worshipped
by the great and pious NaaradA , who has mastered 
the Gaandharva vEdam thru Sangeetha ( Naadha ) yOgam ) ,  

Pavanaja Sthuthi paathra Paavana charithra Pattabhi RaamA !
( One who is the object of AnjanEyA's eulogy of Your 
sacred charithram ) ,

" yOgijana hrudhayAbhja mithra Mythilee RaamA " ,
( One who is the Sun to the heart lotuses of yOgis ) ,

When I have Your darsanam , my heart jumps with 
indescribable joy and I forget myself . 

RaamAbhi RaamA , RamaNeeya NaamA ! Srikara
rUpa SudhAkara vadhana , sOkha nivAraNa Sundara 
rathana RaamA ! SanakAdhi sumuni geetha sajjana
gaNa paarijAtha RaamA ! Ksheerbhdi nAthA ! Parama
Soundharya MUrthE ! SvaralayAdhi mUrchanOllasitha 
Naarada Vinutha RaamA ! Sri Bhaaskara KulAdhri Dheepa! 
Pavanaja dhrutha paadha Kamala DasarathE ! Mukkanti
nOda selakE nAma MahAthmya RaamA ! Kanakana ruchirA ,
Kanaka Vasana ninnu . 

Oh Lord ! my heart runs  after your soundharyam just like
the young calf runs after its mother and jumps with joy 
around her . The intenesity of my desire to enjoy Your 
beauty continually increases multifold . 

The Final CharaNam ( Eighth CharaNam 
After remembering the greatness of the glory of
his Lord as attested by the great bhakthAs of His ,
Saint ThyagarAjA was unable to continue with his 
salutations . In other Pancha rathna krithis , he had 
sung the Lord's glories with ten charaNams. Overcome 
by the supreme aanandham of enjoying  the Lord"s 
divya soundharyam , he could not go on . Hence , he 
stopped singing after the eighth charaNam and fell 
into  a deep and  joyous trance as a result of his 
unique anubhavam and soubhAgyam . This charaNam is 
therefore a short one :

sathathamu prEma pUrithaDugu ThyagarAja nutha! 
mukha jitha Kumudha ! Hitha ( natha ) Varadha! 
ninnu ( Kana Kana ruchirA  kanaka vasana ninnu )

KaruNA Rasa pUrNa nEthra RaamA ! Sri Kaantha RaamA !
nirvANa palatha RaamA ! You are the one , who watches over 
with Your daya-laden eyes , Your aasritha janams and 
grant generously all the boons that they seek and add a few more .
You are the Varadha Raajan , whose beautiful face beats 
the beauty of the blue lotus flower easily . 

This charaNam has a variation in Paatam ( PaatAntharam ) .
Mukha jitha Kumudha NATHA VARADHA and Mukha jitha 
KumudhA HITHA VARADHA are the two variations preserved by
the sishya paramparais . This alternate usage reminds one 
of the SankharAbharaNa krithi of the Saint , where he used 
both Hitha and Natha next to each other to hint at 
their interdependence :

Natha Maanasa  Hitha kara , paalitha ThyagarAja  

Here , the saint salutes Sri Raaman, the ThyagarAja--
Rakshakan as the noble Varadhan  conferring 
mangaLams to His  natha Janams ( those prostrating 
before HIm in reverence ) . There is thus not much of 
a difference between the hitha kara Varadhan
and Natha Jana pOshaka Varadhan . With great longing and 
prEmai , Saint ThyagarAjA addressed Sri RaamA as Varadha Raajan
in this charaNam and confessed that the Lord's soundharyam 
is insatiable to experience and that his heart was  jumping with 
uncontrollable aanandham over His divya darsanam . Thus 
concludes the VarALi Pancharathna Krithi .

Some fourty years ago , Only sangeetha KalAnidhi 
MaharAjapuram VisvanAtha Iyer sang this krithi  
at the BaguLa Panchami AarAdhanam for the Sadhguru
at ThiruvayyAu . Other vidhvAns did not have the command over 
this krithi . They used to fall silent and listen to the mellifluent
voice of the MaharAjapuram VidvAn , who had learnt this krithi
from Sri UmayAlpuram SwaminAtha Iyer , the fourth generation 
sishyA of  Saint ThyagarAjA . Great VidvAns like Ariyakkudi RaamAnuja
IyengAr , GNB , Madhurai MaNi , AlatthUr brothers used to wait 
unitl MaharAjapuram finished rendering VarALi and then joined
with him to sing the Sri Raga Pancharathnam , YendharO 
MahAnubhAvulu " . 

Sri Raamachandra ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradaAchAri SadagOpan