You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1999

Sri AparyApthAmrutha DhyAna SopAanam : SlOkam 11

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri May 28 1999 - 19:38:01 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of Sri AarAvamudhan :

After focusing on the ThiruvabhishEkam(crown) of the Lord 
adorned with the fragrant garlands , Thirukkudanthai 
Desikan (1701-1783 A.D )reflected on the overall beauty of 
the Lord reclining under the Vaidhikha VimAnam at KumbakONam. 
He also remembered his own eulogy of Sri Ranganathan during
his avathaaram earlier as Swami Vedantha Desikan (1268-1369 A.D).
Four centuries of stored memory rushed past him and out came
the beautiful eulogy of the beauty of Sri SaarangarAjan , which 
has many echos of his earlier mangaLAsAsanam of Sri RangarAjan .
Let us enjoy these two eulogies side by side . 

Swami Desikan's sthuthi at Srirangam is as follows :

paadhAmbhOjam sprusathi bhajathE RanganAthasya janghAm 
  uRu dhvandhE vilagathi sanair Urdhvam abhyEthi naabhim I
vakshasyAsthE valathi bhujayOr maamikEyam manishA 
  vakthrAbhikhyAm pibhathi vahathE vAsanAm mowlibhandhE II
--SlOkam 10 of Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAanam

Thirukkudanthai Desikan's sthuthi of Sri AarAvamudhan 
starts with the very words of Swami Desikan :

paadhAmbhOjam prahtikalam iham SaarngiNO noumi nithyam 
  janghAjAnu pravara yugaLam samsmarEyam tathOpi I
UrvOryugmam tadhanu mahitham naabhi dEsam bhujou dhvou 
  vakshOvakthram tadhitham akhilam sundaram nirvisEyam II
--SlOkam 11 of Sri AparyApthAmrutha DhyAna sOpAnam 

Both their salutations start with the PaadhAmbhOjam of
the Lord and ends up with the enjoyment of the Kireetam
symbolizing His SarvEsvarathvam .

(1)Swami Desikan says : " MaamikA iyam manIshA RanganAthasya
PaadhAmbhOjam sprusathi " 

(meaning ): This mind of mine touches the lotus feet of 
Sri RanganAthan .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan says in his aparAvathaaram :
" aham SaarngiNa: PaadhAmbhOjam nithyam prathikalam 
noumi ".

(meaning ): I pay obescience to the Lotus feet of 
Lord SaarangapANi every second of each day .

Swami Desikan prostrated before Sri RangarAjan and his mind 
touched the lotus feet of the Lord of Srirangam with reverence .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan's mind has ceaseless rememberance
(dhruva smruthi ) of the Lord's lotus feet .

(2)As their next step , both the AchAryAs salute the beautiful
ankles and knees of the Lords at Srirangam and Thirukkudanthai.

Swami Desikan says: "maamikA iyam manIshA janghAm bhajathE "
(This mind of mine salutes next the (comely )ankles of the Lord ".

Resonating with this thought , Thirukkudanthai Desikan says:
" Tadhanu janghA jAnu pravara yugaLam samsmarEyam "( After
the meditation on the lotus feet of the Lord of Thirukkudanthai ,
my mind thinks about the lovely ankles and the well-shaped knees 
of AarAvamudhan ). 

(3) Swami Desikan continues with the PaadhAthi kEsAntha 
varNanam and salutation . He concedes: " MaamikA iyam maneeshA
RanganAthasya Uru dhvandhvE sanai: vilagathi , Urdhvam naabhim 
abhyEthi" ( This mind of mine now focuses firmly on the beauty of 
the Lord's pair of thighs and thereafter approaches the Lord's
naabhi dEsam ".

Thurukkudanthi Desikan responds : " TathOpi UrvO: yugmam tadhanu
mahitham naabhi dEsam noumi "( After enjoying the beauty of the 
ankles and the knees of the Lord of Thirukkudanthai , my mind
salutes His powerful thighs and then the much celebrated naabhi
dEsam ).

Swami Desikan moves from the naabhi dEsam and progresses very 
quickly to appreciate the beauty of the chest , arms , face
and the kireetam of the Lord of Srirangam one by one ( MaamikA
iyam manishA vakshasi aasthE; bhujayO: valathi; vakthra 
abhikhyAm pibhathi ; moulibhandhE vAsanAm vahathE ). Through
a beautiful choice of words , Swami Desikan shares his 
blissful experience of the enjoyment of the Lord's soundharyam
with us : This mind of mine rests at the chest of the Lord 
to enjoy that extraordinary beauty; it roves around the arms
to salute their valour ; it drinks without let the soundharyam of 
the face of the Lord ; it reflects and remembers firmly the 
supreme Lord's Kireetam .

Thirukkudanthai Desikan's mind becomes a kaledioscope 
to enjoy the upper limbs of the Lord starting from the chest 
region :

" aham SaarngiNa: dhvou bhujau nithyam prathikalam noumi;
  aham SaarngiNa: Vaksha Noumi; aham SaarngiNa: vakthram
  noumi; aham SaarngiNa: Sudaram tadhitham akhilam nirvisEyam "
( I salute the anugraha hastham and the nigraha hastham 
of the Lord Of Thirukkdanthia always; I salute and enjoy 
His broad chest and the lotus-like face every moment 
without satiety ; I thoroughly enjoy all of these most
beautiful limbs without let ". 

The aanandhAnubhavams of both the Desikans is rooted 
in the anubhavam of Swami NammAzhwAr , who explained 
his state of mind , when he enjoyed the beauty of 
the lotus feet of the Lord of Thirukkudanthai:
" kannAr mathiL soozh Kudanthaik kidanthAi 
adiyEnaruvANAL , sennAL yennAL annALL unathALL
pititthE selakkANE " 

The beauty of this third Paasuram passage  of NammAzhwAr
can only be appreciated by translating rhe whole Paasuram .
Dr. V.N. Vedantha Desikan's transaltion captures the essence
of the mood of NammAzhwAr , when he held on to the lotus
feet of the Lord of Thirukkudanthai: " Oh Lord reclining at
Thirukkudanthai ! I am not in a fit position to resort to any
procedural technique--as SaadhanA or UpAyam -to reach You.
At this stage, what can I do? Who can serve me as a help?
Why do you subject me to impossible acts of ritual? Because , 
I do not -- let me make it very clear to You , my dear Lord --
need any technique or any person except You to reach You . 
This is because I can not ever think of any other help from 
any body except You , even if it be for the laudable purpose 
of reaching You. Make no mistake about it , please . So, till
the last moment of my life here , I must go about and do things,
at all times , only clinging to Your feet as a prop . This is 
my strong desire (will )".

Thus , Thirukkudanthai Desikan enjoyed step by step
the inexhautible and the insatiable beauty of AarAvamudhan
in the spirit of " AapeetAn MouLi paryantham pasyatha:
PurushOtthamam " and lost himself in the aanandha lahari
arising from such an anubhavam . 

Lord AarAvamudhan was immensely pleased with his dear 
devotee and entered the heart cavity of the Bhakthan 
standing in front of Him in a state of trance in
the manner described by PeriyAzhwAr earlier:
" aravatthamaLiyinODum azhagiya PaaRRkkadalOdum ,
  Aravindhap paavayum taamumahampaDi vanthu puhunthu ,
  paravait thirai pala mOthap paLLikoNDAn ". He wanted 
His devotee to continue with his mangaLAsAsanams 
consistent with his paripUrNAnubhavam . Thirukkudanthai
Desikan woke out of his trance and eulogized the insistent 
Lord with two more SlOkams .AdiyEn will cover them next .

Sri KomaLavalli SamEtha Sri AaarAvamudhan thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Daasan, Oppiliappan koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan