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Hamsa Sandesam& Ishvaku Kula Daivatham

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Mar 24 1996 - 21:16:40 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group:

I want to share with you the tribute that 
Swami Desikan paid to Sri Ranganatha
through one of his Kavyams known as
Hamsa sandesam. The other Kavyams
of Swami Desikan are : Subhashitaneevi,
Yadavaabhudhyam and  Padhuka Sahasram .

Hamsa Sandesam is what is known as a
Sandesa Kavyam. This Kavyam follows the 
style of AandaaL and Nammazhwar, when they
requested clouds,  Birds and bees to take a message
to their Lord and asked them to help in uniting them 
with their beloved Lord. In more recent times,
Poet Kalidasa Composed Megha Sandesam ,
where he asks the hurrying clouds to take a 
message to his beloved one in the Northern 
region. 

Swami Desikan sets Hamsa Sandesam as 
a Kavyam, where Sri Ramachandra languishing
from the sorrow of seperation from His beloved 
Sita sights a Raja Hamsam and implores it to
take a southward journey to Lankapuri and asks
the hamsam to convey to Sita his sense of anguish
and inconsolable desolation. There are 110 slokas
in this Kavyam set by Swami Desikan in the 
Mandaakrantha Meter. 

Sri Rama points out the landmarks that the hamsam will 
fly over in its southward journey. In this Kavyam, we get
a glimpse of the Sarva Tantra Swatantrar"s extraordinary 
knowledge about the geography of Bharata Desam . 

His choice of hamsam as a messenger to convey Sri Rama"s 
pangs of seperation is very similar to the Vipralambha Mood
of seperation experienced by the Nayakis such as Parakala
and Paraankusa Nayaki . The mood is very similar to that we 
experience of Parakala Nayaki (Thirumangai Azhwaar) in the
Thirupullani Pasurams( Periya Thirumozhi 9.4 )  and 
Paraankusa Nayaki"s Pasurams(E.G: Thiruvaimozhi 9.9 ).
Paraankusa and Parakala Nayakis have begged 
the cranes and parrots to convey their sense of
forlornness an despair , while possessed by 
the mood of Vipralambha Sringaram.

This  Kavyam has both poetic majesty as well as 
philosophical message in the form of Rahasyaartham. 
Swami Desikan"s reverence for Sri Ranganatha ,
the family deity of Sri Ramachandra is also 
brought out in number of Slokas of this Kavyam.
Swami Desikan describes the majestic flight of 
the Messenger of Rama over the Thiruvenkatam hills,
Kanchipuram,  Chola Desam . The Hamsam follows
aerial course along the banks of Cauveri river. Sri Rama
then points out to the expectant swan the sights it will
see in the southern journey . He says that you will see
an island formed by Cauveri and in the middle of it ,
 you will see Chandra Pushkarani and the sacred Sesha
Peetam. On that Peetam, You will see the FUTURE site
where Sri Ranga Vimanam and Sri Ranganatha are
going to rest. Rama asks the hamsam to offer
its salutatons to the deity sacred to the Ishvaku dynasty.
The second half of the 44th slokam describes the sighting
of the Chandra Pushkarini by the hamsam:

TEERTHAIRANYAIRAPI PARIGATHAAM
SUDDHIHETOH SAMANTHAATH  I
CHANDROLLAASAPRATHITA  YASASA:
SAMPATAM PUSHKARINYAA:  II

Sri Rama says that you(hamsam ) will see
the holy Pushkarani , which will have the 
beautiful lustre of the Moon and you will
recognize its holiness by the fact that  many
theerthams (waters) are resting next to
this Pushkarani to attain holiness for themselves
by situating themselves in the proximity of the 
Chandra Pushkarani. You will also witnesss the 
richness and sampath associated with Chandra
 Pusharani all around it. The prosperity or
 the Eiswaryam that he has in mind is described
 by him in the next verse:

TEEREH TASYAA VIRACHITAPADHAM
SAADHUBHI: SEVYAMAANAM 
SRADDHAA YOGAATH VINAMITA TANU:
SESHA PEETAM BHAJETHAA: I
YASMIN ASMATH KULADHANATAYAA
SOWMYA SAAKETA BHAAJA: I
STHAANAM BHAVYAM MUNIBHIRUDHITAM
SRIMATHO RANGADHAAMNA: II

Sri Rama says to the hamsam that it will see
on the banks of Cauveri, the Sesha Peetam that is
worshipped from time immemorial by the Yogis and
Bhagavathaas. He asks the hamsam to bow deeply
before the Sesha Peetam. Sri Rama reveals to the hamsam
that sacred site will be the future site of Sri Ranganatha"s
Pranava Vimanam with Para Vasudeva at its crest .

At this point, Sri Rama reminesces about the 
Aprameya Swaroopam that is resting under the 
Sri Ranga Vimanam that he worshipped every day at 
Ayodhyaa. His thoughts now return to his capital ,
while he is talking to the hamsam at the pool side
in Dandakaaranyam. Overcome  by the thought of the 
beauty of Sri Rangaatha, Sri Rama says that His family
heirloom is visible as a Superior , matchless emerlad
gem enshrined on the holy seat on top of the Sesha 
Peetam. The sloka celebrating Sri Ranganatha"s glory is
as follows:

SATTVEH DIVYEH SVAYAMUDHAYATAS
TASYA  DHAAMNA : PRASANGHAATH 
MANJUUSHAAYAAM MARAGATAMIVA
BHRAAJAMAANAM TADHANTA: I
CHETO DHAAVATUPAHITA BHUJAM 
SESHABHOGEH SAAYANAM
DHEERGAAPAANKAM JALATHI TANAYAA
JEEVITAM DEVAMAADHYAM  II

Her Rama reveals that  the Sesha Peetam is 
made up of Suddha Sattvam , free from the 
trigunaas. On top of that Sesha Peetam , Lord
Ranganatha emerged as the Svyam Vyaktha 
(self-manifest ) Mahaa Purusha . He appeared
there of his own volition. There, He is resting on 
Adi Sesha and is placing His head on his right
hand, while looking at Maha Lakshmi, worshipped
at this Kshetram as Sri Ranga Nayaki. The describtion
of the land marks continue and includes Kshethrams
like ThiruveLLarai as he points the road map to the 
attentive Hamsam. The Kavyam ends with Rama"s
blessings to the hamsam for undertaking such an
important journey.

Swami Desikan Thiruvadigaleh Saranam,

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan