You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1995

Geethartha Sangraham-Chapter 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Nov 11 1995 - 07:56:40 PST

  CHAPTER 2:SALUTATIONS TO ALAVANDAAR BY SWAMI DESIKAN
  *************************************************************************
Sri Alavandaar had a very significant influence on Swami Desikan, Parasara
Bhattar and Kooratthazhwan before through his illustrious work known as STOTRA
RATNAM. This moving work 
served as  a touchstone for the stotras of the above three Acharyas.Swami
Desikan and Periya Vaacchan Pillai  wrote commentaries(Vyakyaanams) for the
Stotra Ratnam, becuse of the esteem they had for  this path-lighting composition
of Sri Alavandaar. Swami Desikan most probably recited the two Taniyans of
Stotra Ratnam in his days:

NAMOH NAMOH YAAMUNAAYA  YAMUNAAYA NAMOH  NAMA: I
NAMOH NAMOH YAMUNAAYA    YAMUNAAYA NAMOH  NAMA: II

SVAADAYANNIHA SARVESHAM  TRAYYANTHAARTHAM  SUDURGRAHAM I
STOTRAYAAMASA YOGINDRA:   TAM VANDHE YAAMUNAAHVAYAM  II

 I salute the king of Yogis, Alavandaar, who made available to us  all the
difficult-to-grasp meanings of the Vedas in the form of   a most enjoyable and
sacred  stotram.

Alavandaar is revered by the Acharyas that followed him as "Yatikatku Iraivan
Yaamunai Turaivan" in Tamil, which reminds one of the Title given to Ramanuja as
Yatirajan.  The association of the word Iraivan illustrates the reverence with
which He is being held in the Sri Vaishnava tradition.Swami Desikan folowed this
tradition to remind us about the illustrious contributions of the two
Yatis(Sanyasis)  and paid his  own tribute to both of them.His Yatiraja Saptati
is his tribute to Ramanuja. His salutations to Alvandaar are spread out in his
other works as well as in the Yatiraja Saptati. 

Salutations in Yatiraja Saptati
********************************

VIGAAHE YAAMUNAM TEERTHAM SADHU BRINDHAVANEH STITAM I
NIRATHA JIHMAGASPARSEH YATRA KRISHNA  KRITAADHARA: II

I deeply dip in to the sacred river of Alavandaar (yamuna waters) and reflect on
him, who protected the assembly of  people of pure mind(Sadhus) gathered in the
Brindaavanam ( forest on the banks of Yamuna river = at Alavandaar's feet as his
disciples). That was the water from which Krishna Bhagavan removed the source of
poison from Kaliya serpent  ; similarly , Yamunaacharya removed the poison of
the serpents( those with twisted minds , who misintrepreted  the  true meaning
of Sastras and Vedas) of his time.  {Swami Desikan uses  sledai/pun  in this
verse to accomodate the double meaning of the name of Alavandaar
(Yamunaachrya)}.

Salutations in Rahasya Thrya Saaram( RTS)
***********************************************
In the Guru Paramparaa section of his magnum opus, Swami Desikan paid tribute to
Alavandaar, his compositions and his line of disciples. {Alavandaar had fifteen
well known disciples, who took  refuge in him.He also blessed us with the
following illustrious works,which inspired Swami Desikan: (1) Aagama Praamanyam
(2) Purusha Nirnayam (3-5) Siddhi Tryam containg Atma Siddhi, Iswara Siddhi and
Samvit Siddhi (6) Gitaartha Sangraham (7) Stotra ratnam and (8) Cathu: Sloki  on

Maha Lakshmi to remind us about Her unique  role in Prapatti}.

The verse in RTS   begins with the words: Ennuyir tantalitthavarai charanam
pukki. Here Swami salutes  the line of Acharyas from Ramanuja  , Periya Nambi,
Aklavandaar, Manakkal Nambi, Uyyakkondar,Nada Muni, Nammazhwar , Vishwaksenar ,
Maha Lakshmi and Sriman Narayanan.
He saye the Acharyas like Alavandaar protected him by revealing the knowledge
that his Atma was 
Seshan to the Lord . 

In another verse in RTS exclusively devoted to Alavandaar, Swami states that he
is the Dasa of Alavandaar and he will not therefore study any Sastras that are
not true to his teachings. The version
in  Tamil is as follows:

Neelavandhu Inru Vidhi vahayaal Ninaivu Onriya  Naam
Meela Vandhu Innum Vinai Udambu Onri Vizhundu Uzhalaathu
Aala Vandarena Venru Arul Thantu Vilangiya SIr 
Aalavandaar adiyom padiyom ini ilvazhakkeh 

In this long  and tortous Samsara, we have over aeons wandered  and finally due
to the grace of the Lord have attained discrininating knowledge. To avoid
rebirth in this world and attaing another body due to the Karmas, we have taken
refuge in Alavandaar and his teachings. We will therefore not have lower births
and we have declared our servitude(Dasatvam) to Alavandaar. He has conquered the
opponents with ill views and has come  as it were to protect to us from the
misfortunes associated with the travails of Samsaara. After thus becoming his
Dasas, we will not engage in the study of fruitless and imperfect Sastras
anymore and be misled.

Namoh namoh Yaamunaaya  Yamunaaya Namoh Nama: I
Namoh Namoh Yaamunaaya  Yamunaaya Namoh Nama: II

V.Sadagopan
Yuva  Eippasi Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi
Mrugaqseersha Nakshatram