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Yatiraja Vimsathi -Part 3

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Mar 10 1996 - 07:46:10 PST

Dear Members of  the Prapatti Group:

I will conclude the comments on Yatiraja Vimsathi
with this posting. Prior to that let us reflect on the 
adoration of Embaar and Swami Desikan on the 
verses that they used to meditate on the beautiful 
body and commanding presence of Yatiraja.

the last two lines of the 8 lined verse of Embaar are
as follows:
YEPPOZHHUTHUM YATIRAASAN VADIVAZHAGU YENN IDAYATTIL ULATHAAL
ILLAI YENAKKU YETIR ILLAI YENAKKU YETIR ILLAI YENAKKU YRTIREH 

Here, Embar confesses that there is no one equal to him, because he has 
the memory of Sri Ramanuja"s beautiful body enshrined in his heart forever.
In the other six lines,  he goes onto describe the lotus feet of his Acharya,
his tender fingers like a creeper, sacred ochre dress befitting that of a Yati,
scared thread, tridhandam, his merciful upadesam, his beautiful and 
ennobling smile symbolizing mercy, the beautiful eyes full of compassion,
his thick tuft and the tucking of it in a bundle . The adoration and the Dhyanam
of an
Acharya and his Svaroopam is an integral part of the salutations that 
a disciple offers to guide him in his daily activities.

Swami Desikan, who is known as the Kavithaarkika Simham( the lion among poets
and logicians) melts over the thought of Sri Ramanuja and praises the 
beauty of Ramanuja with great emotion:

UPAVEETHINAM URDHVAPUNDRAVANTHAM 
TRIJAGAT PUNYAPHALAM TRIDANDAHASTHAM
SARANAAGATHA SAARTHAVAHAMEEDEH 
SIKHAYAA SEKARINAM PATIM YATHEENAAM 

Here, Swami says that he praises the king of Sanyaasis,
who has the Yajnopaveetham, Urdhva Pundram , Tridhandam
and recognizes him as the sum of the fruits of the Punyam ofthe three worlds . 
He points out that this Acharya with the most beautiful tufted 
hair is the leader of those, who has  offered Saranaagathi at the 
feet of Sriman Naraayana. 

With these invocatory thoughts on the sacred memory of Sri
Ramanuja, we will continue with the rest of Yatiraja Vimsathi. 
>From verse 6 to the Twentieth  concluding verse, ManavALa Maamuni is 
overcome by the greatness of Sri RamAnujA and his unfitness as a 
follower of the lofty teachings of the AchAryA and describes in moving verses
his inadequacies and pleads for the grace of Sri RamAnujA to save him.

VERSE 6:

O Yatiraja Arya! ( O Paramount Yati ) , Dayaa Eka Sindho ( O Ocean of 
Mercy), I do not have enduring devotion at your lotus feet. My infatuation
with sensory delight increases daily. What can I do? The basis for this 
deplorable state is my Paapam ( Amushya Nidhaanam Math Paapam
Eva). There is no other reason. Please destroy my sins .

VERSE 7:

O Yatindraa! I have the body of a human, but my conduct is 
that of an animal devoid of reason( Aham tu Nara Vaphu:, Vrutyaa Pasu :).
Here he reminds of the statement "Jnanena Heena:, Pasubhi: Samaana: ".
Inspite of this deficiency, others praise me as an expert in Vedaas and 
as one  who is the treasure house of auspicious conduct . I am deceiving 
these people, who are not aware of my deficiencies. Please guide and save me.

VERSE 8: 

O Yatiraja! I call myself as a Prapanna and mingle with your devout 
disciples and pretend as though I am an evolved one and hide my 
inauspicious tendencies. I sadden your heart. I am a Murkan. Please 
have mercy on me! 

VERSE 9 :

O Yatiraajaa! I ama satan. I am filled with Sata Vaayu. I move with your 
devoted disciples as though I am having utter faith in Acharya, the 
mantram that he blessed me with and the devotion to the Devathaa 
behind that Mantram. I am a bold one , who fearlessly struts around
inspite of my deficiencies. Please save me! I ma indeed a Murkan that
deserves to be saved!

VERSE 10:

O Yatiraajaa! I engage constantly in committing Apachaaraas
with my mind, body and  speech. I carrry on with acts that
sadden your heart. I pretend like a Aanukoolya Sankalpan 
(the one , who carries out acts approved by Saastraas ). I keep
on spending my time this way. I am a Murkan! What a sad lot that
has befallen me! Please have mercy on me and save me.  

VERSE 11:

O Yatirajaa! Normally people fear about the consequences of
their sinful deeda  and are ashamed over them and desist from 
them for fear of entering Narakam. For me , there s eems to no
such restraint. I am not afraid or contrite. I keep on doing more
of the prohibited acts. My state is deplorable! Please  rescue from 
this recidivism.

VERSE 12:

ANTHAR BAHISCCHA SAKALAVASTHUSHU SANTHAM
EESAM ANTHA: PURA: STHITHAM IVA AHAM aVEEKSHAMAANA:
GANDHARBHA VASYA HRUDHAYA: SATATAM BHAVAAMI
HANTHA TVAT AGRA GAMANASYA YATINDRA! NA ARHA: 

O Yatindra! I am like the one , who is blind from birth. Such a
man can not seethe objects infront of him. I am like him in
the sense that I am unable to comprehend the Lord, who 
pervades all both inside and outside. I am full of passion and
delight in sensory objects and  stray from the cognition of the Lord
(VIswaantharyaami, Antharbhaisccha tat sarvam Vyaapya Naraayana:
sthitha: ). How can I feel fit to appear before You?

VERSE 13 :

O Yatiraaja! Even if I wallow in the sorrowful ocean of the 
three afflictions(Taapaas), I repeatedly indulge in sensory 
delights. I have no desire to escape from repeated births. My accumulated
sins are the cause of this deplorable behavior. O My Acharya! Please 
banish all those sins with your powerful glance and rescue me quickly!
( Tvameva Hara Tat Yatiraaja! Seekram ).

VERSE 14: 

Here, Maamuni refers to the Naicchaanusanthaanam thoughts tnat
Kuratthaazhwaan included in his Vardaraja Sthavam and Vaikunta Sthavam.
There, Aazhwaan, the most sacred disciple of Sri Ramaanujaa is in a
mood of self-depreceation and cries out about his deficiencies. Maamuni
is reminded of those cries of a great soul and says that What Azhwaan 
referred to fits him to a tee. He appeals therefore to Sri RamaanujA that
he and he alone should be the object of the mercy of Yatiraaja instead
of the great Bhagavatha like Aazhwaan.

VERSE 15: 

In this and the previous verse, Maamuni appals to Yatiraaja this way:
Karunaiva tu madh gathi: teh = teh karunaa yeva madh gathi: ).
He says that the great Acharya"s limitless mercy is the only rescue.
Here he says that the Naiccham statements of AalavAndhaar,
AazhvAn , Parasara Bhattar an dothe r Achaarya Sikhamanis 
have found their home in him . Therefore, he says that he should be 
the object of Yatirajaa"s compassion .

VERSE 16:

Here, he appeals to the Nirhetuka Karunaa of Sri RaamAnujA.
He prays for the destruction of desire for the sensory delights and 
the uplifting of him to a state of Sarama with thoughts full of 
the Bhakthas and disciples of Sri Yatiraaja.He wants to reach that 
saramaavati state and stay there.

VERSE 17:

Here, Maamuni answers Sri Ramanuja"s question on why 
Maamuni is pressing for this kind of help. Maamuni says that the 
Lord Of Srirangam stands  as  Videhayan ( Yatokthakari ) to Ramanuja.
Reference here is to incidents like the one, where Ramanuja brought 
the Vaishnava Dhobi in front of Ranganatha and appealed to the Lord to
accept the beautiful Parivattam cleansed and prepared by the clothes washer.
Ranganatha opened his eyes and looked at the Lovely Parivattam and 
accepted it and blessed the Dhobi and blessed him from his Apachaaram 
during Krishnaavatharam . The name of the Dhobhi of Mathura nagaram
was Rajakan. Krishna and Balarama confronted him and asked him to
give them the beautiful clothes he was carrying for delivery to Kamsaa. 
Ranganatha pardoned the Dhobhi brought before him by Ramaanuja
for his trespasses during his life as Rajakan in a previous aeon.

VERSE 18:

Here again , he reminds Ramanuja about his special powers that
derive from his closeness to Ranganatha. He says that the Lord alone 
can destroy the sins committed by mind , body and speech in the 
present, past and future. Sri RamaanujA offers protection to his 
disciples through his power of intercession with NamperumaaL. 
Aacharya Sambhandham and the the Acharya Nishtai as a form of
Saranaagathi is referrd to here.

VERSE 19:

Here, Maamuni pays tribute to his Immediate Acharya , Thirumalai
Azhwaar or Thiruvaimozhi PiLLai or Sri Saila Nathan. He acknowledges the 
command of his Acharya that led to the composition of Yatiraaja
Vimsathi. He acknowledges that his Acharya 
introduced him to the worship of Sri Ramanuja"s lotus feet.
He pleads for the blessing of freedom from all obstacles that
interfere with the seva for those Lotus feet.

VERSE 20:

Here, Maamuni hails RAmAnujA as Dhayaa Ambu Raaseh! He
recognizes the great Aacharya as the ocean of mercy. He asks 
RaamAnujA to accept his Vigyapanam or appeal. He says:
Vigyapanam Tat Anghikurushva. He cites the reasons why  the Acharya should 
accept his appeal. The reasons are the lack of knowledge that Maamuni
possesses regarding Tattva, Hita and Purushaarthaas. His lack of 
Aatma Gunaas . His state of helplessness . He asks RamaanujA to take
 these factors into account to accept his appeal and come to his rescue.

I will conclude this posting with a slokam from Yet anothe rcomposition of
MaNavALa Maamuni known as DEVARAAJA MANGALAM ,which was created 
by him at kanchipuram, when he was receiving instructions on Sri Bhashyam from 
the disciple of Brahma Tantra Swatantra Swami. One day, Maamuni was standing
in front of Varadaraaja PerumaaL and he was overcome by the blessings 
of that ancient Archaa Murthy , who spoke to THirukkacchi Nambi and 
gave the six instructions to Sri Ramaanuja as well as the object of great 
affecton of Swami Desikan.The twelve verses of Devaraja mangalam 
poured out of his mouth. The twelfth slokam , which is used by us in our
Sattumurai everyday is as follows:

MANGALAASASANA PARAI: MADHAACHARYA PUROGAMAI:
SARVAICCHA POORVAACHARYAI: SATKRUTHAAYAASTHU MANGALAM

Our Poorvaacharyaas celebrated as Asmathaacharyaas had the singing 
of the praise of the Lord (Mangalaasaasanam ) a stheir profession. To 
that Lord praised  by them, Hail to Him! Hail to HIm! Pallaandu to Him! 
Following the ancient Aacharyas , who preceded me, I am offering
Pallaandu to  HIM withthis Devaraaja Mangalam. 

MANGALAM VEDHASOH VEDHIMEDHINEE GRUHA MEDHINEH 
VARADHAYA DAYAADHAMNEH DHEERODHAARAYA MANGALAM

AZHWAAR, AACHARYAAL THIRUVADIGALEH SARANAM

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan      
 
Pr