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Sri DEvarAja Panchakam of DhoddyaachArya (MahAchAryA)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 20:45:00 PST

Dear BhakthAs :

During the course of writing about Sri VaradarAja
Sthavam of Swamy KurEsar , adiyEn came across 
the text of the five slOkams (VaradarAja Panchakam)
composed by MahAchAryaa/DhoddayAchAryA (1509-1591 C.E)
in Sri VaradarAja GuNAmrutha Vaibhavam monograph.
adiyEn will post a few articles on this Panchakam .
It is a combination of the celebration of the Lord's
GarudOthsavam and a salutation to His exalted Tatthuvams. 

This great AchAryan , who wrote a scholarly commentary 
on Swamy Desikan's SathadhUshaNi ( VyAkhyA- ChanDamAruthaa"
was a native of ChoLasimhapuram/GhatikAchalam , which is
known today as Sholingur , one of the 108 dhivya dEsams.
His father name was also MahAchArya (VaathUla MahAchAryaa).

The Junior MahAchAryaa was a contemproary of Pancha-matha-
Bhanjana Thaatha Desikan , the father of Koti KanyakA DhAnam ,
Sri Lakshmi KumAra Thaatha Desikan , Sri RangarAmAnuja Muni 
the Sixth Jeeyar of AhObila Matam , Shashta ParAnkusa 
YathIndhra MahA Desikan (AasthAnam 1499-1513C.E))and 
Appayya Dikshithar , who wrote a commentary on Swamy
Desikan's YaadhavAbhudayam  .

Sri DhoddAchAryA was a great bhakthar of Lord VaradarAja
PerumAL of Kaanchipuram . He used to attend regularly 
the annual VaikAsi Garuda Sevai of Lord VaradarAjan/
DeavarAja PerumAL.On one particular year , he was not
well to attend the GarudOthsavam at Kaanchi and
felt very bad about his misfortune . He stood near
the temple tank of TakkAn KuLam of ChOLa Simha puram 
and visualized the great Garuda Sevai of the Lord at 
Kaanchi (maanasIkam) and composed five beautiful slOkams , 
which are known today as Sri DevarAja Panchakam . 
He longed for the Lord's sevai.

The Lord of Kaanchi did not let His Bhakthan down .
He appeared before DhoddAchAryA on the back of Garudan 
at ChOLa Simha Puram and made His sishyan filled with
bliss. The evidence of this recent day leelai of
Lord VaradarAjan is in the form of archai at Takkan KuLam
of ShOlingar in the form of GajEndhra Varadan .GarudArooDa
Lord came with the speed of GajEndra Varadhan to the side
of His bhakthan , who was sorrowing over His inability to
have the bhAgyam of the Lord's darsanam on Garuda Sevai
day due to old age. Such is the mercy of the PeraruLALan!

Even today , on VaikAsi GarudOthsavam day , there is
a tradition known as DhoddAchArya Sevai , when the archakAs
hide Lord VaradarAjan at the western gate for a short time
with two umbrellas just before He leaves the Temple 
and reserve that occasion for granting His sevai to 
DhoddAchArya . The mangaLAratthi takes place thereafter 
to the accompaniment of the loud salutations
of the assembled bhakthAs and the Lord proceeds  on 
His fast-paced journey on the back of Veda Svaroopi, 

DoddAchArya composed these five slOkams based on his
sweet memories of Lord VaradarAjan's Garuda Sevai in
previous years .He was nostalgically remembering about
those Garuda Sevais and brought those scenes before 
His mind's eye as he composed this Panchakam.

