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Nrusimha Jayanthi : A belated salutation

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 20:12:49 PDT

Dear Narasimha BhakthAs : 
I was out of town for a couple of days and saw on 
return home the excellent essay of Sri Murali Rangaswami. 
I join with him to offer my salutations to Sri Narasimha 
on this day , Which happens to be NammAzhwAr"s 
Thirunakshtram (Vaikasi Visakam ) . 

I will offer my salutations thru two Krithis of our
great composers , Saint ThyagarAjA and Sri Dikshithar.

I was listening to the Bilahari Song of the Saint as I was 
returning home from Washington D.C sung by Srimathi 
Jayalakshmi . It  was moving . Here is the text and meaning
of this song :

Pallavi :          Narasimha  Nanu BrovavE Sri Lakshmi 

Anupallavi :    KoramAlina narula gonuiyAdanu nEnu
                         Parama Paavana NaapAli Sri Lakshmi 

CharaNam 1: Needhu bhakthAgrEsarudu PrahlAdhutOka
                          Kanakakasipu vaadhu kOrvaka ninnu SaraNani
                          yaadhu kOmana gAchinAvu (Narasimha )

CharaNam 2: yenthakani sairinthu ,nee mansanthu teliyanidhi yedhi? 
                          lokula nindhakOrvaka ninnu kOrinandhu kEnthani 
                          karuNa choothuvO? (Narasimha ) 

CharaNam 3: nee japamu , nee smaraNa , nee padha pooja,
                          nee vaari chelimi yOsagi raajigA daya cheyu 
                          ThyagarAja sannutha ! taramu gaadhu ( Narasimha ) 

The VairAgyam of our Sadhguru comes thru in this song . In the pallavi
and anupallavi vAkhyams ,Saint ThyagarAjA  prays to Lord 
Lakshmi Narasimhan to protect him and states that it is his
disposition not to flatter the chaff of humanity . This declaration of 
this great BhakthA of Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy is very much in the spirit 
of Swami Desikan 's statement in the 1st slokam of Vairagya PO : 

Kshubhyath Kshudhra NarEndra chAtu rachanA 
dhanyAn na manyAmahE ( We shall not think highly
of those , who consdier themselves blessed to be able to
praise the deluded chieftains of a little land with their 
praise couched in beautiful words ) . 

Sri Dikshithar in his LalithA raagam song " HiraNmayeem 
Lakshmeem " expreeses his own distaste for seeking the 
succor of the lowly humans for his livelihood this way :

" HiraNmayeem Lakshmeem sadhA bhajAmi
   heena mAnava asrayam thyajAmi "

In the three charaNams , the saint reminds Prahlada Vaadan
that He came to the rescue of the foremost devotee of His ,
when he was unable to put up with the torments of his father,
HiraNyakasipu . He reminds the Lord that PrahlAdan took 
refuge at the Lord's feet and Lakshmi Narasimhan responded
instantly and saved the parama Bhagavathan , PrahlAdan 
and destroyed the evil asurA king , who committed Bhagavatha
ApachAram . 

ThyagarAjA complains that he can not bear anymore the Lord's
indifference to his appeals to be saved  and asks the Lord how 
He plans to deal with him . He says : O Lord ! You are a sarvajnA !
You are omniscient ! I have been driven to your feet by the maatsaryam
and jealousy of the worldly people all around me . I have appealed 
for your protextion as Sarva Rakshakan . Let me see how you are
going to display Your mercy to me in these circumstances . I can not bear 
any longer your indifference " .

In the third charaNam , the saint begs for the DayA of the Lord 
and asks for the boon of His anukampA in a large dose , so that 
he can perform the nAma japA of the Lord , dhyanam of His 
anantha KalyANa guNAs , and engage in the paada sevanam 
and seek the company of the BhakthAs and BhagavathAs of
Lord Lakshmi Narasimhan . 

The sentiment expressed is very similar to that expressed in 
Saint ThyagarAjA's DhainyOkthi krithis such as " Kaala HaraNa
MelarA ? HarE ! SeethArAmA ! , where he asks the Lord for the 
reason for His delay in blessing him . He compares his hopeless 
situation in this Sudha SaavEri krithi to the plight of birds that
roam round and round and finally seek the shade of the tree for their
rest . Likr them , he says that he has wandered day in and day out 
(dina dinamanu tirigi tirigi dikkulEka charaNujocchi). 

When we remember that this Rama ChaithanyA thought of 
Lord Lakshmi Narasimhan  as SeethAraaman in PrahlAda
Bhaktha Vijayam krithis , we can have a coherent understanding 
of his appeal to Lord lakshmi Narasimhan and appeal to him 
to be given the same treatment  as PrahlAdA .

