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Sri Stuthi-8

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (rangaswamy_m_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Jan 29 1998 - 18:58:53 PST

Dear Friends,

I shall present a summary of verses 15 and 16 of the Sri Stuthi in 
this post. Swami Desikan brilliantly salutes the auspicious attributes 
of Thayar and points out that She is the manifestation of the Lord's 
limitless mercy. Swami Desikan adds that these auspicious attributes 
are responsible for granting Moksham to Prapannas.

15. ArtatrANavratibhiramrutAsAranIlAmbuvAhai:
    AmbOjAnAmuShasi MiShatAmantarangaIrapAngai: II
    YasyAm YasyAm Dishi ViharatE Devi DrushtistvadIyA 
    TasyAm TasyAmahamahamikAm TanvatE SampadOGhA: II

This verse contains a glorification of the KalyaNa GuNams of Periya 
Piratti. Swami Desikan describes her goal as one of offering protection 
to those who surrender. This mirrors the Raghuveera Gadyam 
salutation "Sakrut Prapanna Jana SamrakshaNa Dikshita". Her merciful 
glance is like the dark blue clouds which produce a shower of the divine 
nectar. Prapannas vie with each other to receive Thayar's benevolent 
gaze like the flowers near the lotus which blooms in the early morning 
sun. 

Swami Desikan has packed the essence of Thayar's KalyAna GuNams of 
AudArya (Magnanimity), KaruNa (Mercy), Kshama (Forgiveness), and 
Vatsalya (Untainted Love). One can compile a doctoral thesis by 
examining each of these auspicious attribtues in detail using the 
related works of Swami Desikan (Daya Shatakam and Padhuka Sahasram), 
and the Acharyas before him like Sri RamanujAcharya, and Sri Alavandaar. 
However for the purpose of this discussion, it is sufficient to note 
that these auspicious attributes arising from 
the benevolent glance of Thayar are instrumental in granting 
Moksham to Prapannas. 

Those who desire Aishwaryam as a result of offering eulogy to the Lord 
can be classified into two categories:
(i) Those who have lost their glory due to some reason or the other. 
(ii) Those who seek the glory that has eluded them so far.
This Shlokam refers to the former category and the benefits accorded 
to them by Periya Piratti Thayar's merciful glance. The Lord is 
glorified as  Arta TrANa ParAyaNa, ArtAnAm ArtihantAram, ApannAnAnAm 
ParAgati:. In this salutation Swami Desikan notes that all these 
attributes of the Lord emanate only from the KatAksham of Sri.

16. YOgAramBhatvaritamanasO YushmadaIkAntyayuktam
    Dharma PrAptum PraThamamiha YE DhArayantE DhanAyam I
    TeShAm BhumErDhanapatigruhAdambarAdambuDhErvA 
    GhArA NiryAntyaDhikamaDhikam VAnchitAnAm VasUnAm II

Here, Swami Desikan describes Thayar as one who hastens the performance 
of SatkAryams. When those desirous of wealth necessary 
for performance of their KarmAnushtAnam, propitiate Perumal and 
Thayar, they are blessed with an abundance of wealth from the earth,  
the abode of Kubera, the sky and the ocean.

Swami Desikan refers to the fruits attained by offering prayers to 
Perumal and Thayar for those who desire wealth for carrying out 
their prescribed duties. This is a characterization of Thayar as the 
Vimukta PhaladAyini along with Perumal. YogArambha denotes AshtAnga 
Yoga. This can also mean KarmayogArambham. Mastery of JnAna Yoga is a 
pre-requisite for successful pursuit of Bhaktiyoga. One can become adept 
in the practice of JnAna Yoga only through successfully 
pursuing Karma Yoga. Successful pursuit of Karma Yoga requires 
adherence to one's duties as prescribed by VarNAshrama Dharma. The 
AnushtAnams required for conducting Yagas and Yajnas demand wealth of a 
high order (TapObalam and VedAdyayanam). The Dravyas (ingredients) used 
in these events must also be obtained by righteous means. Otherwise the 
Yajna is rendered futile. Only through a prayer to Mahalakshmi Thayar is 
one blessed with the ability to discriminate 
between Dravya that is fit for use in the Yajna and that which is not. 
The Upanishads declare Vidya Samruddhi HEtu Avahanti Homa. Accordingly, 
the request for cows, horses, and gold for use in sacrifices is granted 
through Prayers to Sri. Similarly,  
those seeking wealth to practice other Yogas are blessed with the 
an abundance of the necessary wealth for their pursuits when they 
offer prayers to the Divine Couple (Lord Narayana and Sri). In the 
Lakshmi Stotram, we are reminded of this aspect again by the salutation 
Dampati Daivatam. This is also indicative of the wealth 
received by supplicants like Sudama (without asking for it) due to the 
grace of the Divya Dampatis. This Stotram also refers to the benefits 
obtained from the Pancha BhUtas (air, fire, water, earth, and ether)
as a result of glorifying Periya Piratti. Thus, those who desire 
wealth for undertaking auspicious tasks are blessed with an abundance 
through the grace of Sri. This aspect of Sri is succinctly stated 
in the Sri Sooktam Rk:

TAm PadminIm SharaNamaham PrapadyE AlakshmIrmenashyatAm TvAm VruNe 

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy 

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