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SrI deSika stotrams - 6. SrI varadarAja pa~ncAsat.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 13:43:03 PDT

			SrI deSika stotrams - 6. SrI varadarAja


This storam is in praise of SrI varadarAjapperumAL of KA~ncIpuram.
KA~nci is a svayam-vyakta kshetram.  The Lord appeared here in the
homa-kuNdam when brahma performed a great penance during the kr*ta yuga
to have the darSana of the Lord.  This is referred to in the first,
seventh, eight,and forty-fourth Sloka-s in the stotram. The place is
also called satya-vrata keshetram.  The Lord's temple is located on top
of a small hill called hasti-giri.  The Lord here is also referred to by
the names varadan, devAdirAjan, devarAjan, aruLALan, and pEraruLALan.

The title of the stotram is self-explanatory.  The word pa~cAsat derives
from the fact that the stotram consists of 50 stotra-s (actually 51
including the phala Sruti).  The name vara-da means that He is one who
bestows (da) all that is desired by His devotees (vara), which is
equivalent to pEraruLaLan in tamizh. 


This stotram contains an expression of the great essentials of
SrivaishNava concepts, and svAmi deSikan confirms this in his concluding
Slokam (Slokma 51 - This stotra is composed with great devotion, and in
addition has embedded in it great concepts which have the authority of
the veda-s - udAram, Sruti subhagam stotram).  The paratvam of nArAyaNa,
nArAyaNa as the only one who can guide a devotee to  moksham, the
incorrect view held by many that the tri-mUrti-s are equals, the ease
and greatness of SaraNAgati as the means for attaining moksham compared
to those such as bhakti yoga, the guNa of karuNA or dayA or Infinite
Mercy of the Lord which forgives any wrong-doing of one who has
surrendered to Him, the role of kainkaryam and its contribution in the
great anubhavam of the Lord,  the concept that the Lord in His Infinite
Mercy has chosen to appear in His different forms (vyUha, vibhava, arcA,
and antaryAmi) so that He is easily available to His devotees,  are all
revealed in this stotram in the short span of 50 Sloka-s.
In his short introduction to this stotram, SrI rAmadeSikAcArya svAmi has
pointed out some additional special aspects of this stotram.  SvAmi
deSikan has described in this stotram the beauty of the Lord not only in
the traditional terms in which the Sruti-s describe Him, but in addition
in His various vAhana-s during His utsava-s, dwells on the beauty of the
tirumeni of the arcA mUrti of the pEraLuLALan when His ornaments and
kavacam are removed, and imagines the beauty of the Lord even as He has
His suprabhAtam from His Snake-bed, fresh from the embrace of
mahAlakshmi.  These later aspects are unique for this stotram that are
not found in any other deSika stotram.  This deep involvement of svAmi
deSikan with pEraruLALan might be because he was born in tUppul, which
is part of the area of kA~nci or hasti-giri, and had been having His
darSanam even before he was born.   

SvAmi deSikan's Humility:

The AcArya starts with an expression of utmost humility for attempting
to describe the Lord who is beyond the reach of even the greatest of
sages (muni sArva bahumAh adhigantum aSaknuvantah - Slokam2 ).   In
Sloka-s 2 to 6, svAmi deSikan asks for forgiveness from the Lord for
attempting to describe His divya rUpam with his limited skills and
knowledge, and asks for His blessing in this effort of composing this
stotram.   In this segment, there is also an expression of kArpaNya, an
essential a~nga of SaraNAgati, and also an essential aspect of
viSisTAdvaida philosophy.  SvAmi deSikan tells the Lord of his
realization and awareness of the enormous sins that have been committed
through several births (jAnan anAdi vihitAn aparAdha vargAn), and takes
refuge in His natural vAtsalya (avyAja vartsala - One who is naturally
forgiving without any reason). 

SrIman nArAyaNa and the Trinity:

In this stotra, SvAmi deSikan explicitly refutes the view that some have
that brahma, vishNu, and Siva are equal in stature, through 5 Sloka-s
devoted to this topic (Sloka-s 9 to 13).   The well-known SrI vaishNava
concept that SrIman nArAyaNa is the antaryAmi or driving force behind
Siva and brahma and that mahA vishNu alone can help us cross the ocean
of samsAra, is conveyed.  It is as if mahA vishNu wears these different
dresses of  brahma, Siva, etc. and acts out their roles, and people only
see the outer dress and don't realize that mahA vishNu is acting out all
these roles (vibhrama nAtikAyAm vividha vesha parigraham tvAm - Sloka
9).   The view of equating vishNu with brahma and Siva is pointed out as
the cause of not attaining liberation from the bondage of samsAra
(tAdAtmya mUDha matayo nipantantyadhIrAh - Slokiam 10).   SrI deSika
even wonders if this common mistake of not realizing the paramAtma
svarUpam of mahA vishNu is because people only think of vishNu as a
matsya or a varAha etc., and not as the paramAtmA which He really is
(Sloka 11) .  In fact there are 11 Siva-s, several brahma-s, etc., for
the different aNDa-s and kalpa-s, and they all are under the control of
the One vishNu (Slokam 13). 

He continues in Sloka-s 14 and 15 and points out that it is Sriman
nArAyaNa who has protected the veda-s whenever there is harm to them
from the asura-s.   When the veda-s talk of attributes that can be
generically interpreted - such as sat (existence), or names such as Siva
(auspiciousness), they really refer to nArAyaNa who alone exists without
something else' support (the true sat or existence), or one who is the
source of auspiciouness for everything else (the ultimate

The Different Forms in which He Manifests For Our Benefit:

Then in several Sloka-s svAmi deSikan describes the para, vyUha,
vibhava, arcA, and antaryAmi forms of the Lord, which are all assumed by
Him out of sheer dayA to make Himself easily accessible to His devotees.
In particular, he points out the significance of the arcA mUrti as the
means for even yogi-s to realize His svarUpam ultimately after they
repeatedly meditate on the arcA mUrti.  He compares the arcAvatAta to
the a~njana that is worn by the trained magicians to help reveal the
hidden treasure, in this case the worship of the arcA mUrti leading to
the realization of the svarUpam of the paramAtmA (Slokam 28).  

SvAmi deSikan eloquently describes the beauty of the tirumeni of the
arcA mUrti of kA~nci varadarAja.  If evidence was needed for the fact
that great souls such as svAmi deSikan were able to converse with the
Lord in the temple and have His katAksham in reality unlike the ordinary
among us who can only see the material form of the arcA mUrti, this
stotram is a perfect example.  Here he prays to the Lord not only to
give him His beautiful darSanam in various vahAna-s during the
utsava-s(Slokam 48), but prays for the darSanam of His tirumeni as He
has His suprabhAtam from the AdiSesha, when the marks of the divine
bangles of periya pirATTi will be fresh on His tirumeni (kanaka valaya
mudrAm kanTha deSe dadhAnah - Slokam 47).  The bhAgyam of the blessed
ones (the priests) who can perform the kainkaryam to the Lord where they
get the opportunity to have the darSanam of the Lord's tirumeni with all
the ornaments removed, is referenced in Slokam 46.  The beauty of the
mUrti of Lord varadarAja will drive away any desire even for the stature
of brahma as an alternative (Slokam 29).  Only someone as deeply
associated with Lord varadarAja as svAmi deSikan can swear that His
desire for SrIvaikunTham vanishes when compared to having the constant
darSanam of the Lord (Slokam 49 - vaikunTha vAse'pi na me'bhilAshah).

Prapatti Marga:

The efficacy of prapatti as the sure and fool-proof method of getting
His grace and ultimately moksham is revealed again in this storam by
svAmi deSikan.  The difficulty of adopting the alternative means of the
tedious bhakti yoga, which requires one to have the knowledge for
observing bhakti mArga, the Sakti for observing this, the caste
restrictions, and above all the patience to wait for getting the effect
through bhakti mArga, cannot even be imagined.   The overriding role of
His dayA in forgiving all the sins and in protecting His devotees who
have surrendered to Him (SaraNAgati) is revealed in Slokam 36 (pAre
karishyati dayA tava durnivArA).  The role of bhagavat kainkaryam in
yielding the great pleasure that can eradicate all sorrow and the
effects of karma is revealed to us in Slokam 41 (pAdAravinda paricAra
rasa pravAhah).   Even after reaching SrIvaikunTham the only desire that
a mukta jIvan will have is the desire to do kainkaryam to Him (the great
right to do kainmaryam to Him to one's heart's content - sacchanda
kinkaratayA svAbhAvikam mahAdhikAram pratilabheya - Slokam 42).

dhyAna Slokam:

			"vyAtanvAnA taruNa tulasI dAmabhih svAmabhikhyAm

			 mAtangAdrau marakata-rucim pushNatI mAnase nah
			 bhogaiSvarya priya-saha-cariah kA'pi
     		 	 bhUyah SyAmA bhuvana-jananI devatA sannidhattAm

     	"Let us meditate constantly on the Lord who is the Cause of This
Universe, and whose Splendor is shining all over hasti giri because of
His divine marakatam-like blue tirumeni's beauty (neela mEni aiyO!),
which is enhanced by the green tulasi garlands, and further enhanced by
the reflection of the katAksham from the blue eyes of mahA-lakshmi or
periya pirATTi who is His constant companion in bestowing on the
devotees all they seek including moksham".  

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan