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Sri Hayagreeva Stotram

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.