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SrI deSika stotra-s - 17. SrI acyuta Satakam - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Fri Jul 09 1999 - 16:55:28 PDT

		SrI deSika stotra-s - 17. SrI acyuta Satakam.


This stotram, like the one we covered last - SrI devanAyaka pa~ncAsat,
is on devanAyakap perumAl of tiruvaindra puram.  The word Satakam in
the title refers to the 100 Sloka-s (actually there are 101 including
the phala Sruti) in the stotram.  The nAma acyuta means He who does not
let His devotees slip - na cyAvayati iti acyutah. 

One special aspect of this stotram is that it is written in the prAkr*t
language by svAmi deSikan.  prAkr*t can be considered colloquial
samskr*t, which seems to have been used in day-to-day communication in
the olden days by those who did not use grammatical samsk*t in their
conversations.  In course of time, grammatical rules evolved for
prAkr*t as well, and it evolved as a language in its own right.  It
became common for female characters to use prAkr*t in works such as
drama etc.  It is characterized by the natural sweetness like the talk
of a child when it is spoken. svAmi deSikan's anubhavam of the
sweetness of this language is that it is the childhood language of
goddess sarasvati (Slokam 2).  SrIrAmadeSikAcArya svAmi observes that
devanAyakap perumAL has the unique distinction that He is the only arcA
mUrti who has  been sung by svAmi deSikan in three languages - samskr*t
(devanAyaka pa~ncAsat), prAkr*t (acyuta Satakam), and tamizh (mummaNik

SrIrAmAdeSikAcArya svAmi has included the samskr*t version of the
Sloka-s along with the prAkr*t version in his LIFCO publication "SrI
deSika stotra mAlA".  Wherever quotes have been included from acyuta
Satakam in the current write-up, the samskr*t version has been used
because of the greater ignorance of aDiyEn with prAkr*t. However, SrI
rAmadeSikAcArya svAmi has made the special point that those who chant
the Slokam should use the prAkr*t version. As has been done in the
write-up for the previous sttora-s, instead of giving a literal
translation of the Sloka-s, aDiyEn has presented a summary of the
thoughts that registered in aDiyEn's mind when going through the
meanings of the Sloka-s.

1. AcArya is to be worshipped like bhagavAn Himself.

In nyAsa vimSati we saw that our AcAryan is to be worshipped like
bhagavAn Himself by us (Slokam 2).  svAmi deSikan reemphasizes this
concept to us again in the current stotram.  BhagavAn is imparting
knowledge to us to realize Him through the words of our AcArya - He is
seated in their tongue like being seated in a throne and instructing us
through our AcArya (Slokam 5).

2. svAmi deSikan's Humility. 

svAmi deSikan's humility again reveals itself in this work as in all
other works.  In Slokam 3 he says that his work can be flawed standing
by itself (mama bhAshitam malinam api), but because it sings His praise
it gets sanctified just as the street waters get sanctified when they
mingle with the Ganges river.  In Slokam 4 he refers to his work as
bAliSA mama stutih - my stotram which is likes a child's blabbering.  

3. Need for Purity in Thought, Word and Deed:

svAmi deSikan emphasizes the need for purity of thought, word, and deed
for one who is interested in realizing Him.  Those who are not pure in
their thought and action cannot succeed in realizing Him.  BhagavAn
won't stay in a polluted mind even for a moment, just as a hamsa won't
go near muddied water even for a moment (Slokam 6).   He keeps away
from one who is not sincere in his/her devotion - dolAyamAnAn dUram
mu~ncasi (Slokam 7).  Only those who are pure in thought, word and deed
can successfully meditate on Him.  He thus becomes easy to access for
the women of AyarpADi who have staunch devotion to Him - Sraddhita
hr*daya sulabhah (Slokam 7).

4. How Do We Know of the Existence of BhagavAn, Why Should We Worship
Him, Attirbutes of a True Devotee of BhagavAN.

The question of what is the evidence for the existence of bhagavAn has
been raised by many.  The simple answer is provided in Slokam 7 - Agama
mAtra pramANAh - Because the veda-s declare so.  There is no other way
to prove His existence.  We can experience Him, but can't prove His
existence to others through any means other than veda.

We worship Him because He eliminates the feelings of desire, sins,
false knowledge, etc. when we have Him in our thoughts - tr*shA, mala,
mohah kshapitah (Slokam 27). When we worship Him, we won't ever have
the darkness of the night called aj~nAna (teshAm moha triyAmA na khalu
- Slokam 46).  Our mind will not be distracted away from Him by
anything (vikAra jananairapi na vikriyamANAh), and we will become pure
(pAvanAh) and will experience the anubhavam of moksham even in this
world (jIvanmukta sadr*Sah) (Slokam 47).

A true devotee of bhagavAn will lose interest in the pursuit of trivial
and transient pleasures (vishaya rase viraktAh - Slokam 47, svapna
sadr*kshANAm SrINAm na smarati - Slokam 48).  For that matter the
devotee of bhagavAn will not even be interested in positions such as
that of brahma;  he will realize that even these so-called high
positions are impermanent like water bubbles and will come to end
ultimately, and are constantly under the threat of the asura-s.  These
positions are beautiful to look at like water bubbles, but are also
impermanent like the water bubbles, nice to look at like mushrooms but
also tasteless like mushrooms, beautiful to look at like cloud
formations but also transient like them.  The position of these other
gods is like the banana stem, which looks strong but which can't
support anything like a stone pillar can (i.e., they can't even assure
protection to those who seek their protection, except when bhagavAn
gives them that power) (Slokam 49). 

Those who worship bhagavAn with devotion and who acquire true j~nAna of
Him will also acquire the qualities such as sausIlya like Him, and mix
with even those who have not advanced to the knowledge level like
themselves.  They forgive other's mistakes just as bhagavAn forgives
His devotees' sins, and over a period of time they will help the other
cetana-s towards the path of realizing Him (Slokam 50). 

Those who are devoted to bhagavAn will also not have any of the
negative attributes that are acquired by those who do not have clear
thinking and who think of this body as the AtmA, or think that their
soul is independent of  the paramAtmA (51).  Negative qualities such as
mAna madershyA matsara dambhA bhayA amarsha lobha etc., which are
explained later, will not touch them. All the undesirable traits leave
the devotees of bhagavAn, and they shine like stars in a well-lit sky
on a clear cloud-free night (Slokam 54).  

There is no question of yama lokam for His devotee - na khalu yama
vishaye gatih (Slokam 55);  even those who stray from the path of a
prapanna after surrendering to Him get only minor punishment from Him
as prAyaScitta.  So there is no question of one who has done prapatti
to Him going to naraka.  His devotees desist from worldly desires and
enjoyments and thus keep themselves away from yama's wrath (Slokam 56).
  Even though they live in kali yuga, they feel like they are living in
kr*ta yuga (Slokam 52).  They realize that everything - moving and
non-moving - is part of bhagavAn, and so they do not develop any kind
of animosity or hatred towards anyone or anything.  Their only goal in
life is moksha, and they only obsrve sanAtana dharma which assists them
in attaining that goal.  They desist from any attachment to worldly
pleasures since they have realized that these are transient and
impermanent (59).

The worship offered by a paramaikAntin (i.e., one who worships SrIman
nArAyaNa exclusively and who does not perform this worship for any
benefit for himself) is accepted by bhagavAn with a bowed head like one
accepting a pariyaTTam, whereas the worship offered by the likes of
brahma is only accepted at His feet (57).  

5. The effects of not worshipping Him:

Those who do not worship Him always find fault in bhAgavata-s (53),
like faulting the Sun with having a hole in the centre; this kind is
sowing the path for their self-destruction.  Even if they live in kr*ta
yugam, they will feel miserable like those living in kali yugam (52). 
These who are immersed in worldly pleasures will not be able to realize
Him even though He is very near them in His arcA form, just as they sky
is near us but is beyond our grasp (60). 

 These non-devotees who think that their body is the AtmA or it belongs
to them and not to paramAtmA, develop many undesirable traits such as
ahamkAram (mAna - the feeling that they arre superior to others), pride
arising from their wealth, appearance, birth, etc.  (mada), jealousy
(IrshyA), enmity (matsara), hot-headedness (dambha), finding fault with
others (asUyA), fear (bhaya), anger (amarsha), desire to cling to
wealth (lobha), etc. (Slokam 51).

-To be continued.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan

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