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Sri VaikunTa Sthavam 1: "The Quality that is twice blessed!"
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 18:34:08 PST

                Sri VaikunTa Sthavam of KoorathAzhwAn
Dear Bhagavatas:
Hope you enjoyed the postings on "Sri Sthavam" of KoorathAzhwAn.
As remarked in the Introduction to Pancha Sthavams, every single SlOkam of 
the 400 plus SlOkas contained in the Pancha Sthavams is a gem. It is very 
difficult to pick and choose but due to space constraints and my own 
limitations, a random selection is attempted and presented in this series 
based on what I have heard during the KAlakshEpam discourses of U.Ve. VidwAn 
PaiyambADi SEtlur V SrivatsAnkAchAriar SwAmi and his masterly comments in the 
twin volumes written by him. 

The credit for all that is stated correctly goes to him and my AchAryas, HH 
Srimad ParavAkkOttai GOpAla MahA DEsikan of Poundarikapuram Andavan Ashramam 
and HH Azhagiya Singhar of AhObila Matam. All errors of commission and 
omission are entirely mine and I seek your indulgence in forgiving me for the 

Sri VaikunTa Sthavam (100 SlOkas) on ParamapadanAthan. The SAstra arthas 
contained in Sri BhAshyam and other Rahasya granthas have been clearly 
brought out in this Sthavam without transgressing the preclusions  and 
exclusions ordained in the study of the vEdas, in such a manner that it used 
to be said "Sri VaikunTa Sthavam theriyAdhavan Sri VaishNavan allan" meaning- 
"one who does not know Sri VaikunTa Sthavam is not a Srivaishnavan at all" 

Now, let us enjoy some of the SlOkas from his "Sri VaikunTa Sthavam".

Anbil Ramaswamy
    Sri VaikunTa Sthavam 1: "The Quality that is twice blessed!"            
PrEma Ardra vihvala girah: purushAh: purANA:
tvAm thushtuvu:  madhu ripO! madhurai: vachObih:/
vAchO viDambitham idham mama neecha vAcha:
kshAnthi:  thu thE savishayA mama durvachObih://
(SlOkam 10)

"Oh! Hayagriva, who killed the demon, Madhu!
AzhwArs and great sages of yore (PurANa; purushA) have praised you (tvAm 
thushtuvu:) with nectarine words (madhura: vachObih:) drenched in (aardra) 
loving devotion (prEma); My praise, however, is mean and low (neecha vacha:) 
and is spurious and sham (vAchO viDambitham). The fact of your not becoming 
furious at my damaging utterances (dur vachObih:) lends color and glory to 
your quality of mercy (kshAnthi:  thu thE savishayA)"

The first line alludes to the expression of extreme love of great Sages like 
Bhishma, NArada, PrahlAda, and then the AzhwArs who donned the role of 
love-lorn lasses.

SwAmi Desika in SlOka 43 of his "Sri SaraNAgathi Deepikai" expresses similar 
NaichyabhAvam. He says that he pretends to follow the noble example of his 
ancestors while in reality, he ignores his Atma and indulges thoughtlessly in 
the forbidden evil ways. He implores Lord DeepaprakAsa to accept and relish 
this pretense because the Lord Himself is a great dramatist-make-believe 
"Prathyak parAng mukha mathE: asameekshya karthu:
PrAcheena sajjana viDambhana bhoomikA mE//"

In "Sri VishNu SahasranAmam, one of the names ( Nama 919) reads as 
"Kshaminaam vara:". This means- "The foremost among those who forgive" AzhwAn 
seems to imply that by enduring his misadventure in attempting to praise, the 
Lord can live up to this name and make it meaningful!

Did not ThonDaraDippoDi AzhwAr  say-
"iLaya pun kavithaiyElum empirAnukku iniyavAre" 
meaning "May even my lowly poem please my Lord"

Scholars used to aver that one Sri VedAchArya BhaTTar composed a sthuthi 
called "KshamA shODasee", which they say, forms part of daily routine 
recitation of some Bhagavatas, bringing out the significance implied in this 
bhAva. In fact, this "KshamA shODasee" is said to be the first ever StOtra 
that set the precedent to "DayA Sathakam" of SwAmi DEsika and several other 
StOtras eulogizing this particular trait of mercy of the Lord.

AzhwAn seems to say that the Lord's quality of mercy is a double blessing 
since it benefits both him as the recipient and adds glory to the Lord 
Himself who grants!

I believe that it may not be out of place to quote from Shakespeare's 
"Merchant of Venice," expressing similar sentiments thus --
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself"

- aazhvaar, emberumaanaar, desikan, jeeyar tiruvadigale saranam -
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