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AparyAptha dhyAna sOpaanam: Slokam 8

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat May 22 1999 - 19:29:40 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of AarAvamudhan :

AdiyEn will cover the 8th of the 13 slOkams of
the AparyApthaamurutha DhyAna sOpAnam  
of Thirukkudanthai Desikan in this posting .
The 8th slOkam deals with the pair of beautiful arms of 
the Lord reclining on Aadhi Seshan at Thirukkudanathai :

nathAnAm sarvEshAm parama hitha visrANana param
  suvAmam vAmAnyam svabhujam upadhAya pramudhitham I
bhajE vaamam bhAhum bhujaga sadhrusam jaanu nihitham
  vidhAya ananthE asmin sayitham anagam SaarngiNam aham  II

Thirukkudanthai Desikan stands before AarAvamudhan 
resting on AnanathAzhwAn and gazes at the two arms of 
the Lord.He sees that the Lord's right arm is serving as 
a pillow for the Lord's head and the other is stretched 
across His body all the way to His knees .Thirukkdanthai 
GopAla Desikan reveals to us the significance of these two
arms of the Lord free of any dhOshams ( anagan or 
kuRai onRumillA Govindhan ).

ThiruppANAzhwAr did not address the beauty of the Lord's arms
inhis amalanAdhipirAn paasurams .He was on a straight line of 
a journey and was hastening from the enjoyment of 
the ThirumArbhu to the neck of the Lord .Swami Desikan 
compensated for the omission of the AzhwAr , who was 
rushing to unite with the Lord of Srirangam and in that 
rush skipped the salutation to the Lord's arms .SWami Desikan 
however tarried a bit to enjoy the beauty of the powerful 
and auspicious arms of Sri RanganAthan . The apara-Swami dEsikan , 
Thirukkudanthai Gopala Desikan followed the directions
of his predecessor and included a slOkam to salute the 
greatness of the arms of Sri SaarangapANI at KumbhakONam 
in the way shown by Swami Desikan some 500 years before 
at Srirangam .

Swami Desikan's Bahgavath DhyAna sOPaana slOkam 
saluting the Lord's arms is as follows :

yEkam leelOpahitham bhAhum aajAnu lamBham
  prApthA RangE sayitu: akhila prArthanA pArijAtham I
DhrupthA sEyam DhruDa niyamithA rasmibhi: bhUshaNAnAm   
  chinthA hasthini anubhavathi mE chithram aalana yanthram II  

Swami Desikan salutes the right hand of Sri Ranganaathan that
playfully supports His head and serves as the boon-granting , 
wish-yielding KaRpakaa tree for one and all , who surrender to
Him as prapannAs .Swami Desikan enjoys the long left hand of 
the Lord that reaches all the way to His knees and states that
the enjoyment of those auspicious pair of the Lord's hands 
sends him into rapture . He compares his status of bliss
of enjoying the Lord's arms to that of a joyous she elephant 
that is bound by  the ropes and held under control in
a cage . In his case , the ropes are the rays of light 
emanating from the aabharaNams on the Lord's chest and 
the two arms constitue the cage that holds him in captivity .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan echos Swami Desikan"s thoughts 
on the beauty and the anugraha sakthi of those two arms
of Sri AarAvamudhan , who is the Hemarangan . He points out
that the right hand ( vaamAnyam ) is supremely beautiful
( suvAmAm ). That arm is serving as a pillow for His head
and looks very graceful in that posture ( Sva VaamAnyam bhujam 
upadhAya pramudhitham ). Besides being blissful to look at ,
that right hand under the head of AarAvamudhan has a very 
special function . What is that unique function ? It is 
" parama hitha visrANana param " or it has the vratham of 
conferring Parama Hitham (mOksham ) to all those , who 
perform SaraNAgathi to Him .That anaga mUrthy ( Blemishless
Lord ) is resting on His bed of AadhisEshan ( asmin AnanthE
sayitham ). His left hand resembling that of AnanthAzhwAn 
in size and strength , stretches all the way to His left knee .
Through the placement of His left arm near His knee, the Lord of
Thirukkudanthai is hinting that the ocean of samsAram ( BhavAbhdhi ) 
is only knee deep for those , who seek refuge in Him .
As Parasara Bhattar explained to AppiLLai PiLLai ,
the extended left hand toward His feet to indicate 
those feet are the UpAyam and upEyam for a PrapannA .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan is overwhelmed by the darsana soubhAgyam
of these auspicious and powerful arms of the Lord and performs
immediately his SaraNAgathi ( anagam SaarngiNam bhaJE )since
they are " akhila bhuvana prArthanA parijAtham " as pointed out
by Swami Desikan . 

Additional comments on the groups of words of this SlOkam 

1.nathAnAm sarvEshAm param hitha visrANana Param : That 
right arm of the Lord has a kankaNam on its wrist to 
reveal that those , who approach Him and surrender to Him 
will receive the highest of hithams (vi., ) mOksham .

Two of the AzhwArs , who performed SaraNAgathi at 
AarAvamudhan's feet and received the blessings of 
His auspicious arms are NammAzhwAr and Kaliyan .
Here are excerpts from their anubhavams :

* isaivitthu yennai unn thALiNaik keezh irutthum ammAnE "

* theerA vinaikaL theera yennai AaNDAi "

NammAzhwAr salutes thus the Lord of Thirukkudanthai 
as the One , who prepared his mind and blessed Him
to be seated at the comforting shade of the Lord's 
sacred feet . The result of that boon was the curing
of all incurable thApa trayams and other SamsAric
sufferings . 

Thirumangai celebrates the power of the blessed
arms of the Lord and reminds us that we will 
receive the parama hitham of Moksham from those
celebrated  hands ,if we offer our prapatthi 
under His feet . He asks us to recite His names 
and dance with joy over reflectio on the many meanings of 
His name , NaarAyaNan :

" KudanthayE thozhuthu naavinAl uyya naan
  kaNDu koNDEn NaarAyaNA yennum nAmam ".

" " KonDal kai MaNi VaNNan taNN Kudanthai
    Nagar Paadi AadeerkaLE "

2. VaamAnyam sva bhujam upadhAya pramudhitham :

The UllAsam or the joyous poisture of the Lord ,
who has His right hand under His head as a pillow
to support it is referred to here . Why He is so
Joyous ? The allusion is to the Dharbha sayana mUrthy ,
who laid down on the dharbhams in observance of a vratham
to seek the permission of the King of Oceans to build a
sEthu (dam ) across the ocean to reach LankhA . At that 
time , Our Lord used His right arm similar to AdhisEshan in 
strength and beauty as a pillow to support to His head 
and waited . At Thirukkudanthai , He Himself is the SEthu
( amruthasya yEsha sEthu: ). He did not need another sEthu
to transport the prapannAs across the deep and fierce ocean
of SamsAram . He is proud and joyous over the fact that He
Himself is serving as the "Raama sEthu". That is the reason 
for His ullAsam .

3.BhajE Vaamam bhAhum bhujaga sadhrusam jaanu nihitham
  vidhAyan ananthE asmin sayitham Anagam SaarngiNam :

Lord is Ananthan ( limitless); He is lying on Ananathan
( AnanthAzhwAn/AadhisEshan ).The sthuthi paasage ,
" sahasra vadhanO dEva: phaNAmaNI virAjitha : ,
sa yEva vaTa VrukshO bhUtananthOdhbhutha rUpavAn "
AdhisEshan took the form of the pupil tree leaf
during PraLyam for serving the Lord as His bed and 
later took the form of the thousand hooded AadhisEshan to
serve once again as bed at Srirangam and Thirukkudanthai .
The same "aalatthilayAn " transforms into " aravinaNai mElAn ".
On the bed of Ananthan , He gives us the impression 
that He was engaged in Yoganidhrai ( uRanguvAn pOl 
yOgu seyvAn ) until Thirumazhisai asked Him to
get up and speak to him . He woke up , opened His eyes and 
partially raised Himself to see , who was commanding Him 
to get up and enjoyed the presence of His dear devotee in
front of Him and kept His eyes open since then to see us 
all even today to bless us .

Sri KomaLavalli SamEtha Sri SaarngapANInE nama :
AdiyEn , Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan