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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Nov 16 1995 - 18:41:12 PST
Dear Members of the group: The response to request for Participation in the 108 Divya Desam project has been most gratifying. For the sake of offering a prayer to Sri Hayagreevan to bless us with the intellectual power to grapple this most important project, I thought I will post an article to offer ALL of our salutations to the Lord of ALL Vidyaas. Instead of verbatim translation, I will use the section of a text I prepared in 1988 for the celebration of the 720th (Twelfth Shastiapta Poorthy of Swami Desikan).. On a future date, I will translate all of the individual slokas and request Sri Sunder Kidambi"s help in posting the Sanskrit Text , as he has done so well on earlier occasions: SRIMATHE NIGAMANTHA MAHAA DESIKAAYA NAMA: JEEVANAM JAGADHAM JEEYAT KIMABHYAPAGATASPRUHAM I SWATANTRAM SARVATANTRESHU VENKATESAAVHAVAYAM MAHA: II Sri Hayagreeva Stotram has 33 verses set in 6 different poetic meters. Our Acharya's joyous praise of Sri Hayagreevan arose from the delectable pleasure of seeing HIM in person at the small hillock near the Thiruvahindrapuram temple known as Oushadhadri or the hilllock of medicinal herbs. Sri Garuda Bhagavan initiated Swami Desikan into Sri Hayagreeva Mantram there.. The Aavritti or repeated recitation of this sacred mantram resulted in the appearance of Lord Hayagreevan before Swami Desikan. Lord Hayagreevan has the face and neck of a beautiful white horse and the body of a human being.He is considered as the Lord of ALL knowledge.His body has the lustre of Spatikam or White Crystal .His four hands carry the sacred disc (Sudarsanam), Conch (Paanchajanyam), a Book and Jnana mudra. He is normally seated with His consort Maha Lakshmi and is worshipped as Sri Lakshmi Hayagreevan. In the Yoga Hayagreeva icons, such as the one given by Garuda Bhagavan to Swami Desikan, He is seen alone in the Yogic pose.Swami reveals that the recitation of this stotram on this jnana moorthy will confer supreme scholastic skills to the devotees and lead them away from false knowledge (Avidya) to true knowledge. In the first sloka of this stotram set in the Anushtub meter, Swami points out that Sri Hayagreevan is the basis of ALL knowledge and He is of the integrated form of Jnanam and Aanandam (Bliss supreme).: Jnanaanadamayam Devam Nirmala Spatikaakritheem I Aadharam Sarva Vidyaanaam Hayagreevam Upaasmahe II In the second verse set in Sikarini meter, Swami praises the illustrious Jyothi (effulgence) Swaroopam (form/manifestation) of the Svayambhu (self incarnated) moortham of Lord Hayagreeva. Swami identifies the neighing sounds emanating from the throat of the Lord as the echoes of the Upanishads and Vedas. The Vedic neighings of the Horse-Faced Lord according to Swami Desikan have the effect of removing all obstacles standing in the way of acquiring Brahma -Jnanam.Thus, he says in the second Sloka that the sacred neighing sound has the effect of Anishta Nivrutthi(Elimination of all obstacles). In the third verse, Swami states that the "Hala-Hala" sound emanating from the Lord's throat is the assembly of Sama Vedic Rks, Condensed meaning of the Rg vedic mantras and the essence of the Yajur Vedic utterances.This verse containing portions of the Hayagreeva mantra set again in the Sikkarani meter has a key place in the worship of the Lord of Knowlege. According to the Vaishnavite savant late Sri D.Ramaswamy Iyengar, the recitation of this verse alone can help to realize Ishta Prapthi or the realization of all wishes that one wants to realize in this and the other world. Sri Hayagreeva Bhagavan"s body has been described as Mantra Maya or the essence of Mantras .He is also known as Pranava Moorthy.Sri Hayagreeva mantram in its totality makes reference to His Veda Swaroopam and His Pranava Swaroopam . Lord Hayagreeva helped Brahma to get back the Vedas that were stolen by two demons known as Madhu and Katabha. In the fourth verse, Swami Desikan prays for the blessings of the Lord for His Vedic form to shine within and in front of him always. The fourth verse is notable in that it is in the Saalini meter. Sri Sri Rama Desikaachar has pointed out that this is the only occasion, where Swami Desikan used this rare meter in his poetic works. Although each one of the verses of the Hayagreeva stotram is sacred and beautiful, special mention must be made of the eleventh,fifteenth and the thirty second slokas. The eleventh and the fifteenth slokas are set in the Upajaati meter and have been identified as having profofound mantric significance. The thirty second slokam is the Dhyana Slokam of Lord Hayagreeva and hence it is sacred to the Hayagreva Upaasakaas like Swami Desikan. The second half of the eleventh verse refers to the Pranva Swaroopam of this incarnation of Sriman Narayana. The key passage here is "Akshara Maatrukaam Tvaam visuddha Satwaa: Tatvena Jananti ". Swami refers here that the pious people recognize the everlasting Pranava Swaroopam of Lord Hayagreeva. In the fifteenth verse, Swami Desikan states that the devotes ,who spend even half a second in contemplation of the Pranava Swaroopam of Sri Hayagreeva are bound to become great scholars blessed with unmitigated flow of speech. He says that the devotees blessed by Sri Hayagreeva have thought processes and accompanying speech faculty that exceeds in speed that of Akasa Ganga( Ganga river flowing speedily from the crown of Lord Siva) .Here again ,the Pranava Udhgeetha Vak of Sri Hayagreeva Bhagavan is alluded to as sanctified by the Mantra Sastraas, which offer their Salutations to Him as Vaageesa or the Lord of the Holy Speech or Vedic knowlege. In the thirty second verse, Venkatesa Kavi blesses us with the Dhyana slokam for Sri Hayagreeva Bhagavan. He praises the first God of knowledge as the one with a lustre that never diminishes (Amlaana Sri:) and visulizes Him as being seated on a beautiful white Lotus (RuchirE PundarikE Nishanna: ) . He sees in the hands of the Moorthy of unblemished attributes(Anaga Mahimaa), a book symbolizing sacred knowledge, Jnana upadesa mudra , the divine disc and the Conch. Sri Swami Desikan prays through this Dhyana Slokam to the God of Vedic Speech and knowledge and appeals to Him to appear in his mind and drench him with His nectar like Suddha Satwa Swaroopam . At this point during the spontaneous composition by Swami Desikan, Lord responded to the appeal of His devotee and appeared before him at the hillock of Thiruvaheendrapuram and blessed him with his Laalamrutham (nectar of His salaiva) and disappeared at the end of the recitation of this stotram after promising Swami Desikan that He will sit on the seat of his(Swami"s) tongue and help our Acharya to fulfil his earthly mission to propagate and strengthen the tenets of Sri Vishistaadwaita Siddhantham. Rest is history. Srimathe Vedantha Desikaaya Nama: V.Sadagopan Yuva, Tula Krishna Navami.