In the first of the five slOkams , DoddAchArya recalls
the scene in front of the western gate of the temple of
Lord VaradarAjan at Kaanchipuram:

prathyUshE Varadha: prasanna vadhana: prApthAbhimukhyAn JanAn 
aabhaddhAnjali masthakAn avimalAn aabhAlam aanandhayan
mandhODDAyitha chaamara: MaNI Maya: svEthAtha patthara: sanai:
anthar gOpuram aavirAsa Bhagavan AarooDa PakshIsvara:

(extended Meaning): During the early morning hours ,
Lord Varadhan , the shADguNya roopi with His beaming
Thirumukha MaNDalam will arrive slowly at the western 
gate on the back of Garudan . Is it n't so ? Would not
the white umbrellas symbolizing His Lordship over 
the entire universe move gently on this occasion ?
Would n't the bluish-black hue (ShyAmala mEni ) of 
the Lord be most captivating ( ChitthApahAri)during
this time ? Would n't those white umbrellas providing
shade for the Lord look most beautiful then ? 
The great bhaagyasAlis assembled on the sannidhi street 
would jostle restlessly with each other to get close to 
the Lord for a more intimate sevai and would have ther hands 
over their heads in anjali mudhrai . The Lord on the back of 
His favorite Vaahanam would gladden the hearts of every one 
from innocent children to great AchAryAs and would bless every
one of them with His adhbhutha Sevai. 

He is PeraruLAlan and hence He has Prasanna Vahdanam .
The divine naadham of Thirucchinnam sounds at that 
time. One is reminded of the unique salutations of 
Swamy Desikan in his Sri Sookthi, Thirucchinna Maalai,
where he celebrates the arrival of Lord VaradharAjan 
on the Raaja Veedhis of Kaanchi. Following are
excerpts from the eleven paasurams of 
Swamy Desikan's Thirucchinna Maalai
about Lord VaradarAjan's appearance before 
His bhakthAs and the symbolic significance 
behind such sevai: 

SurarkaLukku anRuamutharuL SundaranAr VanthAr 
-- Verse 1( PraNavam: 

(meaning): The Lord of enchanting beauty ,
who churned the milky ocean to bring out
the nectar for the DevAs appeared now.

vaanERa Vazhi tanthAr vanthAr thAmE
--Verse 2

(meaning): The Lord , who performed upadEsams 
on MokshOpAyams ( Bhakthi and Prapatthi) to
the chEthanams through His Saasthrams has 
now arrived.

ninaikka namakku innaRivu tanthAr vanthAr
--Verse 3

(meaning): The Lord , who blessed us with
the auspicious thought to meditate on Him
has arrived now.

sEmameNNi yemmai anbarkkadaitthAr VanthAr
--Verse 4

(meaning): For our KshEmam , the Lord who 
blessed us to become the adiyArs of His
BhAgavathAs has appeared before us.

tilakamenum ThirumEnic chelvar vanthAr
-- Verse 5

(meaning): The Lord with the celebrated dhivya 
MangaLa Vigraham has appeared before us.

aruLAlE vilankiraNDum azhippAr VanthAr
--Verse 6

(meaning): The Lord who through His Krupai 
removes the two chains (karmAs) of Paapam and 
PuNyam have arrived before us now.

puhalillAr puhalAhum Punithar vanthAr
--Verse 7

(meaning): That Lord , the parama parisuddhar ,
who stands at the upAya sthAnam for those ,
who do not have the sakthi to perform those 
upAyams has arrived.  

anjina nee Yennai adai yenRAr vanthAr
-- Verse 8

(meaning): The Lord who instructed those 
--who are afraid of their inability to
perform the upAya anushtAnam-- to perform
instead praaptthi to Him has arrived. 

vilakkillA vazhi-nadattha virainthAr vanthAr 
-- Verse 9

(meaning): The Lord who rushes to guide PrapannAs
through the archirAdhi maargam has arrived.

karutha varam tarum Dhiva PerumAL vanthAr 
--Verse 10

(meaning): The Divine  Lord , who blesses one with
the boons desired by mere meditation of Him
has appeard before us.

mutthi mazhai pozhiyum Muhil VaNNar vanthAr 
-- Verse 10

(meaning): The Lord with the hue of dark rainy cloud 
and who rains down the boon of Moksham has indeed
arrived .

This is how DoddAcchAryA might have felt , when he
was blessed with the Garuda Sevai of Lord VaradarAjan
at ChOLa Simha Puram , when the Lord rushed as 
GajEndra varadhan to His side with lightning speed.
After all, he was a keen student of Swamy Desikan's
Sri Sookthis!

Sri VaradharAja ParabrahmaNE nama:
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan



           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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