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Maha Lakshmi Krithis of Sri Dikshithar --Part 21

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sat May 04 1996 - 18:52:05 PDT

Dear Members of the Bhakthi Group:

Sri Dikshithar has great  affection for Maha Lakshmi, 
especially in her  form revered as Vara Lakshmi. In the three 
of the  seven Krithis about Maha Lakshmi, One finds him 
paying special reverence to Vara Lakshmi ,  the deity of 
celebration during the Vara Lakshmi Vratham . These Krithis 
are set in Haimavathi, Sri and Sowrashtra Ragas. Vara Lakshmi 
concept focuses on the Vara Dhayaki aspects of  Her. Granting boons
to Her  devotees in abundance is one of Her Ananta Kalyana 
Gunas. As Swami Desikan observed , the riches pile one over the
other , whichever  direction her side glances fall. They chase
each other to arrive first . Swami Desikan"s verse containing this
thought stream is as follows: 

YASYAAM YASYAAM DISI VIHARATEH DEVI DHRUSHTISTVADHEEYAA
TASYAAM TASYAAM AHAMAHIMIKAAM TANVATEH SAMPADHOGAA :

Sri Dikshitar was a scholar , who had completed Veda Adhyayanam. He 
threfore understood fully  the deep meanings of the Naacchiyaar (Sri Devi)
Sambhavanaa Mantram enshrined in the Vedam . He has  distilled for us the 
essence of the meanings of this mantram in many of his Krithis 
dealing with the Sri Tattvam. The Naacchiaar Sambhavana Mantram
begins majestically with the word Grunaahi :

"GRUNAAHI GRUTHAVATI SAVITAARAATHIPATYAI:
PAYASVATHI RANTHIRASAA NOSTHU " 

and  ends with
 
"VISHTAMBHO DHIVO DHARUNA: PRTHIVYAA
ASYEASAANAA JAGATHO VISHNUPATNEE " 

This mantram reveals that She is the sustaining force of both 
the Earth and the Heavens and is pervasively present  in these worlds as 
the Consort of Maha Vishnu . She sets in motion,  controls 
and  directs the activities of the creatures of the Universes.
This mantram further  reveals that  She is the fundamental
force behind the Jivans and is of supremely lustrous form .
It recognizes the power of her glances to yield immesaurable wealth 
of all kinds . It prays for the abundance of milk, ghee, curd , and 
asks Her for the boon of protection of one's  friends and relatives .
She is understood as the one , who by Her own power is able to
ward off all dangers through Her Abhaya Hasta Mudra . Hence this
mantram requests Her to be present in a pervasive manner everywhere 
and to protect the ones that  seek refuge in Her. It prays for the well being
of the Deva Guru , Brahaspathi and the all important Prana Vaayu with
Her blessings , so that they can protect  the boon seekers. This mantram
concludes by stating that She is the primordial force and that the 
saranagatha seeks Her lotus feet as his sole refuge to ward off all ills
and gain all types of riches.

When we  anlayse the Vakhyaarthams of the Sahityam of 
Sri Dikshitar, we will find the echoes of the above mantram.

Our Sampradhaayam is known as Sri Sampradhaayam, because 
of the tradition of approaching Bhagavan through Her. Swami Desikan 
points out in his Sri Sthuthi sloka starting with the words " UREEKARTHUM
KUSALAMAKILAM ---" THAT CLEAR MINDED PEOPLE SEEK HER GRACE
AND BANISH ALL FEARS RELATED TO SAMSARA AND ATTAIN MOKSHA SIDDHI
THANKS TO HER MERCY AND POWER. 

Swami Desikan recognizes Her sacred feet as "Siddhi Kshetram ".
He says Her holy feet are like the  most fertile land that yields many 
blessings . Those , who worship them gain the boon of Moksham at  the end
of their earthly existence and reside in Vaikuntam to enjoy
the sweet experience of Nitya Kaimkaryam there to the Divya Dampathis: 

YASMINNESHANNAMIA SIRASOH YAAPAYITVAA SARIRAM
VARDHISHYANTEH VITAMASI PADEH VASUDEVASYA DHANYAA: 

Besides being the means (Uphayam ) and fruit (palan ) of
Saranagathi, She excells Her Lord in the aspect of Purushaakaram.
(intercession ) . Swami Desikan celebrates this Svarupa Guna Visesham 
in one of the Varadaraja Panchasat slokam as follows:

Swami says in the slokam beginning with "Paryaakulam Mahati
Dukka Payonidhou Maam ---" that Varadaraja
 sees with wide- awakened eyes the 
miserable plight of Swami  struggling in the ocean of Samsaram and does 
not make  a move to come to his rescue. At that time, Maha Lakshmi,
the embodiment of mercy sitting next  to Her Lord could not watch the
suffering of Her child and gives Her hand and lifts Swami out of 
the fearsome Samsaric ocean and places him at the feet of Her Lord 
and intercedes with Her Lord for mercy. Through Her pure affection,
She pleads with Her Lord and saves the Jivans struggling in Samsaric
Ocean thru her help as the Boat to cross that dangerous Ocean (Bhava
Jaladhi Gataanaam Potapaatri ). 

Swami Desikan says elsewhere in Daya Sataka Slokam that She 
as the Daya Devi helps some Jivans directly and some others 
indirectly .In that slokam starting with " Abhimuka Bhava Sampadhaabhi --",
he compares Her to the  Vedic river Saraswati , whose flow is seen occasionally
over the earth and most of the other times under the Earth. He recognizes Her 
as "Nikila Loka Samruddhikari"( One who thru her flood of Mercy enriches 
all the Worlds ). 

In the next posting, I will conclude the introduction to Sri Devi"s 
Anantha kalyana Gunas as a prelude to the understanding of 
Sri Dikshitar"s Maha Lakshmi Krithis and then take one by one the 
Seven Krithis of  Dikshithar to understand the rich meanings
housed in them.

ASMAN MAATHARAM ASARANYAAM ANANYASARANA:
SARANAMAHAM PRAPATYEH

V.Sadagopan