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SrI deSika stotras - Part 1 - SrI hayagrIva stotram.

From: Krishnamachari (
Date: Mon Jan 26 1998 - 10:24:58 PST

SrI deSika stotra-s - Part 1 - SrI HayagrIva stotram.

	Following is a summary of some thoughts that registered in my mind as I was going through the HayagrIva stotra of SrI vedAnta deSika.  These thoughts are based on the translation and explanations provided by SrI vangIpuram rAmadeSikAcArya svAmi in his book titled "SrI deSika stotramAlA" published by the LIFCO Publishers.  

	I am aware that many of  SrI vedAnta deSika's stotrams have already been presented in our forum by others, with translations etc.  The material I am presenting here provides a different perspective to those which have already been presented in the earlier writings.  

	It is believed that SrI HayagrIva stotram was the first of the many stotra-s that were composed by SrI deSika.  SrI deSika had worshipped Lord HayagrIva as part of his nitya ArAdhana.  SrI rAmadeSikAcArya points out that for this reason, wherever SrI deSika's vigraham has been installed, Lord HayagrIva's idol is also installed alongside.

Among  the points that I noticed as I went through the 33 Sloka-s in this stotra are:

1.  The sphatika hue of bhagavAn hayagrIva
2.  The veda-s and bhagavAn hayagrIva
3.  SrI deSika's Prayer for the Defense of the SamparadAyam
4.  SwAmi deSikan's Simplicity and Humility.
In the following sections, the above topics are elaborated with quotes from SwAmi deSikan's hayagrIva stotram.

The sphatika Hue of BhagavAn HayagrIva
SrI deSika points out in several places that Lord HayagrIva's form is pure white like a flawless sphatika maNi. 

	-   nirmala spahtikAkr*tim (One with a pure white form)  in slokam 1 
	- Suddha sphatika maNi in slokam 2
	- mugdha indu nishyanda, dugdha sindhoh udArAm, tava mUrtim - Your appearance is pure white like the molten form of the rising moon or the great product from the Milk Ocean (Sloka 13)
	- viSadaih mayUkhaih AplAvayantam tvAm ye kshaNardham api kalayanti ... (Those who meditate even for a fraction of a second on  your form which radiates pure white rays...) - Slokam 15
	 - viSadaih mayUkhaih tamAmsi bhittvA Sarad-ghane candramiva nava-puNdarIke sphurantam - You remove the darkness of ignorance in your devotees through the pure white rays emanating from you, and appear like the beautiful milk-white moon seated on the new white lotus (Slokam 26)
	-amr*ta viSadaih amSubhih mAm plAvayan mAnase AvirbhUyAt - O Lord HayagrIva! Please shower me with Your white radiant rays which are like nectar, and dwell in my mind always.
	In his rayasya trya sAra, he also says the following (in tamizh) - 

	"veLLaip parimugar dESikarAi viragAl adiyOm
	 uLLatthezhudiyadu Olaiyil ittanam yAm idarRkken"

	"Lord HayagrIva with the face of a white horse appeared as the AcArya and wrote this grantham in my mind, and all I have done is reproduced it. So there is no fault in this work".

Lord HayagrIva and the veda-s
There are several references by swAmi deSika beautifully describing the origin of the veda-s from bhagavAn hayagrIva.  He variously describes the "hala hala" sound arising from Lord hayagrIva with the face of a horse, and the sound of the oranments in His leg, as the vedic emanations from the Lord.  

	- anantaih traiyantaih anuvihita heshA hala halam in slokam 2, 
	- sAmnAm samAhArah, r*cAm pratipadam, yajushAm dhAma, pratyUhAnAm layah, bodha jaladheh lahari vitatih, hahavadana heshA hala halah (The hala hala Sabda of the horse-faced Lord HayagrIva which is the source of the sAma, r*g, and yajur veda-s, which removes all obstacles to knowledge and which is the like the waves arising out of the ocean of knowledge) in Slokam 3
	- vedAn vaktree - One who taught the veda-s (Slokam 4)
	- tvam daitya apanItAn nigamAn dayayA eva bhUyah api na adhyApayishyah cet - If only you had not with your mercy restored the veda-s to brahma after they had been stolen by the asura-s.... (Slokam 8 ) 
	-te manjupraNAdam maNi nUpuram veda girAm ma~njUshikAm pratImah - We know that the veda-s are stored in the sounds arising from the decorative ornament you wear in your feet and given to this world kalpa after kalpa.  (Slokam 22)

SrI deSika's Prayers For the Defense of our SampradAyam
SrI vedAnta deSika's thoughts seem to have been preoccupied with the efforts of those with other beliefs who were putting up annoying fights and arguments against his own philosophy.  He repeatedly prays to Lord hayagrIva in this stotram to give him the ability to overcome these obstacles and to establish the right path. 

	-  In sloka 3 he says "kathA darpa kshubhyat kathaka kolAhala bhavam antardhvAntam haratu - Let Lord hayagrIva remove the darkness of ignorance in those who are making big celebration based on their haughtiness resulting from their wrong arguments.
	- samara angaNeshu kavi tArkika indrAn jigIshatah me jihva agra simhAsanam abhyupeyAh - O Lord Hayagriva!  Please take your seat at the tip of my tongue so that I can win in these warring debates involving the best of those who debate with me (Slokam 28)
	- samAjeshu svacchanda vAda Avaha baddha Surah samedhishIya - Please bless me so that I can be the unquestionable victor in the battleground of debates where the people of other faith indiscriminately put forth arguments against me (Slokam 29)
	- kavi tArkika venkatanAthena viracitAm - (This stotra is) composed by venaktanAtha, the lion among the composers and those that excel in debates.

SrI vedAnta deSika's extreme Simplicity and Humility
More than once in this stotram, swAmi deSikan gives expression to His extreme simplicity and humility, which is a key aspect of SaraNAgati.
	- nAtha! Aham mukta iti tvayA kAruNyatah eva katAksahNIyah - O Lord! Please accept me as an ignorant kid (mukta iti) and bless me with your Mercy. (Slokam 6)
	- aham nAnAvidhAnAm agatih (I am not learned in the different arts); tIrtheshu ca na api kr*ta avatArah (I have not learned from the great AcArya-s); anAtha parigrahAyAh tava dayAyAh navam navam pAtram, dhruvam (I am the most fitting case for your mercy which you shower on the destitute and the helpless; That I am the most deserving case for your mercy, there is no doubt) - Slokam 30
	- apa nIti bhedaih akampanIyAni SankA kalanka apagama tattvAni mama hr*dayam 
alankr*shIran - By your blessings, let my mind be rid of the dirt of uncertainty that is being sprayed on me by the indiscriminate arguments of my opponents, and let truth be revealed to me by your Grace.
It should not be forgotten that the main content of the stotra is the praise of Lord HayagrIva, which is covered throughout the stotram.  It should also be clearly kept in mind that the main purpose of the stotram is that the followers of Sri deSika chant the stotram and benefit with the blessings of Lord HayagrIva. Hopefully the summary I have presented here will lead to this next step by all of us.  SrI deSika's concluding lines are "paThata hayagrIva stutim bhaktyA - Read the haygrIva stotram with devotion", for the purpose of "vAk artha siddhi hetoh - attaining fluency over words and true knowledge about the Truth" (SrI rAmadeSikAcArya svAmi has translated this part as the ability  to be able to compose the praise of the Lord (kavi pADum vallamai) and to attain true knowledge about the siddhAnta-s (uNmaip poruLgaLaip paRRiya SiRanda aRivu).  
	(I have not done a literal translation of all the samskr*t portions, but have tried to keep the thoughts that were meant to be conveyed).

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan