You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 1996

Revathi: NamperumaaL's Thiru Nakshatram

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Mar 20 1996 - 18:27:20 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group:

Tomorrow is the day, when Revathi Constellation 
is in ascendance. Revathi is associated with the 
Janma Nakshatram of Sri Ranganatha , just as 
Sravana Nakshatram is associated with Sri Venkatesa
of Thirumalai as his birth star. Although it is odd to consider
a particular nakshatram as the one associated with the Lord, 
who is never "born", traditionally , Archa Murthys have been 
associated with a day in an Year that is particularly important
to them. It so happens that Sri Ranganatha, the eternal one 
without an end or beginning  has Panguni Revathi as his 
Birth Star. Sri Ranganayaki has Panguni Uttaram as her
Star . This Panguni month is therefore doubly blessed for the 
devotees of Kasturi Rangan and His Illustrious consort. 

I will share with you some of the thoughts on the Vedic Significance of 
the Word Revathi , since Sri Ranganatha is the Veda Purushan .
The word Revati or association with the concept of Revati occurs 
in all of the four Veda Samhitaas. 

The mantram  35 of Chapter 23 of the Yajur Vedam refers to the Raivati
verses this way: 

MahaanaamnyO REVATYOH viswaa Aaasaa prabhUvaree: I
Maigheervidhyuthoh vaaccha: Sucheebhi : samyantu tvaa II

(Meaning at One Level): May the Mahaanaamni and Revati Vedic
 verses spread all the way upto the supreme regions , which 
appear like the lightning in the clouds and which are recited by the 
devoted subjects please the mighty Lord! 

Revatis are the verses from which the Raivata Saaman of the Saama
Veda is formed . This name as Raivata Saaman is connected to 
the Rg Vedic Verse ( Canto I. 30.13 ) , where the word Revati is 
used to symbolize Wealth, Opulence, Abundant Riches, Prosperity, 
Brilliance, splendour, Beauty and other kalyana Gunaas of the Lord
saluted through the Many names of Vishnu Sahasra Naamam.

In another mantram of Yajur Veda, We come across the  reference to
Revati again. This is the 21st  mantram of Canto III :

REVATHI ramadhvamasminyonaavasmin 
Goshtehsmimllokehsmin Kshayeh I 
Ihaiva stha maapagaata  II

Here Revati is intrepreted as the Sacred  Vedic Speech .
It is requested to remain in the  Vedic altar , in the Yajna , 
in the spot of the Yajna and in the house,where the Yajna
is being conducted. The prayer is "Oh, Revati ! Do not go
away from here! Remain Just here and go not thence is the
prayer. Satapatha Brahmana composed by Yajnavalkya 
explains the intrepretation of Revati as Vedic Speech through
his observation: "Vaagvai Revati ". Lord Ranganatha is then 
the essence of Vedic Speech or the one pervading Vedic
Speech or the utterances of the Vedas. This Veda Purusha is 
requested by another Yajur Mantram to ascend to the Zenith
and bless us: Urdvamaaroha --- Raivatheh Saamaani ----
( Yajur Vedam: X.14 ). 

Before we focus on the Rg Veda Mantraa that is behind the 
Raivata Saamans of the Saama Veda, Let us salute the 
Atharva Vedic Verse referring to the Revati Principle. 
The Verse is found in the Ninth Khaanda of Atharva 
Veda in Hymn 7.3 . The Mantram is as follows:

VIDHYUJJIHVAA MARUTOH DANTAA 
REVATIRGREEVAA: KRITTIKAA SKANDHAA DHARMOH VAHA : 

In this mantra conceptualizing the entire Universe as a Cow,
Revati , one of the stars of the Lunar mansion is equated to
the neck of the Cosmic Cow. The Krittika star is recognized as the 
shoulder of this Cow. Symbolism of the neck is invoked here.

The central Mantra related to Revati is the Rg Vedic mantram
(I.30.13). The entire Thirtieth Chapter of Canto I of Rg Veda is a
splendid tribute to the Ananta Kalyana Gunaas of the Lord and 
a prayer for his blessings . There are 22 verses in this chapter .
All but the last three verses deal with the request for Communion
 with the generous Lord. 

We will salute the 13th  Rk first and then summarize
the meaning of the  rest of the related verses.

REVATHIR NA : SADHAMAADHA INDREH
SANTHU TUVIVAAJAA: I 
KSHUMNATHOH YABHIR MADEHMA II  (RG VEDAM : I.30.13 )

Meaning: O Resplendent God! May Thou share our 
spiritual Joy! May we have abundant nourishment ,
and May our Medha(Intellect) be unclouded and sharp,
so that we are full of devotion for You ! may we Live in 
a state of unalloyed Bliss in union with You ! 

A condensed summary (excerpts ) of the other verses of 
I.30 of Rg Vedam is as follows:

Verse 1: Just as Farmers dig a well and fill their 
fields with water, may our hearts be filled with
devotion for You, the resplendent God!

Verse 2: May our sublime and pristine devotion for You 
flow in hundreds and thousands of streams towards 
You , the resplendent God, just as the river and its tributaries
 rush towards the Ocean. 

Verse 3 : May  All our devout prayers , which are poured forth
to please You  be treasured in Your heart like water in the
vast Ocean !

Verse 6: May we establish Communion with You 
for our guidance! 

Verse 7: On every occasion , in every noble Kainkaryam,
we invoke thee , the best among our friends for our
protection and happiness .

Verse 8: When He listens to our Invocations, He assuredly 
comes to us with thousands of generous bounties and 
benedictions.( This is an expression of the Maha Viswaasam 
of the supplicant.)

Verse 9: I too invoke thee ,who created this Universe and
the eternal elements. Our ancestors have also been invoking You .
 
Verse 10: Desirous of Communion with You, we invoke You
as our best  friend  and we take refuge in You. Be gracious to us,
your dedicated and loyal servants.

Verse 12: O Mighty God! O Dispeller of all of the miseries! 
We yearn for Your friendship and beseech You to respond 
to our love. 

Verse 18 & 19 : O God! Desroyer of the Wicked ! Your gift of 
body to us , is like the gift of chariot with the immortal soul
residing within it. It aspires to reach beyond this material 
world and travel across space to You.----- the spirit soars high
in search of the immortal. ONLY YOU CAN TAKE US TO OUR 
DESIRED DESTINATION (PARAMA PADAHAM ). 

As we reflect on the 247 verses of the Azhwaars, the echoes of the 
above Vedic pronouncements are heard again and again. 

May we seek the protection of the Saranaagatha Rakshakaa every 
day and approach Him in the spirit of the above Reavti Saamans
and request Him to grant us the boon of unceasing memory of Him.

PAADHAAMBHOJAM SPRUSATHI BHAJATEH 
RANGANATHASYA JANGHAAM
URUDHWANDHVEH VILAGATHI 
SANAIRURDHWAMABHYETI NAABHIM I
VAKSHASYAASTEH VALATHI BHUJAYOR
MAAMIKEYAM MANEESHAA
VAKTRAABHIKYAAM PIBHATI
VAHATEH VAHATEH 
VAASANAAM MOWLIBHANDEH II

--Sri Vedantha Desika's Sri Bhagavad
   Dhyaana Sobhaanam : Verse 10

With this prayer of Nigamaantha Maha Desikan
celebrating his enjoyment of the beauty of all the 
limbs of Sri Ranganatha , I salute Sri Revatisambhavan
on his birth day , which is tomorrow.

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan
Yugaadi Celebration Day, March 20, 1996.