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Sri Varadarajasthavam of Sri Appaya Dikshithar

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Mar 11 1997 - 19:23:03 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi group :
I would like to pay homage to a great admirer of 
Swami Desikan , Sri Appaya Dikshithar in this posting .. 

He was born in the year 1520 A.D and lived until 
the year 1593 A.D .  He came into this earth 171 years
after Swami Desikan shook off his mortal coils and 
reached Parama Padham . Appaya Dikshithar's
grandfather , a great Advaitin and saivite Acharya 
married a Vaishnavite Lady and had four sons by her. 
The first son , Sri Rangarajadhwari , was the father 
of Sri Appayya Dikshithar. The whole family had a 
completely "catholic' outlook on the  worship of
Vishnu as well as Siva . Sri Appaya Dikshita was a contmprorary
of Koti kanyA dhAnam TaatAchAr . As a great poet and devout 
scholar , he has left behind 104 works . He was a Sama Vedi and 
has performed Many Soma Yagas including Vajabheyam .
Because of the power of performing so many Soma Yajnas , 
he was recognized to have "AhitAgni " in his right hand .
He was a great Advaita acharya following the tradition of his 
grandfather , who was the acharya to King Krishna Deva Raaya .
He has written a commentary for Brahma SutrAs called 
Naya Mayuka MaalikA , which is a commentary along the lines 
of Sruta PrakAsikA , which was saved from destruction by
Swami Desikan during the time of the muslim invasion .
He also wrote another brilliant commentary by the name of
SivArka MaNI deepikai . This deals with the commentary of 
SrikanTaaachaarya for Brahma Sutram in the advatic tradition .
Sri Appaya Dikshithar is known as a Hari Hara Abedha Vaadhi .
At his home village near Kanchi , he constructed a Siva Vishnu 
temple and Lord Varadaraja and Maarga Bhandhu (Lord Siva)
are the archa murthys  there. 

Sri Appaya Dikshithar was a great devotee of Lord Varadaraja
like Swami Desikan and composed his Varadaraja sthavam with
105 moving slokams . Swami Desikan had composed earlier 
Varadaraja Panchasath . Sri Appaya Dikshithar's AarAdhya 
Daivam was Lord Varadaraja as in the case of Swami Desikan .
The two Maha Kavis poured their heart out in eulogizing 
Hasthigireesan . Sri Appaya Dikshithar used to say , 
" Bhavaa: santhi padhE padhE " about Swami Desikan's
sthothrams and Kavyams . The abundant Bhavam of 
Swami Desikan born out of his utter devotion to Sriman NarayaNA 
elicited the admiration of Sri Dikshithar . He went ahead and composed 
his own Varadarraja sthavam , where the extraordinary bhavam
of Dikshithar finds its home.

Out of his  admiration for our Kavi ThArkika Simham ,
 Sri Dikshithar wrote his own outstanding commentaries 
on the two master pieces of Swami Desikan, PadhukhA
Sahasram and YadhavAbhudhayam . 

I will comment on the final slokam of Sri VaradarAja 
sthavam of Sri Appaya Dikshithar in the next posting . 
This slokam is as follows and contains a summary of the 
 beauty of Lord Varadaraja ( sarvAnga Sowndharyam ) 
described in the earlier 104 verses:

aaphAdham achikura bhAram aseshamangam
aanandha brundha lasitham sudhrusAmaseemam I
antarmama spurathu santhatham antharAthman
ambhoja lochana tava sritha hasthisailam II

I have split the sandhis . This slokam  poem is a beautiful 
one , when recited in one breath with the sandhis.
I will enjoy with you the word by word commentary 
of this particular slokam and seek comparisons with
Swami Desikan's eulogy of Varadaraja in his Panchasath.

Sri Perundevi Sametha HasthigireesAya namo nama :
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan