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Saint ThyagarAjA and PrahlAdhA : part 2 on Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 05:10:38 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha BhagavAn :

In this year , when the 600th anniversary of 
the founding of Ahobila Matam is being celebrated ,
I started writing earlier about Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan . 

If my memory serves me right , I wrote about 
the first slokam of Adi SankarA's KarAvalampana 
sthOthram and Shatpadhee . Here is the second in 
the series of salutations to the Lord of Ahobilam ,
Prahlaadha Varadhan . 

In this posting , I will cover the great devotion 
that Saint ThyagarAjA had for "Naarasimha Vapu SrImAn" . 
PrahlAdhA was the greatest model for Saint ThyagarAjA 
as a parama bhakthA . The Lord , who blessed PrahlAdhA 
became , as a result, very dear to our Saint of 
ThiruvayyAru , who spent most of his life 
on Sri Raama Naama Japam and sankeerthanam .

Our saint saw Sri Ramachandran as Sri Narasimhan and 
Vice-versa . That is why in the middle of his 
Opera known as PrahlAdha Bhaktha Vijayam 
dealing with the victory of PrahlAdhA's bhakthi, 
he pleads for the mercy of Sri RamachandrA 
in the moving Yadhukula KaambhOji through
the words of PrahlAdhA :

" Daya sEyavaiaa Sadaya RamachandrA ,
dayanu konchamaina naadu talasusunna SItA
sukhamu "

( Oh My merciful Lord RamachandrA ! 
please bestow dayA on me ! Please confer on me even 
a small portion of the daya (konchamaina ) 
and the aanandham that you blessed 
SeethA Piratti with ! )

In another rare krithi of PrahlAdha bhaktha vijayam 
opera set in NaagaghAndhAri Raagam ,

" Oh Raama Raama SarvOnnatha nee kiputOravamsana yElarA ,
GruNAkara " 

( Oh Raamaa ! Oh the most supreme of all tattvams ! 
Why are you engaged in deceit now ? Oh my most merciful 
Lord !) "Yee jagadhini ThyagarAjuni brOchudakee
jaala mika tALanu neevELanu"( In this world , I can not
bear with the acts and tricks of yours to stay away from
protecting me , your BhakthA , who trusts You utterly ) .

Here , the Raama BhakthA , Saint ThyagarAjA equates 
himself to PrahlAdhA , who complained as the BhakthA of 
Narasimha BhagavAn for not appearing before him in 
PrahlAdha Bhaktha Vijayam .The mood of 
the two bhakthAs longing for the Lord's darsanam is
identical . The celebration of Sri RamachandrA as 
BhagavAn Narasimha is evident in the other krithis of
Saint ThyagarAjA's PrahlAdha Bhaktha Vijayam listed below : 

RaaraamA IntithAka ( asAvEri ) ,
Sriraama JayarAamA ( MadhyamAvathi ) , Vandhanamu 
Raghunanadhana ( SahAnA ) , RaambhirAma( SaavEri ), 
yEti janmithi haa Oh RaamA ( VarALi ) , 
SallarE Raamachandrunipaini poola ( Aahiri ) ,
yentha paapinaithi nEmisEyuthu , haa yElAku 
tALuthunE -Oh RaamA ? (GowLipanthu ) ,
yEmani vEkinthunE , Sri Raama Raama ( HusEni) ,
Nannu vitichikatalaguraa , Raamayaa vathalaguraa 
( Reethigowlai ) , DayarAni DayarAni , Daasarathee
Raama ( Mohanam ) , NanubhrOvakanu-vidavanuraa Raama
( SankarAbharaNam ) , Nee naama rUpamulaku (sowrAshtram)
and other krithis . 

In every one of the above krithis , Saint ThyagarajA's
anubhavam as Bhaktha PrahlAdhan is abundantly clear .
In between the krithis , Saint ThyagarAjA uses
gadhyam /vachanam (prose ) and Padhyam (gandha Padhyam 
and seesa padhyam /poetry ) to offer his salutations 
to BahgavAn Narasimhan Himself . I will cover in 
the later postings the poetic skills of Saint
ThyagaraajA .Thus PrahlAdha Bhaktha Vijayam is 
a tribute to his Ishta Dhaivam as well as
for the One worshipped by his Ishta Dhaivam on top
of the Ahobilam hills thru the Nrusimha PanchAmrutha
sthOthram ,which I had the good fortune to cover in 
one of the recent issues of the Journal of North American
Nrusimha Priya published by Sriman ParthasArathy Dileepan . 

In the next posting , I will cover the unique Narasimha-
Raama Bhakthi of Saint Thyagaraja as evidenced in 
the Palaranjani ( Palamanjari) and Bilahari raaga 
krtihis on ShOlingar Narasimhan and in other 
krithis ,where he pays tribute to 
the BhagavAn Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan  .

Before concluding this posting , I will 
quote the saahithya Vaakhyams of Palamanjari 
krithi and give its meanings .

This krithi is a prayer to Sri Lakshmi
Nrusimhan to protect him as he stood in front
of Him (the powerful Yoga Narasimhan) at ShoLingar .
It could very well have been composed during
his visit to ThiruvallikkENi .

Palamanjari Krithi 
*******************

Pallavi : Sri Naarasimha maam paahi 
          KsheerAbdhi kanyakA RamaNa 

Anupallavi : DheenArthi nivAraNa bhavya guNa 
             Tithi tanaya timira Surya TrinEthra 

CharaNam : PrahlAdha ParAsara  Naaradha hruth pankEruha 
           neeraja bhandhO , AahlAdha kara bhavarhOga 
           samhAra Varadha ThyagarAjAdhi Vinutha (Sri Narasimha )

>From the CharaNa vAkhyam line , " AahlAdha Kara " ,
the one with the sign of inviting PrahlAdhan to
come near , one wonders , whether this krithi 
is also a tribute to TeLLiya Singhar Uthsavar 
of ThiruvallikkENi on whose hand we see the 
AahlAvana mudhrai .Behind the Uthsavar there is 
the Yoga Pattai Narasimhan at ThiruvallikkENi as well.

Meaning : O Lord Narasimha , You are the Sriya: pathi 
( LakshmI's dear consort ) .You are the One , 
who banishes the sufferings of the meek . 
You are by nature full of affection and humble
for Your dear bhakthAs and is easy for them
to approach You . Oh Lord , who is like the Sun 
that chases away the darkness of Tithi's son ( HiraNyan ) 
with the power of Your three eyes ( Sun, Moon and
Agni ) ! Oh Lord , who is like the rising Sun ,
which makes the heart lotus of PrahlAdhaa , 
ParAsarA and NaaradhA blossom ! Oh compassionate relative
to the BhakthAs ! Oh boon-granting VaradhA !
Oh Lord , who invites Your BhakthAs to come close to
You with Your hand gesture ( AahlAdha Kara ) !
Oh Lord , who destroys the SamsAric afflictions !
Please protect me from the ills of SamsAram and 
grant me mOksham !

Bilahari Krithi has longer Saahithya Vaakhyams . 
I will cover it in the next posting .   

Sri MaalOlan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
Oppilaippan Koil Varadachari SadagOpan