The Second Krithi of Saint ThyagarAjA in Raagam Palamanjari 

Our Saint chose Palamanjari raagam to salute Lord Lakshmi
Narasimhan . This is a shorter krithi :

Pallavi : Sri Naarasimha maam paahi 
               KsheerAbdhi KanyakA ramaNa 

Anupallavi : DheenArthi nivAraNa bhavyaguNa
                      tithi tanaya timira Surya trinethra 

CharaNam : PrahlAda ParAsara Naarada Hrudh
                       pannkEruha neeraja bhandhO 
                       aahlAdha kara bavarOga samhAra
                       Varadha ThyagarAjAdhi vinutha (Sri Naarasimha ) 

He chose sanskrit this time to appeal to Lakshmipathi 
saluted by Sahasra naamam as Naarasimha Vapu SrimAn .
He recognizes Him as the banisher of the ills of His BhakthAs
( DheenArthi NIVaRAnA ) .

His merciful and compliant nature is saluted as Bhavya GuNa . 
He eulogizes the Lord as the destroying Sun that removed the  darkness 
of Hiranyakasipu , the son of asura maathA , Tithi . He visulaizes the Lord 
with the three eyes of Surya ,Chandra and Agni as seen by the Upanishads.
He describes  the Lord as the Sun that makes the heart lotuses of 
PrahlAda , ParAsara , Naarada blossom . He recognizes the Lord of 
ThiruallikENi as the Aahlada Varadan with AahlAda hastha mudrA 
inviting the Parama Bhakthan , PrahlAdA to come near. He salutes
the Abheeshta Varada swamy , Naarasimhan as the BavarOga
SamhAra Varadhan . 

Saint ThyagarAjA had visited the Temple of Sri Parthasaarathy
and TeLLiyasingham at ThiruvallikkENi during his KshethrAdanam
and this Palamanjari song seems to have been composed 
during such a visit as one understands from the reference 
to TeLLiyasingha Murthy as  Aahlada karan . The Bilhari song
appears to be composed during the occasion of his visit to
KatikAchalam or ShoLingar (Shozhasinhapuram )  , one of 
the 108 divya desams . 

Sri Dikshithar's Mohana Raaga Krithi on Lord NarasimhA

Sri Dikshithar had great manthra siddhi . The Lord at ShoLingar
is known for his VaraprAsada anugraham for those , who perform
Nrusimha manthra japam . Dikshithar like Saint ThyagarAjA
climbed the hill of Katikaachalam and beged the Lord to appear 
before him and protect him . It is only great men , who can 
command the Lord to appear before them .The Lord as YathOkthakAri
does oblige His dearest devotees . Dikshithar addressed 
the Lord in his Mohana Raaga Pallavi : Narasimha aagaccha ,
Parabrahma puccha sveccha svaccha ". While asking for " the 
impossible " in a daring manner , Dikshithar humbly reminded 
himself that the Lord is the parabrahmam and as one, who 
fulfills His wishes with His volition (Svath sankalpam ) . Dikshithar
further recognizes the Lord as Parama Svathantran . He salutes 
the Akkarakkani of Katikai as the parisuddha svarupan and as 
the supreme Lord worshipped by the trimurthys and Indran .

Dikshithar reminds us of the Lord as the protector of the foremost
of His devotees , Prahlaada . He salutes the Lord seated on the
top of the hillock of KatikAchalam as the foremost among the brave
and most auspicious. He recognizes Him as the one , who lifted 
the GovardanA hill during KrishNAvathAram with his lotus soft hands.
He recognizes Him as the benefactor of Yoga AnjanEyan seated
opposite him in his own temple with four hands adorned by the Visnu
chinnams: disc and the conch . Tej LaavaNyam of the Lord
with theface of the lion and the body of a human is visualiazed 
by Dikshithar . He also salutes the Varadaraaja perumAl ,
who has  aseparate sannidhi at this divya desam with  the
naama: kari Giri Varada .   

There are many brilliant thoughts housed in the chaste Sanskrit
krithi of Dikshithar . We can easily spend a lot more time prying open 
the multiple meanings behind each of the chosen words of salutation 
to KatikAchalEsvaran . I will just quote the song for now :

Pallavi : Narasimha aagaccha , Parabrahma Puccha sveccha svaccha

Anupallavi : Hari hara BrahmEndraadhi poojithaathyaccha
                      Parama Bhagavatha PrahlAda bhakthEccha

CharaNam : Dheera tara KatikAchalEsvara sowratara hema koteesvara
                       veera vara Mohana vibhaasvara maara vara maanava
                       Mura hara naka dhara sarasija kara parama purusha 
                       pavanaja subhakara  suruchira kari giri Varada vira
                       Guruguha Hrudaya sahachara ( Narasimha aagaccha ) 

When Sangeetha kalanidhi Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer renders 
this song , the listener  gets goose pimples .

Sri Lakshmi narasimha ParabrahmaNE Nama :

Oppiliappan koil VaradAchari Sadagopan

P/S : I will offer my salutation to Sri NammAzhwAr tomorrow 
         inview of the lateness oft he hour.